- Policy debates over popular hazards typically have long and at times complex histories. For example, we have been debating the hazards of pornography, gambling, alcohol consumption, firearms, and automobile safety for quite some time. Why is it so difficult to settle these disputes once and for all? Please answer the above question with 1 to 1.5 paragraphs, using any of the key concepts from the social problems construction process, especially any from the policymaking chapter. Check out FIGURE 7.1 in Chapter 7; it will provide a frame of reference of the players involved in drawing attention to a popular hazard. For example, perhaps you think that the political situation has not responded to these problems, while those in policy proposals and problem recognition have done a lot of helpful work to expose the extent of the hazard. Or perhaps one of the other policy streams has actually diminished the importance of the popular hazard.
Due DateSunday, October 24, 202111:59 PM Points Possible10
- For this week, the focus turns to social problems WORK and WORKERS (Chapter 8 of the textbook). In other words, we turn our gaze to the actual human beings who, as moral and social agents, act and speak (within a set of social statuses and specific roles) to address social problems in their immediate life context. In other words, CLAIMS come in certain forms from CLAIMSMAKERS, the media, the PUBLIC, and POLICYMAKERS, but the way in which a social problem is encountered in everyday life does not find easy expression.
For this assignment, consider select a SOCIAL PROBLEM with a fairly well known set of primary claims and even established policy that is severely out of touch with the reality faced by social problems workers that must encounter and address the problem. In your write up, provide (1) a brief overview of the social problem. You can provide historical references about when it entered the realm of public discourse or policy debates, or some primary claims about its apparent severity. (2) identify what social problems worker/professional (healthcare worker, police officer, lawyer, journalist, etc.) is most likely to encounter and address the problem. Why is this person/status the socially preferred agent to address the problem? (3) What can you cite from reputable sources (you can include personal experiences if they are substantial enough) about the nature of the social problem as routinely encountered that does not fit the prevailing policy approach or primary claims? Why do you think this mis-fit or misrepresentation is the case or has remained the case?
HINT: you could attack this lack of fit by claiming that the agent deemed most suitable to address the social problem at the ground level is simply the wrong one–they either need different kinds of training or another profession or status is better suited. Or, the problem could be that the policy doesn’t really address the key issue. Or, the misfit could be due to distortions at yet another social level that skews perception and badly affects the terms of proposed solutions. 10 pts.
Due Sunday, end of day.
Joel Best. Social Problems. (2021) 4th Edition. New York: W.W. Norton.