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100+ Social Issues Research Paper Topics

Group of people discussing social issues

There are many issues in society to write about, making social issue essay topics some of the most fun. However, choosing a social topic for an essay isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially when there are several social essay topics. The secret to choosing the best among the many social topics is knowing what makes the best social topics for an essay, the best.

This article will give you workable tips for choosing a great topic on specific social issues, argumentative essay topics , and social topics. We will also throw in 100 topics on social issues; they can serve as your social topic or inspiration for choosing.

What Are Top Tips for Choosing Social Topics to Write About?

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When it comes to social problems essay topics, the list is endless; there are so many social issues to talk about. However, not all social problem topics will make a great paper, and the wrong social issue topic can reduce your grade. Below are the top practical tips for choosing social issues topics for presentation.

  • Choose easy social issues to write about – avoid trying to impress your professor by choosing complex social problems topics you can’t do justice to.
  • Choose social problem topics or social media research topics that your audience can relate to and find interesting.
  • When choosing from the myriads of social problems to write about, choose those with sufficient information. Also, you don’t want social problem essay topics you’ll have to walk miles to gather information on.
  • Pick as many good social issues to write about as possible; chances are you will change issues essay topics midway. You don’t have to return to searching for current issues to write about.
  • Source for articles that address problems in society to write about for an idea on how to write yours.

The “best” social topics, like social commentary essay topics, are those you’re passionate about. It would help if you cared about the social issue ideas you’ve decided to write on to do real justice to the paper. Writing an essay on them will be torture if you don’t care or know anything about social commentary ideas. Also, if your audience is clueless about a particular topic, consider omitting technical and social significance topics.

Interesting social topics are not hard to find if you know where to look. We will give you a social issues topics list here, but you can still find social issues ideas all over the internet. Find our social topics list below containing interesting and uncommon social issues for a distinction-worthy paper.

  • Political polarization
  • Racism in modern society’s healthcare
  • Ageism: the new racism?
  • The fairness of labor laws
  • Fat-shaming in the corporate world
  • Recovering addicts and social injustice
  • Child pornography
  • Prisoner rights violations: the types
  • Making vaccinations mandatory
  • Online education impact on obesity
  • Increasing employment: the solution to poverty?
  • Accessibility of healthcare in mobile clinics
  • Women empowerment
  • Social development in developing countries
  • Overpopulation: a threat?
  • How social networks impact friendship
  • Age restriction on Instagram
  • Social media effect on dependency
  • Business Facebook accounts and digital ethics
  • Cancel culture and mental health
  • Restricting children from social media
  • How to stay safe on the internet
  • Freedom of speech on Twitter
  • High cost of medical procedures
  • Obesity in developed countries
  • Abortion: legal or illegal?
  • Drug addiction
  • Hospices: should they be free?
  • Why HIV in seniors remains unrecognized
  • Dying with dignity
  • Pro-life movement origins
  • The social acceptance of autism
  • Effect of malnourishment on children’s psyche
  • Impact of fad diets
  • Discrimination against older adults
  • Acceptability of homeopathic treatment for children
  • The scarcity of and state of available healthcare facilities in rural areas
  • Poverty and health problems
  • Ensuring global access to drinking water
  • Implementing sustainable technology in agriculture
  • Benefits of studying the environment
  • Urban gardening and food security
  • Deteriorating environment effect on labor conditions
  • Religion and nature
  • Global warming impact on South America
  • Effect of racial profiling
  • Prevalence of hate speech
  • Discrimination against the LGBT community
  • Modern feminism: the negative impact on society
  • Pregnancy termination: morality vs. legality
  • Food culture
  • Emotional intelligence: impact on family life
  • Harmful effects of financial illiteracy
  • The perception of “Defund the police.”
  • Evidence of structural racism
  • The internet’s influence on human trafficking
  • Legalizing prostitution
  • Civil disobedience goals
  • The consequences of restoring prisoners to society
  • Influence of prejudices on criminal justice mechanics
  • Prominent civil rights violations in developing countries
  • Gender blindness
  • Gender dysphoria
  • The Khmer Rouge
  • Social media and racist bias
  • Justification of human rights limitations during a crisis
  • How governments can secure freedom of speech
  • Can satire be harmful?
  • Protection of stateless persons
  • Can illegal immigrants be pardoned?
  • War on drugs: the negative side effects
  • The importance of bipartisan cooperation
  • College loans: are they worth it?
  • Fake news: a severe problem?
  • Charter schools vs. public schools
  • The Great New Deal: pros and cons
  • Gentrification in America
  • Ableism effects in the US
  • Death penalty: a just punishment?
  • Healthcare: a fundamental human right?
  • The right to own a gun
  • Does history repeat itself?
  • Commercials in kids’ programs
  • Fiction vs. nonfiction: which is the better read?
  • Video games should be a sport
  • Hot dogs: have they caused more harm than good?
  • Eating dessert before dinner
  • Homework: is it too much?
  • Should gym classes be required?
  • The essentiality of feminism
  • Free healthcare for everyone
  • Exploring space: is it worth it?
  • Parents’ role in childhood obesity
  • Woman vs. man: who is more emotional?
  • The effects of campaign finance reform
  • Should illegal immigrants be granted residency?

With this list of social topics and others you’ll find on the internet, you can’t be short of social issues to talk about. Choosing the best social issues topics is essential for writing a great research paper, ranging from social change topics to social awareness topics. Considering the vast amount of community issues to write about, our tips on choosing from the best social relevance topics will come in handy. If you need professional writing services, you can contact our experts.

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145 Social Problems Essay Topics & Research Questions to Write about

Are you looking for the best social problem topics for research or essays? You’re at the right place! StudyCorgi has prepared a list of social issues research paper topics and questions for your speech, essay, and other writing assignments. You’ll find topics about inequality, teenage pregnancy, violence, hunger, and other problems facing contemporary society. Read on to discover the most interesting social issues topics for research and engaging essay examples!

✅ Easy Social Issues to Write About

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If you need to write a paper on social issues and wonder what social problems to write about, here are a few easy options you can consider:

  • Social Problems of People with Disabilities People living with disabilities go through several challenges in life because society is yet to appreciate their presence.
  • Social Problem of Inequality Studies of social inequality included non-urban areas and social inequality factors that had not been included in previous studies.
  • Oppression as a Social Problem The paper defines oppression in terms of marginalization, exploitation, powerlessness, cultural imperialism and violence: the key facets of oppression according to Iris Young.
  • Social Problem Analysis: Social Inequality in Education This paper encompasses the persistent issue of social inequality that we can witness as a routine practice every day. This topic analysis social inequality in educational institutions.
  • Texting and Driving: Social Problems Texting and driving refers to the act of receiving, reading and sending text messages while operating a motor vehicle, which is a hazardous practice that causes many fatalities.
  • The Issue of Adolescent Pregnancy as a Major Social Problem The purpose of this study is to investigate the issue of adolescent pregnancy as a significant challenge that affects society across the globe.
  • Development of Children’s Friendship and Social Problems This analysis was reached upon following a close thirty-minute observation of infants, and it suggests various types of behaviors presented by children in play.

  • Meth Epidemic as a Social Problem: Film Analysis Drug consumption has become a major social problem for many states in the US as many drug users and addicts consider meth as their top choice.
  • World Poverty as a Global Social Problem Poverty and the key methods helping to reduce it attract the attention of numerous researchers in different areas of expertise.
  • Social Problems in Wilson’s “Fences” Play People who have been subjected to social oppression have a good chance of developing mental health problems in the future.
  • Poverty as a Social Problem Society often perceives poverty as an individualistic issue, believing that it is a consequence of bad decisions.
  • Global Warming: Solving a Social Problem Global warming may be a cause of the cooling in some parts of the world. Global warming can slow down ocean heat transport which becomes the reason for cooling in some regions.
  • Rawls vs. Nozick on Social Problems and Criminal Justice The essay reflects on the articles of Rawls and Nozick to compare their key points and determine whose theory is most applicable to social problems and criminal justice.
  • American Modern Social Problem The United States is not renowned to having one of the best systems of health care worldwide, rather the U .S. is known for its best system in emergency care worldwide.
  • American Social Problems: Family and Education The family and education are major socializing agents in society and to be particular the United States of America.
  • Substance Abuse: The Cause of Social Problems Substance abuse is a contributing factor to social problems but cannot be said to be the one that is most responsible.
  • Migration as a Social Problem The essay takes a look at migration as a social problem on the example of the current immigration situation in the United States and South Africa.
  • Americas Social Problems Nowadays The article explains the social, economic, political, technological, and legal impacts of war and how the global community can address the reality of terrorism.
  • Modern American Social Problems The essay lists the current American social problems and describes the key point of each problem the society faced nowadays.
  • American Social Problems of Women and the Elderly The issues of social discrimination experienced by women and elderly people have their roots in two fundamental perspectives of social life.
  • America’s Social Problems Through the Song “Cookie Jar” by J. Johnson The song Cookie Jar is a song written by Jack Johnson song talks about the blame game that is going on and in American society.
  • Childhood Obesity: Medical Complications and Social Problems The children have also suffered from the adverse effects that have been instilled into our society. Obesity has become a common problem in children of American and European countries.
  • Social Problems: Exploring the Main Types There are four main social problems; crime, violence, drug abuse, and environmental problems. The other social problems are very closely related to the above.
  • Violence: The Social Problem The present paper provides extensive research on the problem of violence in communities, in terms of its significance in society, the different perspectives.
  • Benchmark as Social Problems The impact of social phenomenon, for instance, social inequality, vulnerable population and other problems with politics, on poverty from a macro and micro perspectives.
  • Social Problems Assignment: Juvenile Delinquency Juvenile delinquency or illegal behaviors committed by underage children is a significant social problem in the United States and worldwide.
  • Juvenile Delinquency as Social Problem of Vulnerable Populations The theme of this paper is such a problem of vulnerable populations as juvenile delinquency, its interconnection with other social problems, and possible ways of its solution.
  • Juvenile Delinquency as Social Problem Within Education Institutions Children, adolescents, and young people desire to discover something new, previously unknown, to assert themselves in innovative activities.
  • Analyzing Social Problems: Health Disparities This discussion will examine the unequal access to healthcare and its cause, investigate its prevalence, describe vulnerable populations.
  • Social Problems Related to Alcohol and Drugs The present paper will explain the content of three articles relating to the issue of Alcohol and drug use while also providing a personal reflection on the readings.
  • Educational Institutions’ Social Problems: Juvenile Delinquency Juvenile delinquency is the problem that profoundly affects educational institutions as its representatives are people involved in education the most.
  • Potential Threat of Coronavirus as a Social Problem in Haines City, Florida SARS coronavirus is only a potential threat for Haines City so far, but preventing misinformation and potential panic is still an important social problem.
  • Social Deviance Contribution to Social Problems The paper examines the forms that social deviance may acquire contributing them to social issues, that is criminal and non-criminal deviance.
  • Bullying: A Serious Social Problem Bullying is undesirable behavior that society must deter at all costs. In schools, teachers, parents, and other stakeholders should have working knowledge on managing the vice.
  • Social Problem: Hunger in the United States Hunger problem, income gap, race discrimination, poverty in rural regions, and COVID-19 outbreak have severe effects on the hunger problem.
  • Social Problem and Policy Analysis Human rights and social work perspectives show how standardized testing promotes inequality and increases the barriers for non-white individuals.
  • Solving Social Problems With a Nudge The speaker’s perspective is on the human mind’s diversity and complexity, making people manufacture irrational behavior, perpetuating poverty, corruption, and discrimination.
  • Perspectives on the Central Social Problem in Modern Society Social ills plaguing modern society have been a basic concern for many prominent philosophers throughout the ages.
  • Analyzing Social Problems – Case Study: Jake Levy The analysis of Jake Levy’s case led to lobby the state legislature to start a suicide prevention program for veterans who are getting mental health services.
  • Social Problems Within Educational Institutions It is necessary to understand and analyze the connection between various social problems within U.S. educational institutions.
  • The Social Problems Behind the Military Suicide
  • How Overpopulation Causes Social Problems?
  • Ethical and Social Problems of Genetic Engineering
  • The Economic and Social Problems of the 1930s
  • Social Problems Among College Students
  • Alphonso Pinkney’s Black American: Chronic Social Problems
  • Race and Gender Impact on Social Problems
  • Behavior and Social Problems in Classrooms
  • Social Problems About School Drop Outs
  • Current Political and Social Problems of Pakistan
  • Social Problems Associated With Street Gangs
  • Social Problems and the Theories of Emile Durkheim
  • Unemployment and Social Problems in the Post-war United States
  • Social Problems and Issues in Pakistan
  • Sociology and Various Social Problems
  • The Major Social Problems Facing the Teenagers of Today
  • Values, Social Problems, and Balanced Development in Malaysia
  • Political, Economic and Social Problems of France
  • Social Problems Associated With Health and Happiness
  • The Environment and Social Problems
  • Social Problems Amongst the Homeless
  • Mauritius: Tourism and Social Problems
  • Social Problems Affecting Youth Today and Ways To Solve Them
  • Nature and Social Problems
  • Social Problems and Drug Abuse
  • Critical Social Problems Affecting African Americans
  • Social Problems Arise From the Views and Values of the Society
  • Connection Between Social Problems and Urbanization
  • Unemployment Social Problems Faced by China and West
  • Social Problems Among Youth in Malaysia
  • Social Problems Exam Practice
  • PRS and Its Social Problems
  • Social Problems and Legalization of Marijuana
  • The Increasing Social Problems of Violence in the 20th Century
  • Child Abuse – Social Problems
  • Social Problems and Solutions Chart
  • The Social Problems Facing Homeless Youth
  • Social Problems Are Due to Society’s Tolerance of Immorality
  • Realist and Constructivist Approaches to Social Problems
  • Social Problems During the Industrial Revolution
  • Emile Durkheim and Social Problems
  • Literature During the Old Times Until Now Contribute To Address Social Problems
  • Substance Abuse and Social Problems
  • Public Education and the Impact of Social Problems
  • Social Problems Facing Our US Veterens
  • Physiological and Social Problems in the Middle East
  • Social Problems and Homelessness in Savannah, Georgia
  • Technical and Social Problems of Nuclear Waste
  • Social Problems Associated With Interfaith Marriages
  • Technology and Social Problems
  • Social Problems Affecting Students and Schools in the US
  • Ethnography: Social Problems
  • Social Problems Affecting Society, Big and Small
  • Appalachia: Culture and Social Problems
  • Social Problems Associated With Racial Discrimination
  • Political, Economic, and Social Problems in India
  • Social Problems Behind Sexual Deviance
  • Poor Neighborhoods Give Rise to Social Problems
  • Literary Realism and Social Problems
  • Prevalent Social Problems That Impacts Society
  • What Are the Ethical and Social Issues of Genetic Engineering?
  • What Social Problems Occur in Substance Abuse?
  • What Are the Main Social Issues among the Youth in Malaysia?
  • What Are the Social Problems behind War Suicide?
  • What Are the Economic and Social Issues of Women Entrepreneurs in Turkey?
  • What Are the Incentives for Solving Social Problems?
  • What Business and Social Problems Does Data Center?
  • Why Do Poor Neighborhoods Give Rise to Social Problems?
  • What Are the Reasons for the Social Problems of Adolescents?
  • What Are the Economic and Social Issues of the Caribbean?
  • What Social Problems Arise Because of Society’s Tolerance for Immorality?
  • What Are the Various Social Issues Faced by Black Women in the American South?
  • How Social Problems Caused by the Elizabethan Poor Law of 1601?
  • What Are Pakistan’s Current Political and Social Problems?
  • What Are the Common Social Problems Affecting Society?
  • What Is the Influence of Literary Realism on Social Problems?
  • What Business and Social Problems Does Data Center Power Consumption Cause?
  • How Does the Media Impact Social Problems?
  • What Social Problems Are Revealed in the Great Gatsby?
  • What Are the Social Problems Associated with Interfaith Marriages?
  • Should the State Pay More Attention to Solving the Pressing Social Problems of Our Time?
  • What Is the Connection between Social Policy and Social Problems?
  • What Are the Social Problems Faced by Homeless Youth?
  • What Are the Physiological and Social Problems in the Middle East?
  • Online misinformation and its effects on society.
  • Racial bias and discrimination in policing.
  • The impact of populism on democracies.
  • Factors perpetuating the gender pay gap.
  • The influence of climate change on vulnerable populations.
  • The impact of automation on the job market.
  • The effects of cyberbullying on adolescents.
  • The social consequences of rapid urbanization.
  • Youth unemployment and social exclusion.
  • Social implications of genetic modification technologies.
  • Strategies to prevent cyberbullying and online harassment.
  • The impact of social media on youth.
  • Access to quality education for all.
  • The importance of safeguarding personal information online.
  • Encouraging youth to get involved in the democratic process.
  • The influence of technology on social interactions.
  • Ways to combat human trafficking.
  • Raising awareness of human rights violations in conflict zones.
  • The effects of social media on body image.
  • Why should guns be prohibited?
  • Research paper title maker
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  • A Research Guide
  • Research Paper Topics

40 Social Issues Research Paper Topics

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List of 40 Social Issues Topics for College Students

  • Religious gatherings and rituals
  • Country-wide strikes and protest
  • LGBTQ+ prides
  • Worldwide flashmobs
  • Social stratification
  • Gender discrimination and anti-harassment movements
  • The issues of orphanage kids
  • Pornography and AI sex dolls
  • Sex work or paid rape?
  • Virtual reality
  • Information overload: the society is overstressed with the amount of data
  • Demographic crisis
  • Beauty standards
  • Social isolation of people with HIV/AIDS
  • The fight against animal testing
  • Internet safety
  • Humanitarian missions
  • Fighting racism
  • The rights of ethnic minorities and native people
  • Internet safety and cybercrimes
  • The necessity of the death penalty
  • Fighting poverty in the world
  • Access to the drinking water in third world countries
  • Free education for everyone: shall it be implemented?
  • National identity versus globalization
  • Women rights and trans people rights
  • Obesity as an obstacle in social life. Fatshaming
  • Civil rights: shall they be expanded?
  • Abuse and neglect in asylums, orphanages, and care homes
  • Church and state: shall they remain separate?
  • The problem of bigotry in modern society
  • Immigration and resocialization of the immigrants
  • Sustainable consumption on a worldwide scale
  • School violence
  • Legalizing drugs: basic rights to choose or a danger to society?
  • Social isolation. The hikikomori phenomenon
  • Bullying at schools and colleges
  • Kids transitioning: shall it be allowed?
  • Advertisements: are they becoming too powerful?
  • The global impact of the third world countries

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Social Issues Research Paper Topics

Social issues interesting research paper topics.

Having trouble selecting research paper social issues topics for your assignment?

No worries! This article will go over many interesting and modern social issues topics to use in your research paper.

How to Select Research Paper Social Issues Topics?

Before going through all the available research paper topics social issues, let’s discuss something.

“How does one pick a topic to write about?” — this is an important question to ask yourself.

Here are the main aspects you have to be mindful of when picking social issues research paper topic:

  • Do you like the social issues topic enough to talk about it in the research paper?
  • Is it easy to research the social issues topic and everything related to the paper?
  • Is the social issues topic relevant enough to discuss academically in a research paper?

The first aspect is quite obvious — you should pick the social issues topic you like for the research paper! This way, you’re more motivated to complete the assignment because you want to share it with other people.

The second one is worth considering because you don’t want to be stuck looking for obscure information.

The last refers to the fact is the social issues topic you’ve chosen for the research paper is contemporary. You don’t want to talk about the social issues of the past, because we live in the now.

This is why you should choose a proper one for the topic for the research paper. We’ve gathered only the most relevant social issues topics that you can use in your research paper.

30 Current Social Issues Research Paper Topics

Do you want the most currently talked about social issues topics for your research paper?

Well, you’re in luck. We’ve scanned various media outlets and academic forums to come up with the list below.

Here are the most engaging social issues topics for a research paper:

  • What Can We Do to Decrease the Homelessness Rate?
  • More and More People Are Finding Themselves Crossing the Poverty Threshold.
  • The Negative Effects of Poverty on Physical and Mental Health of People.
  • Why Even in First-World Countries, Basic Human Needs Like Shelter Aren’t Satisfied.
  • Due to the Rich Increasing their Capital Rapidly, the Middle-Class Will Inevitably Disappear.
  • Climate Change — A Real Threat to Humanity.
  • How Climate Change Will Affect Different Economic Classes in the Near Future?
  • Reasons for All Governments to Cooperate on Remedying Climate Change.
  • The Main Points of the Paris Accord and How They Address Climate Change?
  • Was Paris Accord for Global Action Too Late of an Agreement?
  • Why the Poor Will Be the Ones to Suffer the Hardest from Climate Change?
  • The Danger of Overpopulation in the World.
  • There Are Scarce Resources Right Now — What Comes Next?
  • Why Is Africa Suffering from Increasing Poverty and Starvation the Most?
  • Will Earth Be Able to Sustain the Growing Human Population?
  • How the Scarce Resources Prompt Nations to Military Conflicts.
  • How Many Immigrants Is Too Much for a Country?
  • Opposition to Immigration and the Societal Conflicts It Caused in the Past.
  • Is Immigration Really That Bad? Examination of Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric.
  • The U.S. — The Country of Immigrants Becoming Xenophobic.
  • Race-Based Persecution and Seclusion.
  • Was the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. Actually Successful?
  • How Institutional Racism Survived in the U.S.
  • Segregation, Poverty, Social Immobility — U.S. African Americans in the 21st Century.
  • Black Lives Matter Movement — An Identity Check for the Whole Country.
  • African American Bias in the U.S. National Police.
  • Lack of Support and Recognition for Non-Binary People.
  • The Earning Gap Between Women and Males.
  • Gender Dystrophia — A Real Sickness Affecting Contemporary Youth.
  • Male Sexism in the Workroom: A Threat to Male Mental Health.

30 More Social Issues for Research Paper

Don’t think we’ve run out of ideas with the previous list of social issues topics for a research paper! Today’s world has lots of challenges to overcome. And we need everybody to contribute to the modern discussion.

So, pick a social issues topic for your research paper and do your part!

