Handbook of Social Problems: A Comparative International Perspective


Edited by: George Ritzer

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  • Part I: Introduction

    Part II: Social Problems

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    As near as I can tell, this is the first Handbook in the area of social problems since Erwin Smigel's (1971) Handbook on the Study of Social Problems. It strikes me as odd that there has been such a long hiatus between Handbooks in this area, since there are a number of reasons to think that there would have been several of them in the intervening years.

    First, and most important, we are dealing with some of the most significant issues not only in sociology and the social sciences but in the social world in general. Given the importance of all the topics covered in this volume, one would have thought there would have been a number of Handbooks like this one.

    Second, any given social problem changes, sometimes dramatically, over time, and there is a continuing need to update what we know about each of them. In the realm of drugs (not even deemed worthy of a chapter in the Smigel volume), for example, concern about LSD might have loomed large several decades ago, but drugs like crack cocaine (cocaine was first used in this way in the late 1970s) and Ecstasy (first banned in 1985) could not have been considered sources of social problems, since they either did not exist, at least as we know them today, or were not deemed illegal. To take another example, while terrorism was thought of as a social problem several decades ago, large-scale terrorism in the United States was not so considered until September 11, 2001.

    Third, a mountain of research has appeared on every social problem in the intervening period, and the state of our knowledge of each is radically different today than it was three decades ago. For example, in Howard Kaplan's essay in this volume (Chapter 32) on mental illness (interestingly, Kaplan also wrote the essay on this topic in the Smigel Handbook), the vast majority of the references are post-1971 and therefore could not have influenced his previous overview of the state of our knowledge of mental illness as a social problem. The wide-scale use of certain drugs to treat various mental illnesses has only come into existence in recent years, and therefore studies of their use and impact are relatively recent and could not have appeared in the previous essay.

    Fourth, while some social problems are timeless (crime, war, inequalities of various sorts), many have receded in importance, and perhaps even disappeared, and others have become much more important and, in some cases, have come into existence for the first time in the years since the publication of the Smigel volume. In terms of those that have grown less important, global nuclear war (Chapter 20 in this volume) stands out, at least from the American (and Russian) perspective, because of the end of the cold war and the Soviet Union. Nonetheless, these countries and many others have continued to engage in wars, and national security is, if anything, a more central concern. In addition, premarital sex (Chapter 30) is no longer seen as the threat it once was, and mental illness (Chapter 32) garners, probably wrongly, much less public attention. Furthermore, issues like homosexuality (again, Chapter 30) are no longer seen as social problems by most scholars and laypeople as well. The Smigel volume devoted a chapter to religion as a social problem, while that topic is not dealt with here (although problems like religious conflict and the current scandals in the Catholic church indicate that problems remain).

    Among those social problems that have grown more important, or at least have come to be considered more important, gender inequality (Chapter 10), terrorism (Chapter 21), technology (Chapter 24), and risk and safety (Chapter 26) are among the most obvious.

    Most striking are the issues that were not considered social problems only a few decades ago. While globalization (Chapter 23) certainly existed, and was producing problems for many less developed nations, there was little awareness of it, and certainly of it as a problem, in the early 1970s. Much the same thing could be said about consumption (Chapter 14), although there were those visionaries like Thorstein Veblen, John Kenneth Galbraith, and Jean Baudrillard who anticipated the current concern with consumption-related problems. Most obvious is the fact that AIDS and the Internet, among other phenomena, did not exist three decades ago and hence could not have been considered as either social problems or potential sources of them.

    Then, within long-term problem areas, there are specific problems that are of relatively recent vintage. For example, new forms of terrorism (Chapter 21) have come on the scene, and some forms of sexual behavior (e.g., unprotected sex with those one does not know well) are now considered major social problems.

    Thus, the point is that because of all of these changes in social problems, and innumerable others, there is a great need for a Handbook of Social Problems three decades after the publication of the last one.

    However, the greatest difference between this Handbook and its predecessor is that this one has an explicit comparative international perspective and is not restricted to the use of American experts on social problems (the contributors to the Smigel Handbook were, save one, all at American universities and the book was concerned with American social problems). The world has grown much smaller in the last several decades and it is impossible to restrict ourselves to the American context in discussing social problems (and virtually everything else). As a result, research on social problems is increasingly international and comparative. All the social problems discussed in this book, and it may well be that all social problems, whether or not they are touched on here, are international in character and must be discussed in that context.

