This is the book that the answers should come from:
Eitzen and Zinn, Social Problems
Eitzen, Solutions to Social Problems: From the Top Down
Read pages 1-9 before answering this question;
What is the difference between an objective definition of social problems and a subjective definition? Why would a concern about bias and values be part of the issue
about subjective vs objective definitions? How does social power influence this notion of bias and objectivity?
Read all the way to page 19 before answering this set:
What is the difference between norm violations and social conditions as types of social problems? Which is a person blame and which a systems blame approach? Why doe
the authors of this book believe the focus should be on social conditions (system blame) rather than norm violations (person blame)? Do you agree with them? Why or why
The box on Social Welfare States and the one on Social Policy are a good introduction to what we will talk about in class – how social structure and policy can be made
to help or hinder the ordinary mass of people in a society.
1. What is the basic difference between US capitalism and social welfare state capitalism? What do people gain from the welfare state type that we dont have?
2. What does Fisher mean when he says Americas level of inequality is by design? How does social policy influence that design? What would be your basic answer to that
set of questions he asks in the third column of the box (dont answer every one, just think about the list and answer in a sentence or two)
For each question below, write a substantial paragraph or two, and make sure you include information from the book to illustrate your points.
What is the main difference between capitalism and socialism? How might the capitalism we have in the USA help create the significant problems we have (see box p.26)?
How does the Swedish model (box p.28) alleviate those same kinds of problems?
What are the main reasons we have monopolistic capitalism today? How does monopolistic capitalism create more power for huge corporations (hint: look at fig. 2.1). How
might that influence the list of social problems documented in the p. 26 box?
Briefly explain the unequal distribution of income and wealth in the USA, using relevant facts from the text and figures. How does our current government tax policy
make us more unequal, not less?
How do lobbying and the funding of political campaigns illustrate the links between wealth and power?
When the book talks about a bias in the political system, what does it mean? What are some examples of the bias? Who benefits, and who loses from this bias?
Application 1: How might the bias in the system influence the social problems we have in the USA? Think in terms of cause and solution
Application 2: How is our democracy affected by the bias in the system? That is, does this bias produce more or less democracy? Explain your answer.
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