This book challenges sociologists and sociology students to think beyond the construction of social problems to tackle a central question: What do sociologists do with the analytic tools and academic skills afforded by their discipline to respond to social problems? Service Sociology posits that a central role of sociology is not simply to analyse and interpret social problems, but to act in the world in an informed manner to ameliorate suffering and address the structural causes of these problems. This volume provides a unique contribution to this approach to sociology, exploring the intersection between its role as an academic discipline and its practice in the service of communities and people. With both contemporary and historical analyses, the book traces the legacy, characteristics, contours, and goals of the sociology of service, shedding light on its roots in early American sociology and its deep connections to activism, before examining the social context that underlies the call for volunteerism, community involvement and non-profit organisations, as well as the strategies that have promise in remedying contemporary social problems. Presenting examples of concrete social problems from around the world, including issues of democratic participation, poverty and unemployment, student involvement in microlending, disaster miitigation, the organization and leadership of social movements, homelessness, activism around HIV/AIDS and service spring breaks, Service Sociology and Academic Engagement in Social Problems explores the utility of public teaching, participatory action research, and service learning in the classroom as a contribution to the community.
’A provocative, critical analysis of sociology’s original purpose; that of solving social problems, not just analyzing them. Thoughtful, theoretically rigorous and passionate the book presents a compelling case for returning to that mission, even within the dissonant demands of sociology in the academy. This work offers both Sociology and Social Work a philosophical examination of the importance of our mutual responsibility as members of the human community.’ Kathleen McInnis-Dittrich, Boston College Graduate School of Social Work, USA ’I have been searching for this book for years. TreviÃ±o and McCormack, along with their contributors, elucidate the activities of service sociology in order to respond to serious questions about its effectiveness to ameliorate social ills and inspire students to become change agents. Service Sociology is essential for anyone interested in the history of service and participatory engagement in sociology.’ AirÃn Denise MartÃnez, Arizona State University, USA
Solving Social Problems provides a forum for the description and measurement of social problems, with a keen focus on the concrete remedies proposed for their solution. The series takes an international perspective, exploring social problems in various parts of the world, with the central concern being always their possible remedy. As such, work is welcomed on subjects as diverse as environmental damage, terrorism, economic disparities and economic devastation, poverty, inequalities, domestic assaults and sexual abuse, health care, natural disasters, labour inequality, animal abuse, crime, and mental illness and its treatment. In addition to recommending solutions to social problems, the books in this series are theoretically sophisticated, exploring previous discussions of the issues in question, examining other attempts to resolve them, and adopting and discussing methodologies that are commonly used to measure social problems. Proposed solutions may be framed as changes in policy, practice, or more broadly, social change and social movement. Solutions may be reflective of ideology, but are always pragmatic and detailed, explaining the means by which the suggested solutions might be achieved.
To submit a proposal for the series, please contact the series editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.