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 It will be in order to begin by defining a
research problem. Aresearch problem is not the same thing as a social problem.
A researchproblem is defined by intellectual curiosity while a social problem
isdefined by the values of a group. A situation may be problematic for onegroup
but it may not be so for another, depending on their differing valuesystems.
Increase in incidence of crime may be a problem for socialworkers, but it may
not be so for the underworld of criminals. For aresearcher, on the other hand,
it is not only the crime but also the lawabiding behaviour which constitutes a
problem. It is as important, andfrom an intellectual vantage point even more
important, to ask whypeople adhere to law abiding behaviour. In no sense is law
abidingbehaviour a social problem. But it may be an important research
problem.Thus a research problem is a cognitive phenomenon while a so£ialproblem
an evaluative one. This does not imply that a social problemcannot tum into a
research problem. A social problem may tum into aresearch problem once it is so
formulated by a researcher.What are ,some of the sources of finding a research
problem? Takinga cue from the existing practices, one can immediately mention
thefollowing:( I ) Research supervisor.(2) Research literature.(3) Research
funding agencies.It is well known that students desirous of pursuing research
for adegree generally leave it to the supervisor to find and suggest a
problemfor them. This is so partly because they do not want to strain theirmind
and partly because they begin with a sense of total dependenceon the
supervisor. Whatever the reason, the fact remains that mostresearch students
look up to the supervisor to get a research problemassigned to them. They seem
to have  hardly any interest of their
ownin the problem, let alone a sense of involvement in it. The students whocome
up with a research problem on their own are more of anexception than a rule. 

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