Social Problems An Introduction to Critical Constructionism

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-03-27
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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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.

Author Biography

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

Prefacep. ix
An Introduction to the Sociology of Social Problemsp. 3
The Sociological Perspectivep. 3
Critical Constructionismp. 9
Nonsociological Philosophiesp. 13
The Cross-Cultural and Global Perspectivesp. 14
Corporate Americap. 16
The Mediap. 17
The Homogenization of Culturep. 21
Summaryp. 22
The Plan of This Bookp. 23
Inequalityp. 25
An Introduction to Critical Economicsp. 25
The Gap Between the Rich and the Restp. 29
The Plight of the American Workerp. 36
Povertyp. 50
Race and Inequalityp. 61
Global Inequalitiesp. 68
Immigrationp. 73
Application: The Gross Domestic Productp. 76
Summaryp. 77
Problems of the Familyp. 82
The Family In Historical Perspectivep. 82
The Current State of the Familyp. 89
Children, Our Most Precious Resource?p. 94
Capitalism Versus the Familyp. 104
Application: Children Having Childrenp. 106
Summaryp. 111
Crime and Deviancep. 114
University and Relativityp. 114
Examples of the Relativity of Crime and Deviancep. 115
The Cultural Production of Knowledge About Crimep. 121
Crime Scaresp. 125
Street Crimep. 133
The American Punishment Frenzyp. 141
Application: Terrorismp. 153
Summaryp. 156
Problems of the Environmentp. 159
Technology and the Environmentp. 159
Scientific Uncertaintyp. 160
Corporate Suasionp. 163
SLAPPsp. 169
Consumerismp. 173
Inequality and the Environmentp. 181
Global Inequalityp. 184
Application: Overpopulationp. 188
Summaryp. 192
Conclusionsp. 196
Glossaryp. 204
Notesp. 208
Indexp. 229
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