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North Idaho College • Coeur d'Alene • Social & Behavioral Sciences • Sociology

Social Problems SOC-102

  • Fall 2012
  • Section 07
  • 3.0 Credits
  • 08/27/2012 to 12/20/2012
  • Modified 08/20/2012

Contact Information

Instructor: Dr. Ula L. Moody

Office Hours

  • Tuesday, Thursday, 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM, Home 509 284-2711

Leave a message with name and phone number slowly and I will return the call.  Thanks.

Meeting Times

This is an Internet course.  All work is to be submitted via the Blackboard course site.


This course investigates the persistent problems of American society as they relate to values, attitudes, and social change. Application of sociological principles to the identification and analysis of selected problems will be consistently developed. SOC 102 fulfills a social science requirement for the A.A. and A.S. degrees. Lecture: 3 hours per week



Text: Macionis, John J. (2008). Social Problems (Third Edition. New Jersey: Prentice Hall and Study Guide
Helpful Links:

The text may be found in Mica Peak Bookstore or  


Through reading, completing assignments, and participating in our discussion forums, students, upon completion of this course, will demonstrate their understanding of the following outcomes:

Understand the theoretical and practical basis for social problems within the U.S. This will be measured through forum activities, quizzes, and essay exams.

Develop asound explanatory framework for understanding the structural and functional social dilemmas we discuss. This will be measured through forum activities, quizzes, and assignments.

Have a broader view of social problems in an increasingly complex global social world. This will be measured through forum activities, responses, and assignments.

Display an understanding and apply conceptual knowledge of both intended (manifest) and unintended (latent) domains of social problems in our society. This will be measured through forum activities, quizzes, and assignments.

Display knowledge of the conservative, liberal, and radical political interpretations of social problems in our society. This will be measured through forum activities, quizzes, and assignments.

Develop a desire to become more active in society to help improve some of our society's social problems. This will be measured through forum discussions.



How will I be Graded?
1000 total number of points are possible based on the following:

Discussion Forum: Discussion questions over 14 chapters at 25 points each week = 350 points. (Spring Break and the week of midterms and finals do not have any assignments.) There are 14 weeks worth of assignments counted in your final grade. Research and inclusion of one website per question is required in your assignment posting for each week.

The primary post is due on Thrusday by 6pm and the participation/responses are due by 12 midnight of the week.

Participation/Responses: A reaction/response and contribution to the weekly postings of 5 other person's discussion forum postings is expected each week. There are 14 weeks of forum discussions with responses for a score of 15 points per week = 210 points. Each response is worth 3 points if it is meaningful, helpful, and/or informative in some way.

Guidelines for Participation: 1. Give your personal response to the weekly forum discussion topic(s) as described in each assignment. 2. Look at other student's answers and give feedback whenever possible. You will need to respond to a minimum of 5 other postings per week. (That means responding to 5 different people's forum discussion postings). Keep in mind that participation means more than a simple response of "great discussion" or "I agree with you!" You are expected to respond sharing your thoughts, life experiences regarding the social problem topic being discussed, and/or helpful suggestions or ideas and adding to what the other person contributed. I expect these responses to be meaningful and at least 3 sentences in length. 3. Look at the instructor feedback/comments and respond whenever necessary (i.e., sometimes I will ask further questions based upon the feedback received from students on weekly issues and sometimes you may feel the need to respond to something I wrote). 4. Try to be timely in your responses. I would like to stick to each week's forum the week it was assigned. (However, I will make allowances in exceptional cases). I will only look back to the previous week so please do not get too far behind. Late postings will be docked 20% from your original score.

Weekly learning checks (quizzes): 12 worth 20 points each (there are a total of 14 learning checks of which 2 lowest scores will be dropped) = 240 points. Quizzes on your reading will occur in sync with the assigned chapters of your text. Generally, quizzes will be made available by noon Thursdays and will need to be done by noon Mondays, four days later. The four day period will allow you to take the quiz at a time that works for your schedule. You will only have one shot at doing each quiz.  Each quiz is timed at 30 minutes only, so if you do take a quiz thinking you can look up the answers as you go, you will find yourself running out of time for the quiz. In other words, you will not succeed on these quizzes unless you have read the material ahead of time. There are no make-up opportunities for missed quizzes. Keep in mind that your 2 lowest quiz scores will be dropped. This gives you a 2 quiz buffer zone which is intended to cover those quizzes you might miss due to being sick or absent that week. There are some extra credit opportunities which can also help your final score at the end of the semester.

