By John G. Bruhn, Howard M. Rebach

Clinical sociology is an action-oriented box that seeks to avoid, lessen, or unravel the probably overwhelming variety of social difficulties confronting glossy society. In an intensive revision of the 1st version of this vintage textual content and reference, released by means of Plenum in 1990, the editors have assembled a wonderful roster of members to handle such issues as concept and perform; intervention at quite a few degrees of social association; particular varieties of sociological perform; social difficulties; and the method of turning into a scientific sociologist.

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Here again, careful identification of key variables and indicators is crucial. Implementation of the intervention plan should significantly change the observable values of the variables identified. If an adequate test of the plan does not yield the hypothesized outcome, systematic reexamination and conceptualization must take place and the process repeated. Box 1 summarizes this process: Throughout, the emphasis of the scientific method is on observable events. Even where cognitive events, such as peoples' assignment of meaning to situations or to self, are involved, these events eventually manifest themselves in observable behaviors.

Behaviors that are regarded as "maladaptive" by observers may be strategic moves, the actor's attempt to understand and cope with the world. A humanistic approach sees the genesis of "problems" in clients' attempts to cope with their surroundings and the demands that those surroundings place on them. Such an orientation acknowledges the role played by developmental processes and by the social systems in which people exist. For example, many contemporary observers decry the fact that illiteracy is on the rise in the United States.

Program Implementation. Clinical-sociologist-as-change-agent enacts a role as teacher and guide after the assessment is complete and the goals of the work have been contracted. In work with individuals, with individual conduct the target, the task is resocialization, what Fein described as "role problems," helping individuals "change dysfunctional social roles into more satisfying ones" (1988:88). 30 HOWARD M. REBACH For example, adult children of alcoholics were often "parentalized" in their families of origin.

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