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Global Problems, Global Solutions

Global Problems, Global Solutions
Prospects for a Better World

Second Edition
  • JoAnn Chirico - The Pennsylvania State University, University College

March 2024 | 832 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Global Problems, Global Solutions: Prospects for a Better World approaches social problems from a global perspective with an emphasis on using one’s sociological imagination. Perfect for instructors who involve students in research, this text connects problems borne by individuals to regional, global and historical forces, and stresses the importance of evidence in forming opinions and policies addressing social issues. The Second Edition explores three broad themes--nourishing human capital, restoring civility, and sustaining natural and manufactured environments--as it examines the causes and consequences of a range of problems related to economic inequality, discrimination and persecution, war and violence, food production, population flows, health and longevity, the environment, and other issues that we encounter in our lives. The book concludes with a chapter on politics and government, underscoring the need for good governance at all levels–and cooperation among many layers of government–to build a better world.

1: Private Troubles and Social Problems: Developing a Sociological Imagination
2: Socioeconomic Fault Lines: Inequality, Poverty, and Development
3: Starving in the Shadow of Plenty
4: Optimizing Human Capital: Good Health
5: Expanding Horizons Through Lifelong Learning
6: From Difference to Discrimination: Fault Lines of Race, Ethnicity, and Religion
7: You Can’t Empower Us With Chickens: Gender Through the Lifespan
8: When Life Becomes a Commodity: Human and Wildlife Trafficking
9: Transnational Property Crimes
10: The Challenge of Political Violence
11: Global Flows of Refugees
12: Destruction and Depletion of the Natural Environment
13: Climate Change and Global Warming
14: Urbanization: The Lure of the Cities
15: A World Gone Awry? The State of Governance

"This is a very well-written book that's excellent for the Social Problems course."

Malcolm Cort
Athens State University
Key features


  • New discussion questions and mini research exercises throughout the book encourage students to expand their knowledge and consider potential avenues for social involvement.
  • Revised opening chapter vignettes and learning objectives better frame each chapter and provoke student interest.
  • One fewer chapter and streamlined content throughout, to better fit in a standard semester schedule.
  • New and updated data, citations, tables, and figures throughout offer more current information.
  • Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which recognizes a single global system and the interdependence of problems across national borders, is used as a framework that explores three broad themes–nourishing human capital, restoring civility, and sustaining natural and manufactured environments.
  • Rich data in easily-understood language highlights the relationships among problems and supporting claims and shows the importance of evidence as well as how to find patterns and analyze data.
  • Mini research exercises guide students in gathering and analyzing data from online sources such as Amnesty International and the World Bank, teaching them how important social facts and forces are measured.
  • Opening vignettes focus on lived experiences in different regions of the world, illustrating the connection between personal problems and larger social and political forces.
  • Critical thinking questions, requiring students to confront moral and ethical questions and to weigh evidence to form an opinion, help them to see the complexity of global issues.
  • Examples of how civil society organizations address social problems demonstrate how citizen groups can influence governments and international organizations.

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