Contemporary Career & Elective Courses / Social Problems II: Crisis, Conflicts & Challenges

Social Problems II: Crisis, Conflicts & Challenges

It may seem like we live in a sometimes scary and ever-changing world. Everywhere we “look” from the homeless living on the streets, to world-wide health epidemics, to the often negative effects of our global world problems seem to appear at every corner. In Social Problems II: Crisis, Conflict, and Challenges, you’ll explore more of the challenges we face and learn what we can do to reduce the effects of these conflicts and problems. From drug abuse to terrorists to the changing nature of communities in our digital world, we can better face and solve these problems when we have a deeper understanding of their causes and influences on our lives.

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Course Highlights

  • Trace the development of humans as consumers and the effects this can have on our pocketbooks.
  • Consider whether living in a global world is better for us or whether it creates bigger problems.
  • Examine the effects of problems in health care and what happens when science goes wrong.
  • Explore possible solutions to social problems.

Units at a Glance

Unit 1: The Individual in Modern Society

In this unit, we will discuss the social institution of the family. We will examine different family arrangements around the world and the functions that families provide for individuals and society. We will also discuss different patterns in marriage and mate selection as well as look at how factors like race and class affect families. Finally, we will investigate the increase in divorce in North America and what factors may contribute to this.

Unit 2: Consumption and Consumerism

This unit focuses on the social institutions of religion and education. We will discuss what religion is and what functions it provides to individuals and society. In addition, we will examine several different types of religious organizations. We will also discuss what functions the educational system provides to society and how this social institution can reinforce social inequalities in society. Finally, we will look at the growth of online education and its benefits and issues for society.

Unit 3: Homelessness

In this unit, we will examine the two social institutions known as the economy and politics. We will discuss the characteristics of capitalism and socialism and look at how the economy is changing in recent years. We will also investigate several different types of government structures and ways that people gain authority in society. Finally, we will look at several models of power and how government policies affect our everyday lives.

Unit 4: Obesity and Health

In this unit, we will look at the growing problem of obesity and the effects that this has on health. We will look at how obesity is measured and how many people in the world today are overweight or obese. We will examine what factors and structures in society are contributing to the increase in obesity and investigate both the health and societal costs of obesity for individuals and communities. Finally, we will look at some ways of reducing obesity in society.

Unit 5: Science and Technology

In this unit, we will discuss social problems related to science and technology. We will examine the growing issue of identity theft and what is being done to combat this issue as well concerns about privacy in modern society. We will also discuss the digital divide and how this contributes to global inequality. Finally, we will look at how the rapid growth of science and technology can create unintended negative consequences for individuals and society.

Unit 6: Problematic Groups

In this unit, we will examine the issue of groups that pose moral issues or danger to the larger society. We will discuss how groups are defined as cults or extremist groups and the problems with some of these labels. We will investigate why individuals join groups such as these and what affects the groups may have on members and on society as a whole. Finally, we will examine several specific groups in these categories to gain a better understanding of the risks that they may pose.

Unit 7: Alcohol and Drug Abuse

In this unit, we will discuss the social problems of alcohol and drug abuse. We will look at how prevalent this issue is in society, including the use of alcohol and drugs by teens. We will investigate some of the causes of this social problem and some ways that individuals and groups have tried to reduce the impact and scope of the issue. Finally, we will examine the War on Drugs in the United States and the pros and cons of this government policy.

Unit 8: Globalization

In this unit, we will discuss the process of globalization. We will look at what globalization is and why it is occurring in modern society. We will examine the effects of globalization, both positive and negative, on local communities in North America. We will also look at the effect of globalization on counties and people outside of North America, including the possible loss of indigenous cultures and customs. Finally, we will discuss what the future of globalization may be for the world.

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