    For example, take the issue of ecological problems (Chapter 6) that know no international borders. In Ulrich Beck's famous formulation, many ecological problems produced by developed countries like the United States have a profound impact on many other nations, but they may eventually have a boomerang effect on the developed nation(s) that caused the problem(s). Drugs (Chapter 29) and children (and adults) engaged in the international sex trade (Chapter 31) criss-cross the world with increasing frequency and rapidity. Whether or not they cross national borders, there are many social problems that are common to nations in many parts of the world. For example, inequality (Chapters 7, 8, and 10) is a problem everywhere, as are problems relating to health (Chapter 17) and the health care delivery system (Chapter 18). In terms of health-related issues, nothing illustrates the need for a comparative international perspective more than the recent global outbreak of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). Thus, not only is there a need for a Handbook offering an overview of social problems, but such a Handbook must, given the realities of the contemporary world, have a comparative international perspective.

    There are more pragmatic reasons for the publication of this Handbook, at least as far as the scholars and teachers who are its intended audience are concerned.

    For a scholar who studies a particular social problem, it is likely that this volume offers an overview of that topic within the broad context of social problems, as well as in relationship to many other closely related problems. Since so many of these topics overlap and interpenetrate, most scholars will not only be interested in overviews that deal with their focal interests but also of allied topics and issues.

    For the many faculty members and graduate students who teach courses on social problems, this book is designed to offer a handy and up-to-date reference resource that should prove to be an invaluable aid in preparing lectures and discussions on a wide array of social problems. Each chapter provides a knowledge base that is much more wide-ranging and complete, and is far more up-to-date, than the information offered in basic textbooks in the field. Furthermore, it allows those teachers who do not already do so to give their courses on social problems a much needed comparative international perspective. My hope and guess is that this volume will become a much used resource for those who teach social problems, one that never is out of reach for very long while the course is under way.

    Most of the textbooks in the field are, as one would expect, targeted at the undergraduate and would be inappropriate at the graduate level. Thus, this volume, written by professionals for professionals, makes an excellent text for a graduate-level course on social problems.

    Although social problems as a distinct field and course are most developed in the United States, this volume, given its international focus, should be of use throughout the world. It is my hope that it will spur more interest globally in this topic and that it will lead to the development of courses devoted to social problems in many nations. Encompassed under this broad heading are a number of monumental problems that deserve attention not only individually but also taken together as a whole, composed of a number of closely related and interrelated problems. Given the increasingly globalized nature of the world in general, and social problems in particular, it seems natural that the study of social problems and courses devoted to them will become global as well.

    I would like to thank the authors of the various essays in this volume for their efforts. While Smigel admitted that his volume was published without key essays because several authors were unable to meet their commitments, all the essays that were intended to be included in this volume are found here. In a few cases, the authors are different from those who originally agreed to write the essays in question. In other cases, coauthors have been added along the way. Nevertheless, this is the volume I originally envisioned, and it is being brought out on schedule and in a timely manner. Needless to say, this could not have occurred without the diligence of the authors represented here.

    As with a number of recent projects, I could not have done this without the help of Todd Stillman, who managed innumerable tasks and details with his usual great skill and aplomb. Finally, thanks to Jerry Westby and the rest of the Sage team for having the vision to see the merit of this project and for supporting it so well.

    Smigel, Erwin O., ed. 1971.Handbook on the Study of Social Problems. Chicago, IL: Rand McNally.
  • About the Editor

    George Ritzer is Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, where he has also been a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher and won a Teaching Excellence Award. He was also awarded the 2000 Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award by the American Sociological Association. He is perhaps best known for The McDonaldization of Society (translated into over a dozen languages) and several related books including Expressing America: A Critique of the Global Credit Card Society and Enchanting a Disenchanted World: Revolutionizing the Means of Consumption. His latest effort in this domain is The Globalization of Nothing, published in late 2003. He is also cofounding editor of the Journal of Consumer Culture. And he is well-known for his work in theory and metatheory, including the forthcoming two-volume Encyclopedia of Social Theory (2004).

