Social Problems (SOC 120)
Tuesday and Thursday 12:40PM – 2:05PM
Room: Centennial 3101
Social analysis, critical thinking, and problem solving are introduced as basic social science skills. These skills are applied to major contemporary social problems related to deviant behavior, social inequality, social change, and problems associated with major societal institutions. A variety of individual and collective responses and social policy strategies at local, national, and international levels are examined. This course invites students to the field of sociology through the examination of social problems in the contemporary world. Students will become introduced to the sociological imagination as a unique way to understand the world from the global problems of today to the personal orbits of our own lives. We will cover a wide variety of topics that include an analysis of capitalism and democracy, wealth and power, population growth and inequality, demography and immigration, urban and rural issues, race and gender inequality, poverty and the welfare state, “crime” and drugs, and other issues facing the world. We look at social problems particularly from the unique perspective of sociology and learn how to diagnose the causes of social problems. We will discuss some of the most pressing problems of the world and, after theorizing about their causes, make attempts to think about how to solve them. At the end of this course, students will be able to think like a sociologist about social problems using the sociological imagination.
Tuesday 5:30PM – 8:15PM
Room: Wimberly 113
This course is designed to familiarize students with the major techniques of qualitative data collection and analysis used by sociologists and other social scientists. These include feminist methods, participant observation, in-depth interviewing, biographical methods, content analysis, archival research, and a variety of nonreactive techniques. This course will also address the links among theory, data, and methods and provide an appreciation for the qualitative tradition in social sciences. Students will learn how to conduct field research. The course will follow a seminar format emphasizing reading, group discussion, in- and out- of class exercises, oral presentations, original research and writing. Prerequisite: SOC 350; SOC 390 or SOC 395.