Social Problems Approaches

Social Problems Approaches: Social problems have been analysed scientifically. Below we examine some of the theoretical approaches which present universal explanations for all type of social problems.

Social Problems Approaches

There are many types of social approaches that can be used to define the social problem.

  • Social Disorganisation Approach
  • Cultural Lag Approach
  • Value Conflict Approach
  • Personal Deviation Approach
Social Problems Approaches

Social Disorganisation Approach

Social Disorganisation is a condition of a society, community or group in which there is a breakdown of social control, or of a social order, or of formal and informal norms that define permissible behaviour. It is characterized by the lack of co-operation, common values, unity, discipline and predictability.

Warren has described it as a condition involving

  • Lack of consensus (disagreement about group purposes)
  • Lack of integration of institutions (often working at cross purposes)
  • Inadequate means of social control (preventing individuals from playing their individual role due to confusion)

Social problem is a process by which relationships between members of a group are broken or dissolved.

Social disorganization occurs when there is a change in the equilibrium of forces, a breakdown of the social structure so that the formal pattern no longer apply, and the accepted forms of social control no longer function effectively. This disruptive condition of society, who is evidenced by normlessness, role conflict, social conflicts, and demoralization increases social problems.

for example, increasing industrialisation, spread of education and women taking up paid work have affected the relations between husband and wife and between parents and children.

Characteristics of social problemReactions to social problems
Causes of social problemsSocial problems Approaches
Types of social problemsStages in the development of a social problem
Solving social problemsSocial problems and social change in India
Sociology, sociologists and social problems

Cultural Lag Approach

Culture lag is a situation in which some parts of a culture change at a faster rate then other related parts resulting in the disruption of integration and equilibrium of the culture.

for example, culture changes more rapidly than the non material culture in industrial societies through rapid advances in social and technology. the theory of culture lag in particular holes that in modern societies there has been a tendency for change in the political, educational, family and religious institutions to fall behind technological changes.

It is thus easy to see how culture lag can create social problems. Even after rapid industrialisation in the last quarter of the nineteenth century and in the first quarter of the 20th century, some people were so influenced by the reserved restrictions of the caste system. Our social institutions, thus, retained the traditional flavour whereas technology advanced in the world.

Through the cultural lag theory explains some of the social problems like AIDS, population explosion etc. It does not explain all social problems. It, therefore, can’t be accepted as a universal explanation of all social problems.

Value Conflict Approach

A value is a generalized principle of behaviour to which the members of a group feel a strong, emotionally toned positive commitment and which provides a standard for judging specific judging acts and goals. The group is expected to remain committed to the values accepted by the group. Values thus provides the generalized standard of behaviour.

Examples of values are equality, justice, communal harmony, patriotism, mobility, collectivism, compromise, sacrifice, adjustment and so on.

Because of the strong emotional feeling attach two values and because they serve as standards for judging concrete goals or actions, they are often regarded as absolute.

Different groups have different systems of values. incompatibility between the values of two or more groups to the extent that the role performance of individuals is interfere with is called value conflict. This state of conflict may last only a short while or it may be a persistent problem. For example, conflict in values of workers and employers leads to industrial unrest, strikes and lockouts.

Personal Deviation Approach

Deviation is non-conformity to social norms it is different from normal behaviour because the latter can notes psychological illness rather than social malaadjustment or conflict. Thus people who deviate from social norms are not necessarily mentally ill.

In the social disorganization approach to social problem one looks to the rules that have broken down and the changes that have taken place because of the breaking of the rules. In personal deviation approach, one looks to the motivation and behaviour of the day ones who are instrumental in causing the problems.

Two factors that need explanation in the personal deviation approach are:

  1. How does personal deviancy develop?
  2. What what types of personal deviation are frequently involved in social problems?

Personal deviancy develops because of either

  • An individual’s inhability to follow generally accepted norms
  • An individual’s failure to accept generally accepted norms.

The socially deficient do not truly violate norms; manifest and inability to learn and follow the norms. The cause of emotional deficiency is bio-psychological.

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