Social Problemsi

General Course Information

Course Lecturer Name(s):  Wendy Crawford-Daniel Ph.D.

Course Director Name:  Wendy Crawford-Daniel Ph.D.

Course Lecturer(s) Contact Information:; Cell: 457-4856 Course Director Contact Information:; Cell: 457-4856

Course Lecturer(s) Office Hours:  Tue & Thu 11:30 – 12:30; Other time: By appointments 

Course Director Office Hours: Tue & Thu 11:30 – 12:30; Other time: By appointments

Course Lecturer(s) Office Location:  Ballsier Building 

Course Director Office Location:  Ballsier Building

Course Support:   Ms. Nichole Phillip,, ext. 3823

Course Management tool: To learn to use Sakai, the Course management tool, access the link

Course Curriculum Information

Course Description: 

Social Problem is an action-oriented course within the Sociology Program. The course is designed to be a project-based, in which the students immerse themselves into the community and together with community members identify a social problem and design a project to address the problem while incorporating the participation of the community impacted by the problem. With the limitations placed on field research because of COVID-19, our direct interaction with individuals and communities will diminish substantially. Students will therefore be asked to do individual work within their communities, for this semester, and to keep within reasonable scope guided by the Government established COVID protocol.

Course Objectives: 

The course goal is to immerse students into the community and the many social theories associated to social problems experienced by communities. Through a community mapping project, students will learn how these problems impact family and community life. Equipped with the theories, students will conduct community mapping projects to provide policy makers with comprehensive community information and data to better address social problems, using evidence-based social actions.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. To learn the skills needed to access communities, collaborate and execute a social project.
  2. To develop a proposal to conduct a community mapping project. 
  3. To conduct a community mapping project
  4. To identify the ethical issues in working within communities.
  5.  To identify the participatory research processes in working with communities
  6.  To apply social theories to social problems.

Program Outcomes Met By This Course:

An opportunity to measure the relevance of the theories learned to practical application through a community project.

SAS Grading Scale: Grades will be assigned as follows:

A  = 89.5% or better

B+ = 84.5 - 89.4%

B  = 79.5 - 84.4%

C+ = 74.5 - 79.4%

C = 69.5 - 74.4%

D = 64.5 - 69.4%

F = 64.4% or less

Course Materials:

Text: Text: Readings and articles from various sources will be recommended based on the theme or area/s of focus selected by the students.

      Julian, Joseph and W. Kornblum (1986) Sociology and Social Problems, (Chapter 1) in Social Problems.  Prentice Hall.

       Leon-Guerrero, Anna (2005) Social problems: community, policy, and social action.

Thousand Oaks: London. HN59.2 L46 20114

Rubington, Earl and Weinberg, Martin. S. (eds). 2003. The Study of Social Problems:

Seven Perspectives. Oxford. Oxford University Press.

Journals: Social Problems HN1.S678.P9

 Beckford, George. 1989. Persistent Poverty Maroon Publishing House, 1972

Bowen, G.A.2007. The Challenges of Poverty and Social Welfare in the Caribbean.

International Journal of Social Welfare, Vol.16: 150-158.

      Crosby, Faye. 1976. A model of egoistic relative deprivation.  Psychological Review, Vol. 83 (2): 85-113.       Henry, R and J. Melville. 1989. “Poverty revisited- Report on Poverty in Trinidad & Tobago”. 

      Hsieh Ching Chi, and Pugh M.D. 1993. Poverty, income inequality, and violent crime: A meta-analysis of recent aggregate data studies. Criminal Justice Review, 18(2), 182-202. 

      Kovandzic, T. V., L. M. Vieraitis, and M. R. Yeisley.1998. The Structural Covariates of Urban Homicide: Reassessing the Impact of Income Inequality and Poverty in the Post-Reagan Era. Criminology 36:569-99.

      Land Kenneth C, McCall Patricia L, and Cohen Lawrence E. (1990) Structural covariates of homicide rates: Are there any invariances across time and social space? American Journal of Sociology, 95(4), 922-963. 

McIntyre Report on Poverty in Trinidad and Tobago, 1993


Pratt, Travis. 2001. Assessing the relative effects of macro level predictors of crime: A meta-analysis.  Ph.D. dissertation: University of Cincinnati.      Seabrook, J. 1995. “External Development Strategies Impoverish Third World Countries” in Third World, Greenhaven Press.

Smith, M.G. 1989. “Poverty in Jamaica” ISER

Solomon, J and A. Lebeau. 1995. “Internal Conditions Perpetuate Third World Poverty” in Third World, Greenhaven Press.

      Thomas, C.Y. 1995. Conference on Poverty in Guyana – Finding Solutions, 1995 (Addresses poverty in Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica).

   World Bank, 1996. Poverty Reduction and Human Resource Development in the Caribbean.

