Tuesday 06:00PM - 08:55PM; S260; 01/08/13 - 04/23/13
Introduces the scientific study of society and social behavior including the basic concepts, theories, and methods of sociology (Delta College, 2012).
- Course Title: Principles of Sociology
- Department / Course # SOC 211 W-WN340
- Credits: 3
- Time in Lecture/Lab: 45/0
- Prerequisite(s): Level 3 Reading or Level 3 Writing
- Instructor: John Girdwood, MSA
- Office: Home // Phone: 1-774-473-9663 // Skype: JohnGirdwood.com
- Email: email@example.com // Office Hours: by appointment/phone
- Instructional Support Services: ph# (989) 686-9515 in Room J-102
*Syllabus patterned after and credit given to: Sociology Dept*
Outcomes and Objectives (Delta College, 2012)
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Outcome 1: Identify the scientific method as applied to the study of social behavior and practice critical thinking using a scientific approach.
- Objective A: Apply scientific method to the study of social behavior.
- Objective B: Correctly interpret simple statistical tables, correlations, and data.
- Objective C: Differentiate sociology, including its historical development, from other disciplines such as psychology, anthropology, and philosophy.
- Objective D: Distinguish among sociology’s basic theoretical approaches (such as functional, conflict, and symbolic interaction) to the analysis of social behavior and list the main contributions of influential sociologists.
- Objective E: Appreciate the applications of sociological knowledge to the understanding of social life including major social problems.
- Outcome 2: Employ basic sociological concepts in the analysis of social behavior and society.
- Objective A: Define and apply the concept of culture to the analysis of human behavior including both its cognitive components (such as knowledge, skills, beliefs, myths, and language) and its normative components (such as values and norms, including folkways, mores, and taboos).
- Objective B: Analyze basic social interaction and social structure using such concepts as status, role, institution, and society.
- Objective C: Locate the principal types of societies and their cultures in the course of human social development.
- Objective D: Identify the structure and dynamics of human groups, including primary and secondary, and the changes which have taken place in human groups as societies have evolved over time.
- Outcome 3: Identify the basic social institutions and their functions.
- Objective A: Distinguish the functions and processes of socialization and education in human social life.
- Objective B: Explain the functions and techniques of social control, including formal and informal, and analyze the causes and consequences of deviant behavior as well as society’s attempts to cope with it.
- Objective C: Categorize the basic family forms (such as polygamy, monogamy, extended and nuclear) and analyze their functions in different societies both past and present.
- Objective D: Compare the sociological approaches to inequalities of class, race, ethnicity, and gender and appreciate the functions of diversity in modern society.
- Objective E: Asses the place of religion in society, using both functional and conflict approaches.
- Objective F: Grasp the significance of major social trends leading to urbanization, modernization, secularization, collective behavior, and social movements.
- Outcome 4: Use writing tasks to promote learning.
- Objective A: Practice critical writing skills within the subject
- Objective B: Demonstrate knowledge of the subject matter
- Based on percentages derived from a 1,000 point total scale, using the instructor or institution’s grading scale. Based on percentage of total points possible. There are 1,000 total points available during the semester. Grades are based on percentages. I use the university built in (automatic) grading scale, whatever is standard.
- Henslin, J. M. (2005). Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach, Core Concepts (Edition Unstated.). Allyn & Bacon.
Henslin, J. M. (2007). Down to Earth Sociology: 14th Edition: Introductory Readings, Fourteenth Edition. Simon and Schuster.
- Selected articles available on electronic journal sites like JSTOR and accessible through the Delta Library – http://www.delta.edu/llic/libraryresearch.aspx
- DO NOT READ OR CITE THE DICTIONARY, BIBLE, OR WIKIPEDIA
- DO NOT READ OR CITE NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES, OR WEBSITES
My Personal Philosophy on Assigned Reading(s):
- I do not require you to spend money on text(s)
- I do, however, require that you read sufficient material
- Much of the text can be accessed free on the internet (e.g. Google Books)
- Almost all of the academic journal articles are available through the library
- I will teach you how to acquire sufficient material (mostly free)
- You cannot pass the class without substantial reading
- *Some of the following material (esp. policy and procedure) is taken directly from university websites
- **In many case, quotation marks are not necessarily used but links often provided
- ***Credit also given to Dr. Zhenmei Zhang for influencing content/format
An Introduction to Sociology
- “An introduction to the sociological perspective as it applies to understanding the social forces that shape peoples’ lives, interests and personalities. Examination of forms of social organizations, social interaction, and major social institutions such as family, religion and government. Introduction to major concepts and processes, theoretical perspectives, and research methodologies used in studying society.” (credit SVSU.edu)
- This undergraduate seminar will introduce students to some of the key debates and topics regarding social institutions and society.
