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Chapter 1

social problems chapter 1 notes

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University of Toronto St. George

Page 1 of 6 th January 11 SP1 What Are Social Problems? - social problem a social condition or pattern of behaviour that is believed to warrant public concern and collective action Sociology and the Study of Social Problems th - rise of sociology 19 century during industrialization Objective and Subjective Elements - objective elements o the measureable features of a negative social condition; such conditions can be considered an objective reality - subjective elements peoples evaluation of objective conditions and the processes that influence their evaluations o they include the moral labels that people apply to particular situations (good, sick), and the accounts they give for these acts and situations o beliefs set in motion actions that have social consequences (ex. legislation) o our subjective or emotional responses often lead to the social construction of social problems central feature: claims-making process by which people try to capture attention and mobilize public opinion around particular problems Social Problems and the Sociological Imagination - terms coined by C. Wright Mills in his 1959 book, The Sociological Imagination - the ability to see connections between ones own life (micro-events), the social world in which one lives (macro-events), and between private troubles and public issues o the sociological imagination enables people to distinguish between personal troubles and public issues - describes the sociologists ability to connect seemingly impersonal and remote historical forces to the most basic incidents of an individuals life - sociologists make these connections by analyzing reality at two levels o micro-sociology focuses on interactions between individuals in small groups o macro-sociology focuses on the societal level - Hagan and McCarthy studies on street youths Social Problems Research as Moral Enterprise www.notesolution.com
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