WorldCat Identities

Best, Joel

Works: 62 works in 323 publications in 3 languages and 23,794 library holdings
Genres: History  Cross-cultural studies  Case studies  Documentary films  Nonfiction films 
Roles: Author, Editor, Other, Author of introduction, Publishing director
Publication Timeline
Most widely held works by Joel Best
Damned lies and statistics : untangling numbers from the media, politicians, and activists by Joel Best( Book )

43 editions published between 2001 and 2012 in English and Chinese and held by 3,331 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Offers advice on how to understand social statistics and how to recognize bad statistics that are sometimes put out by the media, or special interest groups; and presents analyses of a selection of bad statistics
More damned lies and statistics : how numbers confuse public issues by Joel Best( )

19 editions published between 2004 and 2007 in English and Polish and held by 3,078 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In this sequel to DAMNED LIES AND STATISTICS, best identifies different sorts of numbers that shape how we think about public issues, including missing numbers, scary numbers, confusing numbers, authoritative numbers, and magical numbers. Offers an entertaining and enlightening account of how statistics are produced, used, and misused, illustrating his points with examples of good and bad statistics and underlining the importance of critical thinking about numbers
Random violence : how we talk about new crimes and new victims by Joel Best( )

13 editions published between 1998 and 2000 in English and held by 2,636 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Random Violence is a deft and thought-provoking exploration of the ways we talk about--and why we worry about--new crimes and new forms of victimization. Focusing on so-called random crimes such as freeway shootings, gang violence, hate crimes, stalking, and wilding, Joel Best shows how new crime problems emerge and how some quickly fade from public attention while others spread and become enduring subjects of concern. Best's original and incisive argument illuminates the fact that while these crimes are in actuality neither new, nor epidemic, nor random, the language used to describe them nonetheless shapes both private fears and public policies
Flavor of the month : why smart people fall for fads by Joel Best( )

12 editions published between 2002 and 2006 in English and held by 2,570 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Stat-spotting : a field guide to identifying dubious data by Joel Best( )

23 editions published between 2008 and 2014 in English and held by 2,419 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"Alarming statistics bombard our daily lives, appearing in the news, on the Web, seemingly everywhere. But all too often, even the most respected publications present numbers that are miscalculated, misinterpreted, hyped, or simply misleading. Following on the heels of his highly acclaimed Damned Lies and Statistics and More Damned Lies and Statistics, Joel Best now offers this practical field guide to help everyone identify questionable statistics. Entertaining, informative, and concise, Stat-Spotting is essential reading for people"--Jacket
Everyone's a winner : life in our congratulatory culture by Joel Best( )

10 editions published in 2011 in English and Undetermined and held by 1,908 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Looks at the increasing abundance of status in our society and considers its effects, including the tendency to split into ever more specific groups to enhance status
The student loan mess : how good intentions created a trillion-dollar problem by Joel Best( )

8 editions published between 2014 and 2015 in English and held by 1,287 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"Student loan debt in the U.S. now exceeds $1 trillion, more than the nation's credit-card debt. This timely book explains how and why student loans evolved, the concerns they've raised along the way, and how each policy designed to fix student loans winds up making things worse. The authors, a father and son team, provide an intergenerational, interdisciplinary approach to understanding how, over the last 70 years, Americans incrementally, with the best intentions, created our current student loan disaster. They examine the competing interests and shifting societal expectations that contributed to the problem, and offer recommendations for confronting the larger problem of college costs and student borrowing in the future"--
Images of issues : typifying contemporary social problems by Joel Best( Book )

19 editions published between 1989 and 2017 in English and held by 915 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"Constructionist theory describes and analyzes social problems as emerging through the efforts of claimsmakers who bring issues to public attention. By typifying a problem and characterizing it as a particular sort, claimsmakers can shape policymaking and public response to the problem. Th is new edition of Images of Issues addresses claimsmaking in the 1990s, featuring such issues as fathers' rights, stalking, sexual abuse by the clergy, hate crimes, multicultural education, factory farming, and concluding with an expanded discussion of the theoretical debate over constructionism."--Provided by publisher
Kids gone wild : from rainbow parties to sexting, understanding the hype over teen sex by Joel Best( Book )

