1. Is it possible to distinguish a social problem from any other kind of problem?
2. Discuss how social construction differs from a 'common sense approach'.
3. Give an example of a 'moral panic' and explain how it became socially constructed.
4. Produce an account of your learning so far. In doing so you should consider your experience on your sociology and/or social policy modules ONLY (SS codes). Also consider the feedback you have received in your modules and your own reflection on formative feedback. In addition, discuss, (1) What you are good at. (2) Areas of your work that need improvement.
Distinguishing Social Problems from Other Problems
Social problem is not constant it changes over the time. However, in a society, the individuals are influenced by the different social problem. Conflicting opinion develops the social issues. Different individuals belong from different societies with different opinions. This creates the social issue in individual's life (Isaacs et al. 2014). Social issues include poverty, child labor, racism, gender discrimination, and moral panic and so on. However, people take help from the political sources or invest time, money and other resources to solve the various social issues. This study deals with the difference between the social problem and other problems, moral panic and comparison between the social problem and common sense approach.
Social issues can be distinguished from economic, political and individual problem however not completely. Social problem highlights on the problem of society. However, the individual problem or personal problem refers that problem of an individual while social problem focuses on the issues that are facing by the group of people (Miller 2017). This difference cannot be done in a complete manner as the personal issues of each individual turns into the social problem. As for example, poverty is a personal problem and if people of a particular region face poverty then it becomes a social problem. On the other hand, smoking is a big social problem in the recent years as a large number of people have a strong addiction to smoking.
This affects the human health. However, economic problem of a country can be solved by reducing the unemployment rate. On the other hand, there is no particular solution to solve smoking if the individual does not take initiative to reduce it (Isaacs et al. 2014). In terms of generating a solution, the social problem can be distinguished from the other problems, however; a complete difference cannot be made. As for example, smoking is a social issue as it affects the health of an individual. On the other hand, this issue is associated with the economic loss. However, if a major portion of a country is addicted to smoking then people will face poverty, which affects the economic growth of the country (Miller 2017). On the other hand, smoking is associated with heath injury, which is an individual problem as well as a social problem. Protection of the community health is a major duty of government. Hence, due to smoking, the health problem occurs, which transforms this social issue in the political issue as the government has to focus on the health disparity of the people. Hence, from the above discussion, it can be said that social problem is associated with the individual, political and economic problem of a country. The social problem is different from the individual, political and economic problem, however, a social problem can transform into the other problems (Jussila et al. 2017). However, if one person faces an issue then it can be considered as the individual problem on the other hand, if more the one individual face the same problem then it becomes a social problem. Therefore, if a large number of people face the similar problem this is considered as the political problem. Thus, the social problem cannot be distinguished properly from other problems.
Social Construction versus Common Sense Approach
Social construction is applied to study the social problems through a methodological manner. This social construction enables the individuals to detect the social issues like social cohesion in the childhood. On the other hand, youth gang, drug related crime such social problems are also demonstrated with proper evidence through social construction theory (Isaacs et al. 2014). Knowledge of the experience is a part of the social theory. People rely on common sense to cope with the challenges in their daily life. On the other hand, social construction relies on the systematic analysis. Common sense does not depend on the specialist knowledge while the according to the positivist social construction includes knowledge about the society, human being, and their behavior.
Social construction or the sociology is based on the theoretical knowledge while common sense is based on the practical knowledge. However, often the common sense represents the idea, which highlights the social perspectives (Isaacs et al. 2014). Common sense occurs from the immediate actions that are taken by the people. It is based on the limited experience. Hence, common sense exhibits the knowledge, which is based on the assumption. Therefore, social constriction focuses on the evidence-based knowledge rather than assumption. However, common sense highlights on the statement of obvious, which is not evidence-based. Knowledge regarding the social construction is generated via large scale of quantitative research or qualitative research by using an in-depth analysis. Social construction is associated with rigorous research. Hence, the difference between the social construction and the common sense approach highlights the difference between theoretical knowledge and assumption (Isaacs et al. 2014).
