Social Problem Essay Example

Modern Conflict Theory Social Problem Essay Prompt

In this assignment, write an essay (500-750 words) analyzing the ideas of Mills and Berger. Cite two to four sources from the GCU library and address the following in your essay:

  • Explain the modern conflict theory perspectives of Mills and Berger in regards to your selected social problem (Alcoholism).
  • Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the ideas of Mills and Berger as they apply to your selected social problem (Alcoholism).
  • Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.
  • An abstract is not required.
  • This assignment uses a rubric.

Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion. Get legit paper writing services now!

social problem essay

Social Problem Essay Example on Racial Discrimination

The objective and subjective components of the definition of a social problem

A social problem is a behavior or a condition that leads to negative consequences involving a significant number of members of society in the recognition of the behavior. The social problem of study in this paper is racial discrimination in the United States, where people are excluded, preference, exclusion, and distinction based on their ethnicity.

From an objective point of view, racial discrimination is evident in the differences in learning outcomes and the high frequency of cases of indiscipline among minority students. Additionally, people of color are 10 percent more likely to be stopped by the police than white people in the United States. 15.8 percent of learners experience race-based bullying something that has negative physical and mental health consequences to the learners (University of Minnesota, n.d.).

This is evidence of systemic racism in the United States, even though some individuals may claim that they “do not see color”. The subjective component of the issue of racial discrimination is evident in the differences in the perception of race, something that is evident across people with differing political ideologies. Therefore the policymakers at both the federal and state levels are likely to come up with different policies depending on the political party in power during the term (University of Minnesota, n.d.).

Social constructionist view of social problems

The social constructionist view focuses on the learning and knowledge contending with various categories of reality and knowledge created by social interactions and relationships. The social constructionist view of racial discrimination in the United States is evident in varying forms both among the White people and the minorities.

African American is more likely to point out the existence of racial discrimination in social conversation, something that can be attributed to the fact that they are often the victims of racial discrimination (University of Minnesota, n.d.). This is mainly based on the fact that there is a difference in the perception of race among minorities and white people.

Furthermore, the issue of racial discrimination is based on the fact that Black people were enslaved by the White people, with the long-term effects of this causing the disparity in income distribution among Black and White people.

From a conservative point of view, the disparity in income distribution and the quality of life among Black and White People is based on cultural differences in people’s attitudes towards work (University of Minnesota, n.d.). Furthermore, there is an over-dramatization of violent crime in a particular neighborhood, something that has led to perception differences in the causes of disparity in the quality of life among Black and White people.

social problem essay

Natural history of social problems

To verify that the issue of racial discrimination exists in the United States, the Natural history of racial discrimination in the United States can be analyzed in various stages. The first stage involves the emergence of the problem and the making of the claim of its existence, its impact on people’s everyday life, and thus the need for it to be addressed.

In the case of racial discrimination, the first-hand victims begin to claim of facing mistreatment by authorities or other members of society. Most of the other members of the society, however, may not be aware of its existence, a proportion that generally reduces as more victims come forward with more claims (University of Minnesota, n.d.).

The second stage involves legitimacy whereby the minorities begin to persuade the relevant authorities of the existence of racial discrimination in society. Here, videos of the event an act of racial discrimination may be presented and the argument of racial discrimination as the cause brought forward.

Renewed claims are made and statistics presented on the reported incidences of racial discrimination made. The policymaker in the final state presents strategies to remedy racial discrimination, for example, the use of body cameras on police officers to ensure that the wellbeing of the public is protected.

The sociological imagination

Many members of society may experience racial discrimination on a personal level by being harassed by the police and being stopped disproportionately along the road in comparison to other road users. At this level, they may not be aware that their ethnicity may be the cause of the harassment.

In their social interaction with other minorities, they may realize that there is correlation and perhaps causation between their ethnicity and their experience in the hands of the members of law enforcement. The impact on their lives for example injuries that affect their work may come up thus presenting an emotional reaction among the members of the public.

There may be pubic issues, for example, the existences of poor neighborhoods that are predominantly black arise. Therefore, most members of the society can recognize the existence of racial discrimination in the society through the observation of the ways of living across cultures. Here the existence of systemic racism emerges as the different people share their experiences.

Therefore, remedies are generated to resolve racial discrimination in society, as a majority of the people can recognize it (University of Minnesota, n.d.). The victims present evidence and advocate for policy changes and the need for deliberate measures to protect the minorities from systemic racism.

The basic premise of conflict theory

In any society, there are two classes based on the ownership of the factors of production with the ruling class having disproportionate access to the factors of production, while the working class serves them. This creates an automatic conflict as the working class accuses the ruling class of taking advantage of their positions to gain more economic resources and therefore more power.

