SO304 Social Problems

for S1D 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


S1D 2013 DA


Brewster, Franklin R., II


Senior Instructor/Adjunct Faculty


M.A. in Counseling, Chapman University
B.S. in Social Psychology, Park College

Daytime Phone



Class Days

----R-- Online

Class Time

5:30 - 8:45 PM


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

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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:

 I believe in the "transformational" view of learning where the student interacts within their community as part of the learning process. The student is an active participant, not a passive learner. I believe in challenging students to consider new and different views. The classroom is an excellent setting to challenge current paradigms by being introduced to new concepts. I challenge students to critically evaluate the new information and to reach their own conclusions. John Adams wrote, “There are two types of education... One should teach us how to make a living, And the other how to live.” I attempt to engage both types of education in the classroom.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will recognize different concepts regarding social problems
  2. Students will be able to recognize and define how specific characteristics such as poverty, crime, war, gender, sex, social class, ethnicity, ideology, and political stability impact social problems.
  3. Students will evaluate social problems and possible solutions in the context of the balance between individual freedom and social responsibility
  4. Students shall analyze the global causes, consequences and potential public policy solutions for social problems
Class Assessment:
Total Points
Discussions (Weeks 1-8)
Essays (Weeks 3 & 6) 
Media Sharing (5 articles)
Core Assessment
Total Points Possible
1. Students are expected to read all assignments prior to class and be prepared to discuss the material.
2. Students will complete two short essays on an approved social problem.
3. Students will bring 5 media articles to class during the term that disusses course material and give a brief summary of the article.
4. Students will complete two discussion questions each week. The initial post must be completed for each discussion by each Wednesday and respond to a minimum of two of their classmate's posts for each discussion by midnight (CST) each Sunday.
5. Students will be required to complete a Core Assessment. Students will write a paper on one selected and approved social problem.  The rubric will be provided in the course home of their course shell. All papers will be in APA format.
Blended Class requirements- there is one face to face session in the classroom and online elements each week. The online contact and learning environment will be through the online component in the eCollege classroom.  Each student is responsible to attend the campus face to face class meetings and satisfy a minimum of 2 hours in the online components each week. Weekly attendance is counted for the face to face classroom session.  Online requirements completion, although part of the graded assessment for the course, do not satisfy the attendance requirement.



Below 480
Total Points
Discussions (Weeks 1-8)
Short Essays (Weeks 3 & 6)
Media Sharing (5 articles)
Core Assessment
Total Points Possible

Late Submission of Course Materials:

 Late assignments will be marked down one letter grade (80 points) for each class period they are late and a failing grade assigned if not submitted before the final exam. Students should plan ahead so as to not be late with assignments due to equipment malfunctions. 

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

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

 Students must be respectful to all points of view, especially to those which are different from their own. Respect and courtesy must prevail in the classroom. Students are responsible to ensure all work is submitted timely.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week                                          TOPIC
Week 1
Sections 1, 2 & 3 Eitzen                        Introduction to Social Problems / Capitalism and Class
Chapter 1 Sernau 
Week 2                                            
Chapter 2 Sernau                                   Work, Economy & Age
Sections 6 & 9 Eitzen

Week 3                                                                     Gender, & Family
Sections 4 & 7 Eitzen
Chapter 3 Sernau 
Week 4                                                                      Crime and Crime Control
Sections 13 & 14 Eitzen
Chapter 5 Sernau  
Week 5                                                        War, Militarism, and Terrorism
Chapters 6 & 7 Sernau
Week 6                                                    Education
Chapter 4 Sernau
Section  8 Eitzen
Week 7                                                    Population and Health Issues
Chapters 9 & 10 Sernau
Sections 10 & 12 Eitzen
Week 8                                                    Wrap-up
Course review
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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

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

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

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:12/13/2012 6:43:40 PM