Contemporary Social Problems / Edition 6

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205420766
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 5/11/2004
  • Series: Alternative eText Formats Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 544
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Most chapters conclude with “Sociological Perspectives” and “Thinking About the Future” sections and all chapters end with “Summary,” “Key Terms,” and “Suggested Readings.”

1. Sociology of Social Problems.

Definitions and Perspectives.

The Four Elements of a Social Problem.

The Role of the Social Scientist.

Sociological Perspectives.

Guiding Principles for Studying the Future.

2. The Individual in Modern Society.

Functionalists: Social Situations Create Individuals' Problems.

Conflict Theorists: Alienation and Powerlessness.

Interactionists: Searching for Meaningful Identities.

Postmodernism: A Break with the Past.

Adolescent and Young Adult Suicide.

3. Population and the Environment.

Population in a Sociohistorical Context.

Population Pressure on the World.

The Loss of Forests, Plants and Animals.

World Hunger.

The Ecosystem.

4. Housing and Urbanization.

U.S. Cities in a Sociohistoric Context.

Urban Change in the United States.

Housing Problems and Solutions.

Political Fragmentation.

Can Snowbelt Cities Compete with Sunbelt Cities?

Urban-Suburban Interdependence.

Cities in an International Context.

5. Power, Work and the Workplace.

Work in Sociohistorical Context.

Corporate Power.

The Military-Industrial Complex.

Government-Corporate Alliances.

Work in the United States.

Occupational Health and Safety.

6. Poverty and Social Class.

Poverty in a Sociohistoric Context.

Blaming the Poor.

The Nature of Poverty.

Who Are the Poor?

The Impact of Poverty.

Work and Welfare.

Eliminating Poverty.

Welfare Reform

7. Gender Inequality and Heterosexism.

The Sociohistorical Context.

The Biological Argument.

Homosexuality in the United States.

Socialization and Sexism.

Arenas of Change.

The Social Construction of Maleness.

8. Race and Ethnic Relations.

The Sociohistorical Context.

Dimensions of the Problem.

Institutional Discrimination.

Minority Groups Today.

9. Crime and Violence.

Crime, Laws, and Prosecution.

Measuring the Extent of Crime.

Violence in the United States.

Violent Crime.

Organized Crime.

White-Collar Crime.

Property Crime.

Juvenile Delinquency.

The Criminal Justice System.


10. The Family.

Family in a Sociohistorical Context.

The Scope of Family Problems.


Changes in Family Structure.

Violence and Abuse.

Sexual Violence and Victimization in the Family.

The Need for Societal Intervention.

11. Health Care.

Health Care in a Sociohistorical Context.

The Social Organization of Health Care.

Bioethics: Life and Death Decisions.

The AIDS Epidemic.

Mental Health.

12. Education for the Masses.

Education in a Sociohistorical Context.

The School Is a Bureaucracy.

Education and Social Class.

Education Problem Areas.

A Question of Quality.

How Else Can We Improve Education?

13. Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

The Sociohistoric Context.

Alcohol and Drug Use in an International Context.


Cocaine and Crack.

Club Drugs.




Social Consequences of Drug Use.

Social Control and Solution Attempts.

14. Sexual Behavior.

The Cross-Cultural Context.

Changing U.S. Patterns of Sexual Behavior.




Child Molestation.




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