Social Problems, Social Problems
Abstracts, Bibliography, Syllabus, Journals
The study of social problems focuses on analyzing broader social and
structural sources and contributors to issues that are problematic for and detrimental to
the social health of a society, and then creating solutions based on it.
How does the differential power of various social groups affect how some issues
become constructed into social problems while others do not? What role do the media play
in the social construction of social problems?
Studying Social Problems involes the study of
all and more of the following subjects:
Poverty and Wealth; Racial and Ethnic
Inequality; Gender Inequality; Aging and Inequality; Crime and Criminal Justice; Violence;
Sexuality; Alcohol and Other Drugs; Physical and Mental Health; Family Life; Education;
Urban Life; Population and Global Inequality; Technology and the Environment.
Social Problems Abstracts
Public Perceptions of Social Problems: Some Propositions
and a Test - Research on social problems has largely overlooked a central question:
What characteristics must a phenomenon possess before the general public will consider it
a social problem? Mark C. Stafford, Washington State University, Mark Warrk,
Pennsylvania State Univ, The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Vol. 21, No. 3, (1985)
W.E.B. Du Bois on the Study of Social Problems - This is a close reading and
interpretation of Du Bois's "The Study of the Negro Problems" (Du Bois 1898b) Du
Bois formulated a conception of "social problems," particularly those having to
do with "the Negro" in the United States. Finally, the author reviews Du Bois's
critique of then-prevailing social science and his proposed "Program for Future
Study" of "Negro problems" and concludes with a brief assessment. - LUCIUS
T. OUTLAW, JR. - The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science,
Vol. 568, No. 1.
Social Sciences and Social Problems - The next
Neil J. Smelser, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford,
International Sociology, Vol. 11, No. 3, 275-290 (1996)
The role of social-science knowledge in understanding and dealing with such problems. The
author develops a critique of the utilitarian model of applied social science - a model
based on supposed analogies with the natural sciences and engineering. Next, the logic of
a `social problem' is dissected into the necessary ingredients it must have to qualify as
The Politics of Analyzing Social Problems - Ross, Robert; Staines, Graham L.
Abstract: Two crucial processes are discussed: (1) that through which social problems
become public issues; and (2) that through which conflicts between competing diagnoses of,
and responses to, publicly recognized social problems are resolved. Regularities in these
transformations are conceptualized as follows: groups differ in their definitions of
social problems according to self-interest, ideology, and social values. Various
strategies for handling the conflicts are seen as generating significant political
outcomes for the parties concerned and for the policy process. In sum, the paper serves to
point out a whole area of important political considerations in the analysis of social
problems. - eric.ed.gov
ASKING WHY ABOUT SOCIAL PROBLEMS: IDEOLOGY AND CAUSAL MODELS IN THE PUBLIC MIND -
Allen H. Barton
A review of research asking people for their explanations of social problems shows that
open-ended responses are rarely probed to elicit the whole causal model which
the respondent has in mind; that closed-ended questions tend to offer limited choices, and
not to explore the possibility of causal chains or conditional effects; and
that there is a tendency to classify answers into crude dichotomies rather than explore
the public's ideas about specific causal mechanisms for social problems.
Control of Selection Effects in the Evaluation of Social Problems - Alfred Blumstein,
Jacqueline Cohen, Carnegie-Mellon University - Evaluation Review, Vol. 3, No. 4,
Evaluations involving non-random assignment to treatment or control groups are vulnerable
to an accidental or intentional confounding of a selection effect with the treatment
effect. The resulting selection bias is compensated with two techniques, discriminant
analysis and base expectancy analysis, which model the selection process that generates
the treatment and control groups.
China Under Reform - Social Problems in Rural Areas - Victor N. Shaw
China Report, Vol. 42, No. 4, 341-368 (2006)
Examines social problems in Chinese rural society as it undergoes economic reform and
social transformations on an unprecedented scale. Analytic explanation of rural social
problems in relation to larger social structures and processes. Explores strategies and
tactics that can be taken to deal with social problems in rural society.
