The overall aim of the course is to discuss various social problems associated with contemporary American capitalism and learn to conduct scientific research on social problems. This course will challenge some of the assumptions which students may have about how U.S. society works and will ask them to step outside of their comfort zone in thinking about possible alternatives and solutions. Students will learn to take a critical sociological perspective in analyzing U.S. capitalism and its impact on quality of life, social institutions, social inequalities, etc.
In addition to developing our sociological knowledge, this course includes writing components to fulfill a writing requirement for university-wide policies for W courses. According to university-wide policies for W courses, you cannot pass this course unless you receive a passing grade for its writing components. Through this course, you will be guided to investigate social problems based on their research interests and write a 15-page research paper. You are become skilled at writing specifically for the discipline of sociology. While I will be targeting disciplinary writing, successful completion of this course will undoubtedly improve your overall writing ability. Also, writing is a crucial communication skill that has the potential to benefit the duration of your academic career as well as many other future endeavors.