Midterm and final exams: 2 exams worth 100 points each = 200 points. BOTH EXAMS MUST TO TAKEN TO PASS THIS CLASS. Both exams will consist of 20 short answer questions which must be at least four to seven sentences long.. Once exams are posted, you will have approximately one week to finish and to deliver the exam to me via course e-mail. Late exams will be penalized 10 points for each day late unless a valid reason is given! Final Exams will not be accepted late.

Letter grades will be assigned based upon this percentage breakdown:
92.5-100% (925-1000 pts.) = A
89.5-92.4% (895-924 pts.) = A-
87.5-89.3% (875-894 pts.) = B+
82.5-87.4% (825-874 pts.) = B
79.5-82.4% (795-824 pts.) = B-
77.5-79.4% (775-794 pts.) = C+
72.5-77.4% (725-774 pts.) = C
69.5-72.4% (695-724 pts.) = C-
67.5-69.4% (645-694 pts.) = D+
62.5-67.4% (625-674 pts.) = D
59.5%-on (bellow 595 pts.) = F

Course Policies

Course Policies

What are the course policies ?

Weekly work and participation must be in on time...Your original post is worth 25 points and participation 15 points a week.  Participation is discussion of at least 5 other student’s papers during the week.

Late Work: Starting with Week 3 forum assignments, I will penalize late forum postings 20% for each unexcused day late. Discussion form and assignments are accessible the Monday the week before and are due by the noon Sunday the week they are assigned. Students will not lose points if they have a valid excuse for not getting their work in on time. However, this is not something to be abused! An excused absence is only a stay in the hospital for more than 3 days. You have a week to do the assignments, so do them early in case of an emergency. Late exams will be penalized 10 points for each day they are late. Late Final Exams will not be accepted for any reason.

Extra Credit: There are extra credit opportunities available each week in this course via the weekly assignments page. Instructions are found at the bottom of your weekly forum activities pages for these opportunities. Be sure to clearly mark your extra credit as such in the discussion forum.

Academic Dishonesty: Cheating, plagiarism, or any other form of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated! Anyone caught violating this policy will receive a grade of F for the course.

Assistance: Please use the course e-mail or the Questions for Dr. D area of the class discussion forum for questions regarding the course. I am more than willing to help or assist students on material presented that they do not understand. If you do not feel like bringing something up in the postings for clarification, I encourage you to send me a private e-mail or call me at (509)284-2711 at my home, or make an appointment to see me at my office.

Behavior: On-line courses present a special challenge for participants. Even though we don't meet on a face-to-face basis, we still need to be aware of the feelings of others and behave in a mature, courteous manner in discussion forums or via e-mail. Communication in a respectful manner is to be maintained at all times! Unkind words, name-calling, or derisive comments towards others will not be tolerated! All discussions must be respectful of others!

Class Participation: Because we do not have lectures, class participation is expected through forum discussions and e-mail, with other members of the class as well as with your instructor.

Course problems: If you are experiencing any technical computer problems, please call the help desk at 769-3280 or use the webct tutor on the NIC homepage. There are certain problems that I can help you with, but if you have any problems with instruction, please make an appointment to see me. I am very open to discussion. Please keep in mind that I am here to help you to the best of my ability---your education is very important to me!

Students with Disabilties

What if I need special services?

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, NIC provides services and accommodations to students who experience barriers in the educational setting due to learning, emotional, physical, mobility, visual, or hearing disabilities. For more information please contact The Center for Educational Access ( Disability Support Services), in the College Skills Center, Lee-Kildow Hall 101 (769-5947).

Please Note: The instructor reserves the right to change or amend this syllabus or the class schedule in the event of extenuating circumstances. Sufficient notice will be provided when and if this occurs.


