ch. 1 What Do We Mean by Social Problems?

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The objectivist definition for harm can be criticized for being
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so broad that it is vague to the point of losing its meaning
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***Subjectivists tend to think of social problems as
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the process of responding to social conditions
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Saying that something is socially constructed means that it is
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shaped by people’s definitions and understandings of it
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Claimsmaking can most accurately be described as a process in which people
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bring to the attention of others a situation that they find troubling
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***Your text argues that because we know that knowledge is socially constructed
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it is important to carefully evaluate claims and evidence
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***The impact of claimsmaking on the public’s perceptions is typically measured using
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public opinion polls
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The term policy outcomes refers to
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– the extent to which the policy solves the problem – people’s reaction to the social problems process – critics’ concerns about how the policies are implemented – critics’ concerns about the production of new problems through the solutions to the old problems
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***The term feedback is used to refer to
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the relationship between claimsmakers who are making claims about the same social problem
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Social problems workers are typically responsible for
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carrying out the practical actions deemed necessary to manage a problem
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Which is NOT one of the six stages in the natural history model of the social problems process
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research confirmation (1. claimsmaking 2. media coverage 3. public reaction 4. policymaking 5. social problems work 6. policy outcomes)
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objectivist
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approach to defining social problems while couching the definition in terms of objectively measurable characteristics of conditions
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subjectivist
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defines social problems in terms of people’s subjective sense that something is or isn’t a problem
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social construction
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process by which people continually create (or construct) meaning
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social problems process
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process through which particular troubling conditions come to be constructed as social problems
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constructionist
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claimsmakers
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people who seek to convince others that there is a troubling condition about which something ought to be done
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troubling conditions
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a condition that becomes a subject of claims
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natural history
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a sequence of stages often found in a particular process 1. claimsmaking 2. media coverage 3. public reaction 4. policymaking 5. social problems work 6. policy outcomes
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activists
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members of a social movement organization who make claims about social problems
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experts
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people-such as physicians, scientists, lawyers, and officials-who have special knowledge and claim to speak with special authority
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policymaking
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the process of devising policy to address a particular troubling condition
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social problems work
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the application of constructions of a troubling condition or a social policy to practical situations
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policy outcomes
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the result of how a particular social policy is implemented
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resources
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anything that can be drawn upon to construct a claim
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rhetoric
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the study of persuasion
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feedback
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the phenomenon in which a particular cause produces an effect that in turn affects the cause
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social problems
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matters which directly or indirectly affect a person or many members of a society and are considered to be problems, controversies related to moral values, or both

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