At the center of the Urban Agenda are the needs of people.  Sociology teachers can use the model in order to expose students to their own social and political norms and mores.  The sociology student can also look at the cultural motivators that influence decisions and the moral standards established by our society.  Not only do they analyze these systems; they can also begin to synthesize answers.  Human and cultural interaction is at the center of civic issues.  This is true especially in the United States and in particular in the state of Michigan, where the culture diversity includes peoples and cultures from across the globe. 

Some examples of issues applied to the study of Sociology:

1. The student of sociology can investigate the definition of what is means to be “homeless.”  The issue of homelessness associates to sociology in that there is a culture of homelessness.  There are a number of articles looking at the socialization of the homeless in shelters, etc.  The sociology student can also look at the cultural factors affecting affordable housing and the affects of the geographic area on both homeless and housing. Also, they can address the sociology of the general society towards the homeless.  Certain societies deal with homelessness differently, why?

2. Relative to the issue of disease and AIDS, the sociology student can look at the social mores and norms that cause a lack of disease prevention in the United States and internationally.  They can address the social norms and values of different groups as they may be impacted by the AIDS epidemic. How does the cultural norm of South African society tolerate the lack of acceptance of drug treatment as seen by their President’s condemnation of western intervention with AIDS drug cocktails.

3. Sociology and social structures are central to the issue of gun control.  The sociology student interested in gun control could look at the research on Canadian versus American gun deaths and

gun ownership.  In Canada, they have as many guns per capita as Americans, but much fewer deaths by gun than their American counterparts.  The sociology student can explore culture, attitudes and beliefs as they relate to gun ownership and use. They can look at the “culture of violence” from a not only a cross national perspective, but from a regional perspective –as seen with rural versus urban gun violence.


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