Crisis in American Institutions / Edition 14

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Crisis in American Institutions provides students with an array of engaging articles that reflect America's social problems and encourage critical thought.

This edition contains seventeen new articles, many addressing the escalating crises of American society in recent years, including the worst economic crisis in decades, the rapid rise in health care costs, the polarizing debate on immigration, and the continuing growth of economic inequality. Others update our coverage of longstanding issues, including the persistence of poverty, the continued growth of mass incarceration, and the politics of global warming.

Presents articles on such social problems as corporate power, economic crisis, sexism, racism, and inequality.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"As someone who generally eschews traditional textbooks in favor of readers, I have always found Crisis in American Institutions particularly good at choosing accessible, interesting, and cogent readings. It is especially good at mixing academic pieces with journalistic articles and it is also a very well edited book, especially when it comes to excerpting readings from books"
Evan Cooper, Farmingdale State College

"I find the book to be very thorough."
Kyle Ann Nelson, University of Maryland

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205610648
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 6/1/2010
  • Series: MySearchLab Series for Sociology Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 14
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 227,218
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Jerome Skolnick, a sociologist, currently teaches at the New York University School of Law where he is Co-Director of the Center for Research in Crime and Justice. He is also Claire Clements Dean’s Professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was Chair of the Center for the Study of Law and Society. He has written many books and articles and has received numerous grants, honors and awards in recognition of his research and scholarship. These include the August Vollmer award of the American Society of Criminology; awards for distinguished scholarship from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and the Western Society of Criminology; the Mills award of the Society for the Study of Social Problems (for Justice Without Trial); election to the honorary Sociological Research Association; and a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship. He was Director of the Task Force on Violent Protest and Confrontation of the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence, Washington, D.C. 1968-1969 and served as President of the American Society of Criminology from November 1993 through November 1994. In 1997, he completed a three year term as Chair of the National Academy of Science/ National Research Council's Committee on Law and Justice. In 1996 he was honored by John Jay College of Criminal Justice as their Criminal Justice Educator of the Year.

Elliott Currie is Professor of Criminology, Law, and Society at the University of California, Irvine. He has also taught in the Legal Studies Program at the University of California, Berkeley, and in the Board of Studies in Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Professor Currie is the author of many works on crime, juvenile delinquency, drug abuse and social policy, including Confronting Crime (1985), Dope and Trouble: Portraits of Delinquent Youth (1991), Reckoning: Drugs, the Cities, and the American Future (1993), and Crime and Punishment in America (1998), which was a finalist for the 1999 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction. He is a coauthor of Whitewashing Race: the Myth of a Colorblind America (2003), a finalist for the C. Wright Mills award of the Society for the Study of Social Problems in 2004 and winner of the 2004 Book Award from the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change. His most recent book is The Road to Whatever: Middle Class Culture and the Crisis of Adolescence (2005), a study of troubled middle-class youth in America. He has been a consultant to many organizations concerned with crime prevention, social policy, and the enhancement of juvenile and criminal justice, both in the United States and overseas, including the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, the National Advisory Council on Economic Opportunity, the California Governor’s Task Force on Civil Rights, and the Home Office of Great Britain. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including both the Donald Cressey Award and the Prevention for a Safer Society (PASS) Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, and, most recently, the August Vollmer Award of the American Society of Criminology.

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Table of Contents



Systemic Problems
Part I Corporate Power
Part II Economic Crisis
Part III Inequality
Part IV Racism
Part V Sexism

Institutions in Crisis
Part VI The Family
Part VII The Environment
Part VIII Work and Welfare
Part IX Health and Medical Care
Part X The Schools
Part XI Crime and Justice
Part XII America in the World


*Denotes new reading


Introduction: Approaches to Social Problems

Systemic Problems

Part I Corporate Power

Mark Zepezauer: Take the Rich Off Welfare

Robert S. McIntyre: Tax Cheats and Their Enablers

Neil Postman and Steve Powers: The Commercial

*John Luoma: Water for Profit

Part II Economic Crisis

Barbara Ehrenreich: Nickel-and-Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America

Tamara Draut and Javier Silva: Generation Broke

Dale Russakoff: Retirement’s Unraveling Safety Net

*Robert Kuttner: The Squandering of America

Part III Inequality

*Dean Baker: Increasing Inequality in the United States

*Center for American Progress: From Poverty to Prosperity

Elliot Liebow: Day by Day: the Lives of Homeless Women

David Wessel: As Rich-Poor Gap Widens in the U.S., Class Mobility Stalls

Part IV Racism

Michael K. Brown et al: The Roots of White Advantage

Sentencing Project: Schools and Prisons

Daniel Golden: At Many Colleges, the Rich Kids Get Affirmative Action

*Aviva Chomsky: They Take Our Jobs

Part V Sexism

The Economist: The Conundrum of the Glass Ceiling

*American Association of University Women: Drawing the Line: Sexual Harassment on Campus

Peggy Orenstein: Learning Silence

Institutions in Crisis

Part VI The Family

*Arlene Skolnick: Beyond the ‘M’ Word: the Tangled Web of Politics and Marriage

*Sharon Lerner: The Kids Aren’t All Right

Brittany Shahmehri: More Than Welcome: Families Come First in Sweden

Part VII The Environment

James Gustave Speth: A World of Wounds

Steve Lerner Diamond: A Struggle for Environmental Justice in Louisiana

*Union of Concerned Scientists: Smoke, Mirrors, and Hot Air

Part VIII Work and Welfare

Pierette Hondagneu-Sotelo: Domestica

*Peter Edelman, Harry Holzer, and Paul Offner: Reconnecting Disadvantaged Young Men

Herbert Gans: The Underclass Label

*Sharon Hays: Flat Broke With Children

Part IX Health and Medical Care

Susan Starr Sered and Rushika Fernandopulle: Sick Out of Luck

*Commonwealth Fund: Why Not the Best?

*Lillian Rubin: The Untold Health Care Story: How They Crippled Medicare

Part X The Schools

*Jonathan Kozol: The Shame of the Nation

Ellen Mutari and Melaku Lake: Class Conflict: the Rising Costs of College

*Lawrence Mishel and Richard Rothstein: Schools as Scapegoats

Jennifer Washburn: Hired Education

Part XI Crime and Justice

Elliot Currie: The Myth of Leniency

Jerome H. Skolnick and John J. DiIulio Jr.Wild Pitch: “Three Strikes You’re Out” and Other Bad Calls on Crime

*Pew Foundation: One in 100

Ken Silverstein: Unjust Rewards

Part XII America in the World

Chalmers Johnson: Blowback

Michael T. Klare: Oil, Geography, and War

9/11 Commission: What to Do? A Global Strategy Against Terrorism

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