6 editions published in 2014 in English and held by 900 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"To hear mainstream media sources tell it, the sex lives of modern teenagers outpace even the smuttiest of cable television shows. Teen girls "sext" explicit photos to boys they like; they wear "sex bracelets" that signify what sexual activities they have done, or will do; they team up with other girls at "rainbow parties" to perform sex acts on groups of willing teen boys; they form "pregnancy pacts" with their best girlfriends to all become teen mothers at the same time. From The Today Show, to CNN, to the New York Times, stories of these events have been featured widely in the media. But are most teenage--or younger--children really going to sex parties and having multiple sexual encounters in an orgy-like fashion? Researchers say no--teen sex is actually not rampant and teen pregnancy is at low levels. But why do stories like these find such media traffic, exploiting parents' worst fears? How do these rumors get started, and how do they travel around the country and even across the globe? In Kids Gone Wild, best-selling authors Joel Best and Kathleen A. Bogle use these stories about the fears of the growing sexualization of childhood to explore what we know about contemporary legends and how both traditional media and the internet perpetuate these rumors while, at times, debating their authenticity. Best and Bogle describe the process by which such stories spread, trace how and to where they have moved, and track how they can morph as they travel from one medium to another. Ultimately, they find that our society's view of kids raging out of control has drastic and unforeseen consequences, fueling the debate on sex education and affecting policy decisions on everything from the availability of the morning after pill to who is included on sex offender registries. A surprising look at the truth behind the sensationalism in our culture, Kids Gone Wild is a much-nee++
The Satanism scare by Joel Best( Book )

12 editions published between 1991 and 2017 in English and held by 864 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Although there is growing concern over satanism as a threat to American life, the topic has received surprisingly little serious attention. Recognizing this, the editors of this volume have selected papers from a wide variety of disciplines, broadly covering contemporary aspects of satanism from the vantage point of studies in folklore, cults, religion, deviance, rock music, rumor, and the mass media
Troubling children : studies of children and social problems by Joel Best( Book )

10 editions published between 1994 and 2017 in English and held by 677 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Increasingly, sociologists have turned their attention to the social problems of children - in particular, of younger children. This collection reflects those recent interests. While most researchers have focused on social problems involving adolescents, this volume offers instead original case studies of problems concerning preadolescent children. The papers that Best has gathered here represent different theoretical and methodological approaches. They report on social issues in Albania, Kenya, and Japan as well as in the United States. The range of social problems they address is a wide one, from broad societal crises to decision-making within families. Topics include the effects of economic and social crises in Africa and Eastern Europe; concerns about crack use and other forms of fetal endangerment; parental decisions about spanking, toy choices, and letting children listen to rock music; schooling in day care and elementary and junior high schools; and children's perceptions of environmental crises. Troubling Children adds a new dimension to courses in social problems. It also offers a different set of perspectives for those concerned with sociology of preadolescent children and their discontents
Threatened children : rhetoric and concern about child-victims by Joel Best( Book )

10 editions published between 1990 and 1993 in English and held by 621 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"Child abuse, incest, child molestation, Halloween sadism, child pornography: although clearly not new problems, they have attracted more attention than ever before. Threatened Children asks why. Joel Best analyzes the rhetorical tools used by child advocates when making claims aimed at raising public anxiety and examines the media's role in transmitting reformers' claims and the public's response to the frightening statistics, compelling examples, and expanding definitions it confronts. Drawing on a wide range of sources, from criminal justice records to news stories, from urban legends to public opinion surveys, Best reveals how the cultural construction of social problems evolves."--Publisher's description
Social problems : constructionist readings by Joel Best( Book )

21 editions published between 2003 and 2017 in English and held by 491 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This collection of readings is aimed at several levels of students of social problems. It is accessible to the uninitiated who are not already familiar with the constructionist literature, and aimed at those who are not particularly interested in subtle theoretical and empirical issues of concern to academics studying social problems from constructionist perspectives. Some readings focus on the construction of problems by scientists and other professionals; others examine the work of social activists, mass media, and social service personnel. Among the topics included are constructionists studies of social inequalities, and of individual deviance; a comparison of the images of social problems in the United States with those in other countries; and an examination of the importance of poltics and power in constructing public images of social problems. -- from back cover
Organizing deviance by Joel Best( Book )

