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Parrillo uses an eclectic and comprehensive blend of theoretical viewpoints to analyze contemporary problems, shows how social problems are socially constructed, and provides many cross-cultural examples of problems in other societies. Brief sociohistorical perspectives at the beginning of each chapter show how the extent of problems in the U.S., as well as our perception of them, have changed over time.
Parrillo (William Patterson U.) and his New Jersey colleagues have updated the 1996 edition to reflect current events that have since redirected thinking about contentious issues such as welfare, assistance to immigrants, affirmative action, HMOs as for profit businesses, and domestic terrorism. Their discussion--for students who may not be sociology majors--is organized under the headings of the sociology of social problems; and challenges to: individual well-being, social equity, social institutions, and the quality of life. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.