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Social Problems 10/11

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ISBN-10: 0078050561

ISBN-13: 9780078050565

Edition: 37th 2011

Authors: Kurt Finsterbusch

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Annual Editions is a series of over 65 volumes, each designed to provide convenient, inexpensive access to a wide range of current articles from some of the most respected magazines, newspapers, and journals published today. Annual Editions are updated on a regular basis through a continuous monitoring of over 300 periodical sources. The articles selected are authored by prominent scholars, researchers, and commentators writing for a general audience. The Annual Editions volumes have a number of common organizational features designed to make them particularly useful in the classroom: a general introduction; an annotated table of contents; a topic guide; an annotated listing of selected…    
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Book details

List price: $44.00
Edition: 37th
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Higher Education
Publication date: 3/1/2010
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 256
Size: 8.50" wide x 11.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 1.034
Language: English

Correlation Guide
Topic Guide
Internet References
Introduction: The Nature of Social Problems and General Critiques of American Society
Unit Overview
Social Problems: Definitions, Theories, and Analysis, Harold A. Widdison and H. Richard Delaney, Social Problems: Definitions, Theories, and Analysis, 1995
This essay, written specifically for this volume, explores the complexities associated with defining, studying, and attempting to resolve "social" problems. The three major theoretical approaches-symbolic interactionism, functionalism, and conflict- are summarized
The Fragmentation of Social Life: Some Critical Societal Concerns for the New Millennium, D. Stanley Eitzen, Vital Speeches of the Day, July 1, 2000
Social interaction "is the basic building block of intimate relationships, small groups, formal organizations, communities, and societies." Therefore, Stanley Eitzen is concerned about numerous social trends, which he reports "that hinder or even eliminate social interaction, and that indicate a growing isolation as individuals become increasingly separated from their neighbors, their co-workers, and even their family members."
Spent, Amitai Etzioni, New Republic, June 17, 2009
Amitai Etzioni's title "Spent" is short for "consumerism," which is the value system that is undermining the moral life of the United States. The consequences are bad for America because laws and law enforcement by themselves are very limited in their ability to limit immoral behavior. The moral system and consciences of individuals are the first line of defense against immoral and illegal behavior. Morals must remain strong and Etzioni proposes ways that they can be strengthened
Problems of the Political Economy
Unit Overview
The Polity
Who Rules America?: Power, Politics, and Social Change, G. William Domhoff, Who Rules America? Power and Politics, and Social Change, 2006
G. William Domhoff is the leading proponent of the power elite view of U.S. politics, which is explained in this article as it applies to political influence in the United States today
Inside the Hidden World of Earmarks, Eamon Javers, BusinessWeek, September 17, 2007
The main criticism of the U.S. government is that it is not fair. The rich and large corporations get much of what they want and the general public gets little of what it wants. One of the processes that achieve these results is earmarks. Eamon Javers explains this process and its impacts and calls for its reform
Foresight for Government, David M. Walker, The Futurist, March/April 2007
Today's governments must govern in terms of long-term challenges. They must prepare for the future. David M. Walker, the past comptroller general of the United States, is responsible for making the Government Accountability Office an anticipatory agency and discusses some of greatest future challenges that our government must face
The Economy
A Smarter Planet, Samuel J. Palmisano, Vital Speeches of the Day, January 2009
Globalization involves the international integration of economic activity. Samuel J. Palmisano presents a new view of globalization because he identifies how it is rapidly changing the corporate world. The multinational corporation is being replaced by a new kind of corporation that is being redesigned around technologies of interconnectedness, embedded sensors, and complex intelligence systems
Reversal of Fortune, Bill McKibben, Mother Jones, March 2007
Bill McKibben raises the age-old question "Does money buy happiness?" in a new way, i.e., "Is more better?" The data indicate that economic "growth no longer makes us happier." In fact, the things that contribute most to happiness are under stress in modern life
Born to Buy: Interview with Juliet Schor, James Woolman, Dollars & Sense, September/October 2004
The literature on the consumption side of the economy is quite dynamic today, and Juliet Schor discusses some of its major findings in this article, including the fact that the materialism that undergirds the consumer society "undermines well-being in lots of different ways ... People who are more materialistic are more depressed, they're more anxious, they have less vitality, they connect less-well with people, they have more stomachaches and headaches."
Problems of Place
Why Aren't U.S. Cities Burning?, Michael B. Katz, Dissent Magazine, Summer 2007