Social construction uncovers the conflict approaches regarding the social problems while common sense approach provides a reflection on the social trend (Isaacs et al. 2014). Social construction gives the convincing explanation what is happening in the society. Knowledge regarding the social construction includes theory to support any information regarding the society. Social construction consists of the experience of other’s situation while common sense focuses on the own understanding and experience. Form the above discussion it can be said that there are some major differences between the social construction and common sense. The basic difference highlights that common sense is associated with the assumption that may be incorrect while the social construction relies on the evidence-based information and knowledge. Social construction includes various experiences of the social incidents, which provides a huge knowledge to the individuals to meet the social challenges. On the other hand, common sense approach enables the individuals to cope with the certain challenges in the society (Isaacs et al. 2014).
Understanding Moral Panic
Moral panic refers to the fear that spreads among the people in a particular country. Moral panic is associated with the social concern regarding an issue (Piper et al. 2017). Child protection is a worldwide concern, especially in UK. In UK, moral panic claims to protect the children from any type of abuse. However, child labor is a big social problem that leads the children being abused in various sectors. It is important for the UK government to protect the children from being abused. Many children have been suffering from the slavery at their early stage of life. Hence, child labor highlights on the social issue that needs to be reduced as soon as possible. Social constriction or theory related to sociology highlights the children rights. Child protection can be socially constructed by preserving the right of the children in the society.
From the analysis of social reform, it has been received that intervention is crucial in the early childhood to reduce the social issues (Pilgrim 2017). Child abuse is morally wrong and unethical process of the society. However, rapid enhancement of the child labor in various countries highlights on the uncertain future of the children. Child labor occurs due to the poverty, lack of education and social discrimination. It is important for the government of each country to strengthen the child protection Act to ensure the child protection. Child protection is a major moral panic that affects the growth of a society, as children are the sensitive part of the society. Child labor affects the flow of the social growth and harms the future of a nation. Moral panic highlights the current social issues. In the current years, child labor is a big moral issue that needs the concern of the society. Social construction distributes knowledge among the society regarding the child protection. On the other hand, sociology creates awareness among the people about the child protection, which is a vital moral panic of the society (Leigh 2017). Hence, knowledge associated with the social theories uncovers this major moral panic and leads the people to take necessary action to develop child protection in the society.
Sociology module is a crucial part of the learning as it provides social knowledge to the individuals. This part of the knowledge uncovers the social issues and their impact on the society (Isaacs et al. 2014). As a student of sociology, I have gathered a clear idea regarding the social issues and its negative impact on the society. It has been received that there is a basic difference between the social issues and the other problem like economic, individual and political. However, social issue gives raise the other issues while a large population faces it. Sociology study enables me to understand the major social problems and the solution to minimize this problem. During this study, I have achieved much knowledge over the social problems as for example the child protection. On the other hand, in-depth analysis of the sociology enables me to understand the needs of the society. The major area that needs to be improved includes huge and extensive research on the topic. Therefore, it will be helpful for me to carry out a field study to improve my learning. On the other hand, it is important for me to identify the accurate solution of the social issues to develop the society.
The entire piece of work gives a brief account of the social issues and the differences of the social issues from other problems. However, it has been received that social issue is associated with the other issues like political, individual and economic issue thus; the social issue cannot be distinguished properly from the other issues. On the other hand, child protection is moral panic that affects the society. Therefore, sociology and common sense differ from one another as common sense relies on assumption while social construction is based on the evidence-based knowledge.
Isaacs, S., Blundell, D., Foley, A., Ginsburg, N., McDonough, B., Silverstone, D. and Young, T., 2014. Social Problems in the UK: An Introduction. Routledge.
Jussila, H., Majoral, R. and Delgado-Cravidao, F. eds., 2017. Revival: Globalization and Marginality in Geographical Space (2001): Political, Economic and Social Issues of Development at the Dawn of New Millennium. Taylor & Francis.
Leigh, J., 2017. How Others Affect Child Protection Social Work. In Blame, Culture and Child Protection (pp. 51-73). Palgrave Macmillan UK.
Miller, G., 2017. Constructionist controversies: Issues in social problems theory. Routledge.
Pilgrim, D., 2017. Child sexual abuse, moral panics and emancipatory practice. Critical and Radical Social Work, 5(1), pp.7-22.
Piper, H., Garratt, D. and Taylor, B. eds., 2017. Moral Panic in Physical Education and Coaching. Routledge.
Williams, S.L. and Mann, A.K., 2017. Sexual and gender minority health disparities as a social issue: How stigma and intergroup relations can explain and reduce health disparities. Journal of Social Issues, 73(3), pp.450-461.
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