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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 1Sociology: Studying Social Problems What is Sociology? The systematic study of human societies and the social behavior of human groups Society- people who live within a territory and share patterns of behavior Culture- a way of life including values, beliefs, and behavior Sociological Perspective C. Wright Mills coined the term to show that our personal troubles are really social issues that affect many people including ourselves Problems many people face have causes far beyond themselves Seeing Patterns: The Sociological Perspective People experience social problems in personal ways (lack of job, money, and fear of crime) Sociology shows that the problems we face are not only the results of personal choices, but reflect society itself Sociological Perspective A point of view that highlights how society affects the experiences of individuals Roots of personal problems lie in society itself US is an individualistic culture-many view poverty as a personal problem Using a Sociological Perspective C. Wright Mills believed: Society shapes our lives Personal troubles are also social problems (widespread obesity)- This knowledge gives us power by joining with others to improve lives and change society. Many fail to see societies power. Defining Social Problems A social problem is Usually a matter of public controversy A condition that undermines the well-being of some or all members of society Any situation that some people define as troublesome (unemployment, crime, overweight, toxic wastes) Anything that sparks public controversy Seldom harmful to everyone (money to gun manufactures/death from guns) Subjective (opinion) and Objective (fact) Claims Making The process of tying to convince the public (and important public officials) that a particular issue or situation should be defined as a social problem o Mothers Against Drunk Driving o AIDS May bring about counter claims from opponents Social Problems Terms Social movement is an organized effort to shape the way people think about an issue, which encourages or discourages the social change Sexual harassment, family violence, smoking Eight assertions that form the foundation of social problems: 1. They are not caused by bad people 2. Result from how society operates.2....
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