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Social Problems, Census Update, 12th Edition

By D. Stanley Eitzen, Maxine Baca Zinn, Kelly Eitzen Smith

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Jun 24, 2011

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Observes social structures and inequalities with a critical, conflict perspective.


Taking a conflict approach, top-selling Social Problems 12e focuses on the underlying features of the social world in an effort to help students to understand today's social problems.  


A consistently sociological approach in Social Problems Census Update establishes a coherent framework that allows students to view social problems as interrelated. The authors help students grasp society’s role in the creation and perpetuation of social problems by incorporating five major themes throughout the text, including: structural causes of social problems; role of the United States in global social problems; centrality of class, race, and gender as sources of division, inequality, and injustice; critical examination of society; and a progressive plan to solve problems.


The Census Update program incorporates 2010 Census data into a course–simply and easily. The components of the Census Update Program include an updated census edition with all charts and graphs–to reflect the results of the 2010 Census. In addition, A Short Introduction to the U.S. Census is available and an updated MySocLab.


Teaching & Learning Experience

  • Personalize Learning – The new MySocLab delivers proven results in helping students succeed, provides engaging experiences that personalize learning, and comes from a trusted partner with educational expertise and a deep commitment to helping students and instructors achieve their goals.
  • Improve Critical Thinking - Feature questions encourage students to think globally about both current and impending social problems.
  • Engage Students – Personal challenges regarding social problems are highlighted within the text in addition to opportunities for student involvement.
  • Explore Theory – A progressive plan to solve social problems is proposed.
  • Understand Diversity – The centrality of class, race, and gender as sources of division, inequality, and injustice is integrated heavily throughout the text.
  • Support Instructors - Written activities and assessment in MySocLab offer instructors supplemental materials to help their students succeed.

Note: MySocLab does not come automatically packaged with this text. To purchase MySocLab, please visit: or you can purchase a ValuePack of the text + MySocLab (at no additional cost). ValuePack ISBN-10: 0205172431 / ValuePack ISBN-13: 9780205172436

Table of Contents








Part I: Political Economy of Social Problems    

Chapter 1:  The Sociological Approach to Social Problems    

Chapter 2:   Wealth and Power: The Bias of the System    


Part II: Problems of People, the Environment, and Location    

Chapter 3:   World Population and Global Inequality    

Chapter 4:   Threats to the Environment    

Chapter 5:   Demographic Changes in the United States: The Browning and Graying of Society    

Chapter 6:   Problems of Place: Urban, Suburban, and Rural    


Part III: Problems of Inequality    

Chapter 7:   Poverty    

Chapter 8:   Racial and Ethnic Inequality    

Chapter 9:   Gender Inequality    

Chapter 10: Sexual Orientation    

Chapter 11: Disability and Ableism    


Part IV: Social Structure and Individual Deviance    

Chapter 12: Crime and Justice    

Chapter 13: Drugs    


Part V: Institutional Problems    

Chapter 14: The Economy and Work    

Chapter 15: Families    

Chapter 16: Education    

Chapter 17: The Health Care System    

Chapter 18: National Security in the Twenty-First Century    


Part VI: Solutions    

Chapter 19: Progressive Plan to Solve Social Problems    





Part I: Political Economy of Social Problems


Chapter 1: The Sociological Approach to Social Problems    

History of Social Problems Theory    

Toward a Definition of Social Problems    

Types of Social Problems    

Norm Violations    

Social Conditions    

The Sociological Imagination    

Social Structure as the Basic Unit of Analysis    

Person-Blame Approach versus System-Blame Approach    

Reasons for Focusing on the System-Blame Approach    

Sociological Methods:  The Craft of Sociology

Sociological Questions

Problems in Collecting Data

Sources of Data

Organization of the Book    


Chapter 2: Wealth and Power: The Bias of the System    

U.S. Economy: Concentration of Corporate Wealth    

Monopolistic Capitalism     

Transnational Corporations    

Concentration of Wealth    

Political System: Links between Wealth and Power    

Government by Interest Groups    

Financing of Political Campaigns    

Candidate Selection Process    

Bias of the Political System    

Consequences of Concentrated Power    

Subsidies to Big Business    

Trickle-Down Solutions    

The Powerless Bear the Burden    

Foreign Policy for Corporate Benefit    

Reprise: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy    


Part II: Problems of People, the Environment, and Location


Chapter 3: World Population and Global Inequality   

World Population Growth    

Demographic Transition    

Family Planning    

Societal Changes    


Food and Hunger    

Sickness and Disease    

The New Slavery    

Concentration of Misery in Cities    

U.S. Relations with the Developing World    

Transnational Corporations    

United States in the Global Village    


Chapter 4: Threats to the Environment   

Worldwide Environmental Problems    

Degradation of the Land    

Environmental Pollution and  Degradation    

Global Environmental Crises    

Fossil Fuel Dependence, Waste, and Environmental Degradation    

Destruction of the Tropical Rain Forests and Other Forms of Deforestation    

Global Warming    

Sources of U.S. Environmental Problems    

Cultural Sources    

Structural Sources    

Solutions to the Environmental Crises    

Probusiness Voluntaristic Approach    

Egalitarian/Authoritarian Plan    

Control of Resource Use    

International Implications of Environmental Problems    


Chapter 5: Demographic Changes in the United States: The Browning and Graying of Society    

