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Welcome!

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Welcome to Rowan Wolf's Social Problems website. The winter term will be starting soon. Please feel free to explore the site and the syllabus. You may access the Winter 2009 Syllabus from the link in the right column. Please note two things:

1. We have thee textbooks for the class - the Intersections paperback text (from the Eitzen & Zinn social problems text). The other two are available online or are on Reserve at the Sylvania Library. They are  Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World and  Descending the Oil Peak

2. The schedule is somewhat flexible because of decisions the class will make.

I look forward to meeting all of you soon.

Power Abuse in Religions

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An excellent example of a critical analysis paper by Chang-Ting.

De Kadt states that fundamentalist religions aim not to overcome the tensions between different aspects of race identities and not to restore it to an unambiguous oneness. The belief systems have powerful influenced the public and politics of nations worldwide. People of different faiths not only fight over their basic beliefs and land but they end in war. In the world today fundamentalist religions have all sorts of violence; it is like a wild fire when terrorism is the issue. If different religious fundamentalist groups don't have their mind's open, there would be disputed between people and countries on account of their faith. From historical teaching, religions have started wars, ended them, impacted, and persuaded people. Needless to say, beliefs are very influential on the world current days. World terrorism is very violent because there are different groups trying to express their own point of views. Many terrorist groups have been associated with religious ideologies. These show how religion can be a key instrument in World Terrorism from a variety of religions there is a variety of terrorism.

The Terror of the War on Terror

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An excellent example of a critical analysis paper by Jessica Toribio.

As we all know, the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 executed by Osama bin Laden and other members of Al Qaeda had a great impact on this country. Our president at this time was George W. Bush, our current president. He led the United States into a new direction in order to take back and maintain our national security in the twenty-first century. This new course opened with two military attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq, taking over the governments in both nations. The point of these invasions were to track down all known Al Qaeda participants, and to rid of Saddam Hussein who was accused of concealing weapons of mass destruction and plotting with terrorists. However, both of these accusations against Hussein were not proven to be correct. Therefore, George Bush ordered to have a country massacred, killing thousands of innocent people, in order to help "save" them from their dictator who "could" be of harm to them. All of these actions that have been taken by the United States government in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 make up the War on Terror. The Bush Doctrine is the policy that the U.S. has created to guide our military actions in the War on Terror and to achieve twenty-first-century national security. The Bush Doctrine II is the U.S. policy for homeland security.


Global Warming: An Inconvenient Truth

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An excellent example of a student paper by Rayko Diaz.

Our world as we know it has been orbiting around the sun for over four billion years and has seen many changes. Mountains have formed from the shift of tectonic plates and America's fiftieth state appeared from the depths of the Pacific Ocean. Homo sapiens have only existed on Earth for around two hundred thousand years, a relatively young species in terms of four billion years of life. Yet, in this small amount of time we have been the most destructive force our planet has ever seen. I believe global warming in part is an adverse effect of the development of human civilization. Before us the world went through its cycle of changes, but now it seems the balance of the Earth is in our hands.

Littering and Waste Worksheet

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A sample solutions worksheet by Keenan Hall.

With the confronting crisis of running out of landfill space, the disposal of solid waste in America will be a major environmental problem.

A. Littering, a source of individual pollution, can be cut back or eliminated if new ways can be found to control it on a community level.


Resource Issues and Conflict

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Here are the links to the three videos we saw in class on Monday.



Grinding poverty in oil-rich Niger Delta - Nov 15 2007 (4:38)

 Oil Fix - Columbia (22:00)

Chevron Texaco: Ecuador's Black Plague (5:17)

Group Project Info and Topics

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Thus far, it looks like there are basically three topical areas that the class is interested in.
1. Civil / Constitutional Rights - the impact of the U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act and related legislation.
Something to look at: Ante On Private Data Increases Again

2. Corporate influence on political process and legislation.
Something to look at: Over 23,000 Business Leaders Working With FBI and Homeland Security

3. Contemporary U.S. foreign policy and intervention around the world. Includes implementing U.S. worldview and interests internationally.
Some places to start on this one:
Report: U.S. Funding Opposition Groups in Bolivia
US Embassy in Bolivia Tells Fulbright Scholar and Peace Corps Volunteers to Spy on Venezuelans and Cubans in Bolivia
Undermining Bolivia

If you do not already have one, I strongly recommend everyone get a google account and add "Documents" to it. You should then create a document and on the document listing page select "Share." In the email box, you may put my google email [email protected] I will then let you know that I received it.

For working with shared documents, you will put in the email address of everyone in your group. Then anyone in the group can access it add their comments or contributions etc. A revision history is automatically kept as part of the document.
This is the article referenced in class for additional information regarding the link between corporate capitalism and the political evangelical movement. Soldiers of Christ: Inside America's most powerful megachurch with Pastor Ted Haggard. By Jeff Sharlet.

Free Flying...falling?

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An example of an excellent critical analysis paper by Josh Curtis.

I believe that the greatest social problem we face currently is to be found not in the people of our society, not even in the people who seem to be the "puppet masters" of our society.  Rather, the problem is in the structure of the system, a system that has called itself many names but has failed to evolve into anything that is greater than it is.  It is a system based on servitude not service, competition not cooperation.  It resides in; democratic nations, communist nations, and socialist, presidents, dictators, kings and queens, it is the culture of power.



Holistic Ecology and Social Problems

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An excellent example of one student's completion of a definitions worksheet - by Josh Curtis.

The past couple of weeks the focus in class has been on social problems in relation to the environment, specifically global warming.  I believe that there is no distinguishing from an environmental problem and a social one.  The way societies are structured has a direct result on the environment of that society and the ecological and environmental systems of a region will have dramatic impact on the structure and issues of a given society. 


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