SO304 Social Problems

for F1B 2008

Printer Friendly

Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


SO 304 Social Problems


F1B 2008 BL


Smolak, William H.


Adjunct Faculty


Dual Masters, Management/Human Resources Development
Bachelors, Sociology

Daytime Phone


Other Phone



Semester Dates

05 August - 25 September 2008

Class Days

Tuesdays and Thursdays

Class Time

7:40 PM - 10:10 PM


SO141 Introduction to Sociology

Credit Hours



D. Stanley Eitzen (2007), Solutions to Social Problems, Lessons from Other Societies (Fourth Edition), Pearson: Allyn and Bacon
ISBN: 0-205-48243-0
Scott Sernau (2006), Global Problems, The Search for Equity, Peace and Sustainability, Pearson: Allyn and Bacon
ISBN: 0-205-343292-9

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information

Course Description:
SO 304 Social Problems: Review of major controversial issues facing modern societies, such as poverty, crime, deviance, sexuality, addiction, mental illness, prejudice, changing values, demographic pressure, surveillance, technology, terrorism and war, the provision of social service, and the balance between individual freedom and social responsibility. Special attention is given to global and cross-cultural context, and the causes, consequences and potential public policy solutions for each issue. 3:0:3 Prerequisite: SO141

Educational Philosophy:
 My philosophy is based on my education, experience and desire to help students learn new subjects and to show students how the learning applies to their every day lives.  I will incorporate various teaching techniques such as lectures, readings, quizzes, dialogues, examinations, Internet, videos, web sites and writings, to challenge each student to participate in classroom discussions and activities so as to encourage the lively exploration of ideas, issues and contradictions.  My approach to teaching and learning requires the creation of an open and empowering classroom environment, active student participation, and quality interaction with the students.  I will challenge the students to critical thinking so that each student discovers the effect of various institutions and group membership on our lives.

Class Assessment:
 Class assessment will consist of the following:

·           Examination #1 consisting of no less than 40 multiple choices, true/false and fill in the blank questions. The examination will be based on the required readings and on information presented during class by the instructor.
·           Examination #2 consisting of no less than 40 multiple choices, true/false and fill in the blank questions. The examination will be based on the required readings and on information presented during class by the instructor.
·       Final Examination consisting of no less than 40 multiple choices, true/false and fill in the blank questions, and at least one short-answer essay. The examination will be based on the required readings and on information presented during class by the instructor.
·           Term paper of no less than 2,000 words and no more than 3,000 words based on one of the institutions discussed in this course.  It will be done using the APA format and must use at least six references.  All topics must be approved by the instructor.  Suggested topics include Class, Work, Gender, Family, Education, Crime, War, Democracy, Human Rights, Ethnicity, Religion, Urbanization, Population, Health, Technology, Energy and Ecology.

Course grades will be assigned based on the total points earned during the term. 

100 Points - Examination #1
100 Points - Examination #2
200 Points - Final Examination
200 Points - Term Paper
200 Points - Classroom Presentation
200 Points - Classroom Participation

The grading scale is as follows: 

Grade   Points
A            900-1,000
B            800-899
C            700-799
D            600-699
F            000-599

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Term Papers, Presentations and Examinations will not be taken late without the prior approval of the instructor.  The student must have an acceptable reason for the late submission.  All work that is received past the established deadline is subject to a penalty of 50% of the value of the assignment. 

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

All park University rules will be in force for this class.
If after the break you do not return then you will be considered as an unexcused absence for the entire class unless you coordinate the departure with the instructor beforehand.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Weeks 1 and 2: Seeking an Equitable World: Issues of Inequality

Assignment Type


Due Date (if applicable)

Readings – Part One – Global Problems


Selected Sections – Solutions to Social Problems

1 – Class: A World of Rich and Poor

2 – Work: The Global Assembly Line

3 – Gender and Family: Overburdened Women…

4 – Education: Access and Success

1 – The Comparative Approach to Social Problems

2 – Poverty

3 – Income and Wealth Inequality

4 – Gender

5 – Sexual Orientation

6 – Age

7 – Families

8 – Schools

9 – Work

Weeks 3 and 4: Examination #1, Turn in Draft Papers, and Seeking a Peaceful World: Issues of Conflict

Assignment Type


Due Date (if applicable)

 Examination #1 – Chapters 1 – 4 and Sections 1 – 9

Readings – Part Two – Global Problems and Selected Sections – Solutions to Social Problems

Turn in Draft Papers

Examination #1

5 – Crime: Fear in the Streets

6 – War: States of Terror

7 – Democracy and Human Rights: Having our…

8 – Ethnicity and Religion: Deep Roots…

13 – Crime and Crime Control

14 – Drugs

Turn in Draft Papers by Tuesday of Week Four

Weeks 5 and 6: Examination #2, Turn in Final Papers, Classroom Presentations and Seeking a Sustainable World: Environmental Issues

Assignment Type


Due Date (if applicable)

Examination #2 – Chapters 5 – 8 and Sections 13 and 14

Readings – Part Three Globlal Problems and Selected Sections – Solutions to Social Problems

Turn in Final Papers

Start Presentations

Examination #2

9 – Urbanization: Cities without Limits

10 – Population and Health: Only the Poor…

11 – Technology and Energy: Prometheus’…

12 – Ecology: How Much Can One Planet Take?

11 – Cities

12 – Environment

Turn in Final Papers by Thursday of Week Six

Start Presentations

Week 7: Classroom Presentations, Final Examination

Assignment Type


Due Date (if applicable)

Final Examination

Chapters 9 – 12 and Sections 11 and 12


Final Examination

Classroom Presentations

Week 8:  Classroom Presentations, and Approved Late Submissions

Assignment Type


Due Date (if applicable)

 Classroom Presentation

Approved Late Submissions

Classroom Presentations

Approved Late Submission - Friday

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


This material is protected by copyright and can not be reused without author permission.

Last Updated:7/7/2008 9:29:47 PM