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Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Chapter 1 Studying Social Problems in the Twenty-First Century This multimedia product and its contents are protected under copyright law. The following are prohibited by law: Any public performance or display, including transmission of any image over a network; Preparation of any derivative work, including the extraction, in whole or in part, of any images; Any rental, lease, or lending of the program.
Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 What is Sociology? Academic and scholarly Systematic study of human behavior Studies the issues that affect society and culture Society: large number of people who share same geographic territory Same political authority Share dominant cultural expectations
Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 What is a Social Problem? It is a... Social condition (e.g., poverty, discrimination, crime, pollution, etc.) Behavioral pattern (e.g., substance abuse, domestic violence, etc. ). AND…. Disadvantages or harms a large number of people Causes, consequences, and sources of possible resolution are social Warrants public concern and action
Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Hate Crimes as a Social Problem The social condition Hate crimes Who does it disadvantage? Hate crimes are attacks on people because of assumptions regarding race, sex, ethnicity, religion, disability, etc. What can we do to prevent it? Federal and state laws have been enacted to increase the penalties
Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Sociological Imagination Coined by Sociologist C. Wright Mills (1959) Is the ability to... Connect personal problems to public issues Social problems are often matters beyond a person’s control Shift focus to a larger social context Recognizing that the loss of a job is due to economic trends, such as downsizing
Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Sociological Perspectives on Social Problems Move beyond myths and commonsense “Things are not what they seem.” Move between a micro and macro analysis Fear of unemployment affects workers’ personal lives Loss of millions of jobs directly affects the US economy Look for the social causes and consequences of social problems
Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Subjective Awareness of Social Problems Social problems are subjective by nature Not everyone agrees on what is considered “objective” reality Some “objective” conditions may not be consider social problems Environmental pollution, war, health care, abortion Sociologists strive to view social problems objectively
Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Theory and Social Problems Theory Explain relationships between social concepts Interpret social reality by providing a framework Theoretical perspective Overall approach toward a particular social condition Sociology has three major perspectives Functionalism, conflict perspective, and the interactionist perspective
Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 The Functionalist Perspective Macro-level analysis Draws from Auguste Comte (1798–1857) Society is an orderly system composed of a number of interrelated parts Social institutions Each part functions for stability Problems arise when parts do not function
Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Functions of Social Institutions Manifest functions: Intended and recognized consequences (e.g., education provides knowledge and skills). Latent functions: Unintended or hidden consequences (e.g., education keeps youth off the street). Dysfunctions: Undesirable consequences that inhibit a society’s ability to adjust Leads to social disorganization
Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 The Conflict Perspective Macro-level analysis Views society in a struggle over scarce resources Some groups benefit & maintain their privileges while other groups are disadvantaged Attributes social problems to contradictions in society: Social class (Karl Marx) – Class inequality Exploitation of people of color – Racial inequality Patriarchy (feminism) – Gender inequality
Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 The Interactionist Perspective Micro-level analysis Society is interactions between people Social problems occur when: Social interaction is disrupted People are labeled deviant People’s perception of reality is different
Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Sociological Explanations of Violence Functionalist: Social institutions are not providing social stability Anomie creates moral decay and violence increases Conflict: Response to inequalities Economic and racial exploitation leads to violence Symbolic Interactionist: Learned attitudes and values Violence results from “situational transactions”
Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Sociological Solutions of Violence Functionalist: Social institutions (family, schools, religion) must be strengthened Conflict: Changes needed in political and economical arenas to bring about equality Symbolic Interactionist: Change societal values that encourage excessive competition and violence
Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Social Research Methods: Field Research Study of life in a natural setting Observing and interviewing people in many settings Participant observations Provides complete understanding of environment Requires strong interpersonal skills
Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Survey Research Series of questions on a specific topic Used frequently by social scientists Self administered or face-to-face interviews UCR and NCVS Allows study of large population
Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Secondary Analysis of Existing Data Data is already collected Unobtrusive research Sources include the U.S. Census No direct contact with subjects Can include content analysis
The Study of Minorities Chapter 1 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon This multimedia product and its contents are protected under copyright law. The following.
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This multimedia product and its contents are protected under copyright law. The following are prohibited by law: any public performance or display, including.
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