Racial Profiling As A Social Problem

1272 Words 5 Pages
Social problems are collective sentiments rather than simple mirrors of objective conditions (Hilgartner and Bosk 1988, p. 54). They are also putative conditions or situations that are labeled problems in the arenas of public discourse and action (Hilgartner and Bosk 1988, p. 55). The theoretical propositions that are key in the public arenas model are the preliminaries, carrying capacity, dynamics of competition, principles of selection, feedback, and communities of operatives. The Michael Brown incident in Ferguson, Missouri features all six propositions. The propositions also aid the reader in viewing racial profiling with an educated viewpoint, showing how and why Michael Brown is the only victim of police harassment and brutality to be …show more content…
A social problem is a putative condition or situation that actors label a “problem” in the arenas of public discourse and action, defining it as harmful and framing its definition in particular ways (p. 70). Racial profiling has indeed been harmful, as young minorities have been harassed by the police a number of times (Brunson and Miller 2006). There are some instances in which the victims of the harassment are physically abused by the police, as they have been thrown on the ground, kicked, choked, amongst other violent acts (p. 545). The level of attention devoted to racial profiling is relatively low based on collective definition, which involves social-psychological, organizational, political, and cultural processes (Hilgartner and Bosk 1988, p. 70). It is also competing with other potential problems for public attention and societal resources. Racial profiling is rarely presented to the public unless someone is …show more content…
70). The discrepancy between the number of potential problems and the size of the public space for addressing them make competition among problems crucial and central to the process of collective definition. If a social problem is a direct impact to more people than another social problem, it is more likely to be presented and discussed. Certain social problems are not presented because of the redundancy it has in general society and whether or not it is a fresh topic. If a person would like to find out more about a social problem that is not discussed they would have to spend more time and money trying to find news and information on the problem. In relation to racial profiling and Ferguson, Missouri, the carrying capacity for racial profiling in general is small because of how frequent it happens and also because of the lack of journalists and reporters who visit the communities which suffer police brutality and harassment. However, the carrying capacity for the situation in Ferguson is rather large. The murder was presented in an array of arenas, such as the news media, social action groups, religious organizations, etc. News coverage has shown predominantly African American churches discussing the shooting and praying for Brown and his

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