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Review Sheet for Exam#1 Social Problems 205

by: Rebecca Roth

Review Sheet for Exam#1 Social Problems 205 SOC 205

Marketplace > Grand Valley State University > Sociology > SOC 205 > Review Sheet for Exam 1 Social Problems 205
Rebecca Roth
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About this Document

Study guide for Chapters 1-3 overlooking the overview of sociology, theoretical perspectives, race and ethnicity, poverty in America and around the world.
Social Problems
Darrick L. Brake
Study Guide
#socialproblems #exam #sociology #poverty #ethnicity #race #racism #studyguide #gvsu
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This 6 page Study Guide was uploaded by Rebecca Roth on Sunday February 7, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to SOC 205 at Grand Valley State University taught by Darrick L. Brake in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 34 views. For similar materials see Social Problems in Sociology at Grand Valley State University.


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Date Created: 02/07/16
*Overview of Sociology -*Social problems that exist are vast.  Economy, poverty, war, healthcare, employment, etc. - Globalization  The process of increasing trans-border connectedness – whether economically, politically, etc. – poses new challenges and opportunities  We can look at the rest of the world to come up with ways to alleviate problems -We cannot understand the nature of social problems by simply taking a national or local perspective. -Taking a global perspective allows us the look at the interrelations between countries and their social problems. -*Why limit and artificially constrict or constrain possible answers, opportunities, or may be partial solutions?  Makes more sense to share knowledge and information and collaborate to alleviate social problems *Must use critical thinking skills and avoid fallacies! Critical Thinking = is the process of carefully attending to spoken or written information in order to evaluate its validity. *Evaluate information and decide if it makes logical sense. [Make your decisions and draw your own conclusions. DO NOT go by what mass media says, politicians, random people. You MUST look and instigate for yourself. -Fallacies of thinking! -9 Fallacies that prevent you from making your own decisions. 1. Fallacy of Dramatic Instance = overgeneralizing social problems by using one, two, or three anecdotal cases as a support (can use cases to promote understanding but not ignorance). 2. Fallacy of Retrospective Determinism = argument that things could not have possibly worked out any other way than they did (inevitable). Entails the belief of “who are we to change the way things have always been” approach. 3. Fallacy of Misplaced Concreteness = the assertion that something is the fault of society or that society caused a certain problem (sees social problems as too big and scary to tackle). 4. Fallacy of Personal Attack = common tactic use in many arenas that is used to attack their opponent personally when they cannot support their position by reason, logic, or facts. Example – the poor deserve their plight because they are lazy, disreputable, etc. 5. Fallacy of Appeal to Prejudice = resort to popular prejudices of passions to convince others of the correctness of their position (used for indefensible positions – emotional appeal, not logical). Example – when it helps those in business or industry it is a benefit, to support the poor is a detriment. 6. Fallacy of Circular Reasoning = someone argues a point by using conclusions to support the assumptions that were necessary to draw those very conclusions. Example – minority groups as inherently inferior and being stuck in mental jobs is proof of that inferiority. 7. Fallacy of Authority = arguments made through an illegitimate appeal to authority. Irrelevant Authority involves asking a professional not in the field being discussed, so the authority can use bias, an alternate but personal lens to view social problems. 8. Fallacy of Composition = the assertion that what is true of the part is necessarily true or representative of the whole (simplistic thinking at its finest!) 9. Fallacy of Non Sequitur = something does not follow logically from what has preceded it. Example – increase in welfare (through statistics) means that the government is just giving out more handouts. Reality is inflation; better distribution of benefits saves money, high spike in unemployment, etc. *Represent knowledge traps!  Blurs out the actual problem *We will be taking a sociological perspective throughout this course to examine social problems. *Define Sociology  Systematic study of individuals, groups, and social structures.  