Introduction to Social Problems

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  • Edition: 9th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-01-10
  • Publisher: Pearson
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For undergaduate survey courses in social problems. Features an applied approach that looks at the interplay between research and policy in finding solutions, along with a built-in student study guide. Sullivanrs"sIntroduction to Social Problemsexplores the nature and extent of social problems, documents the advances and setbacks that we have made as a society, and analyzes what works and what doesn't work regarding solutions to today's problems. The author, an applied sociologist, shows how scientific research is used to address and correct some of the most difficult and controversial problems confronting the United States and the world today.

Author Biography

Thomas J. Sullivan is Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Social Work at Northern Michigan University , specializing in social psychology, research methods, applied sociology, and medical sociology. He earned his undergraduate degree in sociology from San Francisco State University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California at Santa Barbara . He is the author of Sociology: Concepts and Applications in a Diverse World, 8th ed. (Allyn and Bacon, 2009), Methods of Social Research ( Wadsworth , 2001), and Applied Sociology: Research and Critical Thinking (Allyn & Bacon, 1992); he is the co-author of Applied Social Research: Tool for the Human Services, 8th ed. (Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning, 2011). He has published articles in Social Science and Medicine and Humboldt Journal of Social Relations. His applied research has focused on evaluation research of social service delivery in elementary schools and of teen pregnancy prevention and intervention services. He has served in various elected and appointed positions for the American Sociological Association, the Society for Applied Sociology, and the Midwest Sociological Society.

Table of Contents









CHAPTER 1:   Approaches to the Study of Social Problems

CHAPTER 2:   Growth of Corporate and Government Power 

CHAPTER 3:   Family-Related Problems

CHAPTER 4:   Health and Illness

CHAPTER 5:   Education, Science, and Technology

CHAPTER 6:   Poverty 

CHAPTER 7:   Race and Ethnic Relations

CHAPTER 8:   Gender, Sexual Orientation, and Social Inequality 

CHAPTER 9:   Age And Social Inequality

CHAPTER 10: Crime and Delinquency 

CHAPTER 11: Alcohol and Other Drugs

CHAPTER 12: Prostitution, Pornography, and the Sex Trade

CHAPTER 13: Population Growth and Urbanization

CHAPTER 14: Environmental Problems

CHAPTER 15: Violence, War, and Terrorism






About the Author 


CHAPTER 1:  Approaches to the Study of Social Problems

                            What Is a Social Problem?   

                            Theoretical Perspectives on Social Problems 

                             Research on Social Problems   

                             APPLIED RESEARCH: U ntangling Myths and Facts About Social Problems   

                             Future Prospects: Solving Social Problems   

                             POLICY ISSUES: Domestic Violence: How to Intervene?   

                             Study and Review   

                             Researching Social Problems on the Internet   


CHAPTER 2: Growth of Corporate and Government Power

                            Types of Economic Systems   

                            MYTHS AND FACTS: About Business and Government   

                            The Concentration of Economic and Political Power   

                            Perspectives on the Concentration of Power   

                            INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES Global Economic Concentration   

                            APPLIED RESEARCH Corporate Concentration and Globalization of the Media   

                            Problems Created by the Concentration of Power   

                            Future Prospects   

                            Policy issues What Role Should the Government Play in the Global Economy?   

                            Study and Review   

                            Researching Social Problems on the Internet   


CHAPTER 3: Family-Related Problems

                            The Family in Society   

                            MYTHS AND FACTS About the Family      

                            APPLIED RESEARCH Day Care: Problem or Solution?   

                            Attitudes Toward Marriage and the Family   


                            Diverse Family Lifestyles   

                            Violence in the Family     

                            POLICY ISSUES Should Gay and Lesbian Families Be Legitimized?   

                            Constructing Family Problems: Media Images   

                            Future Prospects   

                            INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES Families and Children in Other Societies   

                            Study and Review   

                            Researching Social Problems on the Internet   


CHAPTER 4: Health and Illness

                            Perspectives on Health Care    

                            MYTHS AND FACTS About Health and Health Care   

                            Health, Illness, and Society     

                            APPLIED RESEARCH Combating the Spread of AIDS   

                            Mental Illness   

                            Problems in Health Care      

                            Bioethics: Technology and Health       

                            Future Prospects      

                            INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES Paying for Health Care in Other Societies      

                            POLICY ISSUES Should Health Care Be for Profit?    

                            Study and Review    

                            Researching Social Problems on the Internet    


CHAPTER 5: Education, Science, and Technology

                            MYTHS AND FACTS About Education, Science, and Technology    

                            Growth of Education and Technology    

                            Perspectives on Education, Science, and Technology    

                            Problems in Education      

                            APPLIED RESEARCH Evaluating the Equality of Educational Opportunities in the United States    

                            Problems of Science and Technology       

                            Future Prospects    

                            POLICY ISSUES Biotechnology Raises the Issue: Whose Life Is It, Anyway?    

                            INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES Education in Other Societies    

                            Study and Review    

                            Researching Social Problems on the Internet    


CHAPTER 6: Poverty

                            The Extent of Poverty    

                            MYTHS AND FACTS About the Poor    

                            Who Are the Poor?       

                            The Causes of Poverty    

                            APPLIED RESEARCH Structural Sources of Entrenched Poverty    

                            Future Prospects     

                            POLICY ISSUES Welfare Reform: How Well Is It Working?    

