In this course, we'll be looking at the social problems we face in the 21st century.
We'll also consider how social problems in other parts of the world land on our doorstep, and look at how other cultures and
other times have tried to edge closer to a utopian society. We'll question the cost versus the benefits of solving various
social problems and look at how many problems are linked inextricably to each other and to society's values.
Sounds scary, huh?
On this website, you'll find the course syllabus, additional readings beyond
the textbook to enhance your understanding of the problems, some questions to think about, and links to sites that provide
data for your research or class discussions. I hope you'll find it helpful. I'm always interested in adding new links,
so email me with urls that you think other students will find useful.
What's expected from you?
I ask that you read each textbook and short article assigned before
you come to class. This will give you the vocabulary and background to begin to think about each problem area. I hope
you will participate in class discussion, because each of us brings a different point of view to bear on these problems. Your
unique way of seeing things will help everyone in the class understand how many sides both a problem and its solution have.
Based on our readings and discussions, you will choose topics
or questions to address in short essays. I expect you to think about the question, and write a thoughtful few pages about
that topic. These collected essays provide a large portion of your grade.
You will be required to read a real piece of sociological research from a peer-reviewed journal, and
to answer some questions that will show me you understand how research in sociology is conducted.
There will be a final, take-home exam, which will be an essay question
addressing a large area that we cover in class. It's already here on the website, so you will not be surprised. My intention
in this assignment is to help you wrap up the big ideas from the course, and most students have found the final exam thought-provoking
and useful, rather than stressful.
am ALWAYS available to help you through any rough spots. Please don't hesitate to talk with me about problems you are having
with any aspect of the course. I care passionately about this subject area and my students, and I will do whatever it
takes to get you interested in it, too!
can reach me most easily by email. I also have a mailbox in the Social Sciences division office, where you may leave messages.
want you to do well in this class!!! You are welcome to send me suggestions for improvement anonymously at any time. I listen!