Social Problems 6th Edition by John Macionis Ch. 1 studying soc. problems

What is the systematic study of human societies?
sociological imagination
a point of view that highlights how society affects the experiences we have and the choices we make. C Wright Mills used this.
a way of life including wide spread values, beliefs, and behavior(what people do everyday)
people who live within some territory and share many patterns of behavior
Benefits of learning about sociology and using the sociological imagination.
Learning about sociology and using the sociological imagination gives us power to make change. Many personal troubles people face are social issues. It helps see truths and encourages us to play a part in shaping our nation. Using the sociological imagination transforms personal troubles into social issues by showing these issues affect countless people like us. Joining with others, we can improve our lives and break free of traps as we set out to change a society.
social problems
a condition that undermines the well being of some or all members of society. Usually public controversy. Social problems vary over time.
social constructionist approach
social problems arise as people define conditions undesirable or in need of change.
claims making
process of convincing the public that a particular issue should be defined as a social problem. Ex. (MADD)
Social movement
organizers effort at claims making that tries to shape the way people think about an issue to encourage/discourage change.
4 Stages of social movements
Emergence: initial claim
Coalescence: claim publicized
Formalization: recognized as political debate.
Decline: public interest declines.
8 assertions of social problems problems result from ways our society operates.
2. not caused by bad people.
3. socially constructed as people define a condition as harmfuland in need of change.
4. people see problems differently.
5. problems vary over time
6. social problems are interrrelated.
statement of how/why specific facts are related.
Theoretical approach
a basic image of society that guides thinking and research.
intended , intentional to improve
unintended, derailed by pregnancy, poor health, military,
Structural function approach
theoretical framework that sees society as a system of many interrrelated parts. every part needs to work together to function
social institutions
main part of this system is tonmeet basic human needs. education, family, religion.
structural functionist theorists
august comte
emile durkheim
herbert spencer
social conflict approach
sees society as divided by inequality and conflict. society divided into have and have nots. socially marginalized things against them. ex: women, poor, elderly, minority’s
social conflict theorists
karl marx,
e b dubois
harriet martineau
jane adams
social conflict approach
Marxism: problems and class conflict. capitalist and proletarians (working class)
problems of racial and ethnic inequality
a political movement that seeks social equality of women and men.
gender conflict theory
explains social problems in terms of mens dominance over women.
symbolic interaction approach
theoretical sees society as the product of individuals interacting with one another.
observe, imitate, pos/neg reinforcement.
labeling theory
primary, secondary, stigma negative label
symbolic interactionist theorist
george herbert mead
max weber
social policy
formal strategies to affect how society operates. if its legal we are more accepting or tolerant.
policy and culture
social policy tends to be shaped by exsisting cultural values.
seek to limit the scope on societal change. focus is on shortcomings of individuals not society.
favor sweeping change in society. see problems in the organization of society.
support policies thst go beyond reform
political spectrum
continuum representing a range of political attitudes.
social issues
political debates involving moral judgments about how people should live.
economic issues
political debates about how a society should distribute material resources.