Extraordinary Behavior: A Case Study Approach to Understanding Social Problems / Edition 1

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This unique collection of case studies introduces readers to many of the common yet extraordinary social problems in contemporary American society. Employing a symbolic interaction approach to the case studies, the authors identify the origins of the problems, define the issues, and explore the outcomes and potential remedies. The case studies themselves introduce readers to the very personal side of the problems as the emotions, actions, and perceptions of the subjects are revealed and analyzed. The problems studied here are organized into three categories— health-related issues, family issues, and behavior beyond the boundaries—and include many problems that often receive too little attention in the existing literature, making this book an original and timely contribution.

Each of the three sections is preceded by a general review of the chapters to follow and offers readers a prelude to the exploration of human thought, language, and behavior captured and illustrated in the case studies. In the first section of the book, problems covered include suicide, anorexia nervosa, alcohol and drug abuse, and AIDS/STDs. The second section covers teenage mothers, domestic violence, divorce and poverty, child support and deadbeat dads, and homelessness. The last section focuses on sexual harassment, equal protection and racial exclusion, prostitution, career criminals, mass murder, and serial killers. This book represents a fresh new approach and a welcome addition to the study of social problems in America today.

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Editorial Reviews

Consisting primarily of American professors of sociology, contributors to this volume offer case studies exploring three basic groups of social problems: health-related issues such as suicide, anorexia nervosa, alcohol/drug abuse, and AIDS; family issues including teenage motherhood, domestic abuse, divorce and poverty, "deadbeat dads," and homelessness; and behavior considered to be outside of social boundaries such as sexual harassment, unequal protection, male prostitution, career criminality, and mass and serial murder. The symbolic interaction perspective serves as the primary theoretical explanation for each social problem. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275970574
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/30/2000
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

DENNIS L. PECK is Professor of Sociology at The University of Alabama. He is a past editor of Sociological Inquiry and has published numerous articles in sociology, psychology, and interdisciplinary journals. He serves on several editorial boards and is a co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Criminology and Deviant Behavior.

NORMAN A. DOLCH is Professor of Sociology at Louisiana State University in Shreveport. He is co-editor of Readings in Sociology and co-author of several research reports, practice-oriented journal articles, and book reviews.

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Table of Contents


Health Related Issues

Suicide by Dennis L. Peck

Anorexia Nervosa by Diane E. Taub and Penelope A. McLorg

Alcohol/Drug Abuse by Celia Chun-Nui Lo and Gerald Globetti

AIDS/STDs by Mary Rose Mueller

Family Issues

Teenage Mothers by Norman A. Dolch, Kelly E. Orr, and Julie Ezernack

Spousal Abuse/Domestic Violence by Melanie L. Miller

Divorce and Poverty by N. Ree Wells

Child Support/Dead Beat Dads by Kimberly A. Folse

Homelessness by John Bolland and Deborah M. McCallum

Behavior Beyond the Boundaries

Sexual Harassment by Beverly E. Thorn

Equal Protection and Racial Exclusion by Larry D. Hall and Audwin L. Anderson

Prostitution by Thomas C. Calhoun and Greg S. Weaver

Career Criminals by Ronald Jones

Mass Murder by Thomas A. Petee, Kathy G. Padgett, and Thomas S. York

Serial Killers by James A. Sparks

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