|Warning: Critical Thinking Ahead | |Over the past few years I have found myself frustrated with my social problems classes. It seemed like I covered important | |issues, but found my students bored or uninterested in much of the material. | |In an effort to energize the students in Social Problems, I have chosen to use Stanley Eitzen's (2009) Social Problems text. | |This text does not define and describe as much as it attempts to "look behind" the typical expectations associated with social | |problems. As the essentialists would contend, our text attempts to look past observable society, the descriptive level, to the | |causal level, which is often abstract and difficult to understand. | |Students may find some of the material in Eitzen highly controversial. They may, in fact, vehemently disagree with some of the | |points raised. This is GOOD! You don't have to agree with the material. It is, after all, only a perspective -- a way of | |looking at the social world -- and we all have perspectives. I would hope that, in the process, students share their points of | |view. I would also hope that students will be open to understanding the perspectives encountered. There are seldom right or | |wrong answers in Sociology -- only perspectives. The trick in a class like this is to be open to multiple perspectives. |
|"Focusing on the poor and ignoring the system of power, privilege, and profit which makes them poor, is a little like blaming | |the corpse for the murder" | |Michael Parenti (in Eitzen and Baca-Zinn, 2000) |
I.[pic]Some Initial Observation
|Definitions | |social issues | |Social issues are political debates involving moral judgments about how people should live. | |social movement | |Social movements are an organized effort to encourage or discourage some dimension of social change. | |social policy | |Social policy is a formal strategy to shape some aspect of social life. | |social problems |...