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Price: $89.95

Paperback 414 pp.
120 figures; 22 tables; 30 photos; 5 maps, 8" x 10"



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Imprint: OUP Canada

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Picturing Social Problems

Lorne Tepperman, Cinthya Guzman and Ioana Sendroiu

This innovative exploration of social problems features a wealth of informative figures, tables, photographs, and infographics alongside insightful critical analysis. As thought-provoking as it is accessible, Picturing Social Problems not only demonstrates the power of visualizing social issues, but also prompts students to picture what solutions to social problems could look like.

Readership : Picturing Social Problems is a textbook geared towards social problems courses offered out of sociology departments in colleges and universities.


  • "The text makes social problems very 'real.' The design is beautifully done."
    --Judah Oudshoorn, Conestoga College

Note: Each chapter also includes:
- Introduction
- Summary
- Learning resources:
-- Questions for review and critical interpretation
-- Recommended readings
-- Recommended websites
-- Recommended films
Part One: Introduction
1. Social Problems: An Introduction
- What Is a "Social Problem"?
- Why Empirical Data?
- Why Visual Portrayals of Data?
- (How) Can Social Problems Be Solved?
- A Visual Guide to Using This Textbook
Part Two: Inequalities
2. Class, Poverty, and Economic Inequality
- Analysis 2.1: Income inequality and social problems
- Analysis 2.2: Canada's income inequality
- Analysis 2.3: The rich get richer
- Analysis 2.4: Absolute and relative poverty
- Analysis 2.5: Wealth and income inequality
- Analysis 2.6: The effects of poverty
- Analysis 2.7: Pushing the poor out
- Analysis 2.8: Homelessness
- Solving the Problem? Income Inequality
3. Race and Ethnicity
- Analysis 3.1: Defining "race" and ethnicity
- Analysis 3.2: Multi-ethnic identities
- Analysis 3.3: Visible minorities
- Analysis 3.4: Multiculturalism in Canada
- Analysis 3.5: Type of migration
- Analysis 3.6: Where new Canadians end up
- Analysis 3.7: Racialized poverty
- Analysis 3.8: "Race" and gender
- Solving the Problem? Over-representation in Canada's Criminal Justice System
4. Gender Inequality
- Analysis 4.1: Gender roles in the media
- Analysis 4.2: Equality in school
- Analysis 4.3: The gender wage gap
- Analysis 4.4: Sex segregation in the workplace
- Analysis 4.5: Males and correctional services
- Analysis 4.6: Crime and violence
- Analysis 4.7: Who commits crimes against males and females
- Analysis 4.8: Women seeking shelter
- Analysis 4.9: Women and politics
- Solving the Problem? Gender Economic Inequality
5. Sexualities
- Analysis 5.1: Understanding sexual orientation
- Analysis 5.2: The sexual double standards
- Analysis 5.3: Cross-cultural views on sexuality
- Analysis 5.4: Coming out
- Analysis 5.5: The intersection of vulnerability, victimization, and mental health
- Analysis 5.6: LGBTQ workplace discrimination
- Analysis 5.7: Changing attitudes towards homosexuality
- Analysis 5.8: Gay marriage around the world
- Solving the Problem? Issues of Homophobia and Transphobia
6. Aging
- Analysis 6.1: Life course theory of aging
- Analysis 6.2: Cross-cultural views on aging
- Analysis 6.3: Age pyramids of Canada
- Analysis 6.4: Health and aging
- Analysis 6.5: Older workers
- Analysis 6.6: Social isolation among the elderly
- Analysis 6.7: Elder abuse
- Analysis 6.8: The intersection of aging and sexuality
- Solving the Problem? Expanding Social Networks through Assisted-Living Care
Part Three: Outcomes
7. Crime and Violence
- Analysis 7.1: The Funnel, and why most crimes do not end up in official statistics
- Analysis 7.2: Why did the homicide rates go up, then down?
- Analysis 7.3: Why some countries are more dangerous than others
- Analysis 7.4: The dangers of being young
- Analysis 7.5: You (often) kill the ones you love
- Analysis 7.6: Who is victimized and why?
- Analysis 7.7: The over-representation of Indigenous adults in prison
- Analysis 7.8: Merton's anomie theory: sociology's most famous model
- Analysis 7.9: Fear of crime can hurt your health
- Solving the Problem? Keys to Better Policing
8. Addictions
- Introduction: What Are Addictions and Why Are They Social Problems?
