Contemporary Social Problems
Contemporary Social Problems SO 1103
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This 7 page Study Guide was uploaded by Katerina Kushla on Tuesday September 27, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to SO 1103 at Mississippi State University taught by Laura Jean Kerr in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 59 views. For similar materials see Contemporary Social Problems in Sociology at Mississippi State University.
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Date Created: 09/27/16
Contemporary Social Problems Exam 1 Sept. 30, 2016 Contemporary Social Problems Exam 1 Study Guide: Exam 1: September 30, 2016 covers – Chapters 1, 2, 6, 7, and 8 Components and definition: Social Problem Components and definition: Structure Components and definition: Culture Institutions Status and Roles Sociological Imagination Structural-Functionalism o Core perspective theories and assumptions o Anomie o McDonaldization Conflict o Core perspective theories and assumptions o Alienation o Corporatocracy Symbolic Interactionism o Core perspective theories and assumptions o Blumer’s social construction o Medicalization Poverty Factors Poverty Definition Meritocracy Unemployment/underemployment School funding Educational achievement Social factors and health *** Review perspectives for Each Chapter Contemporary Social Problems Exam 1 Sept. 30, 2016 Social Problem: - No universal definition - Comprised of Subjective Element and Objective Element o Subjective Objective – The awareness of social conditions through life experiences – you are a subject o Objective Element – the belief that a social condition is harmful to society and should be changed. You are an Observer - Can be defined as a social condition that a segment of society views as harmful and in need of remedy **Variations are due to differences in values, beliefs, and life experiences Culture: Culture - the meanings and ways of life that characterize a society Elements of Culture: Beliefs are definitions and explanations about what is assumed to be true – Is secondhand smoke dangerous? Values are social agreements about what is considered good and bad, right and wrong, desirable and undesirable. Value of human life. Racism, sexism, and heterosexism violate the value of equality and fairness Symbols are something that represents something else. Language, gestures, and objects whose meaning is commonly understood by the members of society Norms are society’s specific rules of right and wrong behavior - Norms tell us what we should or should not do Folkways – customs, habits, and manners of society Laws – formal norms backed by authority Mores (Pronounced “More A’s”)– norms with moral basis Explicit are directly specified, written down, laws Implicit are implied, understood, common courtesy Sanctions are positive and negative consequences for confirming or violating norms Contemporary Social Problems Exam 1 Sept. 30, 2016 Structure: Structure – the way society is organized ~~~~~~~Social Institutions~~~~~~ Institution: an established and enduring pattern of social ~~~~Social Groups~~~~ relationships – we like these things so much that we “built” them and maintain them. ~~Statuses~~ Five Traditional Institutions: Roles Family Religion Politics Economics Education * Mass Media can be any of these Social group - two or more people who have a common identity, interact, and form a social relationship Primary groups - intimate and informal interaction. Friends, (close) family Secondary groups - impersonal and formal interaction. Coworkers, classmates Status: A position that a person occupies within a social group and within society Our interpretations of social problems are often subjective to this position Ascribed Status: assigned to an individual by society on the basis of factors over which the individual has no control (decided by society) ex child, teenager, senior citizen, age and race Achieved Statuses: assigned on the basis of some characteristic or behavior over which the individual has some control (self-decided) College graduate, spouse, parent, manager, convicted criminal Master Status: Single most important status (usually self-decided) has influence of all other statuses Roles: The set of rights, obligations, and expectations associated with a status - Roles guide our behavior and allow us to predict the behavior of others - Roles are based on mutual obligations o Students are expected to read, take notes, write papers, and attend class and Professors must grade the papers written by the students Contemporary Social Problems Exam 1 Sept. 30, 2016 Sociological Imagination: Refers to the ability to see the connections between our personal lives and the social world in which we live - Developed by C. Wright Mills - Enables us to distinguish between “private troubles” and “public issues” - The perspective is the “big view.” The theory is within the perspective Perspectives: Structural-Functionalism: Society is composed of parts that work together to maintain a state of balance - often described as a machine or a body with different parts working together. Functions are purposes and activities to meet different needs that