what is and what is not a social problem is a matter of definition. Thus, social problems vary by time and place.
Objective reality of social problems
some societal conditions harm certain segments of the population and therefore are social problems.
the assumed need (by Maslow) of individuals for
creative and constructive involvement in productive, significant activity.
when a society is organized in such a way as to disadvantage some of its members.
societally induced conditions that harm any segment of the population, and acts and conditions that violate the norms and values found in society.
C. Wright Mill’s term emphasizing that individual troubles are inextricably linked to social forces.
o C.Wright Mill’s term emphasizing that individual troubles are inextricably linked to social forces.
§ What is the structure of the society?
§ What is the history of the people?
§ What is the society’s place in history?
the assumption that social problems result from the pathologies of individuals.
the assumption that social problems result from social conditions
the assumption by the members of a group that the culture of some other group is not only inferior but also deficient. This term is usually applied by members of the majority to the culture of a minority group.
re-involvement in crime
the belief that the place of people in the stratification
system is a function of their ability and effort.
a set of ideas that explain a range of human behavior and a variety of social and societal events.
a representative part of a population.
an attitude, behavior, or condition that can vary in magnitude and significance from case to case.
the collection of information about the same persons over many years.
the subject not exposed to the independent variable.
the subjects exposed to the independent variable
the variable that is influenced by the effect of another variable.
a variable that affects another variable.
when four or fewer companies control 50% or more of an industry.
the linkage between corporations that results when an individual serves on the board of directors of 2 companies (a direct interlock) or when 2 companies each have a director on the board of a third company (an indirect interlock).
a political system that is ruled by a few.
a government by or in the interest of the rich.
a political system that is of, by, and for the people.
people who occupy the power roles in society. They either are wealthy or represent the wealthy.
the economic and social constraints on political
decision makers that promote the status quo.
the ability to get what one wants from someone else
differences in the average number of children born to a woman by social category.
the average number of children born to each woman.
Modern demographic transition
a 3-stage pattern of population change occurring
as societies industrialize and urbanize, resulting ultimately in a low and stable population growth rate
a condition of life so degraded by disease, illiteracy, malnutrition, and squalor as to deny its victims the basic necessities. Statistically, those making less than $1 a day are in the category.
the chances throughout one;s life cycle to live and experience the good things in life.
a worldwide epidemic.
the new slavery differs from traditional slavery in that it is, for the most par, not a lifelong condition and sometimes individuals and families become slaves by choice-a choice forced by extreme poverty.
a territory controlled by a powerful country that exploits the land and the people for its one benefit.
a profit-oriented company engaged in business activities in more than one nation.
the exporting of goods that have either been banned or not approved for sale in the United States because they are dangerous
the surface layer of the planet and the surrounding atmosphere
the mechanisms (plants, animals, and microorganisms) that supply people with the essentials of life.
a movement to improve community environments by eliminating toxic hazards.
the overwhelming likelihood that toxic-producing plants and toxic waste dumps are located where poor people, especially people of color, live.
when gases accumulate in Earth’s atmosphere and act like the glass roof of a greenhouse, allowing sunlight in but trapping the heat that is generated.
the knowledge (ideas, values, beliefs) that the members of a social organization share.
Cornucopia view of nature
the belief that nature is a vast and bountiful storehouse to be used by human beings.
the manufacture of consumer goods designed to wear out. Or existing products are given superficial changes and marketed as new, making the previous products out of date.
the poor, because of dangerous jobs and residential segregation, are more exposed than the more well-to-do to environmental dangers.
Who are the key figures in early sociology?
o Marx and ‘evolutionary capitalism’
§ Marx theory believed every society has to gothru capitalism
§ Marx theory was rejected by many bc he neveridentified with the middle class
o C.Wright Mills- The Power Elite
§ Identified 3 power elites- economic elites,political elites, military elites (all follow each other)
What are the three main sociological
o Functionalism-Society as a system ofhighly interrelated structures or parts that function or operate togetherharmoniously.
§ Themost conservative of the theories.
§ 5social institutions act as an organism· education,politics, family, economy, religion· example-teen pregnancy
o Conflict Theory-society constantlychanging in response to social inequality andsocial conflict.
o InteractionistPerspective- how individuals make sense of or interpret the social world inwhich they participate.