Sociologists should be surprised that U.S. cities are peaceful. Most of the conditions that produced nearly 150 riots in 1967 have continued, and some, like racial segregation, have worsened. Michael B. Katz tries to solve this paradox
Who We Are Now, Jon Meacham, Newsweek, January 26, 2009
Since Johnson's Immigration Act of 1965, cumulative immigration flows along with brave civil rights activism have changed the United States and made the inauguration of America's first black president possible. Immigration has made our country better, which is encouraging, since by mid-century, the United States is expected to have a majority of minorities
The Invisible Ones, Rebecca Clarren, Ms., Summer 2007
Rebecca Clarren reports on the slavery that currently exists in America. Many people, usually foreigners, are held against their will and forced to work in factories under terrible conditions. Many others are forced into sex slavery. The public does not know about these slavery operations. Hopefully, this will change and the evil will be stopped
Problems of Poverty and Inequality
Unit Overview
Inequality and the Poor
How Stratification Works: The American Stratification System, Douglas S. Massey, Categorically Unequal, 2007
In this article Douglas S. Massey explains how stratification works and reviews its history. The two basic mechanisms that stratify societies are exploitation and opportunity hoarding. The latter involves a socially defined process of exclusion. All stratification systems are unfair, but some are much worse than others
Goodbye, Horatio Alger: Moving up Economically Is Now Impossible for Many, If Not Most, Americans, Jeff Madrick, The Nation, February 5, 2007
One of the prized characteristics of America has been the opportunity to go from rags to riches. Unfortunately, moving up economically is now impossible for most Americans. Income mobility has declined dramatically in the last three decades in America, and now several European countries have more income mobility than the United States
The Myth of the "Culture of Poverty", Paul Gorski, Educational Leadership, April 2008
The culture of poverty myth accuses the poor of having beliefs, values, and behaviors that prevent them from achieving. Thus their failure is their fault. This myth must be challenged. Most poor people do have the work ethic, value education, and other characteristics that contradict the culture of poverty myth. Opportunity structures play a big role in poverty
Can Extreme Poverty Be Eliminated?, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Scientific American, September 2005
Jeffrey D. Sachs argues that world poverty can be eliminated. The market and globalization have and will lift most people out of extreme poverty, but the elimination of extreme poverty would require the proper use of a $160 billion-a-year donation by the rich nations (0.5% of their GNP)
Welfare and Welfare Reform
A Work in Progress, Ann Pomeroy, HR Magazine, February 2000
The welfare reform of 1996 moved many people from welfare to work. Ann Pomeroy tells the stories of several women who made this transition and identifies some of the difficulties and perverse incentives that remain to limit the benefits of the program
Brave New Welfare, Stephanie Mencimer, Mother Jones, January/February 2009
Stephanie Mencimer shows how many welfare agencies withhold a great deal of help that welfare recipients should receive. She tells some painful stories about welfare workers lying to or mistreating welfare applicants. Welfare is run by the states, and many states want to minimize their welfare expenses at the expense of their welfare clients
Racial and Ethnic Inequality and Issues
Inequalities That Endure?: Racial Ideology, American Politics, and the Peculiar Role of the Social Sciences, Lawrence D. Bobo, from The Changing Terrain of Race and Ethnicity, 2004
One way to understand the continuing racism in the U.S. is to see that the past attitudes, behaviors, and institutions recreate themselves in the present. Change occurs, but change is also resisted by those who fail to perceive the workings of the persisting inequalities in the United States
Why We Hate, Margo Monteith and Jeffrey Winters, Psychology Today, May/June 2002
The authors demonstrate the prevalence of prejudice and hatred in the United States and explain this in terms of social identity theory. Whenever people are divided into groups, negative attitudes develop toward the out-group
American Dreamers, Lisa Miller, Newsweek, July 30, 2007
A major cultural issue today is the place of Muslim Americans in the United States. They have been good citizens relative to other groups and think strongly of themselves as Americans. Now their situation is changing. Other Americans are becoming more suspicious of them, and, according to a government study, radicalism is growing among Muslims in the West
Gender Inequalities and Issues
Great Expectations, Judith M. Havemann, The Wilson Quarterly, Summer 2007
Women have taken tremendous strides toward equality in the corporate world and now hold half of all management and professional jobs. Their leadership style is superior to that of men. However, they rarely hold top management positions. Why? Several explanations are discussed
Human Rights, Sex Trafficking, and Prostitution, Alice Leuchtag, The Humanist, January/February 2003
One of the evil plagues haunting the world today is sex slavery, and it is getting worse. It is the product of extreme poverty and the considerable profits it generates. The exploitation involved is horrendous. Human rights groups are trying to stop the practice. Alice Leuchtag covers many aspects of this issue
