What kind of country do we live in? What does it even mean to talk about a "kind" of country? We all know what it means to ask of a strange creature "what kind of animal is this?" But it is less clear how to ask the same question of a society. The question is muddied further by the fact that societies can change. A leopard can’t...
- Subject Area(s):
- Introduction to Sociology/Social Problems
- Resource Type(s):
- Class Level(s):
- Any Level
- Class Size(s):
Usage NotesThis course provides a chance for students to delve into social problems in the United States at a deeper level than generally possible in Introduction to Sociology. It provides an opportunity for students to strengthen their understanding of key sociological concepts by applying them to the specific context of contemporary American society. There are no...
Learning Goals and Assessments
- Articulate core American values and offer evidence of how beliefs in cultural values are supported or obstructed by social institutions. Discuss key disagreements about American values.
- Illustrate how human activity produces social rules, which are enforced, often inconsistently, and linked to power. Explain that the central task of sociology is to grasp how rules generate their effects and how rule contradictions can result in change.
- Analyze the social problems that arise in the disjuncture between America’s values and actual social conditions, and evaluate alternative responses to those problems.
- Students’ comments in class discussions, film journals, and responses to exams will demonstrate knowledge of American values such as freedom, prosperity, economic efficiency, fairness and democracy.
- Student’s comments in class discussions, film journals, and responses on exams will describe the construction and enforcement of social rules, as well as provide evidence of their inconsistencies and contradictions.
- Student’s comments in class discussions, film journals, and responses on exams will analyze American social problems as the disjuncture between expressed values and existing social rules. They will evaluate alternative responses to social problems.