Framing Social problems 1

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  • A quality of the mind that allows us to understand the relationship between our particular situation in life and what is happening at a social level
  • Exploration: let students analyze what they think is a possible social problem in this picture. This assignment is meant to identify fallacies of thinking
  • Framing Social problems 1

    1. 1. Framing Social Problems<br />An introduction to a theoretical framework for the analysis of Social Problems 1<br />
    2. 2. Jumpstarting exercise <br />Form groups of 2 and on a piece of paper write down 10 social problems that come to mind<br />You have 15 minutes!<br />See assignment 1<br />
    3. 3.
    4. 4. The sociological imagination<br />
    5. 5. Sociological Imagination (1)<br />One quality of mind that all the great social analysts need to possess in order to study social phenomena<br />The ability to understand <br />“ the intersection between biographyand history”<br />The interplay between the self and the world<br />C. Wright Mills (1916 -1962)<br />
    6. 6. Sociological Imagination<br />C. Wright Mills: <br />“Personal troubles of milieu”<br />“Public issues of social structure”<br />
    7. 7. Sociological imagination (2)<br />The sociological imagination requires that we search for the link between the micro and macro levels of analysis<br />Mill’s characterization of sociology as the intersection between biography and history reminds us that the process works in both directions:<br />While larger social forces influence individual lives, there are many ways in which our individual lives can affect society as well<br />
    8. 8. Personal or social problems?<br />
    9. 9. What do you think isthe difference between personal and social problems?<br />
    10. 10. Assignment 2Personal or social problem?<br />What difference does the distinction between personal and social problems make in understanding the causes and consequences of problems?<br />Work in groups and choose one problem from the list you made at the beginning of this class and try to understand this specific problems in terms of<br />a) A personal problem<br />b) A social problem<br />c) Make a comparison: what different analysis outcomes do you get? What consequences does this have<br />
    11. 11. Personal problem<br />A personal problem is one whose causes and solutions lie within the individual and his/her immediate environment<br />“personal troubles or milieu” <br />
    12. 12. Personal vs. Social problems<br />Viewing a problem as either personal or social leads to identifying very different consequences as well as different causes<br />Helping individuals deal with personal problems is important but it is only a stopgap approach to social problems. <br />
    13. 13. Approaching rape: a personal or social problem ?<br />
    14. 14.
    15. 15. Defining it as a personal problem either blames the victim or castigates the offender<br />
    16. 16. Defining rape as a social problem organizes the need for collective action that attacks factors outside the individual<br />
    17. 17. Tackling personal problems<br />Individual strategies employed to deal with problem<br />Help from professionals depending on the type on problem (e.g. social workers, psychologists etc.)<br />Possible consequences:<br />Personal empowerment<br />Escape mechanism <br />Sense of inadequacy (low self-esteem, self-fulfilling prophecy)<br />
    18. 18. Let’s practice our sociological imagination<br />
    19. 19.
    20. 20.
    21. 21.
    22. 22. And in the same neighborhood… <br />
    23. 23. ‘Personal troubles of milieu’ of ‘public issues of social structures’?<br />
    24. 24. What is a social problem?<br />What’s a social problem?<br />
    25. 25. A broad definition of a social problem <br />“A social problem is a social condition that has negative consequences for individuals, our social world, or psychical world” (Leon-Guerrero, 2010)<br />
    26. 26. A Normative framework for social problems<br />Social condition?<br />Negative consequences?<br />For individuals?<br />Our social world?<br />Our psychical world?<br />Says who? People often disagree, because of different perspectives<br />
    27. 27. different Level of social problems<br />Problems of behavior deviance<br />Problems of inequality<br />Problems of social institutions<br />Global social problems<br />As we will learn it is difficult to place social problems in boxes of categories, since they so complex and overlap.<br />
    28. 28.
    29. 29. Critical thinking for the analysis of SPs<br />
    30. 30.
    31. 31. Recognizing fallacies of thinking<br />
    32. 32. 9 fallacies of thinking when analyzing social problems:<br />Fallacies of thinking when analyzing SPs:<br />Fallacy of dramatic instance: <br />Overgeneralizing<br />Fallacy of misplaced concreteness:<br />making something abstract into something concrete<br />Fallacy of personal attack:<br />Argument by attacking the opponent personally rather than dealing with the issue<br />
    33. 33. examples<br />Fallacy of dramatic instance: <br />Overgeneralizing<br />“We saw two young boys doing drugs in the street; the modern youth is really in decline”<br /> <br />Fallacy of misplaced concreteness:<br />Making something abstract into something concrete<br />“The masculine Aruban culture inhibits a good education for women.”<br />Fallacy of personal attack:<br />Argument by attacking the opponent personally rather than dealing with the issue<br />“We shouldn’t start a program for the homeless; they are all drug addicts.”<br />
    34. 34. 9 fallacies of thinking when analyzing social problems:<br />Fallacies of thinking when analyzing SPs:<br />Fallacy of appeal to prejudice: <br />Argument by appealing to popular prejudices or passions<br />Fallacy of circular reasoning:<br />Using conclusions to support the assumptions that were necessary to make the conclusions<br />Fallacy of retrospective determinism:<br />That argument that things could have not worked out any other way than they did<br />
    35. 35. examples<br />Fallacy of appeal to prejudice: <br />Argument by appealing to popular prejudices or passions<br />“We shouldn’t hire gay people, they have AIDS”<br />Fallacy of circular reasoning:<br />Using conclusions to support the assumptions that were necessary to make the conclusions<br />“Poor people are inferior because they are unable to make any money.”<br />Fallacy of retrospective determinism:<br />That argument that things could have not worked out any other way than they did<br />“There will always be poor people, there always have been”<br />“Without tourism Aruba would be broke”<br />
    36. 36. 9 fallacies of thinking when analyzing social problems:<br />Fallacies of thinking when analyzing SPs:<br />Fallacy of composition: <br />The assertion that what is true of the part is necessarily true of the whole<br />Fallacy of non sequitur:<br />Something that does not follow logically from what has preceded it<br />Fallacy authority:<br />Argument by an illegitimate appeal to authority<br />
    37. 37. examples<br />Fallacy of composition: <br />The assertion that what is true of the part is necessarily true of the whole<br />“Members of parliament are wasteful, parliament is wasteful”<br />Fallacy of non sequitur:<br />Something that does not follow logically from what has preceded it<br />“If you don’t donate to this charity organization, you don’t care about the poor.”<br />Fallacy authority:<br />Argument by an illegitimate appeal to authority<br />“Aruba’s crime rates are rising”<br />“Why do you think that?”<br />“Professor x said so.”<br />
    38. 38. Defining the concept of “Social problems”<br />Defining the concept of ‘social problems’<br />Social problems can be defined in terms of different perspectives<br />The specific angle you choose will influence the way you approach social problems<br />
    39. 39. A perspective influences how you:<br />
    40. 40. Tomorrow we will focus on different perspectives for the understanding of social problems<br />

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