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SOC 320: Urban Youth in American Society

Course Description

This course will focus on increasing the student's understanding of the group life characteristics of urban youth in American society today. The course will provide a conceptual and analytical framework for examining the underlying causes and consequences of social problems that significantly impact the lives of urban youth. Classical and contemporary sociological theories and diverse humanistic perspectives will be considered regarding these problems. Particular attention is given to the influence of poverty, language and cultural diversity, immigration status and social acculturation, racism, sexism, homophobia, and drug and alcohol abuse on social role behavior. (3 credits)

Prerequisites

  • ENG 101: English Composition 1
  • ENG 102: English Composition 2
  • SOC 101: Sociology (Recommended)

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Analyze the critical issues and their relationships to the group experience of urban youth.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the authors by comparing their viewpoints through active discussion.
  3. Analyze the underlying causes of social problems.
  4. Identify the relationship between one’s interests and future goals and the study of urban youth in American society.
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of diverse theoretical perspectives on the role of inner city environments and the group experiences of urban youth.

General Education Outcomes (GEOs)

Please check the applicable GEOs for this course, if any, by outcomes at GEO Category Search, or by subject area at GEO Discipline Search.

Course Activities and Grading

Assignment(s)Weight

Participation/Group Discussion (Weeks 1-8)

48%

Midterm Written Assignment (Week 4)

12%

Written Assignments

15%

Research Paper (Week 8)

25%

Total

100

Required Textbooks

Available through Charter Oak's online bookstore

  • Kozol, Jonathan. Fire in the Ashes. Broadway Book: New York, 2012. ISBN-13: 978-01-400-5247-9
  • Putnam, D. Robert. Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis. Simon Schuster. ISBN-13: 9781476769905

Additional Resources

  • There will be additional readings each week from Internet resources which will be provided in the course.

Course Schedule

WeekSLOsReadings and ExercisesAssignment(s)

1

1-3

Topic: Urban Youth in Contemporary America: Facts and Figures
    • During the Week 1 class session, students will participate in two topic discussions. First, they will learn about facts and figures associated with today’s youth.
    • In addition, based on the selection of one of readings and documents located in the Course Document page, students will have the opportunity to read about issues associated the social realities faced by all Urban youth today.
  • Readings:
    • Fire in the Ashes - pages 3-107
    • Our Kids - Chapter 1
  • Read assigned material
  • Review Lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions

2

1-3

Topic: The Impact of Race, Class and Gender on Urban Youth
  • During Week 2, the topic of interest is: students will explore how race, class and gender issues Impact on the psychological and social development of urban youth.

  • Readings:
    • Fire in the Ashes - pages 107-139
    • Our Kids - Chapter 2
  • Read assigned material
  • Review Lecture material (Theories and issues associated with the Impact of Race, Class and Gender on Urban Youth.)
  • Participate in the Discussions

3

2,4

Topics: Poverty and The Social Realities faced by Urban Youth. 

  • Readings:
    • Fire in the Ashes - Review pages 70-100
    • Our Kids - Chapter 3
  • Read assigned material
  • Review Lecture material (The topic of poverty and its impact on the social realities confronted by all youth and their families to include all youth in Urban environments.)
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Begin working on the Midterm Written Assignment

4

1-3

Topics: Youth, Violence and Mental Health Issues and Health issues affecting members of the today’s urban youth
  • Readings:
    • Fire in the Ashes - pages 140-167
    • Our Kids - Chapter 5
  • Read assigned material
  • Review Lecture material (Theories and issues associated with the violence and its impact on all youth in urban environments.)
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Submit Midterm Written Assignment

5

1-3

Topics: The Impact of Urban Schools and the Life Chances of Urban Youth
  • During Week 5, students will explore associated with the impact of urban schools and the life chances of urban youth based on educational access and achievement.

  • Readings:
    • Fire in the Ashes - pages 191-239
    • Our Kids - Chapter 4
  • Read assigned material
  • Review Lecture material (Theories and issues associated with the Impact of education on the educational achievement of Urban Youth.)
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Begin working on research paper

6

1-3

Topics: The Impact of Social Policies and Services on life Chances of Urban Youth
  • Readings:
    • Fire in the Ashes - Review pages 191-239
  • Read assigned material
  • Review Lecture material (Theories and issues associated with the Impact of Social Policies and Services on the life Chances of Urban Youth.)
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Continue working on research paper

7

1-3

Topics: The Impact of Substance Abuse on the Psychological and Social Development of Urban Youth
  • Readings:
    • Fire in the Ashes - pages 239-283
    • Our Kids - Review Chapter 4
  • Read assigned material
  • Review Lecture material (The Impact of Substance Abuse on the Psychological and Social Development of Urban Youth.)
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Continue working on research paper

8

1-4

Topics: The Future of Urban Youth in America
    • During Week 8, students will participate in a discussion discussion of these topics, students will have the opportunity to describe and share lessons learned about the social realities faced by urban youth and describe their views on the future of today’s urban youth.
  • Readings:
    • Fire in the Ashes - pages 283-301
    • Our Kids - Review Chapter 6
  • Read assigned material
  • Review Lecture material (Summarizes key concepts and issues learned throughout the course.)
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Submit Research Paper
  • Complete Course Evaluation

COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.