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SO 304 Social Problems
Houston, Natasha


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.

Course

SO 304 Social Problems

Semester

F2T 2008 DLA

Faculty

Houston, Natasha

Title

Adjunct Faculty

Degrees/Certificates

BA, Organizational Communication
MSW, Child Welfare
EdD, Child and Youth Studies

Office Location

Online

Office Hours

24/7 via Virtual Office, email, and phone

Daytime Phone

406-373-3473

E-Mail

natasha.houston@park.edu

hona300@usadig.com

Semester Dates

10/20/08-12/14/08

Class Days

TBA

Class Time

TBA

Prerequisites

SO141

Credit Hours

3


Textbook:

Sernau, S. (2006). Global problems: the search for equity, peace, and sustainability, 1st ed. NY: Allyn & Bacon.
ISBN: 0-205-34392-9
 
Eitzen, D.S. (2007). Solutions to social problems: lessons from other societies, 4th ed. NY: Allyn & Bacon.
ISBN: 0-205-4823-0

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 helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.
Advising - Park University would like to assist you in achieving your educational goals. Please contact your Campus Center for advising or enrollment adjustment information.
Online Classroom Technical Support - For technical assistance with the Online classroom, email helpdesk@parkonline.org or call the helpdesk at 866-301-PARK (7275). To see the technical requirements for Online courses, please visit the http://parkonline.org website, and click on the "Technical Requirements" link, and click on "BROWSER Test" to see if your system is ready.
FAQ's for Online Students - You might find the answer to your questions here.

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 helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.
Advising - Park University would like to assist you in achieving your educational goals. Please contact your Campus Center for advising or enrollment adjustment information.
Online Classroom Technical Support - For technical assistance with the Online classroom, email helpdesk@parkonline.org or call the helpdesk at 866-301-PARK (7275). To see the technical requirements for Online courses, please visit the http://parkonline.org website, and click on the "Technical Requirements" link, and click on "BROWSER Test" to see if your system is ready.
FAQ's for Online Students - You might find the answer to your questions here.


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:
I approach teaching in terms of three broad goals: encouraging critical thinking, applying course material to everyday life, and setting high standards. I think the role of the instructor is to facilitate learning. I will do this by posing critical questions and encouraging students to explore their thinking and try on new ways of thinking. My goal is to encourage students to engage course material by thinking through and reflecting upon his/her position in the context of the sociological research provided. This is important, since different disciplines have different conventions and practices. I also believe that applying this material to everyday life is important, because we are all a members of society and help to shape daily practices. Finally, I have high standards and expectations for my students. In my experience, students will rise to the challenge as long as the expectation is an obtainable goal.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. Compare and contrast definitions of what constitutes a social problem.
  2. Discuss the historical, structural, and cultural contexts of social problems in the U.S. and in select countries in the world and examine the interconnections among various social problems in those places
  3. Describe social theories about capitalism and national/international divisions of labor.  Critique these theories on the basis of research on different welfare-states in the U.S. and in select countries in the world.
  4. Describe the neoliberal agenda for developing free market capitalism and capital mobility in world markets, evaluate social theories (such as modernization theory and dependency theory) that either support or criticize this agenda, and take a position on whether privatization, deregulation, dismantling of social welfare programs, and the promotion of free trade are solutions to or the source of global social problems.
  5. Describe problems in major social institutions, such as the family, education, economy, criminal justice systems, social welfare systems, and health care systems
  6. Analyze phenomena such as income and wealth inequality; poverty; gender inequality; racial/ethnic conflict; criminality, violence, and crime control; war, militarism, and terrorism; population pressures and immigration patterns; urbanization; substance use and abuse; health problems and issues facing medical care systems; the environment; technology and resource use; and economic, political, and cultural globalization.
  7. Evaluate the claim that inequality in the U.S. is “inequality by design” and that certain social problems are a direct consequence of social and public policy choices in the U.S. by comparing and contrasting U.S. social and public policy with policy in other advanced, industrialized countries
  8. Evaluate different approaches to the solution of problems in different countries
Class Assessment:

Grading:
Grades for the course will be determined as follows:

 

Assignment
Points
Percentage
Total Points
Discussion (week 1-8)
25
20
200
Activities (week 1-8)
25
20
200
Quiz (week 1-7)
20
14
140
Behind the Labels Film Assignment
30
3
30
Buying the War Film Assignment
30
3
30
Research Paper
200
20
200
Final
200
20
200
 
 
 
1000

Grading:

Your letter grade is determined based on the following scale. No rounding will be used when calculating your grades.
 

Letter

Points

Percentage:

A

900.0-1000.0

90-100%

B

800.0-899.9

80-89.9%

C

700.0-799.9

70-79.9%

D

600.0-699.9

60-69.9%

F

Below 599.9

Below 59.9%


Late Submission of Course Materials:

Late work will not be accepted, unless a student contacts me prior to a deadline and provides me with a compelling reason for an extension.
 
Incomplete Grades Policy:
No incompletes will be given except when required by the Park University policies as defined in the undergraduate student handbook.
 
Extra Credit:
You will have ample opportunities to demonstrate your mastery of the material. There will be no extra credit opportunities in this class.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Social Problems deals with topics that may be sensitive and perhaps even controversial to some members of the class. This course may challenge the way you look at a variety of issues. My expectation is that you will keep an open mind. We should all work to establish afoundation of respect and trust. In order for us to engage in discussion and debate with each other about issues in this class, everyone is entitled to express her thoughts and reactions. However, one of the responsibilities I feel that we have in this context is to ensure that we are all attempting to move from our individual experiences and “common sense” views to a more critical, complex, and sociological understanding of issues. This means that we may disagree with one another or that we may attempt to push our thinking further, but this should be done in ways that do not involve personal attacks nor dismissing another person’s experience, ideas, and/or feelings.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

LESSON                        TOPIC

1                                             Introduction to Social Problems / Capitalism and Class

2                                             Work and Economy

3                                             Gender & Family

4                                             Crime and Crime Control

5                                             War, Militarism, and Terrorism

6                                             Education

7                                             Population and Health Issues

8                                             Wrap-up

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:
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.
ONLINE NOTE: An attendance report of "P" (present) will be recorded for students who have logged in to the Online classroom at least once during each week of the term. Recording of attendance is not equivalent to participation. Participation grades will be assigned by each instructor according to the criteria in the Grading Policy section of the syllabus.

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: http://www.park.edu/disability .


Attachments:
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Copyright:

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Last Updated:10/7/2008 12:10:03 AM