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Offering a theoretically balanced perspective, it covers topics in a micro to macro format, pointing out the interrelationships among today's social problems and the possibility of approaching them from several perspectives. The book describes many of the serious challenges facing our society, demonstrates the human ability to innovate and improve social conditions, and emphasizes social policy and its intended and unintended effects. It supports material with current statistics, cross-cultural examples, and numerous charts and tables. The book incorporates many new and interesting topics, including worldwide efforts to improve health, the impact of the growing elderly population on our social security system, and juggling work and family responsibilities.