This course introduces students to the importance of understanding social problems, such as crime, in social context. It addresses key questions about the society we live in and provides a critical analysis of the ways in which social problems become defined. This includes an exploration of the combination of objective and subjective criteria that vary across societies, among individuals and groups in society, and across historical time periods. In so doing, it will demonstrate that social problems may be seen as socially and historically constructed categories. Students will be introduced to different ways of thinking about social problems and these different perspectives will be applied to a variety of social concerns (for example, illegal drug use, domestic violence, terrorism, environmental pollution). Students will develop skills in understanding and analysing a range of concepts, theories and perspectives on social life. A key objective is to foster a critical and interpretive understanding of the dynamic relationship between the individual and society.