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Social Problem Research

Assignment: Social Problem Research

Week 5 6351

Responding to the social problems that affect the populations you serve as a social worker is only one aspect of the professional responsibility you must undertake. The ability to be proactive by identifying disparities and gaps in policies is just as important. However, in order to be an effective advocate and to fully participate in the policy process, it is important that you be able to connect theory and research to policy-making decisions. Having the knowledge and skills to implement new policies and policy alternatives without creating new disparities is a skill all social workers need to possess.

For this Assignment, consider what you have learned about the possible causes of the social problem you selected.

By Day 09/01/2021

Assignment (2–4 pages, APA format 7TH ): Your paper should include:

  • A description of the known      explanations or causes of the issue you selected in your Social Issues      paper in Week 3
  • A description of the      theoretical explanations and approaches scholars and policy analysts used      to discuss this issue
  • A description of the policies      that have resulted from these discussions and an explanation of whether      they are effective at resolving the issue

Week 3 paper 

One of the main problems that affect populations that social workers serve is poverty. Poverty refers to the lack of resources to provide the various necessities of life of individuals in the society. Such necessities include food, clothing, and shelter. This social problem affects many people across the world and many causes result in the same. Studies show that around 8% of the world’s population lives in poverty which is caused by various factors. For instance, inequality and marginalization is a major cause of this particular social problem. Inequality refers to the unjust distribution of resources as well as opportunities among members of a given society (Blunt, 2019).  On the other hand, a marginalized community refers to one that does not have full access to resources that are essential for everyone’s life.

Another factor that results in poverty is conflict in a given society. In societies where violence has dominated, a lot of resources end up being destroyed and there are minimal chances of growth in economic activities. This translates to a lack of peace which is important for any growing economy. Besides, lack of education also contributes to poverty in society. Research shows that societies that do not embrace education tend to lag in terms of development and growth. Education plays a major role in the process of poverty eradication in any given community. Finally, lack of government support also contributes to poverty since it is difficult for communities to fully support developments without support from the government (Wietzke, 2020).

As mentioned above, 8 % of the world’s population lives in absolute poverty which translates to 600 million people. For example in the United States, more than 40 million people were living in poverty which means that the number has significantly increased to date. Poverty prevalence in society continues to be experienced up to date bearing in mind that it is one of the most difficult social problems to eradicate (Yip, 2021).

The specific population that is impacted by poverty includes people who are in war areas, people in poor politically managed countries, people with devastating health conditions, as well as those in drought-affected areas. These people spent the little resources they have to cater to the many social problems facing them which make it hard for them to escape poverty. The explanations of the various causes of poverty can be grouped into three broad theories which are structural, behavioral, and political. Behavioral theories tend to concentrate on individual behaviors as driven by culture while on the other hand structural theory emphasizes the demographic and labor market context (Cressey, 2017).

Political theory on its side contends that institutions and power cause policies which cause poverty. Poverty is therefore a social problem that affects the growth and development of societies in many parts of the world. This implies that there is a need to have ways in place that will aid in eradicating the problem. This includes encouraging education among individuals in the society, ensuring there is equal distribution of resources, promoting good political processes that help society in growth, and also encouraging diversification.


Yip, P. S. F. (2021). Poverty Prevalence, Trends, and Transitions. In Social Unrest and the Poverty Problem in Hong Kong (pp. 21-48). Springer, Singapore.

Rewilak, J. (2017). The role of financial development in poverty reduction. Review of development finance7(2), 169-176.

Cressey, D. R. (2017). The poverty of theory in corporate crime research. In Advances in criminological theory (pp. 31-56). Routledge.

Liu, Y., Guo, Y., & Zhou, Y. (2018). Poverty alleviation in rural China: policy changes, future challenges, and policy implications. China Agricultural Economic Review.

Wietzke, F. B. (2020). Poverty, inequality, and fertility: the contribution of demographic change to global poverty reduction. Population and Development Review46(1), 65-99.

Blunt, G. D. (2019). Global Poverty, Injustice, and Resistance. Cambridge University Press.

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Popple, P. R., & Leighninger, L. (2019). The policy-based profession: An introduction to social welfare policy analysis for social workers (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

· Chapter 7, “Aging: Social Security as an Entitlement” (pp. 138-160)

NASW. (2009). Social work speaks. Washington, DC: NASW Press.

· Long-term Care (pp. 223–228)

U.S. Social Security Administration. (n.d.). Retrieved October 10, 2013, from

Congressional Budget Office. (2010). Social Security policy options. Retrieved from

Responsiveness to Directions

27 (27%) – 30 (30%)

Paper fully addresses all instruction prompts.


36 (36%) – 40 (40%)

Paper demonstrates an excellent understanding of all of the concepts and key points presented in the text(s) and Learning Resources. Paper provides significant detail including multiple relevant examples, evidence from the readings and other sources, and discerning ideas. Paper demonstrates exemplary critical thought.


27 (27%) – 30 (30%)

Paper is well organized, uses scholarly tone, follows APA style, uses original writing and proper paraphrasing, contains very few or no writing and/or spelling errors, and is fully consistent with graduate level writing style. Paper contains multiple, appropriate and exemplary sources expected/required for the assignment.

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