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This thoroughly revised edition of Mooney, Knox, and Schacht's text uses a theoretically balanced, student-centered approach to provide a comprehensive exploration of social problems. UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL PROBLEMS, Tenth Edition, progresses from a micro to macro level of analysis, focusing first on problems related to health care, drugs and alcohol, families, and crime, and then broadening to the larger issues of poverty and inequality, population growth, aging, environmental problems, and conflict around the world. The social problem in each chapter is framed in a global as well as a U.S. context. In addition, the three major theoretical perspectives are applied to the problem under discussion, and its consequences -- as well as alternative solutions -- are explored. Pedagogical features such as "The Human Side" and "Self and Society" enable students to grasp how social problems affect the lives of individuals and apply their understanding of social problems to their own lives.
- Each chapter now includes a list of learning objectives, aligned with chapter headings, to help focus students' attention on important concepts as they read.
- Other significant revisions and new topics included in Part II are the male health disadvantage, the Affordable Health Care Act, and expended coverage of mental illness (Ch. 2 “Physical and Mental Health and Health Care”); increase in teenage heroin and prescription drug use and synthetic marijuana (Ch. 3 “Alcohol and Other Drugs”); the role of race in criminal justice policies, corporate criminals, and technology and crime (Ch. 4, "Crime and Social Control"); and polyamory, grandfamilies, gray divorces, and the “Period of Purple Crying” (Ch. 5, "Family Problems").
- Other significant revisions and new topics included in Part III are new data on economic inequality, wage theft, corporate tax inversion, plutocracy, and sustainable development goals (Ch. 6 “Economic Inequality, Wealth, and Poverty”); right to work laws, full employment, and frictional unemployment (Ch. 7, "Work and Unemployment"); the impact of disadvantage school environment on teacher effectiveness and "degrees of inequality" in higher education (Ch. 8, "Problems in Education"); expanded coverage of Native Americans, the anti-Columbus Day movement, implicit prejudice, colorism, and racial micro aggressions (Ch. 9 “Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration”); and increased coverage of transgender youth, the gender pay gap, and attributional gender bias (Ch. 10 “Gender Inequality”).
- Other significant revisions and new topics included in Part IV are updated information about Social Security and retirement and new population data from the Population Reference Bureau (Ch. 12 “Population Growth and Aging”); the fossil fuel industry’s public deception on issues related to climate change, climate deniers, fracking, environmental migrants, and hunters and anglers as environmentalists (Ch. 13 “Environmental Problems”); the use of social media in times of political unrest, the dark web, and reform of the NSA’s surveillance program (Ch. 14, "Science and Technology"), and the international refugee crisis, devastation of Afghanistan and Syrian society, and the use of drones (Ch. 15, "War and Terrorism").
- Chapter 11, "Sexual Orientation and the Struggle for Equality," has been significantly revised in light of the June 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage in the United States. New topics in the chapter also include the backlash against successes in LGBT rights, religious freedom laws and corporate response, societal beliefs about the origin of sexual orientation, bans on efforts to change sexual orientation, and social forces that lead to greater social support for LGBT individuals.
- New topics include technology and crime (Ch. 4, "Crime and Social Control"), polyamory (Ch. 5, "Family Problems"), right to work laws (Ch. 7, "Work and Unemployment"), "degrees of inequality" in higher education (Ch. 8, "Problems in Education"), the use of social media in times of political unrest (Ch. 14, "Science and Technology"), and the use of drones (Ch. 15, "War and Terrorism"), among many others.
- Most of the chapter-opening vignettes have been updated to include relevant new examples of social issues. For example, Chapter 5, "Family Problems," outlines the case of Ray and Janay Rice, which brought the issue of domestic violence into the forefront of popular culture.
- Boxed content has been revised to include current news stories, topics, and statistics on social problems. Students will read a suicide note from a transgender teen ("The Human Side," Ch. 10); respond to survey questions asking them to assess the importance of their high school experiences in securing a job, and their fear of criminal victimization ("Self and Society," Ch. 8 and Ch. 4); and learn how the fossil fuel industry has deceived the public on issues related to global warming and climate change ("Social Problems Research Up Close," Ch. 13).
- "Social Problems Research Up Close" features provide examples of social science research to demonstrate the sociological enterprise from theory and data collection to findings and conclusions, offering students a valuable understanding of how research in the social sciences occurs in the real world.
- Several "What Do You Think?" features in each chapter present questions designed to elicit critical thinking on key topics and encourage students to discover and clarify their own opinions. For example, students are asked to weigh privacy rights versus crime prevention in the growing use of video cameras in public places.
- The "Animals in Society" boxes expose students to this exciting area of study, which examines the relationship between humans and animals in a sociological context. Topics include, among others, a discussion of the use of animals in scientific research.
- The text organizes topics into four primary sections: Sociology and the Study of Social Problems, Problems of Well-Being, Problems of Inequality, and Problems of Globalization, supporting seamless progress from micro- to macro-level analysis and helping students to steadily build their knowledge and confidence with the material.
- Full coverage of social problem issues related to race, class, gender, and sexual orientation is included, along with integrated coverage of feminist theory, ensuring that material will likely be relevant to students with a wide variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and interests.
- "Self and Society" features throughout the text present social surveys designed to help students assess their own attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, or behavior regarding some aspect of a social problem. Examples include an assessment of attitudes toward homosexuals and a survey on fear of crime.
- "The Human Side" features provide insight into the impact of social problems on the individual through first-hand accounts of those affected. Examples include a suicide note from a transgender youth and a letter to an editor on the frustration of being a public school teacher.
1. Thinking about Social Problems.
Part II: PROBLEMS OF WELL-BEING.
2. Physical and Mental Health and Health Care.
3. Alcohol and Other Drugs.
4. Crime and Social Control.
5. Family Problems.
Part III: PROBLEMS OF INEQUALITY.
6. Economic Inequality, Wealth, and Poverty.
7. Work and Unemployment.
8. Problems in Education.
9. Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration.
10. Gender Inequality.
11. Sexual Orientation and the Struggle for Equality.
Part IV: PROBLEMS OF GLOBALIZATION.
12. Population Growth and Aging.
13. Environmental Problems.
14. Science and Technology.
15. Conflict, War, and Terrorism.
"Understanding Social Problems is a well-written, engaging textbook that is current, comprehensive in scope, and theoretically-balanced. The authors do a nice job of sociologically presenting factors tied to the emergence/existence of various social problems, and illustrating how a sociological perspective can be relevant and beneficial with regard to understanding and alleviating those problems."
"Probably the best textbook one can acquire for a social problems class. It is comprehensive; but, it also provides edgy content which will engage the students."
Online Instructor's Manual with Test Bank
Streamline and maximize the effectiveness of your course preparation using such resources as lecture outlines, classroom activities, student projects, video suggestions, chapter test banks and many other classroom support materials.
Online PowerPoint® Slides
These vibrant Microsoft® PowerPoint® lecture slides for each chapter assist you with your lecture by providing concept coverage using images, figures, and tables directly from the textbook.
Cengage Learning Testing, powered by Cognero® Instant Access
Cengage Learning Testing Powered by Cognero® is a flexible, online system that allows you to: import, edit, and manipulate content from the text's test bank or elsewhere, including your own favorite test questions; create multiple test versions in an instant; and deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom, or wherever you want.