Identify current research methods that are utilized for the investigation of social problems.

Assignment 2: Identifying Organizations (Due Week 5).
Our first writing assignment centered upon the definition of the sociological viewpoint toward social problems, and an identification of a social problem that we felt was one of the most significant in society. For this next paper, we will expand upon our understanding of the social problem through analyzing the organizations that are committed to addressing it. For example, with respect to the problems of homelessness, we see a variety of local and national level organizations that seek to enable people the opportunity to have permanent housing. Habitat for Humanity would be an excellent example of an organization that deals with such a concern. In the same sense, we may look at the Salvation Army as a type of organization committed to helping impoverished people, or people recently released from prison or drug treatment, to find gainful employment and reclaim a quality-of-life. Your job in this paper will be to do your own independent research on two organizations that are committed to the social problem chosen in the first writing assignment. This will ultimately lead to our final paper in which we’ll examine the future of the social problem.
Do take note of the documents under Resources. These will help you with APA format as well as with supplemental information pertaining to Social Problems. If you use any of those documents in your writings, you need to cite them within your text and show them under References.

Construct a 2-4 page paper that fully satisfies these two areas:
Based upon your topic chosen in the first assignment, or based upon an entirely new topic of your choice, describe two organizations (Feel free to do your own independent research on these organizations) that is seeking to address this social problem. (1-2 pages). Note: If you do change topics please get prior approval from you instructor.
Analyze two major ways that each organization is addressing the social problem you have mentioned. For example, are they helping to create homeless shelters, are they helping people receive drug treatment, or are they working with state and local authorities to curb suffering in some area?
Use at least four concepts or theories from our text (not used in our first assignment) for each organization. Don’t forget to include proper APA-style citation and reference. (worth 10% of total grade).

Due on by midnight the Sunday of Week 5 – submit using link in Sakai.
The paper should be typed, double-spaced, 1” margins, arial or times new roman 11 pt font, and saved in MS WORD as .doc or .docx with this title: lastname_SOCI212_HW2.doc. CREATE THE PAPER ON YOUR COMPUTER ONLY IN MS WORD & SAVE IT WITH THE REQUIRED TITLE.
DISCLAIMER: Originality of attachments will be verified by Turnitin. Both you and your instructor will receive the results. NOTE: Once you submit your paper, it will automatically be submitted to You do not have to do anything in this regard. smiley
See Syllabus

Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes:

Assignment 2 will evaluate your ability to do the following:

Course Objectives:
Course Objective One
Identify specific social problems and their cause-effect patterns.
Course Objective Two
Identify current research methods that are utilized for the investigation of social problems.
Course Objective Three
Compare and contrast current and suggested policies, programs, and/or treatments in terms of their effectiveness for alleviating the negative consequences of social problems.
Course Objective Four
Apply class concepts to support opinions about social problems.
Course Objective Five
Illustrate how the sociological process enables us to identify various social concerns.
Course Objective Seven
Apply sociological theories to explain the occurrence and scope of these problems.
Learning Outcomes:

Grading Rubric:
Above Average
Below Average
Description of the purpose of these organizations
Provided detailed description of the social importance of these organizations in solving the chosen social problem (5 points)
Needed some elaboration on the purpose of these organizations and their role in addressing the chosen social problem (4 pts)
Needs significantly more detail about the purpose and implication of these organizations in addressing the chosen social problem (3pts)
Description of the relevance of this organization lacks detail overall. (2pts)
No description of the organization included (0-1.5 pts)
Sociological Concepts Identified
Clearly identified 4 relevant sociological concepts from the readings. (5 pts)
Clearly identified 3 relevant sociological concepts from the readings, one not clearly identified. (4 pts)
Clearly identified 2 relevant sociological concepts from the readings. (3pts)
Clearly identified 1 relevant sociological concepts from the readings. (2 pts)
Did not clearly identify any sociological concepts (0-1.5 pts)
Sociological Concepts Defined
Clearly defined 4 relevant sociological concepts using the text and/or other source(s). (5 pts)
Clearly defined 3 relevant sociological concepts using the text and/or other source(s); 1 not clearly defined. (4 pts)
Clearly defined 2 relevant sociological concepts using the text and/or other source(s). (3 pts)
Clearly defined 1 relevant sociological concepts using the text and/or other source(s). (2 pts)
Did not include text definitions of sociological concepts (0-1.5 pts)
Clearly analyzes two major ways the chosen organizations are addressing this key social problem. (5 pts)
Analyzes two major ways the chosen organizations are addressing this key social problem, but needs more detail on one of these points. (4 pts)
Analyzes two major ways the chosen organizations are addressing this key social problem, but needs more detail on both of these. (3 pts)
Analyzes only one major way the chosen organizations are addressing this key social problem. (3 pts)
Did not apply sociological analysis to chosen organizations. (0-1.5 pts)
APA Formatted Citations
Included APA formatted in-text citations and full references for ALL paraphrased and quoted work from other sources. (3 pts)
Minor errors in APA formatting of citations. (2.4 pts)
Multiple errors in APA formatting of citations. (2.1 pt)
Missing some citations, and errors in APA formatting. (1.8 pts)
No citations included. (0-1 pts)
Grammar & Spelling
Author makes no errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content. (2 pts)
Author makes a couple errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content. (1.6 pts)
Author makes a few errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content. (1.4 pt)
Author makes multiple errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content. (1.2 pts)
Authors makes so many errors in grammar and spelling that the intent of the paper cannot be understood. (0-1 pts)

