Social Issues

Humanities & Social Sciences
Course Code
SOCI 1155
Semester Length
15 Weeks
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course introduces students to the concepts, methods, and theories of sociology through the examination of social problems. It examines the social conditions and processes related to defining, responding to, and resolving social problems. Social problems to be examined range from personal to institutional issues and include historical as well as contemporary examples.
Course Content
  1. Introduction
  • Private Troubles and Public Issues
  • Approaches to Studying Social Problems
  • Sociological Perspectives on Social Problems
  • The History of Social Problems
    • Definition
    • Moral panics
    • Mobilization
    • Politicization
    • Reaction and Response
    • Policy Implementation and Treatment
  • Social stratification, class, and poverty
  • Gendered inequality
  • Racialized inequality
  • Sex and sexualities
  • Discussion of two or more of the following topic areas:
    • Substance use and misuse
    • Crime and inequality
    • Social issues for contemporary families
    • Work and workplace issues
    • Health and healthcare issues
    • The environment and sustainability
    • Globalization and social issues
    • Colonialism and neocolonialism
    • War and terrorism
    Learning Activities

    The course will employ a variety of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some of the following:  lectures, audio visual materials (including overheads, films), small group discussions, oral presentations (discussion seminars) and specialist guest speakers.

    Means of Assessment



    Evaluation will be based on course objectives and will be carried out in accordance with the Douglas College Evaluation Policy. The instructor will provide a written course outline with specific criteria during the first week of classes.

    An example of a possible evaluation scheme would be:

    Midterm exam


    Essay assignment 


    Essay outline


    Final exam


    Short written assignment            






    Students may conduct research with human participants as part of their coursework in this class. Instructors for the course are responsible for ensuring that student research projects comply with College policies on ethical conduct for research involving humans.

    Learning Outcomes

    At the conclusion of the course, the successful student will be able to:

    1. Identify the major social problems evident in contemporary Canadian society, including both microproblems involving interpersonal relations as well as macroproblems involving structural factors and change.
    2. Discuss the actors, interests, and processes by which social factors are constructed as social problems.
    3. Describe the primary theoretical perspectives used by sociologists in approaching social problems.
    4. Distinguish between and evaluate the effectiveness of micro, meso, and macro level responses to social problems.
    5. Understand and explain the ways in which structural factors such as age, class, sexuality, race, and gender are related to social inequality and social issues.
    6. Describe the social, political and economic contexts of social inequality, with an emphasis on poverty, and explain the ways in which these are socially constructed.
    7. Apply a range of theoretical perspectives to interpret social problems associated with gender, race and ethnicity.
    8. Discuss the ways in which formal institutions, especially the family, formal organizations and the workplace have become redefined in terms of power, violence, diversity and technology.
    9. Discuss the ways in which the mass media have become involved in the social construction of social problems.
    10. Explain the global dimension of social problems, both as sources of Canadian social issues and in terms of the linkages and precedents they provide in interpreting domestic issues.
    11. Evaluate the role of the state/government in addressing social problems.
    12. Evaluate contemporary social policy in terms of its effectiveness in addressing social problems.
    13. Understand and evaluate social movement responses to social problems.
    14. Critically evaluate social problems in terms of the organization and structure of contemporary Canadian society.


    Textbook Materials

    Textbooks will be reviewed and updated periodically. Examples of textbooks that may be used for this course include:

    • Tepperman, L and Curtis, J. (most recent edition). Social Problems: A Canadian Perspective. Toronto, ON: Oxford University Press.
    • Mooney, L.A. et al (most recent edition). Understanding Social Problems. Scarborough, ON: Nelson Education Canada.




    No prerequisite courses.


    No corequisite courses.


    No equivalent courses.

    Course Guidelines

    Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

    Course Transfers

    These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

    Institution Transfer Details for SOCI 1155
    Camosun College (CAMO) CAMO SOC 101 (3)
    Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU SOC 1XX (3)
    Coast Mountain College (CMTN) CMTN SOCI 1XX (3)
    Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU SOCI 1XXX (3)
    Langara College (LANG) LANG SOCI 1127 (3)
    Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU SA 150 (3)
    Simon Fraser University (SFU) DOUG SOCI 1125 (3) & DOUG SOCI 1155 (3) = SFU SA 150 (4) & SFU SA 1XX (2)
    Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU SOCI 2100 (3)
    Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU SOCI 252 (3)
    University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) DOUG SOCI 1155 (3) & DOUG SOCI 2235 (3) = UBCV SOCI 100 (6)
    University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) DOUG SOCI 1155 (3) & DOUG SOCI 2235 (3) = UBCV SOCI 100 (6)
    University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV SOCI 1st (3)
    University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV SOC 1XX (3)
    University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC SOCI 100B (1.5)

    Course Offerings

    Summer 2023

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    Section Notes

    SOCI 1155 090 - is an online course. Requires access to internet.

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