  • Young Marriage Equates to No Higher Education for Women.
  • Are Gender Quotas a Step Forwards in the Right Direction?
  • Gender-Neutral Bathrooms: An Inclusive Solution for Everybody.
  • Why Women More Likely to Get a College Degree but Less Likely to Get the Job?
  • Free Universal Health Care: Why Shouldn’t a Basic Need Be Available to Everyone?
  • S. and Healthcare: Why Americans Are Overpaying for Everything Medical.
  • Did Any Government Succeed in Handling Coronavirus?
  • The U.S. and the Unnecessary Deaths Caused by Poor Coronavirus Handling.
  • Impoverished by Medical Bills — Almost 100 Mil. People Worldwide Yearly.
  • Homeopathy: Should It Be Banned Completely?
  • The Ways of Making Healthcare More Available to All Economic Classes.
  • The U.S. and the Record-Breaking Child and Adult Obesity Rates.
  • The Relation Between Education and Eating Healthy.
  • How Cheap Food Destroys the Bodies of Impoverished Even More.
  • Oversized Groceries: A Comparison Between the U.S. and Other Countries.
  • Workplace Bullying and the Caused Mental Health Problems.
  • 1/5 of American Students Get Bullied — The Lack of Impact from Initiatives.
  • Cyberbullying or Social Alienation: Having No Option to Escape Harassment.
  • Does Playful Bullying Exist? Examining Harassment in Online Video Games.
  • Bad Governmental Leadership in Third-World Countries
  • Corrupt Government and Billionaires — A Symbiotic Relationship.
  • Climate Change and Holocaust Deniers: The Study on Modern Disinformation.
  • The Distrust in Democracy in the Modern World.
  • The Rise of Conspiracy Theorists and Societal Distrust in Experts.
  • Political Division and Opposition: Why Is Everyone Becoming Radical?
  • Storming the Capital as an Act of Domestic Terrorism.
  • The War on Drugs Is on the Addicts, Not Suppliers.
  • Recreational Drugs and the Danger of Psychological Addiction.
  • Illegalizing Abortion: Sexism on an Institutional Level.
  • The Rising Suicide Rates in Teenagers and Young Adults.

Too Tired to Do the Assignment?

Reading all the social issues research paper topics and thinking about which one you’d like is great. However, it’s only the beginning of your research paper.

If you’re swamped with an academic load and unsure whether you’ll complete the assignment, delegate it to us. We’re a professional academic paper writer service that helps learners with their tasks.

Just pick a social issues topic, reach out to us, and leave it to us to handle!


List of Social Issues and Topics for Students

social issues list

Think of the world as a place with social ties, which faces constant social, political, ethical, economic, environmental problems. This blog article will cover some common examples of social issues that can inspire you to choose the best topic for your research paper, essay, or term paper.

Whether you are in high school, college, or university, chances are that you will write a social issues paper. If you are a social work student, you are highly likely to be assigned a social issue essay.

The trick is to begin from a social issue or problem, explore widely what the media, news, and people are saying about a given issue, then apply concepts from class to narrow down to a topic.

These social issues are also subjects of policy briefs. Think of global problems, then start narrowing them down to continental, regional, national, and finally within the state or community. Most importantly, these issues should be represented in national, local, and international news. Your instructor most likely gave samples too, so peruse through your notes for ideas.

If you need some inspiration, let's define social issues, then explore a list of different issues before delving into topic ideas.

What is a Social Issue?

A social issue refers to a problem that affects a large population of people in society. It is a combination of different problems in present-day society, primarily in which people strive to find solutions.

They can also be defined as social conditions that disrupt normalcy in society.

Social problems result from many contributing factors that are beyond the control of an individual or individuals. If left unresolved, social issues birth conflicts based on a different point of view regarding what is morally right and what is incorrect decision either at the personal or group level.

Specific social issues are rampant in given countries, while others can be generic. For instance, the United States is known for police brutality, racism, hate crimes, obesity, overcrowded prisons, junk foods, hunger, homelessness, opioid pandemic, and wealth inequality.

For an issue to be considered a social issue or problem:

  • It has to be one that can be solved or averted through joint action of community or society members
  • Has to be recognized by the public as a problem
  • Must affect a large segment of the population that recognizes it as a valid concern
  • Has to be against the generally accepted values in society

List of Recent/Current/ Hot Social Issues

When assigned to write an essay, research paper, or term paper on social issues, you should think of writing a problem-solution essay . Here is a list of the most common or important social issues to kickstart you with your writing.

Here is a list of social issues that have captured the attention of everyone in the world.

  • Covid-19 vaccine
  • Mandatory vaccination for Covid-19
  • Vaccine development and distribution
  • Israeli-Pakistani conflict
  • War in Syria
  • Al-Qaeda takeover of Afghanistan
  • Increased unemployment in the United States
  • Increased unemployment in developing nations
  • Increased demand of nurses and healthcare personnel in developed nations
  • Australian travel ban for people outside its territory
  • UK and US ban for people from places with high covid-19 infections
  • Travel restrictions for people from countries with low vaccination rates
  • Russia is accused of meddling in other countries' election processes
  • Unrests and strikes after elections
  • More deaths announced because of COVID-19
  • Political hand in vaccination and covid-19 information
  • Politics in manufacture and distribution of vaccines
  • Change in the global economy because of the pandemic
  • Social norm shifts because of the global pandemic
  • The Black Lives Matter social movement has captured the attention of the world. The protests follow a series of police brutality cases in America.
  • Social media made the BLM movement vibrant
  • The Centers for Disease Control Center (CDC) shows that over 97 million people cannot access quality healthcare services globally.
  • Both governments and non-governmental organizations are at the forefront to combat this.
  • It can be attributed to shortages of healthcare personnel, poor healthcare policies, and poor healthcare systems.
  • Overpopulation is also a contributing factor as the demand for healthcare services increases
  • Poverty leads to a lack of access to universal healthcare packages
  • The world has recorded many cases of racism. From advertisements to killings of people from a given race, there has been an increase in racism and discrimination.
  • We have witnessed xenophobia and Islamophobia
  • Religious discrimination has also taken the lead recently, with Muslims being blamed for terrorism
  • Countries are slowly taking a stance on the issue of LGBTQ
  • The chief issue has been the adoption rights of same-sex parents
  • Some countries have criminalized same-sex relationships
  • Climate change is an ongoing issue that raises emotions and controversy.
  • It is a significant social issue that affects the entire world population.
  • Issues such as hurricanes, tsunamis, severe storms, warmer winters, increased sea levels, wildfires, and drought are attributed to pollution.
  • The global population is experiencing an outburst
  • Experts warn that there will be a strain on resources in coming years
  • Over 1 billion people are living in extreme poverty
  • The world is projected to have over 9 billion people by 2030
  • Overpopulation increases the scarcity of resources such as farmable lands
  • Overpopulation leads to starvation, poverty, and homelessness
  • Movement from country to country has increased
  • Increased numbers of asylum seekers from countries such as Afghanistan and Haiti
  • The United States has many immigrants, making immigration a social issue
  • The UK is considering increasing strictness to immigration
  • There is a refugee crisis as people are barred from entering some countries
  • The National Association of Social workers prioritizes the right to vote as a social justice issue
  • There is debate on the age limit to vote
  • People are not coming out to exercise their right to vote
  • There are issues with US' electoral college system
  • Obesity is a prevalent issue in society. It is a social problem deriving from a lifestyle change.
  • Childhood obesity and adult obesity is on the rise
  • At least 2-3 people are considered overweight, while one in every six kids aged between 6 and 19 years are obese
  • Obesity is linked to CVD, diabetes, cancers, depression, and other disorders.
  • Terrorist organizations are mushrooming every day
  • Suicide bombing
  • Counterterrorism strategies
  • Terrorists disrupting normalcy, such as Boko Haram that capture school going children
  • Radicalization of youths to join terrorist groups
  • Recruitment of terrorists through social media
  • Kidnappings
  • Weapons of mass destruction
  • Biological terrorism
  • Bombing of aircrafts
  • Political assassinations
  • International and domestic/home-grown terrorism
  • Increased organ trafficking
  • Women being trafficked more than ever
  • Sex trafficking of young girls
  • Many people are being recruited to be drug mules
  • Drugs are affecting many people
  • The proliferation of online education technology
  • Digital illiteracy
  • Digital divide
  • Use of Skype, Zoom, and Google Classroom
  • Inequality in accessing online education

Topics inspired by Social Issues/Problems

When writing an essay or research paper, you can pick topics related to the social issues we have highlighted above. Here are some topics

  • Factors leading to sexual abuse
  • Sexual abuse of minors on the rise
  • Sexual abuse of the elderly
  • Sexual abuse of nurses and frontline healthcare workers
  • Sexual abuse of the homeless
  • Sexual abuse by the clergy
  • Sexual abuse in prisons
  • Role of media in curbing sexual abuse
  • Causes and consequences of early pregnancies
  • Causes and solutions to teenage pregnancy
  • The link between teenage pregnancy and drug abuse
  • How desperation leads to early pregnancy
  • Sex education and teenage pregnancy
  • Impacts of teenage pregnancies
  • Teenage pregnancy and abortion.
  • Female genital mutilation

Over 200 million women have undergone FGM. In addition, there is a risk of 3 million girls undergoing the same even if they are below 15 years. FGM is rampant in over 30 countries .

  • Prevalence of female genital mutilation in the developed world
  • How culture impacts FGM practices
  • Can movies help fight FGM?
  • Health consequences of FGM
  • Medicalization of FGM
  • Complications after FGM
  • Psychological consequences of FGM
  • FGM and early marriages
  • FGM and depression among women and girls
  • FGM and education continuity among women
  • Increased trans-country crimes
  • Advancement in global financial crimes
  • Money laundering and organized crimes
  • More deaths in the hands of criminals
  • Increased identity theft cases
  • Increase stalking because of social media

General Social Issue Topics for Essays

As long as an issue affects many people, it can be the major subject of your essay. For example, the social justice issues that affect the majority; are significant and have many topic ideas.

  • Causes, consequences, and solutions to PTSD among veterans
  • Mental health issues among military families
  • Overcrowding in prisons
  • Consequences of breach of privacy.'
  • Bullying in schools
  • Toxic workplaces
  • Unfavorable work policies
  • Increased prostitution due to unemployment and poverty
  • Increased school dropout rates
  • Shortage of school drivers
  • Increased childhood obesity
  • Racial profiling in America
  • Football hooliganism
  • Shortage of access to clean water
  • Shortage of healthcare personnel
  • Shortage of teachers
  • Stigmatization of people living with AIDS
  • Increased air pollution
  • Increased droughts
  • Human-animal conflicts
  • Microplastics in water bodies
  • The increased cost of living
  • Sexism in the media
  • Police brutality in America
  • Increased gender-based violence
  • Impacts of domestic violence
  • Swelling student loan debt
  • Flint water crisis
  • Homelessness in America
  • Social media bullying
  • Gangs in big cities
  • Poor waste management in cities
  • Growing fast-food and shrinking organic foods
  • Inequality in organic food distribution in America
  • Corruption in governments
  • Corruption at FIFA
  • Increasing date rapes
  • Aggression in children
  • Sexual abuse and racial discrimination in sports
  • Destruction of natural and cultural heritage
  • Overrepresentation of indigenous people in prisons
  • Poor access to healthcare by indigenous populations
  • Hate speech and fake news on social media
  • Segregation in the USA
  • Stigmatization of people with disability
  • Misogyny in the Middle East countries
  • Assault of domestic workers in the Middle East countries
  • Money laundering in developing nations
  • Stigmatization of people with mental health and their families
  • Ethnic cleansing in today's society
  • Pornography and child sex trafficking
  • Labeling as a form of discrimination in society
  • Social class wars in the current society
  • Sex tourism, its causes, impacts, and consequences
  • Drug addiction among teenagers
  • Discrimination of access to vaccination
  • Surveillance of people in society as a breach of privacy
  • Ageism targeting specific races
  • Body shaming on social media
  • Increased natural disasters due to pollution
  • Accidents and drunk driving
  • Malnutrition among children
  • Consequences of cultural isolation
  • Green energy and green hoax
  • Greenwashing by multinational corporations
  • Labor exploitation through sweatshops
  • Immigration challenges
  • Displacement of people for infrastructural development
  • Mobility in cities
  • Political and religious extremism
  • Abortion issues
  • Increased religious intolerance
  • Consequences of problem neighborhoods
  • Breastfeeding in public
  • Separation of parents and children at the border
  • Racial profiling in the criminal justice system
  • Politically motivated poor infrastructure
  • Food insecurity in America
  • Legalization of medical marijuana
  • Increased marketing of junk food to children
  • Private prisons in America
  • Food shortage in Africa
  • Consequences of deprived neighborhoods
  • Food aid in war-torn countries
  • Consequences of drunk driving
  • Consequences of driving when texting
  • Persecution of religious captives
  • Homicides due to gun violence
  • Inequality in the American workplaces
  • Tax evasion by large companies
  • High cost of healthcare access
  • Causes and consequences of femicide
  • Low access to colleges for poor children
  • Racial profiling in college admissions

You cannot miss an idea from the societal issues list to write your essay, research paper, or term paper about.

  • Best research paper topics for university students.
  • Psychology research topics and ideas.

Parting Shot!

Having listed the most popular social issues that the entire world faces, you can now see how we ended up with topics from these issues. When assigned an essay, you can start from a single social issue, research widely, and develop a topic, thesis, and a befitting essay title.

If you feel like you could use some help, our paper writing service has essay writers you can pay to write your social issues essay. Whether it is an argumentative , compare and contrast, problem-solution, or synthesis essay , our essay writing service has experts who can ace it.

If the process of choosing a topic sounds complex for you, there are people who can do it in an instant. The good thing is that we are a fast essay service . Therefore, we can handle urgent essay requests.

social problems related topics for research paper

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215 Latest Social Issues Topics for Academic Writing

Table of Contents

If you have no idea what topic to choose for your essay or research paper writing, then go can very well choose to discuss any social issue. Every country, culture, and community in this world is continuously facing a lot of social issues as a result of an event or happening. So, you will never run short of ideas. Moreover, when writing about a social issue, you can bring more ideas, facts, and proofs for discussion. In case, you are unsure of what social issue to choose for your academic paper, take a look at this blog. Here, we have presented 200+ trending social issues topics of 2023 along with various other societal problems that exist in our society. Explore them all and pick a topic that suits your needs.

Social Issues Topics

How to Find an Ideal Social Issue Topic for Academic Writing?

Subsequently, it’s significant to choose social issues topics wisely, as this might help you fetch good scores. Hence, consider the below criteria to choose your social issues topics:

  • Firstly, ensure to choose social issues topics that might cause some debate and keep your audience hooked.
  • Secondly, consider topics on which you may conduct research easily and find some relevant evidence to claim your support.
  • Thirdly, consult your professors regarding the topics you choose, as you ought to ensure that it’s acceptable for 2021. Perhaps, you need to ensure that the chosen social issue topic is relevant for class discussion or not.
  • Finally, search for trending hashtags of 2023 on media channels as well as look for news in the newspapers. Possibly, search for international news as well and attempt to understand the events across the world. Most importantly, you ought to consider how the events affect the lives of Americans in the different states.

Learn How to Write an Academic Paper on Social Issues

Certainly, writing on social issues topics might require conducting hardcore research. Also, it may require you to exercise sympathy and act tactfully, while writing such types of essays. Thus, let’s explore a few conditions that may help you write captivating essays on social issues topics.

  • Specifically, identify the guidelines provided by your instructor. Since research papers need a comprehensive analysis, ensure to cite several references to support your claim. Perhaps, arguments play an important role because the essay requires your opinions.
  • Besides, select topics that are either historical or modern. However, ensure to choose topics that might drive interest in you.
  • Subsequently, conduct your research through books or encyclopedias on the topics, develop ideas, and create your first draft.
  • Simultaneously, determine, how much information does the audience has on your subject. Also, watch your attitude as well and ensure to have the right tone because social issues topics are sensitive.
  • Though, you have powerful feelings on your subject, keep it neutral in the essay. Perhaps, highlighting your viewpoints is correct, but remember you ought not to control others’ viewpoints.

Finally, proofread your work as you might want to maintain a logical flow and avoid grammatical mistakes. Possibly, you may leave your assignment idle for a day, and then edit it the next day.

List of Social Issues Topics and Ideas

Find here, a list of captivating social issues topics to draft an outstanding essay or a research paper.

Trending Social Issues Topics 2023

  • Green energy conversion.
  • Black Lives Matter- Elaborate on the social movement.
  • Remote education and its challenges.
  • US military troops in Afghanistan- Explain its relevance.
  • Write about Same Sex marriage.
  • Present your views on the fear of missing out.
  • Write an essay on Urban Sprawl.
  • Analyze the environmental situation of the Arctic Pole.
  • Post Covid-19 society and supply chain diversification.
  • Political polarization- How it is increasing?
  • Modern society and the healthcare bias.
  • Global unemployment at the peak- What is your viewpoint?
  • Reasons behind the war between Russia and Ukraine
  • Discuss the key social issues across the world
  • How overpopulation becomes a global issue?

Simple Social Issues Topics

  • Impact of Stereotype and Prejudice on social health and Wellbeing
  • Domestic Violence and its Impact on Society
  • Effect of Climate Change on Indian Economy
  • Who is to blame for drug usage among youngsters?
  • Technology addiction.
  • Women Empowerment
  • The presence of US Military troops in Afghanistan
  • What are the challenges of remote education?
  • Discuss the factors that influenced the worldwide pandemic and the specific role of vaccination.
  • What is the supply chain diversification in the post covid-19 society?
  • How Harmful is social media dependency?
  • Should employers check employees’ accounts?
  • Online ethics and business Facebook accounts.
  • The effect of the cancel culture on mental health.
  • Is modern society forcing us to participate in social networking?

Top Social Issues Topics for Assignment Writing

  • Australian immigration and its history.
  • The influence of war on terrorism in society.
  • Pornography and children.
  • Abuser and victim in the virtual environment- Cyberbullying.
  • Write about Manipur Violence
  • Internet and its safety- Discuss a few management strategies.
  • Data safety and its importance.
  • TikTok Challenges- Pros and Cons.
  • Hate Speech- How does a social media website manage it?
  • Social media accounts- Permission for children to access.
  • Propagation of self-care and mindfulness on social media improve health: Explain with justifications
  • Why do celebrities need to stay away from promoting alcoholic beverages and other addictive products?
  • How social media ignites the social issue related to racism by spreading fake and manipulated news?
  • Every society needs to focus on waste reduction for safeguarding ecosystems: Explain
  • Why overpopulation is becoming a serious social issue?

Basic Essay Ideas on Social Issues

  • Digital Divide in Washington- Elaborate on it.
  • Social media and its benefit for marginalized groups.
  • Technology and personal isolation in communication.
  • The impact of online platforms on democracy.
  • Basic ethical principles and how it goes overboard on the internet.
  • The influence of Instagram on a healthy lifestyle.
  • Youth and social media- Does it make puberty more difficult?
  • Twitter and Politics- Discuss the outcomes of Donald Trump’s tweet
  • Discuss the differences between stereotypes, discrimination, and prejudice
  • The refugee crisis in the United Kingdom due to the war between Ukraine and Russia
  • Racial Injustice in the United States
  • Gun violence in the United States
  • Black Lives Matter movement
  • Child labor
  • Corruption in High Places

Social Issues Topics for University Students

  • Changing the Face of the Caste System
  • Role of Bureaucracy
  • Crime against women
  • Drug Addiction
  • Is Twitter’s cancel culture doing more harm than good?
  • How do marginalized groups benefit from social media?
  • Are people on social media more aggressive than in real life?
  • Does the internet shorten our attention span?
  • Ways in which social media impacts your interactions with other people.
  • Marketing, social media, and you: how do influencers impact your buying behavior?
  • How internet reduces your attention span?
  • Social media policies and code of conduct- What is the debate?
  • Facebook’s Safety Check Feature- Analyze the benefits.
  • Social media- How to get your opinions heard?
  • The impact of Twitter hashtags on the political discourse.
  • Relevance of likes on social media.

Good-Quality Social Issues Topics

  • Drawbacks of Twitter’s cancel culture over its advantages.
  • Free speech principle and outrageous contents- Analyze Reddit’s rights.
  • How the ban of online platforms at the workplace does influence productivity.
  • Social media accounts and the school children.
  • Online gaming and the threat of microtransactions.
  • Censorship and the removal of abusive content.
  • Dependences of people on social media.
  • The impact of the Internet on students’ lives.
  • How is YouTube spreading propaganda?
  • Facebook’s Safety Check Feature- Analyze its benefits
  • Food insecurity and hunger
  • Crime Rate and substance abuse in Mexico
  • Crowd-funding through social media platforms
  • Impact of social media on Adolescents’ mental health and Safety
  • Social media challenges in 2022

Best Research Topics on Social Issues

  • What would happen if we could rate everyone online? (Think Community ’s episode “App Development and Condiments”)
  • How does participating in Instagram challenges for social justice help?
  • Is the propagation of mindfulness and self-care on social media improving our health?
  • Speaking out in the online communities- What is your viewpoint?
  • Refugees in the world.
  • Porn world and the frequency of suicide cases.
  • Labor Laws- How is this fair?
  • School bullying and its causes.
  • The impact of cybercrime on an individual’s life.
  • Discuss the influence of teen pregnancy on young girls.
  • How is prostitution legal in several countries?
  • Racism and its influence on society.
  • The impact of domestic violence on children.
  • LGBT people- Discuss the five stereotypes.
  • Health deprivation and its consequences.

Interesting Social Issues Research Topics

  • Sports and its discrimination.
  • The impact of hate speech on the job market.
  • Cultural heritage and its protection.
  • Illiteracy and the problems it causes.
  • Rape culture and society.
  • The US and the overconsumption issues.
  • Same-sex couples and your perception of it.
  • Common physical and mental health issues among people belonging to the LGBTQIA community
  • Discuss the purpose and activities of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
  • Challenges imposed by immigration on developed countries
  • Global issue related to substandard housing
  • Racial discrimination and civil rights
  • The Impact of Gangs and Violence on Miami
  • Job market and fat-shaming.
  • Ageism and the new racism.

Also, Read – Outstanding Social Studies Topics for you to Consider & Explore

Appealing Research Ideas on Social Issues

  • Middle Easterners and Arabs- How do they deal with discrimination?
  • How does a society do manages poverty?
  • The porn industry and its associated pressure.
  • Eating utensils and their evolution.
  • Polygamy in the United States.
  • Gift-giving traditions in different countries.
  • Evolution of languages.
  • Strange burial customs.
  • Why unequal opportunity is considered as one of the most common social issues?
  • Explain how mobile clinics are making healthcare more accessible
  • Why women’s empowerment is key to ensuring social development?
  • Discuss the effects of the cancel culture on mental health
  • Discuss the impact of culture on cosmetics consumer behavior
  • Discuss how being disabled affect the social status of an individual

Excellent Social Issues Research Topics

  • Forced migration.
  • Wars- Role of women.
  • Significance of media in wartime.
  • Ethnic cleansing.
  • Reverse discrimination.
  • White privilege and the media.
  • US and segregation.
  • Discuss the impact of racial profiling.
  • Workplace and sexual discrimination.
  • Gay people and discrimination.
  • Asia and its cultural heritage.
  • Air loot and wartime.
  • Illiteracy and its associated issues.
  • Discuss the impact of financial illiteracy
  • Critical analysis of the concept of the ‘Right to Die’.

