Defining Social Problems: Public and Professional Perspectives

  title={Defining Social Problems: Public and Professional Perspectives},
  author={Robert H. Lauer},
A common way of defining social problems is to include a subjective element; objective conditions only become social problems when they are perceived to be undesirable by some segment of the public. In their actual treatment of social problems, however, sociologists have contradicted their own definitions by ignoring public opinion in their selection of specific problems for study. A survey of Gallup Polls from 1935 to 1975 shows certain patterns in public definitions of problems and identifies… CONTINUE READING