SOC 336C • American Dilemmas
9:00 AM-10:00 AM
This course examines some critical American social problems that threaten the very fabric of our collective life. These include problems in the economy and political system, social class and income inequality, racial/ethnic inequality, gender inequality and heterosexism, problems in education, and problems of illness and health care. Emphasis will be placed on showing how these problems are natural outgrowths of our existing social structure. The course has three main objectives. One involves providing students with the theoretical and methodological tools needed to critically analyze these problems from a sociological perspective. A second involves providing students with current data and other information documenting the seriousness of these problems. The final objective focuses on evaluating social policies addressing these problems, with special reference to questions of social justice, the common good, as well as public and individual responsibility. Class format will be a mixture of lecture and discussion, with an emphasis on the latter. Guest speakers from the community will be invited where applicable.