Spring 2011

Studying Social Problems

Listed in: Anthropology and Sociology, as SOCI-23


Anna M. Curtis (Section 01)


The term, "social problems," has been applied to a wide variety of social phenomena.  The question we will ask in this course is: How does something become defined as a "problem"?  Over the course of the semester, we will examine how social phenomena come to be perceived as problems.  Why do some problems recede without being resolved (e.g., poverty in recent decades) while others become urgent (e.g., obesity)?  What is the role of advocacy or "special interest" groups in calling attention to a putative problem?  How do structural inequalities (class, race, and gender) influence both the definition of problems as well as the strategies adopted to address the problems?  In addition to reading assignments and in-class discussion, some field work will be expected.

Limited to 25 students. Spring semester.  Visiting Lecturer Curtis.

If Overenrolled: Preference to majors; then first come.


2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011