The study of social problems is a major theme in undergraduate programmes in social policy, sociology and professional courses in health and social care. It also forms a key element of assessment in many applied social studies programmes. Understanding Social Problems looks at the key social problems confronting contemporary society, ranging from child poverty and divorce to community safety and drug abuse. Each chapter is written by an expert in that particular field. Contributors examine how social problems have been conceptualized within sociology and social policy and the varying approaches of policy analysts. The book includes substantive studies of current and emerging issues and explores the role of the media in the presentation and discussion of social problems and policy responses. It also highlights the links between the analysis of social problems and policy formation. Accessible, student-friendly, and with a range of helpful pedagogical tools, Understanding Social Problems fills an important gap in the textbook literature.