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Chapter 1

Social Problems Chapter 1

7 Pages

Course Code
Lorne Tepperman

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Sept. 13/12 Social Problems: Chapter 1 Notes What Are Social Problems? Whats A Social Problem? Social problem social condition or pattern of behavior that demands social concern/collective action Society has rallies and other public events to create awareness to support/protest gays, lesbians, immigrants, and other types of rights We cant fix all the problems but we can support the right causes o Hard to determine truth from falsehood, fact from exaggeration, etc Sociology helps inform ourselves about current problems and make connections to resolve these problems Sociology & the Study of Social Problems: th Study of social problems is old as study of sociology (19 century) o Marx, Weber and Durkheim were all concerned about social problems; they expressed it differently Sociology = social change, conflict, and cohesion ;; all related to social problems In NA and WE believed in progress = industrialization, urbanization, scientific discoveries, and also social improvement/ amelioration o Believed improvements could be made by applying knowledge and expelling ignorance, prejudice, superstition, etc But we do not see nor hear everything Objective and Subjective Elements: Objective Elements: measureable features of a negative social condition (eg. Crime, poverty, alcohol abuse are considered objective realities) o Condition exists and harms people(abuse, pollution, crimes are all countable) Can examine patterns in society and develop theories of what causes these occurrences to vary Positivism Subjective Elements: peoples evaluations of objective conditions and the process that influences their evaluations o Includes moral labels that apply to different acts/situations and reflect peoples beliefs/judgments/emotional reactions (smoking is bad, or gays are inhumane, etc) These beliefs construct social realities creation of social problems Ask for better laws, legislation, prosecution, etc Social construction = claims-making o Process where people try to gather attention and mobilize public opinion around particular issues Social problems influenced by changes in measurable reality and changes in our perceptions of measurable reality Sociological Imagination: Ability to see connections b/w personal life (micro-events) and public world/issues (macro-events) o Key to understanding how social problems affect individual lives Unemployed people may view their loss of jobs as a personal thing but there is widespread unemployment due to globalization, advances in tech, economic recession o People who run the companies and people who are employed (also government) struggle to regulate corps Microsociology (micro-level analysis) focus on individuals in small groups Macrosociology (macro-level analysis) focus on societal level Government/economy and how it affects population as a whole o Traditional/Scientific Approach there are issues to study, facts to read and finally theories to relateSept. 13/12 o Post-modern Approach approach issues directly, take multiple narratives and compare results o Subjectivist/Constructionist Approach determine reasons why people think an issue occurs, even if people are trying to fix it Moral Enterprise: Modernization does not resolve primary problems and also fails to ensure a decent quality of life o 20 century has most tech advancements and also most enviro, and human destruction 7 Main Values: o Life over death; health over sickness; knowing over not knowing; cooperation over conflict; freedom of movement over physical restraint; self-determination over direction by others; freedom of expression over restraint of communication People aim to change society, protect the vulnerable and redress injustice Media turning public issues into private troubles victims blamed for social problems o Blame kids for running away, smoking, drugs, crime but dont look at why they do so o Depression is commonly growing people with depression are blamed for spreading it like wtf Social-structural factors increase probability of problem behaviors. Ex. Risky sexual behaviors o Teenage pregnancy; dropping out of school; low paid income; poverty; culture binds on to children and so on Social Construction: People makes stories about reality they lead to actions that are real in their consequences Thomas Dictum = when people define a situation as real, the situation will be real in its effects o Peoples subjective view of reality not reality itself shapes their behavior
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