Impressive Social Issues Essay Ideas

  • Food culture and its analysis.
  • Social media bullying- How to manage it?
  • Child abuse prevention.
  • Children and their aggression.
  • The impact of business on consumption trends.
  • Sustainable Development in the US- History
  • Water consumption in Africa.
  • The strengths of buyers in various industries.
  • Alcohol consumption.
  • Consumption culture.
  • US market and advantages of consumption.
  • Stolen Antiques and their Ownership.
  • Genocide in America- Historical account.
  • Palestinian refugees in Jordan.
  • Roman culture and its collapse.

Amazing Social Issues Essay Topics

  • Past and present body modification.
  • Selling copied artifacts.
  • Stealing the Cultural Heritage- Provide instances from history.
  • Cultural heritage and its protection- War, and peace.
  • Boasting the rape culture.
  • Movies and violence.
  • How do people overcome their addictions? Compare the projects.
  • Unaffordable medical treatment- What should a person do?
  • Taking care of the elders- Discuss.
  • Illiteracy and poverty.
  • African women and illiteracy.
  • The sports world and the abuse stories.
  • Fast-food consumption among children.
  • Gun control initiative in the US.
  • The impact of emotional illiteracy on family life.

Current Social Issues Topics

  • How to overcome adult illiteracy.
  • Overcoming the illiteracy issues and the role of social media.
  • War crimes across different countries.
  • The impact of the Irish Diaspora transformed life in the US.
  • Leaked personal pornography videos- How to deal with it?
  • How the porn stars do suffer from society shaming?
  • Discuss the porn stars who went over to the other industries.
  • Skinheads and racist upbringing.
  • How to revise Miranda’s warning?
  • Miranda’s warning and the need to revise it.
  • Ableism is a form of discrimination.
  • The breach of modern labor rights.
  • Police abuse and its benefits.
  • Why do few men discriminate against women?
  • Total equality and its impact on our future.

Outstanding Social Issues Essay Ideas

  • Mistreatment of autistic children in schools.
  • Absence of sex education in schools.
  • Is immunization a mandatory requirement or not?
  • The impact of advertisements on our buying habits.
  • Discuss the influence of society on the ethical values of teenagers.
  • The influence of drugs on human behavior.
  • Internet versus Social media- What is your opinion?
  • Child labor is a major issue in the country.
  • How do you realize that you are addicted to pornography?
  • Punishments to convicts after their serving time.
  • Developing a wall between the US and Mexico.
  • How to blend immigrants into American society.
  • Illegal Egyptian immigrants in Italy.
  • The impact of the war economy on society.
  • Ancient artifacts homes- The role of European museums.

Final Thoughts

If you want to write a good essay, certainly, you ought to select impressive social issues topics. Moreover, choosing impressive social issues topics, may reduce half your struggle and assure you outstanding grades. However, if you experience any sort of problems, perhaps you may contact our assignment help experts. Alternatively, you may consult your professor, who might assure you that the topics you choose are valid.


Social Issues Topics

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Social Issues Research Paper: Topics, Examples, & a Writing Guide

Social issue title picture.

What is wrong with social media? What can we do to fight gender discrimination in workplaces? How to address the growing number of hate crimes?

Let’s pore over the sharpest social issues of 2022 and 2023!

A social issue is a problem that impacts both society and particular individuals. Such issues should be addressed and resolved as soon as possible. However, many of them remain acute, and it’s worth discussing. COVID-19 pandemic, vaccines, women’s rights, climate change – these and many other issues are discussed in our article.

  • ✍️ Writing Guide
  • 🔬 Social Issues Topics
  • 📝 Essay Sample

🔗 References

✍️ social issues research – 7 steps to write a paper.

Before we get down to essay topics, let’s do some pre-work!

Follow these steps to get a perfect social issues essay.

🔬 Social Issues Research Paper & Project Topics

Below, you will find the whole range of various topics: social media privacy issues essay, health, environment, & others.

The picture provides five possible topics for a social issues research paper.

Technologies & Social Media Ethical Issues

  • Social media safety: are there reasons for users to worry about their privacy?
  • Home offices and other trends that came with the digitalization and pandemic.
  • Are social media and networking good for society?
  • Is social media presence in people’s lives excessive?
  • People become more vulnerable and unstable because of social media.
  • Phishing attacks: what harm can these bring to a user?
  • Are there ways to protect your personal information from being stolen?
  • How can unprotected data be used for manipulation and fraud?
  • Why do hackers use malicious software?
  • What are the consequences of personal data getting into the wrong hands?
  • Destructive bots: tell about such a concept as a DDoS attack.
  • Should cybersecurity be taught in schools and colleges?
  • What are the effects of global digitalization on society?
  • Should phones and social media be banned in classrooms?
  • What are the signs that we should reconsider our social media use?
  • How do social media affect people’s stress, anxiety, and insecurity levels?
  • Are there methods to prevent or fight bloggers’ burnout?
  • What are the positive impacts of media on society?
  • The effects of social media on sleep quality.
  • Should social media addiction be considered a mental health disorder?
  • Self-esteem issues caused by media are a huge problem among young people.
  • How can social media positively affect our well-being?
  • Do social media boost or reduce the sense of loneliness?
  • How does cryptocurrency change financial awareness in society?
  • How can a company manage employees’ productivity levels?
  • The new digital reality: how to embrace the culture of work video calls?
  • Is it possible to boost Internet speed and efficiency?
  • In which spheres can robots and AI replace humans?
  • Is automation of business processes profitable for any business?
  • Deepfakes undermine our perception of reality.
  • How not to overwhelm your business website with excessive plugins?
  • What are the benefits of creating online shopping websites?
  • Backup recovery: Is it possible to prevent your systems from going down?
  • The number of ads on websites and social media platforms is overwhelming.
  • How does tech companies’ concentration affect local public infrastructure?
  • Is Google making us stupid?
  • The extreme diversity of AI programs can be confusing for businesses.
  • What are the means of defending your data from phishing, DDoS attacks, and malware?

Social Issues & Environment

  • Air is polluted with carbon; how does it affect people?
  • Is climate change a real issue that we should think about?
  • Frozen planet: what are the consequences of air pollution?
  • The burning of fossil fuels provokes CO 2 levels to grow.
  • Analysis of the climate change global impact.
  • How do deforestation and industrial activities lift the air pollution levels?
  • Explore the statistics about the deaths caused by air poisons.
  • Does replacing fossil fuels with alternative sources help reduce air pollution?
  • Policies and financial issues need to be settled to implement new technologies.
  • Tropical forests suffer from severe deforestation: what can we do?
  • Are there any ethical methods of overpopulation control?
  • How do cattle ranching and plantations destroy forests?
  • Forests help keep out CO 2 from the atmosphere, and we need them.
  • What are the advantages of nuclear power plants?
  • Conservation and restoration: describe the methods of forest recovery.
  • Explain how bribery contributes to deforestation and pollution.
  • Should we teach children to use sustainable energy?
  • Should ivory items be banned for the sake of extinct species?
  • Explore and present the statistics concerning extinct species.
  • The loss of biodiversity will hit hard if we don’t act now.
  • Why do some people doubt that there is global warming?
  • Poaching is a huge problem that needs governmental control.
  • Explore the different ways of wildlife conservation.
  • Analyze different ways of soil degradation: monoculture planting, pesticides, and overgrazing.
  • Water suffers the most from overpopulation issues.
  • Fighting against poverty can improve critical climate change situations.
  • Not just outside: how does indoor air quality affect our health?
  • What are the significant contributors to water pollution?
  • Explore environmental conditions in your region: water, soil, and air.
  • It’s up to you: can you influence climate change by not taking flights?
  • Asthma issues grow: how can we prevent our children from the disease?
  • Analyze your awareness level and tell about your positive impact on the environment.
  • Formaldehyde and other poisonous substances: why are they dangerous?
  • Don’t drink it: is the tap water in our households safe to use?
  • What will happen if marine phytoplankton is extinct?
  • Warmer soil can’t store enormous amounts of CO 2 : what does it mean?
  • Nitrous oxide: analyze its impact on the greenhouse effect.
  • Water shortage is a real problem that many regions have to face.
  • Describe the methods of water conservation and filtration.

Health & Health Care Social Issues

  • How has COVID-19 become one of the most burning social issues of 2021?
  • Vaccination protests: are they disruptive or sensible?
  • Doctors are the primary victims of COVID-19.
  • Tell about the importance of providing more proper maternal and child care.
  • How has COVID exposed the inadequacy of the whole medical industry?
  • Explore the impact of lockdown on mental health in different societies.
  • Explore the methods of health care systems reinforcement.
  • What is the connection between the pandemic and the high divorce rate?
  • The power of unity: why is it vital for countries to hold together?
  • Social problems of health and healthcare.
  • Should we do vaccines if they haven’t been adequately tested?
  • The authorities should address health care inequities and reduce them.
  • Classify the most harmful consequences of COVID on health.
  • Which social groups suffer from COVID the most?
  • What is happening to those who suffer from polio, measles, and other diseases in the meantime?
  • Antimicrobial resistance: reveal the concept and elaborate on its importance.
  • Reveal the essence of such a concept as “global health.”
  • Can attending public health forums help raise awareness in society?
  • Nations should look for opportunities to avoid health-threatening dangerous situations.
  • How do environmental factors stimulate disease spreading?
  • Authorities should enhance control over migration processes for the sake of safety.
  • Inter-ethnic conflicts should be addressed, for they damage critical health infrastructure.
  • The population needs to become more educated in terms of non-communicable diseases.
  • How to make quality care more affordable in the United States?
  • People should realize and change their lifestyles to prevent non-communicable diseases.
  • Compare and contrast statistics concerning NCD’s death rate in wealthy and poor societies.
  • Explore the connection between animal health and human well-being.
  • The food supply chain suffers a lot from agriculture, pesticides, and improper waste management.
  • Veterinary medicine should be considered on a more advanced level.
  • Classify the opportunities people have to make a positive impact on global health.
  • What are the most common sexually transmitted infections in the US?
  • Small contributions matter: how can you act for the sake of global health?
  • E-cigarettes have become a new threat to generation Z’s health.
  • Should songs with substance abuse romanticization be banned?
  • HIV/AIDS remains inappropriate to discuss, and we should change it.
  • Explore the dementia issue among young people.
  • While the COVID is raging, influenza and pneumonia remain harmful and contagious diseases.

Poverty, Homelessness, & Social Equity Issues

  • How has COVID-19 shown huge disparities between countries and societies?
  • Explore the correlation between homelessness and poverty.
  • Why shouldn’t poverty always be viewed as a drawback for individuals?
  • What roles do poverty and hunger play in international relations?
  • Does supporting poverty victims make an issue worse?
  • We shouldn’t consider poverty a moral failure.
  • Poverty is a societal issue: inequity and disparities are the significant reasons.
  • What are the causes of poverty?
  • Is it possible to overcome poverty due to the lack of work?
  • Will poverty be fought if the wages become higher?
  • How is discrimination connected with low life quality?
  • Social development and poverty reduction.
  • Health and poverty: why do low-income families demand more health care resources?
  • Can a person grow up properly in inadequate housing and with poor nutrition?
  • Why do wealthy people become wealthier and poor ones – poorer?
  • Describe global poverty.
  • How do housing affordability issues bring family problems?
  • Gender and wealth: how do gender prejudices affect financial well-being?
  • Race and wealth: how do racial prejudices influence financial well-being?
  • The concept of the minimum wage: explore and reveal it.
  • How to provide fresh food for low-income families?
  • What economic conditions can make the population wealthier?
  • Wages and prices go up: is there a correlation between them?
  • Is it possible to reduce financial insecurities in times of crisis?
  • Should we care about income inequality?
  • Classify the countries with the highest unemployment rate.
  • Classify the barriers that prevent people from getting employed.
  • Lack of work experience shouldn’t be an obstacle to getting a job.
  • How can we change the fact that poor employment history decreases job opportunities?
  • The rights of homeless people in the US.
  • Can a formerly homeless individual become a full society member?
  • Reveal the concept of hiring discrimination.
  • Classify the countries with the highest homelessness rate.
  • What is the situation with homelessness in America?
  • Chronically homeless individuals: why do some people get back to homelessness?
  • Explore the social forecast in terms of the global poverty rate in the future.
  • Sheltered and unsheltered homelessness: expose the essence of these phenomena.
  • Is criminalizing homelessness an excellent strategy to fight it?
  • The relation of poverty and food security.
  • Are there ways to make housing more affordable?
  • Why is child hunger an acute social issue in America?
  • Expose the connection between poverty and a criminal lifestyle.
  • How does poverty correlate with chronic conditions?
  • They know the secret: what are the wealthiest countries and why?

Migration & Overpopulation

  • Migration: a natural process or danger?
  • Describe how COVID-19 affected global migration processes.
  • How can conditions in refugee camps be improved?
  • Humanitarian protection for immigrants suffered a lot due to the pandemic.
  • How has the BLM movement drawn attention to immigrant rights?
  • The pandemic has deepened inconveniences for immigrant families.
  • How do transit countries suffer from pandemic consequences?
  • What are the countries with the most advanced anti-migrant rhetoric?
  • What long-term consequences do global restrictions have on migration processes?
  • Does the pandemic have any positive influence on migration?
  • Xenophobic narratives towards migrants from Africa in the US.
  • Migrant workers should obtain more protection due to the pandemic risks.
  • Unsanitary conditions: the reasons that made refugees vulnerable to COVID-19.
  • Is it fair that immigrant children don’t have proper access to quality education?
  • Migrant labor should be regulated more responsibly.
  • We should acknowledge the immigrants’ importance in terms of the workforce.
  • Explore the psychological reasons for violence against refugees.
  • Violence and instability in refugee camps: what can be done?
  • Back home: how does chaos at the borders complicate migration processes?
  • Are there ways to stop illegal migration?
  • Describe what role natural disasters have in migration.
  • International colonies should receive more consideration from the authorities.
  • The negative attitude towards migration should be eliminated in society.
  • Classify the reasons for migration: human rights violations, natural disasters, etc.
  • Illegal migration is one of the reasons for economic disruption.
  • Explore migration out of wish and out of necessity.
  • Expose the essence of such concepts as a “migrant” and “refugee.”
  • How can safety be provided to immigrants and refugees?
  • What can be done to change hostility towards immigrants?
  • Does the crime rate have anything to do with a loose migration policy?
  • We all are humans: how can we reach peace between migrants and locals?
  • Prejudices or facts: do refugees undermine society’s well-being?
  • What impact does illegal immigration have on the education system?
  • Explore the connection between migration and overpopulation.
  • What is overpopulation, and how can it be addressed?
  • Overpopulation has a devastating impact on the global environment.

Human Rights

  • Explore the tragic statistics on human rights violations in Russia.
  • Classify the countries where human rights are violated to an extended degree.
  • What are the fundamental human rights that each person should have?
  • The concept of human rights: define its meaning and origins.
  • Classify economic, cultural, and social rights.
  • Should all people have equal freedom of opinion and expression?
  • Bring up the history of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • Presumption of innocence: is it an archaic human rights concept?
  • Classify civil and political rights.
  • What is international human rights law?
  • Tell about all human rights conventions being adopted since the 20th century.
  • Does Human Rights Council cope with its responsibilities?
  • The sexual exploitation of children is one of the most terrible human rights violations.
  • Research the most acute human rights social issues in America in 2023.
  • Do authorities violate human rights by introducing and supporting the death penalty?
  • Is mandatory military service a human rights violation?
  • Not all people should have equal access to political and social affairs.
  • What is lacking in the laws regulating the rights of people with disabilities?
  • Plants and factory owners violate our rights to environmentally safe management.
  • Freedom of expression: how can dangerous and hateful views be regulated?
  • LGBTQ+ rights: how has the situation changed in the USA?
  • Freedom of religion and fate: what can be done to provide it in intolerant countries?
  • Classify the signs that can indicate your rights are being neglected.
  • Are migrants’ human rights sufficiently acknowledged globally?
  • How have women’s rights changed over the last two centuries?
  • The Gulag in Soviet Russia: tell about the human rights violation in the USSR.
  • Far from being perfect: how did Peng Shuai case show that women’s rights are still an issue to work on?
  • Holocaust: is it better to remember or forget?
  • What are the countries with the most respected human rights?
  • Guantanamo and the like: why is human rights violation so common in prisons?
  • Is it possible to save girls and women from an occupied Afghanistan?

Discrimination (Racial, Gender, Age, etc.)

  • Is racial discrimination an overrated social issue?
  • Fat-shaming: why do people care so much about someone else’s weight?
  • Discrimination of people with disabilities: sexual violence, stigma, and lack of access to necessary resources.
  • Discrimination of any kind is a severe obstacle in combating poverty.
  • To eliminate discrimination, we should address the needs of the most vulnerable groups.
  • A proper methodology for indicating marginalized groups is a must.
  • Explore the problem of discrimination against people of age.
  • Should ingenious people in each country be given more respect?
  • How to teach people to stop being biased against other ethnicities?
  • What is the point of discrimination based on marital status?
  • It’s a huge social issue that same-sex marriages aren’t accepted globally.
  • Social status shouldn’t be a ground for discrimination.
  • Why doesn’t the globalization process reduce the levels of discrimination?
  • How to stop victimizing people by their economic position?
  • How does ageism reveal itself in everyday life?
  • How can society ease the struggle of transgender people?
  • Big corporations discriminate employees based on age.
  • We all are good enough and worthy regardless of age, appearance, orientation, or social status.
  • Explore the difficulties that people with albinism face.
  • Young parents shouldn’t be judged for being who they are.
  • Is there any chance to eliminate discrimination against people with HIV status?
  • Explore the struggles of the Black LGBTQ+ community.
  • Analyze the critical situation concerning sex workers’ discrimination.
  • Childfree people deserve to be recognized and left alone.
  • Discover the most discriminated ethnicities in Europe.
  • How are people with disabilities being victimized even in developed countries?
  • It is unlawful for companies to be biased against employees for their religion.
  • Explore the issue of sexual harassment as a part of gender discrimination.
  • National origin discrimination: define the concept and elaborate on it.
  • Is it fair to have a bias against pregnant women regarding job opportunities?
  • The toxic rhetoric of politicians should be addressed immediately.
  • Why is the LGBTQ+ community one of the most discriminated groups in Russia?
  • Children should be taught to embrace diversity since nursery school.
  • Explore the discrimination issues in Middle Asia.

Social Issues in Criminal Justice

  • Explore and classify the reasons for juvenile delinquency.
  • Should marijuana-related sentences be so strict?
  • Tortures and prisons: can this tandem be ever destroyed?
  • Why does the justice system fail to cope with human trafficking?
  • Should criminals in jails be provided with good nourishment and other conditions?
  • Explore the changes in drug policy of a particular country.
  • Should sentences for synthetic drug trafficking be more severe than for murders?
  • Police brutality: analyze the case of George Floyd and its consequences.
  • Is it possible that cannabis will be legalized in every state in the future?
  • Kids in jails: do we need juvenile detention reform?
  • Research how states’ authorities are reconsidering the approach to civil rights.
  • What are the beneficial sides of marijuana legalization?
  • How were punishment trends changing over the last 20 years in the US?
  • Analyze the statistics: what are the states with the lowest crime rate?
  • Should the death penalty be banned or accepted in all states?
  • Police officers should be tested more thoroughly and frequently.
  • Police violence or a mistake: explore the different views on Breonna Taylor’s case.
  • How did technologies improve the legislation system and police work?
  • Vulnerability to justice: how to avoid unjust conviction?
  • Prison buildup: do we need more prisons or fewer criminals?
  • Can analyses of the prison population help reduce the crime rate in the long run?
  • People should protest more actively against police brutality.
  • Police departments should provide advanced psychological assistance to their workers.
  • Racial discrimination prevents the justice system from being efficient.
  • Explore the lack in the justice system.
  • Are there any reasonable and peaceful measures against police brutality?
  • Recidivism issue: released criminals should be under stricter control.
  • Has the BLM movement contributed to justice reform?
  • More significant amounts of state budgets should be put into preventing violence.
  • How do different states cope with justice reform?
  • Police should be prohibited from using force against civilians.
  • Social injustice and racial prejudices in drug enforcement.

Research Topics on Social Issues in America

Explore these topics on social issues in America.

  • Obesity among young people: how to fight it?
  • Why can’t body positivity be an excuse for obesity?
  • Disney actors and pop singers: should children choose them as role models?
  • Should ingenious people in the USA obtain more human rights?
  • Electroconvulsive therapy turned out to be a promising treatment for severe depression. Is it ethical?
  • Should social disparity be an obstacle the access to higher education?
  • The political system in the USA is going through tough times.
  • Should higher education in the USA become more affordable?
  • Authorities should resolve social issues instead of equipping the army.
  • What are the difficulties Hispanic Americans face?
  • The government should support the rise of psychedelic retreats.
  • PTSD spread among military men is an acute issue that needs to be addressed.
  • Explore the issue of the San Francisco homeless crisis.
  • Instagram has a strong negative impact on teens: how to protect them?
  • Current problems and weaknesses of education in the US.
  • How to deal with the dramatic death rate growth during the pandemic?
  • Describe the values of a modern American family.
  • Should schoolchildren be allowed to miss classes for mental health reasons?
  • What can be learned from the case of Britney Spears’ conservatorship?
  • What are the outcomes of teenage pregnancy?
  • Why do veterans look for support for psychedelic drug decriminalization?
  • How to nurture sympathy and kindness in new generation representatives?
  • What is the situation with gun crimes in the USA?
  • Body shaming has many faces: what is wrong with fitness culture?
  • Is it safe to use ketamine as a depression treatment?
  • How does adult acne prevent people from being socially active?
  • Explore the issue of racial disparity in schizophrenia diagnoses in nursing homes.
  • How have hate crimes facilitated Asian Americans to undergo therapy during a pandemic?
  • Are Instagram and TikTok threatening American teens’ well-being?
  • What measures can be taken to protect citizens from personal data exposure?
  • Should the government take Meta under stricter control?
  • More mentally ill people become suicide victims: what can be done?
  • Drug abuse in nursing homes: what do we know about it?
  • Female refugees in America become victims of abuse and discrimination.
  • Why is gun violence still an unresolved problem after so many precedents?
  • Are Generation Z representatives able to be responsible for the country’s future?
  • Hate crimes against Asian Americans: we need to address the issue.
  • Health affordability is one of the most burning issues in today’s America.
  • Is it reasonable to let in the country more immigrants?
  • Why is religious freedom in the USA problematic?
  • What impact does media have on society?
  • The declining marriage rate in America: is it a threat to society?
  • The higher education costs grow, but the quality decreases.
  • What are the benefits of having sex education in school?
  • It is essential to dispel environmental myths and address real climate issues.
  • Explore the state budget-related issues in the USA.
  • How do video games affect children?
  • The welfare system in America doesn’t work correctly for the poor.
  • Is voter fraud a big problem in the USA?
  • Tell about the agricultural crisis in rural areas of the USA.
  • How to prevent and manage work stress?
  • Parental care: do young parents in America receive sufficient support?
  • Who should be role models for American teenagers?
  • How can American citizens contribute to safeguarding electoral processes?
  • What are the most critical environmental issues in the USA?
  • The government should provide affordable housing for low-income families.

