SO304 Social Problems

for S1J 2013

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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


S1J 2013 DN


Miller, Tamara D.


Adjunct Faculty, Social Sciences


AA Longview Community College
BA University of Missouri Kansas City
MA Central Missouri State University

Office Location

downtown, by appointment

Office Hours

5:00 - 5:30  on Mondays (by appointment only)

Daytime Phone

816 529 4166


Semester Dates

January 14 - March 10, 2013

Class Days


Class Time

5:30 - 10:00 PM


SO 141

Credit Hours



Solutions to Social Problems
Lessons from Other Societies
D. Stanley Eitzen
5th ed.

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:

I will address a variety of learning styles through the use of visual media, discussions and group activities, writing, presentations, and hands on application of concepts. The facilitator encourages critical thinking, reading and writing skills. I believe that learning is fundamentally about exploring the boundaries of your own values, beliefs and ideas. You may encounter things with which you do not agree. I respect your right to disagree and insist that you respect the rights of others. Only ideas are open to debate in class, never individuals.

Class Assessment:

Your grade is based on exams, scholarly journal reviews, participation and writing projects. Your exams are non-comprehensive and none is weighted any differently than the others. Your article reviews are to be from  SCHOLARLY journals. Scholarly journals are peer edited and reviewed and frequently carry a name like "Journal of....". Cosmo, Glamour, Readers Digest, Time or Newsweek are not scholarly journals. You should summarize the article and then do a critical analysis. If you need help identifying an article or confirmation that it is an appropriate article, I am pleased to assist you.  . Finally, your writing projects will involve research/analysis and recommendations for our social problems. You will pick two, read and summarize what's been written, analyze and then recommend solutions.


There will be two exams, an article review and two papers in addition to participation (Please note that participation means just that, showing up is not participating. You are expected to actively contribute to our conversations)
Two exams 100 points each = 200
One article review 50 points  = 50
Two papers 100 points each = 200
Participation 25 x 8 = 200
650 - 585  = A
584 - 520  = B
314 - 455  = C
453 - 390  = D
389 and below = F

Late Submission of Course Materials:
I do not accept late submission unless you've made arrangements in advance. I do understand that life happens, if you make an arrangement with me for late submission, it must be IN ADVANCE...5pm on the day it's do is not in advance. If there is an emergency, you should be prepared to bring documentation to substantiate your need for late submission.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

We will discuss many controversial topics in this class. It is imperative that you practice good manners. Under no circumstances, barring a building fire, do we raise our voices. It is disrespectful. I wholeheartedly support your right to disagree and to maintain your own opinions. We can agree to disagree. I will make the atmosphere safe for the expression of your point of view. ONLY ideas are up for discussion here. We do not, under any circumstances, get to attack people, only ideas.
Please turn your cell and pager to vibrate. If you feel compelled to answer a call or page, please do so outside the classroom. DO NOT text in the classroom, it is offensive to me and distracting to you. If you are compelled to bring your laptop, it should be used for notetaking, not internet surfing, social networking or gaming. I believe that this is your "job" during this time frame, please come prepared to do that job.
In general, we will break at 7:00pm, please plan your calls accordingly.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Date  Topics Readings/Due
January 14


poverty and income/wealth,
global perspective
what happens in the United States

 read all of part one, section one

read part two, sections two and three

January 21 Inequalities involving gender, sexual orientation and age

Article review due

Read part two, sections four, five and six

January 28
Families, here and abroad
Is the family in decline? What does it do?


First paper due
Read part three, section seven


February 4 Education, who gets it right and what should we be doing differently?

Exam One, will cover sections 1 - 7

Part three, section eight

February 11


Health care...will our new legislation fix the problems?

Part three, section nine and ten
February 18 Cities and the environment    Part four sections eleven and twelve
February 27

Crime and punishment

drug wars

2nd paper due

Part five sections thirteen and fourteen

March 6

Summary, what the future holds and activism

Project at ReStart

Final Exam will cover sections 8 - 14, it is take home and you are required to participate in the service project at ReStart. The shelter sort of "wraps up" all that we have discussed.

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 95-96
I expect and require academic honesty. If I find that you have violated this expectation, then I will give you a zero on that project and request that you remove yourself from class. I will then report you to the appropriate administrator. Consequences can include dismissal, so weigh carefully that choice.

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 95
If you are in doubt, please seek assistance from me or the learning center on campus. It is far better to ask questions than to risk the consequences of plagiarizing because you do not know.
If I find that you have violated this expectation, then I will give you a zero on that project and request that you remove yourself from class. I will then report you to the appropriate administrator. Consequences can include dismissal, so weigh carefully that choice.

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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 98
ANY two absences will result in withdrawal, if it is too late in the semester, then you will receive an "F".

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:12/10/2012 3:53:09 PM