SOC 215 2/5 through 2/12
SOC 215 2/5 through 2/12 Soc 215-300
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kiley Rosier on Thursday February 18, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Soc 215-300 at University of North Carolina - Wilmington taught by Daniel Buffington in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 90 views. For similar materials see Modern Social Problems in Sociology at University of North Carolina - Wilmington.
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Date Created: 02/18/16
Fri 2/5/16 Topic: Claimsmaking Claimsmaking in Social Problems Process -people make claims there is a social problem, with certain characteristics, causes, and solutions -example: civil rights activists, such as MLK Jr., call for an end to racial segregation in the South, hold marches and demonstrations Claims -a way of calling attention to a troubling condition The purpose is to persuade The structure is a standard, 3-part form st -it is the 1 part of the social problems process -important to note that no matter how different the position/opinion, they have the same purpose and structure 1. Grounds: description of the troubling condition, trying to convince people the condition exists. -3 common components Typifying examples: specific incidents that represent condition more broadly, used to represent larger condition but it isn’t a typical occurrence Name: a label that “coins” the condition o Sometimes names “piggyback” off of other existing and recognized conditions, “air rage” and “roid rage” sound like the already accepted “road rage”, the familiarity helps people associate it as a problem more easily Statistic: a number that suggests the scope of the condition 2. Warrants: an explanation of why the condition should be considered troublesome -the importance of cultural resources (like collective values) -tries to make it seem like the condition breaks some kind of moral standard, identify it as violating a commonly held value (justice, freedom, equality, etc) -ex: pro-choice and pro-life both focus on the value of “rights”, the rights of the mother v. the rights of the child -ex: MLK Jr. identified segregation as breaking the moral standards of equality that Americans hold deeply 3. Conclusions: statements that specify what action (policies, laws and programs) should be taken to remedy a particular action -purpose is to persuade audience there is something we can do to solve the problem, we need to act because it can be solved -people are less likely to put time and money into something that can’t be fixed -conclusions can range from vague to very specific Monday 2/8/16 Claims and Audiences Audiences -those who hear or come in contact with the claim Anyone who gets an email, sees a protest, sees a flyer, watches on TV -common audiences for claims about social problems: Constituents o People who are already familiar with claim and already agree with ideology, can help further claim, donate money, spread word, easiest audience Other claimsmakers o People who are making other claims that are similar, agree with grounds but have different warrants and conclusions, they are competing for ownership of social problem and for resources Opponents o Claimsmaker that opposes claim based on ideology or that they will lose something if claim is addressed, hardest audience General public o People with no apparent bias towards the claim, don’t know, don’t care, they will have many different reactions to the claim Media o Claims are one news story among many, claims compete against other news stories, media is interested in social problem that will get the most viewership Policymakers o They want claims with conclusions and with viable conclusions, their voters like problems that can be fixed, so they want ones their voters can see them solve -claimsmakers address claims to very segmented audiences No claim is going to appeal to all audiences, so the question is what is the best way to present it? o Sometimes they start with just constituents to rally the troops so they make their claim narrow o Sometimes they make it very broad to try to appeal to as many people as possible o Use feedback to make the claims fluid and adaptable, more effective Additional Concerns Social Problems Marketplace -all claims are struggling to be recognized by their intended audience The importance of melodrama o Exaggerated claims, appeal to emotions instead of intellect, makes claim more likely to get attention o This is reason for typifying example, good name and huge statistics o Ex: PETA dressed up kid as tiger and put her in a cage, melodrama allows them to grab attention for long enough to start presenting their claim Counterclaims -arguments in direct opposition to the original claim Confrontation over the grounds, “stat wars” releasing different opposing statistics, tell public a warrant will be hurt by this social problem but if we try to fix it we will hurt an even more important warrant -the importance of feedback in the natural history of social problems -claims are constantly having to be shaped a reshaped, always in a cycle Wednesday 2/10/16 Claimsmakers -people and organizations who seek to convince others that there is a troubling condition about which something ought to be done “claims cannot exist themselves; people – claimsmakers – must advance them” (Best, 2007, 65) -two types of claimsmakers Friday 2/12/16 Types of Claimsmakers Outsider claimsmakers -operate externally to sources of power -primarily use indirect channels to gain attention to social problems -individuals who don’t hold political ties and don’t have influence over those who do -outsiders are less likely to be located physically where power is (ex: Washington DC) -unlikely to have valued or sought-after expertise -outsider claimsmaking tends to take place in the public sphere, public knows it is happening -relatively lacking in resources (means) in comparison to insiders -person’s political views do not classify them as insider or outsider Insider Claimsmakers -operate near sources of power -primarily use direct channels to gain attention -have expertise, often in rhetoric (or can hire someone who does), have money and equipment (means) -insider claimsmaking usually goes on behind closed doors, so public often doesn’t know its happening -lobbyists, scientist, employees of FDA, CDC, EPA considered insiders Activists As Claimsmakers -all activists do the same thing: identify an issue then motivate people to act Framing -the way outsider claimsmakers make claims about troubling conditions -like a picture frame, surrounds certain elements they want to be seen or highlighted and crops out others -also like the frame of a building because it provides support for a claim Frame Alignment -ways activists adjust their frames to meet those of a target audience -Bridging: connecting people in already similar organizations to see it through claimsmakers frame -Amplification: target audience isn’t already involved in similar organization but use commonly held belief to convince them, like MLK Jr did by using “American” and “Christian” values like equality -Extension: stretching of frame to draw in potential allies, like vegetarians extending frame from moral reasons to reasons of health and the environment to draw more supporters -Transformation: try to get people to reject the frame they already hold and accept a new one, very difficult to do and very very few real examples