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The COVID-19 pandemic is having far-reaching political and social consequences across the globe. Published in collaboration with the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP), this book addresses the greatest social challenges facing the world as a result of the pandemic. The authors propose public policy solutions to help refugees, migrant workers, victims of human trafficking, indigenous populations and the invisible poor of the Global South.
Welcome to the second, global-focused volume of Social Problems in the Age of COVID-19, a rapid-response project in public sociology intended to provide a broad audience with rigorous scholarly insight on social problems during the COVID-19 pandemic. All involved in this project have been compelled by the objective to provide timely and highquality scholarly insight on the effects of COVID-19 on social problems, which can be of use to scholars, students, activists, policymakers, journalists, and the interested public. The editors and authors expect these chapters will be of use to readers for making sense of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and its after-effects, just as they will inform policy decisions and engagement in social action.
The volume fits within the scholarly rubric of public sociology, and the editors are members of the Society for the Study of Social Problems’ (SSSP) Justice 21 Committee (J-21), whose creation was inspired by the 2000 Presidential Address of Professor Robert Perrucci, 48th President of the SSSP and founding member of J-21 (Perrucci, 2001). In his address, Dr Perrucci reminded SSSP members that much scholarship in the social problems field had become esoteric and abstract, thereby diminishing its utility as a resource for mitigating or solving the very problems which are its focus of study. Dr Perrucci's reminder was that the SSSP and the journal Social Problems were established within a model of scholarship that saw research and publication as integrated with social action to address pressing social problems. Since its establishment, the J-21 group has published a series of volumes titled Agenda for Social Justice (US-focused) and Global Agenda for Social Justice (globally focused). (Links to open-access copies of the volumes are available in the Key Resources.)
Since the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns, our editors, contributors, and publisher have not been satisfied to sit idly by watching massive social disruptions, especially as the negative effects of pandemic continue to fall upon marginalized populations. We were motivated by the sense that, especially in times of such crises, social scientists have something important to say, and that COVID-19 has complicated and accelerated existing global social problems and inequalities.
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.
This volume, Social Problems in the Age of COVID-19, is a rapid-response project intended to deliver rigorous academic knowledge on social problems during the coronavirus pandemic, also known as COVID-19, to a broad readership. The focus is the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent disruptions on key social problems of widespread concern. The editorial team, chapter contributors, and publisher have pulled together to produce this volume in a fraction of the time such a project normally requires. All participants have been motivated by the need to get quality information rapidly disseminated as the world is living through the uncertain days, weeks, and months of this pandemic. In times of crisis, sociology and other social sciences seem more essential than ever to clarify new social development and challenges, not only for those working to understand what is happening, but also for those in positions to implement realistic, positive policy responses.
This volume is a special project within the larger academic project of public sociology. It is produced by the Justice 21 Committee (J-21) of the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP), which periodically produces two series titled Agenda for Social Justice and Global Agenda for Social Justice. The project was inspired by the 2000 Presidential Address of Professor Robert Perrucci, 48th President of the SSSP (reprinted as Perrucci, 2001). In his address, Dr Perrucci offered a clear censure of academic social sciences, as he noted that social problems research had become increasingly abstract and detached, and therefore less useful for solving social problems or reducing human suffering. He reminded social problems researchers that they were missing the point, which was not only to study social problems, but also to reduce or abolish them. Indeed, the SSSP was founded as an academic society to study social problems with the intent to generate knowledge, which should be translated into strategies for social action and policy intervention. Dr Perrucci's speech provided an early contribution to the nascent conversation about public sociology, and within the SSSP it inspired the establishment of the J-21 Committee, whose mandate is to produce volumes studying pressing social problems while providing practical suggestions to improve the situation.
The aim of this study was to identify the features of first episode schizophrenia that predict adherence antipsychotic medication at six-month follow-up. We used validated instruments to assess clinical and socio-demographic variables in all patients with first episode schizophrenia from a defined geographical area admitted to a Dublin psychiatric hospital over a four-year period (N = 100). At six-month follow-up (N = 60) we assessed adherence to medication using the Compliance Interview. One third of patients with schizophrenia were non-adherent with medication within six months of their first episode of illness. High levels of positive symptoms at baseline, lack of insight at baseline, alcohol misuse at baseline and previous drug misuse predict non-adherence. These results indicate that an identifiable subgroup of patients with first episode schizophrenia is at high risk of early non-adherence to medication. While high positive symptom scores pre-date and predict non-adherence in most patients, reduced insight is the best predictor of non-adherence in patients who do not misuse alcohol or other drugs.
Individuals with schizophrenia who participated in a psychosocial and educative rehabilitation programme showed a 46% improvement in quality of life in the absence of any significant change in symptom severity. In contrast, there was no significant change in quality of life for individuals who continued with supportive rehabilitation. Our preliminary findings highlight the ‘quality of life’ benefits of psychosocial and educative rehabilitation for individuals with schizophrenia who are clinically stable and living in the community.
This study investigated the attitudes of medical students towards psychiatry, both as a subject on the medical curriculum and as a career choice. Three separate questionnaires previously validated on medical student populations were administered prior to and immediately following an 8-week clinical training programme. The results indicate that the perception of psychiatry was positive prior to clerkship and became even more so on completion of training. On completion of the clerkship, there was a rise in the proportion of students who indicated that they might choose a career in psychiatry. Attitudes toward psychiatry correlated positively with the psychiatry examination results. Those that intended to specialise in psychiatry achieved significantly higher examination scores in the psychiatry examination.