Social Problems

Topics: Sociology, Social exclusion, Social class Pages: 10 (2441 words) Published: September 15, 2014

When I decided to register for this class, I did not know what the course was really about. I just wanted to have a class that helped me be a fulltime student. But today as I am writing this paper, I am glad that I did not drop it because I have learned so much and still learning. Throughout the course, there are some key terms that really change my way off thinking or added to my knowledge. For this final assignment, I had in mind to write a paper about Diabetes in the US or immigration. However, this would not be fair for me because there are some key concepts that help me understand better the course the society as whole. Social problems, correlation, causation, sweatshop, alienation, Mcdonalization, capitalism, extreme poverty, technology, and environmental problems are the ten concepts I will be discussing. The first key term that changed my way off thinking is Social problems. Through the lecture, I learned that a problem become a social problem only when a segment of the population find it harmful to the society and that a solution is needed. This is my first key term because understanding it is the foundation of studying social problems. Before knowing it, all problems were social or none of them were social for because I did not know the differences between problems. From learning this, many questions have raised into my mind: How many people are included in the segment to make it a social problem? What percentage should the sample be until it becomes a social problem? How many researches should be done to figure out a problem is a social problem? I do not have the answers to my questions.

My second key term is correlation. According to the textbook, correlation refers to a relationship between or among two or more variables then a change in one variable is associated with a change in the other variable (Appendix A). From this definition Appendix A identifies four levels of correlation. The first one is a positive correlation, which means that both variables vary in the same direction. Second, negative correlation, the two variables change in opposite direction. Third correlation is curvilinear correlation. This means the relationship between the two variables varies in both same and opposite directions. The last one is spurious correlations. This means that when two variables appear to be related but the apparent relationship occurs only because each variable appear to be related to a third variable (Linda, Appendix A). I choose this key term as the second most important key term learned because I believe that everything one does has for consequences something else. I might be wrong but this how I understand correlation. For example, two variables such as smoking as a variable A and getting lung cancer as a variable B are correlated because a change in A will definitely affect B. And this change could be positive or spurious because too much smoking can gives lung cancer. The textbook mentions the example of education and poverty. According to chap 8, one of the best predictors of educational success and attainment is socioeconomic status. Children whose families are in middle and upper socioeconomic brackets are more likely to perform better in school and complete more years of education than children from lower socioeconomic class families (Linda, 238). Another example is diet and diabetes. Many people and studies show that diabetes is cause by obesity and bad diet habits. However, is it because a person is obese, he has diabetes or because a person has diabetes he is obese?

These questions bring me to my third key term, causation. According to the dictionary Oxford, causation is the action of causing something and the relationship between cause and effect. This key term is my third one because understanding this concept of causation is so important in social problems that a misunderstanding could make a research wrong. The textbook teaches some tips to demonstrate causality. Three conditions must be...

Cited: Amnesty, Greenpeace. The toxic truth: About a company called Trafigura, a ship called the Probo Koala, and the dumping of toxic waste in Côte d’Ivoire. 25 September 2012. Document. 6 may 2014.
Gabe, Thomas. Poverty in The United State. 13 November 2013. Document . 6 May 2014.
Mooney, Linda, David Knox and Caroline Schacht. "Understanding Social Problems." 2013.
University, Columbia. The center on Capitalism and Society. 2014. Document. 6 May 2014.
Velasco, Schuyler. CEO vs. worker pay: Walmart, McDonald’s, and eight other firms with biggest gaps. 2013. 6 May 2014.
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