Social Problems: A Brief Introduction

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9780321012494: Social Problems: A Brief Introduction
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This text's logical organization - essential concepts, troubled institutions, inequality, deviance, and global problems - in a concise, paperback format, helps students gain a coherent understanding of social problems. There are strongly worded debates in each chapter on controversial topics that make the text more interesting and encourage critical thinking. "Personal Perspectives" boxes give first person accounts of experiences such as single motherhood and "Signs of Hope" boxes show progress and solutions to problems.

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This book's logical organization—essential concepts, troubled institutions, inequality, deviance, and global problems—in a concise, paperback format, helps readers gain a coherent understanding of social problems.There are strongly worded debates in each chapter on controversial problems related to the family, the political economy, education, the poor, ethnic minorities, health and illness, drug use, and crime. "Personal Perspectives" boxes give first person accounts of experiences such as single motherhood and "Signs of Hope" boxes show progress and solutions to problems.For those interested in a comprehensive look at—and a global perspective of—the social problems of America and other countries, as well as their causes and attempted solutions.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Like its longer sibling, this book was written for students. Its objective is not only to familiarize undergraduates with the most trying problems of their times, but also to stimulate them to think in a critical, scientific way. It tries to challenge the half-truths and pat answers that many people accept simply because they have heard them repeated so often, and to get students to participate in the dialogue about these issues rather than merely stand back and observe.

This brief introduction to social problems is based on the eighth edition of the Social Problems text we authored with the assistance of Linda L. Ramos. It may seem like a relatively simple task to cut an eighteen chapter book down into twelve, but it proved to be a real challenge. Of course, we could have just eliminated six chapters and updated the rest, but that would have produced a poorly organized book with significant holes in its coverage. So the original challenge was to combine material in ways that would allow coverage of all the key points in less space. But as the work progressed, we realized that the demands of this new format encouraged us to make new connections between problems in ways that should, we hope, provide valuable new insights to students. For example, Chapter 2 in the brief edition combines the chapters on political and economic problems into a single chapter that we think does a better job of laying out the fundamental framework of our political economy. Much of the material in the main text's chapter on sexual behavior is included in the chapters on gender and family, and the discussion of warfare and international conflict is now integrated into the chapter on global inequality, which clearly lays out the inevitable linkage between these two problems in a way that has become particularly useful in light of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Population and the environment are covered in a single new chapter that makes the effects of the population explosion on our environmental crisis even clearer.

We have tried to continue all the features that have helped make the main text so successful—the strongly worded debates on controversial issues, informative graphics, a consistent theoretical organizational that includes a section on the major theoretical perspectives in each chapter, and a clear, straightforward style of writing that does not talk down to the reader or oversimplify complex issues. Also continued are the "Lessons from Other Places" boxes that use the experiences of other nations to shed light on the social problems we fate in North America. Although this brief edition is based on the main text, which only came out a year before, social problems is a rapidly changing field of study, and each chapter also had to be thoroughly updated and revised. We should also make it clear that while the length of coverage of the various problems differs from the main text, no major topics have been omitted. All in all, we are extremely pleased with the way this brief edition came out, and we hope the readers will feel the same way.

SUPPLEMENTS

FOR THE INSTRUCTOR

Instructor's Manual with Tests. This essential instructor's tool includes detailed chapter outlines, teaching objectives, discussion questions, classroom activities, and additional instructor's resources. Also included are multiple-choice, true/false, and essay questions keyed to the text.

Prentice Hall Test Manager. This computerized software allows instructors to create their own personalized exams, to edit any or all test questions, and to add new questions. Other special features of this program, which is available for Windows and Macintosh, include random generation of an item set, creation of alternate versions of the same test, scrambling question sequence, and test preview before printing.

ABC News/Prentice Hall Video Library for Social Problems. Selected video segments from award-winning ABC News programs such as Nightline, ABC World News Tonight/American Agenda, and 20/20 accompany topics featured in the text. Please contact your local Prentice Hall sales representative for more details.

FOR THE STUDENT

Companion Website ™. In tandem with the text, students can now take full advantage of the World Wide Web to enrich their study of social problems through the Coleman Companion Website™. This resource correlates the text with related material available on the Internet. Features include chapter objectives, study questions, and links to additional material that can reinforce and enhance the content of each chapter. Address: www.prenhall.com/coleman

The New York Times Supplement. The New York Times and Prentice Hall are sponsoring Themes of the Times, a program designed to enhance student access to current information of relevance in the classroom.

Through this program, the core subject matter provided in the text is supplemented by a collection of time-sensitive articles from one of the world's most distinguished newspapers, The New York Times. These articles demonstrate the vital, ongoing connection between what is learned in the classroom and what is happening in the world around us. To enjoy the wealth of information of The New York Times daily, a reduced subscription rate is available. For information, call toll-free: 1-800-631-1222.

Prentice Hall and The New York Times are proud to cosponsor Themes of the Times. We hope it will make the reading of both textbooks and newspapers a more dynamic, involving process. This supplement is supplied free to students and is updated twice per year. Please contact your local Prentice Hall sales representative for more details.

Evaluating Online Resources, Sociology, 2003. This guide provides a brief introduction to navigating the Internet, and encourages students to be critical consumers of online resources. References related specifically to the discipline of sociology are included. This guide is free when packaged with any Prentice Hall textbook. Included with the Evaluating Online Resources guide is a free access code for Research Navigator ™.

Research Navigator™ is the easiest way for students to start a research assignment or research paper. Complete with extensive help on the research process and three exclusive databases of credible and reliable source material—including EBSCO's ContentSelect ™ Academic Journal Database, The New York Times Search by Subject Archive, and "Best of the Web" Link Library—Research Navigator™ helps students quickly and efficiently make the most of their research time.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Space permits the mention of only a few of the many people who contributed to this book. First and foremost are the hundreds of students who have given countless invaluable suggestions over the years. We would also like to thank the numerous professors who have sent us comments or reviewed various versions of the book. The work of Sharon Chambliss, Nancy Roberts, and the other members of the Prentice Hall team who have labored on this project is also greatly appreciated.

James William Coleman

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