Over the years, one of the ‘issues’ I’ve had with this topic is that it’s quite hard to understand exactly what is meant by an issue, how that differs from a debate and whether that really matters. So first off, let’s talk about ‘issues’. What are the big issues today? I’m sure you could name a few: climate change? gun laws? But what makes something an ‘issue’ as opposed to, say, a ‘sausage’?
To help answer this question, I looked up the origin of this nebulous noun and found that it was first used in the fourteenth century meaning ‘to come out of’. When we listen and take note of what people are talking about, these are the issues. They are things that ‘come out’ over and over again, the things that seem to matter to people. But why do certain things matter more than others? Generally, this is because these ‘matters’ have implications or consequences for people, things or places we care about. People don’t always agree on these matters because we all have slightly different sets of beliefs, values and attitudes.
Your organisation does not have access to this article.
Sign up today to give your students the edge they need to achieve their best grades with subject expertiseSubscribe