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SOC 1160 Exam 1 Study Guide

by: Amber Levister

SOC 1160 Exam 1 Study Guide SOCI 1160 030

Marketplace > Georgia State University > Sociology > SOCI 1160 030 > SOC 1160 Exam 1 Study Guide
Amber Levister
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About this Document

I filled in the answers for the concepts on the list Dr. Stombler gave us. Let me know if you have something to add!
Intro to Social Problems
Mindy Stombler
Study Guide
sociology, Social problems
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This 6 page Study Guide was uploaded by Amber Levister on Saturday January 30, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to SOCI 1160 030 at Georgia State University taught by Mindy Stombler in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 283 views. For similar materials see Intro to Social Problems in Sociology at Georgia State University.


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Date Created: 01/30/16
Social  Problems   Concept  List  for  Exam  1     There  will  be  approximately  10  questions  from  the  articles  assigned  listed  for   this  exam  in  the  syllabus.    The  other  approximately  30-­‐40  questions  will  come   from  the  material  identified  below:     SYLLABUS   -­‐Email  protocol  (and  how  NOT  to  email  me)  (Put  “9:30  Social  Problems”  in  the  subject  line)     -­‐Do  NOT  email  her  or  TA  through  D2L  (Brightspace)   -­‐Name  of  instructor       -­‐Mindy  Stombler   -­‐Name  of  T.A.     -­‐Molly  Harmon   -­‐Basis  for  Grade  (and  percentage  breakdown)     -­‐4  exams  (78%)     -­‐Focus  on  Social  Problems  Photography  Project  (12%)     -­‐10  In-­‐Class  Social  Change  Essays  (10%)   -­‐Make-­‐up  Exam  policy     -­‐NO  makeup  exams  besides  those  required  by  the  university   -­‐Exam  drop  policy     -­‐You  can  drop  the  lowest  of  your  first  3  exams;  May  NOT  drop  exam  4   -­‐Focus  on  Social  Problems  Photography  Project  (topics  eligible  for  each  photo,  when   the  photo  must  have  been  taken,  who  must  take  the  photo,  whether  or  not  the  photo   should  be  candid  or  staged,  late  policy,  voting  and  awards,  whether  or  not  posting   illegal  activity  is  allowed)   -­‐ 4  Photos  depicting  social  problems  we’ve  discuseed  in  class/  articles   -­‐ Must  be  a  candid  photo  taken  this  semster  by  YOU  (no  screen  shots/  pics   of  computer  or  tv  screens)   -­‐No  illegal  activity  to  be  shown  in  the  picture;  no  late  photos  will  be  credited   -­‐In-­‐class  Social  Change  essays—late  arrival,  early  leaving,  make-­‐up  policy,  how  to   get  full  credit,  what  is  each  one  worth     -­‐There  are  NO  makeups  if  you  are  absent  or  arrive  late     -­‐You  may  NOT  leave  the  room  during  5-­‐7  minute  essay  if  you  want  full  credit   -­‐In-­‐class  electronics,  phone,  laptop  Policy     -­‐Turn  off  electronic  devices  that  make  sounds  (phones,  iPods,  etc.)     -­‐Laptops  and  tablets  to  be  used  for  notes  only                     INTRODUCTION   -­‐Definition  of  Sociology     -­‐Sociology=  A  systematic  study  of  society  and  social  interaction   -­‐3  Fundamental  assumptions  of  the  sociological  perspective   1) Individuals  are  a  product  of  their  enviroment   -­‐Ex:  affluenza  &  the  Zimbardo  Prison  Experiment   2) We  examine  the  structure  of  society   -­‐Ex:  social  institutions  (media,  family,  education,  justice  system)   establish  patters  of  reoccuring  relationships   3) Sociologists  adopt  a  critical  stance  toward  all  social  forms   -­‐Ex:  crack  Vs.  Cocain  issue   -­‐Zimbardo  prison  experiment  (know  findings  and  what  this  is  an  example  of)   -­‐mock  prison  created  to  see  hoe  being  a  “prisoner”  or  “guard”  affected   behavior     -­‐the  men  ultimately  locked  into  their  roles  and  it  became  real-­‐life  for  them   -­‐VIDEO:    Wealth  Entitlement    (know  findings  and  what  this  is  an  example  of)   -­‐ADHD,  know  the  structural  reasons  we  covered  for  increases  in  diagnoses  (know   findings  and  what  this  is  an  example  of)     -­‐  There  has  been  a  subtantial  increase  in  ADHD  diagnosis     -­‐What’s  causing  this  increase?:   -­‐Advancement  in  technology,  profit  for  pharmaceuticals/   advertisement  to  consumers,  changing  in  