Featuring twenty-six in-depth and engaging articles, Conflicting Interests: Readings in Social Problems and Inequality is a unique social problems reader in which the majority of the selections reflect the conflict perspective. This approach views social problems as the consequence of social and economic inequalities and therefore encourages students to critically analyze American public policy responses to social problems. Conflicting Interests is organized into five sections: Thinking about Social Problems, The Economics of Inequality, Social Inequalities, Problems of the Family, Crime and Drugs, and Problems of the Environment. Several articles address the contemporary economic crisis and the role that the media plays in constructing social problems. In addition, many of the essays describe public policies in countries outside of the United States, providing students with alternative, cross-cultural perspectives and solutions to social problems. Each section begins with an introduction that briefly summarizes the articles and shows how they are interrelated.
Each essay concludes with critical thinking questions that are designed to stimulate class discussion and to help students carefully evaluate the issues. A thought-provoking and accessible supplement for social problems courses, Conflicting Interests can also be used in courses on inequality or social stratification. It is an ideal supplement to editor Robert Heiner's textbook, Social Problems: An Introduction to Critical Constructionism, Third Edition.