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Lecture 7

SOCWORK 1A06 Lecture 7: Social Work - Understanding Social Problems

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McMaster University
Social Work
Chase Collver

1 Wednesday, October 4, 2017 Social Work Professor C. Collver Lecture notes Understanding Social Problems * Critical Literature Review November 1 @ 5:00pm. What is a social problem? Social problem exists when: A sufficiently powerful population becomes collectively aware of conditions it considers to be threatening to its well-being. Sets out to alter those conditions so as to reduce the perceived threat. Social problems require: A collective set of values. Awareness of the condition. Sufficient power to act. Movie- Noam Chomsky The fact of inequality has a harmful corrosive effect on democracy. In a democracy, public opinion has an effect on policy. Privileged and powerful sectors have never liked democracy takes power away from them. Concentration of wealth yields concentration of power a vicious cycle. Adam Smith calls them the master of mankind. The merchant = business men. >> Principle 1 Clash b/w pressure for freedom/democracy and the powers that control it. James Maddison felt that the US should be designed so that power is in the hands of the wealthy. Maddison believed these wealthy men had sympathy for others. System was set up to prevent democracy. Aristotle proposed a welfare state to try and reduce inequality. 1960s had significant democratization. >> Principle 2 Shape Ideology Lewis F. Powell believed businesses were in trouble.
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