contribute to a society’s stability When norms become weak, unclear, or are in conflict with each other, society is in a state of anomie, or normlessness. McDonaldization: Sociologist George Ritzer uses this term to describe how the fast food industry applies to work: 1. Efficiency. Tasks are completed efficiently 2. Calculability. Size, cost, and time are more important than quality 3. Predictability. Products are standardized 4. Control. (Through technology) Automation replaces human labor Conflict: Views society as a composed of groups and interests competing for power and resources Corporatocracy: A system of government that serves the interests of corporations and involves ties between government and business Alienation - condition that results when workers perform repetitive, monotonous work tasks, and they become estranged from their work, the product the create, other people, and themselves Contemporary Social Problems Exam 1 Sept. 30, 2016 Marxist Conflict Theory: - Social Problems result from class inequality inherent in a capitalistic system - Also focus on the problem of alienation, or powerlessness and meaninglessness in people’s lives Non Marxist Conflict Theory Concerned with conflict when groups have opposing values and interests. Symbolic Interactionist: A basic premise is that a condition must be defined or recognized as a social problem for it to be a social problem - The people must decide if it is a problem Blumer’s Stages of a Social Problem: 1) Societal recognition is the process by which a social problem is “born” 2) Social Legitimation takes place when the social problem is recognized by the larger community 3) Mobilization for action that leads to the development and implementation of a plan for dealing with the problem Labeling Theory: a social condition or group is viewed as problematic if it is labeled as such - Labels change overtime therefore a social problem can be resolved Social Constructionism: argues that reality is socially constructed by individuals who interpret the social world around them Medicalization is defining or labeling behaviors and conditions as medical problems Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: people act in a matter consistent with expectation (Symbolic Interactionism) Contemporary Social Problems Exam 1 Sept. 30, 2016 Poverty: Meritocracy – a social system in which individuals get ahead and earn reward based on their individual efforts and abilities Everyone has an equal chance to succeed o Those who are successful are smart and talented and have worked hard to deserve their success o Those who fail to “make it” have only themselves to blame * Although we like to think we live in this society, we don’t. Many people go unrewarded for their hard work. Factors: Age, gender, race, family structure, education Absolute Poverty – lack of resources necessary for material well-being: food, water, housing, land, and health care Relative Poverty – a deficiency in material and economic resources compared with some other population o **The U.S. uses relative poverty to provide assistance – based around food Extreme Poverty – living on less than $1.25 a day ($456.25 annually) The Multidimensional Poverty Index is a measure of serious deprivation in three dimensions: Education, Health, and Living Standard Intergenerational Poverty - Poverty that is transmitted from one generation to the next The working poor are individuals who spend at least 27 weeks per year in the labor force, but whose income falls below the official poverty level *An example of underemployment Unemployment: Long-Term Unemployment Rate: the share of the unemployed who have been out of work for 27 weeks or more Job exportation: relocation jobs to other countries where products can be produced more cheaply Outsourcing: a business subcontracting with a third party to provide business services Automation: replacement of human labor with machinery and equipment, also contributes to unemployment Underemployment – employed but only part-time/temporarily, or not paid enough to earn a living wage Contemporary Social Problems Exam 1 Sept. 30, 2016 Education: Integration Hypothesis – theory that the only way to achieve quality education for all racial and ethnic groups is to desegregate the schools SES (Social economic Status) – income + education level + occupation Success on average in school (depends on) o Social Class/Family background o Race and Ethnicity o Gender School District Funding - Local dollars, make up approximately 43% of school funding ** Decentralized funding for schools means richer areas have better funded schools Health: Mortality - the incidence of death in a population (rate) Life expectancy - the average number of years individuals born in a given year can expect to live (age) Morbidity - presence of frequency of illness, symptoms, and impairments Social Factors: Socioeconomic Status (SES) o Income o Access to healthcare Gender Discrimination o Men have lower life expectancy Race, Ethnicity, and Health *** Understand how to view any social problem from all three perspectives (structural functionalism, conflict, and symbolic interactionism) ***
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