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Connecting Social Problems and Popular Culture

Nonfiction / Social Science / Sociology

Date de parution: March 12th 2013

Connecting Social Problems and Popular Culture

Why Media is Not the Answer

Is violence on the streets caused by violence in video games? Does cyber-bullying lead to an increase in suicide rates? Are teens promiscuous because of Teen Mom? As Karen Sternheimer clearly demonstrates, popular culture is an easy scapegoat for many of society's problems, but it is almost always the wrong answer.

Now in its second edition, Connecting Social Problems and Popular Culture goes beyond the news-grabbing headlines claiming that popular culture is public enemy number one to consider what really causes the social problems we are most concerned about. The sobering fact is that a “media made them do it” explanation fails to illuminate the roots of social problems like poverty, violence, and environmental degradation. Sternheimer's analysis deftly illustrates how welfare “reform,” a two-tiered health care system, and other difficult systemic issues have far more to do with our contemporary social problems than Grand Theft Auto or Facebook.

The fully-revised new edition features recent moral panics—think sexting and cyberbullying—and an entirely new chapter exploring social media. Expanded discussion of how we understand society's problems as social constructions without disregarding empirical evidence, as well as the cultural and structural issues underlying those ills, allows students to stretch their sociological imaginations.
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Regular Price $40.00

Page Count: 320

ISBN-13: 9780813347233

What's Inside

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"This book encourages students to question the way that social scientific data is reported in mainstream media and to see the limitations of this type of research."
Communication Research Trends

Praise from the First Edition:
"The author cautions against focusing on the media as predator and turns readers' attention to themselves and the society they create around and conceivably ‘for' their children and families to better grasp how people create and perpetuate social problems. Well researched, with an attention to policy details, this book helps debunk the notion that media is the cause of society's ills. Highly recommended."

"Focusing on … children and young adults, [Sternheimer's] main argument is that the intersection of race, gender, and poverty makes social problems significantly complex, and as a result, we blame popular culture for societal quandaries because it is easier to convince ourselves that television and video games are the cause of social disparities… Sternheimer asks us to take another look. Her book is a well written rationale as to why we should."
American Sociological Association
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