This course is an introduction to the sociological study of contemporary social problems in the United States. The primary goal throughout this course is to develop your "sociological imagination" a term coined by sociologist C. Wright Mills to describe a way in which we can better understand ourselves and the world around us. It is through this understanding that we can begin to unravel how our individual lives are rooted in larger social realities, demonstrating how our individual circumstances are inextricably linked to social structures. In this course, we will examine issues of crime and deviance, social class and stratification, racial, ethnic, and gender inequality, work and family life, media, consumerism, urban decay, corporate crime, poverty, health care, drug wars, and others through sociological perspectives. Students should gain a better understanding of the structure of society, how we have perceived social problems and we have responded accordingly.