Other Social Issues Essay Topics

  • Social Issues: The Uses of Global Poverty .
  • Child Poverty in Canada Problem Analysis .
  • Gender Inequality in the Workplace and Career .
  • Homelessness and Poverty in the United States .
  • Media Violence: Myths and Facts .
  • The Concept of Animal Rights and Their Violation .
  • Culture and Representations: Why Culture and Representation Matter .
  • Social Problem, Its Components and Stages .
  • The Maker Movement in Education: Achievements and Prospects .
  • Gangs and Community-Based Organizations in Chicago .
  • How Might Child Neglect Affect a Child’s Self-Esteem in Adulthood .
  • Globalization Drives Inequality: Liberalist and Structuralist Perspectives .
  • Degrees of Inequality in the UK .
  • Environmental Ethics: the Case for Animal Rights .
  • The Civil Rights Movement .
  • Racial Discrimination Practices in Recruitment and Selection .
  • American Civil Rights Movement Origins and Development .
  • Gangs and Social Learning Theory Relationship .
  • Social Institution of Family in the USA .
  • Immigration Policies Affecting the Success of Immigrants in United States and Canada .
  • Domestic Violence Issue and the Ways to Solve It .
  • Corporate Social Responsibility: Business Benefits .
  • Mental Health Issue and the Role of Social Worker .
  • Challenges Immigrants Face in the USA .
  • Women in Sports: Main Challenges .
  • Human Trafficking, Its History and Statistics .
  • Hate Crimes Toward Minorities in the United States .
  • American Culture Reflection in Sport .
  • Cinemas and Culture. Discussion of Readings and Films .
  • Television Violence and Children’s Aggressiveness .
  • Ethnic Groups and Discrimination .
  • War on Drugs: Reducing and Defining the Trade of Illegal Drugs .
  • Muslim Women’s Representation in American Newspapers .
  • Family Support and Intervention in Substance Abuse Among Adolescents .
  • Social Changes and Trends .
  • Abortion Ethics: Right-to-Life vs. Pro-Choice .
  • The Social Work: Ecological Perspective .
  • Should Euthanasia Be Legal in Some Countries and Why?
  • Teenage Sex: The Importance of Sex Education .
  • A Family System and Social Care Service Users .

📝 Sample – Social Injustice Essay

Here you can find an essay sample on one of the sharp social issues. Read this sample and complete your paper assignment!

Recent studies have shown that teens who are active social media users are more prone to depression and other mental health disorders. In comparison to those who use social media less, the former ones have higher rates of depression. [ place for statistical evidence .] Even without statistical data, it has been known that social media abuse is critical to mental state. The first reason is the seeming success bloggers display on their Instagram pages. It is difficult for an adult to avoid constant comparisons, but it’s even more challenging for teenagers. Their fragile psyches tend to be extremely sensitive and perceptive to the content. The feeling of being “not good enough” brings youngsters down, causing depressive conditions. The other thing is perfect body images that teens see on the influencers’ and models’ pages. They start to look at their bodies critically. At the same time, they fail to understand that a perfect picture is just a part of modeling. We all are humans with flaws in real life, and it is okay. However, the trend for real pictures without filters and Instagram masks is spreading. Besides, it has also become more popular to share one’s genuine feelings and emotions on Instagram without trying to conceal the flaws and struggles of one’s life. Perhaps, the trend for sincerity will grow into something bigger, and social media’s negative impact on mental health will recede.

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  • What Is a Social Problem? – University of Minnesota
  • Social Issues – Contemporary Issues – LibGuides at University of California Merced
  • Social Issues – The Brookings Institution
  • Social Issues | Council on Foreign Relations
  • Social Issues and Community Interactions | Waste Incineration and Public Health | The National Academies Press
  • Social Issue Articles, Research, & Case Studies – HBS Working Knowledge
  • Doing Research on Social Problems & Social Problems
  • Social Issues | Databases Explored from Gale

A List of 470 Powerful Social Issues Essay Topics

In modern societies, people do everything to live peacefully. Still, tensions often arise. We call them social issues when they start negatively impacting a specific group of people. Poverty, discrimination, and addiction are examples of such problems. We need to confront them to ensure equal treatment for everyone.

Our specialists will write a custom essay on any topic for 13.00 10.40/page

Our professional custom writing team created this article to help you write a social issues essay. This comprehensive social issues topics list covers various current problems in America and in the world. Choose among 450 social topics, and get down to writing!

  • 🔝 Top 10 Topics

✅ How to Write About Social Issues

  • 🌐 Social Media Issues Topics
  • 🏥 Health-Related Issues
  • 🌳 Environmental Issues
  • 🔫 War & Violence
  • 🚓 Police & Criminal Justice
  • 👨👩 Gender-Related Issues
  • 🧔🏿 Racism Topics
  • ✈️ Migration & Refugees
  • ⚖️ Human Rights Topics
  • 🗽 Social Issues in America

🔝 Top 10 Social Issues Topics

  • Types of prisoner rights violations.
  • Can vaccinations be mandatory?
  • What makes overpopulation a threat?
  • Online education as a cause of obesity.
  • The economic effect of rising sea levels.
  • The effects of Gender Pay Gap on economy.
  • Ways to stop racial discrimination in schools.
  • Can increase of employment help reduce poverty?
  • Women empowerment and social development.
  • Can mobile clinics make healthcare more accessible?

Writing on topics related to social issues involves thorough research. It also requires sympathy and tact. Following this guide will help you not to step on anybody’s toes.

  • Research papers call for an in-depth analysis. Make sure to reference several sources to back up your claims.
  • Essays revolve around your opinion. Here, good arguments are crucial.
  • Pick the topic . It can be either contemporary or historical. It’s better to choose something you’re interested in. If nothing comes to mind right away, use a writing topic generator .
  • Do research . Consult encyclopedias, find books on the topic. It will help you formulate ideas and outline the first draft.
  • Consider your audience . How much do they know about your subject? How invested are they? Understanding your readers will help you be more considerate.
  • Even if you have strong feelings about your subject, keep your tone neutral. Make sure not to condemn those who hold opposite views.
  • Highlight what you personally think is right. Remember that you can’t control how other people will react.
  • Be frank. Ask yourself: who am I? How do my experiences fit into my topic? Your honest answers will add unique insights to your paper.
  • Double-check your paper. Does everything you wrote logically flow? Does your argumentative structure make sense? Does it support your thesis? If possible, let your assignment sit for a day. You can edit it later with a fresh perspective.

These are the basics you need if you want to write about social issues. Now you can start your research! The first step is to pick one of the excellent topics about social problems from the list below.

🌐 Social Issues Essay Topics Related to Social Media

  • Security issues of social media.
  • Should Instagram be age-restricted?
  • Social networks’ impact on friendships.
  • Disadvantages of being an influencer.
  • Is there freedom of speech in social media?
  • Should social media ban fake information?
  • How harmful is social media dependency?
  • Should employers check employees’ accounts?
  • Online ethics and business Facebook accounts.
  • The effect of the cancel culture on mental health.
  • Cyberbullying: victim and abuser in the online environment.
  • Should children be allowed to have social media accounts?
  • Your opinion on memorial pages on social networks for the deceased.
  • Ways to stay safe on the internet.

Cyber abuse.

  • How should social media websites deal with hate speech?
  • Is removing abusive content censorship?
  • Explore the correlation between social media and mental disorders.
  • Does Instagram change the way we perceive our lives?
  • Is modern society forcing us to participate in social networking?
  • What is identity theft?
  • Personal isolation and technology in communication.
  • The risks of microtransactions in online gaming.
  • How does your digital presence influence your real life?
  • Why do some people become dependent on social media?
  • Are online networks promoting stalking?
  • Discuss the digital divide in Washington.
  • Is Twitter’s cancel culture doing more harm than good?
  • How do marginalized groups benefit from social media?
  • How important is data safety?
  • Are people on social media more aggressive than in real life?
  • Does the internet shorten our attention span?
  • Ways in which social media impacts your interactions with other people.
  • Marketing, social media, and you: how do influencers impact your buying behavior?
  • Explore the effect of the internet on students’ lives.
  • Is Reddit right to allow outrageous content under the principle of free speech?
  • Politics and Twitter: the consequences of Donald Trump’s tweets.
  • Does banning online networks from the workplace increase productivity?
  • What basic ethical principles go overboard on the internet?
  • In how far do social media trends reflect on the general public?
  • Social media and youth: does it make puberty harder?
  • The influence of online platforms on democracy.
  • What would happen if we could rate everyone online? (Think Community ’s episode “App Development and Condiments”)
  • Does Instagram inspire a healthy lifestyle?
  • Why are likes so important?
  • Debate the effects of speaking out in online communities.
  • Are Facebook’s profile picture frames a good way of showing support?
  • Debate social media policies and code of conduct.
  • Is YouTube spreading propaganda?
  • Did you ever do something because you’ve read about it on the internet?
  • Are Twitter hashtags skewing the political discourse?
  • Examine the gendered experiences of people on the internet.
  • How do you make yourself heard on social media?
  • Evaluate the usefulness of Facebook’s Safety Check feature.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of TikTok challenges.
  • How does participating in Instagram challenges for social justice help?

🏥 Health-Related Social Issues Topics to Write About

Our health largely depends on the social security system. With access to good healthcare services, we are less likely to develop preventable diseases. Unfortunately, issues are common in the health sector. These interesting essay writing prompts will help you explore social problems related to health:

  • Are employers not paying enough attention to their employees’ mental health?
  • What should a person do if they can’t afford medical treatment?
  • Why do some countries have higher obesity rates than others?
  • Should abortion be legal or illegal?
  • Debate whether a ban on tobacco advertising would help decrease smoking.
  • What makes Americans start doing drugs?
  • Compare projects that help people overcome their addictions.
  • What is the worst substance to be addicted to?
  • Who should care for the elders?
  • Should hospices be free?
  • Examine why HIV in seniors remains widely unrecognized.
  • Should we change the drinking age limit?
  • Whose health is mostly affected by pollution?
  • Should parents avoid vaccinating their children?
  • What does it mean to die with dignity?
  • Should women get extra vacation days at work because of their periods?
  • Explore the origins of the pro-life movement.
  • Should non-smokers receive additional break time?
  • Ways to make navigating easier for visually impaired people.
  • Discuss stigma against mentally challenged individuals.
  • The benefits of over-the-counter contraception.
  • Must women who breastfeed in public cover themselves up?
  • Psychoactive drugs in the treatment of psychological diseases.
  • Disabilities and stigmatization: how does being disabled affect one’s social status?
  • Does gender play an important role in one’s health?
  • What health issues are affecting African Americans and Hispanics?
  • Expectations and motherhood: being a childfree woman in a kid-centered society.
  • How does being malnourished affect a child’s psyche in the long run?
  • Investigate suicide rates in Pakistan.
  • Discuss the social acceptance of autism spectrum disorders.
  • Sociology and psychological diseases: the relationship between circumstance and mental health.
  • Write about fad diets and their impact.
  • How does the society you live in discriminate against older adults?
  • Why is access to quality healthcare unevenly distributed?
  • Who should decide when to stop life-prolonging treatments?
  • Is homeopathic treatment for children acceptable?
  • Describe why going to psychotherapy is widely stigmatized.
  • What are the social determinants of health?
  • Why is access to healthcare in rural areas so scarce?
  • Is the propagation of mindfulness and self-care on social media improving our health?

Smoking is.

  • Examine the connection between poverty and health problems.
  • Where does our society’s general obsession with weight come from?
  • Do cultural norms promote drinking alcohol to an unhealthy extent?
  • Is coffee a drug?
  • How does the depiction of drug use in the media influence the youth?

🌳 Environmental Social Issues Essay Topics

Environmentalism is not just about saving nature. A damaged environment has adverse effects on humanity and its future. Changing weather and frequent natural disasters affect millions of people. Many are forced to flee their homes. Essays on this subject can cover activism or sustainability.

  • Is Extinction Rebellion’s form of protest too radical?
  • What to avoid when traveling in the age of climate change.
  • How can we ensure global access to drinking water?
  • The impact of bottled water on the environment.
  • Water conservation methods in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The influence of tourism on cultural heritage sites.
  • How does society need to change in the future to slow down climate change?
  • What caused the rise in climate activism in recent years?
  • Innovation vs. tradition: getting traditional farmers to implement new sustainable technology.
  • Describe the importance of waste reduction for our ecosystems.
  • How can we use our natural resources responsibly?
  • Discuss what a sustainable diet is like.
  • The role of packaging in marketing, food safety, and environment.
  • Why do people deny human-made climate change?
  • Why should sociologists study the environment?
  • What made us reliant on single-use plastic products?
  • Discuss green infrastructure in water management.
  • Debate how Greenpeace influences political decision making.
  • In your opinion, what’s the best environmental organization to donate to?
  • How successful is PETA in helping animals?
  • Should mandatory volunteer work substitute compulsory military service?
  • Urban gardening as a means to ensure food security.
  • The effect of self-driving electric vehicles on urban environments.
  • Compare types of sustainable futuristic cities in literature.
  • How does global warming impact indigenous peoples in South America?
  • What effects does a deteriorating environment have on labor conditions?
  • Explain what Oxfam does.
  • How does globalization impact sustainable agriculture?
  • What are the most significant achievements of environmental activists in recent years?
  • What makes politicians hesitant to take action against climate change?
  • Investigate what happened to the population of Isle de Jean Charles.
  • Climate refugees: examine the disasters that cause people to flee their homes.
  • What are the unintentional consequences of climate-related relocation projects?
  • Explore the connection between nature and religion.
  • Ecology and economics: ways to find a balance.
  • Communities and health: how the way we handle the environment impacts the spread of disease.
  • Investigate methods for responsible consumption.
  • Why is sustainable development important for societies?

World Health Organization.

  • Contrast the methods of various environmentalist movements.
  • The world’s overpopulation: causes and effects.
  • Why can it be difficult to convince older generations to take action against climate change?
  • What are the best things everyone can do to protect the environment?
  • The role of zoos in wildlife endangerment.
  • How do changing weather patterns impact our homes?
  • What caused the increase in natural disasters over the last decade?

🔫 Social Issues Topics: War & Violence

Scientists still debate if violence is a part of human nature. Wars and terrorist attacks are disastrous events that traumatize millions of people. Still, it’s crucial not to forget about more subtle forms of violence. These include emotional neglect, bullying, and brutality in medical care.

  • What are the main reasons for nations to wage war?
  • Mental disorders and vulnerability to homicidal death.
  • The restoration of Germany after the Second World War.
  • Domestic violence in 20th century Canada.
  • Describe the most common types of violence against teenagers.
  • How does a country’s political situation impact domestic violence?
  • Do splatter movies promote violent behavior?
  • Should girls dress modestly to avoid being abused?
  • What is the use of war monuments?
  • The issue of girl education in India.
  • How does war influence the development of children?
  • Analyze the accuracy of the events depicted in Sam Mendes’ film 1917 .
  • Everything Quiet on the Western Front and the youth’s attitude towards fighting.
  • The treatment of veterans in your community.
  • Why do people join the army?
  • Connection between school bullying and problems in adult life.
  • What are the most common reasons for murder?
  • How can a family move on after their child has been kidnapped?
  • Why are veterans more likely to commit suicide than average citizens?
  • Is human trafficking modern-day slavery?
  • Investigate how citizens of Cape Town deal with the high crime rate in their city.
  • What events can lead to an increase in crime?
  • Explain the socio-economic aftermaths of the Afghanistan war.
  • Examine the success of Columbia’s DESEPAZ program.
  • What is the origin of domestic violence?
  • Do schools in your country work effectively to discourage abusive behavior towards girls?
  • Why do men tend not to report domestic violence?
  • How does emotional neglect impact children?
  • What are the best ways to prevent street violence?
  • Is there a connection between the strictness of gun laws and homicide rates?
  • Why do women hesitate to report rape cases?
  • Rape and sexual harassment in the military.
  • An overview of Japanese mafia culture.
  • The connection between education and violence.
  • Who profits from war?
  • Are the US military expenses justified?
  • What does the “guns vs. butter” model describe?
  • Give examples of cultural norms justifying violence.
  • In how far has globalization impacted violent behavior?
  • What triggers aggression against healthcare workers?
  • Ways to manage verbal abuse in social care.
  • Examine the Chinese phenomenon of Yi Nao.
  • Investigate the recent decriminalization of domestic abuse in Russia.
  • What was the impact of the #metoo movement?
  • Bullying and sexual harassment at workplace.

🚓 Police & Criminal Justice Topics to Write About

Everyone should feel safe in their community. That’s what a country’s criminal justice system is for. But humans can make mistakes and be biased. Not everyone feels protected by the current system. What can we do to change that? Explore this question in one of the following creative topics:

  • What does the phrase “defund the police” mean?
  • What makes you feel safe in your community?
  • Describe the social standing of police officers in your country.
  • Examine if there’s evidence for structural racism in the police.
  • Is it possible to achieve true equality?
  • Are all professions in criminal justice equally prestigious?
  • Discuss the concept of juvenile crimes.
  • Debate castration as a punishment for sexual offenders.
  • The influence of the internet on human trafficking.
  • What could the police be substituted with?
  • How does racial profiling work?
  • Should people who abuse drugs go to jail?
  • How do people become homeless in big cities?
  • Discuss the legitimization of prostitution.
  • What causes governments to oppose gay marriage?
  • The safest ways to deescalate riots.
  • What are the best methods to discourage people from committing crimes?
  • Define civil disobedience and its goals.
  • Victimology and traditional justice system alternatives.
  • What makes white-collar crimes more socially acceptable than others?
  • Reintroducing prisoners to society: obstacles and consequences.
  • Would society profit from the abolition of prisons?
  • What are the advantages of community services?

Montesquieu quote.

  • How does crime differ in various social classes?
  • Justice for women: the legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
  • How do prejudices influence criminal justice mechanics?
  • Human services issues from the point of income inequality.
  • Why was the Hong Kong national security law installed?
  • How did legalizing all drugs affect Portuguese society?
  • What are the prominent civil rights issues in your country?
  • The Captain of Köpenick : the psychological effect of uniforms.
  • Why was racial segregation widely accepted in America?
  • How do witness protection programs work?
  • The right to privacy vs. safety: a case for surveillance cameras.
  • How can one save their reputation after committing a crime?
  • Compare the four deviance theories in sociology.
  • To what extent can biology explain criminal behavior?
  • Do police officers need guns?
  • Should law enforcers need to request permission before using firearms?
  • How did dismantling the police department in Camden, NJ impact crime?
  • Explore the connection between militarization and police violence.
  • What does the principle of qualified immunity entail?
  • Debate the use of body cameras by police officers.
  • Police violence and subterfuge.
  • What are the social benefits of jury duty?

👨👩 Gender-Related Social Issues Essay Topics

Even today, a lot of people are systematically disadvantaged because of their gender. This problem manifests itself not only in the infamous gender pay gap. For example, in the US, transgender people are banned from serving in the army. And in some countries, women are still denied fundamental rights. If you want to get to the heart of contemporary controversial issues, this section is for you.

  • Why is the number of women in positions of power still low?
  • Are quotas the only way to guarantee equal hiring processes?
  • Pros and cons of unisex bathrooms.
  • Why are matriarchal societies rare?
  • Describe how the patriarchy holds back women.
  • Conflicting theories: gay marriage and feminism.
  • Does feminism need to be radical?
  • How does gendered marketing affect child development?
  • Should insurance companies pay for sex reassignment therapy?
  • Reasons why some people have problems with they/them pronouns.
  • What does it mean to be non-binary?
  • Investigate the treatment of women in Saudi Arabian society.
  • What makes a profession traditionally female?
  • Should women be more encouraged to join the military?
  • Why is it more challenging for men to get full custody?
  • Find historical examples of women who made a change in their society.
  • Should professors be required to include more women authors in their reading material?
  • Examine the treatment of the transgender community in healthcare.
  • Is gender a purely social construct?
  • What can a woman do to become more empowered?
  • Can a patriarchal society ever achieve true gender equality?
  • Are Disney princesses good role models?
  • Examine the representation of gender variety in popular TV shows.
  • Gender identity: promotion of equality for sexual orientation.
  • Discuss the connection between gender-biased language and oppression.
  • Why are sexist marketing practices still legal?
  • Should girls capitalize on their attractive looks?
  • Define the term “gender blindness.”
  • Do school uniforms promote gender inequality?
  • Bibiana Steinhaus: a female referee.
  • Discuss how the battle of the sexes impacted society.
  • Should men be entitled to more extended paternity leave?
  • Can religion ensure equality?
  • How do stereotypes against women decrease their chances of getting hired?
  • Why do millions of women still have to choose between having a family or a career?
  • Explain the gender dynamics in development.
  • Should men and women play and compete in mixed sports teams?
  • What do beauty pageants teach girls?
  • Debate the importance of LGBT studies.
  • What causes gender dysphoria?
  • Do blockbuster films have the responsibility to advocate for equality?
  • Does society need gender roles to function properly?
  • What makes same-sex marriage a controversial topic in many countries?
  • Examine adoption laws for gay couples.
  • Compare gender-based violence in the UK vs. Iran.

🧔🏿 Social Topics for Essays on Racism

Slavery is abolished everywhere in the world. Still, it didn’t put an end to racism. There’s a lot of racial bias fueled by insecurity and ignorance. Because of this, ethnic minorities rarely enjoy equal opportunities. An essay on racism can raise awareness of the problem by shedding light on racial injustice.

  • How has racism changed over the past hundred years?
  • Queer of color: history and theory.
  • Who were the Khmer Rouge?
  • Trace the development of anti-discrimination laws in your country.
  • What caused populist groups to gain popularity in recent years?
  • Did Donald Trump’s presidency increase racism towards Latin Americans?
  • What socio-economic issues do African American families face?
  • Is there a connection between racism and social progress?
  • Would there be no racism without colonialism?
  • Discuss subtle forms of everyday racism.
  • Should women in teaching positions be allowed to wear hijabs?
  • Nelson Mandela and the fight against apartheid.
  • What makes people scared of minorities?
  • Who benefits from structural racism?
  • Find out how racism manifests itself in your native language.
  • Compare the types of social segmentation.
  • Is the use of the n-word in hip hop empowering?
  • How did imperialism impact Okonkwo’s life in Things Fall Apart ?
  • In which areas of life are black Americans institutionally disadvantaged?
  • Is it appropriate for white people to wear hoop earrings?
  • The best ways to educate children about race.
  • How does cultural appropriation become harmful?
  • Racial prejudice in the movie industry.

Mahatma Gandhi quote.

