Published by Oxford University Press, Focus on Social Problems: A Contemporary Reader (2e) is an anthology, designed for courses in Social Problems. I co-authored Focus on Social Problems with Amanda Jungels and together we greatly improved the second edition of this anthology. Amanda and I have chosen a wide variety of accessible and engaging articles that complement our social constructionist, structuralist, and critical perspectives on contemporary social problems in the United States. Because Social Problems can be a demoralizing topic that produces feelings of hopelessness among students, we strive to help students feel more empowered to enact social change. One feature of our anthology, designed to encourage social action, is the inclusion of an Activist Interview at the beginning of each chapter. Activists share their motivations, inspirations, challenges, successes, and advice on how students can get involved in social change. For more on our motivations and intentions with this text, check out our interview in SSSP’s Teaching Social Problems newsletter discussing the first edition of this text. Instructors can request review copies at OUP now.
"I really appreciate the mix between readings that are well-grounded in social science and the more popular pieces. This is a great way to engage students; the selections encourage critical thinking."
--Susan Clampet-Lundquist, Saint Joseph's University
"The articles are up to date and of interest to students, and reflect the controversial nature of 'social problems.' A unique feature in each chapter is the 'Activist Interview.' This shows students (and academics) what is currently happening in the construction of and responses to various social problems in America and the world."
--Meredith Huey Dye, Middle Tennessee State University
"I believe the editors struck a perfect balance between readings that draw from very recent research, readings/interviews drawing from an activist perspective, and less data-driven and more accessible articles that can generate class discussion."
--Shoon Lio, University of Illinois-Springfield
"Focus on Social Problems is data driven with a focus on understanding the unique facets to social problems. It is a solid, comprehensive reader with timely and informative readings that pique students' interest in the material."
--Amy Grau, Shawnee State University
"Focus on Social Problems is a unique reader that focuses on contemporary social problems. Students will be able to relate to the social problems on a personal level and build analytical skills to help solve these problems."
--Jeffrey Lentz, University of North Georgia-Gainesville
"This is an accessible reader that discusses a wide range of social problems from a social constructionist approach. It has a definite focus on the process, but also includes a range of social problems that students want to discuss. I also like the inclusion of activist interviews, because it is very solution oriented."
--Sarah Epplen, Minnesota State University, Mankato