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Social Problems Visual Syllabus

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Uploaded on Jan 18, 2011

This visual syllabus highlights key themes discussed in Social Problems/SOCY 105 at the University of Maryland, College Park.

The class is divided into five units:

UNIT 1—The Heart and Soul of Sociology

"The sociological imagination enables us to grasp history and biography and the relations between the two within society. That is its task and its promise. To recognize this task and this promise is the mark of the classic social analyst."—C. Wright Mills
This unit explores the sociological imagination, sociological mindfulness and basic sociological concepts.

Unit 2 -- Understanding Discrimination, Oppression and Cultural Resistance

"The job of the writer is to make revolution irresistible." --Toni Cade Bambara

This unit explores gendered and racialized oppression. We also learn and discuss artistic responses to such systems of oppression.

UNIT 3—Wellness in a Crazy/Beautiful World: Sociological Perspectives Health, Body & Spirituality

"The physical and emotional health of an entire generation and the economic health and security of our nation is at stake."
—First Lady Michelle Obama

What are we putting inside our bodies and minds? Why? What are the consequences? In this unit, we will explore different components of wellness, primarily spirituality and physical health. We will think critically and sociologically about the forces that shape our spiritual and food consumption practices individually and collectively.

UNIT4— Follow the Money Trail: Economics, Capitalism and Business

"If you want to know why any social problem persists, you have to ask: 'Who is profiting from it?'"—A friend of mine

Here we explore economic sociology as well as questions of capitalism and business. We will learn the basic components of capitalism and how sociologists have analyzed this economic system. We will also review how corporations work, including big business and social entrepreneurship.

UNIT 5—Creating Sustainable Social Change

"If I could be useful to another human being, even for a day, that would be a great thing. It would be greater than all the big thoughts I could have at the university." --Muhammad Yunus

In this section, we will discuss how to apply the understanding we have about social problems to create projects, campaigns, organizations and companies to address them. We will learn how people attempt to create sustainable social change through self-reliant initiatives. The unit ends with student presentations of their own projects for social change.

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