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Class 37 Social Problems

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SOCI 100
Debra Pentecost

In Class (1) Notes 01-02-2012 An Introduction to Critical Constructionism Robert Herner  Social Problem – a phenomenon regarded as bad or undesirable by a significant number of people or a number of significant people who mobilize to eliminate it  Social movement organization – group mobilizes to eliminate a social problem o To understand why group forms, must understand the social structure o Social structure – total of individuals, groups and institutions in society and relationships between them; assumed rules govern these relationships o Sociology studies and describes these rules Social Problem Perspective  A phenomenon does not become a social problem because of its inherent badness  Instead, due to the factors external to the problem, rooted in social structure and social movement organization Two Questions:  Why does a seemingly harmful phenomenon that has been around for a long time suddenly achieve status of a social problem? Why all of a sudden? o E.g. Child abuse  Why are some seemingly harmful phenomenon considered social problems while others are not? Why this and not that? o E.g. Street crime vs. corporate crime  Other examples o Potential social problems vs. Actual social problems Social Constructionism  Concerned with how meanings of social problems are constructed
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