Social Problems

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  • Edition: 11th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2004-01-01
  • Publisher: Pearson College Div
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With historical and multicultural sensitivity, this best-selling book probes the nature and causes of the major social changes confronting today's citizens. Using the latest research, current statistics, examples, charts, and tables, it delves into the social control and action issues inherent to each problem in a clear, easy-to-read format. Balancing viewpoints and supporting material with research and policy, the book covers topics in a micro-to-macro format, pointing out the interrelationships among today's social problems and approaching them from several perspectives. The first few chapters focus on individual behaviors such as drug use and crime. The middle chapters deal with inequality and discrimination, discussing such topics as poverty, prejudice, sexism, ageism, family life, and work. The final chapters discuss the problems of cities, environmental pollution, and war and terrorism: matters of global significance. Because the nature of the United States is changing, with health and health care crises, military invasions, economic downturn, shrinking public budgets and rising fiscal deficits, and environmental issues, this book becomes a necessary read for members of the medical profession that confront the tragedy of AIDS, law enforcement professionals who cope with crime and violence, elected officials and other political leaders who are expected to formulate sound social policies to address social problems, and citizens who wish to learn more about the social problems that are pervasive in our lives.

Table of Contents

Sociological Perspectives on Social Problems
Problems of Health and Health Care
Problems of Mental Illness and Treatment
Alcohol and Other Drugs
Crime and Violence
Poverty Amid Affluence
Racism, Prejudice, and Discrimination
Gender and Sexuality
An Aging Society
The Changing Family
Problems of Education
Problems of Work and the Economy
Urban Problems
Population and Immigration
Technology and the Environment
Terrorism and War
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.


This eleventh edition ofSocial Problemsappears during an almost unprecedented time of uncertainty and danger in the world. Terrorism, military invasions, renewed regional arms races, economic downturn, shrinking public budgets, and rising fiscal deficits--all indicate an increase in social problems on many other fronts. After more than a decade of rather favorable trends for crime, health, employment, and the reduction of poverty, the United States faces the prospect of reverses in these and other vital areas of its national life. On the world stage, the growing problems of disease, poverty, and political instability are further indications that the next few years are likely to witness reverses in progress on major social problems. On the domestic front, huge budget deficits, brought on by what many see as a radical attack on public programs in such areas as health and welfare, make it likely that inequality and its attendant problems will only increase. Rollbacks on environmental protection, protection of workers' safety, and health care for the nation's neediest people add to the gloomy prospect. But there are some bright spots, as always. The Bush administration's move to become more active in the global fight against AIDS is encouraging and has been welcomed by leaders throughout Africa and other regions hit hard by the AIDS pandemic. For every major social problem confronting Americans and citizens of other nations, there are groups of people dedicated to seeking a solution. Some of them are experts on particular social problems, like the members of the medical profession who each day confront the tragedy of AIDS, or the law enforcement professionals who cope with crime and violence. Others are nonprofessionals, often citizens who have devoted themselves to doing something about a particular situation or problem. Among these activists are people who have experienced the condition they seek to improve--women who have suffered sexual abuse, people who know what it is to be homeless, drug and alcohol abusers who want to help themselves and others, and neighbors confronted with the dumping of toxic wastes. Such groups may also include elected officials and other political leaders who are expected to formulate sound social policies to address social problems. This book is written in an effort to make their work more effective and in the hope that some readers will be moved to take up their causes. We dedicate it to the citizens of the world who devote some of their precious time on earth to helping others. Organization of the Book The first few chapters of this book focus on relatively individual behaviors, such as drug use and crime. The social institutions and other factors that affect these behaviors are noted and described. The middle chapters focus on inequality and discrimination, discussing such topics as poverty, prejudice, sexism, and ageism. Every attempt has been made to indicate the effects of large-scale discrimination on individuals, as well as to deal with the concept of institutionalized inequalities. Later chapters discuss problems that are common to many societies, such as those related to family life and work. The final chapters--on the problems of cities, environmental pollution, and war and terrorism--focus on matters of global significance. It seems best to discuss each subject in a separate chapter in order to deal with it comprehensively and in depth. Throughout the book, however, an attempt has been made to indicate how the different problems overlap and are interrelated. Pedagogical Devices Social Problemshas been designed to be as helpful as possible to both students and teachers. Each problem is discussed in a well-organized and readable manner. As much as possible, unnecessary terminology has been avoided. The treatment of each problem is analytical as well as descriptive, and includes the most up-to-date findings av

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