ch. 1 What Do We Mean by Social Problems?

The objectivist definition for harm can be criticized for being
so broad that it is vague to the point of losing its meaning
***Subjectivists tend to think of social problems as
the process of responding to social conditions
Saying that something is socially constructed means that it is
shaped by people’s definitions and understandings of it
Claimsmaking can most accurately be described as a process in which people
bring to the attention of others a situation that they find troubling
***Your text argues that because we know that knowledge is socially constructed
it is important to carefully evaluate claims and evidence
***The impact of claimsmaking on the public’s perceptions is typically measured using
public opinion polls
The term policy outcomes refers to
– the extent to which the policy solves the problem
– people’s reaction to the social problems process
– critics’ concerns about how the policies are implemented
– critics’ concerns about the production of new problems through the solutions to the old problems
***The term feedback is used to refer to
the relationship between claimsmakers who are making claims about the same social problem
Social problems workers are typically responsible for
carrying out the practical actions deemed necessary to manage a problem
Which is NOT one of the six stages in the natural history model of the social problems process
research confirmation
(1. claimsmaking 2. media coverage 3. public reaction
4. policymaking 5. social problems work 6. policy outcomes)
objectivist
approach to defining social problems while couching the definition in terms of objectively measurable characteristics of conditions
subjectivist
defines social problems in terms of people’s subjective sense that something is or isn’t a problem
social construction
process by which people continually create (or construct) meaning
social problems process
process through which particular troubling conditions come to be constructed as social problems
constructionist
claimsmakers
people who seek to convince others that there is a troubling condition about which something ought to be done
troubling conditions
a condition that becomes a subject of claims
natural history
a sequence of stages often found in a particular process 1. claimsmaking 2. media coverage 3. public reaction
4. policymaking 5. social problems work 6. policy outcomes
activists
members of a social movement organization who make claims about social problems
experts
people-such as physicians, scientists, lawyers, and officials-who have special knowledge and claim to speak with special authority
policymaking
the process of devising policy to address a particular troubling condition
social problems work
the application of constructions of a troubling condition or a social policy to practical situations
policy outcomes
the result of how a particular social policy is implemented
resources
anything that can be drawn upon to construct a claim
rhetoric
the study of persuasion
feedback
the phenomenon in which a particular cause produces an effect that in turn affects the cause
social problems
matters which directly or indirectly affect a person or many members of a society and are considered to be problems, controversies related to moral values, or both