    About the Contributors

    Gary L. Albrecht is Professor of Public Health and of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His current work focuses on the quality of life of disabled persons and the political economy of disability. His most recent books are the Handbook of Social Studies in Health and Medicine (with Ray Fitzpatrick and Susan Scrimshaw, 2000) and the Handbook of Disability Studies (with Katherine Seelman and Michael Bury, 2001), both of which have been released in softback in 2003. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and in 2003 a Visiting Fellow at Nuffield College, University of Oxford.

    Richard Arum is Associate Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences in the Professions, New York University. His research on education includes Judging School Discipline (2003), and on stratification contributions to Inequality by Design (1996). He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles appearing in American Sociological Review, Criminology, Annual Review of Sociology, International Journal of Sociology, and Sociology of Education.

    Salvatore J. Babones is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh. A major thrust of his dissertation, ‘The International Structure of Income and Its Implications for Economic Growth,’ is the aggregation of global income distributions at the household level. He is currently working on a study of levels of national income mobility over the past four decades.

    Pinar Batur is an Associate Professor of Sociology and the Director of the Urban Studies Program at Vassar College. Her books include Global Color Line (1999), edited with Joe Feagin, and White Racism (2001), coauthored with Joe Feagin and Hernán Vera. Her research focuses on global racism and antiracist movements.

    Felix Berardo's teaching and research interests include family sociology, social gerontology, the sociology of death and survivorship, and the sociology of risk. He has published well over 100 articles in professional journals, and is the author, coauthor, or editor of over a dozen major book-length works. Berardo is former editor of the prestigious Journal of Marriage and Family, and is current editor of a monograph series on Current Perspectives in Family Research, and deputy editor of the Journal of Family Issues. He has served as President of the Florida Council on Family Relations and as Associate Chair and Chair of the Department of Sociology. He has also been elected the President of the University's chapters of two national honor societies, Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi. He is a long-standing member of the local chapter of our national sociology honor society, Alpha Kappa Delta, for whom he formerly served as faculty advisor. Berardo was the recipient of the Arthur Peterson Award in Death Education and has been awarded Fellow status by the Gerontological Society of America and the National Council on Family Relations. His book (with F. Ivan Nye) on Emerging Conceptual Frameworks in Family Analysis has been included among a select group of works considered ‘classics’ in family sociology, and has been recognized for its long-lasting impact on the field of family science.

    Joel Best is Professor and Chair of the University of Delaware's Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice. He is a former editor of Social Problems and a past president of the Society for the Study of Social Problems. His books include Threatened Children (1990), Random Violence (1999), Damned Lies and Statistics (2001), and Deviance: Career of a Concept (2004).

    Franziska Bieri is a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at Emory University. Her areas of interest include international social movements and nongovernmental organizations, political sociology, and comparative welfare states. She is currently conducting a study of campaigns against blood diamonds and INGO involvement in the effort to produce an international certification process for conflict-free diamonds.

    Tim Blackman is Dean of Social Sciences and Law and Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Teesside, Middlesbrough, U.K. After completing his Ph.D. at the University of Durham, he worked as a community worker in Belfast, subsequently joining the University of Ulster, where he was active in the community planning movement. In 1990, he moved back to England as Head of Research with Newcastle City Council, later joining Oxford Brookes University before moving to Teesside in 2000. His research interests include regeneration, housing, aging, and public health. He has written widely on these topics and is involved in several regional and local regeneration projects in North East England.

    John Boli is Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology, Emory University. His recent books include The Globalization Reader (with Frank Lechner) and Constructing World Culture: International Nongovernmental Organizations Since 1875 (with George M. Thomas). He studies global structures and processes, world culture, transnational corporations, education, citizenship, and state power and authority in the world polity.

    William C. Cockerham is Professor of Sociology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His most recent publication is Medical Sociology (9th ed., 2004), which has been translated into Chinese and Spanish. He currently serves as Vice Chair of the Research Committee on Health Sociology of the International Sociological Association.

