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Now in a new edition, Social Problems: An Introduction to Critical Constructionism synthesizes conflict theory and social constructionism to help students think critically about social problems. A concise, student-friendly alternative to all-encompassing standard textbooks, this book examines a single theoretical paradigm in depth, demonstrating how theory can be used to understand a breadth of real world structures. Robert Heiner focuses on the four problems most often encountered in social problems courses: inequality, family, crime and deviance, and overpopulation and the environment. Heiner's critical approach helps students conceive of societal problems as socially constructed phenomena whose importance varies according to media attention and the agendas of particular interest groups. Furthermore, his critical point of view leads students to reevaluate their own preconceived notions and beliefs, in turn generating lively classroom discussions. Revised and updated in this third edition, Social Problems now includes a glossary of key terms and reinforcing end-of-chapter questions, as well as new discussions of such issues as immigration. Additional graphics help visually illustrate key concepts and ideas. Social Problems: An Introduction to Critical Constructionism, Third Edition, is ideal for social problems courses. Given its readability and consistent application of theory, this book could also be used in introductory sociology courses and social theory courses.
Robert Heiner is Professor and Assistant Department Chair of Sociology at Plymouth State College. He is editor of Deviance Across Cultures (OUP, 2007), Social Problems and Social Solutions: A Cross-Cultural Perspective (1998), and Criminology: A Cross-Cultural Perspective (1995).
Table of Contents
|An Introduction to the Sociology of Social Problems||p. 3|
|The Sociological Perspective||p. 3|
|Critical Constructionism||p. 9|
|Nonsociological Philosophies||p. 13|
|The Cross-Cultural and Global Perspectives||p. 14|
|Corporate America||p. 16|
|The Media||p. 17|
|The Homogenization of Culture||p. 21|
|The Plan of This Book||p. 23|
|An Introduction to Critical Economics||p. 25|
|The Gap Between the Rich and the Rest||p. 29|
|The Plight of the American Worker||p. 36|
|Race and Inequality||p. 61|
|Global Inequalities||p. 68|
|Application: The Gross Domestic Product||p. 76|
|Problems of the Family||p. 82|
|The Family In Historical Perspective||p. 82|
|The Current State of the Family||p. 89|
|Children, Our Most Precious Resource?||p. 94|
|Capitalism Versus the Family||p. 104|
|Application: Children Having Children||p. 106|
|Crime and Deviance||p. 114|
|University and Relativity||p. 114|
|Examples of the Relativity of Crime and Deviance||p. 115|
|The Cultural Production of Knowledge About Crime||p. 121|
|Crime Scares||p. 125|
|Street Crime||p. 133|
|The American Punishment Frenzy||p. 141|
|Application: Terrorism||p. 153|
|Problems of the Environment||p. 159|
|Technology and the Environment||p. 159|
|Scientific Uncertainty||p. 160|
|Corporate Suasion||p. 163|
|Inequality and the Environment||p. 181|
|Global Inequality||p. 184|
|Application: Overpopulation||p. 188|
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