In General Knowledge

Understanding Major Social Issues in American Communities

social issues

The responsibility of bringing justice to the society falls on the shoulders of institutions and individuals alike. Individuals that are aware of what they need to offer to their communities and what they are due to receive are the ones that can make change happen. Social issues weave through their everyday lives, and social justice better equips the community to deal with current social issues. Social issues are different and hold different meanings everywhere, even within the same country. Take the citizens of the United States, for example. The social issues and morals that face habitants of South American cities are different from those faced by African-Americans. Social issues are always relevant to a particular culture.

|​SEE ALSO: Helpful Tips on Crime Prevention|​ 

What Are Social Issues?

Social issues are always related to a particular society’s perceptions. This may include their thoughts and attitudes and how they typically live within their communities. It is easy to see that the people of some communities act and respond differently to the level of social injustice they experience.

Different societies, countries, and cultures have different perceptions to what “normal behavior” is, and it is important to note that social issues are not economic or political issues. The reason these two controversial subjects are not considered social problems is because they represent outward responses rather than inward opinions, attitudes, concepts, and prejudices like social issues. When an issue affects the moral, personal life of an individual, then it is a social issue.

Examples of Social Issues

Here is a tremendous, societal example of differing social issues. Cows are treated completely different in India than they are in America. This is a clear distinction of a culture’s beliefs. Some Indians worship cows, while Americans prefer a Big Mac sandwich for lunch. Neither country is right or wrong in dealing with the issue. Cows are treated as the culture permits and, as a visitor to either country, you would do the same. But how do you determine your response when you walk up to a cow?

As you might well believe, America is a multi-cultural country that realizes many current social issues. They are addressed no matter where you live, but of course there are some territorial exceptions. In keeping with the content of our website, here are the top social issues in the American culture today. They are listed in no particular order, but it will be evident that these social issues are social problems of varying degrees:

– Bullying

– Discrimination against sex, age, religion, and race

– Religious intolerance

– Standard of living

– Gangs

– Morality conflicts including abortion, suicide, and prostitution

– Psychological problems, which includes deviance, abuse, superiority complex, attitudes, domineering personalities, manipulation, and obesity

– Freedom of speech: Freedom of speech gives citizens the freedom to express themselves without fear of retaliation or jail. Today, freedom of speech in the world is a tremendous proponent of social justice.

– Illegal immigration: In the US, illegal immigration is a current controversy that affects the way of life for everyone. There are differences in opinion regarding whether immigrants should be allowed into the country whether illegally or legally and how they would be provided for, including health care, employment, and decent wages.

– Education, such as ignorance, common sense, or rational thought.

These social problems across the US shed light on some of the negative and aggressive social issues that are accepted by the public. These issues are catalysts for aggression and cultural conflicts that lead to individuals being harmed simply because they differ in opinions.

Social Workers

There is a professional group trained to educate and develop those involved in the radical elements in social issues, and they are known as social workers. Social workers’ main goal is to create a balanced society with the goal of improving the quality of life. A social worker attains a B.A. or M.A. and focuses on applying psychotherapy, human development, counseling, legalities, transitioning social programs, and community development.

Social workers are prepared to observe social problems from a local, community, national, or international level, and they determine the best way to assess problems that bring social justice to the majority of people. A social worker works with those who may have physical and mental disabilities and individuals who have experienced violations of personal liberties and human rights.

A Closer Look at Current Social Issues in Contemporary America

– Bullying is generally found among school-aged children and has continually increased over the past two decades. Today, it is a problem that occurs frequently and is emotionally and physically damaging to its victims. Elementary and high school bullying stems from a destructive cycle of negative behaviors that the bully uses to control his or her victims. In the past years, hazing, found on college campuses in fraternity and sorority houses, has developed and magnified the controlling behavior, and it is more frequently being referred to as normal by those who are involved. Typically, the dysfunctional behavior of a bully originates from an insecure, possibly violent early childhood. The real danger of bullying and hazing is that they often go unreported.


– Discrimination against individuals based on sex, age, religion, and race is the most subtle and abusive of social issues. This problem is deeply rooted, where people from certain social categories are ostracized. Discrimination also includes policies, ideas, practices, opportunities, or traditions that exclude individuals. Though the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1963, in any given community, discrimination can still be seen.


– Religious intolerance technically is prevalent in cultures that support a predominant religion. The United States was founded on the belief that all people are free to practice their religions as they please. There are areas of intense religious populations, such as the Mormons in Utah and the Christian Bible Belt running through Texas and Oklahoma. The definition of intolerance is the unwillingness to accept another’s views, behaviors, and responses because they are different from your own.


– Standard of Living: This refers to the varying levels of comfort, wealth, and material possessions an individual is able to acquire and includes income, certain employment, poverty rate, quality of housing, inflation rate, access to healthcare, and quality education. These factors contribute to life expectancy and affect things like incidence of diseases, vacation days per year, political stability, religious freedom, and safety, so your standard of living is significant. Standards of living are defined by certain segments of society though they affect the individual specifically. For instance, there may be a different standard of living in Montgomery, Alabama, than in New York City, and many aspects of the citizens’ lives are affected because it includes taxes and schools.


– Gangs: According to the FBI, there is no universal definition for a gang, but they are typically recognized as a group of like-minded individuals run by a leader. Many youth gangs are prevalent in low socioeconomic areas across the country while there are known motorcycle gangs and prison gangs; the FBI estimates that there are approximately 33,000 gangs with over 1.4 million members and 48 – 90 percent of them participate in criminal and violent activities. Gangs create a distinct set of social issues within a community.


– Morality conflicts are social issues that create social justice within a city or community because local citizens bond with those sharing their own concepts on issues such as abortion, prostitution, and suicide.


In contemporary America, these current social issues and more bring social justice to the forefront of safety and comfort of every individual. Since some of these issues lead to violence and danger, they are a concern. Whether you are protecting the livelihood of your children or making a stand on how those issues occur in your world, they cannot be ignored. Social problems affect every individual’s life. One thing is certain, having a grasp on what the social issues are, as well as how they affect you and those you love, creates a better quality of life for everyone.

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