- Analysis 8.1: Addiction: Medical definitions and moral panics
- Analysis 8.2: How common are addictions?
- Analysis 8.3: Co-morbidity: Why it matters
- Analysis 8.4: The successful campaign against smoking
- Analysis 8.5: Patterns of heavy drinking
- Analysis 8.6: Public and expert opinions about drug use and abuse
- Analysis 8.7: Police-reported drug offense rates
- Analysis 8.8: The many factors contributing to problem gambling
- Analysis 8.9: Gambling activities among schoolchildren
- Solving the Problem? Strategies for Preventing Addictive Behaviours
9. Health Issues
- Introduction: Why Health Matters to Sociologists
- Analysis 9.1: Social determinants of health
- Analysis 9.2: How do social determinants kill people?
- Analysis 9.3: Social causes of suicide
- Analysis 9.4: Suicide among Indigenous groups
- Analysis 9.5: Degenerative conditions and other causes of death
- Analysis 9.6: How and why inequality affects mental health
- Analysis 9.7: Rates of prevalence of diabetes and of hospitalization for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) for Canadians under the age of 75
- Analysis 9.8: Why poverty and inequality cause infant deaths
- Analysis 9.9: How inequality affects child well-being
- Solving the Problem? Health and Inequality
10. Conflict
- Analysis 10.1: War and the state
- Analysis 10.2: Ideology and conflict
- Analysis 10.3: Violent political protest, rebellion, and revolution
- Analysis 10.4: Terrorism
- Analysis 10.5: World system theory, imperialism, and globalization
- Analysis 10.6: Genocide and crimes against humanity
- Analysis 10.7: Gendered crimes during times of conflict
- Analysis 10.8: Conflict and development
- Analysis 10.9: Creating peace and justice: International Governmental Organizations
- Solving the Problem? Truth and Reconciliation Commissions
Part Four: Domains
11. Families
- Analysis 11.1: Living in a country with a high divorce rate
- Analysis 11.2: Being a lone parent in Canadian society
- Analysis 11.3: The troubles associated with lone parenthood
- Analysis 11.4: Good and bad styles of parenting and their outcomes
- Analysis 11.5: The patterning of domestic violence
- Analysis 11.6: Family and non-family homicides
- Analysis 11.7: Violence against women in Canada
- Analysis 11.8: Which children are hurt, and who hurts them?
- Analysis 11.9: Causes and consequences of emotional child abuse
- Solving the Problem? Domestic Violence
12. Work
- Analysis 12.1: Economic systems of work
- Analysis 12.2: The formation of the professions
- Analysis 12.3: Becoming a professional: Inequalities at work
- Analysis 12.4: Gender and work
- Analysis 12.5: Immigrants and work
- Analysis 12.6: Work, norms, and crime
- Analysis 12.7: Seeking diversity in employment
- Analysis 12.8: Unemployment and solutions
- Solving the Problem? Parental Leave
13. Education
- Analysis 13.1: Educational credentials and employment in Canada
- Analysis 13.2: Education and inequality
- Analysis 13.3: Segregation, streaming, and grouping in schools
- Analysis 13.4: Gender and school
- Analysis 13.5: The racialized and ethnic achievement gap
- Analysis 13.6: Indigenous education in Canada
- Analysis 13.7: Educational experiences of immigrants
- Analysis 13.8: The health consequence of education
- Solving the Problem? Indigenous Education
14. Cities
- Analysis 14.1: The rise of cities
- Analysis 14.2: Growing urbanization
- Analysis 14.3: Urbanization and urban poverty throughout the world
- Analysis 14.4: Urbanization, violence, and crime
- Analysis 14.5: Neighbourhoods and segregation
- Analysis 14.6: Marginalization, gangs, and urban violence
- Analysis 14.7: Suburbs and the expansion of the city
- Solving the Problem? The City as Problem and Solution
15. The Natural Environment
- Analysis 15.1: Risk societies
- Analysis 15.2: Limits to growth?
- Analysis 15.3: Ozone depletion
- Analysis 15.4: Global warming
- Analysis 15.5: Resource management and resource conflict
- Analysis 15.6: Environmental policies and government engagement with the environment
- Analysis 15.7: Renewable resources and economic incentives for "going green"
- Analysis 15.8: Social movements for the environment
- Analysis 15.9: Health effects of environmental degradation
- Solving the Problem? The Environment and Indigenous Movements