    Norman K. Denzin (Ph.D., 1966, Sociology, University of Iowa) is Distinguished Professor of Communications, College of Communications Scholar, and Research Professor of Communications, Sociology and Humanities, at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is the author, editor, or coeditor of numerous books, including Screening Race: Hollywood and a Cinema of Racial Violence; Performing Ethnography; and 9/11 in American Culture.

    Sonalde Desai is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland. She received a B.A. from the University of Bombay, India, and a Ph.D. from Stanford University. Her past work has focused on maternal and child health and gender inequality in developing countries. She is currently working on a book on the growth of the middle classes in India.

    Gili Drori teaches in the International Relations Program at Stanford University. Her research interests are the comparative study of science and technology, social development and rationalization, globalization, and governance. She is the coauthor of a newly published book on the globalization of science, its causes and its consequences (Science in the Modern World Polity: Institutionalization and Globalization, with John W. Meyer, Francisco O. Ramirez, and Evan Schofer, 2003). She is also the author of several papers and chapters on political change, science and development, and comparative education. Currently, she is writing a book on the global digital divide (forthcoming 2005).

    Michael A. Elliott is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at Emory University. His research interests include processes of historical and contemporary global change, institutional analysis, and social theory. He is currently writing his dissertation on the worldwide development and expansion of human rights ideology.

    Mark Erickson is lecturer in Sociology, Aston University Business School. He was educated at Durham University (B.A., 1987; M.A., 1992) and completed his Ph.D. at the University of Sunderland (1996). Prior to his current position, he taught at the universities of Durham, Sunderland, and Birmingham. He is coauthor of Myths at Work (with Harriet Brady, Carol Stephenson, and Steve Williams) and is currently completing a book on science and technology.

    Joe R. Feagin (Ph.D., Harvard University) is currently the Graduate Research Professor of Sociology at the University of Florida. His teaching and research interests concern the development and structure of institutionalized racial and gender discrimination and oppression in U.S. society. With colleagues, he is currently working on research examining the racial views of white elites, the costs of racism for African Americans, racial barriers in U.S. business networks, and the varieties of discrimination faced by women in the United States. He has published 42 research books and textbooks and more than 150 research articles and book chapters, mostly on issues of urban development, class stratification, discrimination, racism, and sexism. His recent books include Double Burden: Black Women and Everyday Racism, coauthored with Yanick St. Jean (M.E. Sharpe, 1998); Racial and Ethnic Relations, coauthored with Clairece B. Feagin (7th ed., 2003); Racist America: Roots, Current Realities, and Future Reparations (2000); White Racism: The Basics, coauthored with Hernán Vera and Pinar Batur (2nd ed., 2001); The First R: How Children Learn Race and Racism, coauthored with Debra Van Ausdale (2001); and Liberation Sociology (coauthored with Hernán Vera, 2001).

    Erich Goode holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Columbia University, and is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and Visiting Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland at College Park. He is the author of 10 books on a variety of subjects, including Paranormal Beliefs (2000) and Deviance in Everyday Life (2002). His articles have appeared in scholarly and professional journals, including the American Journal of Sociology, Social Problems, and the American Journal of Psychiatry, as well as newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Chicago Sun-Times. His areas of socialization are drug use and deviant and criminal behavior. Dr. Goode is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship.

    Douglas J. Goodman Douglas J. Goodman is an Assistant Professor at the University of Puget Sound in the Department of Comparative Sociology. He was awarded a Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Wellesley College and an Excellence in Teaching award at the University of Maryland. His publications can be divided into three areas. First are those related to communicating theory to students. These include the three textbooks, Sociological Theory 6th ed., Modern Sociological Theory 6th ed. and Classical Sociological Theory 4th ed. all coauthored with G. Ritzer, as well as ‘A Sociological Approach to Social Problems'’ (with C. Calhoun & G. Ritzer) Primus Social Problem (2000); ‘The Study of Social Problems,’ (with G. Ritzer) Primus Social Problems. (2000); and ‘Jacques Lacan: The Imaginary, the Symbolic, the Real,’ in Postmodern Social Theory (1997). Second, are those works on theory addressed more to other theorists and general intellectuals. These include ‘Dream Kitsch and the Debris of History: An Interview with Martin Jay,’ Journal of Consumer Culture (2003); ‘Defending the Liberal Arts from the Law,’ Law and the Liberal Arts (2003); ‘What Collins' The Sociology of Philosophies Says About Sociological Theory,’ Sociological Theory (2001); ‘Postmodern Theory,’ (with G. Ritzer) Handbook of Sociological Theory (2002); ‘Habermas's Social Theory,’ (with R. Brown) Handbook of Social Theory (2000); and his dissertation, A Sociology of Freedom. Finally there are the publications relating to consumer culture. These include, Consumer Culture: A Reference Handbook (2003); and ‘Theories of Consumption,’ (with G. Ritzer & W. Wiedenhoft) Handbook of Social Theory (2000).

