Current Social Problem Essay

Current Social Problem Essay

a current events that ties to a social problems surrounding race, ethnicity, gender, social class, ageism, deviance, drug abuse, education, healthcare, sexual orientation, crime, war and terrorism (to name just a few).
(I may choose the subject of drug abuse.)

The news article that you choose can be from any reputable newspaper, magazine, or news website. This current event must be published within the last three months.

(That’s part of the concept in the book)
Social Theories
The study of sociology provides us with a new perspective on the world around us. A running theme in this class is using sociological perspectives or theories to help us understand the world. The sociological perspectives or theories refers to the way in which sociologists look for general patterns in human behavior. We will focus on 3 throughout our class.

The conflict theory, which states that society is based upon a constant struggle between different classes. This theory states that society is based upon a constant struggle between the “haves and the have nots.” It stresses that society is composed of groups that engage in competition for scare resources. Karl Marx wanted us to ask in a society, who is in control? Who benefits from certain social arrangements and who loses? In our society we know who is in control. Conflict theorists explain that the dominant group is typically white and wealthy and controls all our institutions such as education, healthcare, and the media. Marx believed that there would be a class struggle and the lower classes would take over the rich class by force. From there, the state or government would be abolished and decisions would be truly democratic. It’s also interesting that the revolution that Marx predicted of capitalism never occurred since the system changed so much since the time of his writings. We have certainly seen small revolts since his prediction but no revolution as he thought would occur.

The functionalist theory, which states that society functions like the human body, just as the body needs each part to make it a whole, society needs people and their individual roles to make up the whole society. “Society is the sum of it’s parts.” Functionalist recognize that everyone in a society serves a purpose. According to functionalists, all roles in society need to be filled. Someone needs to take out the garbage, someone needs to teach the youth, someone needs to farm so we can eat (although these roles depend on one another, of course some roles may be more important then others). Functionalists tend to see society functioning in a harmonious way but also see add that our society is dysfunctional because we are seeing so many social problems such as gender inequality and racial inequality. These social ills are not meeting all our needs (as functionalist believe that society should meet all of our needs).

Symbolic interactionalism, similar to functionalist, but claims that society is the sum of human interactions. This theory looks at how people respond to each other. These interactions are based on symbols, words, or gestures (and we can all interpret the meanings of the interactions.)

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