SWL136 - Introduction to Social Problems

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-06-25 11:57:19.905
Last review date 2018-06-25 11:57:29.719

Subject Title
Introduction to Social Problems

Subject Description
This subject will provide an introduction to some of the major social problems in Canadian society as well as examining some global issues. Theoretical concepts will be used in understanding and analyzing these problems. The course is designed to challenge students to question the ways in which the world around them operates.

Credit Status
One Credit in the Social Service Worker Diploma

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Identify basic social issues facing Canadian society.
2. Demonstrate comprehension of 3 major theoretical perspectives as a framework in which to understand social problems/issues.
3. Demonstrate an understanding of how media presentation of social problems helps to shape perceptions
4. Demonstrate the ability to analyze social issues, including the identification of relevant parties, role playing, understanding possible causes and solutions.
5. Identify one,s own biases when considering a specific social issue.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on http://library.senecacollege.ca for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at student.conduct@senecacollege.ca.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

SSW101 (can be taken concurrently)

Students should consult the Program Information Page each semester https://www2.senecacollege.ca/ce/community/social-services/soc-serv-worker.html#Curriculum to ensure they have the most current and up to date information regarding the requirements for graduation. 

Topic Outline

1. Values Clarification
2. Health Care
3. Housing, Homelessness, Poverty
4. Marketplace, Unemployment
5. Media
6. Child Abuse, Children's Rights
7. Global indications
8. Aging/Presentations
9. Women's Issues (Economics, Violence etc.)
10.Native Rights

Mode of Instruction
Lectures, student presentations, small group discussions, experiental exercises and films/videos.

Prescribed Texts
Understanding Social Problems Fifth Canadian Edition, Linda A. Mooney, M. Morgan Holmes, David Knox, Caroline Schacht (Nelson) ISBN-13:9780176675240.

Reference Material
A Writer's Resource, 3rd edition
by Maimon, Peritz, Rubens, McGraw Hill, ISBN#9780070685840

Required Supplies

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online (http://www.senecacollege.ca/academic-policy) or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
Term Work and Final Examination Requirements:

Students must attain a grade of at least 50% to pass the course.

If you are unable to complete the Final Exam/Assignment in this subject, you must provide documentation to support the absence to the instructor within one week.  If necessary, this information will be presented at the promotion meeting for consideration in determining and recommending the final grade.


All term work assignments must be completed prior to the time of the final examination. Unless students have been granted an extension in advance, late assignments will be penalized accordingly. There is no provision for rewriting late assignments, regardless of the grade awarded.  Students must contact faculty in advance of due date to discuss extensions.

All assignments must be correctly documented using APA – and follow the criteria established by the instructor, unless otherwise noted.

If an assignment is missed due to class absence, any official documentation that might be grounds for arranging a make-up opportunity must be submitted to the faculty member on or before the next scheduled class.  Make-up opportunities do not apply to all graded assignments.


Test and Exam dates have been pre-arranged and are non-negotiable.  If a test/exam is missed, the student must provide official documentation to support the reason for the absence within one week to the instructor.  Make-up tests or exams will be granted for extenuating circumstances only and at the discretion of the faculty.

For further information on evaluation and academic standing, please refer to the Seneca College Academic Policy http://www.senecac.on.ca/academic-policy/acpol-08.html.

Grading is based on the following marking scheme:

Grade Scheme  
Media Assignment 20%
Presentation 30%
Mid Term Exam 20%
Final Exam 30%
Total 100%

Student Success:
Please come prepared to participate in class.  Make sure you bring your course text to each class, participate in class discussions, hand in any assigned work on time and attend each and every class.  Following these suggestions will increase your chances of success.


Approved by: Sandra Noble