    Mark Gottdiener is Professor of Sociology and Adjunct Professor of Urban Planning and Architecture at SUNY Buffalo. Prior to this appointment, he was a professor at the University of California, Riverside, and at the City University in Manhattan. He has also taught as a visiting professor at the Helsinki University of Technology in Finland, the University of Thessaly in Greece, and the National University of Sao Paulo in Brazil.

    Gottdiener is the author of 14 books and over 60 published papers. His latest publication is the coedited four-volume standard reference work on semiotics to be published by Sage (UK) later in this year. Prior works are original, groundbreaking cultural studies combining semiotics and political economy, including a book about air travel and air culture, Life in the Air (2001), and a second edition of The Theming of America (2000). He is currently editor for North America of Urban Studies and is on the editorial boards of three other journals, including Consumption and Culture.

    Gottdiener's main areas of interest are the Henri Lefebvrian New Urban Sociology and the cultural analysis, Socio-Semiotics, both of which he helped to create as approaches in the anglophone academic world to issues of urbanism, tourism, postmodern culture, and contemporary political economy. Currently, he is engaged in grant-supported research on the role of real estate speculation in the multiplication of urban centers in New York, Sao Paulo, London, and Tokyo.

    Thomas D. Hall is Lester M. Jones Professor of Sociology, and Chair of the Sociology and Anthropology Department at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. His interests include world-systems analysis, long-term social change, and the evolution of race and ethnic relations. His recent books include Rise and Demise: Comparing World-Systems (with Christopher Chase-Dunn, 1997) and A World-Systems Reader (2000). He is currently writing, with James V. Fenelon, Indigenous Peoples and Globalization.

    Howard B. Kaplan, Ph.D., is Regents Professor, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, and Mary Thomas Marshall Professor of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University. He directs an NIH-funded multi-generational longitudinal study of drug abuse and other deviant adaptations to stress. Among his works are Patterns of Juvenile Delinquency; Social Psychology of Self-Referent Behavior; Deviant Behavior in Defense of Self; Drugs, Crime, and Other Deviant Adaptations; Social Deviance: Testing a General Theory (with Robert J. Johnson); and Organizational Innovation: Studies of Program Change in Community Agencies.

    Douglas Kellner is George Kneller Chair in the Philosophy of Education at UCLA and is the author of many books on social theory, politics, history, and culture, including Camera Politica: The Politics and Ideology of Contemporary Hollywood Film, coauthored with Michael Ryan; Critical Theory, Marxism, and Modernity; Jean Baudrillard: From Marxism to Postmodernism and Beyond; Postmodern Theory: Critical Interrogations (with Steven Best); Television and the Crisis of Democracy; The Persian Gulf TV War; Media Culture; and The Postmodern Turn (with Steven Best); Grand Theft 2000: The Postmodern Adventure: Science, Technology, and Cultural Studies at the Third Millennium (with Steven Best).

    Chigon Kim (Ph.D., SUNY at Buffalo) is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Dayton. His main areas of interest include the impact of sociospatial restructuring on urban communities, labor market change and urban inequality, and comparative analysis of urbanization and urban experience.

    Gary LaFree is a Professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice and a Founding Member of the Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland. His recent books include Losing Legitimacy: Street Crime and the Decline of Social Institutions in America and The Changing Nature of Crime in America. LaFree's current research includes studies of U.S. crime trends by race, the impact of political legitimacy, democratic institutions and economic stress on world homicide rates, and connections between childhood schooling practices and adult criminality. He has just undertaken a large new study on political, economic, and social determinants of global terrorist events.

