chapter1 - Understanding Social Problems Sixth Edition...

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Understanding Social Problems Sixth Edition
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Chapter Outline What Is a Social Problem? Elements of Social Structure and Culture The Sociological Imagination Theoretical Perspectives Social Problems Research Goals of the Textbook Understanding Social Problems
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Social Problems In a 2006 Gallup poll, Americans were asked, “What is the most important problem facing this country today?”. Survey results indicate that fewer than 30% of Americans were satisfied “with the way things are going in the country today.”
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What Is a Social Problem? A social problem is a social condition that a segment of society views as harmful to members of society and in need of remedy.
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Suicide Bombers: A Social Problem Since the horror of September 11, 2001, terrorism in the United States has taken on new meaning. Here airport security guards inspect vehicles approaching the terminals.
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Objective Elements of Social Problems Awareness of social conditions through life experiences and through reports in the media. We see the homeless, hear gunfire in the streets, and see battered women in hospital emergency rooms. We read about employees losing their jobs as businesses downsize and factories close.
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Subjective Elements of Social Problems The belief that a particular social condition is harmful to society or to a segment of society and that it should and can be changed. We know crime, drug addiction, poverty, racism, violence, and pollution exist. These are not considered social problems unless a segment of society believes these conditions diminish the quality of human life.
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Variability in Definitions of Social Problems Some Americans view the availability of abortion as a social problem, others view restrictions on abortion as a social problem. Variations in what is considered a social problem are due to differences in values, beliefs, and life experiences.
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What Do You Think? Research indicates that news on the Internet is beginning to replace television news as the primary source of information for many computer users. What role do the various media play in our awareness of social problems? Will definitions of social problems change as sources of information change and, if so, in what way?
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Homosexuality Some individuals view homosexual behavior as a social problem while others view homophobia as a social problem. Here, participants carry a giant rainbow flag during a gay pride parade in Toronto, Canada.
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Elements of Social Structure The structure of a society refers to the way society is organized. Society is organized into Institutions Social groups Statuses Roles
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An institution is an established and enduring pattern of social relationships. The five traditional institutions are:
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This note was uploaded on 01/31/2010 for the course SO 254 taught by Professor Simmon during the Fall '09 term at Grand Rapids Community College.

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chapter1 - Understanding Social Problems Sixth Edition...

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