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Robert Crosnoe, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Fall 2009

SOC 308 • Contemporary US Social Problems

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
46412 MWF
10:00 AM-11:00 AM
BUR 116

Course Description

This course will provide students with the opportunity to examine the myriad of contemporary social issues confronting the United States today. Students will employ sociological concepts and perspectives to analyze this country's most pressing social problems, ranging from various forms of inequality, to crime, terrorism and war, and environmental degradation. Students will gain an understanding of how social institutions, such as education, the economy, and family shape individual and group behavior and can both exacerbate and ameliorate social problems. Finally, students will be challenged to examine policy solutions to these pressing social issues.

Course Objectives. Students who complete the course should achieve the following objectives:
Be familiar with the major sociological paradigms and concepts that help us to make sense of contemporary social problems.
Be able to read, write, and think critically about complex social issues.
Be able to discuss social issues with respect for various viewpoints.

Grading Policy

3 exams 20% each
1 paper 20%
In-class assignments 20%


Macionis, John, Social Problems, 3rd Edition. Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008
All other assigned readings will be posted on Blackboard in the "course documents" folder. Readings can be located by the last name of the author.


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