Course Syllabus- Social Problems

Course Number: 

Sociology 2213
Social Problems
:                  Dr. Stephen Kandeh


OFFICE:                             Davies Hall 202 B

OFFICE HOURS:                MWF: 1010-1210

OFFICE PHONE:                Ext-1243


CLASS MEETS:                   MWF: 905-1005, Davis 201

Required Text:                   Gosine. Whatever Happened to the Real America?

Official Final Exam:            See  schedule

Writing Type:                     Position Paper (see "Sociology Papers" link)

Final Paper Due Date:       Last meeting during week 14



This is a lower level sociology course that introduces the student to social problems in society. The individual and the collective are the focus of this course.


1.   The course is structured to engage the student in accumulating facts of social life. But more significantly, to organize facts according to sociological principles that help us understand social behavior and social problems

2.   Students are expected to engage the author, the instructor, other students and material, and their own knowledge and experience in the debunking journey of the sociologist.  


  1. Understanding social structures and social systems
  2. An exploration of the characteristics and process involved in social problems and social conflicts
  3. An understanding of the basic sociological approach to social issues
  4. An understanding of the different responses to social problems, and the political and cultural dynamics that shape choices
  5. An exploration of global social problems and policy alternatives 


Student must satisfy all 4 components of the course by completing a minimum of 50% of the work in each component to be awarded a passing grade (A-D) or an incomplete (I). An "I" means that the instructor has reasonable expectation that the student will complete the requirements for the class successfully if given some extra time. As a result,  a student must attempt a minimum of 2 exams, complete half of the work in the assignment component, attend more than 50% of classes and participate in chapter presentations and/or discussions. Student must submit a paper in this class to receive a passing grade or an Incomplete. These standards are meant to encourage participation in the learning process. Performance falling below these standards, irrespective of scores in any area, will earn a falling grade (F).


1. Exams

Exams (3) at 30% each (best two)

60 %

2. Discussions



2. Assignments



3. Participation



4. Paper

Position Paper


A= >89.99%; B= 80-89.9; C=70-79.99; D=60-69.99; F= < 59.99 

Exams:There are three scheduled examinations covering selected chapters in the text and lecture material. The question format may include multiple choice, True/false, matching, short answer, and essay types. A make-up is automatically graded down by one letter grade (A score of 'B' becomes a 'C'). In addition, make-up exams will be conducted only after a formal letter of request is submitted with evidence to substantiate why the exam could not be taken on the scheduled date. When a make-up exam is permitted, the exam format and content may not be the same. In any event, no one student will be allowed more than one make-up exam in this course! The last exam will be conducted on the official examination date and time.

Assignments: Assignments will comprise quizzes (unannounced) and may be administered at any time during class meetings. It is entirely possible to have a quiz each day in three to five days in a row. The key principle here is that students have to be familiar with lecture material and text at all times, as well as come to class on time. Quizzes may relate to current and previous topics and their interrelationships. A quiz may be given at any time during any class period such as immediately before or after a lecture, or at the beginning or end of a class. NO make-up quizzes EVER, not even later during the same class period. Quizzes will be administered only to those students who are present when they are passed out. Assignments also include turnitin assignments and any other work assigned to students in this class by the instructor. Turnitin assignments may never be announced in class. It is your responsibility to check Turnitin and do the work.

Participation: Chapter presentation and/or discussion, participation in class discussion, as well as attendance are all part of the participation score. Coming to class after roll is taken or leaving class early is considered an absence!  Students will not be penalized for up to 2 absences. Every absence after that will cost a percentage point.These points can accumulate and affect other scores! Beware!

Paper: To complete the requirements for this class, each student is required to complete a  paper (type and length of paper varies according to course). The specific requirements for writing this paper is discussed online (see "Sociology Papers" link). Writing assistance is available in the library and in the writing lab situated in Davis room 120. All papers must be submitted neatly bound in a binder or stapled together. All papers must also be submitted via turnitin by the deadline indicated in the syllabus. Citation and Reference pages must conform to the American Sociological Association (ASA) format (see link online).

