Social Problems – Eitzen

Subjective nature of social problems
What is and what is not a social problem is a matter of definition. Thus, social problems vary by time and place.
Objective reality of social problems
Some societal conditions harm certain segments of the population and therefore are social problems.
Self-actualization
The assumed need (by Maslow) of individuals for creative and constructive involvement in productive, significant activity.
Institutionalized deviance
When a society is organized in such a way as to disadvantage some of its members.
Social problems
Societally induced conditions that harm any segment of the population, and acts and conditions that violate the norms and values found in society.
Sociological imagination
C. Wright Mills’ term, emphasizing that the troubles of individual people are inextricably linked to social forces.
Person-blame
The assumption that social problems result from the pathologies of individuals
System-blame
The assumption that social problems result from social conditions
Cultural deprivation
The assumption by the members of a group that culture of some other group is not only inferior but also deficient. This term is usually applied by members of the majority to the culture of a minority group.
Recidivism
Reinvolvement in crime
Social Darwinism
The belief that the place of people in the stratification system is a function of their ability and effort
Deviant behavior
Activity that violates the norms of a social organization
Capitalism
The economic system based on private ownership of property, guided by the seeking of maximum profits.
Socialism
The economic system in which the means of production are owned by the people for their collective benefit.
Interlocking directorate
The linkage between corporations that results when the individual serves on the board of directors of two companies (a direct interlock) or when two companies each have a director on the board of a third company (an indirect interlock).
Shared monopoly
When four or fewer companies control 50 percent or more of an industry.
Oligarchy
A political system that is ruled by a few.
Plutocracy
A government by or in the interest of the rich.
Democracy
A political system that is of, by, and for the people.
Power elite
People who occupy the power roles in society. They either are wealthy or represent the wealthy.
Systemic imperatives
The economic and social constraints on political decision makers that promote the status quo.
Power
The ability to get what one wants from someone else.
Crime
An act that breaks the law.
Violence
An act of force perceived by the powerful as threatening to the status quo.
Moral order crimes
Acts that violate laws that enforce the morality of the majority.
Victimless crimes
Acts that violate moral order crimes; they may offend the majority, but they do not harm other people.
Secondary deviance
Deviant behavior that is a consequence of the self-fulfilling prophecy of a negative label.
Organized crime
A business operation that seeks profit by supplying illegal goods and services.
White-collar crimes
Illicit acts committed by middle-class and upper-middle-class people in their business and social activities.
Corporate crimes
Illegal acts by business enterprises
Political crimes
Illegal acts intended to influence the political system. Also , the abuse of authority by those in power. Finally, actions by governments that are illegal or immoral.
Racial profiling
The practice of targeting citizens for police encounters on the basis of race.
Bail
Posting of money by the accused to guarantee that he or she will be present at the trial.
Plea bargaining
Arrangement between the prosecution and the accused where the latter pleads guilty in return for a reduced charge.
Adversary system
The U.S. system of justice, whereby the state and the accused engage in a public battle to argue and provide evidence before an impartial judge or jury.
Mandatory sentencing
By law, judges must incarcerate certain types of criminals.
Determinate sentencing
For a given offense, a judge must impose a sentence that is within the confines of the law.
Underemployed
Employed at a level below that for which one has been trained.
Capital punishment
Killing of a criminal by the state
Parole
Conditional release from prison in which the former prisoner remains under the supervision of a parole office.
Recidivism rate
Percentage of offenders who, after their treatment or punishment has ended, are arrested and convicted of new offenses.