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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Psychology and Sociology
Course Prefix and Number: SOCI 216
Course Title: American Social Problems
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: Nature and impact of contemporary social problems.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered even Spring.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Social Problems
By Coleman, James and Harold Kerbo (Prentice Hall)
Social Problems: A Cast Study Approach
By Dolch, Norman A. and Linda Deutschmann (Rowman Littlefield)
Social Problems and the Quality of Life
By Lauer, Robert and Jeanette Lauer (McGraw Hill Publishers)
Understanding Social Problems
By Mooney, Linda A., David Knox, and Caroline Schacht (West Publishing Company)
Social Problems in the Modern World: A Reader
By Moulder, Frances V. (Wadsworth)
Crossroads: Readings in Social Problems
By Tiemann, Kathleen A. (Pearson)
AIDS in the Twenty First Century
By Barnett, Tony and Alan Whiteside (Palgrave)
Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class and Environmental Quality
By Bullard, Robert D. (Westview Press)
California’s Social Problems
By Hohm, Charles F. and James A. Glynn (Sage)
Defeating Terrorism: Shaping the New Security Environment
By Howard, Russell and Reid Sawyer (Mayfield Publishers)
Breast Cancer: Society Shapes an Epidemic
By Kasper, Anne S. and Susan J. Ferguson (Palgrave)
Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago
By Klinenberg, Eric (University of Chicago Press)
Streets of Hope: The Rise and Fall of an Urban Neighborhood
By Medoff, Peter and Holly Skylar (South End Press)
Violence, Abuse, and Neglect: The American Home
By Utech, Myron R. (Rowman Littlefield)
Course Objectives
  • To describe and differentiate between various theoretical perspectives in the study of social problems.
  • To apply the sociological perspectives to identify, describe and explain a wide variety of social problems in America, including the problems of health care, prejudice and discrimination, population and environment.
  • To evaluate the social policies designed to remedy social problems and recognize the problem of policy implementation in American society.
  • To examine personal values and action relevant to the solution of social problems.
    Measurable Learning Outcomes:
  • Describe and explain social problems as structural in nature rather than treating them as individual pathologies.
  • Describe and explain social problems from the three primary sociological perspectives.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking and analytical skills in understanding the primary social problems: racism, sexism, poverty, industrialism, famine, environmental degradation, terrorism, and access to health and healthcare.
    Topical Outline:
  • Theoretical perspectives on social problems
  • Social construction of social problems
  • Power
  • Gender inequality as a social problem
  • Racial and ethnic inequality as a social problem
  • Health and healthcare
  • Environmental crises
  • Global crises: war, terrorism, inequality
  • Solutions to social problems - social policy solutions


    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 35

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at http://www.ccis.edu/offices/library/index.asp. You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Date: May 20, 2005
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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