The Study of Social Problems Seven Perspectives

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  • Edition: 7th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-02-10
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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This anthology uses seven theoretical perspectives to examine social problems (unlike most social problems texts, which are organized topically around issues such as drug abuse, crime, etc.). Each section begins with an overview of the main contributors to the perspective, its history, and an outline of its major characteristics, and closes with a critique of the perspective and questions for discussion. This book is used in social problems courses, which is a lower-level course, but it takes a higher level approach due to its heavy focus on theory. The book's strengths include its theoretical approach to social problems and its clear illustrations of those theories. It is well-organized, comprehensive, and affordable and also includes primary sources and scholarly articles (or excerpts thereof).

Author Biography

ER is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Northeastern University. MW is Professor of Sociology at Indiana University. His research has focused on a variety of topics including models of female sexuality, foot fetishism, intersexuality, sadomasochism, sex work, and bisexuality. Recent work has focused specifically on the social and interpretive worlds of men who have sex with animals.

Table of Contents

The Problem
Social Problems and Sociology
The Definition of a Social Problem, The Development of American Sociology, Sociological Perspectives on Social Problems, Plan of the Book, Summary and Conclusion, Selected References
The Perspectives
Social Pathology
The Concept of Social Problems, Roots of the Social Pathology Perspective, Changes in the Social Pathology Perspective, Characteristics of the Social Pathology Perspective, Summary and Conclusion
The Organic Analogy
The Child Savers
A Universal Criterion of Pathology
The Pathology of Everyday Life
The Moral Premises of Social Pathology
Social Disorganization
Problems of Society, Problems of the Discipline, Differences Between the Pathology and the Disorganization Perspectives, The Major Social Disorganization Theorists, Characteristics of the Social Disorganization Perspective, Summary and Conclusion
Social Change and Social Disorganization
The Ecology of Urban Disorganization
Family Disorganization
The Decline of a Black Community
A Disorganizing Concept
Value Conflict
Conflict Theorists and the Formulation of the Value Conflict Perspective, Characteristics of the Value Conflict Perspective, Summary and Conclusion
The Conflict of Values
The Stages of a Social Problem
Sexual Education and Value Conflict
Words Without Deeds
A Critique of the Value Conflict Perspective
Deviant Behavior
The Refocusing of Sociological Thought, Roots in Classical Theory, The Development of Anomie Theory, The Development of Differential Association Theory, Characteristics of the Deviant Behavior Perspective, Summary and Conclusion
Robert Merton: Anomie and Social Structure
Learning to Be Deviant
Self-Injury and a New Form of Differential Association
Anomie: Theory and Fact
An Evaluation of the Theory of Differential Association
Focus and Concerns of the Labeling Perspective, The Discipline and Its Problems, Philosophical Sources of the Labeling Perspective, Founders of the Labeling Perspective, Characteristics of the Labeling Perspective, Summary and Conclusion
Primary and Secondary Deviation
The Stigma of Charity
The Saints and the Roughnecks
Attacks on Labeling Theory
Critical Perspective
The Main Idea of the Critical Perspective, The Social Sources of the Critical Perspective, Characteristics of the Critical Perspective, Summary and Conclusion
Crime and the Development of Capitalism
Toward a Political Economy of Crime
Capitalism and the Problems of Class, Race, and Gender
The Case of a State-Corporate Crime
Evaluating the Critical Perspective
Social Constructionism
The Labeling Perspective: The Critique from Outside, The Rise of Social Constructionism, Constructionism's Growth, Development, and Change, Characteristics of the Constructionist Perspective, Summary and Conclusion
The Definition of Social Problems
How to Successfully Construct a Social Problem
Changing Constructions of Rape
Claims About Immigration
Constructionism in Context
The Prospects
A Sociological Review of the Perspectives
The Seven Perspectives, Applicability, Combining Perspectives
The Social Problem of Terrorism
The Dual Mandate and Sociological Perspectives, Society, Sociology, and the Study of Social Problems
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