In the 1970s when the authors were preparing for a seminar on the sociology of social problems, their review of the "literature" revealed the absence of any systematic, coherent statement of theory or method in the study of social problems. For many years the subject was listed and offered by university departments of sociology as a "service course" to present undergraduates with what they should know about the various "social pathologies" that exist in their society. This conception of social problems for several decades has been reflected in the substance and quality of the literature dominated by textbooks.
In Constructing Social Problems, the authors propose that social problems be conceived as the claims-making activities of individuals or groups regarding socialconditions they consider unjust, immoral, or harmful and that should be addressed. This perspective, as the authors have formulated it, conceives of social problems as a process of interaction that produces social problems as social facts in society. The authors further propose th