SOC 225S. Social Issues and Action

Why do some social issues become a focus of concern? How do inequalities shape definitions and responses? Course service learning experiences connect students to local organizations and actions.

This course provides an introduction to sociological perspectives on social problems. We will explore how particular social conditions come to be defined as problematic and targeted for intervention by policymakers, while other issues struggle to gain traction. In the process, we will examine the role of social inequalities in shaping the character of the public attention focused on certain troubling conditions. The overriding objective of this course is to elevate the social constructionist framework to a prominent place in your intellectual toolkit, not only for your future coursework, but more importantly as a resource for engaging with your political environment and seeing greater texture in your social world. Toward that end, the service learning component of this course gives you an opportunity to apply your knowledge through volunteer work in a community organization.


Social Problems (3rd edition), by Joel Best.