Mindy Stombler, PhD

Focus on Social Problems

A Contemporary Reader

ISBN: 978-0-199-32135-3

Focus on Social Problems: A Contemporary Reader is the title of our new anthology, published by Oxford University Press. I co-authored Focus on Social Problems with Amanda Jungels. 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. Instructors can request review copies at OUP now.

We are currently working on the Second edition for publication in 2019!


"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