other social problems models : ch.2, p.11

identifying various other versions of theories for the emergence and decline of public interest in social problems…

“Conceptually compatible theoretical models developed simultaneously with Spector and Kitsuse’s social construction of social problems. Hilgartner and Bosk (1988) applied a ‘public arenas’ metaphor to emphasize the social contest between claims-makers and the process through which definitions of environmental and social conditions are ascribed their status as ‘problems’ in public discourse. Other analysts focused on variation over time in public attention to and concern about problematic conditions. Downs (1972) described waves of resurgent, then dissipating, interest in ecological issues as the inevitable result of the public’s “issue attention cycle.” Dunlap (1992) viewed the cycle as a consequence of their “natural decline.” Others emphasized the role of organized, sustained, collective action such as social movements in constructions of meaning of problematic conditions (Mauss 1975). Best notes that, despite some compatibility, this social movement approach substantially differs from the social construction approach: “Constructionist analyses have obvious parallels with studies of social movements but, constructionists remain the only sociologists committed to the cause of developing a theory of social problems” (Best 2002:??).”


Before the Air Pollution Control Act of 1955, ...

Before the Air Pollution Control Act of 1955, air pollution was not considered a national environmental problem. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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Mobilizing Ideas

Activists and Scholars Debate Social Movements and Social Change

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