Social Information for What? - Itzhak Galnoor
The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 393, No. 1, 1-19
(1971) The differences between the social problems of a "developed" and a
"developing" situation are so great that entirely different kinds of social
information are needed in each. Nevertheless, certain ideas contained in the various
social information proposals could prove to be extremely useful for the specific problems
of developing countries.
Social Problems and Patterns of Juvenile Delinquency in Transitional Russia - William
Alex Pridemore - Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, Vol. 39, No. 2,
An introduction to social problems and juvenile delinquency in transitional Russia.
Volunteerism and Social Problems: Making Things Better or Worse?
Louis A. Penner11Wayne State University and University of Michigan1Wayne State University
and University of Michigan - Journal of Social Issues, Volume 60 Issue 3 Page 645 -
Abstract: The implications of increasing volunteerism for the solution of social problems
How Individuals Explain Social Problems: The Influences of Media Use Mira Sotirovic
Journal of Communication, Volume 53 Issue 1 Page 122 - March 2003
Abstract: Media effects on explanations of social problems are enhanced by individuals'
patterns of information processing.
The Brown Decision Revisited: Mathematizing Social Problems
William F. Tate, Gloria Ladson-Billings, Carl A. Grant
Educational Policy, Vol. 7, No. 3, 255-275 (1993)
The article also suggests that the Brown decision represents the Supreme Court's attempt
to apply a largely mathematical solution to a social problem.
Using Social Policy Research for Reducing Social Problems: An Empirical Analysis of
Structure and Functions - Mark Van de Vall, Cheryl Bolas
The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Vol. 18, No. 1, 49-67 (1982)
Investigating three samples of social policy research in The Netherlands, the authors
analyzed the conditions and functions influencing utilization (impact).
Interorganizational context, intergroup relations, and role interaction were found to
relate to utilization.
Constructing Social Problems in an Age of Globalization: A FrenchAmerican
Benson, Rodney; Saguy, Abigail C.
American Sociological Review, Volume 70, Number 2, April 2005, pp. 233-259(27)
Despite growing academic interest in political and cultural globalization, sociologists
have failed to systematically account for the factors that favor cross-national
convergence or divergence in the form or content of public political debates in news
Will Dispersed Housing Programmes Reduce Social Problems in the US?
Authors: Galster G.; Zobel A.
Source: Housing Studies, Volume 13, Number 5, 1 September 1998, pp. 605-622(18)
Demonstrates how only modest differences in the functional relationship between spatially
concentrated poverty and resultant socially problematic behaviours will radically affect
conclusions about the desirability of housing dispersal programmes.The US now faces the
unenviable situation of having adopted a major housing strategy with only a shred of
evidence to suggest what effect it might have on aggregate social problems.
Dealing with Complex Social Problems: The Potential of the "Decision Seminar."
By: Garry D. Brewer
The "decision seminar" is designed to permit a group of specialists to
integrate their knowledge to deal with a complex policy problem. Its overriding purpose is
to translate a decisionmaking context into terms that make it understandable and that
suggest ameliorative action.
Social Problems in Estonian Mass Media 1975-1991 -
Mikko Lagerspetz, Estonian Institute of Hurnanities, Tallinn, Estonia - Acta
Sociologica, Vol. 36, No. 4, 357-369 (1993)
The lack of legitimacy of the Soviet rule in Estonia was manifested among other things by
a deep disagreement between rulers and the ruled over the central problems of society. As
the political situation changed from 1985 on, also the problems were defined in new ways,
and partially by new actors. A content analysis was made on so-called problem articles in
the leading Estoman daily Rahva Haal.
Alcohol Abuse: A Crucial Factor in the Social Problems of
LUCY JANE KING M.D., GEORGE E. MURPHY M.D., LEE N. ROBINS PH.D., and HARRIET
DARVISH - American Journal of Psychiatry 125:1682-1690, June 1969
Concludes that alcohol abuse is not simply another symptom of social deviance but an
important intervening variable in the ghetto cycle of broken home, delinquency,
underemployment, and broken home.