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This 5 page One Day of Notes was uploaded by Kulwinder Singh on Monday September 8, 2014. The One Day of Notes belongs to a course at a university taught by a professor in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 85 views.
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Date Created: 09/08/14
What is a Social Problem 1 Definitions of a social problem a an issue that negatively affects a person s state of being in a society b a condition that undermines the wellbeing of 1 or all members of a society Macionis i Variation in how many people are effected ii CONTROVERSY iii Some may benefit from this socalled social problem or suffer from the proposed solution iv EXamples immigration inequality 1 Illegal immigrants a Have consequences for the rest of us but some business owners like to hire them because they can hire them at a low wage b For business owners immigration is a good thing 2 Inequality a For some people inequality is a good thing b The best and brightest people work hard and get the best positions and most rewards c societally induced conditions that cause psychic and material suffering for any segment of the population and acts and conditions that violate the norms and values found in society 2 Social constructionist approach a Social problems have a subjective basis b Individuals view social problems from their own experiences understanding of society and POSITION in society c Objective facts also important but what are they d Claims making process of convincing the public that a particular issue should be considered a social problem i Media and access to information 1 Do people know the facts and consequences 2 Access to info should be more general ii Most important question in this class 1 SO WHAT e Dynamics i The most pressing social problem may be different tomorrow ii Definitionscontact may shift an issue into social problems land iii Social movements we ll get back to this 3 Toward an understanding a Society is a part of the problem and hopefully part of the solution b Gain a deeper understanding of social problems ie characteristics causes and consequences with sociology c Sociology the study of social structure and how it in uences individuals 4 Sociology basics a See the social structure by focusing on roles i For example I am a professor a driver a resident of PA ii Write down some roles that are important to you 1 Volunteer dog owner sister best friend daughter b Norms help individuals know how to act in a particular situation 5 Key concepts a Norms rules of expected behavior in a particular situation b How do we leam these primarily unwritten rules i Socialization parents teachers friends etc ii Observation iii Participating in society and sanctions c Sanctions rewards or punishments associated with adhering to or breaking norms i How norms are created ii What should the sanctions be iii Why do people break normsdeviate from normative behavior iv What happens when people break norms d Write down a few norms for riding in an elevator i Don t talk to each other look straight forward don t stand really close to someone e Roles are on the individual level i This is the micro level f The social structure however includes many different levels i Organization a group of rolespositions along with the relationships among them typically designed to achieve a shared purpose or goal 1 EX football team 2 Some positions have more power and prestige than others 3 This is the meso level ii Institution major spheres of social life or societal subsystems organized to meet basic human needs 1 EX education system religion political system families 2 this is the macro level 6 Sociology concepts a Status a position in a social structure that typically has certain characteristics or privileges ascribed or awarded to it examples occupation sophomore general bishop b Sociological imagination C Wright Mills i How does the social structure affect an individual s circumstances experiences and behavior ii How are social problems in uenced by the social structure 7 Scientific Method a Scientific method how do we gain a better understanding of social problems i Theory start with a general explanationframework for how society functions ii Hypothesis derive a testable statement that is implied by our theory iii Observation verify if the hypothesis is consistent or inconsistent with observationsdata iv Conclusion is the theory supported Do we need to modify the theory Do we need a new theory b Introduction to theoretical approaches i Structuralfunctional approach 1 Social pathology social disorganization smith s invisible hand 2 Structural look at all the different parts of society related to a social problem 3 Functional each piece of society serves a function it is helping the society solve a problem a If a piece of society is causing more problems than solutions people will scrap it and come up with something new ii Social con ict approach 1 Marx amp capitalism 2 2 features a When we look at a society we will be able to divide it into a number of finite groups b These different groups will be competing with each other over the finite resources that are available i Wealth access to employment ii Any gains made by a particular group are used to change the social structure to gain more resources iii Symbolic interaction approach 1 Labeling theory alcohol 2 Society is basically consists of all of the interactions that individuals have with each other 3 In order for us to interact we must use symbols that have shared meaning and allow us to communicate and interact and create society 8 Evaluating Data a Hypothesis i Testable statement about how the World Works 1 Need data eXperiments CPS phone surveys 2 Problems a Experiments difficult to implement require a lot of resources generalizability of results to broader population ethical dilemmas b Surveys people may not respond may not measure experiences in the real World b Analysis i Start with 2 variables 1 Different types of causal variables x y 2 If We change X then y Will change 3 X independent variable 4 Y dependent variable ii Examples of moderating variables 1 Gender amp Wages which variable is Which a Gender independent Wage dependent 2 What do you suspect this relationship looks like a Women make less money than men 3 Potential moderating variables a Education b Race iii Mediator variables 1 Hypothesis Family income child s grades in school 2 Potential mediator variables a Good nutrition private tutors access to good schools 3 Policy implications target mediator a Give families more income and hope that it affects child s grades b Hire tutors for poor kids and Work directly with the mediator iv Confounding variable 1 A variable that has an effect with the IV and DV and if ignored it appears as though there is a causal relationship 2 Hypothesis age of professor income a Discrimination against young professors b Huge social problem c Potential confounding variables i Type of degree ii Older professors have more experience Economic Inequality 1 Economic inequality exists on many different levels eXamples a Marriagefamily Within and between families b Neighborhoods tax base for infrastructure and schools c Firmscompanies secretary vs CEO d Industries Walmart vs Wall Street e Countries 2 Financial Well being of individuals and families a Wages income Wealth poverty b How do We measure economic inequality 3 Indicators of economic Well being a Annual income i CEO s at top 350 firms vs Workers 1 Workers industry specific average income of productionnonsupervisory Workers 2 What is the ratio of annual income CEOWorker 2011 dollars a 1965 CEO s make 18 times more than Workers b 1973 20 times more than Workers c 2011 209 times more than Workers b Tools used for measuring inequality i Distribution the frequenciesprobabilities for all of the values of variable 1 Mean amp variance 2 Percentiles the xth percentile is that value at which x of the distribution falls below that value a Ex 30th percentile 30 of people make less than that value b Quartiles 25th 50th 75th percentiles c Quintiles What We are going to use deciles i Splitting it up into 5 groups d Median 50th percentile c Trends in economic inequality i Wages 1 Trends in men s Wages in the US from 1979 to 2011 2 Wages money received from Working at a job 3 Data are from the US census bureau current population survey and presented in The State of The Working American