Social Problems

Mikaila Mariel Lemonik Arthur
Email: marthur AT ric DOT edu
Office: 113 South Court, X4219
Office Hours: Drop-in hours Tuesdays 1-4; appointments available Tuesday and Thursday 10:30-11:30; Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday after 4; and other times as necessary.
Course meets Tuesday and Thursday, 9:00 to 10:15 AM, LIB 215.


Course syllabus, in .pdf format
Guidelines for the term project
Links to library, public speaking, and internet resources
Guidelines for writing and referencing based on the American Sociological Association Style Guide
Helpful hints for reading sociology


This course serves as an introduction to the sociological study of social problems. We will consider the construction of social problems, methods for analyzing their emergence and nature, the reactions to social problems by the general public and by populations especially concerned with individual problems, the shaping of social problems by advocacy groups and the media, and the potential solutions to social problems. The first half of the course will consist of a general survey of these topics; in the second half of the course, students will choose the specific social problems that the course will focus on and will help to teach their classmates about these social problems. This course is structured as a proseminar. That means that continued active participation and oral communication is a major focus of the course.

Goals of the Course
By the end of the semester, you should:
1)    Understand what social problems are, where they come from, and why it is so hard to solve them
2)    Gain understanding of the nature of a specific set of social problems
3)    Know how to conduct policy analysis research into social problems
4)    Enhance your skills in research, writing, and sociological analysis
5)    Develop your skills in oral communication and presentation

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Copyright 2007 Mikaila Mariel Lemonik Arthur.