Other Matters

Graded Papers & GradesRemember to securely keep all graded papers and exams returned to you so that any discrepancy can be easily and fairly addressed. The instructor will not be available to tell you your grade during the semester because you can easily do that yourself. All grades are mailed to you from the registrar’s office at the end of the semester.                 

Incomplete: Final ‘I’ grades will not be awarded except in cases of excused absences during the latter half of the course. Student must submit a formal letter requesting an ‘I’ before the final week of class. The letter must show evidence and compelling reasons for not completing the course as scheduled. Under no circumstances will an "I" grade be awarded if less than 50% of the coursework in each component has been completed. Also, all components of the course must be attempted at 50% to merit an ‘I’. Please drop the class if you realize you cannot successfully complete the requirements at this time.

Office Visits: Each student is expected to visit the instructor during office hours. A participation log will be maintained to keep track of student participation in class, on the turnitin discussion board, and in the office. You are encouraged to take advantage of instructor’s office hours to talk about coursework, exams, or anything else connected with the course and your progress. Also feel free to call for appointments if office hours are inconvenient for you.

Extra Credit Assignments: The instructor may propose a project for which extra credit may be awarded. However, no course will be assigned more than 10% total in extra credit assignments, and extra credits are not guaranteed.


  1. Noise-making electronics not permitted. We cannot handle the distraction. Please turn cell phones and other noisy gadgets off.
  2. Respect for others and self is a fundamental principle.
  3. No late assignments will be accepted. All assignments must be typed and legible or they will not be accepted.
  4. Please use hands to ask a question or to speak. Speaking when the instructor or other students are talking, or making comments out of turn is disruptive and disrespectful.
  5. Please do not use offensive and inappropriate language in class. If you are not sure whether a word you want to use is appropriate for an academic setting, do not use it. Consult with the instructor!


Evacuation procedures -- see instructions in student handbook or contact student services

Emergencies, call 1336 or 222-8066. 911 calls: dial 8 first, and then 911

Accessing Moodle


Your Suggestions, Views,  & Recommendations

  1. Your ideas, comments, suggestions, and grade challenges are welcome tools for making this class experience a wonderful one for all of us.
  2. If your needs and expectations are not met in this class, please visit with the instructor promptly
  3. We want you to be honest and open. At the same time, let us know if we are doing the right things

Reasonable Accommodation

According to Americans with Disabilities Policy Statement, any student needing academic accommodations for a physical, mental or learning disability should notify student services and course instructors within the first two weeks of the semester so that appropriate accommodations can be arranged. If you need special help, please do not hesitate to ask. Our task is to help you have a successful semester.


Students are expected to maintain high standards of academic integrity. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated in this or any other class on campus. Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to plagiarism, fabrication, cheating, assisting another student in academic dishonesty, and forgery or alteration of documents (see student handbook for definitions and descriptions).  All instances of dishonesty will result in penalty without exception. Any student who engages in any form of academic dishonesty will be assigned a failing grade for this class and face other severe consequences including facing a disciplinary committee with possible consequences including suspension and expulsion from the university.

Grading Presentations

Students are required to do a presentation of readings in class. The format of the presentation will be discussed in class, however, students will be assessed as individuals even if they complete this component in groups. These general guidelines will be used:


  1. Student demonstrates solid knowledge of the information in the chapter(s).
  2. Student can confidently and correctly answer questions on information in the text.


  1. Student demonstrates that s/he made adequate preparations to discuss material in chapter. This may be demonstrated through examples, illustrations, handouts…etc.

Presentation Skill

  1. Student is able to discuss the issues and facts
  2. Student speaks clearly
  3. Student interacts with class and encourage class participation
  4. Student discusses rather than read the material
  5. Student keeps presentation within allotted time (5-20 minutes depending on class size)


  1. Student dresses in a professional or appropriate manner (more than just casual).

Note:  Please visit "Recommend Links" on this website to access important tools and instruction for this class such as "Sociology Papers" "Turnitin", Papers Checklist", ASA Style" and many more...Do not forget to read your student handbook. If you need further information, contact the instructor.