- Students will increase their ability to critically analyze work in this field.
- The instructor hopes to inspire students’ own sociology research.
- The course materials draw on a variety of perspectives including:
- historical, and
- methodological perspectives.
- Class periods are structured to examine topics such as social organizations, social interaction, social institutions (family, religion and government), social processes, theoretical perspectives, and research methods
- This course is organized as a seminar. The instructor may provide overviews and/or supplemental material during lectures.
- Together, we will conduct a discourse resulting from:
- student preparations,
- guided discussion, and
- exchanges focused on the readings.
- will attend each class (“virtually” if appropriate) and read all of the assigned material thoroughly and critically and before the class meeting
- will adhere to all Delta College Policies and will NOT plagiarize – refer to the student handbook, student honor code, and academic integrity policy
- Reading critically means being able to describe the content of an assigned piece and also evaluating the logic of its arguments, the adequacy of its methods, its implications, and its relation to other course material.
- Students are strongly encouraged to contribute to the discussion both their insights and/or questions from the readings.
Grading Procedures and Evaluation Mechanisms
- 15% – Preparation of the reading for class presentation and discussion
- During weekly meetings, each student will be assigned major responsibility for portions of the readings that we will discuss as a class.
- Every discussion leader should prepare a 20 minutes presentation for the assigned readings, accomplishing two things in their presentation:
- an overview of the “big questions” and related theories in the reading;
- key issues related to data, measurement, and methods.
- For each segment, 20 minutes will be devoted to presentation and 10 minutes to Q&A/discussion.
- The instructor will be available throughout the week to discuss via email reading strategies and preparing for these presentations.
- Grades will be based on class participation (handout, presentation, and discussion).
- After the presentation, the whole class will discuss additional questions of the readings.
- During the discussion or near the end of it I will present supplementary material to add breadth and depth to coverage of the topic.
- 15% – Three short essays
- The students need to submit 3 short essays of their critique of the reading/material (2-3 pages) during the whole semester.
- These essays will be graded.
- 20% – Midterm exam
- The exam is a “take-home exam” (or online, if appropriate).
- This midterm will consist of a set of 3-4 essay questions based on the course reading and lecture materials.
- You will select two questions and write your responses that show your ability to understand and use the material.
- Instructor reserves the right to change the midterm to include both long and short answer essays OR multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank quizzes.
- 50% – Research proposal and presentation
- Research proposal should follow these general guidelines:
- research problem is specified,
- the literature review identifies key knowledge gaps,
- hypotheses are stated,
- the data are described, and
- the analyses are outlined
- Length: 10-12 double spaced pages
- Format: APA style and format; check out – http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/
- We will work through the process together using benchmark deadlines
- Research proposal should follow these general guidelines:
Assessment and Timing:
- Student is responsible to be aware of drop date and reimbursement pay schedule according to university policy. Student is responsible for meeting with instructor regarding progress before any deadline and throughout the semester. There will be at least one assignment graded by any initial consideration date. Student can choose to self-gauge progress but is encouraged to consult with instructor to assess competency at any point in time (for example, when deciding to stay with or drop course). Bench mark dates for term paper are outlined in course syllabus.
THE SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION
- “Just like other people, sociologists usually have strong opinions about what is “good’ and “bad” in society and what might be done to improve conditions. However, sociologists know that their opinions are subjective. Therefore they use systematic research techniques and report their findings to other social scientists for consideration. In other words, sociologists strive to view societal issues objectively” (Don Ricker, 2010).
- “According to sociologist C. Wright Mills, the sociological imagination is the ability to see the social relationship between individual experiences and the larger society. It enables us to connect the private problems of individuals to public issues. Public issues are matters beyond a person’s control that originate at the regional or national level and can be solved only by collective action. In The Sociological Imagination (1959b), Mills uses unemployment as an example of how people may erroneously separate personal troubles from public issues in their thinking. The unemployed individual may see his or her unemployment as a personal trouble concerning the individual, other family members and friends. However, widespread unemployment resulting from economic changes, corporate decisions (downsizing or relocating a plant abroad) or technological innovations (computers and advanced telecommunication systems displacing workers) is a public issue. The sociological imagination helps us to shift our focus to the larger social context and see how personal troubles may be related to public issues” (Ricker, 2010).
