Spring 2010
Sociology & Anthropology Department         
SOC/SWK 204 – Social Problems
Course Overview:
Most students enrolled in this course planned a career in the field of Social Work. Therefore, I geared this course towards cultivating and using one’s sociological imagination when considering social problems they would commonly encounter in the field, such as domestic abuse, substance abuse, and conditions of poverty. Emphasis was placed on how social problems are socially constructed and how they can be analyzed using a variety of quantitative and qualitative methodological approaches and data. As future human service employees, this course focused on how social problems are dynamic and evolving human creations with tangible solutions. Students were also asked to consider social problems in a historic context, evolving over time rather than remaining static. We began by examining social problems generated by systems of inequality in America, including wealth, poverty, race, and ethnicity. In the second portion of the course we turned our focus to social problems on a global scale (NGOs and organizations), cultural relativism, and globalization. The coursework, assignments, and exams were geared towards students developing analytical and critical thinking skills. Please reference V: Teaching Materials to view the course syllabus.