Course Schedule

What is the Course Schedule?
Week 1: Get Ready Activities to learn about each other and this course.
Week 2: Chapter 1: Sociology: Studying Social Problems.
Week 3: Chapter 2: Poverty and Wealth.
Week 4: Chapter 3: Racial and Ethnic Inequality.
Week 5: Chapter 4: Gender Inequality.
Week 6: Chapter 5: Aging and Inequality.
Week 7: Chapter 6: Crime and Criminal Justice.
Week 8: Midterm over chapters 1 through 6
Week 9: Chapter 7: Violence
Week 10: Chapter 8: Sexuality
Week 11: Chapter 9: Alcohol and Other Drugs.
Week 12: Chapter 10: Physical and Mental Health
Week 13: Chapter 13: Family Life
Week 14: Chapter 14: Education
Week 15: Chapter 17: Technology and the Environment
Week 16: Chapter 18: War and Terrorism
Final Exam over chapters 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 17, and 18 

Additional Items

Whenever concepts are unclear or there are points you do not understand, be sure to send your questions to me via course e-mail. I will check the course e-mail daily if at all possible. Please use the course e-mail at all times to make communication with me easier and consistent.Also ask in Questions for Dr. D.


What is this course about?

This is an introductory course designed to look at the causes and consequences, possible solutions, and various definitions of social problems in the the result of structural, political and social issues within society. The development of conceptual inquiry and critical thinking along with student participation on-line is an essential part of this course. The focus of this class is the examination of social problems inherent in America's social structure and culture, with a global comparison. This course will help you become aware of controversies over social problems of inequality involving poverty and wealth, race, gender, and aging: problems of deviance, conformity, and well-being involving crime and criminal justice, violence, sexuality, alcohol and drugs, and physical and mental health: problems of social institutions involving the economy, the workplace, family life, and education: and global problems involving the population explosion, the environment, and terrorism.
This class is being offered to you via the internet as an alternative to the traditional face-to-face classroom. This means more flexibility for you, but it also means commitment to a different way of learning. Instead of a lecture format where you need to attend class, we will be relying on an interactive discussion format, where you log on, respond to issues assigned, look at what others have written, and comment if necessary. This class allows you to log on at any time of the day or night to do this. Self-motivation is needed in order to successfully complete this course. There will be a strong emphasis on the value of critical thinking and active response from students, with some degree of flexibility, while using traditional and alternative methods of evaluation.

What are the basic course requirements?

On-line courses allow flexibility in time for students who cannot attend face-to-face classes. They also present a special challenge in communication. We need to be aware of the feelings of others and behave in a mature, courteous manner in discussion forums, or via e-mail utilizing respect for others at all times! Another requirement to successfully complete this course is self-motivation and discipline. The technological requirements include knowing how to create text in a word processing program and knowing how to send attachments, as well as knowing how to research the internet for information.
Feel free to send comments and questions by e-mail or post them in the public discussion forum. Remember that your comments are "public." Please be careful of responses so as not to offend others in the course. Communication on-line can often be misinterpreted as the result of terse replies that are not carefully thought out with consideration for other's feelings. You can use emoticons like these ; - ) or : ^ ) to aid in interpretation. Your participation with fellow classmates is very important in this internet class. Please share your thoughts and ideas with all of us within the discussion forum area or via course e-mail, using respect at all times. Name-calling, derisive comments, and personal attacks will not be tolerated---specifically, that means you will be withdrawn from class.

Division Policies

For a complete explanation of the North Idaho College Statement on Academic Honesty & Academic Integrity please ferfer to Policy 5.06 & Procedure 5.06.01: 

Academic Dishonesty
Violations of academic integrity involve using or attempting to use any method that enables an individual to misrepresent the quality or integrity of his or her work at North Idaho College. These violations include the following:

Cheating: using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study in any academic exercise.
Fabrication: falsifying or inventing any information or citation in an academic exercise.
Plagiarism: knowingly representing the words or ideas of another as one’s own in an academic exercise.
Violation of Intellectual Property: stealing, altering, or destroying the academic work of other members of the community or the educational resources,materials, or official documents of the college. Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: knowingly helping another to attempt to violate any provisions of this policy.

Student Responsibility
As outlined in the Student Code of Conduct, all North Idaho College students have both rights and responsibilities: Please access www.nic.ferpa.StudentCode/index.htm for complete information that pertains to this subject.