Instructor's Manual:
- How to Use the Book Manual
-- Provides ideas for how this "picture" textbook may be used by an instructor in class
- For each chapter:
-- Chapter overview
-- 5-10 learning objectives
-- 3-5 suggested in-class activities
-- 5-8 suggested cumulative assignments
-- 5-8 suggested teaching aids
Test Bank:
For each chapter:
- 20-30 multiple choice questions
- 20-30 true-or-false questions
- 10-15 short answer questions
PowerPoint slides:
For each chapter:
- 20-25 lecture slides
- Includes figures, tables, infographics, and photos from the text
Image Bank:
- All figures, tables, infographics, and photos from the text
Student Resources:
- Interactive learning website lets students interact with visual information and data found in the text so they can extend and deepen their understanding of social problems
E-book ISBN 9780199022977

Lorne Tepperman is a professor in the Sociology department at the University of Toronto. He served as Chair of the department from 1997 to 2003 and has won many teaching awards, including the Dean's Excellence Award, an Outstanding Teaching Award from the Faculty of Arts and Science, and an Oswald Hall Teaching Award given by the Department of Sociology. In 2003, Lorne received the Outstanding Contribution Award from the Canadian Sociology Association. He is the author or editor of numerous books published by OUP, including Sociology: A Canadian Perspective, 4e (2016); Principles of Sociology: Canadian Perspectives, 4e (2017); and Starting Points, 2e (2014).

Cinthya Guzman is a doctoral candidate at the University of Toronto, Department of Sociology. Her research interests lie primarily in sociological theory, sociology of culture, and studies of sex and gender. Cinthya received the Canadian Sociological Association award for Outstanding Graduating Student in 2014.

Ioana Sendroiu is a doctoral candidate at the University of Toronto, Department of Sociology, where she is studying as a recipient of the Ontario Graduate Scholarship. She is interested in culture and inequality, especially how global power disparities shape the diffusion of human rights and justice norms. Her main research focus is transitional justice mechanisms in unsettled societies. A keen traveller and compulsive reader, Ioana is highly committed to human rights mechanisms in practice and has in the past worked for the Mosaic Institute organizing dialogue sessions between conflicting on-campus communities.

Social Problems - Lorne Tepperman and Josh Curtis
Making Sense in the Social Sciences - Margot Northey, Lorne Tepperman and Patrizia Albanese

Special Features

  • An innovative visual approach features informative two-page spreads - each presenting a figure, table, infographic, or photo followed by a page of analysis - encouraging students to critically assess data related to social issues.
  • Focus on high-interest issues such as racialized poverty, sexuality and mental health, and the challenges of urbanization provide students with a contemporary picture of pressing social issues.
  • Cutting-edge research that includes both quantitative data and qualitative case studies helps students understand the current realities of social problems in Canada and abroad.
  • Encourages critical thinking by presenting critical analyses of the social problems under discussion and allowing students to draw their own conclusions with respect to identifying, researching, and solving a social problem.
  • Highly engaging boxed features and pedagogy - including rich visuals, a marginal glossary, case studies, and end-of-chapter learning resources - help students identify, understand, and further explore important issues and ideas.
  • - End-of-chapter Solving the Problem? sections pair a full-page photo with a final analysis that discusses potential solutions to an issue from the chapter.
  • - Personal Troubles and Public Issues boxes highlight the experience of a problem at the individual level before demonstrating the connection between the personal trouble and a wider social issue.
  • - Key Studies boxes showcase qualitative research studies related to the chapter topic.