SOCI-1020: Social Problems ( On Campus, Web-Assisted | Spring 2018 )

Download this syllabus as a PDF Document.

Instructor Information
Instructor Name

Denise Malloy

Instructor Rank

Assistant Professor

Instructor Email
Instructor Website

Instructor Office

Union Ave. Campus Building A Room 211B

Office Hours

Union Campus: MW 12:30pm - 2:30pm | TR 12:30 am - 2:30 pm | & By Appointment

Instructor Phone


Department Phone


Course Information
Course Description

This course examines what social problems are, who defines them and how, how particular social problems affect various social groups, as well as, some solutions to various social problems. We’ll use sociological theory, methods and research findings to identify and analyze the causes of social problems. Our examination of social problems will cover four broad areas: 1. Major sociological theories used to explain and understand social problems; 2. Problems related to social inequality (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity, class and institutional inequality); 3. Problems involving deviance, conformity and well-being; 4. Problems of social institutions and global population.

Student Learning Objectives

Specific outcomes/objectives for this course are to: • Understand why some social issues become defined as social problems and others do not; • Use critical thinking to evaluate information about social problems; • Compare, contrast and apply sociological concepts and theories to explain particular social problems and to identify possible solutions.


ENGL 0810       LS Writing

READ 0810       LS Reading

Though it is not required to take first, Introductory Sociology 1010 helps one better understand the theories that are applied in this course. Thus, Introductory Sociology is good to already have under your belt before taking this course.

Instructional / Learning Methods

Learning objectives will be met vai the following instructional methods and a substantial portion will be completed online:

  • Discussion & Debate
  • Quizzing & Projects (project will originate in class)
  • Lecture 
  • Class exercises & participation: this includes in and outside of class, online exercises, and some group exercises. Exercises focus on interaction and application of the concepts learned bout inside & outside of class. Thus, students are required to do the readings, watch videos and complete the assigned activities BEFORE class and actively participate in class discussions and cooperative learning.
  • Critical thinking writing assignments for in-class debates

Cooperative Learning is a teaching methodology in which students work together to improve the learning and performance for all students in the group. Each student in this class will be assigned to a cooperative learning team, and will remain in that group throughout the semester. You and your group will work together on various activities, and will be responsible to and for each other for the academic success of the group as a whole. This is NOT a group project in which one or two members bear the burden of completion. All group members must work together to ensure each member of the team contributes in some way to the whole.

Cooperative Learning results from team participation. Activities may take place in class, and groups are encouraged to spend time outside of class studying, preparing for exams, and assisting with assignments.

Specific Course Requirements

Students are required to read assigned chapters before each class meeting in order to prepare for class lecture and discussions. Students also must have an active Southwest email account.

Each student is required to have a valid, and functional Southwest Email account. Email is the best way to communicate with the instructor outside of class. You email must originate from your Southwest email account in order to be answered.

This is a web-assisted course so assignments will need to be turned in through PAWS. Quizzes will be taken in PAWS, your grades can be checked in PAWS. Notes, if any are posted, will be delivered in PAWS. Outside class discussions will take place in PAWS. Should you miss a class and want to know what you missed, contact a class mate through PAWS to find out what you missed. The instructor will not fill you in on missed lectures or class discussions.

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware, and Software Requirements
Required Text

Best, Joel, Social Problems, Third Edition, Norton, 2013.

ISBN: 978-0-393-28341-9

YES, you need the textbook in order to pass the course!

Additional Text


Hardware Requirements

Internet Access

If this course requires the use of a computer, these are general recommendations for accessing any of the services that Southwest offers on the Web (e.g. My. Southwest, etc.).

  • minimum Pentium IV or higher processor (recommended)
  • SVGA monitor, minimum resolution 800x600 (1024x768 strongly recommended)
  • CD-ROM or DVD drive
  • floppy drive, zip drive, or CD-RW drive
  • Mouse or compatible pointing device
  • at least 512 MB of RAM (recommended)
  • (optional) printer

If this course requires the use of a computer, these are general recommendations for accessing any of the services that Southwest offers on the Web (e.g. My.Southwest, etc.).

  • minimum Pentium IV or higher processor (recommended)
  • SVGA monitor, minimum resolution 800x600 (1024x768 strongly recommended)
  • CD-ROM or DVD drive
  • floppy drive, zip drive, or CD-RW drive
  • Mouse or compatible pointing device
  • at least 512 MB of RAM (recommended)
  • (optional) printer
Software Requirements
  • PDF file reader
  • MS Word
  • MS PowerPoint

The software listed below in the "General Software Requirements" is recommended for any student accessing Southwest services through the internet. Your course may have specific software requirements.

