Social Problems, Social Issues, Social Science: The Society Papers, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Social Problems, Social Issues, Social Science

The Society Papers, 1st Edition

By James Wright

Routledge

318 pages

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Description

Sociology has tackled some of the most formidable problems that confront contemporary society: inequality, homelessness, violence, gender, and many more. Sociologists assert that hypotheses can be formulated and tested against empirical evidence, that faulty viewpoints can be uncovered and discarded, and that plausible theory can be distinguished from mere ideology. This collection was written over a span of forty-four years and is presented in the belief that sociology is a science.

In Social Problems, Social Issues, Social Science, James D. Wright presents his research on some of the social issues that have most vexed America: homelessness, addiction, divorce, minimum wage, and gun control, among others. Starting with essays first published in the flagship journal Society, Wright offers readers a foundational look at specific social problems and the methods sociologists have used to study them. He then provides an up-to-date re-examination of each issue, analysing the changes that have occurred over time and how sociologists have responded to it.

This book is both a retrospective on the field and on one scholar's life and work. Using his own experience in researching and writing about America's most trenchant social issues, Wright describes the evolution of the methods and theory used by social scientists to understand and, ultimately, to confront America's most troublesome social problems.

Table of Contents

Contents

Preface: "Nor Commit a Social Science . . . "

Acknowledgements

1 Public Opinion and the War in Vietnam
Introduction
"Life, Time, and the Fortunes of War"
In Retrospect

2 America's Homeless
Introduction
"The Worthy and Unworthy Homeless"
In Retrospect
"Address Unknown: Homelessness inContemporary America"
In Retrospect
"Science, Passion and Polemics"
In Retrospect

3 The Minimum Wage
Introduction
"Minimum Wage, Maximum Hokum"
In Retrospect

4 Popular Science and Social Science
Introduction
"Popular Science, Social Science, Metaphor,
and Deception"
In Retrospect

5 Guns in America
Introduction
"Ten Essential Observations on Guns in America"
"Kids, Guns and Killing Fields"
In Retrospect

6 Handsome Guys Don't Commit Crimes
Introduction
"Never Pick a Fight with an Ugly Person,
They've Got Nothing to Lose"
In Retrospect

7 America's Divorce Problem
Introduction
"America's Divorce Problem"
In Retrospect
Marriage Matters: A Report to Our Respondents

8 Small Towns in Mass Society
Introduction
"Small Towns, Mass Society, and the 21st Century"
In Retrospect

9 Sober Up, Take a Shower, Get a Job
Introduction
"Sobering Up on the Streets"
"How Can We Stay Sober"
In Retrospect

10 Food, Glorious Food
Introduction
"Food Deserts: What is the Problem,
What is the Solution?"
In Retrospect

11 Social Science in Review
Introduction
Daniel Yankelovich, "New Rules: Searching for
Self Fulfillment in a World Turned Upside Down"
In Retrospect
Seymour M. Lipset and William Schneider,
"The Confidence Gap"
In Retrospect
Wayne LaPierre, "Guns, Crime, and Freedom"
In Retrospect
John Shelton Reed, "Dixie Bohemia: A French
Quarter Circle in the 1920s"
In Retrospect

Index

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOC026000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General