  • Your position on companies renaming well-known brands to avoid claims of racism.
  • Discuss the problem of racism at institutional and interactional levels.
  • Will racism ever end?
  • Is “All lives matter” a racist statement?
  • How does environmental racism affect the living conditions of minorities?
  • Investigate the historical persecution of the Romani people.
  • What makes people racist nowadays?
  • The internet’s contribution to alleviating racism.
  • Cultivation of racism in the American society.
  • How much of a problem is reverse discrimination?
  • Trace the history of lynching and mob violence against blacks in the American South.
  • Who was Leo Frank?
  • How does discrimination differ in rich vs. developing countries?
  • Racism as a barrier to educational opportunities.
  • Does social media help fight racist bias?
  • How to responsibly handle classic movies and literature with racial prejudices.
  • What constitutes a healthy national identity?
  • How does modern television portray minorities?
  • Does your country’s healthcare system disadvantage minorities?
  • Investigate what happens to the Rohingya people in Malaysia.
  • Is antisemitism still a problem in your country?
  • Does nationalism always lead to racism?

✈️ Social Awareness Topics on Migration & Refugees

Migration can have a beneficial effect on a host country’s economy. For instance, migrants can provide vital additional workforce. But an overflow of newcomers can also lead to problems. Most notably, it affects a nations’ cultural and social landscapes. “How should we deal with refugees?” is one of the most challenging political questions today.

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  • How has migration changed over the past 20 years?
  • Mexican immigration as a political controversy.
  • Why do migrants from the Middle East face more prejudice than those from Central Europe?
  • Describe the types of events that can cause major forced displacement.
  • How should governments plan for migration?
  • Why do many people in Europe have a negative attitude towards refugees?
  • Why are foreign workers important to every nation’s economy?
  • Effective ways to integrate displaced people.
  • Critique Arizona’s new immigration laws.
  • Have refugee camps ever been a solution to the problem?
  • What drives people to immigrate illegally?
  • Should the US’ sanctuary cities be dissolved?
  • Describe the notion of ecological migration.
  • Should Europe take in more refugees?
  • Compare resettlement models in Canada vs. Australia.
  • What’s the difference between expats and migrants?
  • What factors make illegal immigration undesirable?
  • Has the public perception of migrants changed over the past years?
  • How important is it that immigrants speak their host country’s language?
  • What does social integration ideally consist of?
  • Discuss Chinese settlement patterns in America.
  • The advantages of dropping visa restrictions.
  • How did 9/11 affect the public’s perception of the global movement?
  • Is it morally right to marry someone just for their passport?
  • Do illegal immigrants negatively impact their host country’s society?
  • Does migration cause destabilization?
  • What does the claim “no one is illegal” advocate?
  • How does the American green card lottery work?
  • Should a child born in a foreign country automatically receive citizenship?
  • American society wouldn’t exist without immigration. Why is it still so hostile towards foreigners?
  • Explore the link between global movement and the spread of diseases.
  • Should the government use taxpayer money to upskill refugees?
  • Immigrants in Toronto: social and economic challenges.
  • Can expats from a distinct cultural background ever integrate into a country that doesn’t share their norms?
  • Discuss the importance of diversity to society.
  • Is there a connection between immigration rates and crime?
  • Should expats be eligible for welfare programs?
  • Where’s the line between cultural appropriation and integration?
  • Can binational relationships work?
  • How do you become a stateless person?
  • What rights do asylum seekers have in your country?
  • Is immigration from developing countries a threat to wealthier nations?
  • Explore moral panics associated with other ethnicities.
  • What makes Europe attractive to expats?
  • Describe the common prejudices refugees have to face in Australia.

⚖️ Social Justice Essay Topics on Human Rights

You probably agree that every human deserves access to fundamental rights. Unfortunately, these are continually under threat. And it doesn’t always happen far away from you. Women, the LGBT community, and many others fight for their rights every single day.

  • Are limitations of human rights during crises justified?
  • Should we strive to achieve the same rights globally?
  • Is male circumcision shortly after birth a violation of human rights?
  • How do you prevent low-income families from sending their children to work?
  • Capital punishment vs. the right to live.
  • Can dictatorships ensure human rights?

Martin Luther King Jr. quote.

  • Is using sensitive language incriminating our freedom of speech?
  • Describe the achievements of Amnesty International.
  • Should Europe stop business interactions with countries that violate human rights?
  • Examine effective ways to combat food shortages in the Global South.
  • How can governments secure freedom of speech?
  • Should access to the internet be included as a fundamental human right?
  • Are restrictive laws concerning hijabs violating religious freedom?
  • Charlie Hebdo and its Muhammad cartoons: did they go too far?
  • When does satire become harmful?
  • Examine how human rights are treated in the pornography industry.
  • Why are LGBT people around the world not granted the same rights as everyone else?
  • Balancing labor conditions and demand: human rights in the economy.
  • Who protects stateless persons?
  • What has changed since the first declaration of human rights?
  • How was slavery justified back in the day?
  • Why do women in many countries still not have the same rights as men?
  • The Handmaid’s Tale : how is the society in Gilead structured?
  • Discuss how vital the rights to freedom of thought and expression are.
  • To which rights should prisoners have access to?
  • Debate the fairness of the utilitarian approach.
  • How do NGOs help to ensure human rights in Somalia?
  • Human rights and the Bible: how does the church get away with violations?
  • Define different perspectives on what constitutes freedom.
  • What are the most significant human rights issues today?
  • Ethics and the media: exploiting personal tragedies for attention.
  • Prisoners are humans, too: rights violations in Guantanamo.
  • Is combating climate change a human rights issue?
  • Are cruel traditions such as honor killings justified if they are socially accepted?
  • How successful is the European Commission of Human Rights?
  • Is the death penalty a justified measure nowadays?
  • Should pets have the same rights as humans?
  • Define the difference between civil and human rights.
  • If there’s gay pride, why shouldn’t there be straight pride?
  • Unequal privilege: legal, religious, and social factors.
  • What would happen if education were free and accessible to everyone?
  • State terrorism vs. critical terrorism.
  • Did globalization make us freer?
  • Is the wellbeing of the majority more important than the wellbeing of a minority?
  • When, if ever, should men and women have different rights?

🗽 Current Social Issues Topics in America

With its variety of races and cultures, America faces many social issues. Its deeply divided political parties add more fuel to the fire. African American rights and police brutality are some of the most pressing issues in the US today.

  • Consequences of fortifying the American-Mexican border wall.
  • Should illegal immigrants always be deported when found?
  • Is the democratic system in the US in need of reform?
  • What are the social causes of obesity in the USA?
  • Negative side effects of the war on drugs.
  • How important is bipartisan cooperation?
  • What difference does it make if Russia meddled in the 2016 elections?
  • Police brutality: reasons and countermeasures.
  • Discuss the importance of reducing medical costs.
  • Racism and the police: is it an institutional problem?
  • What are the strictest cultural taboos in American society?
  • Are there enough women in American leadership positions?
  • Is sexism a significant problem in the States?
  • Describe the consequences of voter fraud.
  • Should schools teach students to be more patriotic?
  • Discuss prescription drug abuse in America.
  • College student debt: is it a fair price to pay for a good education?
  • Will police presence in schools help curb violence?
  • What drugs should be legalized vs. remain illegal?
  • Debate the quality of political education in your state.
  • Is fake news a severe problem?
  • Financial literacy as a compulsory subject in high school.
  • How do you destigmatize taboo topics in society?
  • Why do conversations about periods make people feel uncomfortable?
  • Social causes of eating disorders in adults.
  • Discuss how various religions can live together peacefully.
  • Describe the NIMBY phenomenon.
  • What are the benefits and limitations of needle exchange programs?
  • Find reasons why peaceful protests turn into violent riots.
  • Are students in the US nowadays under too much stress?
  • What are the harmful effects of urban sprawl?
  • Can your vote make a difference?
  • Do American schools need to offer better sex education classes?
  • What makes people believe the Earth is flat?
  • Why do conspiracy theories spread so quickly nowadays?
  • Traffic in California: reasons to invest in public transport.
  • Are charter schools better than public schools?
  • Compare the most prominent social movements currently active in America.
  • The legacy of Occupy Wall Street.
  • Describe the pros and cons of the Green New Deal.
  • How successful is special education in the US?
  • What causes gentrification in American cities?
  • Is immigration a strain on the American job market?
  • Tackle the problem of prison overcrowding.
  • Investigate the effects of ableism in the States.

That’s all we’ve got for you. We hope this article was helpful. Good luck with your essay writing!

You might also be interested in:

  • 512 Research Topics on HumSS (Humanities & Social Sciences)
  • 147 Social Studies Topics for Your Research Project
  • 480 Sociology Questions & Topics with Bonus Tips
  • 560 Unique Controversial Topics & Tips for a Great Essay
  • 193 Interesting Proposal Essay Topics and Ideas
  • 197 Motivational & Inspirational Essay Topics

🔍 References

  • Lifestyles & Social Issues: Encyclopedia Britannica
  • Controversial/Contemporary Issues: How to Write a Research Paper: Campbell University
  • 3 Insights Into Writing about Social Issues: Jane Friedman
  • Key Issues: eSafety Commissioner
  • Top 10 Most Common Health Issues: University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Top 10 Most Important Environmental Issues: Iberdrola.com
  • War: Social Problems: University of Minnesota
  • Violence: a Global Public Health Problem: WHO
  • What Are the Biggest Problems Women Face Today?: Politico Magazine
  • Issues: National Center for Transgender Equality
  • List of Issues about Racism: The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Potential implications of Increasing Significance of Migration: EU
  • The Biggest Issues Facing Migrants Today — and What We Can Do to Solve Them: World Economic Forum
  • How Americans See Major National Issues: Pew Research Center
  • Social Issues and Human Rights: United Nations Environment
  • Crime & Criminal Justice: Brookings
  • Social Problems: Oxford Academic Press
  • Criminal Justice: ProPublica
  • Structural Racism in America: Urban Institute
  • Racism and Health: American Public Health Association
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Social Issues Research Paper Topics

The best research paper social issues topics for a+ result.

Searching for interesting and engaging research paper social issues topics that are also easy to do? We can surely help you with this! We’ve compiled an extensive list of 70 great research topics within social issues.

Social issues are an important field to continuously research. As humanity is facing more and more existential threats, we have to consider all potential solutions. Even you working on a paper topic will contribute to this matter.

How to Select Research Paper Social Issues Topics

With such a large number of social issues topics for a research paper, you might feel lost and confused. Don’t, instead, follow these steps to decide on a social issues topic for your research paper.

Know Your Strengths

Firstly, consider your personal strengths and preferences before going through social issues topics. You’re more likely to get an A+ by doing a research paper on a social issues topic that inspires you. If you decide on a social issues topic that doesn’t generate many ideas, then you’ll struggle with the research paper.

Look for Relevant Sources

Search for information online on the social issues topics that you like the most for your research paper. If you still can’t decide on a single one, pick the topic of the social issue that has more information online.

Refer to Requirements

Before doing any work on your research paper – closely review the requirements. You don’t want to waste time writing the topic of the social issue and then having to heavily edit the research paper. By following the requirements, you’re eliminating the need to rework your social research paper later.

Plan Your Time

Lastly, before writing anything in the paper on the topic, create a plan for the research paper’s completion. This way, the work on the social issue’s topic and paper will be structured, focused, and organized.

30 Current Social Issues Research Paper Topics

These 30 social issues topics are highly interesting and beneficial to use in your research paper. These are the problems we have to deal with today. Any tutor will appreciate their student choosing one of these social issues topics in their research paper.

  • Which Moral Values Should Drive the Artificial Intellect in Automated Devices?
  • Should Someone Regulate the Creation of Artificial Intellect Devices?
  • The Issue of Certifying Automated Machine’s Safety and Reliability
  • How Should We Limit Human-Created Algorithms in Robotic Systems?
  • Is It Necessary for Governments to Monitor and Manage Big Tech Corporations?
  • How to Protect Privacy in Our Highly Technological World?
  • The Unemployment Issue: Automation, AI, and Virtual Reality
  • Will People Be Able to Have Meaningful Lives without Work?
  • The Future of Democracy: Is It the End of the Beginning?
  • How Populism is Quickly Eroding Democracy Worldwide
  • Trump and the Era of Fake News – Can We Believe in Anything Today?
  • Ideological Bubbles in Online Networks: The Polarization of Society
  • The Existential Questions That Will Inevitably Come as Automation Prevails
  • Will the Society Survive the Lack of Work in the Near Future?
  • If Advanced AI’s Can Do Everything That Humans Can, Then What Will Define Us?
  • The Question of Making People Benefit from Automation and AI Rather Than Suffer
  • Can Open-Source Code Initiatives Stump the Evolution and Development of Tech?
  • How Fake Videos Will Continue to Misguide the Public Opinion in the Near Future
  • The Monopolistic Competition in Big Tech Kill Almost All New Start-Ups
  • Electric Car Production Is Still Significantly Bad for the Environment
  • The Increasing Gap between the Rich and Impoverished People
  • How Changing Climate Can Reverse Equality Efforts Across Fields
  • Can International Communities Resist Protectionism and March on with Globalization?
  • The Epidemic on the Roads – Car Crash Fatality Figures Are Overwhelmingly Big
  • Changing Cities to Better Suit the Less-Industrialized Society of Today
  • The Ways to Address the Rising Nativism and Fascism Tendencies
  • How Supporting Innovative Research Is Essential in Keeping the Trust of People in Science
  • Anti-Scientism – A Deadly Though Movement Threatening Society
  • Maintaining a Local Identity in a Globalized World
  • The Task of Communicating Complex Research to the Public Comprehensibly

30 Social Issues Topics for Research Paper

Looking for something else for your research paper? Here are 30 more social issues topics that tackle other aspects of our lives.

  • The Talks about Immigration and Refugees Stay at a Basic Level
  • The Governments Don’t Do Enough to Sufficiently Address Refugee Problems
  • The Ageing of Populations in Asia and Lack of Workers in the Region
  • The Ongoing Problem of Integrating Newcomers into Established Cultures
  • Neighborhood Organization and Governance – A New Sociopolitical Institution
  • What Are Business Improvement Districts and Where Did They Come From?
  • The Benefits of Employing Statistics for Efficient City Planning
  • The Unrealistic Urban Planning in Africa and Middle Asia
  • Why is Urbanization in Africa Is a Time-Ticking Bomb?
  • How the Lack of Everyday Citizen Involvement Dooms the Development of Africa
  • The Worsening Safety of Long-Distance Travel – Diseases and Pollution
  • Alienation in the Modern World: A Lack of Human Connection in Today’s Society
  • The Need for Public Spaces in Cities, Which Promote Human Interaction
  • The Potential Benefits and Dangers of Gene Editing
  • Upgrading Human Genomes: Should It Be Outright Banned?
  • The Risk of Oversimplifying Public Problems of Today and Barring Ourselves from Progress
  • Human Activity is Killing Animals Needed for Essential Crops: How to Avoid This Fate?
  • Should Modern Genetics Be Used to Destroy Animal Threats to Humanity?
  • Environment and Its Relation to Infant and Maternal Mortality
  • Health and Social Services Have to Receive More Funding
  • How Technological Advancement May Be Causing Higher Suicide and Addiction Rates
  • The Dangers of Tunnel-Vision in Science Purely for Science Progress
  • The Difficulty of Pushing Culture Forwards Alongside the Scientific Advancements
  • Are We Relying Too Much on Synthesized Drugs and Killing Our Natural Defenses?
  • Digital Divide and Bubbles Prevent Scientific Breakthroughs from Becoming Popular
  • Our Global Vulnerability to Fatal Microbial Dangers: Ebola, Zika, and COVID-19
  • How to Promote Vaccination When Anti-Vaccination Movement Is on the Rise?
  • Is Digitizing Human Beings a Bad Idea?
  • The Problem of Ownership Media Accounts After Death
  • How Online Media Is a Bad Agent in the Global Polarization of Communities

BONUS: More Winning Topics for Successful Writing

Still not satisfied with the social issues topics you saw just now? Want more topics for your research paper? Here are more social issues research paper topics for your consideration.

  • The Ongoing Battle for Sustainability: The Paris Green Accord
  • How Can We Significantly Diminish Global Carbon Emissions?
  • Urban Planning with Environment in Mind
  • How to Make Governments Care about the Environment?
  • How National Protectionism Is a Blow to Environmental Efforts
  • The Most Used Economic Theories Ignores the Resource Limits of Present on Earth
  • Dwindling Water Resources and How We Can Deal with This Issue
  • Capitalism Has to Be Re-Innovated to Address Environmental and Public Needs
  • We Must Support Africa in its Development to Avoid More Environmental Crises
  • The Most Realistic Alternative Energy Sources in the Future Demand

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List of 20 Good Research Paper Topics Social Issues

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How to Pick Up Proper Social Issue Research Paper Topics

In the modern world, there are a lot of social issues. Poverty, unemployment, crime, corruption, drug addiction, the spread of HIV infection, the threat of technological disasters – all this is not a complete list of those phenomena that cause anxiety and concern in our society. Social problems can be global, affecting the interests of a significant part of humanity, or they may concern the interests of the individual person.

In different historical periods, the list of social problems was different, and these issues were solved in different ways. Your topic for an excellent research paper should, first of all, be relevant and urgent. Think about what issues really matter to today's society and what you personally consider important.

Try to choose something controversial that instantly hooks the audience. Also, don’t forget that you’ll have to bring substantial evidence and arguments for your point of view, so the topic should not be too complicated for you.

Below you’ll find successful examples of social issues to write a research paper on.

The Most Interesting Research Paper Social Issues Topics

Social problems include a huge number of aspects of society. Therefore, you can simply choose what is important to you. Make sure that the chosen topic is of interest to you, and the problem is easy and suitable for research, and then you’ll get an excellent paper.

Here are some ideas of research-worth topics divided into groups:

Social categorization

  • Is racism still real in the 21st century? Why haven’t we overcome it yet?
  • Sexual objectification in online ads.
  • Gender identity: how gender roles have changed and how they will change in the future.
  • Religious discrimination in the workplace in different countries.
  • Pay inequality is still a problem. How to solve it?


  • Phishing, scam, blackmailing: how to feel safe in the unsafe Internet.
  • Cyberbullying: the new face of an old problem. History of cyberbullying.
  • Identity theft: the problem of the 21st century. How to reduce the risks?
  • Government control in the digital era: what we must do today in order not to wake up in a cyber-totalitarian state tomorrow.
  • Prevention of cyberstalking: how to protect yourself.

Top Ideas of Social Issues Research Paper

A variety of social problems allows a research paper writer to pick up those that have not been researched before or take new approaches to those that have already been researched.

In other words, even if it seems to you that everything has been said about this issue, you can still find a blind spot and uncover this question from the other side.

Take a look at social issues that will never lose their relevance:

  • Medical marijuana: to legalize or not to legalize? All the pros and cons.
  • Correlation between drug use and domestic violence: the problem is more serious than we all thought.
  • Modern students still take drugs in college. A feeling of rebellion or personality problems?
  • Countries that prohibit drugs and countries that decriminalized drugs: what can we learn from them? Can drug prohibition solve the problem in the USA?
  • Youth drug addiction: explaining the problem.

Poverty and unemployment

  • Is there a connection between low living standards and high crime rates?
  • Possible ways of poverty reduction.
  • The subculture of the poor is becoming a factor in destabilizing society. Explain why.
  • What is the impact of poverty and unemployment on the US economy?
  • Why does unemployment exist even in the most prosperous countries?

Writing a social issues research paper requires a very creative approach, great curiosity, the skills to think outside the box as well as the ability to process a large amount of information and find unusual sources.

But still, it is not as difficult as you might think. Just choose a suitable topic and make sure that you have an idea about the issue you’re going to study in your paper.

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Top 10 Research Topics from 2021

Posted on January 17, 2022 by Frontiers Communications in Research topics , Sustainability , Top News // 0 Comments

social problems related topics for research paper

Find the answers to your biggest research questions from 2021. With collective views of over 3.7 million, researchers explored topics spanning from nutritional immunology and political misinformation to sustainable agriculture and the human-dog bond .

Research Topics:

social problems related topics for research paper

1. Infectious disease

29 articles | 1,643,000 views

Uncovering the many ethical, legal, and social issues that have arisen during the pandemic

social problems related topics for research paper

2. Nutritional immunology

29 articles | 768,000 views

How specific foods and nutrients affect COVID-19 severity and outcomes

social problems related topics for research paper

3. Music therapy

44 articles | 268,000 views

Examining the ability of music to create and maintain social bonds during the pandemic

social problems related topics for research paper

4. Political misinformation

11 articles | 219,000 views

Understanding how to halt the spread of false news while increasing the circulation of information from credible sources during the pandemic

social problems related topics for research paper

5. Plant science

15 articles | 198,000 views

The enormous potential of plants to contribute effectively to fighting pandemics

social problems related topics for research paper

6. Sustainable agriculture

49 articles | 168,000 views

Demonstrating the potential of various microbes to enhance plant productivity and yield in cropping systems

social problems related topics for research paper

7. Mental health

22 articles | 136,000 views

Discovering insights from altered states of consciousness through psychedelic therapies

social problems related topics for research paper

8. Aging brains

18 articles | 134,000 views

Evaluating factors that predispose aging Covid patients to more severe complications

social problems related topics for research paper

9. Canine connection

13 articles | 118,000 views

Exploring the human-dog bond and how interactions between the two benefits us medically, psychologically, and through service as working dogs

social problems related topics for research paper

10. Mood disorders

12 articles | 102,000 views

New insights into the mechanisms underlying mood disorders at the genetic and neurobiological level

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1.4 Doing Research on Social Problems

Learning objectives.

  • List the major advantages and disadvantages of surveys, observational studies, and experiments.
  • Explain why scholars who study social problems often rely on existing data.

Sound research is an essential tool for understanding the sources, dynamics, and consequences of social problems and possible solutions to them. This section briefly describes the major ways in which sociologists gather information about social problems. Table 1.2 “Major Sociological Research Methods” summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of each method.

Table 1.2 Major Sociological Research Methods

The survey is the most common method by which sociologists gather their data. The Gallup poll is perhaps the most well-known example of a survey and, like all surveys, gathers its data with the help of a questionnaire that is given to a group of respondents . The Gallup poll is an example of a survey conducted by a private organization, but sociologists do their own surveys, as does the government and many organizations in addition to Gallup. Many surveys are administered to respondents who are randomly chosen and thus constitute a random sample . In a random sample, everyone in the population (whether it be the whole US population or just the population of a state or city, all the college students in a state or city or all the students at just one college, etc.) has the same chance of being included in the survey. The beauty of a random sample is that it allows us to generalize the results of the sample to the population from which the sample comes. This means that we can be fairly sure of the behavior and attitudes of the whole US population by knowing the behavior and attitudes of just four hundred people randomly chosen from that population.

Some surveys are face-to-face surveys, in which interviewers meet with respondents to ask them questions. This type of survey can yield much information, because interviewers typically will spend at least an hour asking their questions, and a high response rate (the percentage of all people in the sample who agree to be interviewed), which is important to be able to generalize the survey’s results to the entire population. On the downside, this type of survey can be very expensive and time consuming to conduct.

