As educators, we want our students to experience sociology as a way of understanding and analyzing the social, economic, and ideological causes of inequalities and tensions in society. We ask them to re-examine ideas that they may have accepted as “common sense,” and reconsider their assumptions about basic social phenomena.  Across many of our courses  - from introductory courses to more advanced topics - we provide our students  with a sociological lens to explore issues such as social stratification, inequalities across race, gender, sex, and sexuality, poverty, crime and violence, drug abuse, and the human impact of environmental changes. But as is the case in most academic disciplines, we often spend more time focusing on the structural causes of social problems and less time asking students to explore possible solutions for alleviating these social problems.

Educators in multiple disciplines -- sociology included --  recognize that this problem-centric focus can leave our students feeling frustrated and overwhelmed, and therefore less likely to get involved in their communities to solve the problems they are studying in class. Solutions Journalism Network has created collections of stories with discussion questions to help sociology professors shift their teaching focus toward solutions, and introduce their students to some of the most promising solutions to social problems that are being implemented around the world today.  

Below we've compiled a few resources for you. First, you will see a list of keywords that you can click on and go to all of the stories in our database that have been tagged as fitting in to that topic. Next, you'll find a sampling of "Story Collections" on a variety of topics related to the field of sociology.  Each of these collections include discussion questions that you can use with your students. For our entire selection of collections with discussion questions, visit the Collections for Discussion page.  

All collections are free to download and licensed through the Creative Commons. Just click the "Copy this Collection" button to add or delete questions or stories from the Solutions Story Tracker -- SJN's searchable database of thousands of rigorously reported solutions stories published by a diversity of news outlets from around the world.  If you decide to download one or more collections to assign to your students,  you'll need to create a Solutions Journalism Network profile. Click Sign In on the upper right corner of the website to do so.  

SJN also offers two additional resources appropriate for any discipline: the Complicating the Narratives Discussion Guides and the Making a Difference Course Modules (part one, part two, and part three).  And be sure to check out our popular Journalist in the Classroom program.  If you're interested in bringing a journalist to class to discuss a particular issue with your students, let us know.

Questions? Email our higher education program specialist Lanie Presswood at

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