Processes of social and personal disorganization and reorganization in relation to poverty, crime, suicide, family disorganization, mental disorders, and similar social problems.
• Various sociological perspectives and methods used to investigate and explain social problems • Different ways to describe and understand juvenile and adult criminal justice in the United States and how these approaches compare to international perspectives • The extent and nature of poverty and inequality in the United States • The different frameworks we can use to explain and solve poverty and inequality • How the AIDS epidemic has come to be identified as a social problem in the United States and how it has been identified similarly/differently in African countries
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
While this course is a lecture class, my aim is to involve students in the lecture. Throughout the class, I will pose questions to you – these are not rhetorical – rather, I will expect you to respond, ask questions, and raise legitimate issues that you think are important and relevant to the discussion. The sections are designed entirely for you to discuss these issues, including personal experiences, but through a sociological perspective. When you think of questions and/or comments, try to think of how what you want to ask or argue is related to one of the sociological perspectives we have discussed in the class. Or, if your comment does not relate to one of the theories we have discussed, think of how you can critique or add to a certain theory.
Class assignments and grading
Students are expected to attend class regularly and to have completed all assigned readings prior to coming to class. Students are also expected to participate and add to class discussions on a regular basis. Respect for your fellow classmates during these discussions is imperative. An assessment of your understanding of the course material will be based on one midterm, one final, a one-page paper proposal (typed), one graded research paper (typed, double-spaced, 6-8 pages, edited, bibliography) and class participation.