Any phenomenon defined as a social problem requires collective response rather than an individual resolution. For example : “When, in a city of 100,000, only one man is unemployed that is his personal trouble, and for its relief we properly look to the character of the man, his skills and his immediate opportunities. But when in a nation of 50 million employees, 15 million men are unemployed, that is an issue, and we may not hope to find its solution within the range of opportunities open to any one individual.” (Mills 1959:8) This example suggests that social problems only really become an issue when they affect a large proportion of society. What for one might look like a problem and if a large group of society is not affected, there is little probability that it will be defined as a social problem.
The “war of drugs” is one of the most argumentative examples of social problem construction. Throughout the world people consume all sorts of chemicals that affect their bodies: they dr...
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Mills, C. W. (1959) The social imagination. London: Oxford University Press.
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