Profile of the U.S. Population    

New Immigration and the Changing Racial Landscape    

Immigration and Increasing Diversity    

Consequences of the New Immigration    

Immigration and Agency    

Effects of Immigration on Immigrants: Ethnic Identity or Assimilation?    

The Aging Society    

Demographic Trend   

Demographic Portrait of the Current Elderly Population    

Problems of an Aging Society    

Social Security    

Paying for Health Care    

Elderly Abuse    

Responses by the Elderly    


Chapter 6: Problems of Place: Urban, Suburban, and Rural    

Urban Problems    

Urban Job Loss    


Federal Abandonment    

Urban Poverty    

Urban Housing Crisis    

Decaying Infrastructure    

Transportation, Pollution, and  the Environment    

Health and Health Care    

Urban Schools    

Crime, Drugs, and Gangs    

Suburban Problems    

Suburban Sprawl    

Automobile Dependency    

Social Isolation in the Suburbs    

Rural Problems    


Jobs in Rural Areas    


Health Care and Delivery    

Small-Town Decline    

Crime and Illicit Drugs    


Part III: Problems of Inequality


Chapter 7: Poverty    

Extent of Poverty    

Racial Minorities    





The New Poor    

The Working Poor   

The Near Poor    

The Severely Poor    

Myths about Poverty    

Refusal to Work    

Welfare Dependency    

The Poor Get Special Advantages    

Welfare Is an African American and Latino Program    

Causes of Poverty    

Deficiency Theories

Structural Theories    

Costs of Poverty    

Elimination of Poverty    


Chapter 8: Racial and Ethnic Inequality    

How to Think About Racial and Ethnic Inequality    

Racial and Ethnic Minorities    

Racial Categories    

Differences among Ethnic Groups    

Explanations of Racial and Ethnic Inequality    

Deficiency Theories    

Bias Theories    

Structural Discrimination Theories    

Discrimination Against African Americans and Latinos: Continuity and Change    




Type of Employment     


Contemporary Trends and Issues in U.S. Racial and Ethnic Relations    

Growing Racial Strife    

More Racially Based Groups and Activities    

Social and Economic Isolation in U.S. Inner Cities    

Racial Policies in the New Century    


Chapter 9: Gender Inequality    

Women and Men Are Differentiated and Ranked    

Is Gender Biological or Social?    

Gender and Power    

What Causes Gender Inequality?    

Socialization versus Structure: Two Approaches to Gender Inequality    

Learning Gender     

Children at Home    

Children at Play    

Formal Education    

Socialization as Blaming the Victim    

Reinforcing Male Dominance    


Interpersonal Behavior    

Mass Communications Media    


The Law    


Structured Gender Inequality    

Occupational Distribution    

The Earnings Gap    

Intersection of Race and Gender in the Workplace    

Pay Equity    

How Workplace Inequality Operates    

Gender in the Global Economy    

Costs and Consequences of Sexism    

Who Benefits?    

The Social and Individual Costs    

Fighting the System    

Feminist Movements in the United States    

Women’s Struggles in the Twenty-First Century    


Chapter 10: Sexual Orientation    

Social Deviance    

Gay and Lesbian Community: An Overview    

Defining Homosexuality    

Roots of Homosexuality    

Numbers: How Many Gays and Lesbians?    

Interpersonal Relationships and Domestic Arrangements among Gays and Lesbians    


Ideological Oppression    

Legal Oppression: The Law and the Courts    

Occupational Discrimination    

Fighting the System: Human Agency    


Chapter 11: Disability and Ableism    


Individual Model of Disability    

Social Model of Disability    

Toward a More Complete Definition of Disability    

People with Disabilities as a Minority Group    

Defined as Different    

Derogatory Naming    

Minority as a Master Status    

Categorization, Stigma, and Stereotypes    

Exclusion and Segregation    

Matrix of Domination    


Issues of Gender, Sexual Behavior, and Fertility    

Gender Stereotyping    

Sexual Relationships    

Physical and Sexual Abuse    

Abortion Issue    


Disability Rights Movement    

Americans with Disabilities Act    



Part IV: Social Structure and Individual Deviance


Chapter 12: Crime and Justice    

Crime in Society    

What Is Crime?    

