Courses of Study 2022-2023 
    
    May 19, 2024  
Courses of Study 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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PAM 2250 - Social Problems in the United States

(crosslisted) AMST 2070 , SOC 2070  
(CA-HE, D-HE, SBA-HE)      
Fall. 3 credits. Student option grading.

P. Rich.

“Social Problems in the U.S.” teaches students how to think like a social scientist when encountering claims about major contemporary issues. Through readings and assignments, students develop an analytical toolkit for evaluating the scope, causes, consequences, and proposed solutions to a wide range of complicated social problems, such as: childhood poverty, racial segregation and discrimination, job insecurity, family instability, discrimination by sexual identity, unequal pay for women’s work, gender imbalances in family life, health disparities, food insecurity, drug abuse, and educational inequality. Rather than cover all of these (and other) social problems in depth, the course emphasizes a conceptual framework that can be applied broadly. The semester culminates with a written proposal examining a social problem and developing an approach to address it with public policy.

Outcome 1: Develop a strategy for discussing controversial social issues with others who hold competing
perspectives.

Outcome 2: Demonstrate an understanding of core concepts from Sociology and Policy Analysis as they relate to
topics in education, health, and social welfare.

Outcome 3: Distinguish between normative, descriptive, and causal claims about social problems as they emerge in
public debate.

Outcome 4: Evaluate the validity of claims about social problems by drawing on evidence from empirical research.

Outcome 5: Analyze trade-offs and unintended consequences implicated in the design and implementation of social
policies.



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