A social problem is a condition that may result
in negative effects and consequences on the lives of a largenumber of
people. Things such as: teenage pregnancy, high school drop-outs, racism, and
drugs are common types of social problems. These problems, conditions, or
behaviors usually require attention (Leon-Guerrero, 2014, pg. 4). The individual accused of driving under the
influence (DUI) could cause a traffic accident with a random person. This
effects society’s safety as a whole, thus, is a social problem.

and Kituse (1987) explained that social problems do not develop over night, it
is a process (Leon-Guerrero, p.4).
Mahoney (2003) stated that in order for an issue to be considered a
social problem: the condition must be seen publicly, be at odds with the values
and beliefs of the larger society, most
people must view it as a “problem,” and there must be a solution for the
problem (Mahoney, 2003). “Social problems tend to develop when we become
neglectful and fail to see that serious problems are developing (Leon-Guerrero,
2014, p. 6).

sociological approach to understanding social problems, according to
Leon-Guerrero (2014) is “Unlike any other discipline, sociology provides us
with a form of self-consciousness, an awareness that our personal experiences
are often caused by structural or social forces (Leon-Guerrero, 2010, p. 4 ).
The sociology of drug use and abuse encompass a wide range of issues, including
high crime rate, loss of family, loss of employment, and homelessness.
Sociologists focus their attention to factors such as: What makes drugs a
social activity? How does socialization, social interaction, and social
inequality play a role in substance use/abuse? What do societies do to control
drug abuse? Why is it tolerated in society? (Goode, 2006).

There are 4 sociological perspectives used
to examine social problems. The social conflict theory blames heavy drug use
(crack, heroin) on problems concerning inequality. This perspective declares
drug use and distribution is more likely to occur in a poor, powerless, and
socially disorganized communities. This theory assumes that money, wealth, and
power controls society. They assume the poor feel powerless, and will more
likely use drugs. The social conflict theory is unlike the others, they embrace
consensus, while social conflict deals with conflict, and inequality (Goode,

Symbolic interactionism is unlike the
functionalist and conflict perspectives. This perspective contends society and
reality are shaped by people. At certain times in history, some drugs were
socially acceptable, and also legal(Goode, 2006). Symbolic interactionism of
the social reality, meaning, and reaction to drugs have changed drastically
over time (Goode, 2006).

Structural functionalism perspectives view
society as a system that works together to promote things such as stability and
control. Their focus describes that society should maintain a certain level of
stability in order to exist. These are desirable events and chaos, would
disrupt society. These things are considered undesirable.

The feminist perspective argues that women
are targeted by laws concerning drugs during pregnancy. According to Drug
Policy Alliance (2003) stated that females face a stereotype that could lead to
a form of discrimination when trying to receive treatment for drug abuse (Drug
Alliance 2003b). As crack cocaine emerged prosecutors turned their aim toward
punishing pregnant women; not empowering them. Feminist argued women were
unfairly targeted with this gender-specific new law.

There are many reasons why some social
problems are more significant than others. If the social problem only affects a
small number of people, it is not considered as significant. For example,
blacks receive more attention than whites concerning poverty. Why? Because
blacks are a larger group of the minority population. Other reasons are if the
social problem or condition spreads rapidly is because it is considered
important. A social issue also becomes
more significant than others is if a celebrity, or an influential person
considers it important (Mahoney, 2003).

One of
the more serious social problems that we face today is drug usage and/or abuse.
Drug abuse can lead to other social problems, such as violence and crime. In
1999 the National Household Survey measured drug use by the type of drugs used.
Marijuana: 11.1 million, cocaine:1.5 million, and 413,000 crack users (National
Household Survey, 1999). In terms of gender, A Monitoring the Future Study
(MTF) (1999) found that 8.7% of men used illicit drugs, in comparison to the
4.9% of women. (Monitoring The Future, 1999).

to the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), 45% of the 4.6 million treated in
emergency rooms were due to drug abuse/misuse (Drug Abuse Warning Network, 2009).
In 2011 The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) reported:
nearly 20% of whites have used cocaine, and 10% of blacks and Latinos used
cocaine. Crack was most popular among the African American population
(Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, 2011).

earlier times in history there have been many precautionary measures to control
drug use. In October 1986 President Reagan signed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of
1986. $1.7 billion dollars were spent to fight the war on drugs.

Concepts mentioned in the text the analyzes
drug abuse are: the self control theory, social learning theory, and the
rational choice theory. The self control theory describes the concept of people
joining social circles that promote bad behavior. They promote violence, gang,
and other criminal activity. “Social environments for exposure” is the name
given to the concept of joining a social environment for bad behavior approval
and promotion. The self control theory helps us to understand why people tend
to choose these type of crowds over a group of individuals who follow
rules(Weinberg, 2011).

The social learning theory suggests that
people who watch addictive behaviors by others may likely participate in
addictive behavior. For example if a child watches a parent drink alcohol
before bed at night the child will likely repeat this pattern in the future.
The child learns by watching this habit (Weinberg, 2011). The rational choice
theory suggests that individuals act based maximizing their reward and
minimizing their punishment(Weinberg, 2011).

sociological approach to understanding social problems is different than other
theories (functionalist, conflict, feminist, and interactionalist) in many
ways. Sociologist aim to study how society affects an individual. Social
problems are a result of how society can affect an individuals, as well as
their decisions (Weinberg, 2011).


Morley. (2011). An Introduction to Social Problems, Social Welfare Work
Organizations, and

Profession of Social Work. Retrieved from

Erich. (2006). The Sociology of Drug Use. Retrieved from

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