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The Study of Social Problems

الكلية كلية التمريض     القسم قسم التخصصات التمريضية     المرحلة 3
أستاذ المادة عبد المهدي عبد الرضا حسن الشحماني       12/03/2019 03:51:04




The Study of
Social Problems








What is a Social Problem?

C. Wright Mills distinguished between personal troubles and public issues
Objective Elements of Social Problems
Awareness of social conditions through life experiences and through reports in the media.
We see the homeless, hear gunfire in the streets, and see battered women in hospital emergency rooms.
We read about employees losing their jobs as businesses downsize and factories close.
Subjective Elements of Social Problems
The belief that a particular social condition is harmful to society or to a segment of society and that it should and can be changed.
We know crime, drug addiction, poverty, racismعنصرية, violence, and pollution exist.
These are not considered social problems unless a segment of society believes these conditions diminish the quality of human life.
What is a Social Problem?
A social problem exists:

when an influential group defines a social condition as threatening its values
when a condition affects a large number of people
and when the condition can be remediedعلاج by collective action
The Social Context
of Social Problems
Social conditions that can lead to the emergence of social problems
Deviation from group values & norms
A declineانخفاض in the effectiveness of social institutions
Extensiveواسع social & cultural diversityتنوع
The exercise of power

Types of Social Norms
Folkways اساليب شعبية- customs and manners of society.

Laws - formal norms backed by authority.

Mores الاعراف- norms with a moral basis.

Situationalالظرفية – norms that change according to a given situation.
Social Institutionsمؤسسة
An institution is an established and enduring pattern of social relationships.
The five traditional institutions are:
Family
Religion
Politics
Economics
Education
Culture
Culture is defined as the meanings and ways of life that characterize a society including beliefs, values, normsمعايير, sanctionsعقوبات, and symbolsرموز.
Elements of Culture
Beliefs are definitions and explanations about what is assumedيفترض to be true.

Values are social agreements about what is considered good and bad, right and wrong, desirable مرغوب فيهand undesirable.
Elements of Culture
Normsاعراف
Socially defined rules of behavior.
Sanctionsعقوبات
Consequences for conforming to or violating norms.
Symbolsحرف
Language, gestures, and objects whose meaning is commonly understood by the members of a society.
Theoretical Approaches
on Social Problems
A theoretical perspective انطباعprovides some fundamental assumptions about the nature and operation of society.
Macrosociological perspectives focus on large groups, social institutions and society as a whole.
Microsociological perspectives focus on the intimate حميمlevel of everyday interactions between people.
The Functionalist Perspectiveمنظور
Society is a system that is made up of a number of interrelated elements, each performing a function that contributes to the operation of the whole.
Robert K. Merton distinguished between manifest functions, latent كامنfunctions, and dysfunctions.
The Conflict Perspective
Society consists of different groups who struggleصراع with one another to attain the scarceشحيحة societal resources that are considered valuable, be they money, power, prestigeهيبة, or the authority to impose one’s values on society.
Karl Marx provided the framework based on the class struggle between the bourgeoisieالبرجوازية and the proletariat.البروليتاريا
Conflict Theories of Social Problems
There are two general types of conflict theories of social problems:
Marxist الماركسيةtheories focus on social conflict that results from economic inequalitiesعدم المساواة.

Non-Marxist theories focus on social conflict that results from competing values and interests among social groups.
Marxist Conflict Theories
According to Marxist theorists, social problems result from class inequality inherent متاصلin a capitalistic الراسماليةsystem.

Marxist conflict theories also focus on the problem of alienationالاغتراب.

Conflict can create positive change
Non-Marxist Conflict Theories
Concerned with conflict that arises when groups have opposingمعارضة values and interests.
These value positions reflect different subjective interpretations of what constitutes a social problem.

Ultimately, conflict is, and always will be, inevitable.
The Interactionist Perspective
Interactionismتفاعلية focuses on everyday social interaction among individuals rather than on large scale societal structures.
William and Dorothy Thomas stated that “If people define situations as real, they are real in their consequences.”
The definition of the situation refers to people’s perceptions and interpretations of what is important in a situation and what actions are appropriate.

Research on
Social Problems
Science is a method of obtaining objective and systematic knowledge through observation.
Hypotheses are tentativeمؤقت statements that can be tested regarding relationships between two or more factors, and that act as links between theory and research.
Stages of Conducting اجراءa Research Study
Formulating a research question.
Reviewing the literature.
Defining variables.
Formulating a hypothesis.
Design research method
Collect and analyze data
Form conclusion and publish results

Variable
Any measurable event, characteristic, or property that varies or is subject to change.
Researchers must operationally define the variables they study.
An operational definition specifies how a variable is to be measured.
Operational definitions are particularly important for defining variables that cannot be directly observed.
Hypothesis
A prediction about how one variable is related to another variable.
The dependent variable is the variable that the researcher wants to explain.
The independent variable is the variable that is expected to explain change in the dependent variable.
Four Types of
Sociological Research
Direct observation
The social scientist sees or hears something him or herself
Surveys
People are asked questions
Archivalالارشيف research
Information collected by some other agency for reasons other than research
Experiments
Controlled methods of collecting evidence

Assessing Data
Sampling problems
Upon whom or what were the observations made?
Samples should be representative.
The three criteria to establish causality
Observe associations or correlations
Ensure time sequence
Avoid spuriousزائفة relationships
Future Prospects
Solutions to social problems can fall into one of the following categories.
Prevention
Intervention
Social reform
Reconstruction
Alleviating consequences
Who Provides Solutions?
“Collective action” means that people work together toward a solution.
A social movement is a collective, organized effort to promote or resist social change through some noninstitutionalized or unconventional means.

Should we solve
the problems?
Can we accept the costs of the solution?

Does a solution to one problem create yet other problems?

Is a particular solution feasible?
International Perspectives
Reasons to look at other societies and cultures
Because we can gain additional insight into problems and their solutions when we observe different cultures
Because nations today are intertwined in a complex relationship in which we all depend on one another
Because some social problems are inherently global


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