    Bronwen Lichtenstein, Ph.D., is a medical sociologist and research scientist at the University of Alabama. She completed her dissertation on organizational responses to HIV/AIDS in New Zealand in 1996 and then moved to the United States, where she has conducted research on women's health, minority health, STIs, and HIV/AIDS. She is the author of 29 academic articles and has received several grants for research on STIs and HIV/AIDS in both New Zealand and the United States. She was an award-winning writer of fiction in Australia and New Zealand prior to beginning her academic career. Dr. Lichtenstein served as the Chair of the Sociologists' AIDS Network (2001–2002) and has been a member of the Governor of Alabama's HIV/AIDS Commission for Children, Youth, and Adults since 2000.

    Yvonna S. Lincoln is Ruth Harrington Chair of Educational Leadership and University Distinguished Professor of Higher Education at Texas A&M University. She is currently the coeditor of Qualitative Inquiry, a journal devoted to methodological explorations of qualitative methods, and also coeditor of the of the Handbook of Qualitative Research, 1st and 2nd editions. Her research interests include the intellectual histories and origins of the paradigm revolution, and faculty intellectual life more generally, as well as program evaluation and media effects on public perceptions of higher education.

    Gus Martin is Associate Professor, Public Administration, School of Business and Public Administration, California State University, Dominguez Hills. He is Chair of Public Administration Department and Coordinator of the Criminal Justice Administration program. He previously sat on the faculty of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh. Teaching and research fields of specialization include Administration of Justice, Terrorism and Extremism, Juvenile Justice, Fair Housing, and Urban Affairs. He received an A.B. from Harvard College; J.D. from Duquesne Law School; and Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. His recent books inclucle Understanidng Terrorism (2003) and The New Era of Terrorism (forthcoming).

    Nancy Morris is a doctoral student in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland. She received a B.A. in Sociology and B.S. in Political Science from Virginia Tech University, and an M.A. in Criminology from the University of Maryland. She is currently working on a cross-national study examining variations in levels of social capital and homicide victimization rates. Her current research interests include examining the effects of legitimacy, trust, and social capital on criminal activity and crime rates.

    Caroline Hodges Persell is Professor of Sociology at New York University. A past President of the Eastern Sociological Society, she has received grants from the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, the National Science Foundation, Danforth Foundation, Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, and the U.S. Office of Education. She has received a Faculty Development Award from the National Science Foundation and the first Annual Women Educators' Research Award, and was named the first Robin M. Williams Jr. Distinguished Lecturer by the Eastern Sociological Society. Her books include How Sampling Works (with Richard Maisel); Understanding Society: An Introduction to Sociology; Preparing for Power: America's Elite Boarding Schools (with Peter W. Cookson Jr.); and Education and Inequality.

    Julia O'Connell Davidson is Professor of Sociology at the University of Nottingham. Over the past decade, the focus of her research and publications has been on prostitution, sex tourism, ‘trafficking,’ and children's presence in the sex trade. She is author of Prostitution, Power and Freedom (1998).

    Ken Plummer is Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex, U.K. His main books are Sexual Stigma (1975); Documents of Life (1983); Documents of Life—2 (2001); Telling Sexual Stories (1995); and Intimate Citizenship (2003); and he has coauthored (with John Macionis) Sociology: A Global Introduction (2nd ed., 2002). He has also written numerous articles on sexuality, life stories, symbolic interactionism, and lesbian and gay studies, and edited five collections. He is the founding editor of the journal Sexualities.

    Ian Roxborough gained his Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He taught at the London School of Economics before moving to the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1990. He is currently working on a book on U.S. military strategy since the end of the cold war.

    Kathryn Seufert is a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology a New York University. She received her B.A. in Sociology from Temple University. Her current research interests include stratification, sociology of education, and race and ethnicity.

    Constance Shehan is Professor of Sociology at the University of Florida. Her research and teaching interests focus on gender, work, and families. She has published numerous papers about women's employment and domestic labor, focusing on the association between women's work, family roles, and mental health. Dr. Shehan is editor of the Journal of Family Issues and author of two recent books, Marriages and Families (2nd ed.) and Through the Eyes of the Child: Revisioning Children as Active Agents of Family Life.

