Syllabus - Social Problems - Sociology 2031-001 Spring 2010...

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1 Social Problems - Sociology 2031-001 Spring 2010 - MWF 8:00 8:50 a.m. Humanities (HUMN) 1B80 Instructor: Brian Hawkins Office: Ketchum (KTCH) 35 E-mail: Brian.Hawkins@colorado.edu (this is the best way to contact me outside of class) CULearn: https://culearn.colorado.edu/ (or via ‘Courses’ tab https://cuconnect.colorado.edu ) Office Hours: F 9:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m. Classmate Information Name:_______________________ Email:___________________________ Phone:_________________ Name:_______________________ Email:___________________________ Phone:_________________ Name:_______________________ Email:___________________________ Phone:_________________ Overview Sociology is the study of the social lives of individuals, groups, and societies. It is a broad and diverse science bound together by the fundamental insight that our lives are affected not only by individual characteristics but by our place in the social world, not only by natural forces but by their social dimension. Using multiple methods and a broad range of theories, sociology studies everything from short contacts between anonymous individuals on the street to formal and enduring institutions on a global scale. A social problem is broadly defined as a condition in society generally believed harmful, where the cause is public, many are affected, and most agree something should be done. Defining a particular condition in society as a social problem and determining its causes, consequences and solutions is more difficult. Public and policy attention produces forces for change in society that may mean benefits for some but may also threaten the interests and/or beliefs of others. As a result, policy discussion is usually highly charged and hotly debated from beginning to end - with much to be gained or lost throughout. Social problems and sociology share a long history as it was the rapid change and upheaval accompanying the industrial revolution that motivated people to study society using scientific methods. It is also the case that much of what we know today about social problems comes from sociology. Social Problems as a research area shares some history with Criminology and Deviance and, like its neighbors, investigates the causes and consequences of shortcomings in society. Social Problems, beyond its specific emphasis, is a subject area well suited for introductory coursework in sociology as it studies the form and function of society at multiple levels and explores the interconnectedness of our institutions, interests, and belief systems. The inherently contentious nature of the field provides us an opportunity to evaluate ideas and evidence from multiple areas of sociology plus other academic and non-academic sources. In addition, it provides an opportunity to apply critical thinking techniques to the arguments and evidence presented by scholars, politicians, writers, activists and other opinion leaders weighing in on the subject. Required
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Syllabus - Social Problems - Sociology 2031-001 Spring 2010...

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