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Lauer12e ch01 1
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Lauer12e ch01 1
1. Chapter One Understanding Social Problems
Personal vs. Social Problems• Personal Problem: one whose causes and solutions lie within the individual and his or her own environment.• Social Problem: one whose causes and solutions lie outside the individual and the immediate environment. © 2011 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Consequences ofProblems• The sense of inadequacy – blaming or downgrading oneself.• Individual strategies are employed to cope with the problem, such as coping mechanisms.• The victim is blamed.• The offender is castigated. © 2011 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Social Problem• A condition or pattern of behavior that – Contradicts some other condition or pattern of behavior; – Is caused, facilitated, or prolonged by factors that operate at multiple levels of social life; – Involves intergroup conflict; and – Requires social action to be resolved. © 2011 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
A Theory-Based Model• Structural Functionalism – Focuses on social systems and the way in which their interdependent parts maintain order.• Conflict Theory – Focuses on contradictory interests of groups, inequalities in society, and the resulting conflict and change.• Symbolic Interactionism – Focuses on the interaction between individuals, the importance of knowing individuals’ perspectives to understand their behavior, and the ways in which social life is constructed through interaction. © 2011 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Structural Functionalism• A problem involves a system of interdependent parts, including – Norms – shared expectations about behavior. – Roles – behavior associated with a particular position in the social structure. – Institutions – collective means of dealing with basic social functions. – Values – things preferred because they are defined as having worth. © 2011 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
A Model for Analyzing SocialProblems © 2011 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Quality of Life• Americans evaluate their quality of life according to how well they are doing – Financially, – Physically, – Emotionally, – Socially, and – Culturally © 2011 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Multiple Levels of SocialProblems• Individual level• Group levels• Societal levels• Global levels © 2011 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Analyzing Social Problems• Get the feel of the problem by seeing how it affects people’s lives and examining how the problem involves a contradiction and is defined as incompatible with the desired quality of life.• Analyze the multiple-level factors involved.• Consider various ways to attack the problem. © 2011 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Recognizing Fallacies• Fallacy of Dramatic • Fallacy of Appeal to Instance Prejudice• Fallacy of Retrospective • Fallacy of Circular Determinism Reasoning • Fallacy of Authority• Fallacy of Misplaced • Fallacy of Concreteness Composition• Fallacy of Personal • Fallacy of Non Attack SequiturThese Concepts will be used in Every Chapter © 2011 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Fallacy of Authority• The illegitimate appeal to authority – The authority may be ambiguous. – The authority may be irrelevant to the problem. – The authority may be pursuing a bias rather than studying the problem. © 2011 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Social Research• Survey Research – Using questionnaires and/or interviews to gain data about some phenomenon• Statistical Analysis of Official Records – Mean – Test of Significance – Frequency Distribution – Median score © 2011 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Social Research – Continued• Experiments – Manipulation of one or more variables, control of other variables, and measurement of the consequences in still other variables. • Independent Variables • Dependent Variables• Participant Observation – Direct participation in, and observation of the social reality being studied. © 2011 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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