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Social Issues Essays

How to Write Quality Social Issues Essays

Social issues essays focus on behaviors in the society that affect the members negatively.  As you write them, remember that the issues vary from society to society.

Characteristics of social issues

Social problems are behaviors that affect the society negatively. They are considered as vices. Examples include drug addiction, corruption in government, stealing, campus shooting, and prostitution amongst others.

The common characteristics include;

  • They are all a form of deviation from accepted social behavior
  • All the issues come from the same basis
  • To solve social issues, a collection of social action is needed to address it
  • They have negative effects on the society
  • The problems are caused by social conditions
  • All the conditions relate to each other
  • Every section of the society is affected by social problems
  • The society is responsible for the social problems
  • All social problems take place in the society

Types of social issues

As you write social issues essays, you could talk about the forms of social issues.

Norm violation          

Every society has a set of rules that the society members live by. They determine what is accepted or not as good behavior. When someone goes against the norms, they are considered to have broken the law. This leads to social problems or issues.

Some scholars believe that the people who defy the norms are not to be blamed for their behavior. The scholars say that social issues are a sign that there are problems in the society.

Social conditions

These are conditions that cause material and psychic suffering to some people in the society. These kinds of social problems arise due the way a society operates. Some people benefit while others suffer.

Social issues essays can answer some questions like, do people suffer due to the way the reward system in the society is distributed?  Or is it due to the organization of the school?

This kind of viewpoint blames the conditions in the society for social problems. Maslow gave a list of needs and their hierarchy in the society.  Members of the society want to go past the basic to the self-actualization needs.

When it becomes impossible to meet the needs, frustration sets in. unfortunately, they react to the frustration in a way that the society does not allow. They may end up taking alcohol, drugs, stealing and engaging in behaviors that are unacceptable.

The reason for doing this is to be able to meet their needs. The society labels them as unfit for the society. It is unfortunate that the society is said to be responsible for the behavior. This is because people reason that was it not for the needs put in place by the society; the people would not have felt the pressure to commit ‘crime’.


Social issues are found in every society. Social issues essays will explain the issues in different communities. Various factors lead to social issues. People react different to the issues. Their reaction can be explained by;

  1. Fatalism

This affects people who are fatalistic. They believe that destiny determines some aspects of their lives. Poverty, unemployment and such are believed to be determined by nature. Such people wait for miracles and supernatural intervention to overcome the social issues.

  1. Vested interests

Let’s take an example of a drug trafficker, would they ever put enough effort to eradicate drug addiction? Even if they occupy high places, do you think they would express hope in eradicating drug addiction entirely? Such people watch as the situation worsens without trying to tackle it.

If someone is gaining something out of a social problem, they are likely to ignore it. The more it worsens, the more they gain.

  1. Attitude

Unless the issue affects you directly, you may choose to ignore its existence, at times because you do not understand the magnitude of it. For other people, there are other pressing issues that keep them occupied.

Some social problems are big and individuals may feel intimidated to look for ways to tackle them. An example is drug addiction, in places where the drug addicts are so many, you may feel like your efforts to curb it are insignificant. In such a situation, you can only talk to the addicts about rehabilitation. But how many can you talk to? They may be few but it makes a difference.

  1. Lack of knowhow

Some social problems can only be solved by mindset changes. Even when society members identify the issues, their hands are held. It is almost impossible to resolve the issue. It can only be resolved through individual mindset change.

Not all social conditions lead to social problems. There are conditions that a social condition must meet for it to be a social problem. Before choosing a topic for your social issues essays, make sure it is a matter, not just a condition.

First of all, most people in the society must recognize the condition as a social problem. Otherwise, if only a small section of the society is concerned, then it remains to be a social condition.

The public must be uncomfortable with the condition enough to agitate for change. A public outcry is essential to term an issue as a problem in the society.

Thirdly, there must be a way of solving the problem. If there is no known way, then the public will accept it as part of their lives. They will not bother to ask for change. Their incapability to resolve the issue leads them to accept the consequences of the problem.

The condition must create a gap between social ideals and reality. It must be against the values of the society. For example, drug addiction. It leads to people wasting money on drugs, broken families, and other vices.

The type of individuals affected by the condition determines its seriousness. Conditions that affect the rich and powerful are bound to be taken with more seriousness. Though those that affect the lower class will be attended to, the level of seriousness is not the same.

The prevalence of the situation is also important. The number of people currently going through the problem is crucial. A social condition whose prevalence rate is high is tending to be accepted as a social problem.

Differentiating a social condition from a social issue is important when writing your social issues essays.  It will prevent you from giving the inappropriate information.

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