slide1 n.
Download
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
H.L. Mencken (1880 - 1956) journalist, editor, critic PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
H.L. Mencken (1880 - 1956) journalist, editor, critic

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 24

H.L. Mencken (1880 - 1956) journalist, editor, critic - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 107 Views
  • Uploaded on

The Sociological Study of Social Problems. “ For every major problem in this nation, there is a simple solution – . and it is wrong . ”. H.L. Mencken (1880 - 1956) journalist, editor, critic. The Sociological Study of Social Problems.

loader
I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
capcha
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'H.L. Mencken (1880 - 1956) journalist, editor, critic' - nedaa


An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
slide1

The Sociological Study of Social Problems

“For every major problem in this

nation, there is a simple solution –

and it is wrong.”

H.L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)

journalist, editor, critic

slide2

The Sociological Study of Social Problems

The application of a sociological perspective will help us

understand

1. the kinds, sources, persistence, and consequences

of social problems;

2. why some programs rather than others are

implemented to address these problems

what factors - all apart from the severity of the

problem - affect the likelihood that proposed

programs will successfully reduce the extent to

which the problem exists.

slide3

Socio-historical Account

. . . people,

. . . events,

. . .and especiallyideas -

and how they have changed over time

slide4

Defining Social Problems

Objectivist

&

Subjectivist

Approaches

slide5

What is a “Social Problem”

Every set of conditions that is recognized as a social problem

existed for some time before it came to be “defined” as such.

Historically, unjust conditions have been taken for granted as

part of the natural and inescapable order of things - i.e., the

treatment of women, Native Americans and African-Americans.

The act of defining a phenomenon as a social problem implies

that the situation is undesirable and that something should be

done to remedy it.

A major process is involved in transforming an objective

problem condition into one that is in the forefront of the

public’s consciousness.

slide6

What is a “Social Problem”

Where does legitimate discipline end and child abuse begin?

Pro Choice OR Pro Life

organized social protest by “rabblerousers”

OR

blind obedience, ignorance and/or public apathy

Institutionalized discrimination

OR

Affirmative action programs

Is poverty a social problem or the fault of certain individuals?

slide7

Subjectivist position

A condition is a social problem only when it is perceived as undesirable.

A social problem exists when a significant number of people – or a small

number of significant people – believe that a certain condition is in fact a

problem in need of remedy.

“No condition, no matter how dramatic or shocking

to someone else, is a social problem unless the values

of a considerable number of people within the society

define it as a problem.”

Paul B. Horton & Gerald R. Leslie

slide8

Objectivist position

A social problem exists as soon as a significant number of individuals

are adversely affected by a phenomenon related to social factors,

even if no one recognizes it.

“A social problem is a condition caused by factors

built into the social structure of a particular society

that systematically disadvantages or harms a specific

segment or a significant number of the society’s

population.”

Daniel J. Curran & Claire M. Renzetti

“A social problem exists when there is a sizable

difference between the ideals of a society and its

actual achievements.”

James Coleman & Harold Kerbo

slide9

Objective & Subjective Elements

Social problems are not only subjective states

of mind; they are also objective states of affairs

“A social problem exists when there is a sizeable

discrepancy between what is and what people

think ought to be.”

Robert K. Merton

1910- 2003

manifest social problems – those that are recognized

latent social problems – those that are real but unnoticed.

slide10

Objective & Subjective Elements

“Social problems come into being as a concerned

group defines an issue as harmful and in need of

change.”[Page 1]

“A social problem is a condition that undermines

the well-being of some or all members of a

society and that is usually a matter of public

controversy.”[Page 2]

“The reality of a social problem is partly a matter

of objective facts and partly a matter of how

individuals subjectively interpret these facts.”

John J. Macionis

slide11

What is a “Social Problem”

Rarely does a complete consensus occur in society as to

whether a given condition does or does not constitute a

social problem.

In most instances, consensus on social problem matters is

virtually impossible to obtain.

Disagreements:

What constitutes a social problem

How severe or urgent is it - priority ranking

What should be done?

slide12

Summary of Questions

What social factors affect the probability that one set of circumstances

rather than another comes to be “defined” as a social problem that

requires our attention and active intervention?

What types of social factors lead to the existence of social problems?

What social factors affect the probability that one type of program

will be implemented rather than any of the alternative competing

approaches?

What social factors - all apart from the severity of the social problem -

affect the probability that proposed programs will reduce the extent

to which the problem exists?

slide13

What is a “Social Problem”

“What constitutes a social problem” is the outcome of an

extended set of social negotiations between different groups

with markedly different sets of legitimate beliefs, values,

attitudes, perceptions, interests, and power.