North Idaho College, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504/508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, provides both services and accommodations to students who meet the guidelines provided in these acts.  For a complete description, please see:

Please contact the North Idaho College Center for Educational Access in Seiter Hall, Room 100 for assistance.  Phone:  208-769-5947

To withdraw from all courses a student must obtain a college withdrawal form from the Registrar's Office, secure the signatures of those persons indicated on the form, and return the form to the Registrar's office. No student may withdraw from the college after the final date of withdrawal from courses except for compelling and extraordinary reasons. In such circumstances a student must petition the Admissions and Academic Standards Committee for late withdrawal from college using the college withdrawal form available in the Registrar's Office.


For complete information regarding student withdrawals, please see the North Idaho College Policy 5.04.01: 

Institutional Policies

Student Code of Conduct

The Student Code of Conduct applies to any student enrolled at North Idaho College.  This includes, but is not limited to, face-to-face classes and Internet classes.

Student Responsibilities

As students undertake to fulfill the obligations and duties outlined in this document, the college community of which they are a part undertakes to respect the basic freedoms of students. In recognition of students’ rights and dignity as members of the college, North Idaho College is committed to the principles found in the NIC Student Handbook.

Center for Educational Access/Disability Support Services

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504/508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, North Idaho College provides accommodations to eligible students who experience barriers in the educational setting due to learning, emotional / mental, physical, visual, or hearing disabilities.  Instructors will provide accommodations to students only after having received a Letter of Accommodation from the Center for Educational Access. 

If a student would like to request accommodations, he or she must contact the Center for Educational Access so that a Letter of Accommodation may be sent to the instructor.  Students requesting accommodations must contact the Center for Educational Access at the beginning of each semester.


By registering at North Idaho College, you agree to provide payment by the due dates. You also understand that collection costs and legal fees will be added if the services of a collection agency are utilized.

If you are registered for a class and do not attend, you will still be liable for the tuition unless you drop the class.


Last day for students to withdraw from semester-length classes:

Instructor-Initiated Withdrawal: Instructors have the right to withdraw students for academic reasons up until the same date; in doing so, instructors must notify students through NIC e-mail within 48 hours of submitting documentation to the Registrar's office, and students have the right to appeal the instructor's decision. For more information, see the NIC Procedure:

Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy: All withdrawals, whether for individual classes, total withdrawal from school, or instructor-initiated are not considered to be satisfactory progress for financial aid.  See the Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy:

Additional withdrawal information:


An incomplete is assigned only if the student has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work to within three weeks of the end of the semester (or proportional length of time for a course of less than a semester in length).  Incompletes are issued only in cases of extenuating circumstances, such as severe illness or injury.  Incompletes are not issued in cases in which the student is simply unable to complete his/her work within the specified semester or session.  If a final grade of "I" is recorded, the instructor will indicate in writing to the Registrar what the student must do to make up the deficiency.  The instructor will indicate in the written statement what permanent grade should be entered if the Incomplete is not removed by the deadline.

All incomplete grades must be removed within six weeks after the first class day of the following term, excluding the summer session.  If the Incomplete is not removed by that date, the grade reverts to the grade indicated by the instructor's written statement authorizing the incomplete.

Discrimination and Harassment

North Idaho College has a zero tolerance policy for any acts of discrimination or harassment of any kind.  For more information, please see the NIC Student Handbook, Code of Conduct Article III and Article VIII. Compliance efforts with respect to these laws and regulations are the responsibility of each member of the campus community and are under the direction of the Dean of Students Office for Student Issues (2nd floor, Edminster Student Union Building, (208) 676-7156) and the Human Resources Office (Sherman Administration Building, (208) 769-3304) for employee issues.

Institutional Statement

DROP FOR NON-PAYMENT:  By registering at North Idaho College, you agree to provide payment by the due dates. You will be dropped from classes if payment is not received by  5 p.m. Pacific Time on the third day of the semester. Students on the waitlist will be given the option to register for classes after students are dropped for non-payment.

REMOVAL FROM CLASS FOR NON-ATTENDANCE:  Attendance is based on your participation in this class. Failure to attend may result in your being removed from this class and may result in your financial aid award being reduced. You are responsible for confirming the accuracy of your attendance record.