Social Problems

Sociology 225

Lane Community College
Fall 2005
Tuesday & Thursday 11:30 AM- 12:50 PM
Bldg. 19...Room 241

Office....................................419F Center
Office Hours......TTH: 10-11
Office Telephone........................463-5187
Voice Mail.........463-3535 (Mailbox 7804)
Home Phone...............................736-0204

David H. Kessel


Please click on each link...You will find answers to most of your questions here...look here first...before asking in class...Thanks.

LCC Catalog Course Description

Class Policies and Comments

What you'll need for SOC 225

Schedule of Topics and Readings

Required Reading Materials

Online Reader

Assignments and Instructions

Due Dates

Summary of Points in Course

Grading Scale

Grading Standards

*****Social Problems Discussion Board*****
(Instructions and Guidelines are HERE)

Web Basics
A Tutorial for beginners and veterans, too

Lane Community College

TSS Directory

LCC Catalog Course Description

An examination of selected social problems,basic facts, effects on the individual and society, and explanations. Problems will be selected from the following three areas, but not all topics will be covered each term. 1. Systemic problems: racial and sexual discrimination, inequality and poverty, militarization and war, ecological problems, overpopulation, urban and rural problems, life cycle problems. 2. Problems of specific institutions: government, economy, family, education, religion, social services. 3. Personal pathologies: mental illness, suicide, alcoholism, drug addiction.

Grading Scale

A+....98-100 (Exceptional)
A......94-97 (Excellent)
A-.....90-93 (Good/Excellent)

B+....87-89 (Very Good)
B......83-86 (Good)
B-.....80-82 (Good/Fair)

C+....77-79 (Fair)
C......73-76 (Fair/Basic)
C-.....70-72 (Basic)

D+....66-69 (Poor/Basic)
D......60-65 (Poor)

F......??-59 (Needs alot more)

Required Reading Materials

Social Problems, Second Robert Heiner

The Problems of Living in Henry H. Brownstein

Online Reader

Schedule of Topics and Readings

(H = Heiner text)
(B = Brownstein text)

Be Sure to check Online Reader for each topic



III. (10/11 & 13 & 18) INEQUALITY (H2)

IV. (10/20 & 25) MARRIAGE, FAMILY, & INTIMACY (H3 & B2,3,4)

V. (10/27) SOCIAL TRANSITIONS (B5,6,7,8)

VI. (11/1 & 3) DEVIANCE/CRIME/CJ SYSTEM (H4 & B10,13)


VIII. (11/15 & 17) SOCIAL ADVERSITY (B12,14)


X.(12/1) CONCLUSION (H6 & B15)

Assignments and Instructions


There will be two (2) Analysis Papers to write...worth 20 points each for total of 40 points. Go HERE for the topics.


You will be required to post 3 responses to Prompts I provide...each worth 20 points for a total of 60 points. Go HERE for the Instructions.


With the Discretionary Assignment you get to choose the kind of assignments you'd like to do...worth 100 points (To be done in two installments of 50 pts. each. Go HERE for the Instructions.

The Internet Assignment is worth 100 points. Instructions are HERE


There will be a Movie Review worth 100 points. The entertainment movie should be on some aspect of some type of Social Problem. You can find a list of possible movies and a list of "genres" from AMG (All Movie Guide) HERE

You will need to follow the Guidelines for Critical Academic Review of Entertainment Movie


There will be an take-home Final Exam worth 100 points...covering all material of the course.

Due Dates

10/04----------AP #1 Due
10/11----------Discussion Board (DB) #1 Due
10/20----------1st Half of Discretionary Due
10/25----------DB #2 Due
11/08----------DB #3 Due
11/17----------2nd Half of Discretionary Due
11/17----------Internet Assignment Due
12/01----------Movie ReviewDue
12/08----------FINAL EXAM and AP #2 Due (10-12 in Classroom)

Summary of Points in the Course

40 Points........Analysis Papers
60 Points........Message Board Reponses
100 Points.......Discretionary Assignment OR Internet Assignment
100 Points.......Movie Review
100 Points.......Final Exam

400 Points...Total

Message Board Instructions

Your assignment will be to post responses to prompts provided by me, on Sunday evenings...October 2, October 16, and October 30. I will post, each time, at least 2 or 3 Prompts. You can pick any three you like...going back and doing one you originally passed over, if you desire. There are three (3) DUE DATES by which you need each done.

