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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 Best, Joel (W.W. Norton)
Social Problems: Readings With Four Questions
By Charon, Joel M. and Lee Garth Williams (Cengage)
Social Problems: A Critical Power-Conflict Perspective
By Feagin, Joe R., Clairece B. Feagin, and David V. Baker (Pearson)
Social Problems
By Eitzen D. ,Stanley, Maxine Baca Zinn, and Kelly Eitzen Smith (Pearson)
Social Problems: Community, Policy, and Social Action
By Leon-Guerrero, Anna (Sage)
Understanding Social Problems
By Mooney, Linda A., David Knox, and Caroline Schacht (Cengage)
Social Problems Readings
By Silva, Ira (W.W. Norton)
Social Problems in the Modern World: A Reader
By Moulder, Frances V. (Wadsworth)
Solutions to Social Problems. From the Top Down: The Role of Government
By Eitzen, D. Stanley, and George H. Sage (Ally and Bacon)
Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Describe the processes whereby social issues come to be defined as social problems.
  2. Explain the difference between individualistic and sociological explanations for social problems.
  3. Describe and explain three different sociological theoretical perspectives on social problems.
  4. Explain sociological perspectives on specific social problems.
Major Topics/Skills to be Covered:
  • Theoretical perspectives on social problems
  • The social construction of social problems
  • Power
  • Economic inequality as a social problem
  • Gender inequality as a social problem
  • Racial and ethnic inequality as a social problem
  • Health and healthcare
  • Education
  • Heterosexism
  • Criminal justice
  • Ageism
  • Environmental problems
  • Global crises: war, terrorism, poverty
  • Solutions to social problems - social policy solutions

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 35

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Yngve Digernes Date: November 29, 2016
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 learning outcomes and cover the subjects listed in the Major Topics/Skills to be Covered section. 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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