These differences affect not only why some social

circumstances rather than others come to be defined and

acknowledged as social problems, but also how these social

problems, once recognized, are prioritized, and why some

proposed solutions rather than others are implemented.

slide14

What is a “Social Problem”

Ingredients & Problematics

An “objective” condition: real, tangible, measurable

“a sizeable discrepancy between what is and what people

think ought to be”

Who determines “what is” and how do they do so?

Social scientists? Those directly affected?

How accurate, robust or contentious are the

findings? Lies, damn lies, and statistics.

What constitutes a “sizeable” - as compared to as

acceptable - discrepancy? Threshold?

What “ought to be?” Who decides?

slide15

What is a “Social Problem”

Ingredients & Problematics

2. A “subjective” definition of the condition as problematic

Rarely does a complete consensus occur in society as to

whether a given condition should be considered a

social problem.

What social factors affect the probability that one set of

circumstances rather than another comes to be “defined”

as a social problem that requires our attention and active

intervention? --> Social Movements, resource mobilization

A situation will become an officially recognized or certified

social problem only when people who are strategically located

in a society’s power structure acknowledge its existence.

slide16

What is a “Social Problem”

Ingredients & Problematics

3. An “objective” condition that is “undesirable”

“. . . that adversely affects a significant number of people – or

a small number of significant people”

That which adversely affects one group can and often does

privilege another group

slide17

Typology of Social Problems

  • Manifest Social Problems
  • Objectively real and empirically demonstrable
      • Recognized, certified and supported by
      • government agencies
  • Contending Social Problems[vying for governmental validation]
  • Objectively real and empirically demonstrable
      • Recognized, certified and supported by private
      • agencies and/or organizations
slide18

Typology of Social Problems

Incipient Social Problems [initial stage; beginning to come to notice]

Objectively real and empirically demonstrable

Recognized by a loose collection of individuals

with similar beliefs and grievances; no

organizational base.

Latent Social Problems

Objectively real and empirically demonstrable

Not recognized.

Pseudo Social Problems

Spurious. Not corresponding to reality

Recognized by either governmental or private

agencies and/or by specified groups

slide19

Typology of Social Problems

Objective Subjectively Recognized and

Reality; Acted Upon by

Empirically Govt. Private Collectivities;

Demonstrated Agencies Groups

Manifest YesYes Yes Yes

Contending YesNoYes Yes

Incipient YesNo NoYes

Latent Yes No No No

Pseudo No

Rarely Sometimes Often

slide20

What is a “Social Problem”

Ingredients & Problematics

4. They are “social” in origin

“. . . caused, perpetuated, prolonged by social factors.”

Prior to the emergence of sociology, social problems have

been variously attributed to

“Original Sin” and/or the sinfulness of a particular individual,

malevolent spirits,

insanity, either moral or physical,

the inevitable result of natural law,

an inferior heredity

slide21

The “Social” Origins of Social Problems

What types of social factors lead to the existence of social

problems?

The influence of other people:

significant others – including parents, role models, peer groups;

Social disorganization:

rapid social and technological change;

Institutional breakdowns:

family, economy, polity, religion, education;

Structural strains and internal contradictions:

social structure and anomie; institutional ambivalence

Unanticipated consequences of well-intentioned actions:

labeling, “Matthew Effect”;

slide22

The “Social” Origins of Social Problems

“Social sadism” & “sociological euphemisms”

“Social sadism”: social structures that are so organized as

to systematically inflict pain, humiliation, suffering, and deep

frustration upon particular groups and strata.

unequal access to resources and opportunities;

institutionalized discrimination;

exploitation of weak groups by powerful ones;

“Sociological euphemisms”: analytically useful concepts

such as social stratification, social exchange, reward system,

dysfunction, symbolic interaction, etc. that, by sounding

impersonal and objective, deflect attention from the intense

feelings of pain and suffering that are the experience of

some people caught up in given patterns of social life.

Robert Merton, “Insiders and Outsiders.”

slide23

Sociologists

as

Social Critics

One of the tasks of sociologists is to identify latent social

problems – conditions that are at odds with current interests

and values but not generally recognized as being so – thereby

alerting people to pending difficulties.

By making latent social problems manifest – by discovering

unwanted consequences of institutionalized arrangements –

the sociologist inevitably becomes a social critic.

slide24

Sociologists

as

Social Activists

“The philosophers have only interpreted

the world in various ways; the point is

to change it.”

Karl Marx, 1845

This epitaph appears on Marx’s tombstone in Highgate Cemetary, London.

1818 - 1883