Many instructors require assignments to be submitted using Microsoft Word.

General Software Requirements Operating System: * Windows 98, 98SE, ME, 2000, XP, Vista ( Windows XP Service Pack 2 recommended) * Mac OS X (up to 10.4) (OS 10.4 recommended) * Linux Windows Supported Browsers: * Internet Explorer 6.0, 7.0 * Netscape 7.0, 7.1, 7.2 * Firefox 1.5, 2.0 * Opera 9.0 Mac OS X Supported Browsers: * Netscape 7.0, 7.1, 7.2 * Firefox 1.5, 2.0 * Opera 9.0 * Current Anti-Virus protection * Reliable Internet connection (broadband recommended but not required)

It would be helpful for you to have Microsoft Office products installed on your computer. The products most useful to this course is: MS Word, Powerpoint, and a program such as QuickTime that allows you to download and view content on the web.


The software listed below is recommended for any student accessing Southwest services through the internet. Your course may have specific software requirements.

  • Windows 7, Vista, XP
  • Mac OS X (up to 10.6) (OS 10.6 recommended)
  • Linux with a Supported Browser
  • Microsoft Edge+
  • IE 10 & 11: some issues+
  • Firefox (latest)+
  • Firefox ESR+
  • Chrome (latest)+
  • Current Anti-Virus protection
  • Reliable Internet connection (broadband recommended but not required)

Many instructors may require assignments to be submitted using Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Word. To learn how to obtain discounted software from Microsoft, visit

Assessment and Grading
Method of Evaluation
  • Course calendar in PAWS will have dues dates for assignments.

Grades are based on the following accumulation of points:





TOTAL  500 points

Dates for QUIZZES & PROJECTS will be in the course calendar of our PAWS course shell. Please visit the shell often to know what and when something is due.  Dates are subject to change, if an assignment needs to be pushed up or back.

Grading Scale

90 - 100% = A      

80 - 89% = B

70 - 79% = C

60 - 69% = D

Less than 60% = F

Testing Procedure / Policy

There will be three major projects. The projects will cover both lecture notes and reading assignments. The projects may consist of multiple choice, explanation, and true / false questions. All projects originate in class.

Every enrolled student must be present in class on project days. No one will be allowed the chance to make up a missed project assignment, unless you had an *emergency.

Cell phone, tablet, electronic device are permissible, so long as they are being used for classroom activity. Making or taking a phone call in class is prohibited unless that activity is a necessary part of an in-class activity. No make-up will be provided for a missed project assignment. A missed project assignment will be scored a zero. 

*An emergency is something that happens suddenly, is absolutely out of your control, and keeps you from being able to come to class. It is the descretion of the instructor what constitues an emergency. For example, an emergency is not: a court date, a doctor's appointment (for you or any relative), an illness (yours, or a relative or friend), a planned or unplanned trip, the birth of a baby (unless the birth is premature), a marriage ceremony, an engagement/party, a baby shower, or anything party related, a meeting with an advisor or another instructor, an appointment in the financial aid office, a meeting of any other sort trouble with transportation. However, If your car breaks down, then upon your return to class, bring a bill from the place where you had to have it towed or fixed. That document needs to include the company's name and address information. The list above is not conclusive. Whatever the excuse, the "emergency" will be evaluated by the instructor as either valid or not. 

Major Assignments

Exams, Quizzes, Class participation: Dates TBA IN PAWS


QUIZZES: Each chapter will have an online quiz. Students will take these quizzes outside of class and will be given multiple opportunities to complete each quiz. Each quiz is worth 15 points. Quizzes will open at the beginning of each unit and close with the exam for that unit. 

COOPERATIVE LEARNING: Each student will be assigned to a cooperative learning group.

WRITING ASSIGNMENTS: will accompany projects. These assignments are designed to provide students an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge of various class concepts. These assignments should be completed as assigned.Unless otherwise instructed, these assignments should be typed, double-spaced with 12 pt font and 1 inch margins. Papers should reflect proper usage of grammar and will not be accepted after the due date. All dropbox papers will be run trhough a plagiarism check.

AUTOMATED PROOFREADER: GRAMMARLY -- Every student MUST sign up for GRAMMARLY at Every written assignment must be proofread by this automated proofreader before being submitted to an assignment dropbox for a grade. The report generated by this tool must be submitted along with the written assignment. No assignment will be accepted nor graded without this report accompanying it. Please use your southwest email account to sign up and sign in on the Grammarly website.

