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Focus on Social Problems

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2020-03-20
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Supplemental Materials

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Focus on Social Problems: A Contemporary Reader, Second Edition, exposes students to current issues in the field. The selections in this reader help students understand how social problems are defined and constructed, increase their empirical knowledge about the causes and consequences of social problems, and develop empathy. Working from a critical social constructionist foundation, the readings address a wide variety of social problems. Editors Mindy Stombler and Amanda M. Jungels include a combination of research-based articles and popular media pieces. Each chapter opens with an interview of a social-change activist doing work related to the chapter's featured social problem, giving students an opportunity to envision themselves as agents of social change.

Author Biography

Mindy Stombler is Principle Senior Lecturer and Director of Instruction at Georgia State University.

Amanda M. Jungels is Senior Assistant Director of Faculty Programs and Services at the Center for Teaching and Learning at Columbia University.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Wealth and Income Inequality
Activist Interview: Sam Nelson
1. Unequality: Who Gets What and Why it Matters, Michael I. Norton
2. Income Inequality Threatens the American Dream, Renee M. Shelby
BOX: The "Middle Class" Myth: Here's Why Wages Are Really So Low Today, Edward McClelland
3. The Ever-Growing Gap: Without Change, African-American and Latino Families Won't Match White Wealth for Centuries, Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, Chuck Collins, Josh Hoxie, and Emanuel Nieves
BOX: The Second Racial Wealth Gap, Mel Jones
4. Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%, Joseph E. Stiglitz
5. The Cost of Admission: Political Elites and the National Discourse, Chris M. Vidmar

Chapter 3: Poverty
Activist Interview: Destiny Vasquez
6. Rethinking American Poverty, Mark R. Rank
BOX: Perceived Racial Threat and Welfare Backlash in the United States, Amanda M. Jungels and Jordan Forrest Miller
7. $2 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer
BOX: The Americans Deepest in Poverty, Kristen Bialik
8. Making Bank on Tribal Gaming? Poverty and the Myth of Native American Prosperity, Ashley Rockwell
9. Being Poor is Too Expensive, Eric Ravenscraft
BOX: "I Wish I Could Eat That Well": Misconceptions and Resentment about Food Stamps, Arthur Delaney
10. The Eviction Economy, Matthew Desmond
11. A Hand Up for Lower-Income Families, Sarah Halpern-Meekin, Laura Tach, Kathryn J. Edin, and Jennifer Sykes

Chapter 4: Racial and Ethnic Inequality
Activist Interview: Sawsan Selim
12. Sociologists on the Colorblind Question, Elaine McArdle
BOX: Racialized Space in Rentals and Rideshares, Dresden Lackey
13. Racial Residential Segregation and Neighborhood Disparities, Solomon Greene, Margery Austin Turner, and Ruth Gourevitch
14. The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander
BOX: When Heroin Hits the White Suburbs, Andrew Cohen
15. The Disproportionate Risks of Driving While Black, Sharon LaFraniere and Andrew W. Lehren
BOX: "Hands on the Wheel": Disparities in Respect during Traffic Stops, Moey Rojas
16. The Racialization of Islam in the United States: Islamophobia, Hate Crimes, and "Flying while Brown", Craig Considine
BOX: Hate Crimes, Explained, Southern Poverty Law Center
17. Tomahawk Chops and "Red" Skin: Cultural Appropriation of Sport Symbols, Elizabeth S. Cavalier
18. White Fragility, Robin DiAngelo
BOX: White Americans' Racial Attitudes and their Effect on Antidiscrimination Policies, Amanda Atwell and Amanda M. Jungels

Chapter 5: Gender Inequality
Activist Interview: Emily May
19. The Problem When Sexism Just Sounds So Darn Friendly, Melanie Tannenbaum
BOX: The Fault in Our Scores: Gender and Racial Bias in Student Evaluations, Kiersten Kummerow
20. "You Just Accepted It": Why Older Women Kept Silent about Sexual Harassment--and Younger Ones are Speaking Out, Anna North
21. Imagining a Better Boyhood, Sarah Rich
BOX: Selling Feminism, Consuming Femininity, Amanda M. Gengler
22. Transgender Discrimination in the Workplace, Elis Herman and Elroi J. Windsor

Chapter 6: Social Problems Related to Sexuality
Activist Interview: Heather Corinna
23. Sexuality Education in the United States: Shared Cultural Ideas across a Political Divide, Jessica Fields
BOX: America's Sex Education: How We are Failing Our Students, University of Southern California, Department of Nursing
24. "Children" Having Children, Stefanie Mollborn
BOX: Reducing Unintended Pregnancy: The Role of Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives, Stacy Gorman Harmon
25. What Teenagers are Learning from Online Porn, Maggie Jones
26. Normalizing Sexual Violence: Young Women Account for Harassment and Abuse, Heather R. Hlavka
27. Sex Trafficking, Social Inequality, and Our Evolving Legal Consciousness, Renee M. Shelby

Chapter 7: Social Problems Related to Media
Activist Interview: Josh Golin
28. A Modern Empire: The Concentration of Media, Desmond Goss
BOX: How Shows Like "Will & Grace" and "Black-ish" Can Change Your Brain, Maanvi Singh
29. Constructing Crime, Gary W. Potter and Victor E. Kappeler
30. The Grim Conclusions of the Largest-Ever Study of Fake News, Robinson Meyer
BOX: A Savvy News Consumer's Guide: How Not to Get Duped, Alicia Shepard
31. The Algorithmic Rise of the "Alt-Right", Jessie Daniels
BOX: How the Internet Has Changed Bullying, Maria Konnikova
32. Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism, Nancy Wang Yuen

