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DOI: 10.5593/SGEMSOCIAL2015/B11/S2.110

SOCIAL PROBLEMS AS DISCOURSE: PRODUCTION OF NEW FORMS OF SOCIAL INEQUALITY

E. Bogomiagkova, E. Orekh
Tuesday 15 September 2015 by Libadmin2015

References:
2nd International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM2015, www.sgemsocial.org , SGEM2015 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7105-44-5 / ISSN 2367-5659 , Aug 26 - Sept 01; Book 1, Vol. 1, 855 - 862 pp

ABSTRACT
In recent decades attention has become a scarce resource not only in politics and economics, but also in the social sphere. Problematization may be considered a way of attracting attention to negative circumstances and situations. The list of current social problems is not determined by their scale and impact, but by their attractiveness to different public groups. In this regard, the theory of social problems focusing on the rhetoric of statements (claims-making activity) is of particular relevance. Based on social constructionism (J. Kitsuse, P. Ibarra), we consider social problems to be a specific discourse. In addition to actualization of situations and resource mobilization, the social problems discourse produces and reproduces a system of inequality in accordance with the criterion of "being related/unrelated" to a social problem. As a result, such groups as "victims of the problem" and "the source of the problem" are produced symbolically and discursively. These groups include many forms of symbolic domination and control. The discourse of social problems acts as an "umbrella" for other types of discourses like medical and legal; it has its own system of notation, differentiation of individuals and groups, delegation of authority and attribution of responsibility. Experts and groups of power reproduce conventional concepts of equality (or normality), and evaluate various social groups as unequal. Groups of experts present legitimizing arguments and aspire to implement their solutions in the space of non-discursive practices (measures of care, control, exclusion).

Keywords: social problems, social constructionism, social problems discourse, social inequality, production of social inequality

PAPER DOI: 10.5593/SGEMSOCIAL2015/B11/S2.110 : SOCIAL PROBLEMS AS DISCOURSE: PRODUCTION OF NEW FORMS OF SOCIAL INEQUALITY

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