A call center with employees taking surveys over the phone

Surveys are very useful for gathering various kinds of information relevant to social problems. Advances in technology have made telephone surveys involving random-digit dialing perhaps the most popular way of conducting a survey.

plantronicsgermany – Encore520 call center man standing – CC BY-ND 2.0.

Because of these drawbacks, sociologists and other researchers have turned to telephone surveys. Most Gallup polls are conducted over the telephone. Computers do random-digit dialing, which results in a random sample of all telephone numbers being selected. Although the response rate and the number of questions asked are both lower than in face-to-face surveys (people can just hang up the phone at the outset or let their answering machine take the call), the ease and low expense of telephone surveys are making them increasingly popular. Surveys done over the Internet are also becoming more popular, as they can reach many people at very low expense. A major problem with web surveys is that their results cannot necessarily be generalized to the entire population because not everyone has access to the Internet.

Surveys are used in the study of social problems to gather information about the behavior and attitudes of people regarding one or more problems. For example, many surveys ask people about their use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs or about their experiences of being unemployed or in poor health. Many of the chapters in this book will present evidence gathered by surveys carried out by sociologists and other social scientists, various governmental agencies, and private research and public interest firms.


Experiments are the primary form of research in the natural and physical sciences, but in the social sciences they are for the most part found only in psychology. Some sociologists still use experiments, however, and they remain a powerful tool of social research.

The major advantage of experiments, whether they are done in the natural and physical sciences or in the social sciences, is that the researcher can be fairly sure of a cause-and-effect relationship because of the way the experiment is set up. Although many different experimental designs exist, the typical experiment consists of an experimental group and a control group , with subjects randomly assigned to either group. The researcher does something to the experimental group that is not done to the control group. If the two groups differ later in some variable, then it is safe to say that the condition to which the experimental group was subjected was responsible for the difference that resulted.

Most experiments take place in the laboratory, which for psychologists may be a room with a one-way mirror, but some experiments occur in the field, or in a natural setting ( field experiments ). In Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the early 1980s, sociologists were involved in a much-discussed field experiment sponsored by the federal government. The researchers wanted to see whether arresting men for domestic violence made it less likely that they would commit such violence again. To test this hypothesis, the researchers had police do one of the following after arriving at the scene of a domestic dispute: They either arrested the suspect, separated him from his wife or partner for several hours, or warned him to stop but did not arrest or separate him. The researchers then determined the percentage of men in each group who committed repeated domestic violence during the next six months and found that those who were arrested had the lowest rate of recidivism, or repeat offending (Sherman & Berk, 1984). This finding led many jurisdictions across the United States to adopt a policy of mandatory arrest for domestic violence suspects. However, replications of the Minneapolis experiment in other cities found that arrest sometimes reduced recidivism for domestic violence but also sometimes increased it, depending on which city was being studied and on certain characteristics of the suspects, including whether they were employed at the time of their arrest (Sherman, 1992).

As the Minneapolis study suggests, perhaps the most important problem with experiments is that their results are not generalizable beyond the specific subjects studied. The subjects in most psychology experiments, for example, are college students, who obviously are not typical of average Americans: They are younger, more educated, and more likely to be middle class. Despite this problem, experiments in psychology and other social sciences have given us very valuable insights into the sources of attitudes and behavior. Scholars of social problems are increasingly using field experiments to study the effectiveness of various policies and programs aimed at addressing social problems. We will examine the results of several such experiments in the chapters ahead.

Observational Studies

Observational research, also called field research , is a staple of sociology. Sociologists have long gone into the field to observe people and social settings, and the result has been many rich descriptions and analyses of behavior in juvenile gangs, bars, urban street corners, and even whole communities.

Observational studies consist of both participant observation and nonparticipant observation . Their names describe how they differ. In participant observation, the researcher is part of the group that she or he is studying, spends time with the group, and might even live with people in the group. Several classical social problems studies of this type exist, many of them involving people in urban neighborhoods (Liebow, 1967; Liebow, 1993; Whyte, 1943). In nonparticipant observation, the researcher observes a group of people but does not otherwise interact with them. If you went to your local shopping mall to observe, say, whether people walking with children looked happier than people without children, you would be engaging in nonparticipant observation.

Similar to experiments, observational studies cannot automatically be generalized to other settings or members of the population. But in many ways they provide a richer account of people’s lives than surveys do, and they remain an important method of research on social problems.

Existing Data

Sometimes sociologists do not gather their own data but instead analyze existing data that someone else has gathered. The US Census Bureau, for example, gathers data on all kinds of areas relevant to the lives of Americans, and many sociologists analyze census data on such social problems as poverty, unemployment, and illness. Sociologists interested in crime and the criminal justice system may analyze data from court records, while medical sociologists often analyze data from patient records at hospitals. Analysis of existing data such as these is called secondary data analysis . Its advantage to sociologists is that someone else has already spent the time and money to gather the data. A disadvantage is that the data set being analyzed may not contain data on all the topics in which a sociologist may be interested or may contain data on topics that are not measured in ways the sociologist might prefer.

The Scientific Method and Objectivity

This section began by stressing the need for sound research in the study of social problems. But what are the elements of sound research? At a minimum, such research should follow the rules of the scientific method . As you probably learned in high school and/or college science classes, these rules—formulating hypotheses, gathering and testing data, drawing conclusions, and so forth—help guarantee that research yields the most accurate and reliable conclusions possible.

An overriding principle of the scientific method is that research should be conducted as objectively as possible. Researchers are often passionate about their work, but they must take care not to let the findings they expect and even hope to uncover affect how they do their research. This in turn means that they must not conduct their research in a manner that helps achieve the results they expect to find. Such bias can happen unconsciously, and the scientific method helps reduce the potential for this bias as much as possible.

This potential is arguably greater in the social sciences than in the natural and physical sciences. The political views of chemists and physicists typically do not affect how an experiment is performed and how the outcome of the experiment is interpreted. In contrast, researchers in the social sciences, and perhaps particularly in sociology, often have strong feelings about the topics they are studying. Their social and political beliefs may thus influence how they perform their research on these topics and how they interpret the results of this research. Following the scientific method helps reduce this possible influence.

Key Takeaways

  • The major types of research on social problems include surveys, experiments, observational studies, and the use of existing data.
  • Surveys are the most common method, and the results of surveys of random samples may be generalized to the populations from which the samples come.
  • Observation studies and existing data are also common methods in social problems research. Observation studies enable the gathering of rich, detailed information, but their results cannot necessarily be generalized beyond the people studied.
  • Research on social problems should follow the scientific method to yield the most accurate and objective conclusions possible.

For Your Review

  • Have you ever been a respondent or subject in any type of sociological or psychological research project? If so, how did it feel to be studied?
  • Which type of social problems research method sounds most interesting to you? Why?

Liebow, E. (1967). Tally’s corner . Boston, MA: Little, Brown.

Liebow, E. (1993). Tell them who I am: The lives of homeless women . New York, NY: Free Press.

Sherman, L. W., & Berk, R. A. (1984). The specific deterrent effects of arrest for domestic assault. American Sociological Review, 49 , 261–272.

Sherman, L. W. (1992). Policing domestic violence: Experiments and dilemmas . New York, NY: Free Press.

Whyte, W. F. (1943). Street corner society: The social structure of an Italian slum . Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Social Problems Copyright © 2015 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

Social Problems Research Paper

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Social problems of natural disasters and erosion of the earth, social problems of poverty, inequality, and racism, social problems related to the family, social problems related to crime.

  • Bibliography

Social problems are relevant to all of us, and it is no coincidence that scholars from many different disciplines—including anthropology, sociology, psychology, and criminology—have systematically studied this area. Unlike natural scientists, social scientists often employ moral judgments during the course of their research. If, for example, an anthropologist wanted to study the effects of Hurricane Katrina, then he would face different obstacles than if a meteorologist were to study the same phenomenon. Most people would agree that it would be unethical for an anthropologist to passively sit by and take notes, rather than offer assistance to victims while conducting fieldwork in the aftermath of a devastating storm. A natural scientist, on the other hand, would probably not experience the moral dilemmas that would be faced by social scientists. Because anthropologists often are in the unique position of studying other human beings, the potential for bias is not surprising, and they may often face difficulties in remaining neutral and objective during the course of a particular study (Newman, 1999).

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Because there is no broad consensus as to which type of social problems are the most worthy of our attention, social scientists may show their biases merely by the topics that they choose to study (Mooney, Knox, & Schacht, 2009). By choosing which issues are the most worthy of investigation, anthropologists are employing their own personal discretion. This makes the systematic study of social problems somewhat subjective. For example, one researcher may identify racism as the most important social problem plaguing society, whereas another researcher may avoid this issue altogether. Because anthropologists are humans studying other human beings, anthropology will never be as scientific as disciplines in the natural sciences. Nevertheless, in spite of this caveat, anthropologists can add much to the discussion of social problems. They employ a unique set of methodologies, such as ethnography, which provide valuable insights into various problems (Newman, 1999; Malinowski, 1941). Additionally, an anthropological perspective is important to our understanding of social problems because it examines factors, such as culture and power dynamics (Bodley, 2008). As it will later be shown, powerful institutions, including the media, have largely shaped and defined society’s conception of what is and is not a social problem.

There is no question that the 21st century has seen its share of natural disasters, especially when one considers that we have not been in this new millennium for even a decade. Perhaps, at least for Americans, the most recognizable instance of a recent natural disaster occurred in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina is considered to be one of the deadliest and costliest natural disasters in American history. It may have been responsible for taking the lives of as many as 1,836 people and causing upwards of $81.2 billion worth of damage (Mooney et al., 2009). Hurricane Katrina shall be referred to periodically throughout this research paper because it represents numerous types of social problems in addition to being a problem associated with the environment. For example, Hurricane Katrina illustrates problems related to inequality, racism, and sexism. African Americans, Latinos, women, and children tended to be disproportionately affected by this natural disaster and were the most likely to be among the dead in the aftermath of the storm (Kornblum & Julian, 2009).

According to anthropologists, ethnocentrism is when an individual believes that her culture is superior to other cultures (Malinowski, 1941). When discussing these and other social problems, social scientists strive to adopt a global perspective, rather than to engage in ethnocentric thinking. It is particularly important, then, not to focus solely on natural disasters that have occurred in the United States. In addition to Hurricane Katrina, there have been other natural disasters that have occurred throughout other parts of the world during the 21st century. While there is no question that Hurricane Katrina may be one of the most frequently cited natural disasters, it pales in comparison with the destruction caused by the Asian tsunami of 2004. It is likely that this disaster claimed the lives of more than 150,000 people (Mooney et al., 2009). As in the case of Hurricane Katrina, most of the victims of the Asian tsunami were poor. These individuals had substandard homes that could not withstand any type of resistance force, and most did not have insurance policies or savings accounts to help them get on their feet in the aftermath of the disaster. It is safe to speculate that the poor are usually more vulnerable to natural disasters than other members of society.

It is a cruel irony that while the poorest segments of society often suffer the worst from natural disasters, in many ways it is wealthy and privileged individuals who bear the most responsibility in destroying the earth. Corporate greed and consumption have led to global warming and climate change, which may contribute to an increase in natural disasters of a magnitude similar to that of Hurricane Katrina and the Asian tsunami in the future. Relative to its population, the United States emits the highest amount of carbons. For example, in 2005, less than 5% of the world’s population lived in the United States, yet it still produced 21% of the world’s carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels (Energy Information Administration, 2007). These gas pollutants from automobiles and factories produce a “greenhouse effect,” which could have catastrophic consequences if this goes unchecked (Heiner, 2006). As the temperature increases, some areas of the world may experience heavier rains, and at the same time others may become drier (Bodley, 2008). A temperature increase of only a few degrees has the potential to drastically change life on this planet. In addition to emitting the highest carbons, citizens in the United States also generate a disproportionate amount of solid waste relative to other countries. For example, according to Cheeseman (2007), more than 380 billion plastic shopping bags are used in the United States every year. These bags are particularly bad for the environment and may take up to 1,000 years to decompose. Countries such as Taiwan, Singapore, South Africa, and Bangladesh have restricted or outright banned these harmful products, yet the United States refuses to follow this example (Cheeseman, 2007). In addition to this, a recent study conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (2009) found that Americans dispose of approximately 4.54 pounds of garbage every day. Also, citizens in the United States and other industrialized countries are likely to dispose of large amounts of electronic equipment. This phenomenon, which has been referred to as “e-waste,” is very devastating to the environment (Mooney et al., 2009). When disposed of in a careless manner, electronic equipment has the potential to contaminate our water supply and soil.

Anthropologist Richard H. Robbins (1999) contends that capitalistic societies, such as the United States, are responsible for elevating human consumption levels which in turn leads to the depletion of natural resources and the destruction of the environment. He argues that our culture encourages laborers to accumulate wages, capitalists to accumulate profits, and consumers to hoard goods. Robbins also suggests that a handful of powerful elitists reap the benefits from being involved in a culture dedicated to consumption. In fact, these individuals often are responsible for using the media to create consumerism in order to advance their own interests. It is a well-known fact that capitalists in the United States rely heavily on advertising in order to sell commodities. Even when a commodity is frivolous, clever advertising often has the ability to present the product as a necessity and make consumers feel compelled to rush out to the stores. This has devastating consequences for the environment and often results in pollution, resource depletion, and waste.

Generally speaking, capitalists and corporations have been highly resistant to the idea of allowing the government to regulate businesses in order to preserve the environment. In fact, beginning in the late 1970s, U.S. businesses began spending billions of dollars a year to convince the American public that there was too much environmental regulation (Beder, 1997). This intense lobbying proved to be very effective because many environmental regulations that were passed in the seventies were either repealed or simply unenforced during the 1980s (Bodley, 2008). The fact that corporations have been so resistant to environmental regulation illustrates how a small number of powerful people are benefiting from the destruction and pillaging of the earth’s resources. The forces of capitalism not only have depleted valuable natural resources but also have produced a highly stratified and nonequalitarian social system. Social problems related to poverty and inequality are of considerable concern to anthropologists and shall be discussed in the following section.

In addition to exemplifying a recent and horrific natural disaster, Hurricane Katrina also represents social problems related to poverty and inequality. It is very plausible, for example, that before the storm hit New Orleans, wealthy residents and visitors were given priority over poorer residents and bused out first. In fact, one account suggests that 700 guests and employees of a Hyatt Hotel were given the first opportunity to leave, while lower-class individuals were relegated to the end of the evacuation line (Dowd, 2005). It is true that low-income African Americans were the most likely to remain in the city during Hurricane Katrina (Dyson, 2006; Elliot & Pais, 2006). It also may come as no surprise that during the Asian tsunami of 2004, foreign tourists also received substantially more aid during the storm than the thousands of impoverished villagers who were more or less left to fend for themselves (Mooney et al., 2009).

Almost without exception, whenever a natural disaster strikes, those who are poor or are considered to be on the fringes of society tend to be victimized the most. It may be no coincidence that in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, women, children, and racial minorities were very likely to be among the dead that were found scattered throughout the streets of New Orleans. Dyson (2006) argues these groups were unable to evacuate the city prior to the storm due to financial constraints. Many low-income New Orleanians may have simply not had access to reliable transportation. Even if some of these individuals were fortunate enough to have personal vehicles, evacuating may have been seen as a considerable expense. Some residents may have opted instead to take their chances, only to realize later that they had made a monumental mistake.

While racial minorities were disproportionately the victims of Hurricane Katrina, the media also victimized them throughout this natural disaster (Brezina & Kaufman, 2008). During the storm, for example, there were media reports that grossly exaggerated the levels of violence among New Orleanians. According to Brezina (2008), many of these stories stereotyped the urban poor as prone to violence and extreme forms of criminal behavior. Other scholars suggest that a few of the media depictions were outright racist. For example, Tierney and colleagues (2006) contend that the news media coverage following Hurricane Katrina portrayed New Orleans as a “snake pit of anarchy, a violent place where armed gangs of black men took advantage of the disaster not only to loot but also to commit capital crimes” (p. 68). Stories were also published with alleged incidents of child rape and mass murder among evacuees who were in the New Orleans Superdome.

It is astonishing that major news outlets published the bogus stories described here without any meaningful attempt to check for accuracy. It is even more disconcerting that most of the general public seemed willing to accept these stories without question. Perhaps for a few individuals, these horrific tales even confirmed a few privately held beliefs regarding the poor and people of color. Even in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, some white Americans still regard racial minorities as being culturally or intellectually inferior to themselves. It does not help that the media often exacerbate these misperceptions by frequently publishing stories that depict racial minorities, particularly members of the African American community, in a negative light. One does not have to look very hard to find stories that portray African Americans as either welfare recipients or criminals.

Fortunately, many anthropologists have dedicated their careers to speaking out against racial stereotypes. One relatively recent example is illustrated in the work of the late Eugenia Shanklin. In perhaps her best-known work, Anthropology and Race, Shanklin (1993) advances the notion that race is socially constructed. She also argues against the notion that race is a valid scientific concept. In many respects, Shanklin’s argument builds upon the classic work of renowned anthropologist Franz Boas. Boas wrote extensively about race during the beginning of the 20th century, and he too concluded that this was a social, rather than a biological, concept (as cited in Williams, 1996). In retrospect, his writings against the evils of racism were quite ahead of their time. This is especially true when one considers that these were written during a period when social Darwinism and eugenics were at the height of their popularity (Williams, 1996).

In addition to writing about race, other scholars have also examined the processes by which members of racial minorities become disenfranchised. For example, in his classic article, “The Culture of Poverty,” anthropologist Oscar Lewis (1966) argues that for some people poverty is a way of life. Often this may be due largely to structural barriers, such as a lack of jobs and inadequate educational systems. Lewis contends that at an early age, children living in urban slums begin to subscribe to a set of values and beliefs that are conducive to poverty. It is not uncommon for many of these children to be racial minorities. Children who are assimilated into this culture have problems deferring gratification and avoid participating in society’s major institutions (Lewis, 1966). This culture is also characterized by a high concentration of single-parent households that are usually headed by females. Over time, children who are socialized in these environments begin to adopt self-defeating attitudes that can make them less competitive in the marketplace when they enter adulthood. Even today, more than 40 years since it was published, Lewis’s study still has relevance. African Americans and Hispanics are among the poorest people in the nation. In fact, year after year, the rates of poverty among these minority groups are 2 to 3 times higher than the poverty found among Caucasians. Sadly, many of those who are impoverished in this country are children. For example, Conley (1999) writes that “over half of African American children under the age of 6 are living in poverty” (p. 10).

It can often be very challenging for individuals who are raised in poverty to overcome obstacles in order to obtain even the most menial types of employment. According to Princeton anthropologist Katherine S. Newman (1999), even minimum-wage jobs at fast-food restaurants are extremely competitive, and there are usually more applications than there are positions. She contends that often African Americans are excluded from these jobs, even if the restaurant is in a predominantly African American neighborhood. Individuals who are fortunate enough to obtain jobs as “burger flippers” must still compete with other employees for hours and often suffer incivilities from supervisors and customers. During the course of her research, Newman (1999) conducted countless interviews with low-income fast-food workers and observed them in their natural environment. She argues that many of America’s poor are working in dead-end jobs, such as the fast-food industry, with little hope of advancement.

While the United States certainly has problems of inequality and poverty, it is currently the richest and most powerful nation and does not suffer from the same level of poverty as many third-world and developing countries. As mentioned previously, it is important for anthropologists to adopt a global perspective when studying various problems. Regardless of where someone lives, we are all members of the human race, and therefore a problem experienced by one culture inevitably affects us all. Consider that throughout the world more than one fourth of the earth’s population (roughly 2.5 billion people) subsist on less than $2 a day, and approximately 1 billion people (or 1 in 6 individuals) live on less than $1 a day (World Bank, 2007). The planet has more than enough resources, yet millions of people throughout the world currently lack access to food, durable shelter, and clean drinking water.

Anthropologists such as Bodley (2008) argue that these are the consequences of living in the contemporary commercial world. Unlike small tribal societies that were prevalent thousands of years ago, the contemporary commercial world prevents some individuals from obtaining basic necessities. Today, levels of global inequality are at an all-time high. As power elites race toward accumulating capital, this has produced enormous wealth and power differentials. Bodley (2008) writes:

The daily lives and future prospects of virtually all of the world’s 6 billion people are shaped by the political and economic decisions made by a relative handful of people who command trillions of dollars in financial capital and overwhelmingly powerful armed forces. (p. 17)

Given this statement, it may come as no surprise that currently the wealthiest 10% of adults own 85% of the world’s total wealth, while the poorest half of the adult global population holds slightly more than 1% of the world’s wealth (Davies, Sandstrom, Shorrocks, & Wolff, 2006).

Clearly inequality, poverty, and racism are problems not only in this country but also throughout the world. Bodley (2008) contends that many of these problems stem from global competition. In the name of competition, corporate executives in the United States hold back wages from their employees and deny benefits that are standard in other industrialized countries (Gray, 2000). There is no question that workers in European nations enjoy far more rights than workers in America. In Western European countries, for example, it is much more difficult to fire an employee, and it is virtually unheard of for companies to “downsize” merely to add to the overall profit margin. Also, workers in France enjoy a shorter workweek and more paid time off compared with their United States counterparts (Heiner, 2006).

While it seems as though European nations have the most humane system, there is at least some indication that a few of these countries are beginning to imitate the U.S. model in order to gain a competitive edge (Heiner, 2006). Currently, the United States is considered to be the most capitalistic society in the world because it has the least amount of governmental regulations. This lack of regulations has resulted in gross disparities and outright discrimination (Bodley, 2008; Kornblum & Julian, 2009; Mooney et al., 2009). Global competition has also led to the exploitation of third-world countries. According to Heiner (2006), this has been going on for several hundred years. He contends that there is a long history of powerful nations establishing colonies throughout the third world in order to plunder and export valuable natural resources such as gold, silver, silks, and other items. Also, even though some corporations have recently relocated from the first world to the third world, Heiner (2006) suggests that poverty has actually been on the rise in underdeveloped countries since the arrival of these new companies. Standards of living have also been on the decline in the third world and are likely to continue (Mooney et al., 2009). It seems that extreme forms of capitalism exacerbate inequalities in poor countries just as they do in wealthy ones, such as the United States.

While it may seem obvious to many of us that unbridled economic pursuits have created enormous inequalities throughout the world, the media have done much to shape the way we think about capitalism. By and large, in the United States, capitalism is held as one of the highest virtues. This is in great part due to the media-constructed image of the “American Dream,” where anyone can achieve wealth and success with enough hard work (Messner & Rosenfeld, 2007). Even though extreme forms of capitalism have resulted in gross inequalities, Americans are socialized to believe that it is the best system. Ironically, this also applies to poor people. Newman (1999) suggests that even the poor tend to embrace the notion of the American Dream, in the hope that they may one day achieve success and accumulate wealth.

