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Lecture 8

SOCY 276 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Stereotype

Social Sci, Edu and Soc Work - Sociology
Course Code
SOCY 276
Stacey Alarie

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Moral Panics: Culture, Politics, and Social Construction – Goode
Social problems are constructed
A problem is what the public feels is wrong
Threats are culturally and politically constructed
Product of human imagination
A social problem is the existence of an objective, real and damaging threatening condition
A condition becomes a problem when it harms or endangers human life and well being
Any condition that cuases death or disease that shortens life expectancy or deteroriates the quality
of life
Socials problems are products of dysfunction, social disorganization, value conflicts, and a violation
of norms
Discrepancy between what is and what ought to be
Harm that is inflicted on large numbers of people
A result of injustice, exploitation, oppression, racism, sexism
Subjectivist, relativist position
A condition is a problem when the collective definition of that condition is a problem
The degree of felt concern by everyone
Social problems do not exist objectively
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They are constructed by the human mind
The condition does not even have to exist to be defined as a social problem
Definitions of social problems are produced from socio-cultural circumstances, groups, social
structures, societies, historical eras, individuals, or classes
Expressed values, attitudes, participation, rebellion can all be considered social problems
Measuring Social Problems
Social problems as social movements
Organized or collective action
Campaigns, protest
Trying to change or not change a given condition
Laws that are introduced to criminalize and deal with behaviour and individuals that are causing the
Ranking of a condition or issue in the publics hierarchy of the most serious problems in a country
Public discussion of an issue in the media
Discrepancy between concern and actual threat
Focuses to see social dynamics behind creations of conditions as problem
Moral Crusades
Moral entrepeneur create moral crusades
Folk devils
Deviant stereotypes
Evil wrong doers
The enemy
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