SO304 Social Problems

for S2B 2010

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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


S2B 2010 BL


LeBeau, Deborah


Adjunct Faculty


Ph D, Anthropology, Rhodes University
MA, Anthropology , San Diego State University
BA,  Anthropology, San Diego State University

Office Hours

Contact me by email or phone if you have additional concerns/ questions outside the classroom or we may discuss before or after class

Daytime Phone

Must dial (1915) 988-2550


Web Page

Semester Dates

March 22, 2010 to May 16, 2010

Class Days


Class Time

7:40 - 10:10 PM



Credit Hours




Sernau, Global Problems: The Search for Equity, Peace, and Sustainability, 2006, 1st edition, Boston: Allyn & Bacon (paper). ISBN: 0205343929

, Solutions to Social Problems: Lessons from other Societies, 4th Edition, 2007, Boston: Allyn & Bacon (paper). ISBN: 0205482430

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Additional Resources:
Additional Readings as necessary.

Most, if not all, materials will be made available through eCompanion

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.
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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 educational philosophy is that students are an integral part of the learning partnership between teacher, student and the information they are to learn. Student grow to understand during active learning through classroom discussions, lectures, readings, assignments, group work, discussion of real life situations, and writing. Each student will be required to use sociological theoretical perspectives to explain causes and consequences of social problems in the US and globally. Each student will be required to demonstrate their understanding and knowledge of social problems through the written word. I will engage your learning in the course through interactions and feedback within each component.

Student are encourages to bring outside examples to class for discussion and questions as necessary.

Class Assessment:
 You will choose a specific social problem to research, study and analyze. The paper must use APA style, and include a cover sheet and reference page. It will need to have a minimum of five references in addition to the textbooks. The references must be empirically based research reports from a refereed professional journal. The main text of your essay will consist of 2,500 words (ten double-spaced pages). You should be able to address the issues and topics from a "world view” perspective, as well as from your own personal or subjective view. Begin work on your essay early and leave plenty of time for revision to assure the best possible grade. 

Select one social problem that you identify as a problem using empirical data and address the impact this problem has had on the US as well as globally. You are encouraged to show how this problem has been particularly problematic for specific groups within various societies and specific countries. Briefly summarize the history of the social problem and the attempts to resolve the issue. Use the conceptual and theoretical tools of the course and your outside sources to clarify and enrich your analysis. Justify and support your conclusions. Explain how specific social scientific theories and research help you to draw these conclusions. Remember to defend and justify your conclusions!

Be sure to answer these questions in your paper: What is the definition of the social problem? What makes the issue a problem? How does the issue affect the society and the individual? What solutions have already been attempted and to what success? How have other countries and cultures dealt with the issue? What are your own concrete recommendations to meet the challenges of your specific social problem? What would it take to operationalize your recommendation? What ethical and financial issues must be considered with your recommendation?


Your grade will be based on 2 take-home assignment (worth 10 points each), 20 point mid-term exam, a 20 point final exam, 20 points for the core assessment, and 20 points for class attendance and participation. Thus:
20 point for take home assignments
20 points Mid-term exam
20 points Final exam
20 points Core Assessment
20 points attendance

An extra credit Discussion Thread will be available each week through eCompanion. It is highly recommended that you participate each and every week.

Total Points Possible = 100 + Extra Credit

A >= 90
B = 80-89.9
C = 70-79.9
D = 60-69.9
F <= 59.9
See attached file (2008Rubric.pdf) or  the online course shell for additional details.
NOTE: Assignments and Core Assessment papers must be submitted through the ‘Dropbox” in Ecompanion.

Late Submission of Course Materials:
 Late work is not accepted unless you have prior arrangements with me. You should begin work on your assignments early enough to cope with those unforeseen circumstances that inevitably arise. I may make accommodations for extreme circumstances, but you must discuss these with me as early as possible (beforehand, if possible, or immediately after the fact, in unforeseen circumstances).

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
 Please, no cell phone usage in class. Your contributions should be respectful and substantive. Disagreements should center on the ideas, and not individuals. Violations of basic classroom decorum will not be tolerated and will result in appropriate disciplinary actions.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

 3/23/10      Introduction & Global Issues
                     Sernau, Intro & Chapter 1
                     Eitzen, Intro & Section 1
3/25/10      Poverty, Wealth & Economics
                     Sernau, Chapter 2
                     Eitzen, Sections 2, 3 & 9
3/30/10      Types of Inequalities (gender, sexual orientation, age & religion)
                     Sernau, Chapters 3 & first ½ of 8 (Religion)
                     Eitzen, Sections 4, 5 & 6
4/01/10      Families
                     Sernau, Chapter 3
                     Eitzen, Section 7
4/06/10      Education
                     Sernau, Chapter 4
                     Eitzen, Section 8
4/08/10      Mid-term Review
                  Take Home Assignment 1 due
4/13/10      Mid-term Exam
4/15/10      Population, Health Care Systems & Drugs
                    Sernau, Chapter 10
                    Eitzen, Section 10 & 14
4/20/10       Human Rights Issues
                     Sernau, Chapter 7
4/22/10      Interpersonal Violence (Crime, Domestic violence & Rape)
                     Sernau, Chapters 5
                     Eitzen, Section 13
                     Take Home Assignment 2 due
4/27/10      Global Violence (Terror & War)
                     Sernau, Chapters 6 & second ½ of 8 (Terror)
4/29/10      Urbanization
                     Sernau, Chapters 9
                     Eitzen, Section 11
5/04/10      Technology
                     Sernanu, Chapters 11
5/06/10      Environment
                     Sernanu, Chapters 12
                     Eitzen, Sections 12
5/11/10--Core assessment (paper) due & Review for Final Exam
5/13/10--Final Exam

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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

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: .


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Last Updated:2/5/2010 5:41:38 PM