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About the Author
Maxine P. Atkinson is Professor of Sociology at North Carolina State University, a research extensive university in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her area of specialty is the scholarship of teaching and learning and her published work has appeared in such journals as Teaching Sociology, The International Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology, and TRAILS: TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology. She is also one of the authors of the recent American Sociological Association’s work defining best practices in the undergraduate sociology major, “The Sociology Major in the Changing Landscape of Higher Education: Curriculum, Careers, and Online Learning” in addition to In the Trenches: Teaching and Learning Sociology, co-authored with Kathleen Lowney. She focuses on teaching introductory sociology courses and “Teaching Sociology,” a PhD course required for graduate students at NC State.
Maxine has won an impressive array of teaching awards including the American Sociological Society’s Distinguished Contribution to Teaching Award, ASA’s Section on Teaching and Learning Hans O. Mauksch Award for Distinguished Contributions to Undergraduate Sociology and the Carla B. Howery Award for Developing Teacher-Scholars, the Southern Sociological Society’s Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award. Maxine was the first woman from NC State University to win the University of North Carolina’s Governor’s award for Excellence in Teaching.
Maxine has served in several administrative positions including being Head of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at NC State, director of NC States’ first year seminar program, and the Founding Director of the Service Learning Program at NC State. She has also served as Chair of ASA’s Section on Teaching and Learning, and President of the Southern Sociological Society along with a plethora of task forces dedicated to undergraduate sociology. Maxine works as a consultant for other sociology departments as a member of the American Sociological Association’s Departmental Resources Group.
Kathleen Odell Korgen is Professor of Sociology at William Paterson University, a comprehensive university in Wayne, New Jersey. Kathleen enjoys teaching her students that sociology is a remarkably useful discipline and highlights how “Sociologists in Action” make a positive impact on society. Her published works on race relations and racial identity include From Black to Biracial, Crossing the Racial Divide, Multiracial Americans and Social Class, Race Policy and Multiracial Americans. Her teaching texts, in addition to Sociology in Action, include Our Social World, The Engaged Sociologist, Sociologists in Action, , and Social Problems in Action. Kathleen is also the editor of The Cambridge Handbook of Sociology.
Kathleen works as a consultant for other sociology departments as a member of the American Sociological Association Departmental Resources Group and received William Paterson University’s award for Excellence in Scholarship/Creative Expression in 2006 and the university’s award for Excellence in Teaching in 2014.
Mary Nell Trautner is Associate Professor of sociology at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. She earned her PhD and MA from the University of Arizona and her BA from Southwestern University. She is an award-winning teacher of courses in sociology of gender, criminology, sociology of law, and social problems. Mary Nell is an author of a forthcoming active learning textbook on social problems, and has published a variety of articles on topics ranging from physical appearance bias and images of women in popular media to day labor workers’ legal knowledge and environmental pollution. She is active in the American Sociological Association and Law & Society Association. In her free time, she enjoys travel and scuba diving.
Table of ContentsUnit I: Inequalities as Social Problems
Chapter 1: Understanding and Solving Social Problems by Kathleen Odell Korgen - Alexander Hernandez
A. What is a Social Problem?
B. Sociology and the Study of Social Problems
C. Why are some—But Not Other—Social Conditions Considered Social Problems?
D. How Can Professional Sociologists—and You—Help Solve Social Problems?
Chapter 2: Analyzing Economic Inequalities by Dawn Norris - Dawn Norris
A. Economic Inequality and Social Problems
B. Explaining Economic Inequality
C. Wealth and Income Gaps: How Much Inequality Exists?
D. The Question of Mobility
E. Social Problems That Cause Economic Inequality
F. Social Problems Caused by Economic Inequality
G. Solving the Social Problem of Economic Inequality: Policies, Movements, and Action
Chapter 3: Recognizing Racism & Racial Inequalities by Meghan Burke - Meghan Burke
A. What is Race?
B. What is Racism?
C. Why Does Racial Inequality Exist?
D. Why Do Racial Inequality and Racism Persist?
E. What Social Problems Relate to Racism and Racial Inequalities?
F. How Can We Challenge and Address Racism and Racial Inequality?
Chapter 4: Examining Gender Inequality - Kris Macomber
A. How Does a Social Constructionist Approach Examine Gender Inequality?
B. The Roots of Contemporary Gender Inequality: Identifying Patriarchal Culture
C. Contemporary Gender Inequality in the Workplace
D. Men’s Violence Against Women
E. How does Gender Inequality Affect Boys and Men?
F. Other Gendered Social Problems
G. Gender-Based Movements and Social Change
Chapter 5: Focusing on Sex and Sexualities - Jason Crockett
A. Sex and Sexualities
B. Social Responses to Sex and Sexualities
C. Enforcing Sexual Norms at the Micro Level
D. Why Attitudes Towards Sex and Sexualities Change
Unit II: Global Population Problems
Chapter 6: Preparing for Aging Societies - Deborah Lowry
A. What is Population Aging?
B. What Social Problems Accompany Aging Societies?
C. What are Governments Doing to Prepare for Aging Populations?
D. What Can Local Communities Do to Improve Conditions of Aging?
Chapter 7: Making Sense of Migration and Immigration - Daniel Herda
B. The Social Construction of Immigrants as a Problem
C. Social Problems Causing Migration
D. Social Problems Affecting Immigrants
E. Social Problems Caused by Immigration
Chapter 8: Researching Environmental Problems - Lillian MacNell
A. The Link between Environmental and Social Problems
B. The Environmental Costs of Powering Our Lives
C. Recognizing and Curbing Climate Change
D. Food and Agriculture
E. Confronting Environmental Injustice
Chapter 9: Contesting Crime - Bridget Diamond-Welch
A. (Re)Defining Crime
B. The Social Construction of Crime
C. Mistakes in Claim Construction
D. Class, Race, Gender, and Critical Criminology
E. Social Problems that Cause Crime
Chapter 10: Understanding War and Terrorism - Amy Sodaro
A. Understanding War as a Social Problem
B. Seeing War as a Social Problem
C. War’s Impact on Society
D. Understanding Terrorism as a Social Problem
E. Consequences of Terrorism
F. Confronting War and Terrorism
Unit III: Institutional Problems
Chapter 11: Identifying Problems in the Criminal Justice System - Rena C. Zito
A. The U.S. Criminal Justice System
C. Courts and Corrections
D. Criminal Records
Chapter 12: Discovering Problems in the Family - Rena C. Zito
A. What is a Family?
B. Social Construction of Families as Problems
C. Family problems as Social Problems
D. Social Problems Affecting Families
Chapter 13: Pursuing Equity in Education - Erinn Brooks
B. The Purpose of Education
C. Social Problems in Education and Schools
D. Reforms that Can Improve Education Systems
Chapter 14: Prioritizing Health & Health Care Inequalities - Gregory T. Kordsmeier
A. Understanding Health and Health-Related Social Problems
B. How Social Problems Affect Health
C. Social Problems and Inequalities in the Health Care System
D. Facing Health Challenges Collectively
Chapter 15: Realizing the Power – and Vulnerability – of Institutions - Kathleen Odell Korgen & Maxine P. Atkinson
A. Why Does a Society Need Social Institutions?
B. Why Do Institutions Fail?
C. Declining Faith in Institutions in the United States
D. How Can Social Problems Weaken Institutions?
E. How Can We Save Our Social Institutions?
Appendix: Addressing Social Problems through Service-learning - Glenn A. Bowen
A. Fundamentals of Service-learning
B. Assessment of Service-learning
C. Tips for Faculty Considering Service-learning
D. Service-learning in a Social Problems Course