Social Problems I

COURSE  DESCRIPTION: Students  will learn more about the challenges facing societies and the relationships  between societies, governments, and individuals in these areas. Each unit will focus on a particular area of social concern, often with a global view, and examine possible solutions at both a structural and individual level.


• Understand social problems and what elements are commonly found in social problems.

• Review the different stages of a social problem.

• Discuss some of the issues in studying social problems.

• Examine the two types of social problems.

• Discuss two approaches to social problems.

• Understand what makes up the mass media.

• Discuss how the media affect what is seen as a social problem.

• Learn how gate-keeping, agenda setting, and framing affect the perceptions of social problems.

• Examine how the media was used in the Rwandan genocide.

• Investigate claims that the media are connected to social problems like violence and racism.

• Understand the different ways of defining poverty and deprivation.

• Understand the extent of poverty in North America and around the world.

• Examine the possible causes of poverty.

• Investigate the costs of poverty for individuals and society.

• Discuss potential ways to decrease poverty.

• Understand some of the social problems affecting the educational system.

• Discuss the benefits of desegregation and the issues in implementing desegregation.

• Understand what tracking is and the effects that this practice can have.

• Examine school violence and some of the solutions that have been suggested.

• Investigate some of the solutions that have been suggested for educational problems.

• Understand the global AIDS epidemic and the patterns of transmission.

• Discuss the abortion and euthanasia controversies.

• Investigate how health is related to economics.

• Examine some of the problems in the United States health care system.

• Discuss how health care might become more equal throughout society.

• Review the different types of crime in society.

• Discuss the history of crime and how urbanization affects crime rates.

• Investigate theories on why individuals commit crimes.

• Understand how social issues like poverty influence crime rates.

• Think about how to decrease crime rates in society.

• Examine the effects that overpopulation has on individuals and society.

• Investigate how many people the earth can support and feed.

• Discuss different ways to reduce population growth globally.

• Learn how cultural values and practices influence environmental problems.

• Discuss the social consequences of environmental issues.

• Examine various theories on what causes war.

• Understand the costs of war for individuals, societies, and countries.

• Discuss how the arms race began and what form it currently takes.

• Investigate some of the different types of terrorism.

• Look at the weapons that terrorists might use and what effects they might have on individuals and society.


COURSE LENGTH: One semester

REQUIRED TEXT: No required textbook for this course.

MATERIALS LIST: No required materials for this course.


Unit 1: Analyzing Social Problems

Unit 2: Mass Media

Unit 3: Poverty

Unit 4: Education

Social Problems I Midterm Exam

Unit 5: Health Care

Unit 6: Crime

Unit 7: Population & the Environmental Crisis

Unit 8: War and Terrorism

Social Problems I Final Exam