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University Bulletin

Undergraduate Degree Programs

Sociology (SOC)

SOC 005 (GS) Social Problems (3) Current social problems such as economic, racial, and gender inequalities; social deviance and crime; population, environmental, energy, and health problems.

SOC 005 Social Problems (3)
(GS)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

This course is designed to introduce students to the main societal issues facing humanity at the present time and in the foreseeable future. Although the course examines a number of social issues in the United States (such as crime and poverty), the course generally takes an international and inter-cultural perspective. The primary social issues that affect individuals and their children today are global, rather than national, in scope. For this reason, globalization is a recurring theme in the course.

Discussion and questions are encouraged in all sections. Assessment is based partly on objective and short--answer tests taken in class, including a final examination. All sections also include writing assignments that involve either library or Internet research. For example, in one commonly used assignment, students write a paper describing and analyzing a serious social problem in some country other than the United States, such as Ireland, Egypt, New Zealand, Ethiopia, Argentina, or Indonesia. An alternative writing assignment requires that students investigate and describe a local problem in Centre County. Another variation requires students to research the views of other students and groups on campus and compose a letter to the Penn State university president about an issue or problem on campus involving student behavior.

SOC 005 provides excellent preparation for most upper--level sociology courses. Because this course introduces students to social problems that will confront their generation in the near future, it also is relevant to other majors and disciplines, such as political science, economics, and health and human development. This course meets a General Education requirement in the Social and Behavioral Sciences.


General Education: GS
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: Social and Behavioral Science
Effective: Spring 2003

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.