This course is designed to introduce students to the study of social problems, such as problems associated with economic inequality and poverty, education, race and ethnicity, immigration, crime and deviance, drugs and alcohol, families, domestic violence, consumerism, and politics. Course discussions will be designed to answer the questions: What defines a social problem? What do we know about social problems? How can we measure them? What, if anything, can be done to overcome social problems?
The goal of this course is to show students the impact of social institutions and social interactions on human behavior in the development of or response to social problems. The course will include an overview of concepts and main theoretical perspectives used in sociology and an application of these theories to the study of social problems. This course will require development of critical analysis skills in viewing multiple social problems in the United States.