A social problem involves an issue that affects a specific population/discipline. It is the issue that students see on the ground, so to speak. The social problem is often what prompts students to think about a topic of interest for their Dissertation. Usually such a topic is one with which students identify, sometimes having personally experienced some aspect of the problem as it exists in the world. All too often, students want to solve a specific social, organizational, clinical, or practical problem rather than explore a research problem.
A research problem is a focused topic of concern, a condition to be improved upon as indicated by the body of research literature that has been conducted in relation to the social problem, or a troubling question that is supported in scholarly literature or theory that you study to understand in more detail and that can lead to recommendations for resolutions. It is the research problem that drives the rest of the Dissertation: the purpose, the research questions, and the methodology. It is the research problem that is identified in the Problem Section of the Prospectus Form.
See Prospectus Form attached.
• Review the media program “Developing Social Problems into Research Problems for CRQ” found in this week’s Learning Resources.
• Translate your social problem into a research problem.
Post and explain your topic in terms of how you translated the social problem into a research problem. To aid you in your articulation of the research problem, you will want to consider the body of research literature you just prepared for the Supporting Literature section of the Prospectus Form. What areas of concern have been raised by other researchers? What are the major findings to date regarding the social problem/topic and what is yet unknown?