defintion,  education  system   (crowded  classrooms,  individuals  W/  disabilities  needing  tutors)   -­‐C.Wright  Mills’  sociological  imagination   -­‐“Sociological  Imagination”=  the  ability  to  appreciate  the  structural  basis  for   individual  problems   -­‐Illegality/harm  of  certain  drugs,  sentencing  disparities  between  crack  and  powder   cocaine  before  and  after  Fair  Sentencing  Act  of  2010,  retroactive  application  of  the   new  FSA  Sentencing  Guidelines  and  what  it  would  mean  (know  findings  and  what   this  is  an  example  of)     -­‐Sociologists  have  been  studying  the  drugs  Crack  and  Cocain  to  see:   -­‐who  uses  which  (Black  people=  Crack,  White  People=  Cocaine  and   -­‐  who  gets  more  felony  convictions  and  longer  prison  sentences  (black   people  do)  Prior  to  2010  the  ratio  was  100:1,  after  2010  the  ratio  was   18:1   Definition  of  a  social  problem  (know  well  and  ALL  details)   -­‐Social  Problem=  social  phenomenon  that  affect  large  #s  of  people  negatively     -­‐Must  cause  phsychic/  material  suffering  for  a  segment  of  society     -­‐Must  be  recognized  or  perceived  as  unacceptbale  by  an  (influential)         group(s)  of  people     -­‐Conditions  must  be  indentified  and  targeted  for  social  change/  action   The  subjective  foundation/component  of  a  social  problem     -­‐based  on  our  own  beliefs          Ex:  our  varying  thoughts  on  poverty  in  the  world   The  objective  foundation/component  of  a  social  problem   -­‐measurable  aspect/  proof      Ex:  amount  of  pollution  in  the  air/  #  of   unemployed     -­‐Social  construction  of  a  social  problem  (including  example  of  domestic  violence)   -­‐Social  constructionist  approach  to  social  problems       -­‐  focuses  on  how  a  social  problem  is  constructed/  the  process  of  it   -­‐How  definitions  can  change  over  time   -­‐Process  for  convincing  people  a  problem  exists:    Claimsmaking,  Counterclaims   -­‐Claimsmaking=  process  of  convincing  the  public  and  important  public   officials  that  a  particular  issue/  situation  should  be  defined  as  a  social   problem   -­‐Counterclaims=  the  argument  in  direct  opposition  to  the  original  claims   -­‐How  success  is  measured  in  the  process  of  constructing  a  SP  (results  of   claimsmaking—what  is  success?)  Success  is  shown  in  the  form  of  Policy  Changes   -­‐Person-­‐blame  versus  system  blame—know  how  to  apply   -­‐Person-­‐blame=  social  problems  come  from  the  pathologies  of  the  individual   in  the  problems       Ex:  in  poverty-­‐  poor  people  are  poor  by  their  own  fault;  in  the  school   system-­‐  students  have  no  drive,  parents  are  poor  role  models,  bad   teachers   -­‐System  blame=  social  problems  emanate  from  the  situations  in  which  the   individuls  are  involved   Ex:  in  the  school  system-­‐  lack  of  funding,  poor  curriculum/  poorly   paid  teachers,  parents  working  2+  jobs,  federal  policy   -­‐Critique  of  person-­‐blame  perspective   -­‐required  a  person-­‐change  treatment  program;  frees  all  of  the  institutions   from  blame     -­‐Critique  of  system-­‐blame  perspective   -­‐by  looking  at  the  system,  you’re  ignoring  the  possibility  of  individuals  being   problematic     -­‐individuals  have  agency  (ability  to  act)   Structure/agency  dialectic     -­‐agentsà  create  structureà  structure  impedes     THE  BEST  DEMOCRACY  MONEY  CAN  BUY:    BIAS  IN  THE  POLITICAL  SYSTEM   Power  elite  occupy  power  roles  in  society   Who  are  the  power  elite—where  is  their  power  concentrated/what  do  they  control  (2   main  areas)     -­‐The  Power  Elite  (ex:  president,  key  members  of  congress,  Federal  reserve   members,  Supreme  Court  members)  control  1)  Corporations  &  2)  Goverment   Who  benefits  from  how  power  is  concentrated  in  U.S.  society?     -­‐Those  in  power  will  be  disproportionately  benefited,  especially  stockholders   Examples  of  how  the  wealthy  benefit  disproportionately  from  decisions  of  power  elite   (such  as  what  types  of  favorable  treatment  do  corporations  receive?  Such  as  tax  breaks,   low-­‐interest  loans,  infrastructure  improvements,  etc.)     -­‐CEOs,  Board  of  Directors  receive  tax  breaks,  incentives,  low-­‐interest  loans     -­‐hold  on  to  money  from  campaign  financing     -­‐Conclusions  of  Princeton  study  that  examined  1,800  policy  initiatives  from  1981-­‐2000   -­‐Government  decisions  are  often  based  on  “trickle  down”  philosopy—know  what  it  is,   and  whether  or  not  it  is  working  well   -­‐  corporations  sell  the  “trickle-­‐down  structure”  to  the  public;  says  that  everyone   benefits  from  the  success;  people  trust  these  corporations  but  never  reap   benefits   Major  way  the  power  elite’s  power  is  reinforced  (how  they  influence  politics)   -­‐Campaign  financing  funds  them,  and  the  people  elect  officials  into  position   -­‐4  ways  the  massive  influx  of  money  into  politics  sabotages  democracy   1) makes  is  harder  to  solve  any  social  problems  we  have  that  would  make  us   more  equal  as  a  culture   2) have-­‐nots  (non  power  elite)  arent  represented  among  decision  makers   3) requires  politicians  to  chase  after  money  during  times  they  should  actually   be  govrning  and  making  laws   4) voting:  many  people  are  discouraged  from  voting  and  civic  participation  bc   they  feel  like  their  vote  is  unimportant   -­‐VIDEO:    Citizen’s  United  vs.  FEC     -­‐corporations  are  using  their  pull  to  get  officials  elected  that  favor  their  values   rather  than  those  of  the  citizens;  corps  have  TOO  much  power  in  democracy     -­‐the  goal  of  all  corporations  is  to  make  as  much  profit  as  possible     -­‐2010  Supreme  Court  Case=  ruled  it  unconstitutional  to  put  any  limits  on  how   much  money  corporations  can  spend  on  influencing  elections   -­‐Democracy  is  generally  ideologically  about  equality.    Capitalism  generally  generates   inequality.    Know  this  and  why  it  is  a  problem.    Examples?   -­‐Capitalism  generates  inequality  because  of  conflicts  of  interest  when  it  is  driven   by  profit      Ex:  Prison  Industry   -­‐Private  Prisons  and  Mass  Incarceration   -­‐private  prisons  have  been  built  with  haste  with  a  profit  motive  to  incarcerate   masses  of  people;  convicts  essentiall  bought  and  sold  n  the  prison  market     -­‐U.S.  incarceration  rate  compared  to  other  developed  countries       -­‐America’s  rate  is  much  higher  than  most  other  countries   -­‐Relatively  recent  trend—since  1980  change  in  incarceration  rates  in  U.S.  (was  150  per   100,000  and  now  what?)  710  prisoners  per  100,000  citizens   -­‐Major  causes  of  change  in  incarceration  rate   1) War  on  drugs  (convictions  went  up  10x  from  1980-­‐1996)   2) Mandatory  minimum  sentencing   -­‐Proportion  of  America’s  federal  inmates  in  prison  for  drug  convictions   -­‐Who  is  responsible?    Democrats?    Republicans?    Independents?    Tea  Party  members?       -­‐The  Power  Elite  defines  what  a  criminal  is  and  who  gets  to  profit  from  it   -­‐And  what  did  they  decide  to  do  regarding  sentencing?     -­‐Correctional  Vendors  Association  lobby  for  minimum  sentencing     Knowing  what  we  know  about  the  power  elite,  we  should  assume  their  solutions   augment  their  own  status   -­‐Why  states  want  private  prisons     -­‐private  prisons  take  away  some  of  the  expense  prisons  have  on  the  government   (private  prisons  generally  don’t  have  to  pay  wages,  pensions,  or  insure  employees)   -­‐Money  spent  on  prisons  vs  higher  education  in  the  past  20  years  (general  trend)   -­‐Largest  private  prison  corporation     -­‐Corrections  Corporation  of  America  (CCA)   -­‐What  distinguishes  CCA  from  most  other  publicly  traded  companies   -­‐Occupancy  requirements     -­‐states  have  to  fulfill  occupancy  rates  in  the  prisons  or  they  are  charged  fees   -­‐Profit  motive  of  private  prisons  and  how  that  affects  rehabilitation  programs  and   recidivism     -­‐the  system  is  designed  to  fail  felons  so  they  are  sent  back  to  prison  and   perpetuate  the  cycle  so  private  prisons  can  make  money  off  of  their  incarceration   Convicts  as  commodities     -­‐modern  day  prison  industrial  complex  comparative  to  slavery  as  private  prisons   buy  and  sell  them  to  other  prisons  for  profit   Who  else  profits  besides  the  corporate  prisons  and  in  what  ways?    (Investors,  vendors,   etc.)   -­‐Companies  providing  phone  services,  clothing,  soap,  bail  bonds,  private  parole   offficers,  and     -­‐Political  impact  in  terms  of  representative  government   -­‐Felony  disenfranchisement  and  voting  (and  stats  on  disenfranchised  voting  population)   -­‐the  system  set  up  totake  away  voting  rights  and  essentially  the  voice  from   formerly  convicted  felons   -­‐Consistency/distribution  of  felony  disenfranchisement  laws   -­‐The  “flesh”  of  the  prison  industry     -­‐Black  people  are  the  bulk  of  prisoners  in  the  prison  industry     -­‐African  Americans=  13%  of  U.S.  population;  40%  of  U.S.  prison  industry   -­‐Crack  use  data  (percentage  of  White  and  Black  Americans  who  have  used  crack)     -­‐  African  Americans  =4.5%;  White  Americans=  3.6%   -­‐Crack  use  data  in  sheer  numbers  (percentage  of  crack  users  who  are  white,  black)     -­‐Black=  17%;  White  =  69%   -­‐Percentage  of  those  convicted  in  crack  cases  that  are  black      83%   -­‐African  American  sentencing  for  drug  offenses  compared  to  white  sentencing  for   violent  offenses      More  blacks  are  jailed  for  minor  drug  offenses  like  Marijuana  than   white  ppl              are  for  violent  crimes   -­‐Percentage  difference  in  length  of  sentences  for  similar  crimes  (black  v  white)     -­‐Black  men  do  20%  more  time  than  white  men  for  the  samw  offense   POWER,  INCOME  AND  WEALTH  INEQUALITY   4  conditions  that  must  be  present  for  “ideal”  capitalism  to  exist   1) “ideal  type”=  private  ownership  of  private  property   2) pursuit    of  the  maximum  personal  profit   3) competition   4) Principle  of  Laissez  Faire  (government  is  hands-­‐off  of  economy)   -­‐Which  is  associated  with  intergenerational  mobility  and  the  American  Dream     -­‐“ideal  type”=  private  ownership  of  private  property   -­‐Our  mobility  compared  to  comparable  nations   -­‐Location  of  our  “stickiness”  in  terms  of  mobility   -­‐Why  Adam  Smith  and  other  economists  believed  capitalism  was  a  good  fit  for  humans   and  creating  social  order   -­‐Capitalism  seemed  like  a  good  fit  because  the  government  didn’t  have  much   influence  in  economic  affairs  and  couldn’t  take  advantage  of  the  market   -­‐First  major  discrepancy  between  ideal  capitalism  and  our  current  system     -­‐major  corporations  control  the  bulk  of  the  market   -­‐Examples  of  how  that  discrepancy  plays  out  (creating  and  controlling  demand)   -­‐Monopolization  (huge  companies  that  already  have  pull  on  the  public    supply   excessive  products/  services  to  create  demands)   -­‐Manufactured  demand  (and  examples)   -­‐creating  and  controlling  demands  for  the  market/  we  don’t  NEED  it  but  they   make  us  WANT  it      Ex:  Snuggies   -­‐VIDEO:    Bottled  Water    (content  included  and  what  it  was  illustrating)     -­‐The  bottled  water  industry  feeds  into  consumerism  and  maufactured  demand   because  they  advertise  “purified  water”  to  make  it  seem  better  so  we  want  it  ex:  Figi   -­‐Shared  monopolies     -­‐4  or  fewer  companies  that  supply  50%  or  more  of  a  market       Ex:  cereal  (General  Mills,  Kellogs,  Post)   -­‐Inevitability  of  monopolies  (Marx)   -­‐State  of  monopolies  in  media  (how  much  controlled—know  how  many  companies   control  90%  of  the  media)   -­‐Megamergers       -­‐Large  corporations  join  to  create  one  giant  corporation  hat  controls  a  large   percentage  of  the  market  in  an  industry   -­‐Result  of  megamergers  (and  monopolization)   -­‐Loss  of  jobs,  Reduced  competitionà  increased  prices,  incredible  power,   increase  in  profit  goes  to  CEOs,  lawyers  and  bankers   -­‐Why  the  competition  that  does  exist  among  mom-­‐and-­‐pop  stores  does  not  have  a  large   impact  on  the  market     -­‐The  profit  is  miniscule  compared  to  larger  companies   -­‐Result  of  increasing  globalization  of  megamergers     -­‐U.S.  corporate  power  increased     -­‐shifts  assets  to  other  countres,  thus  drying  up  skilled  and  unskilled  jobs  in  U.S.     -­‐multinational  corporations  in  U.S.  control  world  economy     -­‐medalling  in  foreign  affairs          


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