Participation / Attendance Policy

Regular attendance is a requirement and will be considered when final grades are assessed. Attendance will be taken at each class meeting. Because much of each exam will be taken from class activities, regular attendance is the only means of passing this course. Students missing no more than 2 classes will have 50 points added to their semester total. Students with no more than 4 absences will recieve 25 points. More than 4 absences, no points will be received. 

However, in the event that classes cannot meet, this attendance policy will adjust for those reasons.  You will be required to sign an attendence roster or you will be given some assignment that will count you as being in attendance for class meetings. If you are absent, you are required to submit written, dated documents such as a doctor's note, a court  document, or one from your job in order to have an absence excused. The documentation must be submitted immediately upon your return to class.

Participation in the activity for each classroom meeting is expected. In this case, attendance not only includes being physically present, but actively participating. There are no excused absences and cooperative learning groups are responsible for catching up group memebers on any missed materials or information. Remember, you are responsible to the members of your cooperative learning group to attend and participate.

Punctuality is expected. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of class, tardiness will be noted. Any student arriving more than 15 minutes late will be recorded as absent for that day. Excessive tardiness can also result in a loss of extra credit opportunities and/or points.

Policy on Student Professional Conduct

Classroom conduct should demonstrate respect and consideration of others and be conducive to a learning environment. Discussion is expected and though we may disagree, we must do so without becoming disagreeable. You are permitted to use smartphones in class for projects and assignments. You are not allowed to make or take phone calls during class session unless the call is for and about a project you are your group is working on for a group or class project. NO FOOD OR DRINKS are allowed into the classroom. Do not talk to others while instructor or other students are speaking to the class in general. Once class has begun, do not move around or exit the classroom until class is over. Violations of these codes of conduct will be interpreted as a lack of serious academic interest and further attendance in class or additional writing and participation opportunities may be restricted.

PLAGIARISM IN ANY FORM WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. Plagiarism can result in the assignment of an F for that paper, a loss of all extra credit points and opportunities, and/ or an F for the entire semester, to be determined by and at the discretion of the instructor.

Last, please:

  • Be tolerant of points of view different than your own
  • Be considerate when someone else is speaking
  • Allow your classmates the chance to explain herself/himself in class discussion so that we don't miss the point of what they are saying.
  • THINK BEFORE you react to what someone says. Listen with the intention of trying to understand a person’s position on a subject. If you disagree with what someone says in class or online, then offer empirical evidence (facts/proof) to support your position on the subject.
  •  Be fair
  • When online, limit your conversation to a professional one. Do not take what's said personally, and do not divulge too much personal information. Keep personal information at bare mininum. Watch your language. Keep a professional tone in all that you write online or say in class.
  • Do not insult or threaten anyone.
  • Do not submit written work nor post anything online in "text messaging code," always write complete, grammatically correct sentences written in standard English.
Additional Policies

Leaving class to take or to make phone calls is prohibited. Leaving class to chat with someone outside of class once class has begun is also prohibited. Please take care of all personal business before class begins. If you need to leave after class has begun, please take all of your belongings with you and don not re-enter. Leaving class early will count as an absence from class. Even when leaving class to go to the restroom, you must take everything with you and can not return. Most adults know they have to use the restroom prior to arriving to their destination. Please take care of that personal matter before entering class. No exceptions, unless there is a notation from the office of student disability services or from your physician stating you may have to leave frequenlty....

See Semester Calendar for drop dates and holidays. You can also find Final Exam dates on this calendar.

Guidelines for Communications
Email Guidelines

I check email regularly, but there may be a time when I cannot check as often on a particular day. Please allow me a 24hr return time on your emails. Generally, I'll check email three times a day, if I do not answer your email right away, please give me about a day to get back with you.

If you miss a class or two, find out from a classmate what you missed. Notes will not be email to you from the instructor. "Tell me what I missed" emails to the instructor is not acceptable and will not be answered. Requests about your grades or requests to meet with the instructor will be answered promptly. My email address is: Always include in your email your name, the course and course section of your class.

Each student has been provided a Southwest e-mail account. Please do not email your classmates unless the topic relates specifically to this course. E-mails that contain advertisements, solicitations, personal interests, etc. are strictly forbidden. Below are a few guidelines that you should keep in mind when sending email:

  • Always include a subject line.
  • Typing in all CAPS is considered SHOUTING in Cyberspace. So please use upper and lower case characters when sending e-mails.
  • Remember, without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your e-mails and use good Netiquette
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members.

Online instructors will respond to all e-mails within 48 hours.

Discussion Guidelines

Below are a few guidelines that should be adhered to when using the Discussion forum. Messages that contain advertisements, solicitations, personal interests, etc. are strictly forbidden.

