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Now in a new edition, Social Problems: An Introduction to Critical Constructionism synthesizes conflict theory and social constructionism to help students think critically about social problems. A concise, student-friendly alternative to all-encompassing standard textbooks, this book examines a single theoretical paradigm in depth, demonstrating how theory can be used to understand a breadth of real world structures.
Robert Heiner focuses on the four problems most often encountered in social problems courses: inequality, family, crime and deviance, and overpopulation and the environment. Heiner's critical approach helps students conceive of societal problems as socially constructed phenomena whose importance varies according to media attention and the agendas of particular interest groups. Furthermore, his critical point of view leads students to reevaluate their own preconceived notions and beliefs, in turn generating lively classroom discussions.
Revised and updated in this third edition, Social Problems now includes a glossary of key terms and reinforcing end-of-chapter questions, as well as new discussions of such issues as immigration. Additional graphics help visually illustrate key concepts and ideas.
Social Problems: An Introduction to Critical Constructionism, Third Edition, is ideal for social problems courses. Given its readability and consistent application of theory, this book could also be used in introductory sociology courses and social theory courses.
"This impressive and accessible volume uses a unique theoretical framework to discuss and analyze some of the most important social problems at the dawn of the twenty-first century. It is packed with insightful information that will be useful to students, scholars, and educated laymen alike."--William Julius Wilson, Harvard University
"From the opening words, I found the book to be exciting, vibrant, and engaging. As I was reading, I found that I could not put the book down. I have NEVER had that experience with any other textbook. I have previously used "standard" social problems texts for the course, and would characterize Heiner's book as different from (and superior to) those so-called standard texts. Heiner has managed to skillfully and successfully integrate a variety of material into the current configuration of chapters. I will absolutely adopt this new edition."--Kathy Zawicki, St. Bonaventure University
"I have yet to find a book that does a better job in taking a critical examination of the major social problems facing America. I would like to thank Oxford for not copying the typical format of Social Problems textbooks."--Herbert Ziegler, Chesapeake College
"This is a short social problems text that avoids the 'laundry list' approach to studying social problems by focusing on four specific areas of social life: inequality, family, crime and environment. It presents a clear theoretical approach that melds the best of symbolic interactionist approaches to social problems without losing focus on social inequality."--Karen Kendrick, Albertus Magnus College
Robert Heiner is Professor and Assistant Department Chair of Sociology at Plymouth State College. He is editor of Deviance Across Cultures (OUP, 2007), Social Problems and Social Solutions: A Cross-Cultural Perspective (1998), and Criminology: A Cross-Cultural Perspective (1995).
Each chapter ends with a Summary. Preface 1. AN INTRODUCTION TO THE SOCIOLOGY OF SOCIAL PROBLEMS
The Sociological Perspective Critical Constructionism Nonsociological Philosophies The Cross-Cultural and Global Perspectives Corporate America The Media The Homogenization of Culture The Plan of This Book 2. INEQUALITY
An Introduction to Critical Economics The Gap Between the Rich and the Rest The Plight of the American Worker Poverty Race and Inequality Global Inequalities Immigration Application: The Gross Domestic Product 3. PROBLEMS OF THE FAMILY
The Family in Historical Perspective The Current State of the Family Children, Our Most Precious Resource?
Capitalism Versus the Family Application: Children Having Children 4. CRIME AND DEVIANCE
Universality and Relativity Examples of the Relativity of Crime and Deviance The Cultural Production of Knowledge About Crime Crime Scares Street Crime The American Punishment Frenzy Application: Terrorism 5. PROBLEMS OF THE ENVIRONMENT
Technology and the Environment Scientific Uncertainty Corporate Suasion SLAPPs Consumerism Inequality and the Environment Global Inequality Application: Overpopulation 6. CONCLUSIONS 7. GLOSSARY Notes Index
After reading this book, you will have a different way of looking at the world. It offers great insight to today's social problems. I had to read it for a sociology class and I am glad I did. The book is very interesting, offering a great topic for intellectual conversation. The author strongly criticizes America in this book, but has good reason to. Even if you are not studying sociology or have no interest in sociology, it can still be a great read. There's also some good insight into economics and capitalism. I strongly recommend it. What you learn from this book could be applied to anything you do.
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