Social Problems, Values and Norms

649 WordsJan 31, 20183 Pages
A social problem is a condition that directly or indirectly affects at least some members of society who consider it to be in violation of certain values or morals. Values are what people think is good or bad, right or wrong. One groups values can be entirely different from another groups values based on what each group deems important to them. Norms are more specific and they are “rules of conduct that guide people’s behavior” (Sullivan, 2012). Therefore, when a group of people behave or act out in a certain way that is in contrast to other group’s values or norms it can create a social problem. Furthermore, social problems can be labeled as such when an influential group places significant light on the issue. This allows for public debate about the issue or condition. This debate drives opinions and allows people to consider what is more important to them with their values and norms. Eventually social policy or collective action is put into place in an attempt to elevate the condition. The condition can be affecting many or only a small group of people but in order for it to be considered a social problem the condition needs to be considered a threat to a group’s values or norms. The larger the number of people affected the more likely the condition will be addressed as a social problem. There are a vast number of examples of social problems that are current conditions affecting groups in our society today. Unemployment is a condition that affects all of society directly
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