"Ritzer's Handbook of Social Problems offers a comprehensive treatment of today's major societal issues. The articles are authored by some of the top scholars in the field and address problem areas that will capture the interests of students and professors alike. The international coverage is most welcome in this time of intensifying global inequalities."
Arizona State University
The Handbook of Social Problems: A Comparative International Perspective provides a unique, broadly comparative perspective on the current state of social problems and deviance in a variety of societies around the world. Editor George Ritzer, along with leading U.S. and international sociologists, examines the relationship between social problems and a society's level of development and affluence.
The essays in this volume focus on four interrelated issues involved in the relationship between social problems and the level of development and affluence:
· Less developed and less affluent societies are more likely to experience a range of social problems than developed and affluent societies.
· Affluence causes or at least brings with it a series of social problems that do not exist in less affluent societies.
· It is only with affluence that certain things can come to be imagined as social problems, such as excessive consumption.
· The very affluence of a society makes it vulnerable to problems that would not be social problems in poorer societies.
The Handbook explores the theory of the weakness of the strong—in other words, strong or wealthy nations may have greater vulnerability to some social problems than less developed or affluent societies. This theory is clearly illustrated in this volume by the aftermath of September 11, 2001depicting the vulnerability of the U.S. to social problems in far-removed corners of the world. In addition, the international and comparative essays in this volume cover other important issues such as the impact of modern technologies on social problems, ecological problems, global inequality, health as a social problem, and much more. The Handbook of Social Problems is a vital resource for sociologists and graduate students, as well as an excellent addition to any academic library.