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  • Author or Editor: Michelle Christian x
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In January 2020 we ushered in a new decade of the twenty-first century and the problems facing U.S. society and our globally, interconnected world seemed profound and stark. We almost went to war with Iran after the U.S. military assassination of Major General Qasem Soleimani. Australia was on fire, with 16 million acres lost in the most devastating wildfire to hit the country, a by-product of global climate injustice. Breaking previous records, in 2019, 76,000 unaccompanied migrant children were captured at the U.S.–Mexico border and 500,000 family units attempted to cross. New figures released by U.S. government officials acknowledged that 5,400 children were separated from their families during the Trump administration’s devastating family separation policy. It seemed as if every major city in the U.S. was experiencing a rise of homelessness alongside the fact that the number of Americans lacking health insurance went up. These issues, and the specific themes outlined in this book, demonstrate how our social problems are immediate, material, and interconnected. The United States is on the edge. The edge looks like a loss of safety, a loss of sustainability, a loss of opportunity, a loss of equity, a loss of democracy. So much is at stake and so much is to be gained by learning from our most entrenched social obstacles and initiating purposeful, creative, and just solutions.

The authors in this book expertly do just that. Sociologists and members of The Society for the Study of Social Problems demonstrate our dedication to asking important societal research questions; how we gather empirically rigorous and detailed data; and, lastly, how we apply sophisticated analyses to the issues gripping our nation.

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Solutions for 2020

The Agenda for Social Justice: Solutions for 2020 provides accessible insights into some of the most pressing social problems in the United States and proposes public policy responses to those problems.

Written by a highly respected team of authors brought together by the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP), it offers recommendations for action by elected officials, policy makers, and the public around key issues for social justice, including a discussion of the role of key issues of sustainability and technology in the development and timbre of future social problems. It will be of interest to scholars, practitioners, advocates, and students interested in public sociology and the study of social problems.

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US Perspectives

Written by a highly respected team of authors brought together by the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP), this book provides accessible insights into pressing social problems in the United States in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and proposes public policy responses for victims and justice, precarious populations, employment dilemmas and health and well-being.

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This volume provides the public at large, scholars, students, and policy-makers with sociological analyses of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on a series of significant social problems. For the individual, nothing rises to the level of losing a loved one. The pandemic, however, has done more than wreak havoc on the lives of millions of people—disproportionately people of color and the poor. Consequently, COVID-19 has reminded us of the deep and persistent underlying societal inequities that explain the disparate impact of this pandemic on different groups. Viruses do not discriminate, but we do. The chapters in this volume speak eloquently to this disparate impact and provide us with a deeper understanding of the changes required to avert similar, if not more devastating, consequences in the future. Meanwhile, the politically calculated response by elected officials to the pandemic calls into question whether it is enough to provide solutions based on rigorous scientific analyses. Politics, not science, tends to win when the two are pitted against one another—and that, clearly, has implications for the work we do, how we do it, and for whom we do it. While problems often require short-term responses to address the immediate suffering of millions, and they are prescribed in these chapters, long-term solutions to these problems require fundamental social structural changes, addressed as well, either explicitly or implicitly, in this volume.

The Agenda for Social Justice volumes and this latest title on COVID-19 were conceived to target a different, broader audience than sociologists typically target, with analyses of social problems.

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