Flashcards in Thinking About Social Problems Deck (129):
What was the purpose of the Martin Luther King Jr. quote in class?
To illustrate that to understand social problems, we need a certain understanding. If not, we slip into ignorance.
Social problems are defined by a combination of ___ and ___ criteria that varies.
Social problems vary across...
Societies, individuals and groups, and historical periods.
Give an example of how social problems differ across societies.
In some societies, marijuana is not a problem.
Give an example of social problems differ among individuals and groups.
How different people lean towards different political designations (conservative or liberal).
What are objective elements of a social problem?
An actual social condition that exists independent of our perception.
How do we often become aware of a social problem?
Personal experience, media, and education.
What are the subjective elements of a social problem?
Based on beliefs that certain social conditions are harmful to society, and that those social conditions should and can be changed.
What are Claims-Making Activities?
Strategies and actions that individuals or groups undertake to define social conditions as social problems that require remedy.
Are Claims-Making Activities objective, subjective, or both?
Claims-Making Activities often use ___ as an advocate for change.
Define "Social Problem."
A social condition that a segment of society demonstrates to be significantly harmful to members of society and in need of remedy.
Involves looking for and looking at social patterns in social variables, social institutions, and social interactions.
What are the three aspects to the framework of sociology?
2. Sociological perspectives.
How does the framework of concepts apply to sociology?
Social structure and culture meet and create society, which can also contribute to social problems.
How does social structure help us understand social problems?
The way society is organized into different parts can help us to understand the root causes of social problems.
Who was fascinated with the way structure contributed to social problems?
Emile Durkheim would describe social problems as phenomena arising from problems with social structures that occur as...
Objectively identifiable social facts.
What is an example of something that is affected by objectively identifiable social facts?
Social structure is organized in ___.
Name the layers of social structure.
- Institutions is the outer layer.
- Within that is social groups.
- Within that is statues.
- Within that is roles.
What are social institutions?
An established and enduring pattern of social relationships.
List some traditional social institutions.
Economy, family, religion, education, and politics.
List some contemporary social institutions.
Sport, military, medicine, science and technology, and mass media.
What is a common depiction of social institutions? What is an accurate one?
Pie shape. Complex venn diagram.
Give an example of two social institutions that can overlap to cause a social problem.
Economics becoming too close to education. Donations where the donors get to decide curriculum.
What are the two types of social groups?
Primary and secondary groups.
What are primary groups?
Family and very close friends.
What are secondary groups?
Relationships we have with our boss, or with teachers.
What are social statuses?
Position a person occupies within a social group.
___ ___ defines our social identities.
What is an ascribed social identity?
Something that is on you. For example, princes are born into royalty.
What is an achieved social identity?
Something that you become. For example. Mark Zuckerberg as CEO of Facebook.
What is a Master Status?
The most significant status in a person's identity.
What are social roles?
Rights, obligations, and expectations associated with a status.
Roles help guide our ___, and allow us to predict the behaviour of others.
What are the 4 elements of culture?
What are beliefs?
Definitions and explanations about what is assumed to be true.
What are values?
Social agreements about what is considered to be right and wrong.
What are norms?
Socially defined rules of behaviour.
Give examples of norms.
Folkeays, mores, laws, and sanctions.
What is normlessness?
What is anomie?
What are folkways?
Things that people do, such as using a certain fork to eat your salad. You will not be shamed for breaking these.
What are mores?
Things that people do, such as having relationships with family members, that illicit disgust from people.
What are laws?
Social norms backed by legislation.
What are symbols?
Cultural representations of reality. How we communicate meaning.
What is The Sociological Imagination?
The ability to see the connections between our personal lives and the social world in which we live.
Who came up with The Sociological Imagination?
C. Wright Mills.
The Sociological Imagination asks what the ___ of the problem is.
The Sociological Imagination is a constant back and forth between...
Individuals and society.
When someone is poor, what does The Sociological Imagination ask?
How society could have contributed to it.
What are the 6 theoretical perspectives?
1. Structural Functionalism.
2. Conflict Theory.
3. Symbolic Interactionism.
4. Feminist Theory.
5. Postmodern Theory.
6. Queer Theory.
What are theoretical perspectives?
A way of looking at the social world (lenses).
Structural Functionalism is a ___ theory.
Whose name is associated with Structural Functionalism?
What does Structural Functionalism say?
Elements of social structures are interconnected. Each part influences other parts (structures).
Structural Functionalism says that everything has a ___.
What are the two types of functions in Structural Functionalism?
1. Manifest function.
2. Latent function.
What is a manifest function?
The intended thing it meant to do.
What is the manifest function of education?
To teach knowledge/skills.
What is a latent function?
A side effect.
What is a latent function of education?
To meet other people, and possibly find life partners.
What perspective uses an organic analogy, and sees society as a body?
According to the Strutural-Functionalist perspective, when things are not working well, they are dysfunctional, leading to...
According to the Strutural-Functionalist perspective, when things are working well, they are functional, leading to...
Social pathology perspective
- There are sick social conditions.