Answers to Questions about Marriage Equality, Human Rights Campaign, 2009, Washington Monthly, March/April 2009
The Human Rights Campaign is an advocacy organization for gay and lesbian rights, and this article is their current statement advocating same-sex marriage. Although this is a totally biased statement, it is important to understand this viewpoint
(Rethinking) Gender, Debra Rosenberg, Newsweek, May 21, 2007
Debra Rosenberg opens the window on people who are born one gender but feel that they are the other gender. Some use surgery and/or hormones to bring their bodies into compliance with their identity. Their stories are riveting, and their lives raise questions about what gender really is
Institutional Problems
Unit Overview
The Family
The Frayed Knot, The Economist, May 26, 2007
The thesis that marriage is in trouble is a half truth. It is true for the lower class and not for college educated class. Thus there is a marriage gap, and it contributes to the income gap
The Opt-Out Myth, E. J. Graff, Columbia Journalism Review, March/April 2007
E. J. Graff explains why media reports of upper-class women opting out of the labor market to raise children in substantial numbers is a myth. The proportion of women, even mothers, in the labor force is increasing, not decreasing. The consequences and policy implications of the truth are immense
Good Parents, Bad Results, Nancy Shute, U.S. News & World Report, June 23, 2008
Nancy Shute claims that research has determined what motivates children and exactly what discipline methods work and what don't: Parents must set limits; avoid micromanaging; not nag, lecture, or yell; and praise less and love more
Overworked, Time Poor, and Abandoned by Uncle Sam: Why Don't American Parents Protest?, Janet C. Gornick, Dissent Magazine, Summer 2005
According to Janet C. Gornick the above title describes the American parent, especially the mother. Yes, parents are under considerable stress, but appropriate public policies would greatly help them
Peer Marriage, Pepper Schwartz, The Communitarian Reader: Beyond the Essentials, 2004
Pepper Schwartz celebrates the widespread diffusion of peer marriages in which spouses regard each other as full social equals, both have careers, share family decision making, and more equally share child-rearing responsibilities. She argues that peer marriages generally result in stronger families and greater satisfaction
Against School: How Public Education Cripples Our Kids, and Why, John Taylor Gatto, Harper's Magazine, September 2003
John Taylor Gatto attacks the U.S. school system for being boring and preventing children from growing up. He suspects that this result is exactly what those who control the school system want schools to be. In arguing his radical thesis he presents a very provocative history of the evolution of the U.S. school system
Can the Center Find a Solution That Will Hold?: The High School Experience: Proposals for Improvement, Chester E. Finn, Jr., Education Next, Winter 2006
American high schools are failing, and Washington is not going to fix them. Chester E. Finn, Jr. describes six major problems and proposes six solutions
Fixing Hospitals, Robert Langreth, Forbes Magazine, June 20, 2005
Robert Langreth accepts the report that medical errors kill 100,000 Americans every year and then proposes reforms that will dramatically reduce this number
The Medical Mafia, Katherine Eban, Fortune, August 31, 2009
Katherine Eban tells the story of a medical scam and reveals a great deal about the medical system, the legal system, and the reforms or regulations that are needed to make these systems work as they should
Crime, Violence, and Law Enforcement
Unit Overview
Fighting Crime: An Economist's View, John J. Donohue, Milken Institute Review, First Quarter, 2005
It is amazing what conclusions we would come to about crime and punishment if we used economic logic, as John J. Donohue shows in this article. We would stop building prisons, abolish the death penalty, expand the police force, adopt sensible gun controls, and legalize drugs, among other things
The Aggregate Burden of Crime, David A. Anderson, Journal of Law and Economics, October 1999
David A. Anderson makes a valiant effort to compute the annual costs of major types of crime and the net annual total costs of all crime, which he claims annually exceeds $1 trillion or over $4000 per capita. Fraud and cheating on taxes costs Americans over 20 times the costs of theft, burglary, and robbery
The Globalization of Crime, Stephen Aguilar-Millan et al., The Futurist, November/December 2008
The authors examine the ways in which crime has become globalized and reorganized. In just 20 years globalization has restructured crime from vertical and horizontal industrialized forms to a large number of loosely connected networks spanning the globe. Their major activities include drugs, counterfeiting, the modern slave trade, and white collar crime (intellectual property crime, cybercrime, payment card fraud, computer virus attacks, identity theft, and cyberterrorism)
Law Enforcement
Causes and Consequences of Wrongful Convictions, Hugo Adam Bedau, Current, March/April 2003
Recently much light has been shed on the injustices of the criminal justice system. Hugo Adam Bedau has spent several decades researching wrongful convictions and lays out the evidence for its prevalence and suggests reforms that should greatly reduce them
Reforming Juvenile Justice, Barry Krisberg, The American Prospect, September 2005