Reading, Writing, and Thinking in the Course
- “To take charge of your own education, you must be willing to read. As you read your text, analyze and think about what you’ve read between each class and come prepared to discuss what you’ve read.
- You will also pursue a topic of special interest to you and write a paper (10 to12 pages in length) about that topic. The writing of this paper will help you refine your thinking and understanding. If you do not learn to communicate in words, you cannot formulate fully developed thoughts and will instead live by the vague impressions and emotions that often substitute for ideas. If you need any assistance in selecting a topic, I will be more than willing to provide you with ideas and examples. Please do not hesitate to ask!” (Ricker, 2010).
Policy and Procedure
- “It is the policy of Delta College not to discriminate in employment, education, public accommodation or public service on the basis of religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, height, weight, arrest record, veteran status, disability, or other classifications as required by applicable U.S. federal, state or local law. Direct inquiries to the Equity/Compliance Officer, Delta College, 1961 Delta Road, Office J101, University Center, MI 48710, telephone 989-686-9547, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.”
- “In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Delta College has pledged to provide equal access and equal opportunity to qualified students. The Office of Disability Services is responsible for responding to accessibility issues and academic accommodation requests on behalf of the College. The Office serves both prospective and current students who have documented disabilities, and who request services on the basis of a disabling condition or characteristic.” http://www.delta.edu/disabilityservices.aspx
- “NO cell phones are to be heard or used during class. They are disruptive to both the class as well as your instructor” (Ricker, 2010).
- “Please have the courtesy to let me know when you come into class if you must leave early on a given day. Sit close to the door so that you may leave with the least disruption to the class as possible” (Ricker, 2010).
- In the event that your supplies are lost or stolen during the course of the semester, a copy of the syllabus is on my website. However, verbal changes are made to the flow of the course throughout the semester during class.
- “If you are having trouble of any kind, PLEASE do not hesitate to see me. I am always available during office hours and my door is always open. You can also e-mail me or leave a message on my voice mail. In addition, you can make an appointment with me. I am here to help you succeed and that is my number one priority” (Ricker, 2010).
|08 JAN||Topic: Theoretical Perspectives
What is your perspective?
What has shaped your perspective?
YouTube   and [slides]
|15 JAN||Topic: Theory
[in class activity]
|22 JAN||Topic: Social Organizations
SPECIAL TOPIC: CIVIL RIGHTS
|29 JAN||Topic: Social Interaction
|05 FEB||Topic: Social Institutions||4||Due:
|12 FEB||Topic: Family
SPECIAL TOPIC: POLITICAL FAMILIES
|19 FEB||Topic: Religion||6
|26 FEB||Topic: Government
|NO CLASS – ACADEMIC CALENDAR
MIDTERM - DUE AFTER SPRING BREAK
The Purple PDF
|19 MAR||Topic: Social Processes
SPECIAL TOPIC: DEVIANT DRINKING
|Article by AKERS||Due:
|26 MAR||Topic: Methods
|02 APR||Topic: Sample
|09 APR||Topic: Data and Results
|16 APR||Topic: Publishing Your Proposals||Article TBA||-|
|23 APR||Final Project Presentations||[FINAL]||[FINAL]|
Late Add Policy
- Although I would love to teach everyone at any time, it is my position while at Delta to not do overloads. The reason is that overloading courses beyond the existing course caps is bad for everyone. When course caps are raised, it is generally to demonstrate that we can teach more and more students per class by accepting overloads. Fewer students per class reduces the quality of the experience for both students and faculty. Thank you for your understanding.
Do not plagiarize. If you do, you will be reported to the proper student disciplinary service and you may experience a punishment as severe as expulsion from the school. That is not worth the risk of taking a shortcut in our class. In fact, I believe it actually takes more effort to cheat than to produce original work. Please keep in mind that plagiarism can either be intentional (cheating) or unintentional (accidental). Both are considered plagiarism and will be handled accordingly. However, I will report every incident to the college or university that you attend. Please read the student manual and do not ever plagiarize.
SYLLABUS CAN CHANGE AT ANY TIME
END OF SYLLABUS