Social Problems

Sociology 225

Lane Community College
Fall 2003
Tuesday & Thursday 8:30 AM-9:50 PM
Bldg. 19...Room 246

Office....................................419F Center
Office Hours......TTH: 10-11 MW: 11-12
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)

Beginner's Central
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, Ninth D. Stanley Eitzen and Maxine Baca Zinn (EBZ)

Online Reader

Schedule of Topics and Readings

NOTE: Click on TOPIC to go to Online Reader selections

NOTE: Click on Chapter # for Summary and Outline of that Chapter


What is a Social Problem? (Preface and 1)

Wealth and Power (2)

Poverty (7)

National Security (18)

Social Deviance (10a)

Crime and Justice (12)

Selected Topics I

----- Environment: Sources & Solutions (4) (pp.97-108)
----- Immigration (5) (pp.114-121)
----- Elderly (5) (pp.130-139)
-----World Population (3) (pp.54-58)
-----World Poverty (3) (pp.62-66)
-----Multinational Corporations (3) (pp.70-74)
-----Urban Life (6) (pp.155-163)

Selected Topics II

-----Racial/Ethnic Minorities (8) (pp.215-216)
-----Theories of Race/Ethnicity (8) (pp.224-228)
-----Gender (9) (pp.243-248)
-----Homosexuality and Discrimination (10b) (pp.283-293)
-----Family Rights? (10b) (pp.295-296)
-----Disability and Discrimination (11) (pp.306-314)
-----Drugs in Society (13) (pp.369-378)

Selected Topics III

-----Alienation (14) (p.404)
-----Globalization (14) (p.417-419)
-----Economic Bifurcation (14) (p.421-429)
-----Mythical and Real Families (15) (pp.433-443)
-----Violence in Families (15) (p.456-463)
-----Characteristics of U.S. Education (16) (pp.467-473)
-----Possible Equality? (16) (pp.486-495)
-----Unequal Health Care (17) (pp.498-504)
-----A Better Health Care System (17) (pp.521-525)

A Progressive Plan (19)

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 responses to three (3) Prompts I provide...each worth 20 points for a total of 60 points. Go HERE for the Instructions.


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


There will be a take-home Mid-Term Exam worth 100 points.


There will be an in-class Final Exam worth 100 points (covering material since the MT).


Student Suggestions for Social Problems

Movies for Sociological Review

Guidelines for Critical Academic Review of Entertainment Movie

Guidelines for TV Show Review: Crime

Due Dates

10/07----------AP #1 Due
10/21----------Discussion Board (DB) #1 Due
10/28----------1st Half of Discretionary Due
10/28----------PASS OUT MID-TERM EXAM
11/02----------MID-TERM EXAM DUE
11/11----------DB #2 Due
11/20----------Extra DA DUE
11/25----------DB #3 Due
12/04----------2nd Half of Discretionary Due (No Extensions allowed)
12/09----------AP #2 Due
12/09----------FINAL EXAM---8-9:50 AM

Summary of Points in the Course

40 Points........Analysis Papers
60 Points........Message Board Reponses
100 Points.......Discretionary Assignment
50 or 100 pts....Extra DA
100 or 150 or 200 Points.......Final Exam

400 Points...Total

Message Board Instructions

Your assignment will be to post responses to three (3) prompts provided by me, starting Sunday evening, October 5, and continuing every Sunday evening through November 16 (None will be posted on 10/27)...a total of seven (7) prompts from which to choose. 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 are two steps to posting anything...first, compose your message and click "send"...this will take you to an "approval" screen. Second, check over your message...add to it, subtract from it, or change it any way you want...then click the "approve" (where the "send" was before) and your message will be posted to the Board.

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.

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. 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 of the Preface and Chapter 1 in the textbook) 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

Evaluate YOURSELF in this course...not grade-wise...but rather, about the ideas, your reactions to them, your classmates (not individually, of course) discussions, and the course overall. Where and why were you reluctant or not reluctant to be swayed or,in other words, what was the learning process like for you? Also, tell me what you thought of the textbook and reading materials...and...the class assignments. Although Iíll probably get mentioned in this essay...the point of it is YOU, not me. (Do a serious job and you'll get the full 20 pts...this is a chance to get credit...literally...for being honest about yourself!!.)

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.