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Chapter 19: Progressive Plan to Solve Social Problems

by: Grace Harmon

Chapter 19: Progressive Plan to Solve Social Problems ISS 210

Marketplace > Michigan State University > ISS 210 > Chapter 19 Progressive Plan to Solve Social Problems
Grace Harmon
GPA 4.0
Society and the Individual
Dr. Garcia

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Here are notes for Chapter 19 of ISS210, enjoy!
Society and the Individual
Dr. Garcia
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Grace Harmon on Sunday November 29, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to ISS 210 at Michigan State University taught by Dr. Garcia in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 323 views.


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Date Created: 11/29/15
ISSZlO Chapter 19 Progressive Plan to Solve Social Problems Sociology Social Problems and Social Change The Sociological Imagination and Social Problems Sociological imagination moves away from thinking in terms of the individual and focusing on social economic and historical circumstances that produce the problem for many Change the structure not the person Sociological Paradox Structure and Agency belief that some variable controls social life 0 This view is too strong 0 Structures are powerful but members of society are not totally controlled individuals acting alone or with others shape resist challenge and sometimes change the social organizations and the social institutions that impinge on them 0 Individuals through collective action are capable of changing the structure of society and the course of history The paradox of sociology the power of society over its members versus the power of social actors to change society 0 Society is not a rigid static entity of composed robots o 1 Society is created sustained and changed by the people 0 2 The social forms that people create often take on a sacred quality that constrains behavior in socially prescribed ways 0 3 Social structures are imperfect because they are created and sustained by people A Sociological Dilemma Recognition and Rejection Society s governmental and corporate leaders rarely seek sociology expertise in tackling social problems Reasons why sociologists aren t used 0 The sociological perspective is subversive I Sociology questions all social arrangements I This approach is threatening to those in power I This approach challenges the core of society s dominant ideology Thinking sociologically 0 View socially arrangements critically 0 View social problems as emanating from social structure not bad people Progressive Principles to Guide Public Policy How do we solve social problems 0 1 Determine the facts I challenge the myths that guide public opinion and policy makers o 2 Establish as a society the principles that will guide public policy to accomplish the common good I Impossible for 3 reasons I A an underlying problem in the US is the power of money over the decisionmaking process government where the wealthy class rules I B politicians are incapable of tackling longterm social and economic challenges reason one rarely gets elected to office by asking citizens to sacrifice by paying higher taxes to pay for problems with longterm positive consequences for society C gridlock among decision makers at the state and federal levels the carving of districts by the party in power to maintain their favorable balance of power Principles that should guide public policy to reduce or eliminate social problems in the US 0 1 A call for policies and behaviors that enhance our moral obligation to our neighbors and their children to those unlike us as well as those similar to us and to future generations I runs counter to individualism I individualism leads to inequality and is the antithesis of cooperation and solidarity the requirements of community 2 Acceptance of the first principle leads to the second A call for government programs that provide for people who cannot provide for themselves I brings all members up to a standard of dignity 3 Acceptance of these principles leads to a third A special commitment to children all children and to implement this commitment with viable universal programs I providing prenatal and postnatal medical care childhood immunization protection from exposure to toxic chemicals adequate nutrition the elimination of child poverty access to preschool and afterschool programs safe neighborhoods equitably financed schools I Kozol s term quotcollective sin is important to consider because the neglect of children is not just a matter of the neglect from individual parents but much more important it is a matter of society s neglect 4 A call to redistribute societal resources to lift those urban and rural areas that are economically disadvantaged I central cities have been abandoned by the middle class I tax base in the cities has eroded I policies of the federal government are partly responsible for urban decay 5 Although some social policies should be made and administered at the local level others must be largely financed organized and administered by the federal government I some issues are national in scope and require uniform standards I moving programs from the federal level to the states I devolution trend is making benefits very uneven Is a Progressive Social Policy Possible 3 questions remain 0 Why should we adopt a progressive social agenda 0 How do we pay for these programs 0 Is there any hope for enacting progressive solutions to social problems Should a Progressive Plan Be Adopted by US Society These are serious problems and market solutions will not fix them 0 Reliance on the bottom line profits means that companies will move their operations to wherever the cheapest labor is o Marketbased strategies result in winners and losers 0 Public policy based on abandoning the powerless exacerbates social problems Domestic security 0 Ignoring poverty wealth inequality and rationed healthcare will make us less secure and we will have more problem people that require greater control Ethics 0 We need to have a moral obligation to others Financing the Progressive Agenda Reduce defense spending Reduce or eliminate corporate welfare and subsidies to the wealthy Increase the taxes on the wealthy Increase tax revenues enact a truly progressive income tax Is There Any Hope of Instituting a Social Agenda Based on Progressive Principles Obstacles o The widely held belief in individualism as the core of American ideology o The current anger by Tea Partiers and others at the federal government 0 The two major parties and political candidates are financed by Big Money and Big Money buys status quo 0 Massive multitrilliondollar debt Present weakness of the union movement in the US 0 Those who will benefit most from progressive social policies the poor working poor minorities people living in rural and urban places are the least likely to vote and they do not have the money to fund lobbyists and politicians sympathetic to their needs 2 necessary conditions for progressive social policies to prevail are 0 1 A strong union movement 0 2 A classbased labor party or Social Democratic party a new progressive era will only work if a classbased party emerges Human Agency Social Change from the Bottom Up Individuals Protesting and Organizing for Change Racial Minorities 0 Major shift to bring justice to Blacks occurred in 1955 I Rosa Parks was jailed for not giving her seat to a White man 0 Black community in Montgomery mobilized to bring down the segregated public busing system Blacks boycotted nonviolently for 381 days and the city eventually abolished segregation in public transportation I Clear case of agency King s movement was bent on tearing down the segregationist norms and practices and substituting new ones 1964 Civil Rights Bill banned discrimination in public facilities education employment and any organization receiving government funds 1965 Voting Rights Act prohibited the use of literacy and similar tests to screen voting applicants and allowed federal examiners to monitor elections Workers 0 O 0 Early 19th century US workers were nonunionized Result unsafe work conditions work was poorly paid and child labor was commonplace With unionization workers were no longer alone in their bargaining with management By the 19905 unions had lost much of their power Union membership declined significantly UPS


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