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Social Problems: An Advocate Group Approach



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Perseus Books
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This book represents a truly innovative and empowering approach to social problems. Instead of focusing solely on a seemingly tireless list of major problems, Sara Towe Horsfall considers how select key issues can be solved and pays particular attention to the advocate groups already on the front lines. Horsfall first provides a robust theoretical foundation to the study of social problems before moving on to the problems themselves, examining each through the lens of specific advocate groups working towards solutions. This concise and accessible text also incorporates useful learning tools including study questions to help reinforce reading comprehension, questions for further thought to encourage critical thinking and classroom discussion, a glossary of key terms, and a worksheet for researching advocate groups. Social Problems: An Advocate Group Approachis an essential resource for social problems courses and for anyone who is inspired to effect change.

Author Biography

Sara Towe Horsfall is associate professor of sociology at Texas Wes leyan University. She is coeditor of Chaos, Complexity, and Sociology and author of A Neighborhood Portrait. She has also worked as a foreign correspondent and international journalist, giving her unique insight into social problems and their solutions around the world.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. ix
The Theoretical Basis of the Study of Social Problems
What is a Social Problem?p. 3
Six Ingredients of Social Problemsp. 3
How Do Social Problems Occur?p. 6
Levels of Social Problemsp. 15
Information and Claims Makingp. 17
Understanding Advocate Groupsp. 27
Who Are the Advocate Groups?p. 27
Why Do Advocate Groups Form?p. 32
Three Views of Human Naturep. 39
Dynamics Within Advocate Groupsp. 42
Growth and Development of Advocate Groupsp. 46
A Typology of Advocate Group Changep. 48
Ameliorating Actions, Reactions, and Consequencesp. 51
Ameliorating Actions
Legal Reformp. 52
Government Programsp. 56
Professional Agencies, Nonprofits, and Special Interest Groupsp. 57
Education and Public Awareness Campaignsp. 59
Interpersonal Interaction, Apology, Reparationp. 61
Independent, Individual Actionsp. 63
Reactions and Consequences
Opposition Groups: Campaigning Against Reformp. 66
Consequences for the Target Groupp. 61
Unintended Consequencesp. 68
Assessing Overall Social Benefitp. 69
Social Dynamics: The Change Process and Models of Changep. 73
Processes/Patterns of Change
Change Is Linear: Progress and Evolutionp. 74
Change Is Cyclical: Growth and Decayp. 75
Change Is Dialectical: Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesisp. 77
Other Ideas of Social Changep. 79
Causes of Changep. 81
Models for Social Change
Human Interactionp. 84
Organizational Principlesp. 88
Technologyp. 93
The Problems
Problems Addressed Through Government Programsp. 101
Health Carep. 102
Social Securityp. 122
Welfarep. 132
Problems Addressed Through Government Legislationp. 137
Discriminationp. 138
Illegal Immigrationp. 159
Problems Addressed Through Professional Organizations,Nonprofit Groups, and Special Interest Groupsp. 173
Drugs and Alcoholp. 174
Homelessnessp. 196
Domestic Violence (Spousal/Partner and Child Abuse)p. 202
Teen Suicide and Gangsp. 209
Problems with Active Opposition Groupsp. 217
Abortionp. 218
Gender Discriminationp. 227
Euthanasiap. 237
Homosexualityp. 240
Problems Addressed Through Education and Public Awareness, Interpersonal Interaction, Reparation, Apology, and Independent Individual Actionp. 245
Global Warming and Pollutionp. 247
Natural Resources: Water, Land, Energy, Endangered Species, and Rain Forestsp. 259
Sexually Transmitted Diseases/AIDSp. 266
Rape, Date Rape, and Spousal Rapep. 270
Prostitutionp. 274
Social Problem Analysis Worksheetp. 281
Advocate Groupsp. 283
Notes on Similarities and Contrasts of Social Problems Textbooksp. 307
Glossaryp. 311
Sourcesp. 321
Indexp. 353
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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