                            INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES Poverty and Welfare in Other Societies    

                            Study and Review    

                            Researching Social Problems on the Internet    

CHAPTER 7: Race and Ethnic Relations

                            Minority Groups    

                            MYTHS AND FACTS About Race and Ethnicity    

                            Sources of Prejudice and Discrimination    

                            Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the United States    

                            APPLIED RESEARCH Combating Prejudice and Discrimination    

                            Future Prospects    

                            POLICY ISSUES Should the Government Intervene to Improve Opportunities for Minorities?    

                            INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES Switzerland : Cooperation in a Multiethnic Society    

                            Study and Review    

                            Researching Social Problems on the Internet    

CHAPTER 8: Gender, Sexual Orientation, and Social Inequality

                            Men and Women in Society      

                            MYTHS AND FACTS About Gender Inequality       

                            The Socialization of Men and Women     

                            APPLIED RESEARCH Fighting Sexism in Higher Education    

                            The Extent of Gender Inequality in the United States    

                             A Global Perspective on Gender Inequality     

                            Homosexuality and Homophobia     

                            Future Prospects     

                            INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES The Treatment of Women in Other Societies    

                            POLICY ISSUES Fighting Sexual Harassment in the Workplace    

                            Study and Review    

                            Researching Social Problems on the Internet    

CHAPTER 9: Age And Social Inequality

                            Age, Life Course, and Social Structure    

                            MYTHS AND FACTS About Age and Sexual Orientation    

                            Problems of the Young    

                            APPLIED RESEARCH How Well Off Are Children and Youth in the United States?    

                            Problems of the Elderly      

                            Future Prospects    

                            POLICY ISSUES Should Medicare or Social Security Be Based on Age Rather than Need?    

                            INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES Public and Familial Assistance for the Elderly in Other Societies       

                             Study and Review    

                             Researching Social Problems on the Internet    

CHAPTER 10: Crime and Delinquency

                            Explanations of Crime    

                            MYTHS AND FACTS About Crime    

                            Types of Crime    

                            Who Are the Criminals?    

                            The Criminal Justice System    

                            APPLIED RESEARCH Does the Death Penalty Deter Crime?    

                            POLICY ISSUES Should States Let Private Companies Run Correctional Facilities?   

                            Future Prospects    

                            INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES Crime in Other Societies    

                            Study and Review    

                            Researching Social Problems on the Internet    

CHAPTER 11: Alcohol and Other Drugs

                            Drugs and Their Consequences    

                            MYTHS AND FACTS About Drug Abuse    

                            The Extent of Drug Abuse in the United States    

                            APPLIED RESEARCH Discovering the Role of Drugs in Crime and Violence    

                            Explanations of Drug Abuse    

                            Future Prospects    

                            INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES The Political Economy of the Global Drug Trade    

                            POLICY ISSUES Should Drug Use Be Decriminalized in the United States?    

                            Study and Review    

                            Researching Social Problems on the Internet    

CHAPTER 12: Prostitution, Pornography, and the Sex Trade

                            Variety in Human Sexuality    

                            MYTHS AND FACTS About Prostitution and Pornography    



                            INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES The Global Sex Industry        

                            Perspectives on Sexual Deviance    

                            APPLIED RESEARCH Does Pornography Lead to Violence Against Women?    

                            Future Prospects    

                            POLICY ISSUES How Should We Regulate Pornography in an Internet and Cell Phone World?    

                            Study and Review    

                            Researching Social Problems on the Internet    

CHAPTER 13: Population Growth and Urbanization

                            MYTHS AND FACTS About Population Growth and Urbanization    

                            Population Growth    

                            The Growth of Cities    

                            Perspectives on Population and Urban Problems    

                            Consequences of World Population Growth    

                            Problems in Cities of the United States    

                            APPLIED RESEARCH Working to Improve Urban Life    

                            Future Prospects    

                            INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES Population Policy and Family Planning in China    

                            POLICY ISSUES Should the Government Regulate Growth and Development in Urban Areas?    

                             Study and Review    

                             Researching Social Problems on the Internet    

CHAPTER 14: Environmental Problems

                            The Ecosystem    

                            MYTHS AND FACTS About the Environment    

                            Social Sources of Environmental Problems    

                            Perspectives on Environmental Problems    

                            The Social Construction of Environmental Problems    

                            Extent of Environmental Problems    

                            APPLIED RESEARCH Assessing the Extent of Environmental Justice: Race, Class, and Pollution    

                            Future Prospects    

                            POLICY ISSUES Do We Need Government Regulation to Control Environmental Problems?    

                            INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES Environmental Practices and Policies in Other Societies    

                            Study and Review    

                            Researching Social Problems on the Internet    

CHAPTER 15: Violence, War, and Terrorism

                             The Extent of Violence    

                              MYTHS AND FACTS About Collective Violence and War    

                              INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES The Global Arms Trade and the Military–Industrial Complex    

                              Explanations of Collective Violence and War    

                              APPLIED RESEARCH The Social Roots of Terrorist Violence    

                              The Consequences of War and Terrorism    

                              Future Prospects    

                              POLICY ISSUES War and Terrorism in a Nuclear Age    

                              Study and Review    

                              Researching Social Problems on the Internet    


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