SO304 Social Problems

for S2T 2012

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Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


SO 304 Social Problems


S2T 2012 DL


Wing, Bradley W.


Adjunct Professor


Ph.D. - University of Missouri

Office Location


Office Hours


Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

3/19/12 - 5/13/12

Class Days


Class Time



Prerequisite: SO141

Credit Hours



Sernau, S. (2009). Global problems: The search for equity, peace, and sustainability (2nd ed.). NY: Allyn & Bacon.
ISBN: 0-205-57884-5
Eitzen, D.S. (2010). Solutions to social problems: Lessons from other societies (5th ed.). NY: Allyn & Bacon.
ISBN: 978-0-205-69834-9

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

Advising - Park University would like to assist you in achieving your educational goals. Please contact your Campus Center for advising or enrollment adjustment information.
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FAQ's for Online Students - You might find the answer to your questions here.

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Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information
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 or call the helpdesk at 866-301-PARK (7275). To see the technical requirements for Online courses, please visit the 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.

Class Assessment:

Assignment Points Percentage Total Points
Discussion (Weeks 1-8)




Activities (Weeks 1-7)




Quizzes (Weeks 1-7)



Outline Assignment




Film Assignment 1




Film Assignment 2




Core Assessment










Below 599.9
Below 59.9%
Incomplete Grades Policy:
No incompletes will be given except when required by the Park University policies as defined in the undergraduate student handbook.

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Late work will automatically be assessed a 50% penalty.  All late work must be made up within 1 week of the deadline.  Exception:  late discussion postings are NOT accepted.  Students should contact me to notify me of late submission of work.  NOTE:  I do not actively monitor dropboxes after deadlines have passed.  If you post something to a dropbox after the deadline, you need to notify me via email that you have done so.

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 a foundation 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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 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.
ONLINE NOTE: Students must participate in an academically related activity on a weekly basis in order to be marked present in an online class. Examples of academically-related activities include but are not limited to: contributing to an online discussion, completing a quiz or exam, completing an assignment, initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a courserelated question, or using any of the learning management system tools.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 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: .


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Last Updated:2/17/2012 7:55:49 PM