Who are the sociologists most closely associated
with these theories?
o Symbolicinteractionism- George Herbert Mead, George Blummer
o Functionalism-Talcott Parsons, Robert K. Merton
o ConflictTheory- Marx
Wallerstein’s world systems theory
o Global stratification-Immanuel Wallerstein’s world systems theory
§ Core- industrialized nations (ruling elites-
wealthiest less than 1% of the world)
§ Semi-periphery-ex. Brazil, most of Europe
(middle class) Capitalist industrialized nations
§ Periphery- lesser developed nations (poverty
Using Marx to understand the above:
-Exchange-bread for beer
-Surplus-assembly line creates surplus labor
Mosca vs. Pareto (models of society)
o Mosca-Elite model(Elites over managers)
§ Managers work as a buffer zone protecting the
§ Core->Semi Periphery->Periphery
§ Lowest zone/danger zone
o Pareto-pluralist model(elites and managers side by side)
Mills' Power Elite
o Identified 3 power elites- economic elites, political elites, military elites (all follow each other)
Bourgeoisie vs. Proletariat
o In Marxist theory, the proletariat is the class of a capitalist society that does not have ownership of the means of production and whose only means of subsistence is to sell their labour power for a wage or salary. Proletarians are wage-workers, while some refer to those who receive salaries as the salariat. For Marx, however, wage labour may involve getting a salary rather than a wage per
se. Marxism sees the proletariat and bourgeoisie (capitalist class) as occupying conflicting positions, since workers automatically wish their wages to be as high as possible, while owners and their proxies wish for wages (costs) to be as low as possible.
Bourgeoisie vs. Proletariat
o In Marxist theory, the
proletariat is the class of a capitalist
society that does not have ownership of the means of production
and whose only means of subsistence is to sell their labour power for a wage or salary. Proletarians are
wage-workers, while some refer to those who receive salaries as the salariat.
For Marx, however, wage labour may involve getting a salary rather than a wage per
se. Marxism sees the proletariat and bourgeoisie (capitalist
class) as occupying conflicting positions, since workers automatically wish
their wages to be as high as possible, while owners and their proxies wish for
wages (costs) to be as low as possible.
Chomsky's filters dealing with mass media
o 5 filters exist by which news is presented:
§ Size, ownership, and profit orientation
· Upon closer examination… Fewer than 10
corporations control 80 percent of media content (newspapers); 5 main networks (NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, Fox)
· Orientation of media is??? Liberal or Conservative???
o About 70% conservative 2% liberal the rest are moderate
· Youtube- outfoxed.org Fox news news techniques: cut if off
o One voice strongly out yelling another voice
· Based on profit need; bias is inherent based on:
o Pre-selection of people
o Internalized preconception (socialization)
§ Wont find any liberals working at fox
o Adaption by personnel to internal constraints
§ Means if you don’t agree with the boss you don’t
§ Advertising as primary mode of income
· Ruling class are the ones that get the message
· Percentages based on print media
o Newspaper; approx. 75% income based on advertising
§ News hole is approx. 35-40%
o Magazines: approx. 85% income is based on advertising
§ News hole is approx 20%
o TV: ex, Super Bowl ads= $3 million for one minute ad
· Media sources- reliance is based on govt., business, expert sources
o Principle of bureaucratic affinity…
§ One bureaucracy relies on another bureaucracy to
o Bureaucracy’s primary goal is to?
o When sources are primarily the above, who is excluded
§ Muir’s Pittsburgh Press-Gazette study
· 85% were men
· 90% were white
o Who are the experts on Sunday a.m. political talk shows? Media Matters study suggests 75% Rep., 10% Dem
§ Reliance on govt. business sources
§ “Flak”-bombs sent up to hit planes causing smoke
and for them to be blinded from the “truth”
· Noise designed to distract the attackers… and?
o Accuracy in Media, Media Research Center
o Limbaugh, Hannity, Ollie North, Mark Levine, Michael Savage, Laura Schlesinger, Glenn Beck, Delilah, Neal Boortz
o Liberal vs. Conservative causes competing for air time
o Reagan’s effort to subdue the press corps
o Liberal media’s willingness to attack Clinton, Obama
o Control of debates by 2-party system
· Recall, this was written in 1986…
o Threats to American way of life can be controlled via the media
o Now become anti-Arab, Old Cold War Threat, etc., used to mobilize us (recall the Gulf “War”?)