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Sociology is the systematic study of social relations, institutions and societies. Sociology offers a method of inquiry into social inequalities. As sociologists, we ask questions about and provide understandings of the ways in which people shape and are shaped by their social worlds and institutions. This course is an introduction to the discipline, providing an overview of some of the most fundamental areas of the field. Emphasis is placed on both macro and micro sociological theories and methods of sociological inquiry, as well as cultural development, the process of socialization, social structure, social stratification, and social change. Students will develop tools of Critical Thinking/analysis and Sociological Inquiry to better understand social problems.
In this course, we will examine some of the main concerns of sociological inquiry. We will develop and utilize theoretical frameworks to better understand how social categories such as race, gender, social class and others, influence and shape social relations and institutions. And we will examine some of the implications of social processes and social change within global contexts.
The overall objectives of this course:
1. Demonstrate academic responsibility and integrity.
2. Demonstrate through oral and written work knowledge of the course content; both macro and micro sociology theory, the methods of sociological inquiry, cultural development, the process of socialization, social structure, social stratification- particularly in the areas of social class, race and ethnicity, gender and social change.
3. Demonstrate proficiency in the research, analytical, and communication skills necessary to present, orally and/or in writing, compelling and original arguments that advance reasonable conclusions concerning the explanatory value of dominant paradigms for a given social issue.
Students are expected to honor academic honesty.
Academic Honesty: All students are expected to do their own work and, when collaborating with others, to contribute to the final product. All forms of cheating and plagiarism are absolutely forbidden and can result in a failing grade for that particular assignment or test, and/or for the course. The following are all violations of academic honesty:
v Copying answers from another student
v Turning in assignments which are not the student’s own work
v Using words or even ideas which are not the student’s own without properly acknowledging the source (this is plagiarism)
v Using tools or assistance without prior permission from the instructor while taking exams.
Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact the Center for Students with Disabilities (located on Main campus in the Admissions Complex, 310-434-4265) to discuss reasonable accommodations for this course. An early notification of your request for test proctoring or other academic adjustments is necessary to ensure that accommodations are available when needed.
Required Books: 1. Textbook & 2. The Reader:
1. Textbook: Sociology: A Down to Earth Approach, 12th OR 13th edition, ebook: ISBN: 978-0205991648 or 13th edition
- ISBN-10: 0134253353
- ISBN-13: 978-0134253350
https://www.amazon.com/Revel-Sociology-Down-Earth-Approach/dp/0134253353/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1540915739&sr=8-1&keywords=0134253353&dpID=616Ayf60SgL&preST=_SX218_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch (Links to an external site.)
(with Revel- Interactive ebook- Optional):
2. The Reader: 14th edition of Down to Earth Sociology: Introductory Readings(Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., ISBN-13: 978-1-4165-3620-8
http://smc.verbacompare.com/comparison?id=263469%2C263471 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
** Both Books are on the reserve at the SMC library too.
Students are required to read course material in advance of class lectures and discussions. Critical thinking skills are essential tools to utilize in the course.
There is a significant amount of writing in this course- in the Discussion Threads for each Module. Students must be able to write college-level discussion posts and papers. Thus it is highly recommended that students take English 1 prior to taking this course.
If you cite an external source, please use proper citation.
Students should keep themselves informed of current events by utilizing conventional and alternative news sources. Our goals in the course include connecting topics and concepts discussed in class with events in the larger society.
Total of EIGHT Discussion Threads:
A large component of this course will be the interaction of the class members in discussion threads. Please Note: I, as your teacher, am actively reading students’ posts and learning from students as well.
In each module, you will find questions that I want you to answer and/or debate, or I will indicate that you should use the space to post materials (such as your reader discussion questions) and/or offer sociological/analytical responses to classmates’ postings.
***Students have access to the Modules throughout the class.
The quizzes, Midterm and Final exams, however, are restricted to the dates indicated in the Module in which they are assigned.
Week 1: 8/26/19 – 9/1/19
Introduction to the Course
Module 1: Thinking Sociologically
Reader: Invitation to Sociology (#1), What is Sociology? (#2), The Promise (#3), How Sociologists gather Data (#4)
Textbook: Chapter 1: The Sociological Perspective QUIZ #1 (if you don’t take this quiz within the 1st week, You will be dropped from the course).
