Some Definitional Problems With Social Maladjustment: Between a Phenomenon and a Term

Variant title

Wybrane problemy definicyjne niedostosowania społecznego: między fenomenem a terminem


The definition of social maladjustment (SM) is still not as precise as it is expected to be in many fields of study. Despite the fact that this phenomenon is deeply rooted in the history and evolution of humanity, it was not until the 20th century that a defini-tion first appeared. The notion of social maladjustment was developed within an in-terdisciplinary and broad scientific framework. It draws on philosophy, law sciences, sociology, psychiatry, and psychology – to name just a few of the fields involved in its development. SM is used to describe various states when a person acts specifical-ly against social norms. There have been attempts to treat SM, and it frequently ac-companies other disorders, such as emotional disturbance. There have been prob-lems finding a satisfactory definition, difficulties with proper diagnosis and treatment of SM, as well as abusive instrumentalization in a practical sense.

Article history

Received 25 November 2020. Revised 17 December 2020. Accepted 19 December 2020. Published online 20 December 2020




Polish (pl)


Dawid Kamil WieczorekJagiellonian University in Krakow


Orbis Idearum Volume 8, Issue 2 (2020), pp. 115-135
Regular Issue