Questions to Ask When Analyzing Social Problems

 

1.      What individuals, groups, categories, or classes are claiming a social problem exists?  What beliefs, values, goals, or interests are motivating these claims?

2.      What individuals, groups, categories, or classes are opposing such claims?  What beliefs, values, goals, or interests motivate this opposition?

3.      Where on the political spectrum do the individuals, groups, categories, or classes claiming a social problem exists fall?  Are they liberal, conservative, or somewhere in between?  What about those who oppose their claim?

4.      What are the major claims and arguments made by the groups seeking to have the condition defined as social problem?  What about those who oppose them?  What facts do they present?  How do they seek to motivate people to take action?  What actions are they seeking?  What rhetorical and propaganda techniques do they use?  Overall, do their arguments seem valid?

5.      What tactics and techniques do the groups involved employ?  How do they get their message out?  How do they make use of the mass media?  What resources do they have at their disposal to help in getting their message out?

6.      What were the outcomes or what are the likely outcomes?  Who won?  What, if anything, changed?  What are the likely long-term consequences of this social and political event?