Juvenile justice needs to be reformed. Barry Krisberg reviews the history of the oscillation between punitive and rehabilitation phases in juvenile justice. Science supports the rehabilitation model, and public fears support the punitive model, which is in force today. But rehabilitation of children often occurs, and society gains from it
America Incarcerated: Crime, Punishment, and the Question of Race, Glenn C. Loury, Utne Reader, November/December 2007
Glenn C. Loury reports that the United States houses 25% of the world's inmates while having only 5% of the world's population. We have the highest incarceration rate in the world. This is related to a widespread public attitude of punitiveness and underlying racial attitudes. Other countries have much better records of rehabilitation
Defeating Terrorism: Is It Possible? Is It Probable?, Marvin J. Cetron, The Futurist, May/June 2007
One of the leading futurists, Marvin Cetron, directed the most extensive projects forecasting the future of terrorism and reports its findings here
Nightmare in Manhattan, Bruce Goldman, New Scientist Magazine, March 2006
America's biggest fear is nuclear terrorism. Bruce Goldman describes the impact on Manhattan of a terrorist nuclear bomb
Problems of Population, Environment, Technology, and the Future
Unit Overview
Population and Environment Issues
Enough Already, Paul Ehrlich and Anne Ehrlich, New Scientist Magazine, September 30, 2006
Paul and Anne Ehrlich counter those who fear negative consequences of stable or declining population. The worriers fail to notice the benefits of stable population, and the population decline thesis is overblown. The population of developed countries with healthy economies is likely to grow through immigration. Stable or declining population countries will have to change some of their retirement policies and make other adaptations, but adjustments need not be very severe
The World's New Numbers, Martin Walker, Wilson Quarterly, Spring 2009
The world's birthrates are changing in unexpected ways. In general, birthrates are falling in the developing countries and increasing in Europe and North America. The major exception is Africa, where birthrates remain high. Martin Walker also analyzes world immigration trends
Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, Lester R. Brown, From Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, 2008
Lester R. Brown has been reporting on environmental problems for four decades and provides a synopsis of all the major environmental problems in this article. These problems must be addressed immediately because some of them might cross ecosystem thresholds and overcome equilibrating mechanisms with devastating results
The Science of Climate Change, Anna da Costa, The Ecologist, January 2007
Climate change may be the major long-term trend affecting humanity. Anna da Costa explains what generates our climate, what is causing climate change, what are the expected impacts, and what can be done to prevent much of the predicted climate change and negative impacts
Technological Issues
Who's Afraid of Human Enhancement?: a Reason Debate on the Promise, Perils, and Ethics of Human Biotechnology, Nick Gillespie et al., Reason Magazine, January 2006
A major cultural debate of this century is how society will deal with biotechnology. The potential for reducing diseases, disabilities, and abnormalities, and enhancing performance is great. Eventually, children can be "designed." The ethics of human biotechnology is debated by four involved thinkers from different perspectives who ask, "What should biotechnology be allowed to do?"
The Secret Nuclear War, Eduardo Goncalves, The Ecologist, April 2001
An extremely consequential technology is nuclear. The energy it produces has greatly benefited mankind, but at what price? Eduardo Goncalves reports on all the nuclear accidents, testings, experiments, leaks, production, cover-ups, and storage and reuse of nuclear materials that he can find out about. The death toll could be as high as 175 million, and the shameful behavior of countless agencies that he reports on is shocking
The World and the Future
Update on the State of the Future, Jerome C. Glenn and Theodore J. Gordon, The Futurist, January/February 2006
In this article two leading futurists provide a wide range of trends and predictions on the future. Jerome C. Glenn's and Theodore J. Gordon's environmental predictions are particularly frightening, but they do point to an increasing awareness of the problems and support for measures that favor sustainability
A User's Guide to the Century, Jeffrey Sachs, The National Interest, July/August 2008
Jeffrey Sachs attempts to identify, briefly describe, and assess the consequences of the major developments of the twenty-first century. The world is converging technologically and economically, economic and population growth are threatening the environment, and vast inequalities in income and power between and within nations are destabilizing and increasing conflicts
The Rise of the Rest, Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek, May 12, 2008
Fareed Zakaria argues that a great power shift is now occurring. For the last two decades America's superpower status in every realm has been largely unchallenged. Globalization and rapid economic growth in Asia have changed the world. America is still the unipolar power militarily but not in industrial, financial, social, cultural dimensions where the distribution of power is shifting, moving away from U.S. dominance to a situation defined and directed from many places and by many peoples
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