- Breakdown of social institutions.
- Inadequate socialization.
What is the remedy to social problems according to the social pathology perspective?
- Socialize people.
- Moral education.
Who is associated with the social disorganization perspective?
What is anomie?
The idea that rapid social change disrupts norms.
According to the social disorganization perspective, the remedy to social problems is to...
- Slow the pace of change.
- Strengthen social norms.
- Central features are conflict and struggle.
- Different groups compete with one another.
- Society described in terms of who has power and who benefits.
Who is associated with the conflict perspective?
Two types of conflict theories of social problems:
What type of theory is conflict theory?
Bird’s eye view. See the way society operates from a large scale perspective.
Conflict theory says that there conflict between...
Those who are exploiters, and those who are exploited.
The conflict in conflict theory is often described as being...
- Bourgeoisie vs. proletariat.
- Bourgeoisie use power to control social institutions to their advantage.
Marxist Conflict Theories.
Demonizes capitalism, corporate violence, and alienation as a the causes of conflict.
Companies can make products that make us sick, but are still allowed to produce them.
Being alienated from what you produce.
- Production line labour in an industrial world.
- Less connection between buyers and sellers.
According to Marxist Conflict Theories, what is the remedy to social problems?
- Create a classless society.
- Change work.
- Decrease repetitive work.
- Going back to smaller sawmills, family farms.
- Increase controls on corporations.
Non-Marxist Conflict Theories
Conflict is because of opposing values and interests. There is a struggle over meaning, recognition, and access to human rights.
In Non-Marxist Conflict Theories, ___ is seen as independent of economic class, but is used to influence outcomes.
Puttin' People on the Moon by the Drive By Truckers describes a...
Marxist Conflict Perspective.
Symbolic Interactionist Theories of Social Problems says that the condition needs to be...
Condition Defined and Condition Recognized is a Social Problem.
Symbolic Interactionist Theories are ___ theories.
Who is associated with Symbolic Interactionist Theories?
George Herbert Mead.
George Herbert Mead said that...
Both definition and recognition of a condition must exist in order for it to be a social problem.
When people define a situation as real, the situation will be real in its effects. What is this known as?
When people define a situation as real, the situation will be real in its effects.
Give an example of the Thomas Theorem.
When people see colours of skin as a problem and they react and respond to this problem, these consequences, as well as racism, is real.
What did Herbert Blumer encourage?
Understanding social problems through process which problems come to attention.
Who encouraged understanding social problems through process which problems come to attention?
Process by which problem comes to attention.
Give an example of how societal recognition came about.
- Attawapiskat housing crisis.
- Overcrowding, no heating, no insulation, no water, black old health concerns.
- Theresa Spence made it known that these conditions existed.
Recognition in media, schools, etc.
Mobilization for Action
Concern leading to action (plans, laws, etc.).
Social problems become problems when labelled as problems.
Who is associated with labelling theory?
Howard Becker and Erving Goffman.
According to labelling theory, what does resolution require?
Changing the meaning and definitions attached to labels.
Women's lives are missing or discounted in traditional sociology.
Who is associated with feminist perspectives?
Harriet Martineau and Dorothy Smith.
'Gender' central to analysis in relation to power at face-to-face level and social structural level.
Who came up with Standpoint Theory?
What are the 'waves' of feminism?
- Late 1800s - early 1900s: Equality (voting, family).
- 1960s - 1990s: Sexual and reproductive rights.
- Mid 1990s - Present: Anti-colonial, anti-dualist, post-modern.
When things like race and gender begin to intersect with each other.
Are postmodern perspectives micro or macro?
Who are the people associated with postmodern perspectives?
Jean-Francois Lyotard and Jean Baudrillard.
Recreating a nostalgic society as hyper-reality.
Who came up with simulacra?
Give an example of simulacra.
Disneyland, or GPS.
How is GPS like a simulacra?
People would drive into a swamp of the GPS said so. It makes us believe that things are ok. Wool is being pulled over our eyes.
What theory resists simple categorization?
What are some characteristics of postmodern theory?
- Resists simple categorization.
- Rejects linear history.
- Rejects metanarratives.
- Rejects rationalism in science.
Why does postmodern theory reject linear history?
Not everything always gets better as history goes on.
Why does postmodern theory reject narratives.
Theories that explain societies as a whole.
Why does postmodern theory reject rationalism in science?
Things are not that simple.
Postmodern Theory puts emphasis on...
Under postmodern theory, there is no single unified way to explain...
An external reality. Society should be understood as one of perpetual change.
Sex/gender model supports social problems of sexism, misogyny, and homophobia.
Who is associated with queer theory?
Judith Butler, Michel Foucault, Aaron Devor.
Who looked at gender as performed?
Intersectionality is important in which theories?
Queer and feminist theory.
A social problem is an ___ social condition.
What is a problem with symbolic interactionist perspectives?
Social problems must be recognized. However, just because you got raped in the 1950's, doesn't mean it wasn't rape.
There is disagreement over the ___ and ___ to social problems.
Enables us to see connections between our personal lives and the social world.