Counter Culture


From a moral standpoint, social problems harm people and from a democratic standpoint, social problems harm the well-being of citizens. In addition to that, from a societal standpoint, social problems threaten the productive functioning of society.

A social problem is said to exist to the extent that some “malfunction” is observed in society. This malfunction might be an inequality (e.g:with the same education and experience women earn only about 80% of what men earn in the labor force), a poor allocation of resources (e.g: poor environmental stewardship), violence (e.g: domestic violence, rape, violent crime), or an inefficient organizational system (e.g: too much or too little being spent on social services). The social evils that are plaguing our society today could hardly be catalogued, they are uncountable in the true sense of the assertion. Among the prominent social problems are the escalating crime waves , religious intolerance , disrespect for elders , laziness and lateness of duty , widespread of diseases , ostentatious spending, abortion, pre marital pregnancy, elope (run off secretly to be married and usually without the consent or knowledge of one’s parent), disciplinary problem, psychological problem, slow down development of the country, and alcohol consumption .

These are the effects of our social problem among Malaysian youth. Sociologists can identify many aspects of society that might be considered to be social problems. It is the values held by the majority of citizens (in a democracy) that define what is a social problem (e.g:Is denial of same-sex marriages a problem?). Social problems are identified as such partly with respect to their perceived effect on the productive functioning of society. Social problems can be difficult to identify (e.g:What is the scientific evidence that same-sex marriages or the prohibition of them will harm society?). Sociologists use the consensus, conflict, and interactionist perspectives to examine these conditions of potential social problems.

Risk Factors for Social Problems

Risk factor is defined as a factor which increases the chances of social problems beyond control. There are different risk factors for social problems among youth such as biological, psychological and social. Social risk factors include unemployment, disturbed family environment, unavailability of educational opportunities, availability of drugs in locality, law and order situation.

Environmental/social risk factors are increasing the chances of using drugs among youth. A youngster who is disturbed because of his family environment will spend time out side of his home, sitting with friends who can offer him drugs. Handling peer pressure will be difficult for him, as a result, he will be ready to use drug.

A youngster deprived of educational opportunities and economic resources may be at great risk of using drugs. His disappointment from social problems will produce images of drugs in his mind as the suitable source of getting rid of his problems. Easy availability of drugs/substance in his locality will further serve to increase his craving for drugs.

Also the principal and behavioural factors linked with youth violence are hypersensitivity, impulsiveness, poor behavioural control, attention problems, history of early aggressive behaviour and low educational achievement. Associating with delinquent peers has also been linked to violence in young people. Gangs and a local supply of guns and drugs are a potent mixture, increasing the likelihood of youth violence. Low level of social cohesion within community has been linked to higher rates social problems.

Cultures that do not provide non-violent alternatives for resolving conflicts appear to have higher rates of social problems too. For most young people, the offending behaviour is part of growing up, of testing the limits, of taking risks, of asserting their independence. It may also be an indication of boredom and the absence of anything useful or meaningful to do. It may be a reflection of that awkward stage of life where one feels grown up but not able to participate fully in the world of adults. Generally, the offenses that they commit are relatively minor and decrease in frequency as they grow older, mature and find a way to participate in and contribute to society.

Ways to overcome social problems

The role of parents is crucial in giving serious attention to their children. Parents must consider the movements of their children. Parents should always know and identify the problems faced by their children and are willing to take the time to solve the problem. Parents also should know their child’s friends and always make sure their children make friends and socialize with those who have well in morally. In addition parents must spend part of daily time with children by giving them confidence, courage, creating positive attitudes towards issues, emotions and decisions. Another common set of prevention strategies addressing youth violence focuses on early intervention with children and families. Such programmes provide parents with information about child development and teach them how to effectively discipline, monitor and supervise children, as well as how to manage family conflict and improve communication. Parent and family -based interventions are among the most promising strategies for producing long-term reductions in youth violence.

2. Academic approach. This can be done by adding activities based on academic and semi-academics activities such as extra-curricular in schools. Similarly, the changes in teaching techniques such as use of computer, video, audio-visual aid equipment and techniques of teaching outside the classroom should be implemented. 3. Establishing legal system in the school. Provisions in the law school could create fear among students, in addition to reducing the burden and responsibility of the school and the parents in monitoring discipline. 4. Law enforcement authorities like the police. Jurisdiction of the existing police should be used by school administrators in the discipline of students. The administrator shall take the opportunity to refer their student’s problems to police. 5. Preventive measures should be held as appropriate counselling at school level. Counselling at school level is important in helping teenagers overcome their problems. This program will be more meaningful if the counsellors are qualified and experienced elected.

6. Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) should play an important role more frequent meetings between parents, guardians and teachers should be held especially for students that influenced in social problems. Parents should discuss student’s problem with teacher and get ready to receive and advice from a teacher with an open and positive attitude. If one considers that ultimately we are concerned with the healthy development of adolescents in transition to adulthood, we must be concerned with the issues that impede or impact on such transitions. Transition to adulthood includes simultaneous transitions across several domains including post-secondary education or other work preparation training, labour force participation (or unemployment) independent living, marriage or cohabitation, and community living. Transition success is affected by many factors including personal characteristics, gender, family influences, exposure to role models, economic status, cultural influences, and the economic viability of the community in which the person functions.

We also be mindful of the fact that adolescence occurs in a context with such factors as race, ethnicity, cultural customs, language, social views and practices, sexual orientation and physical or learning disabilities all combining to make the transition experiences of some adolescents very different from others. While there has been a fair amount of work done on identifying risk factors that, if present, may increase the likelihood of a young person’s involvement in crime or other negative behaviour problems, there has also been some work done on the development of programs that build on the enhancement of protective factors which may reduce the effects of exposure to risk factors and thus lower the chances a youth will develop serious anti-social or other behaviour problems or become a victim.. Protective factors may also divide into:

(1) Individual characteristics (i.e. high IQ, high level of resilience and flexibility and a positive social attitude); (2) Social bonds ( notably warm, supportive and affective  relationships with parents and other adults); and (3) Social support including positive social skills and socially acceptable pattern of behavioural norms.

Possession of problem-solving,
Life and communication skills.
Resilient personality or temperament
A sense of belonging, secure attachments to positive parent(s) or family Positive relations with “pro social” peers
Access to other caring supportive adults
Appropriate discipline
Limit-setting and structure from parents,
Opportunities to experience success and build self esteem

In the context of transitions from adolescence to healthy adulthood, it is important to consider the notion of “resilience” as a young person’s ability to cope in the presence of major stress or risk factors. They go on to suggest that resilience is a source of strength in young people created or nurtured by caring and effective parents or other adult caregivers, positive learning environments in schools and access to community resources. What is the value of having an assessment to identify potential risks and needs of young offenders? By objectively identifying young persons who pose a higher risk of re-offending and the program interventions that are needed Assessments allow for a potentially more efficient and effective use of resources More objective and consistent decision making

Establishing a baseline for monitoring a young offender’s progress

Periodic reassessment of rehabilitative effectiveness

Appropriate targeting of program intervention to address the social problems factors associated with offending (risk-needs assessment) such as:

Use of appropriate modes of intervention based on social learning principles

A multiplicity of available interventions to address differing individual needs

Consistent application of interventions to ensure program integrity

Quality assurance of program design and delivery including training and recruiting appropriate staff Strong theoretical base or mission for the program

We should be careful not to suggest that a program has not been successful if a young person re-offends. While rehabilitative programs are designed with a goal of reducing recidivism, it is essential that other forms of program success are included in the mix and not totally rely on measures of recidivism to determine success. We can reduce occasional or temporary offending by young people by helping them deal with the stress associated with the turbulence of adolescence and finding ways of involving young people in useful and meaningful activities.

Educational and recreational activities to which all have equal access and which are designed on the basis of the varied needs and interests of young people are important. Access to social services can help some young people and their families deal with problems which may underlie the offending behaviour. Given what we know about the correlation between poverty, mental health and opportunities, the economic security of young people and their families should also be a priority. These measures are all primary prevention strategies – ways of creating healthier and ultimately safer communities.


Though social problems are recurrent issues in many societies all over the world, they can be predetermined and controlled by use of social studies. When we think of the many settings that have evolved over time, it becomes apparent that there can never be a permanent solution to these social problems. Governments in affected regions try to curb socially unacceptable behaviour by regulating wealth and economy for citizens, thereby ensuring that money distribution is constant and fluent enough to avoid situations where some feel exploited. More measures can be taken to avoid socially unacceptable behaviour like crime and drug use, thereby maintaining law and order in society. Society is the place where young generations are brought up and nurtured for future. If social problems are left to come up and establish themselves, the upcoming generations would grow up to become savage and barbaric citizen, destroying civilization that was once prosperous.

What do you think?

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