The media, owned in the United States by the power elite, bears a large responsibility in generating the idea that anyone can be successful in a capitalistic society (Heiner, 2006). This has dire consequences. When individuals in the United States fail to move from rags to riches, they often blame themselves. In this country, perhaps more than anywhere else in the world, there is a tendency to blame the poor whenever they fail to be successful or provide for their families. It is no surprise that in this country, in order to be considered successful and good providers, many workers are spending more time at the office and less time with their families. While some individuals have been able to accumulate more possessions and increase their purchasing power by working longer hours, sadly this has come at a considerable expense to their families (Mooney et al., 2009). In fact, one of the greatest social problems facing Americans today involves problems related to the family. This deserves a considerable amount of attention and shall be discussed in depth in the following section.

In the United States and elsewhere throughout the world, there are many different varieties and types of families. The U.S. Census defines a family as a group of two or more people who are bonded by marriage, adoption, or blood. Mooney and colleagues (2009) contend that the above definition is somewhat restrictive because it does not take into account foster families and unmarried same-sex and opposite-sex couples. The official definition of a family also fails to consider those relationships that function and feel like a family. For example, college students living together and sharing expenses and household chores might be considered a family in the broadest sense of the word. As we begin to examine the various social problems that plague the family, it is necessary to understand that today’s family knows virtually no bounds. In fact, the traditional conception of the family, with a father who is the breadwinner and a mother who stays at home with the children, is probably one of the least typical types of families in the United States.

According to Skolnick (1991), throughout history people have warned that the family was on the verge of becoming extinct. During political campaigns, social conservatives tend to be the most vocal about the decay of the traditional family unit. For instance, it is not uncommon for conservative candidates to attack liberals for their tolerance of gay marriage and single parenthood (Kornblum & Julian, 2009). It is also not unusual for some traditionalists to blame problems of the family on working mothers. Many social conservatives argue that in order to solve many of society’s problems, families should return to the breadwinner-housewife model that was popular in the United States during the 1950s (Heiner, 2006; Hewlett & West, 1998). Some scholars claim, however, that these are merely tactics to divert attention from the low levels of government funding given to families that are struggling financially.

Conservatives, who ardently favor independence and self-sufficiency, often fail to remember that their idealized conception of the 1950s family was possible only because of unprecedented amounts of governmental assistance, such as low-interest housing loans and educational subsidies (Hewlett & West, 1998). During the 1950s, the federal government spent billions of dollars on public transportation, sewage systems, parks, and other projects designed to help families (Hewlett & West, 1998; Kornblum & Julian, 2009). From past experience, it would seem that a similar use of public subsidies would be an effective way to help facilitate families in the new millennium. It is ironic, however, that many traditionalists tend to be against this idea. Of all the industrialized countries in the world, the United States has the fewest governmental policies and programs designed to support the family. Given this, perhaps it should come as no surprise that the United States also has one of the highest divorce rates and is willing to tolerate levels of child poverty that would be unconscionable in other countries. These are current issues that plague the family and will be discussed later in more detail.

In his classic ethnographic study of familial relations among natives of the Trobriand Islands, anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski (1941) argues that even in the most primitive societies, there is an expectation that “every family must have a father,” and “a woman must marry before she may have children” (p. 202). Currently, while it is true that premarital pregnancy in the United States is frowned upon, unmarried mothers are generally not as stigmatized as they have been in past history (Kornblum & Julian, 2009). In fact, today approximately one out of three children in the United States is born out of wedlock (Mooney et al., 2009). While this may seem high to some people, it is important to note that countries such as Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, the United Kingdom, and France have even higher rates of nonmarital births than the United States. In Iceland, as many as 2 out of 3 children are born out of wedlock, and in approximately half of the births in Norway and Sweden, the mother and father are not legally married (Money et al., 2009).

In addition to the above countries, there are also parts of West Africa where unmarried women may have children without being ostracized or punished. This is especially true if the mother is not considered to be promiscuous. According to Kornblum and Julian (2009), as long at the identity of the child’s father is known, an unwed mother will experience very little, if any, stigmatization. While some social conservatives have expressed moral outrage at the rise in the rate of nonmarital births, many children both in this country and in other cultures throughout the world have been able to find love and acceptance in family structures that may not be considered traditional by American standards. It is also important to mention that children who are raised in nontraditional families may be provided with a higher level of care and nurturing than those whose father is present but struggling with a problem such as substance abuse or unemployment (Kornblum & Julian, 2009).

The family is very important to our understanding of social problems because it is often identified as being either the solution to or the source of societal ills, such as alcoholism, crime, and poverty (Heiner, 2006). If children come from a “good” family, for example, then it is commonly believed that they will avoid engaging in deviant or pathological behavior. Most traditionalists assume that children who are adequately socialized will ultimately receive a good education, raise families of their own, pay taxes, and more or less be productive citizens. On the other hand, if a child is delinquent, turns to drugs, or has problems in school, the family is often singled out as being the source of the problem. Given the importance that we place on the family, it is no surprise that this has been an important research topic for many social scientists.

Recently, there have been numerous studies examining whether or not—and to what extent—financial problems plague the family. Most of the current literature indicates that a tough U.S. economy has led women to largely abandon the role of solely being a homemaker (Jacobs & Gerson, 2004). Today, approximately 71% of women with children under the age of 18 are employed outside the home (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2007). Also, ever since the 1970s, both men and women have consistently been working longer hours. In the United States, it is not unusual for many individuals to work more than 50 hours a week (Jacobs & Gerson, 2004). In fact, a recent study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute (as cited in Bernstein, Mishel, & Schmitt, 2000) found that, on average, married working couples with children spent 256 more hours at their jobs in 1997 than they did in 1989. This is roughly the equivalent of an extra month and a half of time spent at the office rather than at home.

Not surprisingly, family members today are more stressed out than ever before as they try to juggle domestic and work responsibilities. Sadly, children often have the most difficulty in adjusting to the pressures of living in a dual-income family. Occasionally, some may even become “latchkey children,” who are largely responsible for their own care, since both of their parents are working. If this is true in two-parent households, then it is especially the case for children who live in families with only one parent. In this country, 49% of non-Hispanic white single-mother households are due to divorce, in contrast to 62% of African American single-mother families, where the mother never married (Fields, 2004).

Currently, the United States has the highest rate of divorce among Western nations. According to Kimmel (2004), 40% of marriages in this country end in divorce.

The rate of divorce rate is even higher when one looks at couples who have already been married at least once. Also, children are involved in 60% of divorce cases. In other words, when a marriage dissolves, more often than not, children will be affected by this decision.

Divorce represents perhaps one of the most serious problems plaguing the family because it has the potential to result in many devastating consequences. First, divorce is likely to create significant economic hardships for mothers and their children. Many women, who might have been unpaid homemakers or part-time employees during their marriage, are not fully prepared to enter the workplace in the aftermath of a divorce (Amato, 2003). Usually, following a divorce, they must go back to school and at the same time find a way to increase their income. Often, this entails getting a job (or a second job), putting in more overtime, and finding other means to make money. At the same time, they often have to take on new financial responsibilities, such as balancing the family budget. On top of this, women are disproportionately likely to assume many (if not all) of the child-rearing duties following a divorce (Amato, 2003). To make matters worse, it is not uncommon for fathers to offer little or no economic support.

In addition to the adverse economic impact that it has on families, divorce also places children at a higher risk of developing psychological and emotional problems. Some children with divorced parents may become extremely sensitive or overly aggressive and develop serious self-esteem issues. If this behavior goes unchecked, it can lower a child’s performance in school and have serious long-term effects on his or her future. Amato and Cheadle (2005) contend that the repercussions of divorce are so powerful that even future children, who have not even been born, have the potential to be affected. For example, a divorce that occurs in the first generation of a family may be associated with lower education, more divorce, and greater familial tensions in the second generation, which then may in turn contribute to similar problems in the third generation. While there are some situations where divorce may be the only option, there is no question that it can result in many negative consequences for a family’s well-being.

Finally, there is some relatively new literature indicating that natural disasters can affect a family’s well-being. While these events can result in the loss of lives and financial ruin, it appears that events such as floods, hurricanes, and tornados can also impact families. In one recent study, for example, it was estimated that approximately 1 in 4 (22%) of New Orleanians indicated that they had experienced marital discord as a result of Hurricane Katrina (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2007). In this study, 10% of the subjects even admitted to throwing things at their partner, yelling, and losing control. Other studies have confirmed the above finding that natural disasters, such as Katrina, can lead to domestic violence and various other forms of familial abuse (Brezina & Kaufman, 2008; Enarson, 1999). While domestic violence clearly is an issue that is related to the family, it is also one of many social problems that are related to crime. Problems related to crime shall be discussed in more detail in the following section.

Of all the various social problems, perhaps those related to crime tend to receive the most attention. According to Mooney and colleagues (2009), a crime is considered to be an act or omission of an act that is punishable by either federal, state, or local law. In other words, in order for there to be a crime, the state must be able to impose a punishment. Also, someone who commits a crime must be acting willfully and voluntarily. An action is also likely to be seen as a crime if there is no legitimate excuse as to why the actor engaged in a particular proscribed act (Mooney et al., 2009). Interestingly, in spite of clear-cut legal definitions of crime, the popular media have influenced our conception of crime and criminals. Television shows such as CSI, COPS, and Law & Order, for example, have provided distortions about the criminal justice system. The media, then, often take an active role in shaping and defining the types of acts that we as a society should consider to be crimes, as well as the types of people who are likely to be perceived as criminals.

In order to illustrate the above point, one only needs to tune in to an episode of COPS, a reality television show that enables viewers to follow police officers during the course of their 8-hour shifts. The viewer, from the comfort of home, sees life from the inside of a patrol car. One of the more controversial aspects of this program is that it features a distorted view of criminals. For example, usually, but not always, the perpetrator on the show is a minority male. The suspect is often intoxicated and portrayed as a burden to society. The officers, on the other hand, are seen as the heroes who quell the disturbance and dispense justice within the confines of the law. Almost always, the officers are depicted as being fair, calm, and highly professional. They are very seldom, if ever, shown to be aggressive, hostile, or downright abusive. While some television viewers may find crime shows such as COPS to be extremely entertaining, these programs nevertheless have the potential to be very misleading and can even generate negative stereotypes about racial minorities. As Heiner (2006) argues, much of the reality of crime is edited out of “reality-based” crime shows. In writing about these shows, he contends that they “depend upon the cooperation of the authorities, and their producers must keep in mind that if the police are not presented in a positive light, then they will not get their cooperation for future broadcasts” (Heiner, 2006, p. 115).

As a result of being exposed to a heavy regimen of cop and reality crime shows, some members of the public may be left with an impression that most racial minorities use drugs and are an overall menace to society (Heiner, 2006).

These shows rarely, if ever, portray offenses that are committed by law enforcement agents, though certainly these do exist. Also, they say very little about white-collar offenses, though these have the potential to be much more costly to society than traditional street crimes (Messner & Rosenfeld, 2007).

The images of crime that are perpetuated by the media also have a high likelihood to create a sense of fear and anxiety. Every year, Americans spend billions of dollars on safes and home-security devices. One can only wonder how many of these expenditures are related to the distorted images that are routinely shown on reality cop shows and the nightly news (Beirne & Messerschmidt, 2000). Many television programs are notorious for portraying criminals as disproportionately likely to be members of racial minorities who offend against Caucasians. Sadly, this does little to further race relations in this country.

Even though there is absolutely no evidence that members of racial minorities are more likely to be criminal by nature, African American and Hispanic males are disproportionately overrepresented at virtually every stage in the criminal justice system (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2006; Steffensmeier & Demuth, 2000). This may be due in large part to an institutional bias against minorities. Police officers, for example, may engage in racial profiling where they target suspects solely based on their race. This practice amounts to little more than outright discrimination and may be just one example of the racial bias that is inherent in the criminal justice system. African American males are particularly likely to be the recipients of institutional racism. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (2006), it is estimated that 12% of all African American males in their late 20s are in some type of correctional facility compared with only 1.7% of white males in this same age range. African American males are also more than 8 times as likely as Caucasians to be sent to prison for drug offenses (Mooney et al., 2009). In fact, 1 out of every 8 African American males can be found serving time in some type of correctional facility on any given day (Kornblum & Julian, 2009). It would be naive to think that members of racial minorities are not discriminated against at every checkpoint on the criminal justice assembly line.

Perhaps one of the greatest problems plaguing the criminal justice system today is the current incarceration binge in the United States. As of this writing, the United States has one of the highest rates of incarceration in the world, with approximately 702 out of every 100,000 of its citizens incarcerated (International Centre for Prison Studies, 2005). Also, Americans are more likely to be incarcerated than individuals living in less democratic countries, such as Russia or South Africa. The United States, without question, has the highest incarceration rate of all other industrialized democracies. Yet many Americans tend to believe that we are “soft” on crime (Mooney et al., 2009). This is in spite of the fact that between 1975 and 2002, the prison population increased from 204,593 to 2,033,331 (Heiner, 2006). In other words, in slightly over 25 years, it increased almost tenfold.

The costs of America’s obsession with punishment should be enough to scare any fiscal conservative, yet often these are the very individuals who are lobbying to build more prisons. Perhaps the most frightening fact of all is that this recent preoccupation with imprisonment has not corresponded with an increase in crime. In other words, even as the crime rate in the United States has decreased, the incarceration rate has nevertheless continued to increase (Kornblum & Julian, 2009). Again, it cannot be understated that the current incarceration binge is extremely expensive. Today, American taxpayers spend approximately $60 billion a year to maintain the prison system. This is quite astounding when one considers that the cost was $9 billion only two decades ago. Perhaps if the United States was not so preoccupied with punishment, this money could be utilized for education, health care, and public transportation. Society’s response to crime has in and of itself become an enormous social problem and is currently depleting valuable tax dollars.

One does not need to look very far to see that there are numerous social problems currently plaguing the world. Though this research paper has discussed a variety of different types of problems, this in no way implies that the list is exhaustive. In addition to the social problems mentioned in this paper, anthropologists also study problems related to health and the health care system, population and immigration, alcohol and drug use, gender and sexuality, mental illness, and terrorism. Unfortunately, there are a variety of problems that the world is currently facing. It would be beyond the scope of this research paper and quite impossible to discuss them all.

One major theme of this research paper is that the media play a vital role in defining and constructing various types of problems. Often, the information that the media present has the potential to be biased. Contrary to popular opinion, most news organizations are a far cry from being radical, left-wing institutions. Instead, many tend to be tainted by corporate influences and sponsors who buy advertisements (Heiner, 2006). This inevitably affects the way we as a society view social problems. To make matters worse, many citizens in the United States seldom go to the polls to cast their votes. If policymakers perceive the public as being largely apathetic and uninformed, then there is a high likelihood that little action will be taken to alleviate social problems. Therefore, it is crucial for Americans not only to vote but also to stay informed.

Admittedly, it can be difficult to keep abreast of the latest news, given that many media outlets have been co-opted by powerful corporations. Nevertheless, there are at least a few Web sites that provide insights into different social problems throughout the world. Heiner (2006), for example, points to the following sites: factcheck.org, truthout.org, alternet.org, corpwatch.org, and projectcensored.org (a site that is maintained by students). Perhaps through open communication and the dissemination of information, individuals can work together and begin to find ways to solve today’s problems. Anthropologists and other social scientists have a special responsibility to educate and empower the people of the world. Though there is undoubtedly a great deal of work to be done, this is not an undertaking that is altogether impossible. In order to be successful, everyone must do their part to make the world a better place. This can start on a small, individual level and can include activities such as volunteering and recycling. If everyone is willing to contribute, there is great hope.


  • Amato, P. R. (2003). Reconciling divergent perspectives: Judith Wallerstein, quantitative family research, and children of divorce. Family Relations, 52, 332–339.
  • Amato, P. R., & Cheadle, J. (2005). The long reach of divorce: Divorce and child well-being across three generations. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 67, 191–206.
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  • Beirne, P., & Messerschmidt, J. (2000). Criminology (3rd ed.). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
  • Bernstein, J., Mishel, L., & Schmitt, J. (2000). State of working America 2000–2001. Washington, DC: Economic Policy Institute.
  • Bodley, J. H. (2008). Anthropology and contemporary human problems (5th ed.). Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press.
  • Brezina, T. (2008). What went wrong in New Orleans? An examination of the welfare dependency explanation. Social Forces, 55, 23–42.
  • Brezina, T., & Kaufman, J. M. (2008). What really happened in New Orleans? Estimating the threat of violence during the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Justice Quarterly, 25 (4), 701–722.
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Social Psychology Research Topics

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

social problems related topics for research paper

Emily is a board-certified science editor who has worked with top digital publishing brands like Voices for Biodiversity, Study.com, GoodTherapy, Vox, and Verywell.

social problems related topics for research paper

Choosing topics for social psychology research papers or projects can be challenging. It is a broad and fascinating field, which can make it challenging to figure out what you want to investigate in your research.

Social psychology explores how individual thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are affected by social influences. It explores how each person's behavior is affected by their social environment.

This article explores a few different social psychology topics and research questions you might want to study in greater depth. It covers how to start your search for a topic as well as specific ideas you might choose to explore.

How to Find a Social Psychology Research Topic

As you begin your search, think about the questions that you have. What topics interest you? Following your own interests and curiosities can often inspire great research questions.

Choose a Sub-Topic

Social psychologists are interested in all aspects of social behavior. Some of the main areas of interest within the field include:

  • Social cognition : How do we process and use information about social experiences? What kinds of biases influence how we engage with other people?
  • Social influence : How do our attitudes and behavior change in response to other people?
  • Social relationships : What are the different types of social relationships? How do they develop and change over time?
  • Group dynamics : What are the patterns of behavior in groups? How do groups influence our attitudes and behavior?
  • Attitudes and persuasion : How do our attitudes develop and change?

To help ensure that you select a topic that is specific enough, it can be helpful to confine your search to one of these main areas.

Browse Past Research

After narrowing down your choices, consider what questions you might have that haven't been fully answered by previous studies. At this point, it can be helpful to spend some time browsing through journal articles or books to see some examples of past findings.

You can also find inspiration and learn more about a topic by searching for keywords related to your topic in psychological databases such as PsycINFO or browsing through some professional psychology journals.

Narrow Down Your Specific Topic

Once you have a general topic, you'll need to narrow down your research. The goal is to choose a research question that is specific, measurable, and testable. An example of a good research topic might be, “Are people more likely to conform when they are in a small group or a large group?” In this case, the topic of your paper would be how group size influences social conformity.

Review the Literature on Your Chosen Topic

After choosing a specific social psychology topic to research, the next step is to do a literature review. A literature review involves reading through the existing research and finding related to a specific topic.

You are likely to encounter a great deal of information on your topic, which can seem overwhelming at times. You may find it helpful to start by reading review articles or meta-analysis studies. These are summaries of previous research on your topic or studies that incorporate a large pool of past research on the topic.

Talk to Your Instructor

Even if you are really excited to dive right in and start working on your project, there are some important preliminary steps you need to take.

Before you decide to tackle a project for your social psychology class, you should always clear your idea with your instructor. This initial step can save you a lot of time and hassle later on.

Your instructor can offer clear feedback on things you should and should not do while conducting your research and might be able to offer some helpful tips. Also, your school might require you to present to and gain permission from an institutional review board.

Thinking about the questions you have about social psychology can be a great way to discover topics for your own research. Once you have a general idea, explore the literature and refine your research question to make sure it is specific enough.

Examples of Social Psychology Research Topics

The following are some specific examples of different subjects you might want to investigate further as part of a social psychology research paper, experiment, or project:

Implicit Attitudes

How do implicit attitudes influence how people respond to others? This can involve exploring how people's attitudes towards different groups of people (e.g., men, women, ethnic minorities) influence their interactions with those groups. For example, one study found that 75% of people perceive men to be more intelligent than women .

In your own project, you might explore how implicit attitudes impact perceptions of qualities such as kindness, intelligence, leadership skills, or attractiveness.

Prosocial Behavior

You might also choose to focus on prosocial behavior in your research. This can involve investigating the reasons why people help others. Some questions you could explore further include:

  • What motivates people to help others?
  • When are people most likely to help others?
  • How does helping others cause people to feel?
  • What are the benefits of helping other people?

How do people change their attitudes in response to persuasion? What are the different techniques that can be used to persuade someone? What factors make some people who are more susceptible to persuasion than others?

Collect a wide variety of print advertisements and analyze how​ persuasion is used. What types of cognitive and affective techniques are utilized? Do certain types of advertisements tend to use specific kinds of persuasive techniques ?

Another area of social psychology that you might research is aggression and violence. This can involve exploring the factors that lead to aggression and violence and the consequences of these behaviors. Some questions you might explore further include:

  • When is violence most likely to occur?
  • What factors influence violent behavior?
  • Do traumatic experiences in childhood lead to more aggressive behavior in adulthood?
  • Does viewing violent media content contribute to increased aggressive behavior in real life?

Prejudice and discrimination are areas that present a range of research opportunities. This can involve studying the different forms that prejudice takes (e.g., sexism, racism, ageism ), as well as the psychological effects of prejudice and discrimination. You might also want to investigate topics related to how prejudices form or strategies that can be used to reduce such discrimination.

Nonverbal Behavior

How do people respond when nonverbal communication does not match up to verbal behavior (for example, saying you feel great when your facial expressions and tone of voice indicate otherwise). Which signal do people respond to most strongly?

How good are people at detecting lies ? Have participants tell a group of people about themselves, but make sure some of the things are true while others are not. Ask members of the group which statements they thought were true and which they thought were false.

Social Norms

How do people react when social norms are violated? This might involve acting in a way that is outside the norm in a particular situation or enlisting friends to act out the behaviors while you observe.

Some examples that you might try include wearing unusual clothing, applauding inappropriately at the end of a class lecture, cutting in line in front of other people, or some other mildly inappropriate behavior. Keep track of your own thoughts as you perform the experiment and observe how people around you respond.

Online Social Behavior

Does online social networking make people more or less likely to interact with people in face-to-face or other offline settings? Create a questionnaire to assess how often people participate in social networking versus how much time they spend interacting with their friends in real-world settings.

Social Perception

How does our appearance impact how people respond to us? Ask some friends to help you by having two people dress up in dramatically different ways, one in a professional manner and one in a less conventional manner. Have each person engage in a particular action, then observe how they are treated and how other people's responses differ.

Social psychologists have found that attractiveness can produce what is known as a halo effect . Essentially, we tend to assume that people who are physically attractive are also friendly, intelligent, pleasant, and likable.

Have participants look at photographs of people of varying degrees of physical attractiveness, then ask them to rate each person based on a variety of traits, including social competence, kindness, intellect, and overall likability. Think about how this might affect a variety of social situations, including how employees are selected or how jurors in a criminal case might respond.

Social psychology is a broad field, so there are many different subtopics you might choose to explore in your research. Implicit attitudes, prosocial behavior, aggression, prejudice, and social perception are just a few areas you might want to consider.

A Word From Verywell

Social psychology topics can provide a great deal of inspiration for further research, whether you are writing a psychology paper or conducting your own psychology experiment . In addition to some of the social psychology topics above, you can also draw inspiration by considering your own questions about social behavior or even looking at social issues that you see taking place in the world around you. 

