Social Issues and Public Policy

Fall 2020
Allen Hyde
HTS 2016

This course focuses on social issues associated with American society, as well as public policy used to address these issues, by taking a critical sociological perspective in analyzing U.S. culture and capitalism and its impact on our social institutions, social inequalities, and the quality of our democracy. We focus on comparisons of the U.S. with other affluent, market-based countries in order to understand the uniqueness of American society. We will then explore how social policies shape issues of the environment, healthcare, transportation, consumption, finance, inequality (race, class, and gender), and politics. The course is designed to equip students with the critical thinking skills and evidence to challenge conventional wisdom and misconceptions about American society and will provide a solid foundation for exercising their rights and responsibilities as American citizens. This course also has a service-learning component through the Serve-Learn-Sustain Initiative that relates to immigration, refugee resettlement, and participatory design of a community center with residents of Clarkston, GA.

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