Social Problems Syllabus

Topics: Sociology, Social policy, Social issues in the United States Pages: 16 (4411 words) Published: May 18, 2012



Instructor: Dr. Paula Gormley
Phone:(919) 546-4983 (office); E-mail:; Office: ISC, Room 203
Office hours: Mondays and Wednesdays 1:00-5:00, Tuesdays 3:00-5:00

Course Description

Welcome to the course! In this class, we will carefully investigate the social forces that create, perpetuate, and attempt to solve social problems in our society. At first, we will examine the sociopolitical dimensions involved in the identification of social problems. The course will then be focused on exploring a series of significant issues impacting society. Finally, students will be involved in envisioning strategies for ameliorating these problematic conditions. The ultimate goal is for students to be able to apply the principles learned in this course to their own lives and become more analytical, informed citizens.

Sociology Program Mission

The mission of Shaw University’s baccalaureate sociology program is to educate and graduate skilled and culturally competent sociology majors who are well prepared for meaningful service, advocacy, and leadership in relevant career fields and for successful postgraduate study.

Sociology Program Goals

Students completing the sociology major will be prepared to:

1. Manifest competence in sociological thinking and practice, demonstrated through knowledge of essential terminology, literature, and research skills.

2. Work effectively in their chosen fields and obtain leadership positions in the profession, community, and society.

3. Be life-long learners and build on their undergraduate education through further study in graduate school and/or professional development initiatives to ensure the highest level of service in their chosen fields.

4. Advocate for social justice to improve life opportunities for those experiencing oppression and to achieve optimal societal functioning.

At the completion of this course, students will:| Assessment of Student Learning Outcome| Linkage to Program Learning Outcomes| 1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the various social forces leading to conditions for social problems| Exam QuestionsQuiz QuestionsResearch Project| 1, 2| 2. Understand the major theoretical perspectives in sociology that help in understanding these issues| Exam QuestionsQuiz Questions| 1, 2| 3. Enhance critical thinking skills related to understanding of social problems and the various strategies used to solve them| AssignmentDiscussion PostingsResearch Project| 3, 4, 5| 4. Demonstrate awareness of various social problems affecting society and the impact on them personally| Exam QuestionsAssignmentDiscussion Postings| 3, 5| 5. Manifest a commitment to social justice through development of proposal | Research ProjectDiscussion Postings| 5|

William Kornblum & Joseph Julian, Social Problems (13th edition), Prentice Hall, 2009.

This book is available in the college bookstore.


While the instructor is confident that students will be motivated to read and complete assignments out of the sincere desire to learn, the following requirements are mandatory:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF COURSE REQUIREMENTS: As indicated in the above section, this course will involve considerable work on the part of both students and the instructor. The assignments are designed to provide optimal learning opportunities for students, specifically by helping them connect course concepts with the real world. In addition, the variety of formats in these assignments reflects the diversity of learning styles in any classroom, thus offering each student a chance to demonstrate excellence.

During the term, students will complete a series of assignments. The major assignment has students conducting first-hand research to learn more about a social...
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