Social Problems Essays

  1. Pick a method of reducing crime other than imprisonment, discussed in class or the text. Explain what it is and give your estimate of how effective it is and why.
  2. Pick a theory of crime and/or deviance discussed in class or the text. What kind of crime or deviance does it try to explain? Evaluate the theory. Does it do a good job? Why or why not?
  3. In class and the text, we discussed four reasons or rationales for imprisonment (retribution or revenge, rehabilitation, societal protection or prevention, deterrence). Pick one of them. Do you think prison does a good job of this? Why or why not? What do you think could be done to improve the situation for this rationale or justification or prison?
  4. Same as Question 3, but pick a different rationale.
  5. Is divorce a social problem? Why or why nor or to what extent is it a problem? What can be done to either reduce the divorce rate or to ease the harmful effects of divorce?
  6. Is teen pregnancy a problem? If so, why and to what extent? If not, why not? If so, what should be done to either reduce teen pregnancy (or the problematic part if you have specified) or to make it less problematic?
  7. Is single or unwed parenthood a problem (or, if your answer is ‘sometimes’ then under what circumstances)? Why or why not? What should be done to address this issue?
  8. To what extent is poverty a problem in the U.S.? What should be done to reduce poverty? Why do we have poor people?
  9. Related to poverty, unemployment and under-employment are common now in the U.S. What are some of the main causes of unemployment and under-employment? What should be done to address this problem?
  10. In class we discussed prejudice and discrimination and several ways of combating it. Pick two of those methods. For each, describe it. For each, how effective is that method and why?
  11. In class, we discussed potential problems with our new communications technology. Pick two of the problems or potential problems that we discussed that we discussed. For each, how big a problem do you think this is, what do you think can be done about it, and what particular communications technologies or methods is it associated with (for example, facebook, cell phones, general on-line information, etc.)?