Crime Rates    

Demographic Characteristics of People Arrested for Crimes    

Categories of Crime    

Unjust System of Justice    



Judicial Process    

Correctional System    

The Criminal Label

Stopping the Cradle to Prison Pipeline


Chapter 13: Drugs    

The Politics of Drugs    

Historical Legality of Drugs    

Factors Influencing Drug Laws and Enforcement    

Drug Use in U.S. Society    

Commonly Abused Illegal Drugs    

Legal but Dangerous Drugs    

Drug Use Patterns by Class, Race, and Gender    

Why Use Drugs?    

U.S. Official Policy: A War on Drugs    

Consequences of Official Drug Policies    

Is the Drug War Racist?    


Regulation of Trade or Use through Licensing and Taxation    


Address the Social Causes of Drug Use  


Part V: Institutional Problems


Chapter 14: The Economy and Work    

Capitalism and Socialism



Mega Economic Trends

The Structural Transformation of the Economy


The Great Recession

Work and Social Problems    

Control of Workers    


Worker Compensation

Dangerous Working Conditions    


Unions and Their Decline    


Job Insecurity

Benefits Insecurity

Increased Workload

Worker Compensation


Chapter 15: Families

The Mythical Family in the United States    

U.S. Families in Historical Perspective: The Family in Capitalism    

Stratification and Family Life: Unequal Life Chances    

Changing Families in a Changing World    

Economic Transformation and Family Life    

Today’s Diverse Family Forms    

Balancing Work and Family with Few Social Supports    

Single Parents and Their Children    

Societal Response to Disadvantaged Children    


Consequences of Divorce    

Children of Divorce    

Violence in U.S. Families    

Violence and the Social Organization of the Family    

Intimate Partner Violence    

Child Abuse and Neglect    


Chapter 16: Education    

Characteristics of Education in the United States    

Education as a Conserving Force    

Mass Education

A Fragmented Educational System    

Local Control of Education   

A Lack of Curricular Standardization

 “Sifting” and “Sorting” Function of Schools    

Preoccupation with Order and Control    

Education and Inequality    

Financing Public Education    

Family Economic Resources    

Higher Education and Stratification    


Tracking and Teachers’ Expectations    

Possibilities for Promoting Equality of Opportunity    

Provide Universal Preschool Programs    

Offer Free Education    

Set National Education Standards

Reduce Funding Disparities Across States and Districts

Reducing Class and School Size    

Attract and Retain Excellent Teachers    

Extend the School Day and Year    

Hold Educators Accountable    

Reform the Educational Philosophy of Schools    

Restructure Society    


Chapter 17: The Health Care System    

The Crisis in Health Care: Cost, Coverage, and Consequences

Rising Health Care Costs    

Does the High Cost of Health Care Translate into Good Health Consequences?

The Health Care System in the United States

Different Plans for Different Categories

Private Insurance

For Profit Hospitals

Managed Care Networks.

Unequal Access to Health Care    

Social Class    



HIV/AIDS:  The Intersection of Class, Race, and Gender

Models for National Health Care:  Lessons from Other Societies

The Bismarck Model

The Beveridge Model

The National Health Insurance Model

Reforming the Health Care System in the United States

The Politics of Health Reform

The Obama Plan


Chapter 18: National Security in the Twenty-First Century    

The U.S. Military Establishment    

The Size of the U.S. Military    

The Cost of Maintaining U.S. Military Superiority    

The Threat of Nuclear Weapons    

The Terrorism Threat  

Domestic Terrorism

International Terrorism

U.S. National Security and the War on Terror    

The Precipitating Event    

A Rush to War    

The War in Iraq    

The Iraq War:  An Evaluation

Consequences of the U.S. Responses to 9/11    

The Costs of the War    

The Legacy of the War    

Strategies to Combat the New Terrorism    

Lesson 1: Military Might Alone Does Not Make a Nation Secure    

Lesson 2: Vengeance Is Self-Defeating    

Lesson 3: The Solution to Terrorism Is to Address Its Root Causes    

Lesson 4: In Planning for War, the Question Guiding the Plan Must Be, How Does the Conflict End?    

Lesson 5: The U.S. Goal of Spreading Democracy in the Middle East Will Likely Fail    

Lesson 6: The Path to the Moral High Ground Goes through International Organizations and International Law    


Part VI: Solutions


Chapter 19: Progressive Plan To Solve Social Problems    

Sociology, Social Problems, and Social Change    

The Sociological Imagination and Social Problems    

Sociological Paradox: Structure and Agency    

Sociological Dilemma: Recognition and Rejection   

Progressive Principles to Guide Public Policy    

Is a Progressive Social Policy Possible?    

Should a Progressive Plan Be Adopted by U.S. Society?    

Financing the Progressive Agenda    

Is There Any Hope of Instituting a Social Agenda Based on Progressive Principles?    

Human Agency: Social Change from the Bottom Up    

Individuals Protesting and Organizing for Change 


Social Problems, Census Update, 12th Edition

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