2nd Edition

Thinking About Social Problems
An Introduction to Constructionist Perspectives

ISBN 9780202306841
Published March 31, 2003 by Routledge
236 Pages

USD $54.95

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Book Description

The new second edition of this distinctive and widely adopted textbook brings into the classroom an overview of how images of social problems can shape not only public policy and social services, but also the ways in which we make sense of ourselves and others. It introduces two primary changes. First, some attention is devoted to the "new social movements" that emphasize social change through identity transformation rather than through structural change. Second, the text now also looks more closely at the importance of emotions in constructing public consciousness of social problems.

When the first edition was published, Teaching Sociology noted, "Loseke does a superb job explaining the relationship between sociology and social problems in a text that is very well research and engaging, yet with tremendous attention to detail and accuracy... [W]ould provide a solid base for any social problems class." Contemporary Sociology wrote that the book is "engagingly well written in a personal, unpretentious style, and well informed by the author's knowledge of the professional literature."

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition

Part I: Issues in Studying Social Problems
1 Examining Social Problems
* What Is a Social Problem?
* Social Problems as Objective Conditions
* The Construction of Social Life and Social Problems
* Social Construction Questions about Social Problems
* An Invitation to Social Construction Perspectives on Social Problems
2 Claims-Makers and Audiences
* Claims and Claims-Making
* Audiences
* Claims-Makers and the Social Problems Industry
* Social Problems Activists as Claims-Makers
* Scientists as Claims-Makers
* Mass Media as Claims-Makers
* Relationships among Claims-Makers
* Social Problem Claims-Makers and Audiences

Part II: Constructing Packages of Claims
3 Constructing Conditions
* The Social Contexts of Social Problems Work
* Social Problems Work: Constructing Grounds
* Social Problems Work: Constructing Diagnostic Frames
* Social Problems Work: Constructing Motivational Frames Appealing to Logic
* Social Problems Work: Constructing Social Problem Ownership The Social Problems Work of Constructing Conditions
4 Constructing People
* Social Problems Work: Constructing Motivational Frames Appealing to Emotion
* Social Problems Work: Constructing Victims Deserving Sympathy Social Problems Work: Constructing Villains Deserving Condemnation Social Problems Work: Packaging Claims As Stones The Social Problems Work of Constructing People
5 Constructing Solutions
* Constructing Prognostic Frames
* The Social Contexts of Public Policy
* Social Problems Work: Government Policy Construction
* Social Problems Work and Cultural Change
* The Social Problems Work of Constructing Solutions

Part III: From Social Constructions to Social Actions
6 Social Problems and Everyday Life
* Successful Claims and Social Change Social Problems Work in Daily Life Personal Identities and Collective Identities Social Problems and Social Change
7 Social Problems and Troubled People 139
* Social Problems Formula Stones and the Troubled Persons Industry
* Workers and Clients in the Troubled Persons Industry
* Social Problems Work: Categorizing Potential Clients
* Social Problems Work: Encouraging Identity Change
* The Troubled Persons Industry and Reproducing Social Problems
* Social Problems and Social Interventions
8 Evaluating Constructionist Perspectives on Social Problems
* Objectivist and Constructionist Perspectives on Social Problems Lessons Learned from Constructionist Perspectives on Social Problems Practical Actors and Social Problems

Appendix: Social Construction Theories and Issues
Justifications for Social Construction Perspectives on Social Problems Challenges to Constructionist Theory

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