Typifications of Social Problems Discussion

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u02d1 Typification of Social Problems Discussion ~

The types of problems that exist within society vary considerably in their structure, severity and function. The very existence of the social problem depends upon the person that has constructed the framework that describes or illustrates the social issue being focused on (McKinney, 1969). When a social problem is being typified, it means to apply an understanding or claim as to why a social problem exists (Best, 1997). Best (1997) identifies this social construction of any social problem as "typification" or a way of then talking or focusing on a social problem to persuade others. By making claims as to the nature of a problem, a framework is constructed and the issue then begins to have a history. In the process of typifying a social problem, certain aspects are emphasized, while other aspects are not discussed all, in an effort to draw attention to the issue at hand. Activists will often typify a social problem in order to draw attention to and promote one viewpoint or another, seeking statistics to backup their claims and to give creditability to the spotlighted social problem. Best (2001) shares the significance of socially constructing a problem stating, "Activists often feel frustrated trying to get people concerned about some social condition that has been ignored" (p 13).

In an effort to typify or socially construct social problems much thought goes into the various aspects that the social problem effects. The typification of one current social problem within the community includes that of runaway youth. Young people runaway for a variety of reasons, although these youth are often portrayed by society as social deviants, impulsive and trouble makers who just didn't want to follow the rules of their home. Runaway youth are more likely to engage in substance abuse and delinquent behavior while also being far more likely to drop out of school, contend with mental illness and...
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