Normally, the human being is not isolated, but lives in society. Consequently, it shares all types of housing with others. In this way, certain problems affect various sectors of the population and, in some way, the entire population as a whole. These types of problems are labeled as social problems.
It would be impossible to list them all, but a significant sample could be as follows: unemployment, racism, harassment moral and school, the various forms of discrimination, corruption, environmental pollution and violence domestic.
General considerations on the concept of social problems
A person’s personal situation can have two dimensions: one individual and one collective. Thus, when a young person cannot find work after finishing their studies, this problem affects them, but at the same time it represents what happens to many young people. In this sense, certain individual situations have a collective or social meaning.
At each historical moment there is a type of social problem. Thus, the problems arising from globalization are unique to the present. However, certain realities have remained throughout history and have a timeless dimension (there has always been poverty in some sectors, a dose of xenophobia or the exclusion of certain groups for various reasons).
It would be wrong to understand that a problem is social, as it affects a large number of people. In fact, from a purely numerical point of view, certain problems are minor (for example, bullying), but its low statistical incidence does not mean that it is a problematic and worrying situation for society as a whole.
The social problem label depends on each individual’s scale of values
Let’s imagine that an individual is passionate about dogfighting. For him, this activity can be pleasurable and fun, but for others it may seem like a symptom of a social problem: the mistreatment of animals. This simple example is intended to illustrate an idea: an event acquires the label of a social problem when it is evaluated from a moral perspective that projects beyond the individual.
The ethical evaluation of each one is directed to society as a whole for several reasons:
1) all people have a criterion of what is good and what is bad;
2) we live in a society;
3) to a greater or lesser extent, human beings feel empathy for other people’s problems.