Social Problems Notes Midterm

Social Problems Notes Midterm - Social Problems Notes...

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Social Problems Notes – Midterm The Sociological Approach to Social Problems A. Overview o society - people who interact with one another within a limited territory and who share a culture o culture - the beliefs, values, behaviors, and material objects shared by particular people o In the 1st part of the 20 th century, social problems were seen as deviations from universal normal behavior o Sociologist in the 1920s and 1930s began to focus on conditions of society such as: 1) migration 2) urbanization 3) industrialization they thought these conditions lead to breakdowns society having impact of bad behavior o 1950s – 1970s they looked at social problems as deviant individuals who violate the expectations of society 2 Approaches: 1) Deviance is the result of a conflict between culturally approved goals and obstacles that prevent people from obtaining the goals Merton’s Strain Theory 2) Deviance is the result of social labels placed on those who do not obtain the approved goals Labeling Theory o More recent theorists have focused on the subjective nature of social problems They are relative to: time place culture o C. Wright Mills Social problems are either (sometimes both) of these two: 1) Private trouble 2) Public (social) issue o example of both: teen pregnancy o social problems - an aspect of society about which people are concerned and they would like change B. Types of Social Problems and Analysis o Norm violations o Norms - standards or codes of conduct in society 4 types of norms: 1) Folkways o minor norms; not necessarily illegal 2) Mores o not illegal but make people stop; ex. coming to class naked 3) Law
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o an encoded norm 4) Taboos o a forbidden act Ways to approach this: 1) Person blame approach o some deviants are blamed for their violation of norms 2) System blame approach o some sociologists believe deviants are victims and should not be blamed entirely by society for their deviance; rather, the system they live in should be blamed C. Theories – Major Perspectives on Social Problems o Functionalist: View of society and social problems: Views society as a vast organism whose parts are interrelated; social problems are disruptions of this system. Also holds that problems of social institutions produce patterns of deviance or that institutions must address such patterns through strategic social change. Origins of social problems: Social expectations fail, creating normlessness, culture conflict, and breakdown. Social problems also result from the impersonal operations of existing institutions, both now and in the past. Proposed solutions: Engage in research and active intervention to improve social institutions o Conflict: View of society and social problems: Views society as marked by conflicts due to inequalities of class, race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, and other major divisions. These often produce
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This note was uploaded on 10/06/2008 for the course SOCI 20223 taught by Professor Steinsult during the Fall '07 term at TCU.

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Social Problems Notes Midterm - Social Problems Notes...

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