Course Grading Requirement:

Social Problem, Community Mapping Project:

  • Project Proposal:  20 points                 
  • Theory application to social problem:  30 points
  • Completed project 50 points

TOTAL                                                  100

Course Requirements:

Community Mapping Project:

Students will conduct a mapping project in their community. The mapping project will include a transect walk within selected communities, observation and description of community resources; interview relevant community members; map and show the resources of the community (physical, human resource and socio-economic features and factors affecting living conditions), and create a portfolio of the community being mapped. This must include photographic evidence, the geographical confines of the community, reports on interactions with community members and observations made with regards to the specific community/problem.

Course Schedule

Schedule: Spring 2022 

Tuesdays and Thursdays – 10:00 – 11:15


Course Information/Orientation, Introduction of Class Members: Course Assignments  COVID-19 Protocol re. Research

Conceptualization of Social Problem 

Social Structure and Social Problem/Decide on Social Problem Focus

Wk 1

Social Theories and Social Problems

Mapping as Community Research Tool 

(Assignment – Prepare outline of community to be Mapped)

Wk 2

ID Social problems in Grenada/ Students’ Communities

Participatory Research/ Components of Community Mapping

Wk 3

Sociological Approaches in investigating Community Problem

Planning for Community Mapping Portfolio

Outline of Communities to be Mapped (Due)

Wk 4

Students Presentation of Mapping Proposals for Addressing Social Problem (8)

Social Theories and Methods applied to Social problems, Identified – (8)

Wk 5

Transect Walk – 

Observation/ Photographic Evidence

Wk 6

Data collection: Interviews – Develop interview schedule

Data Collection Tool: Life-stories-Design approaches

Wk 7

Mid-Term Week 

Complete Proposal of Mapping Project Due 

Wk 8

Engaging Field/Ethical Considerations/Cultural Sensitivity/COVI-19 Components of Mapping

Discussion of Components of Mapping: Mapping Methods and Procedure (Principles of Data collection)

Wk 9

Transect Walk and Observation Methods/Reporting 

Wk 10

Report of Transect Walk and Observation Recorded


 Life Stories/Individual interviews re Social Problem

Report on Interviews/Reporting Interviews

Wk 11

Identifying Gaps in Community Services, Barriers to Access, resulting in Social Problem – Application of Theory Project Consultation

Wk 12

Identifying Gaps in Community Services, Barriers to Access, resulting in Social

Problem – Application of Theory

Preparing  Community portfolio

Project Consultation

        Wk 13

Presentation of Mapping Project

Wk 14

Presentation of Mapping Projects

Wk 15

Portfolio Due

Wk 16

School of Arts and Sciences Master Syllabi — Info for All Sections

Plagiarism Policy

Academic Integrity

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

Plagiarism is regarded as a cardinal offense in academia because it constitutes theft of the work of someone else, which is then purported as the original work of the plagiarist. Plagiarism draws into disrepute the credibility of the Institution, its faculty, and students; therefore, it is not tolerated” (p. 48).

Plagiarism also includes the unintentional copying or false accreditation of work, so double check your assignments BEFORE you hand them in.

Be sure to do good, honest work, credit your sources and reference accordingly and adhere to the University’s Honor Code. Plagiarism and cheating will be dealt with very seriously following the university’s policies on Plagiarism as outlined in the Student Manual.

Your work may be subject to submission to plagiarism detection software, submission to this system means that your work automatically becomes part of that database and can be compared with the work of your classmates.

Attendance Requirement

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

Students are expected to attend all classes and or clinical rotations for which they have registered. Although attendance may not be recorded at every academic activity, attendance may be taken randomly. Students’ absence may adversely affect their academic status as specified in the grading policy. If absence from individual classes, examinations, and activities, or from the University itself is anticipated, or occurs spontaneously due to illness or other extenuating circumstances, proper notification procedures must be followed. A particular course may define additional policies regarding specific attendance or participation” (p. 9).

Examination Attendance

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

All matriculated students are expected to attend all assigned academic activities for each course currently registered. Medical excuses will be based on self-reporting by students. Students who feel they are too sick to take an examination or other required activity on a specific day must submit the online SAS medical excuse, which is available on Carenage. Students are only allowed two such excuses a year. Upon consultation with the Director of University Health Service, the third excuse will result in a mandatory medical leave of absence. The policies regarding make-up examinations are at the option of the Course Director” (p.46).

For additional specific examination policies and procedures, refer to the St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020), pages 31 through 37.

Student Accessibility and Accommodation Services Policy

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

A student with a disability or disabling condition that affects one or more major life activities, who would like to request an accommodation, must submit a completed application form and supporting documentation to the Student Accessibility and Accommodation Services (SAAS) located in the Dean of Students Office. It is highly recommended that students applying for accommodations do so at least one month before classes begin to allow for a more efficient and timely consideration of the request. If a fully completed application is not submitted in a timely fashion, an eligibility determination may not be made, and accommodations, where applicable, may not be granted prior to the commencement of classes and/or examinations” (p. 8).


It is the responsibility of the student to read and understand the policies, laws, rules and procedures that while they could affect your grade for a course, have not been specifically outlined in the course syllabus. These are contained in the St. George’s University Student Manual.