SO304 Social Problems

for F2B 2010

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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


F2B 2010 BLA


Ramirez, Patricia


Bachelor of Arts -- Sociology
Master of Arts -- Sociology

Office Hours

by appointment only

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

18 October - 12 December 2010

Class Days

Mondays & Wednesdays

Class Time

9:00 - 11:30 AM

Credit Hours



Eitzen, D. S. (2007).  Solutions to social problems: Lessons from other societies (5th ed.).  Boston:  Pearson Press.
ISBN-13: 978-0-205-69834-9 or ISBN-10: 0-205-69834-4
Sernau, S. (2009).  Global problems: The search for equity, peace, and sustainability (2nd ed.).  Boston:  Pearson Press.
ISBN-13: 978-0-205-57884-9 or ISBN-10: 0-205-57884-5

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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.
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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:
It is my belief that each student is responsible for his/her own success in this course.  All reading requirements and assignments will be discussed at the beginning of the course, and I will do my best to be available to students throughout the semester to answer any questions or discuss any concerns.  Student success in this course will be directly proportional to the time in class, effort outside of class, and adherence to the requirements that have been outlined here. 

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. Discuss and analyze domestic social problems as they relate to various social groups by their class, gender, social staus, and ethncity.
  2. Compare and contrast solutions to global social issues by researching and discussing various methods of government legislation, societal influence, and personal experiences utilized around the world and in the United States.
  3. Identify, discuss, and interpret social problems on a microsocial level that would benefit from social organization and social movements that students can influence.
Class Assessment:
Core Assessment Papers -- Students will be required to write a total of FOUR two-page papers based on current events discussed in class. Each paper will be accompanied by detailed instructions which can also be found on eCompanion after the paper has been assigned.  Grades will be determined based on adherence to the directions given, incorporation of material covered in class, and a fair assessment of critical thinking.

Tests and Final Exam -- Each of these will weigh equally, as all the information is relevant and no particular subject should count more than another subject.  Each test will cover information from the main text and supplemental information provided by the instructor. 

Pop Quizzes -- These will focus mainly on the supplemental reader (Eitzen, 2007), and will be unannounced. The purpose of this is to ensure students are adhering to the reading schedule as outlined by the instructor.  

Participation -- Participation is required for this course since all relevant material will be presented during lectures.  It is not sufficient to read the text outside of class, as supplemental information may be introduced during class discussions and will be considered testable material.  Attendance will be recorded and count toward your participation grade.

Core Assessment Papers (4)   10% each        40%

Tests & Final Exam (4)             10% each        40%

Pop Quizzes                             10%                 10%

Participation                             10%                 10%    


TOTAL                                                              100%

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Your syllabus provides due dates for each assignment and required readings.  Any diversion from this will be considered LATE, and late assignments will NOT be accepted.  Absence from class does not excuse students from turning in assignments, as all assignments will be submitted through eCompanion.  Any assignments submitted through eCompanion must be sent BEFORE class or they will be considered late, and consequently, unacceptable.  If you know you will have a scheduling issue, please plan for that and make arrangements to submit your assignments EARLY. 

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

I fully expect each student to conduct themselves in a polite and professional manner.  This means that proper language, behavior, and respect will be exhibited to the Instructor and classmates at all times.  Students are encouraged to offer opinions and personal views, but they may not criticize, belittle, or diminish others' views, as this will be grounds for termination of the subject being discussed.  Likewise, any student who cannot conduct themselves as described here will be asked to leave the class or escorted from the premises, unable to return until a meeting can be arranged with an administrative authority. 

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Class Date Readings Due at Class Time
18-Oct Introduction
Eitzen #4
20-Oct Chapter 1: Class
Eitzen # 6 and #7
25-Oct Chapter 2: Work Paper #1
#17 and #22
27-Oct Chapter 3: Gender & Family
Eitzen #11 and #16
1-Nov Chapter 4: Education Test #1
Eitzen #21
3-Nov Chapter 5: Crime
Eitzen #32
8-Nov Chapter 6: War Paper #2
Finish Eitzen #32
10-Nov Chapter 7: Human Rights
Eitzen #8
15-Nov Chapter 8: Religion Test #2
17-Nov Chapter 9: Urbanization
Eitzen #27 and #30
22-Nov Chapter 10: Health Paper #3
Eitzen #24
24-Nov Chapter 11: Technology
Eitzen #33
29-Nov Chapter 12: Ecology Test #3
Eitzen #28 and #29
1-Dec Sexual Orientation 
Eitzen #12 and #15
6-Dec Review for Final Exam Paper #4
8-Dec 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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2010-2011 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. from Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92-93

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 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

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: .

Additional Information:

Grading Scale:

A...................100 - 90

B.....................89 - 80

C.....................79 - 70

D.....................69 - 60

F......................59 - 0


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Last Updated:10/13/2010 6:01:01 PM