Overview of Course
This course looks at contemporary Social Problems in a global context, using the sociological imagination as a lens. Social Problems will be examined through differences in power and privilege as they relate to social interactions, institutions, group dynamics, and identity. Special attention will be placed on how society and communities experience conflict and competition that may result in harm. This class also will consider how society develops and implements solutions to social issues. Potential topics that may be featured include Health, Environment, Migration, Technology, Education, Political Unrest, Economic Inequities, Gender Inequalities, and Racial and Ethnic Relations.
This course will take you into the heart of societies and provide you an opportunity to use your critical skills to understand not only the social issues facing communities, but what factors contribute to conflict, injustices and inequalities and continue to negatively affect the most powerless. You will be tasked to use a multiple methods approach to understand Social Problems from reading historical and contemporary works to making personal observations. This hands-on approach to learning will help you navigate and compare different societies in how Social Problems manifest and continue to exist, but also how society will have responses ranging from acceptance, conformity, and denial to social conflict. Furthermore, a philosophical approach from a patriarchal and colonialist view will be explored, such as how do larger economies and influences support the status quo while others advocate for change? What is the role of outsiders in Social Problems? Ultimately, how do our own lives intersect with global communities, and what are the social and moral imperatives of participating versus not engaging in global citizenship?