This is evident in the disparity in income distribution, as the working class gets paid significantly less, while the rich leverage their wealth to gain more wealth and power. This is something that has been attributed to the low interest rates, as the rich can leverage their position for political gain.

The owners of the factors of production, in this case, the people with the resources to gain land, labor, and capital, use their entrepreneurial ability to create wealth, and thus they feel the need to protect their position in the market. This disparity in the distribution of resources may lead to the disruption in the general way of living (University of Minnesota, n.d.). Social problems such as absolute poverty may justify the need to redistribute resources to ensure that people live a good quality of life.

The basic premise of symbolic interactionism

Symbolic interactionism is the interaction between various people and how they interpret their interactions. The theory means that people do not learn of their roles in society, instead, they develop their roles in the curse of their interactions with other people. This takes place as they negotiate in the circumstances they find themselves in.

The leads to the creation of symbols like handshaking in people’s attempts to make each other comfortable in social interactions, something that is often used by nice people. A clear distinction can be drawn between polite and impolite people depending on their use of symbolic interactions, something that can be attributed to their behavior.

In the case of a social problem such as drug addiction, there are specific tendencies among drug users that can be used by other people to identify them. The perception of other members of the society is considered with the possible solution being identified.

Symbolic interactionism can therefore be used in the identification of different actors in the society and how they are likely to negotiate in the attempt to solve various problems. This means that anybody who deviates from the expectation can be identified and addressed accordingly to remove any bad actors from society.

social problem essay

Survey research

Surveys are tools used in the gathering of data across a group of respondents, which in most cases represents a random sample. The results from the random sample can then be generalized among other members of the society, depending on the assumption that the data analysis process is valid and reliable.

A researcher may opt for surveys conducted in a face-to-face manner to use the observed non-verbal cue to contextualize the verbal communication. Surveys can now be conducted more conveniently online in an attempt to gather information on people’s attitudes and behavior.

Surveys have high representativeness as they can be carried out on a large sample and in some case the entire population. Data is then gathered conveniently, especially with the application of online surveys along with the presentation of precise results that can be useful in answering prevailing social problems.

Surveys on the other hand mat lead the respondents to be uncomfortable presenting favorable answers (University of Minnesota, n.d.). The respondents may not be aware of the reason for the surveys something that may negatively affect the validity and reliability of the tool. They also require the surveyor to be trained to remove any bias thus enhancing the essence of the tool.

Observational research

Observational research is mostly used in sociology, whereby the researcher observes the subject in their social setting while recording their behavior in descriptions. This type of researcher can either be participatory or no participatory depending on whether the researcher interferes with the interaction between the subject and the time they spend with the group.

In nonparticipant observation, the researcher does not interact with the subject. The finding of observational research can them be generalized to the rest of the population. The observational researcher can be used on the unhoused members of the society, to detect the cause of their circumstances, for example, whether their way of living is the cause. In this case, the subject is in their natural environment and their behavior studied, thus providing a healthy body of work.

Despite its effectiveness; observational research can be has a list of weaknesses, it can only be applied to a small sample something that impacts the researchers’ ability to generalize their empirical findings. The observers may lack competence thus impairing the reliability and validity of the study. A marketing researcher for a given supermarket may observe the shopping behaviors of the customers to make their respective conclusions.

Why scholars who study social problems often rely on existing data

Existing data, also known as secondary data is usually collected by other people than the researcher in the current study. This may be crime data in a given geographical location that can be used in the detection of a given social problem, as opposed to if the scholar would have gone out to the field and collected their data. This data may be affected by the subjectivity of the previous researcher especially in a case where it was used to resolve a different research question. This means that secondary data is easy to access and has a low cost or at times free.

This means that the researcher saves the amount of time they would have otherwise invested by going out in the field and collecting their dataset. Secondary data is available in large amounts, thus improving the researcher’s ability to make accurate insights, thus enhancing their credibility. Longitudinal analysis can also be carried and anybody can collect the data. It is therefore clear that secondary data is economical and thus very convenient for scholarly purposes, and thus improving the learners’ ability to draw sociological findings.

The link between the scientific method and objectivity as a goal

The goal of the scientific method is to ensure that there is sound research, one that is less influenced by the researcher’s subjectivity. This researcher engages the application of particular rules that involve the formulation of the research hypothesis, data gathering, and the testing of the hypothesis, thus facilitating the drawing of the conclusions (University of Minnesota, n.d.).

social problem essay

This procedure is not only effective in the avoidance of subjectivity of the empirical findings but also be used in the removal of the effect of the subjective data. This ensures that the research’s social and political views do not influence the research outcomes. This is difficult because the researcher’s need to answer a given research question is based on their personal experiences, and thus based on subjectivity.


University of Minnesota. 1.1 What Is a Social Problem?. Retrieved from

Calculate Price

Price (USD)

Calculate Price

Price (USD)