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date: 01 December 2022

Social Problemslocked

Social Problemslocked

  • Sandra K. DanzigerSandra K. DanzigerGerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan
  •  and Karen M. StallerKaren M. StallerUniversity of Michigan

Summary

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 and how these views shape policy and practice. 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 the social problems process (Best, 2013; Staller, 2009) allow social workers to consider how power, politics, fears, prejudices, and values “create” what is problematic about a variety of social conditions.

Subjects

  • Human Behavior

Updated in this version

Bibliography and citations expanded and updated to reflect recent research.

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