Sociology 212: Social Problems

 

Russell A. Castro, MA  University of Colorado                                                       Spring Semester - 2005

Tel. (985) 549-5984   Office Hours: 10:30 – 12:30 (or) 1:45 – 4:00 TuThr               Email: Rcastro@selu.edu

Department of Sociology & Criminal Justice                                                       Office: Fayard Hall 358-A

SLU 10686, Hammond, Louisiana 70402-0001

 

SLU Email Policy: SLU-based email is the official forum for all student-faculty communication.  Students and Faculty members MUST use their SLU email addresses for all official communications pertaining to a course.

 

Course Objectives: 

 

1)       Discover a “multi-perspectival” approach to understanding social problems by alternately framing analyses and interpretations through the Functionalist, Conflict Theory, and Interactionist paradigms;

 

2)       Illuminate relationships between what otherwise appear to be “unrelated” social phenomena;

 

3)       Explore the processes by which public perceptions of social problems are established, the accuracy of public perceptions, and the implications of public opinion for social reform/political behavior; (and)

 

4)   Develop the vocabulary and skill to clearly articulate complex social insights to others.

 

READING, LECTURES, and SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIALS

 

Reading assignments and lectures are sometimes unique to their individual purposes and may seem unrelated in content.  In order to insure optimal performance on exams: attend class, pay attention, take good notes, and COMPLETE ALL READING and OUT-SIDE CLASS ASSIGNMENTS in a timely manner. 

 

Please remember that you will be responsible for ALL assigned material regardless of whether or not it is covered, or referred to, in class.  This also applies to any supplemental materials used or assigned (e.g., documentaries, feature films, outside lectures, etc.).  Exams are usually about 50% - 50% from lecture and reading (+ additional materials such as films, documentaries, guest speakers, etc.).

 

Required and Recommended Texts:

 

Required:                    Social Problems  J.W. Coleman & Donald R. Cressey (7th Edition) 1999.

Recommended:           Constructing Social Problems, M. Spector & J. Kitsuse 1987.

                                   

Examinations:

 

There will be 3 comprehensive examinations.  The exams may be multiple choice, true-or-false, short-answer, and/or essay questions ranging from ONE to 100 items, each.  Exams may include information covered in lecture, the textbook, student presentations, exercises and assignments.  Please bring a (functional) Scantron-B form and a Blue Book to all exam meetings.  Scantron-B forms that are damaged (that is: folded, creased, or crinkled on the edge) or that are marked incorrectly (for instance, marked in ink instead of #2 pencil) cannot be processed, and will therefore receive a failing “0” score.

 

ALL exam scores will count; that is: there will be no “dropped score” deleted from your average.  Generally NOT PERMITTED without advance arrangements, all “make-up exams” will be in essay format.

 

Attendance and behavior policy:

 

Attendance records (role) will be kept and reported to the administration, as required.   Regular attendance is strongly recommended, and required for best performance.   In class, please refrain from: Disrespectfulness of any kind, Personal conversation, Lateness, Early departure, Sleeping, Eating, Drinking, and/or Smoking.

Grades:                                                      PERCENT OF FINAL GRADE

 

A:        100-85                                                 Exam   I:                     33.3%

B:          84-70                                                 Exam  II:                     33.3%

C:          69-55                                                 Exam III:                    33.3%

D:          54-40                                    

F:           39 and below                       

 

Soc. 212 Reading and Examination Schedule Spring 2005*

 

*All Exams may be comprehensive and will be administered

during the LAST scheduled lecture during the identified week.

 

Week of:              Reading                         Lecture

 

January 18                   Ch. 1               Sociology and Social Problems

January 24                   Ch. 1               Epistemology & Methodology

January 31                   Ch. 4               Economy

February 7 & 8                                            Mardi Gras Holidays (classes resume on 2/9)

February 9                   Ch. 5               Government

February 14                                       Examination I

February 21                      Ch. 3                    Education

February 28                 Ch. 7               Social Inequality (poverty)

March  7                      Ch. 10             Social Inequality (gender)

March 14                     Ch. 17             Global Inequality                   

March 21                                             Examination II (exam will actually be held on Wed., 3/23)

March 25th to April 1st                       Spring Break

April 4                         Ch. 17             Global Inequality

April 11                       Ch. 16             The Environment

April 18                              Ch. 8                    Social Inequality (race and ethnicity issues)

April 25                       Ch. 12-13        Drug Use, Social Control, & Crime

May 2                          Ch. 15             Population

 

May 9-13                    FINAL EXAMINATION  (Comprehensive)    (as scheduled by the university)

 

ANYONE IN THIS CLASS WITH A DOCUMENTED DISABILITY WHICH MAY REQUIRE SPECIAL ACCOMODATIONS, PLEASE INFORM THE INSTRUCTOR AND THEN CONTACT THE OFFICE OF STUDENT LIFE, STUDENT UNION ROOM 203, PHONE: 549 - 2247.

 

Good Luck and have a pleasant and personally enriching semester!

 

 

*All dates, materials, and information stated herein are subject to change by the instructor.

 

URL:     http://www.selu.edu/Academics/Faculty/rcastro