American Psychological Association.  Frequently asked questions about institutional review boards .

Storage D, Charlesworth TES, Banaji M, Cimpian A.  Adults and children implicitly associate brilliance with men more than women .  J Exp Soc Psychol . 2012;90:104020. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2020.104020

Talamas SN, Mavor KI, Perrett DI. Blinded by beauty: Attractiveness bias and accurate perceptions of academic performance . PLoS ONE . 2016;11(2):e0148284. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0148284

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

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Social problems research topics. 25 Good Topics for a Social Justice Research Paper 2022-10-19

Social problems research topics refer to issues or phenomena that have a negative impact on society and can be studied using social science methods. These topics can include a wide range of issues such as poverty, inequality, discrimination, crime, and health disparities. Researching social problems can provide valuable insights into the root causes of these issues and help identify potential solutions.

One key social problem that has garnered significant attention in recent years is poverty. Poverty is characterized by a lack of access to basic necessities such as food, shelter, and healthcare, and can have severe consequences for individuals and communities. Research on poverty can focus on understanding the causes and consequences of poverty, as well as identifying potential solutions such as income support programs and job training initiatives.

Inequality is another important social problem that has garnered significant attention in recent years. Inequality refers to the unequal distribution of resources, opportunities, and privileges within a society. Research on inequality can focus on understanding the causes and consequences of inequality, as well as identifying potential solutions such as policies that promote equal access to education and employment.

Discrimination is another significant social problem that affects many individuals and communities. Discrimination refers to the treatment of individuals or groups differently based on characteristics such as race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion. Research on discrimination can focus on understanding the causes and consequences of discrimination, as well as identifying potential solutions such as anti-discrimination laws and education campaigns.

Crime is another important social problem that affects many communities. Crime refers to behavior that is deemed illegal or harmful to society. Research on crime can focus on understanding the causes and consequences of crime, as well as identifying potential solutions such as crime prevention programs and rehabilitation initiatives.

Finally, health disparities are a significant social problem that disproportionately affects certain groups within society. Health disparities refer to the unequal distribution of health-related resources and outcomes within a population. Research on health disparities can focus on understanding the causes and consequences of these disparities, as well as identifying potential solutions such as access to healthcare and public health education campaigns.

In conclusion, social problems research topics cover a wide range of issues that have a negative impact on society. These topics can include poverty, inequality, discrimination, crime, and health disparities. Researching these issues can provide valuable insights into the root causes of these problems and help identify potential solutions.

Top 40 Research Paper Social Issues Topics: Choose One

social problems research topics

How do forced, young marriages affect the children who marry? Conclusion The social justice sector is of great importance to society, considering all the injustices that occur every day. How has it influenced the 2016 presidential election? Was this the first time problems in the industry have come to light? We are here to offer quick and affordable research writing help on all topics. This blog article will cover some common examples of social issues that can inspire you to choose the best topic for your research paper, essay, or term paper. What is a sanctuary city and what are the strongest arguments for and against them? Social Media Research Questions Did you know that social media sites can play with the psychology of a teen? Regardless of your college course, you can approach this social issue through the prism of environmental protection, political bias, economics, marketing, and even the logistics that are also present in this sector. Some students simply rely on the media for examples to include in their tasks.

100 Sociology Research Topics You Need In 2022

social problems research topics

Some examples that you might try include wearing unusual clothing, applauding inappropriately at the end of a class lecture, cutting in line in front of other people, or some other mildly inappropriate behavior. You can just take your pick from all the awesome social psychology topics for your project or check out. This service is provided by our premium writing partner EduBirdie. Because observation studies do not involve random samples of the population, their results cannot readily be generalized to the population. How many passengers were on the plan and where were they from? Where Can You Find Perfect Topics? The Obama administration ended that policy.

138 Social Issues Topic Ideas to Write about & Essay Samples

social problems research topics

Overall, social research topics are diverse and wide-ranging, reflecting the many different aspects of society and human behavior that researchers seek to understand. What is considered a social issue in one country or timeframe, maybe an absolutely mundane event in other. This finding led many jurisdictions across the United States to adopt a policy of mandatory arrest for domestic violence suspects. However, replications of the Minneapolis experiment in other cities found that arrest sometimes reduced recidivism for domestic violence but also sometimes increased it, depending on which city was being studied and on certain characteristics of the suspects, including whether they were employed at the time of their arrest Sherman, 1992. This will help you to choose the right topic that will lead to a proper research paper. If you want your research paper to be written for you, we are always here.

60 Great Research Paper Social Issues Topics 🤗

This social topic is s quite important as it is not only a political issue but also a matter of national security. How do groups influence our attitudes and behavior? How can the fight against terrorism be balanced with providing support for refugees? If you want your research paper to be easily understandable, you may also take into consideration the cultural background of your audience at least its majority. Also, remember to do thorough research to meet the end goal. In The Prince, Machiavelli advises rulers to be cautious in their dealings with Fortuna, and to be prepared for both success and failure. Great Social Psychology Topics to Write About Want to pick a topic that you know will perform great in 2022? They have excellent research sources, they are current and trending issues in society, and they are fun to venture into. This is risky because the media industry is often influenced by politics and can be biased.

168 Dominant Social Issues Topics For Writing Academic Papers

social problems research topics

Finally, proofread your work as you might want to maintain a logical flow and avoid grammatical mistakes. Because experiments do not involve random samples of the population and most often involve college students, their results cannot readily be generalized to the population. The Social Science Research Council, a nonprofit organization that is independent and global, mobilizes knowledge needed for the good of society by assisting academics around the world, fostering cross-disciplinary research, and establishing connections between scholars and citizens and policymakers. Who controls Uluru and decided to ban climbing? This is in families, couples, friends, and colleagues. Social Perception How does our appearance impact how people respond to us? How are the refugees dealing with this change in their lives? What are the qualities of this breed that can be displayed in dog shows? Why are girls, particularly, at risk for lifetime of turmoil in a forced marriage? Through these research papers, you get to address issues such as inequalities in society while acting as an advocate of social justice. What are some of the tactics used to stop this custom? The list of social psychology research topics is updated frequently, so there is a good chance you can find an interesting idea that will impress your professor and earn you some bonus points.


social problems research topics

What current political event going on in France may have had an impact on this action? Struggling with a Research Paper on Social Issues? Surveys The survey is the most common method by which sociologists gather their data. He advises them to have contingency plans in place in case things do not go as expected, and to be flexible and adaptable in the face of changing circumstances. And we need everybody to contribute to the modern discussion. Choose Our Social Psychology Research Topics Why use our social psychology paper topics? A ruler with virtù could take advantage of opportunities presented by Fortuna and use them to further their own ends. Social Issues Interesting Research Paper Topics Having trouble selecting research paper social issues topics for your assignment? The protests follow a series of police brutality cases in America. This is because it plays a major role in how people relate.

188 Captivating Social Issues Topics for Essay or Research Paper

social problems research topics

This is because of its diversity. They can also be defined as social conditions that disrupt normalcy in society. Complete spelling and grammar checks to review your paper for spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes—or give it to us, as we can do essay revisions for you. Their social and political beliefs may thus influence how they perform their research on these topics and how they interpret the results of this research. Check with your teacher or professor to make sure your topic is acceptable for 2023 and that it can be discussed at school or college.

1.4 Doing Research on Social Problems

social problems research topics

You may consider writing about the latest innovations to the solar energy sector and talk about wind turbines if you are majoring in Electrical Engineering. Alternatively, you may consult your professor, who might assure you that the topics you choose are valid. It has taken almost 40 years to reach this settlement. What social conditions in each country did they use to determine the rankings? The specific deterrent effects of arrest for domestic assault. Remember, your final draft should be plagiarism-free and flawless. How was this ruling received in India? What is the unusual history of the name Antifa? Sound research is an essential tool for understanding the sources, dynamics, and consequences of social problems and possible solutions to them. Finally, proofread your work as you might want to maintain a logical flow and avoid grammatical mistakes.

100 Social Work Research Topics and Tips on Choosing

social problems research topics

Consider writing about how the student habits and attitudes have changed in 2023and think about what pros and cons of this issue you can explore. Perhaps you need some topics on a very specific subject. What are some of the bills and laws that different states have tried and what has been the reaction? If you want to write an effective and engaging controversial essay, you definitely need to take into consideration the best social issue topics or Writing research papers, presentations, and essays is one of many steps to train you to be a functioning adult in your community. Social work research is the systematic investigation of problems pertaining to the social work field. Fact checkers review articles for factual accuracy, relevance, and timeliness. However, not all topics you find online will impress your professor.



Answer & explanation.

Hate Crimes

  • Social Media's impact on mental health

In an article written by Help Guide, they emphasized how social media helps us connect with people but excessive use can push 

us to disconnect with people. As humans are social animals, communicating and interacting with people is a part of one's daily life, partner it with social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the like makes us connect around the globe. This should make us happy as communicating helps us relieve our stress and fatigue. However, staying in the virtual world for too long can lead to loneliness, frustration, and dissatisfaction. There are six listed negative effects of social media. First, inadequacy about your life or appearance. You may start comparing yourself and your life with others. Second, fear of missing out (FOMO). You may feel the need to always look at your phone to stay updated without knowing that you are slowly immersing yourself in the virtual world and leaving the real world. Third, isolation. A study found that social media increases and not decreases your feeling of loneliness. Fourth, depression and anxiety. Connecting online will always be different from connecting face-to-face and feeling the comfort of their warmth. Fifth, cyberbullying. invisible scars stem from bullying online. Lastly, self-absorption. Constantly sharing everything online will make you focus on yourself and slowly disconnect from real life.

According to the University of Nevada, Reno, "The National Institute of Mental Health reports that the lifetime prevalence of any mental disorder among adolescents is 49.5%, and 22.2% of adolescents will suffer from severe mental impairment in their lifetimes. Also, young adults (age 18 to 25) have the highest incidence of mental illness of any adult age group: 25.8%, compared to 22.2% for ages 26 to 49, and 13.8% for ages 50 and up." Add up how social media's negative side makes the teens who suffer from these mental illnesses heighten their conditions. The problem lies with how teens absorb everything they receive on social media. In the same article, it is found that in the 2018 survey of U.S. teens by the Pew Research center, one in six teenagers has experienced at least one of six different forms of abusive behavior online. The six types and their percentage are the following: name-calling (42%), spreading false rumors (32%), receiving unsolicited explicit images (25%), having their activities and whereabouts tracked by someone other than a parent (21%), someone making physical threats (16%), having explicit images of them shared without their consent (7%). 

The notion that music can influence your mood, thoughts, and behavior is not just a ruse. Music certainly produces an impact on your well-being. This is also noticeable in how music can be a therapy for people who experienced psychological problems. Cherry (2022) states that "music therapy is an intervention sometimes used to promote emotional health, help patients cope with stress, and boost psychological well-being. Some research even suggests that your taste in music can provide insight into different aspects of your personality ." This is because our taste in music can be a reflection of what we are feeling at the moment consciously or unconsciously. Music has a lot of benefits. It can be from improving your cognitive performance, reducing stress, helping you eat less, improving your memory, helping you manage the pain and your depression, etc. So instead of seeing music as just a way to entertain you for the day, think of the benefits and consider incorporating it into your daily life.

Music can be seen in our everyday life. It is listened to and used by people of all ages. However, it is good to note that music is not simply just a form of entertainment, scientifically, it can influence a person psychologically and enhance one's well-being. It is found in various studies by Rebecchini (2021) that people with mental illnesses have shown visible improvement by using music therapy. Other studies found that there is an improvement in heart rate, motor skills, brain stimulation, and immune system enhancement because of the use of music as a primary tool for treatment. Mental and physical illnesses can be costly to treat but music therapy can lessen an individual's treatment cost.

Choosen topic:

Working research questions:

  • What social media sites are teenagers or students mostly use?
  • What are the forms of abusive behavior experienced by teenagers or students?
  • How do they cope with abusive behaviors online?

Approach to solving the question: Read and choose what you want

Detailed explanation:

Key references:

Hate Crimes:

  • The United States Department of Justice. "Hate Crimes'. https://www.justice.gov/hatecrimes/learn-about-hate-crimes
  • The United States Department of Justice. "Hate Crimes Cases Examples'. https://www.justice.gov/hatecrimes/hate-crimes-case-examples
  • Cherry, Kendra (2022). "How Listening to Music Can Have Psychological Benefits". VeryWellMind. https://www.verywellmind.com/surprising-psychological-benefits-of-music-4126866
  • Rebecchini, Lavinia (2021). "Music, mental health, and immunity". Brain Behav Immun Health. 2021 Dec; 18: 100374. Published online 2021 Oct 21. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbih.2021.100374

Social Media:

  • Help Guide. "Social Media and Mental Health". teen issues. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/social-media-and-mental-health.htm
  • University of Nevada, Reno. "Impact of Social Media on Youth Mental Health: Statistics, Tips & Resources". Online Master of Public Health in Public Health Practice. https://onlinedegrees.unr.edu/online-master-of-public-health/impact-of-social-media-on-youth-mental-health/

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Quantifying Climate Change Loss and Damage Consistent with a Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases

Climate change is generating demonstrable harm around the world. Political and legal efforts have sought to associate climate impacts with specific emissions, including in recent international policy discussion of Loss and Damage (L&D). However, no quantitative definition of L&D exists, nor does there exist a framework for linking specific emissions to specific damages. Here we develop such a framework, linking it explicitly to recent efforts to calculate the social cost of carbon dioxide (SC-CO2), and demonstrate its use in a variety of applications. We calculate that future damages from past emissions, one component of L&D, are at least an order of magnitude larger than historical damages from the same emissions, a more commonly discussed component of L&D: 1 ton of CO2 emitted in 1990 causes $4 in global cumulative discounted damages by 2020 and an additional $327 in discounted damages through 2100 (2% discount rate). These estimates of past and future damages from marginal emissions can be used to calculate L&D for a range of specific emitting activities: for instance, an individual taking one long-haul flight every year for the past decade will generate ~$5500 in damages through 2100, the emissions associated with multiple oil majors between 1988-2015 have already caused $50-200B of cumulative global economic damage by 2020, and CO2 emissions in the US since 1990 have caused ~$2T in global damage through 2020, with India ($293B) and Brazil ($167B) being harmed the most. Carbon removal offers an alternative to transfer payments for settling L&D, but we show that it becomes increasingly ineffective in limiting damages as the delay between emission and recapture increases.

We thank seminar participants at Stanford for helpful comments. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.


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As U.S. COVID hospitalizations rise, some places are bringing mask mandates back

Rachel Treisman

social problems related topics for research paper

A face mask sign is displayed in a window in Queens, New York City on May 11, the day the federal public health emergency for COVID ended. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

A face mask sign is displayed in a window in Queens, New York City on May 11, the day the federal public health emergency for COVID ended.

The U.S. is seeing a late-summer spike in COVID cases , prompting some schools, hospitals and businesses to encourage — or even require — people to start masking up again.

The most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data , from earlier this month, shows nationwide COVID hospitalizations increased by nearly 19% in a single week and deaths by more than 21%.

CDC Director Mandy Cohen said Tuesday that recently up to 10,000 people a week have been hospitalized with COVID. But, she added, that's far fewer than the 40,000 such hospitalizations a week the U.S. had at its highest point last August.

Are masks for the birds? We field reader queries about this new stage of the pandemic

Goats and Soda

Are masks for the birds we field reader queries about this new stage of the pandemic.

"We're in a much different and better place in August of 2023," she said. "We have stronger immunity and tools to protect ourselves, we have vaccines, at-home tests, effective treatments and common-sense strategies like washing your hands and staying away from people when you're sick."

Still, Cohen cautioned, COVID remains risky for people who are unvaccinated. The risk is especially high for unvaccinated individuals who haven't gotten the virus before and those who are older or have underlying health conditions. About 70% of hospitalizations are among those who are 65 and older, she added.

Public health officials have their eye on two new variants: The Omicron variant EG.5 — nicknamed Eris — has become dominant in the U.S., while BA.2.86 is starting to spread .

The CDC sees signs of a late summer COVID wave

Shots - Health News

The cdc sees signs of a late summer covid wave.

Early reports show Eris may be more transmissible than other variants, though it doesn't appear to cause more severe disease. And the CDC warned last week that BA.2.86 may be "more capable of causing infection" in people who have previously had the COVID virus or vaccines, though they don't believe it's causing more severe illness either.

All of that has driven some institutions around the country to reinstitute mask mandates, at least temporarily.

What schools, hospitals and politicians are saying

Morris Brown College, a historically Black college in Atlanta, announced last weekend that it would restrict gatherings and implement a mask mandate for two weeks due to reports of positive cases among students. Hollywood studio Lionsgate briefly required employees to wear masks on two floors of its five-story office.

The healthcare company Kaiser Permanente reinstated a mask mandate at its Santa Rosa, Calif., facilities after an uptick in patients testing positive. So did several hospital systems in New York state, including United Health Services, Auburn Community Hospital and Upstate Medical (both its university and community hospitals).

Upstate Medical University in Syracuse — the largest employer in central New York — announced in mid-August that it will require all staff, visitors and patients to wear masks in clinical areas for at least three weeks.

Are there places you should still mask in, forever? Three experts weigh in

Dr. Stephen Thomas, an infectious disease physician and professor of medicine at the institution, told Morning Edition that the mandate was triggered by trends observed in recent weeks.

Authorities there have been following metrics that include the number of patients admitted to the hospital either with or for COVID and the number of staff missing work due to illness. They also monitor the region's wastewater testing program, which showed levels of the virus "dramatically increasing" and revealed that the EG.5 variant is circulating in the community.

Thomas says the combination of those factors prompted the decision to mandate masks — and it already appears to be helping.

Ready for an N95? Here's how to find a high-quality one that fits you well

Ready for an N95? Here's how to find a high-quality one that fits you well

"Once the notification went out, within an hour we were kind of doing the walkaround and implementation was very very quick," Thomas said. "People didn't really seem to think twice about it. There are always outliers, there are always people that are asking questions about the data and the science and does universal masking make a difference. But we try to communicate that universal masking, in healthcare settings, the data is very clear: It reduces transmission."

Some places are strongly encouraging people to return to masking, even if they're not requiring it.

The Talladega City School district in Alabama is urging students to wear masks, writing in a Facebook post that "this is not a mask mandate, but a general encouragement to be more conscious of our health." Elsewhere in the state, Kinterbish Junior High School is asking students, staff and visitors to wear masks due to rising case counts.

Other politicians are pledging expressly that they will not bring back mask mandates.

Coronavirus FAQ: I'm a one-way masker. With mask mandates going away, is that helpful?

Coronavirus FAQ: I'm a one-way masker. With mask mandates going away, is that helpful?

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker recently dismissed rumors that his administration was discussing the possibility. Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said this week that his state will "not return to widespread masking or COVID rules," despite a rise in cases, adding that "people have a right to make their own decisions."

His statement also referenced a "pandemic of fear stoked by 'the expert class'' and "pronouncements ... from the Biden/Fauci administration," underscoring how much public health precautions have become politicized.

Former President Donald Trump — the frontrunner in the 2024 Republican primary race — also weighed in this week.

He released a campaign video on X (formerly Twitter) slamming the "fear mongering" of "COVID tyrants" and pledging "we will not comply" with school shutdowns, lockdowns or mask and vaccine mandates. If reelected, he said, he will cut federal funding to schools, airlines and public transportation systems that impose mask or vaccine mandates.

Notably, his administration recommended strict social distancing measures when the pandemic began in 2020.

What to know if you're on the fence

There's plenty of data to prove masks are effective at reducing COVID transmission when worn correctly . But in the absence of federal and state mask mandates, the question of whether — and when — to wear one is largely a personal decision.

Experts have told NPR in recent months that people should weigh how much risk they're willing to tolerate and modify their behavior as things change, including as cases rise.

Coronavirus FAQ: Is it wiser to get a booster now or wait for the new fall booster?

Coronavirus FAQ: Is it wiser to get a booster now or wait for the new fall booster?

For example, you may want to mask up in crowded settings, while traveling, if you're immunocompromised or if the person sitting near you seems sick. Some suggest getting in the habit of bringing a mask with you, just in case you need to make an impromptu decision.

And many are quick to point out that masking isn't the only step you can take to protect yourself .

Vaccines in particular are really powerful at preventing severe disease, and a new version could be available soon. A CDC advisory committee is meeting to discuss an updated booster on September 12.

The broadcast interview was produced by Julie Depenbrock .

  • mask mandate
  • COVID surge


  1. 120+ Social Issue Essay Topics

    social problems related topics for research paper

  2. 🌷 Examples of sociological research topics. 100+ Best Sociology

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  1. Essay Paper 2021


  3. Research of Social Research#

  4. U3147258

  5. social science project file topic on social Issues

  6. Types of Social Research सामाजिक अनुसंधान के प्रकार


  1. 100+ Social Issues Research Paper Topics To Write About

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    Research topics - Sociology 110 - Social Problems - Library Research Guides at St. Clair County Community College Sociology 110 - Social Problems Library databases Use the tabs in the left hand column for general topics. Please contact a reference librarian for additional help. Need Help?

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    Social Problems is the official publication of the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP). SSSP is an interdisciplinary community of scholars, practitioners, advocates, and students interested in the application of critical, scientific, and humanistic perspectives to the study of vital social problems. Learn more about SSSP.

  17. 1.4 Doing Research on Social Problems

    Key Takeaways. The major types of research on social problems include surveys, experiments, observational studies, and the use of existing data. Surveys are the most common method, and the results of surveys of random samples may be generalized to the populations from which the samples come.

  18. Social Problems Research Paper

    Introduction Social problems are relevant to all of us, and it is no coincidence that scholars from many different disciplines—including anthropology, sociology, psychology, and criminology—have systematically studied this area. Unlike natural scientists, social scientists often employ moral judgments during the course of their research.

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    These topics can include a wide range of issues such as poverty, inequality, discrimination, crime, and health disparities. Researching social problems can provide valuable insights into the root causes of these issues and help identify potential solutions. One key social problem that has garnered significant attention in recent years is poverty.

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    The problem lies with how teens absorb everything they receive on social media. In the same article, it is found that in the 2018 survey of U.S. teens by the Pew Research center, one in six teenagers has experienced at least one of six different forms of abusive behavior online. The six types and their percentage are the following: name-calling ...

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    Quantifying Climate Change Loss and Damage Consistent with a Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases. Marshall Burke, Mustafa Zahid, Noah Diffenbaugh & Solomon M. Hsiang. Working Paper 31658. DOI 10.3386/w31658. Issue Date September 2023. Climate change is generating demonstrable harm around the world. Political and legal efforts have sought to ...

  26. As U.S. COVID cases rise, will mask mandates return? : NPR

    As U.S. COVID hospitalizations rise, some places are bringing mask mandates back. A face mask sign is displayed in a window in Queens, New York City on May 11, the day the federal public health ...