    David Norman Smith has been a member of the sociology faculty at the University of Kansas since 1990. He obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1988 and an A.B. in Economics from the University of California Berkeley, in 1974. His writings include books as well as articles on classical and critical theory, antisemitism, authoritarianism, genocide, and the Rwandan genocide of 1994.

    Mark Stafford is Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. He has published many articles on crime, delinquency, and deviance in such journals as American Sociological Review, Social Forces, Social Psychology Quarterly, and Criminology. He is one of the authors of the fourth edition of American Delinquency: Its Meaning and Construction.

    Teresa A. Sullivan is Professor of Sociology and Law at the University of Texas at Austin and the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for the University of Texas System. She has written on labor-based social problems, including unemployment and underemployment, and she has also written on the relationship of consumer debt to layoff and other work-related problems.

    Michael Tonry is Professor of Law and Public Policy and Director of the Institute of Criminology, Cambridge, and Sonosky Professor of Law and Public Policy at the University of Minnesota.

    John Tulloch is Professor of Cultural Studies and Director of the Centre for Cultural Research into Risk, Charles Sturt University, New South Wales, Australia; and Professor of Media Communication, Cardiff University, Wales. His books and articles on risk include Television, Risk and AIDS: New Cultural Approaches to Health Communication (with Deborah Lupton, 1997); Performing Culture: Stories of Expertise and the Everyday (1999); Watching Television: Theories and Method in Audience Analysis (2000); and Risk and the Everyday (2003). Current and recent national competitive grants on risk include ‘A Risk Society? Australian Perceptions of Risk’ (with Deborah Lupton), Australian Research Council Large Grant; and ‘Risk, Media and Identity in Kosovo: Local/Global Trends in Democratization,’ Australian Research Council Discovery Grant.

    Jonathan Turner is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of California at Riverside. Among his 27 books are 5 devoted to the analysis of social problems. Although his primary area of research is general theory, he has long advocated that theory be useful in assessing and analyzing social problems and public issues.

    Andrew Twaddle is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Missouri, Columbia. His most recent books are Health Care Reform in Sweden, 1980–1994 (1999) and Health Care Reform Around the World (2002). He lives in Boothbay, Maine, and is currently at work on a study of transnational governance of the socioeconomic system and continuing theoretical work on health care.

    Frank Webster is Professor of Sociology, City University, London. He was educated at Durham University (B.A., 1972; M.A., 1974) and the LSE (Ph.D., 1978). He was Professor of Sociology at Oxford Brookes University from 1990 to 1998, and at the University of Birmingham from 1999 to 2002. Recent books include Culture and Politics in the Information Age: A New Politics? (2001); TheVirtual University? Knowledge, Markets and Managements, with Kevin Robins (2002); Theories of the Information Society (2nd ed., 2002); Environmentalism, 5 volumes, edited with David Pepper and George Revill (2002); Manuel Castells, 3 volumes, edited with Basil Dimitriou (2003); The Information Society Reader, edited with Ensio Puoskari (2003); and The Intensification of Surveillance: Crime, Terrorism and Warfare in the Information Age, edited with Kirstie Ball (2003).

    Amy S. Wharton is professor of sociology at Washington State University. She has published several articles on gender inequality at work and is currently completing a book on the sociology of gender. Her current research also includes a study of work, family, and gender in a large, international financial services firm.

    Roberta Woods is Assistant Dean of Arts and Social Sciences and Professor of Social Policy at the University of Northumbria, Newcastle Upon Tyne, U.K. She completed her D. Phil. on community development at the University of Ulster, and after a period working in welfare rights returned to Ulster to teach and research in housing and social policy. In 1990, she moved to the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne and was elected to the city council. She subsequently took up a post at Ruskin College, Oxford, returning to North East England in 2000 as an Assistant Dean at Northumbria. Her research interests include governance, housing, and gender studies.

    Steven Yearley is Professor and Chair of Sociology at the University of York in England and Senior Research Associate at the Stockholm Environment Institute. He writes on environmental sociology and the sociology of science. Recent books include Sociology, Environmentalism, Globalization (1996) and Making Sense of Science: Social Theory and Science Studies (2004).

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