Chapter 8: Social Problems Related to Education
Activist Interview: Jesse Hagopian
33. Inequality and School Resources: What It Will Take to Close the Opportunity Gap, Linda Darling-Hammond
34. How Schools Really Matter, Douglas B. Downey and Benjamin G. Gibbs
BOX: How Limited Internet Access Can Subtract from Kids' Education, Alina Selyukh
35. Why Are Our Most Important Teachers Paid the Least?, Jeneen Interlandi
BOX: Teaching While Afraid, Ashley Lamb-Sinclair
36. Staunching the School-to-Prison Pipeline, Mimi Kirk
BOX: Teachers' Implicit Bias Starts in Preschool, Yolanda Young
37. The Dark Side of College (Un)Affordability: Food and Housing Insecurity in Higher Education, Katharine Broton and Sara Goldrick-Rab
38. Does Investing in Knowledge Still Pay the Best Interest?, Bailey A. Brown

Chapter 9: Social Problems Related to Families
Activist Interview: Ana Hernandez
39. Families Facing Untenable Choices, Lisa Dodson and Wendy Luttrell
BOX: The Diaper Dilemma, Jennifer Randles
40. Unmarried with Children, Kathryn J. Edin and Maria Kefalas
41. Does It Pay to Have Kids? Not for Working Moms, Kirstin Ralston-Coley
42. The Difference Between a Happy Marriage and a Miserable One: Chores, Wendy Klein, Carolina Izquierdo, Thomas N. Bradbury
43. Love Wins?, Amanda K. Baumle and D'Lane R. Compton
44. "Will They Take Me, Too?", Brooke Jarvis
45. Fighting Back, Tim Stelloh

Chapter 10: Social Problems Related to Health and the Healthcare System
Activist Interview: Elba L. Saavedra
46. They've Got a Pill for That: The Medicalization of Society, Stephanie Medley-Rath
47. Paying Till It Hurts: The $2.7 Trillion Medical Bill, Elisabeth Rosenthal
48. Big Pharma Comes of Age, Rose Weitz
49. The Addicts Next Door, Margaret Talbot
50. Why America's Black Mothers and Babies are in a Life-or-Death Crisis, Linda Villarosa
51. What's Killing Poor White Women?, Monica Potts
52. Mechanisms by Which Anti-Immigrant Stigma Exacerbates Racial/Ethnic Health Disparities, Brittany N. Morey
53. How We Do Harm, Otis Webb Brawley and Paul Goldberg

Chapter 11: Social Problems Related to Crime and the Criminal Justice System
Activist Interview: Nicole Porter
54. Mass Shootings, Masculinity, and Gun Violence as Social Problems, Tristan Bridges and Tara Leigh Tober
BOX: Millions of Kids Haven't Lived through a School Shooting, but Fear that They Will, Petula Dvorak
55. Crimes of the Powerful: Crafting Criminality, Miriam Konrad and Angie Luvara
BOX: Inequality in Life and Death: The Death Penalty in the United States, Erin Thomas
56. For-Profit Justice: How the Private Prison Industry and the Criminal Justice System Benefit from Mass Incarceration, Amanda Atwell and Amanda M. Jungels
BOX: How Prisons Change the Balance of Power in America, Heather Ann Thompson
57. Black Lives and Police Tactics Matter, Rory Kramer, Brianna Remster, and Camille Z. Charles
BOX: The Tragic Fiction of Immigrant Threat, Watoii Rabii

Chapter 12: Social Problems Related to the Economy and Work
Activist Interview: Ai-Jen Poo
58. Americans Want to Believe Jobs are the Solution to Poverty. They're Not., Matthew Desmond
59. I Delivered Packages for Amazon and It Was a Nightmare, Alana Semuels
BOX: The Long-Term Jobs Killer Is Not China. It's Automation., Claire Cain Miller
60. Exploitation and Abuse at the Chicken Plant, Michael Grabell
61. No Piece of the Pie: U.S. Food Workers in the United States, Food Chain Workers Alliance and Solidarity Research Cooperative
62. Gender Segregation at Work, Anastasia Prokos
BOX: About Those 79 Cents, Adia Harvey Wingfield
63. The Case against Racial Colorblindness in the Workplace, Carmen Nobel
BOX: What's in a Name? Discrimination, Erin Thomas

Chapter 13: Social Problems Related to the Environment and Food System
Activist Interview: Daniel R. Wildcat
64. Environmental Inequalities, Hollie Nyseth Brehm and David Pellow
BOX: Flint Isn't the Only Place with Racism in the Water, Tracey Ross and Danyelle Solomon
65. The Uninhabitable Earth, David Wallace-Wells
66. More Recycling Won't Solve Plastic Pollution, Matt Wilkins
BOX: Making a Profit on Bottled Water, Eleanor Cummins
67. Why Beef is What's for Dinner: Agricultural Policy and its Implications, Emily Stutzman
BOX: Deserts and Swamps: Inhospitable Foodscapes and Health, Claudia Tillman
68. The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food, Michael Moss
69. A Bug in the System: Why Last Night's Chicken Made You Sick, Wil S. Hylton
BOX: Consumers Fight Back, Food Chain Workers Alliance

Chapter 14: Strategies for Social Change
Activist Interview: Alicia Garza
70. Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted, Malcolm Gladwell
71. The Real Rosa Parks, Paul Rogat Loeb
72. Political Polarization in Contemporary American Society, Megan M. Tesene
BOX: The Worst Voter Suppression We've Seen in the Modern Era, Zachary Roth, Wendy R. Weiser
73. What Can We Do? Becoming Part of the Solution, Allan G. Johnson

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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