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BWH Pages 195-212CLASS INFORMATION SHEETSociology 1B Spring 2009 Harry J. Mersmann, Ph.D.Problems of a Changing Society Phone: 954-5417MWF 9-10 E-mail:[email protected] 313 Office: Locke 226 Office Hours: MWF 10-11TuTh 11-12 And By AppointmentCATALOG DESCRIPTIONThis course focuses attention on the social problems which grow out of rapid social and cultural change. Among topics to be considered are: family disorganization, economic insecurity, juvenile delinquency, and adult criminality, physical and mental ill health, racial discrimination, international tensions, and education. (UC, CSU, CAN Soc 4)PREREQUISITESReading level II.COURSE OBJECTIVESThis course examines some of the most compelling social problems of contemporary American society. Diverse and important contributions of sociology to the understanding ofcomplex social issues will be presented and discussed. Much of the material in this course will challenge popular notions about the nature and causes of contemporary social problems.This course will provide students with the analytical tools necessary to understand the complexity of contemporary social problems and will offer the opportunity to engage with these problems in a "real world" setting.COURSE OUTLINEI. Introduction to the Sociological Study of Social ProblemsII. Macro Social Problems A. Wealth and Power B. Global Inequality C. Work and the Economy D. Threats to the Environment1III. Problems of Social Inequality A. Poverty B. Racism C. Sexism D. Heterosexism and Homophobia E. Aging and the ElderlyIV. Institutional Problems A. National Security B. Health Care C. Sexual Assault D. Crime and Justice E. DrugsTEXTBOOKS REQUIREDD. Stanley Eitzen and Maxine Baca Zinn, Social Problems, Custom11th edition (looseleaf).Jones, Haenfler, and Johnson, The Better World Handbook, 2007.TEXTBOOKS RECOMMENDEDPeter Phillips and Project Censored, Censored 2008, 2007.OBLIGATIONS OF THE STUDENT1. Students are responsible for attending all lectures, taking notes, and reading all assigned materials. The tests will cover material from readings, lectures, and other classroom activities. If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to get notes on the material that you missed.2. It is the student's responsibility to be aware of all of the conditions and expectations of this course. This includes any syllabus or administrative changes that are announced in class. If you miss a class you assume the consequences of being uninformed about any changes.3. This course "requires a minimum of three hours of work per week for each unit of credit, including class time." (California State Education Code: Title V, Section 55022). Students who wish to do better than a passing grade will most likely need to spend more time.24. This course is like a prize drawing: You must be present to win. Regular attendance and preparation is the key to success. You are strongly urged to have the material read and prepared by the date it is listed on the course schedule.5. It is your responsibility to drop courses.SOCIAL SCIENCES DIVISION CLASSROOM EXPECTATIONS It is expected that students in all Social Science Division classes will:- TURN OFF ALL CELL PHONES BEFORE CLASS BEGINS.- be attentive to, and participate in, all instructional activities.- be courteous to people with different perspectives and values.- be respectful of all persons.- be on time.- not leave early without instructor permission.- not disrupt class sessions by inappropriate behavior.- not cheat on assignments or examinations.- not engage in plagiarism.- make use of instructor office hours during designated times.METHOD OF EVALUATIONMidterm 2/20 30 pointsMidterm 3/23 30 pointsFinal Exam 5/15 55 points Social Actions 30 points Letters 20 points ___________________ 165 points possibleEXAMS3Exams will contain multiple choice questions. Exam questions will be drawn from readings, lectures, discussions, videos, and class exercises. Exams are not specifically cumulative, although the course does build on material presented earlier in the term.Make-up exams will be given and late papers will be accepted at the discretion of the professor. All requests (in-person or via email) for make-up exams and late papers MUST be made within 48 hours of the original due date or exam date. There is NO GUARANTEE that the request will be honored even if made in time.SOCIAL ACTIONS FOR A BETER WORLDYou must also complete six social actions described in The Better World Handbook and thendo a one page write-up about each experience (What did you do? What was the effect on others? On yourself? What did you learn? What might you do differently next time? Will you continue doing this action?). Each action MUST be done this semester after reading thematerial. You may not write about actions undertaken in the past or actions planned for the future. The write-ups are due in class as indicated on the syllabus. NOTE: Some of these actions require you to spend a few days in preparation or action. DO NOT ASSUME that you can pick an action and get it done the day before it is due. Although there are twelve opportunities, you only need to turn in six. A list of specific planned social actions is due on 1/23. Each action report MUST be typed and is worth 5 points, for a maximum total of 30 points and grammar, spelling and punctuation will affect your grade. If your write-up is not appropriate you MAY get one chance to re-write at the instructor’s discretion.LETTERS TO OFFICIALSYou are required to write two letters to elected officials (see pages 223-225 of The Better World Handbook for guidelines). You may email or snail mail the letters (NOTE: Handwritten and snail mailed letters have the most impact), but you must bring me a hard 4copy. Although you may use the internet to get ideas or relevant points for your letters, you may not copy or reword (plagiarize) from websites or sample letters. YOU MUST SEND THE LETTERS TO THE SPECIFIC, APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS FOR YOUR LOCATION. The first letter is due in class on 3/9 and the second letter is due in class on 4/22. Each letter is worth 10 points and you will lose 1 point for every two grammar, spelling and

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