Contemporary Social Problems

1. Select a social problem that you are interested in writing about. The topic you select can address either a general (e.g., “poverty”) or specific (e.g., “homelessness among women”) topic. If you are not sure of the topic, feel free to ask me prior to completing this assignment
2. Find 3 articles, one from the popular press (newspapers, magazines, web pages) and 2 articles from a social science journal (see directions below). These articles should be ones not included in the course materials.
3. Write a brief review of each of the articles. For the articles in social science journals you need only read the abstract, introduction, and conclusions/discussion.
4. Select one of the sociological perspectives: functionalism, conflict theory, symbolic interactionism. Interpret the social problem from this perspective. Your interpretation should reflect what you have learned from your four readings. Be specific in your interpretation about what you learned from each reading. Also, be specific about which sociological perspective you are using in your paper (e.g., “I will use the Structure-Functional perspective to explain….”).
5. Suggest a social policy to mitigate the negative consequences of the social problem.
6. You do not need to attach copies of your four articles to your papers. Be certain, however, to provide full citations to them.

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