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From Claims to Chains: the Materiality of Social Problems

  • Jared Del RossoEmail author
Article
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Abstract

Inspired by the work of Bruno Latour, I propose treating social problems not as claims, but as chains. Social problems chains consist of sites of claims-making activities connected by objectified forms of socialproblems, such as problem categories inscribed in texts or material constructions of problems. The focus of social problems research, then, should be three-fold. Research should attend to the activities that produce objectified forms of social problems. Research should also attend to the material forms that lend stability and mobility to constructions of social problems. And, finally, research should trace the paths those forms take, as they link sites of social problems activities and enable or constrain claims-makers’ efforts to build their own versions of problems. Doing so, social problems theory can better account for the diverse materials caught up in the construction of problems and the differences among competing constructions of problems.

Keywords

Social problems Social problems theory Constructionism Actor-network theory Materiality 

Notes

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology & CriminologyUniversity of DenverDenverUSA

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