16 editions published between 1982 and 1994 in English and Undetermined and held by 429 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Controlling vice : regulating brothel prostitution in St. Paul, 1865-1883 by Joel Best( Book )

8 editions published in 1998 in English and held by 339 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"For eighteen years following the Civil War, the police in St. Paul, Minnesota, informally regulated brothel prostitution. Each month, the madams who ran the brothels were charged with keeping houses of ill fame and fined in the city's municipal court. In effect, they were paying licensing fees in order to operate illegal enterprises. This arrangement was open; during this period, the city's newspapers published hundreds of articles about vice and its regulation." "Joel Best claims that the sort of informal regulation in St. Paul was common in the late nineteenth century and was far more typical than the better known but brief experiment with legalization tried in St. Louis. With few exceptions, the usual approach to these issues of social control has been to treat informal regulation as a form of corruption, but Best's view is that St. Paul's arrangement exposes the assumption that the criminal justice system must seek to eradicate crime. He maintains that other policies are possible."--BOOK JACKET
How claims spread : cross-national diffusion of social problems( Book )

7 editions published in 2001 in English and held by 318 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Making sense of social problems : new images, new issues by Joel Best( Book )

7 editions published between 2012 and 2013 in English and held by 274 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"Internet addiction. Cell-phone-distracted drivers. Teen suicide. Economic recession. The health risks of trans fats. The carefully selected collection of case studies in Making Sense of Social Problems is designed to help students understand and critically evaluate a wide range of contemporary social issues. The cases are organized to highlight a series of key elements: why "objective" claims deserve critical attention ; how advocates bring attention to issues ; why expert interpretations may change over time ; the role of the media in shaping or distorting concerns ; the consequences of public policy. The introduction, conclusion, and section notes provide a coherent framework for the text. Reflecting the promise of the constructionist approach, the result is a powerful set of tools for systematically investigating social problems. It can be used to advantage as a "stand-alone," as well as with such texts as Joel Best's Social Problems."--Publisher's website
American nightmares : social problems in an anxious world by Joel Best( Book )

5 editions published between 2017 and 2018 in English and held by 200 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"In an accessible and droll style, best-selling author Joel Best shines a light on how we navigate these anxious, insecure social times. While most of us still strive for the American Dream--to graduate from college, own a home, work toward early retirement--recent generations have been told that the next generation will not be able to achieve these goals, that things are getting--or are on the verge of getting--worse. In American Nightmares, Best addresses the apprehension that we face every day as we are bombarded with threats that the social institutions we count on are imperiled. Our schools are failing to teach our kids. Healthcare may soon be harder to obtain. We can't bank on our retirement plans. And our homes--still the largest chunk of most people's net worth--may lose much of their value. Our very way of life is being threatened! Or is it? With a steady voice and keen focus, Best examines how a culture develops fears and fantasies and how these visions are created and recreated in every generation. By dismantling current ideas about the future, collective memory, and sociology's marginalization in the public square, Best sheds light on how social problems--and our anxiety about them--are socially constructed"--Provided by publisher
Deviance : career of a concept by Joel Best( Book )

6 editions published in 2004 in English and held by 164 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Killer legends( Visual )

2 editions published in 2014 in English and held by 105 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"Peeling back the layers of storytelling, from interviews with shocked detectives to traumitized victims, filmakers discover a truth more horrifying than they had ever imagined....four of our most terrifying urban legends and the real-life crimes that may have inspired them." -- container
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Audience Level
  Kids General Special  
Audience level: 0.19 (from 0.06 for Random vio ... to 0.50 for Organizing ...)

Damned lies and statistics : untangling numbers from the media, politicians, and activists
More damned lies and statistics : how numbers confuse public issuesRandom violence : how we talk about new crimes and new victimsFlavor of the month : why smart people fall for fadsStat-spotting : a field guide to identifying dubious dataEveryone's a winner : life in our congratulatory cultureImages of issues : typifying contemporary social problemsThreatened children : rhetoric and concern about child-victimsSocial problems : constructionist readings
Alternative Names
Best, Joel

Joel Best American sociologist

Joel Best schrijver uit Verenigde Staten van Amerika

Joel Best sociólogo estadounidense

베스트, 조엘

ベスト, ジョエル

English (252)

Chinese (2)

Polish (1)