A social problem is an unwanted situation that occurs in a society affecting a significant number of people and the community. The cause of social problems is by factors that are beyond society’s control thereby creating confusion of what is right and wrong, and people believe they should be corrected. Social problems comprise of; sexually transmitted diseases, antisocial behavior, poverty, crime, murder, drug abuse, sexual assault, alcoholism, bullying, rape, climate change, child labor among others.
Social problems arise due to various factors. Sociologists argue that the nature of society through its structure and culture facilitate an environment that promotes thriving of these problems. Firstly, is social change. The alteration of society’s values, a way of life, customs, traditions, and laws due to globalization and need to adopt new ways of life give rise to social problems. Social change elicits this by disturbing the organization of a society thereby creating confusion, rebellion, and resistance. These result in social problems such as hate crimes, murder, discrimination, child abuse, bullying, and drug abuse. For example, the move by the United States to recognize and legalize gay marriages brought a new era to people’s rights. However, not all celebrated the move. Some extremists and hate groups have carried out hate crimes, bullying, and murder against the LGBT community to display their displeasure.
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Secondly, the contradiction of social systems whereby a society relies on, favors certain social groups, for instance, the employed and the educated and ignores the unemployed and the uneducated can cause social problems. The uneducated and the unemployed group maybe this way due to the society’s failure to offer them various opportunities due to poverty, neglect or family problems. Consequently, for them to feel accepted and fit in, they engage in socially unacceptable activities such as crime, social unrest, gang related activities and pornography to meet their responsibilities.
Bad cultures also accentuate the occurrence of social problems. Cultural events that gratify sex among the youth causes social problems such as abortion, sexually transmitted diseases, pornography and drug and substance abuse. Additionally, cultures that create no barriers among children and the youth through increasingly busy parents who spend less time guiding and nurturing their offspring create problems. First, moral decay develops as these kids, and young people are left to the mercies of devices such as television, and the internet. Thus, they pick up unwanted social problems such as drug and substance abuse, watching of pornography, experimenting with sex.
Social issues affect the society by causing many repercussions. First, it creates disharmony among the people elicited by suspicion and hostility in cases where issues such as criminal activities, hate crimes, harassment, and rape occur. Secondly, they cause suffering and misery among people. A society full of fear of each other, where some cause harm or hate results in the suffering of the inhabitants. Thirdly, the social problems disadvantage a society, as they do not solve any problems but create others that become foundations of worse issues. Fourthly, they make it impossible to address them. Social problems are not universal to every society and tend to change rapidly. Hence, concentrating on solving one is difficult as others arise and cause more harm than the previous one.
Social problems can be solved by first, identifying the root causes of these problems. For example, watching of pornography, abortions and drug abuse among the youths may be due to lack of guidance and counseling. Therefore, programs aimed at creating awareness and educating the youths on these social problems can be created. Secondly, the creation of social support systems such as healthcare, rehabilitation, and employment services to solve alcoholism, drug abuse, and criminal activities.