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Social Problems (SS 208-A1): Home


Instructor: Dr. Laurie L Gordy
Office Hours: TU 10:15-11:15; W 2:15-3:15; or by appointment
Office Location: HH205
Telephone Number: 617-730- 7258
Class Day/Time: MW 12:45-2:10
Class Location: HH 101
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: SS107

Course Description

The term "social problems" is often used to describe a wide variety of social phenomena perceived as problematic by some segment of society. This course will examine identified social problems within the context of sociological theory. The process of social definition of certain situations as problematic and the social selection of specific solutions as perceived remedies will be analyzed. Furthermore, students will be challenged to develop their personal outlooks on social responsibility.

Course Objectives. Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to

  1.  identify the processes through which individuals or societies label certain social conditions or behaviors as problematic. (Knowledge, Critical Thinking)
  2.  analyze the social values both underlying and resulting from accepted definitions of socialproblems and their solutions within a multicultural context. (Critical Thinking and Information Literacy, Social Responsibility, Ethical Behavior)
  3. analyze the cultural and social roots and solutions for contemporary social problems.(Knowledge, Critical Thinking)
  4. express, through oral and written means, a developing personal view of the relationships governing social problems, and individual and community responsibility. (Social Responsibility, Ethical Behavior, Communication, Professional Competency)
  5. analyze the influence of different media and information sources, both scholarly and popular, on contemporary attitudes


Charon, J.M. & Vigilant, L.E. 2012. Social Problems: Readings with Four Questions

CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company.

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Anthony Viola
(617) 730-7255