How? The Message Board is fairly simple to login, just go to it and post. You can "reply" to the Prompt I've can post a "new" message with "Response to Prompt# ??" in the subject line. Either way, please use your CODE NAME only. No email address is required...but a NAME and SUBJECT (which will be filled in for you if you are "replying"...if it's a new message, you must put in a Subject) are required.

There is one step to posting anything...first, compose your message and just click the "send" button. Look over your message before clicking SEND. I suggest writing your reponse in a document and pasting it into the text box...then sending it.

ALSO, you can put links to other web pages...if you know "html code" you can make it a "live" one (I'll show you how in class). If you don't, just put the url in your message and others can copy it into their browser address bar themselves.

Expectations? I expect serious responses...analyzes or points of view which are well thought out and spelled out. Length is a difficult issue, but it's fair to say that short "in and out" just "get it done"...won't garner many of the 20 points each response is worth. This is an opportunity to let others know what you're thinking...with the security of well as to hear what others have on their minds. We often think we're the only one thinking this or that...and Boards like this help us to dispell that notion. So, do a serious job and I'll recognize it.

In addition to the Required Responses, you can also post anything about anything...any time you want. You can respond to required posts by your classmates, but you can also post whatever you want...apart from your required posts. In other words, while the Board is for a class assignment, it is also there for general communication about class-related ideas and topics. PLEASE USE A NAME OTHER THAN YOUR "CODE NAME"...YOUR REAL ONE OR ONE MADE UP, I DON'T CARE.

Finally: You may be reading some ideas you strongly disagree with or think are "wrong," "silly," or even "offensive." That's fine...critique them thoroughly if you want. However, do NOT engage in "ad hominem" attacks. These are posts which attack the individual rather than the individual's ideas. It is an all-too-fairly-common practice in our society...we discredit (and thus avoid dealing with) ideas by discrediting the idea-haver, often inferring judgments about the individual on the basis of their ideas expressed (Think of the standard procedure used in "american politics" today and you'll get the point I'm making here). So, lets avoid "ad hominem" attacks, shall we? Again, tear apart an idea if you want...just not the idea-haver. We really dont know enough about each other to do that. Agree, disagree, agree to disagree...whatever...ok?

You can get to the SOC 225 Message Board by clicking HERE

Analysis Paper Topic

Analysis Paper #1

As we begin our journey into the tangled web of "social problems" I'd like to focus our thinking about just what a social problem IS...and ISN'T...& TO WHOM...and WHY (among other things). Clicking HERE you will find an excerpt from Invitation to Sociology by Peter L. Berger about "Social Problems." I'd like you to read this (along with your reading of Chapter 1's in the textbooks) and see what personal and analytical sense you make can out of it. If Berger is correct...and many including myself think he is...then what are the implications in terms of looking at our "system" other words, in what sense is IT a social problem itself?

Analysis Paper #2---TBA

What You'll Need for SOC 225

& SOC 225

You are going to need access to a Computer for this course with access to The Internet. Whether its your own computer or one in a Lab or a friend's computer or one at a Library or even one at a place like Kinko's, they're not that difficult to find these days. Why? Well, I've decided to copy less and post more for this course...saving on paper as well as costs.

That also means you'll need to learn a basic minimum of skills in navigating The Internet. It's a tool that's quickly become necessity in today's world especially as it relates to academics. If you have no experience in doing this, there's plenty of help available especially at LCC and on the Web itself. I've put a link in the Menu to a "beginners" tutorial. Then there's me. I'll help as much as I can. So don't panic if you're in this category, it will be okay.

You will need an EMAIL Address for this course...if you don't have one, please get one ASAP...I can help if you need it...then email ME with your name so I have it accurately.

Finally, The Sociology Shop, my own website, is essential for this course. We have our own "room" in TSS, the SOC 225 Room (the Room you're in NOW) where you'll find links to the stuff I mentioned above. There's also other rooms which you may find helpful. I will help you become familiar with TSS and how to access information, especially in our classroom.