Offers an objective and systematic approach to understanding social problems *Define Sociological Imagination  As theorized by C. Wright Mills, the ability to understand not only what is happening in one's own immediate experience but also what is happening in the world and to imagine how one's experience fits into the larger world experience. *Social Problem (consequences)  a social condition or pattern of behavior that has negative consequences for individuals, our social world, or our physical world. *Objective reality  research and results show that a social condition does exist *Subjective reality  how a problem becomes defined as a problem  Thomas Theorem = if something is perceived as real, it will become real  If they’re subjective, then there are social problems we don’t know about *4 Stages of a Social Problem *Created by Malcolm Spector and John Kituse (1987). *Transformation Process  Private troubles transform to public issues. An influential group call attention to and define an issue as a social problem *Legitimation Process  Formalizing the manner in which the social problems are handled  Example = public policy or an organization can be created to respond to the condition  Most problems stop here *Conflict Stage  When Legitimation Process routines are unable to address the problem advocates, activists, and victims experience feelings of distrust and failure toward the formal response organizations. *Alternatives Stage  Groups believe that they can no longer work within the established system. Two options for advocates and activists: 1) radically change the existing system or 2) work outside the system *Sociologists study social problems through theoretical lenses. *Four Theories for this class:  Functionalist (structures and functions changing)  Conflict (tension, conflict between groups, differences between workers and owners)  Feminist (disempowered vs. empowered, differences in gender and gender roles)  Interactionist (redefining new meaning/ definitions) * Social Policy  Enactment of a course of action through a formal law/ program *Social Innovation  Creating and innovating new things to help alieve social problems  May take the form of a policy, program, or advocacy that features an untested or unique approach. Usually starts at the community level, but it can go into a national or international program *-Book is focused on three major connections. [1.] Connecting personal troubles and public issues through the usage of sociological theories. [2.] The use and understanding of the sociological imagination can help us link social problems to potential solutions. [3.] Making connections to social problems and local community. Wealth and Inequality -Distribution of wages and earnings has become more unequal, and the distance between the rich and poor has widened recently because of the Great Recession of 2007-2009. -Perceived economic strain is seen as reality! -Americans believe that their economic status is declining or not improving at all. Creates tension between those at top and bottom. [U.S. feels like a system of haves and have nots]. -80% of Americans view life as more difficult over the past five years in terms of maintaining a middle class life standard of living. -2/3 ’s of Americans surveyed by the Pew Research Center in 2008 view the rich getting richer and poor getting poorer! MAJOR PROBLEM!!! -Perceptions can lead to reality! Thomas Theorem = If people believe or perceive things to be a certain way than they will become that way in real life. -Family Income is shrinking for the average American by 2% per year!  2011 the median income was reported at 50,054. Between 2007 and 2010 it fell 7.7%! --Wealth = defined as the value of assets (checking and savings accounts, property, vehicles, and stocks) owned by a household. -Wealth is more stable within families and across generations than is income, occupation, or education and can be used to secure or produce wealth, enhancing one’s life chances. -Life chances are IMPORTANT!!!!!! -Restriction of life outcomes and possibilities. -Restricts innovation and species being (human potential). -Restriction of these things cannot be quantified! NOT GOOD AT ALL!!! -Wealth provides access to key social and cultural capital such as quality of life, social connections, and cultural manners that can also affect future life outcomes. -Creates opportunities, secure standard of living, passes class status down to other generations, etc. -From 2007-2011 Savings fell for families.  56.4% down to 52%  Median net worth in this time period decreased for all income groups except the top 10%! *Absolute Poverty  Basics are at stake (food, shelter, clothing) *Relative Poverty  Expectation of what a person should have but many people can’t meet it  Refers to a situation in which some people fail to achieve the average income or lifestyle enjoyed by the rest of society. *Applying Theories to Welfare. [Functionalist, Feminist, Conflict, Interactionist]. *Food Insecurity *Not just a poor person problem! *Food Pantries in U.S. *Food pantries and emergency kitchens help fill in the gaps but they are overburdened. *Cannot do all the work to fill in gaps. *Majority of those fed through the Emergency Food Assistance System live at or below 50% of the poverty line. Lack of Affordable Housing as Future Problem that will continue…. -Pay higher rent because of risk to renting to poor person. -Spending up to 50% of working poor income just on housing! -Making it impossible to live and leave welfare situation. -Becoming the norm in the U.S.! Dangerous because it restricts social mobility! Racial and Ethnic Inequality *Definitions of race biological and social constructed versions.  