This course explores significant social problems in our contemporary society, examines the process of how these social problems arise in society, and considers possible solutions. The course will focus on understanding how and why social problems develop and the controversies that accompany them. Fleischman will also present the different views and perspectives on these social problems.
- What is a social problem? The question of poverty and class stratification. Different perspectives on the question of inequality.
- Race and Ethnicity: What is race and ethnicity? Race and social stratification; discrimination and racism; the question of affirmative action; immigration and its challenges.
- Gender and Sexual Orientation: Women’s progress in America and gender inequality; women’s challenges. Sexual orientation: progress and inequality.
- The Problem of Drugs and Alcohol: Why is this a social problem? Effects of substance abuse on the family and the nation. How is it being handled?
- Crime and Criminal Justice: Criminal justice and its discontents. Types of crime. Why people commit crimes? Government responses to crime.
- School and Education: Why education is so important in our times? The quality of public schools. Schooling, stratification and race; proposed solutions.