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Social Problems

This seminar traces the emergence and development of the social constructionist perspective in social problems theory. We begin with Malcolm Spector and John Kitsuse's Constructing Social Problems -– a book described as "a watershed in the development of the contemporary sociology of social problems." We will be considering both the dissatisfaction with previous objectivist approaches and the ways in which social constructionism re-shaped the sociological study of social problems. We will also be examining critiques of social constructionism -- both those offered by those working outside of the perspective and those working within it -- and the theoretical debates it has generated.

SOCIOL 704

Social Problems

Unit(s): 3.0 Level(s): Graduate Term(s): Summer Offered?: Yes

This seminar traces the emergence and development of the social constructionist perspective in social problems theory. We begin with Malcolm Spector and John Kitsuse's Constructing Social Problems -– a book described as "a watershed in the development of the contemporary sociology of social problems." We will be considering both the dissatisfaction with previous objectivist approaches and the ways in which social constructionism re-shaped the sociological study of social problems. We will also be examining critiques of social constructionism -- both those offered by those working outside of the perspective and those working within it -- and the theoretical debates it has generated.


Dorothy Pawluch

Director, Honours Social Psychology Program | Associate Professor