Biological Perspective =race can be defined as a group or population that shares a set of genetic characteristics and physical features.  Sociological Perspective = the meaning of race is defined and contested throughout society in both collective action and personal practice. In the process, racial categories themselves are formed, transformed, destroyed, and reformed. *Socially situated is norm for Sociology. -Very real in terms of consequences. *Native Born  Anyone born in the US *Foreign Born  Refers to anyone who is not a U.S. citizen at birth. (40 million foreign born (53.1% from Latin America) 2010) *Refugee  Aliens outside the U.S. who are unwilling or unable to return to his/her country of origin for persecution fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.  Closely regulated and most refugees are under the age of 25 *Racism  Belief that certain racial or ethnic groups are inferior and that discriminatory practices against them are justified. *Discrimination both Individual and Institutional  Individual Discrimination = includes action against minority members by individuals. These actions range from avoiding contact with a certain group to physical and verbal attacks against minority members.  Institutional Discrimination = is practiced by the government, social institutions, and organizations. Institutional discrimination may include segregation, exclusion or expulsion. *Segregation  The physical and social separation of ethnic or racial groups. *Exclusion  The practice of prohibiting or restricting entry or participation of groups in society. *Expulsion  The removal of a group by direct force or intimidation.  EX: Native Americans *Theoretical Perspectives of Sociology on topic [application]  Functionalist Perspective believes that the differences between racial and ethnic groups are largely cultural. -The solution is assimilation a process where minority group members become part of the dominant group, losing their original distinct group identity.  Conflict Perspective Conflict focuses on how dynamics of racial and ethnic relations divide groups while maintaining a dominant group. -The dominant group may be defined according to racial and ethnic categories, but it also can be defined according to social class. -Instead of relationship based on consensus (or assimilation), relationships are based on power, force, and coercion.  Feminist Perspective = Feminist theory intersects with multiculturalism through the analysis of multiple systems of oppression, not just gender, but including categories of race , class, sexual orientation, nation of origin, language, culture, and ethnicity.  Interactionist Perspective = We learn about racial and ethnic categories of White, Black, Latino, Asian, Native American, and immigrant through our social interaction. -The meaning and values for these and other categories are provided by our social institutions, families, and friends. -Race is a social construct *Consequences of inequality include: less median household income, less access to quality or adequate education, less total income, Lack of home ownership, lack of income taxes to fund public needs, lack of credit, wealth gap, unable to provide resources for children, worse child healthcare, and quality of healthcare to name a few!!!!  For every dollar earned by White households, Black households earned 62 cents  Homeownership o Either overpricing the cost of houses or overvaluing houses  Healthcare o Care vs. Quality of Care  In voluntary, employment based health care systems, racial and ethnic minority group members are more likely to be uninsured or publicly insured (Medicare and Medicaid).  White workers often have benefits and supplemental insurance to defray costs  2011 – White Non-Hispanics are lowest uninsured at 11.1%, Blacks were 19.5%, Asians 16.8%, Hispanics at 30.1%  Medicaid insured African American and Latino children use less primary care (depending on emergency treatment), experience higher rates of hospitalization, and die at a significantly higher rate than White children.  Kids are the ones at highest risk when it comes to healthcare and the quality of. **We watched Poor Kids in America film!  Lack of education, human potential, adult stress and challenges they face, reality of situation (losing friends and pets), kids spending a lot of time by themselves with no adult supervision).


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