  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion.
  • Please try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the class. Be respectful of others' ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.
Technical Support
Technical Support

Get Help If you have any questions about the portal or encounter a problem contact the Helpdesk

My.Southwest: Submit a Student Technical Support Request. Please provide a full detailed explanation of the problem.

PAWS: For course related questions, contact your instructor. For technical issues with the PAWS website, contact the College Helpdesk at (901) 333-4357.

Online Course Support

For access to PAWS for quizzes/tests, course material, etc. go to the following link:

Course Topics
Tentative Schedule

Course Calendar: Subject to Changes Announced in Class

UNIT I. The Social Problems Process / Claims Makers / UNIT Exam #1

UNIT II. Activists, Experts,& Media as Claims Makers / UNIT Exam #2

UNIT III. Public Reaction / Policymaking / UNIT Exam #3

UNIT IV. Social Problems Work / Policy Outcomes / UNIT Exam #4

UNIT V. Claims Across Space & Time / UNIT Exam #5

Student Services
Embedded Librarian Service This service may be found inside PAWS courses.
Two Southwest Librarians are assigned to work with you and your instructor throughout the course for the entire semester. The Librarians will suggest library resources and answer questions sent to "Ask A Librarian".

To contact a Librarian, go to the Classlist and select the "Ask A Librarian" tab.
Student Services Links

Student Disability Services (SDS) Coordinator Verties Sails III 

Accommodations arranged through the office of Student Disability Services are intended to provide flexibility and equalize opportunities for success for students with disabilities. All students with a disability who would like to receive special services must provide appropriate documentation. When academic modifications are required, it is the student's responsibility to present the updated accommodation form to each of his/her professors at the beginning of the semester.

SDS Contact Information: Macon Cove Campus Farris Room 2194 (Inside Testing Center Suite 2182) (901) 333-4223 (901) 333-4788 Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Union Avenue Campus M Building Room 112A (Inside Admissions Suite - M Building 110) (901) 333-5116 (901) 333-5200 Tuesday and Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Students with a documented disability are encouraged to register with the SDS at least three weeks before the beginning of the semester in order to obtain accommodations and support services. All information related to a student's disability is kept confidential and may be accessed only by the SDS staff. Technical Support Help Desk Phone: (901) 333-4357

Campus Police Police Services/Public Safety Visit online: Phone: (901) 333-4242 [Macon Cove] / (901) 333-5555 [Union Avenue] Fax: (901) 333-4443 [Macon Cove] / (901) 333-5742 [Union Avenue]

Semester Calendars, News and Events

Academic Support

The Academic Support Center (ASC) provides free services and resources to help Southwest students successfully reach their academic and career goals. These services include tutoring by peer and master tutors, computer labs, success workshops, academic coaching, early alerts from your instructors and areas for individual or group study at numerous locations. The ASC also provides Supplemental Instruction in some of our general education classes and the Center is also responsible for Academic Progress Reporting so that you will be award of your academic standing during the 5th-6th week of the semester. Online tutoring services are offered through Smarthinking 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Simply login to your PAWS to access this online tutoring resource.

Drop/Withdrawal Dates

See the official college catalog for the current withdrawal policies. Important semester drop and withdrawal dates can be found on the college Web site at

Academic Misconduct

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited. A student guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly, through participation or assistance, is immediately responsible to the instructor of the class. The instructor has the authority to assign an “F” grade or a zero for the exercise or examination, or to assign an “F” for the course. College sanctions for academic misconduct may include suspension or dismissal from the College. Please see the section in the current Catalog on Academic Misconduct.

Classroom Behavior: Any student engaged in disruptive conduct or conduct violating the general rules or regulations of the College may be ordered to temporarily leave the classroom. Extended or permanent exclusion from the classroom can be achieved only through appropriate procedures of the College.

Open Labs

Macon Cove

  • Academic Support Center: Available during working hours
  • Bert Bornblum Library: Available during library hours
  • Farris 2131: M-R 8-5:30, F 804:30

Union Avenue

  • Academic Support Center - F Building, Room 319, available during working hours
  • Parrish Library - Available during library hours
  • M105: 8-6:30


  • Computer Lab- Room 101 (Please note - this room is available when classes are not scheduled. Schedule fluctuates each semester.)
  • Library - Available during Library hours only.

Maxine Smith

  • Open Lab- Room 101.
  • Library - Available during Library hours only.


  • Open Lab Building 6, Room 127
  • Library - Available during Library hours only.
Syllabus Updates The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes.