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Investigating Social Problems
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Investigating Social Problems

Third Edition
Edited by:
Available with:


January 2021 | 592 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
For the Third Edition of Investigating Social Problems, editor A. Javier Treviño, has gathered a panel of top experts to thoroughly examine all aspects of social problems, providing students with a contemporary and authoritative introduction to the field. Each chapter is written by a well-known specialist on the topic being covered. This unique, contributed format ensures that the research and examples described are the most current and relevant available. In addition, the experts use both general theoretical approaches (structural functionalism, conflict theory, symbolic interactionism) as well as specialized theories chosen to bring additional insight and analysis to their assigned topics. The text is framed around three major themes: intersectionality (the interplay of race, ethnicity, class, and gender), the global scope of many problems, and how researchers take an evidence-based approach to studying problems.

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PART 1: THE SOCIOLOGICAL STUDY OF SOCIAL PROBLEMS
Author: A. Javier Treviño
Chapter 1: Sociology and Social Problems
The Mobility Puzzle

 
The Sociological Study of Social Problems

 
The Sociological Imagination

 
Sociological Research

 
Three Sociological Theories

 
Sociological Research

 
Three Sociological Theories

 
Applying the Three Theories to Social Problems

 
Social Policy

 
Service Sociology and Social Problems

 
 
PART 2: PROBLEMS OF INEQUALITY
Authors: Leslie Hossfeld, E. Brooke Kelly,
Chapter 2: Poverty and Class Inequality
Patterns and Trends

 
Social Class

 
Inequality

 
Using Theory to Explain Poverty, Class, and

 
Specialized Theories Applied to Poverty

 
Social Change: What Can You Do?

 
Author: Saher Selod
Chapter 3: Race and Ethnicity
Defining Race and Ethnicity in a New

 
Patterns and Trends

 
Using Theory to Explain Racial Inequality

 
Specialized Theories About Racial Inequality

 
Social Change: What Can You Do?

 
Author: Tanetta Andersson
Chapter 4: Gender
Defining Sex and Gender

 
The Study of Gender as a Social Problem

 
Patterns and Trends

 
Using Theory to Understand Gender Inequality

 
Specialized Theory: Queer Theory

 
Social Change: What Can You Do?

 
Author: Elroi J. Windsor
Chapter 5: Sexualities
Understanding Social Problems Related to

 
Patterns and Trends

 
Using Theory to Understand Sexual Violence

 
Specialized Theories in Sexualities and

 
Social Change: What Can You Do?

 
Author: Duane A. Matcha
Chapter 6: Aging
Is Aging a Social Problem?

 
Patterns and Trends

 
Using Theory to Understand Aging

 
Specialized Theories About Aging

 
Social Change: What Can You Do?

 
 
PART 3: PROBLEMS OF INSTITUTIONS
Author: Jenny Stuber
Chapter 7: Education
Inequalities in Our Education System

 
Patterns and Trends

 
US Education System: A Brief History

 
Using Sociological Theories In Education

 
Specialized Theories in the Sociology of

 
Investigating Inequalities in Education

 
Efforts at Educational Reform

 
Authors: William Hoynes and Nicholas Hoynes
Chapter 8: Media
How Media Define Social Problems

 
Patterns and Trends

 
Debating Media as a Cause of Social Problems

 
Emerging Social Problems and New Media Technologies

 
Using Theory to Examine Media and Social

 
Specialized Theories In Contemporary

 
Social Change: What Can You Do?

 
Authors: Heather E. Dillaway and Nancy J. Mezey
Chapter 9: Families
Social and Historical Factors Shape Families

 
Patterns and Trends

 
Family Problems and Two Institutional

 
Using Theory to Understand Families

 
Specialized Theories for Understanding Families

 
Social Change: What Can You Do?

 
Author: Jacqueline M. Zalewski
Chapter 10: Work and the Economy
Work and the Labor Force

 
Patterns and Trends

 
Stakeholders

 
Using Theory to Examine Work and the

 
Specialized Theories: Weber and Scientific Management

 
Social Change: What Can You Do?

 
 
PART 4: PROBLEMS OF HEALTH AND SAFETY
Authors: Terrence T. Allen, Ahmed Whitt, and
Chapter 11: Crime
Crime as a Social Problem

 
Crimes Are Socially Defined

 
Data Sources and Correlates of Crime

 
Patterns and Trends

 
The US Criminal Justice System and Its

 
Using Theory to Examine Crime

 
Specialized Theories About Crime

 
Social Change: What Can You Do?

