The Social Construction of Social Problems Essay 3 pages double space

I don’t know how to handle this History question and need guidance.

For this assignment, you will find your own example of a social problem as it is discussed in a major media outlet. Follow the directions below to complete the assignment.

  1. Select a prominent, reliable, national newspaper or media outlet (e.g., The New York Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Washington Post, etc.). Do not use “newspapers” such as the National Enquirer or other entertainment periodicals.
  2. Find an article from the last 100 years that details a particular social problem—find something that we have not discussed in class AND that you find interesting. Choose an issue that means something to YOU.
  3. Next, find another article on the SAME social problem either from a DIFFERENT publication or from a DIFFERENT ERA (preferably the same publication, but that can be tricky). You should now have either: two articles from the same publication (preferably) from different eras OR two articles from different publications from the same era. This is a comparative assignment about how these news sources construct a social problem.
  4. Describe the social problem using the critical constructionist perspective.
  • Who are the claimsmakers for the problem?
  • How do they typify the problem?
  • Who are the “victims” of the problem?
  • What is the cause of the problem? Is the problem to blame on individuals? Society? Something else?
  • How can the problem best be solved, according to the claimsmakers and/or the author(s) of the article?
  1. Describe how the authors of the stories “frame” the problem. Do they see it the same way as the claimsmakers for this problem? Why or why not?


Please use parenthetical (in text) citation with the author’s name and the publication year, and always include a page number when using a direct quotation. Include all sources on a bibliography to accompany the paper. Refer to the citation guidelines in the Modules section of Canvas on how to correctly use parenthetical citations and how to create a bibliography.


  • Additional guidelines on writing an effective paper can be found in the Modules section of Canvas. Information on the correct use of citations and constructing a bibliography is also available.
  • This information (i.e., newspaper articles) can be found online using the library website, particularly LexisNexis
  • Use citations properly (not citing = plagiarism = honor code violation = no one’s happy)
  • 3 – 4 pages, double spaced
  • 12-point font max, 1” margins max
  • Number your pages
  • Make sure your name is on the front page
  • You do not need a separate title page