Social Problem, Its Components and Stages

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 4
Words: 844
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College

Social location and the role it plays with regard to social problems

Social location is an idea that is widely used to help students who are new to the discipline of sociology figure out the relationship between the subject and their experiences in life. It may also be used to refer to a position associated with an individual in a given community. Typically, the position is determined by considering social characteristics that are highly esteemed in the community. Among the characteristics are ethnic background, sexuality, and race.

To a large extent, social location has a major impact on the lives of individual in any given society. It plays a very vital role in determining what people become later in life. Socially, social location tends to create disparities in the society and increases the gap between the rich and the poor.

What makes something a social problem? What are the components?

Generally, a social problem is one that affects how a group of people live and is as a result of prevailing social circumstances. Luckily, a social problem can easily be addressed through concerted efforts. It may also be said that a problem only becomes a social problem if it goes against the values and beliefs of a given group of people. Otherwise, it ceases to be classified as a social problem. Ostensibly, sociology as a discipline often seeks to address social problems in the society with the ultimate goal of transforming the world to be a better place.

It is however, important to note that certain actions perpetrated by human beings and violate the values and beliefs of a group of people, may not qualify to be considered social problems. This is mainly because the effects of such actions may not be of concern to the general public but only a section of the society. Clearly, a given condition must be seen to be a concern of the general public for it to be defined as a social problem.

The components of social problems are classified as objective or subjective components. The objective component is mainly based on clearly established facts while the subjective component is based on the feelings of individuals in a society.

The stages of a social problem

The four stages of a social problem are emergence, legitimacy, bureaucratization, and development of alternative strategies. First, a social problem comes into existence when a social movement creates awareness to the general public about. The idea is usually to paint the identified condition as being undesirable and hence needing attention by key stakeholders. During the second or legitimacy stage, it is upon the social movement to make it clear to the government that the identified social problem is actually a legitimate one.

The bureaucratization stage is characterized by the fact that social movements have made a breakthrough in formalizing a social problem. At this point in time, there is a common agreement among stakeholders that an identified social problem needs to be addressed. The final stage is development of alternative strategies. Typically, the main agenda of this stage is to come up with different approaches of dealing with the social problems in the event the government fails to play its part.

Climate change is a good example of a social problem that is currently at the developments of alternatives stage.

The difference between income and wealth and how it is related to other social problems

Wealth refers to the stock of assets held by a person or household at a single point in time. Income refers to money received by a person or household over some period of time. It includes wages and salaries.

Wealth is more important for understanding social problems because it generates income. Research indicates that most social problems are due to differences in wealth and discrimination in acquiring it.

Corruption as a social problem

In this section, I will talk about corruption as a major social problem in the world today. Throughout the world, people are denied their rights as a result of corruption that cuts across the private as well as the private sector. Without a doubt, the vice of corruption in the society has gone through all the stages and it is now at that point where civil rights groups are seeking alternatives to deal with the problem.

Despite the fact that concerned leaders across the world are speaking tough concerning the issue of corruption, there are those who are yet to come to terms with the fact that corruption is really hurting economies and people’s livelihoods all over the place. As a result of corruption, the level of poverty has continued to rise as the rich keep on oppressing the poor in the society.

Because of corruption, for example, people are not being paid what they are worth and are thus compelled to live below the poverty line. In addition, corruption is the biggest cause of unemployment in most nations across the world. It is thus imperative for stakeholders to work closely to address the vice of corruption which is slowly killing economies in the world.