Thinking about Social Problems: An Introduction to Constructionist Perspectives
While many scholars in sociology, communication, media studies, public policy, psycho-therapy, and criminology use social construction perspectives ... Show synopsis While many scholars in sociology, communication, media studies, public policy, psycho-therapy, and criminology use social construction perspectives in their own research, these perspectives tend to be not adequately covered in popular college-level texts. This book can bring constructionist perspectives into college classrooms because it offers an accessible overview of these perspectives that is interdisciplinary in scope and historically current in examples. The topics cover a broad range of issues including how successful images of social problem conditions, victims, and villains are constructed; how these images shape public policy and social services; and how these images can change the ways we make sense of ourselves and others. examining social problems, it does not ask readers to abandon belief that reality exists outside our definitions of it. Rather, it asks readers only to momentarily bracket those realities in order to examine how what we know about the world is a consequence of human activity and to consider the very practical relationships between what we think, how we act, and how our social world of moral evaluations, social policy, and social services is organized. In focusing on what constructionist examination tells readers about their own lives, this book encourages critical reasoning skills; it encourages readers to become thoughtful and knowledgeable consumers of all talk about social problems and to think about the individual, social, and political consequences of the process of constructing public worry.