 
Authors: Carrie B. Oser, Dina Perrone, and
Chapter 12: Drugs
Drugs in Societies

 
Addiction and Associated Harms

 
Patterns of Drug Use Across Social Groups

 
Using Theory to Understand Drug Use

 
Specialized Theories on Drug Use

 
Social Change: What Can You Do?

 
Author: Valerie Leiter
Chapter 13: Health
What Are Disease and Illness?

 
Health Inequities

 
The US Health Care System and Its Stakeholders

 
Using Theory to Understand Health

 
Specialized Theories

 
Social Change: What Can You Do?

 
 
PART 5: PROBLEMS OF GLOBAL IMPACT
Author: J. M. Bacon
Chapter 14: The Environment
Environmental Problems as Social Problems

 
Patterns and Trends

 
Using Theory to Examine the Environment

 
Specialized Theories In Environmental Sociology

 
Social Change: What Can You Do?

 
Author: Michael Mascarenhas
Chapter 15: Science and Technology
Science and Technology as Socially Defined

 
Science and Technology as Social Problems

 
Patterns and Trends

 
Science, Technology, and Their Stakeholders

 
Using Theory to Examine Science and Technology

 
Specialized Theories

 
Social Change: What Can You Do?

 
Author: Ori Swed
Chapter 16: War and Terrorism
War as a Social Phenomenon

 
The Changing Face of War

 
The Cost of War

 
Terrorism as a Social Phenomenon

 
Counterterrorism

 
Using Theory to Examine War and Terrorism

 
Specialized Theories on War and Terrorism

 
Social Change: What Can You Do?

 
Author: Meghan Ashlin Rich
Chapter 17: Urbanization
Urbanization, Growth, and Social Problems

 
Patterns and Trends

 
Theoretical Perspectives in Urban Sociology

 
Specialized Theories in Urban Sociology

 
Social Change: What Can You Do?

 
 
GLOSSARY
 
REFERENCES
 
INDEX

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Key features
NEW TO THIS EDITION:
  • The new edition is available as a digital option through SAGE Vantage, an intuitive digital platform that offers auto-graded assignments and interactive multimedia tools—including video—all designed to enable students to better prepare for class. Learn more.
  • All chapters have been thoroughly updated to reflect current events, new scholarship, and the latest data.
  • A number of new expert contributors have revised chapters for the third edition: Katie Ann Hasson (Gender), Elroi J. Windsor (Sexuality), Jenny Stuber (Education), Kyle J. Thomas and Benjamin C. Hamilton (Crime), Carrie B. Oser (Alcohol and Other Drugs), Valerie Leiter (Health and Illness), Michael Mascarenhas (Science and Technology), Ori Swed (War and Terrorism).
  • New chapter opening photos illustrate key themes and intended aid students in connecting personally with real-life situations.
  • Updated data, tables, and figures reflect the latest information available from the 2017 U.S. Census Bureau, GSS, National Center for Transgender Equality, SNAP, TANF, and more.
  • New topics and examples include: Black Lives Matter, Trump’s travel ban, the 2017 Women’s March, fake news, mass shootings, the Flint water crisis, changes to the social safety net, microaggressions, hookup culture, sexual violence, summer learning loss, the small schools movement, affordable housing, work-related injuries, the future of the labor force, cybercrime and terrorism, abuse of prescription drugs, stop-and-frisk policing, ADHD, election-hacking by foreign actors, the vaccine-autism debate, the Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreements on climate change.
KEY FEATURES:
  • “Our Stories” allow the expert contributors to explain why the problem in question is interesting from a personal and professional perspective, and some of the ways he or she studies that problem.
  • Each chapter considers the social problem in question from the point of view of three general theoretical approaches (structural functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism), and also discusses a few specialized theories that provide deeper understanding of the problem in question.
  • “Experiencing” features help to reveal concepts of intersectionality, exploring the interplay of race/ethnicity, class, and gender, and how their various combinations compound social inequalities among certain populations.
  • “Beyond our Border” features encourage the reader to consider the global scope of the social problem in question and examine how the interconnectedness, or transnational character, of these problems impact people (often quite differently) around the world.
  • “Researching” features show how social scientists form research questions, investigate particular issues, and help build empirically-based understanding of social problems.
  • Each author proposes policy recommendations for social change that arise from the three main theoretical perspectives.
  • “Social Change: What Can You Do?” discusses how students can help solve a particular social problem through volunteer work, service learning, community activism, and other forms of civic engagement.
  • What Do You Think?/What Does America Think?” uses questions and data from the current General Social Survey to help readers better understand their own beliefs and attitudes about social problems, and those of the population at large.
  • A unifying pedagogical framework provides continuity for the reader with common features such as chapter opening vignettes, learning objectives, and “Ask Yourself” questions.
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