- Sandra K. DanzigerSandra K. DanzigerGerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan
- and Karen M. StallerKaren M. StallerUniversity of Michigan
Societies greatly vary in how social ills or conditions are framed and addressed. What is socially problematic and why specific societal responses are developed depends on competing social values in social, political, and historic context. Social constructionists examine how some social behaviors and conditions come to be publicly viewed as social problems. Recent studies document two contemporary trends—the medicalizing and criminalizing of behavior for labeling problems and subjecting them to institutions of social control. Analyses of social problems allow social workers to consider how power, politics, fears, prejudices, and values “create” what is problematic about a variety of social conditions.
- Human Behavior