Week 2: 9/2/19 – 9/8/19
Module 2: Sociological methods & The role of Culture and Norms
Textbook: Chapter 2: Culture
Reader: Body Rituals among the Nacirema (#8)
Week 3: 9/9/19- 9/15/19
Module 3: Socialization Process: Social Structure and Social Interaction
Textbook: Chapter 3: Socialization & Chapter 4: Social Structure and Social Interaction
Reader: Extreme Isolation (#13) Quiz #2
Week 4: 9/16/19 – 9/22/19
Module 4: Social problems- Poverty, Globalization and Global Stratification
Textbook: Chapter 9: Global Stratification Midterm Exam
Week 5: 9/23/19 – 9/29/19
Module 5: Social Inequalities- Class and Gender
Textbook: Chapter 10: Social Class in the United States
Reader: The U.S. Upper Class (#35) & Nickle and Dimed (# 36)
Textbook: Chapter 11: Sex and Gender
Reader: The American Family (#37)
Week 6: 9/30/19 – 10/6/19
Module 6: Social Inequalities (Cont’d)- Race2
Textbook: Chapter 12: Race and Ethnicity
Reader: Showing my Color (#31) Quiz #3
Week 7: 10/7/19 – 10/13/19
Module 7: Social psychology: Obedience & Conformity in social groups
Textbook: Chapter 6: Societies to Social Networks
Reader: If Hitler asked you to Electrocute a Stranger, Would You? Probably (#23)
Textbook: Chapter 7: Bureaucracy and Formal Organizations
Reader: Behavior in Public Places: The Sociology of the Vaginal Examination (#19)
Textbook: Chapter 8: Deviance and Social Control
Reader: On Being Sane in Insane Places by David Rosenhan (#28) Quiz #4
Week 8: 10/14/19 – 10/20/19
Module 8: Social Movements
Textbook: Chapter: Collective Behavior and Social Movements Final Exam (Cumulative)
Quizzes, midterm and final exams consist of objective, multiple choice questions stressing critical thinking. Questions for all will be taken from the text, reader, lectures, class discussions, and online readings.
**No make-up quizzes will be given. No extra Credit assignments. There are no exceptions to this rule.
****I have Online Office Hours- Fridays 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (see under Course Home) where you can either post your questions or chat with me in real time. If you post questions and rather get my written response back, bear in mind that I will get back to you within 48 hours or less.
You are always welcome to email me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will email you back promptly. All Students should have SMC student email accounts. I will NOT be able to email you back if you do not have smc email account.
Discussion points are based on these criteria (RUBRICS):
- How well has the student answered the question asked in the discussion thread?
- Has s/he answered all the questions asked?
- Has s/he applied sociological theories/concepts to his/her discussion posts?
- Has the student just copied and pasted something s/he has found on the web
- Is the student’s answer/discussion post written in his/her own words and are the answers comprehensive?
- Has the student taken time to respond to others in the thread? ONE response to another student OR the teacher is REQUIRED and another response/discussion post is highly recommended.
- Posted on time? All Discussion Threads are open in the for the whole week and student should start posting mid-week by Wednesday.
- Compared to others in the class and to his/her own responses in the past, is the student showing progress?
*You will be dropped from the class if you do not take the first quiz in Module 1.
Discussion Threads: 60 points (30% of total grade)
Four Quizzes: 40 points (20% of total grade)
Final Exam: 50 points + Midterm Exam: 50 points (50% of total grade)
Exams and quizzes are multiple choice exams.
Total points: 200
Students’ success in this course is directly related to consistent, active and online attendance and participation in the discussion threads and completion of, all EIGHT Module discussions, assignments and activities. Active participation includes answering and asking ALL discussion questions, posting comments, and completion of all class assignments.
To avoid risk of being dropped from course, all students should:
1. read this Syllabus, Course Announcements and all Course Information completely and carefully;
2. check Announcements, read and follow instructions in them, and check email frequently (4-5 times per week);
3. log on to course site at least 4-5 times weekly, put in adequate hours as indicated and always read announcements;
4. follow all course instructions contained in online Course and Syllabus and read all course readings;
5. check returned work frequently for grades and requests for re-submissions;
6. submit all assignments, discussion postings and responses, and presentations on or before due date deadlines;
7. complete online quizzes, midterm and final examinations within timelines indicated.
Failure to comply with the above requirements will most likely result in students being dropped from course!
Students are responsible for all Admissions deadlines–add dates, drop dates, etc. Please use the schedule of classes and check with the Admissions Office if you have any questions.
Online Class Rules & Regulations: Netiquette is required
Students are expected to abide by collegiate standards of behavior. We may have strong opinions and feelings about topics discussed which differ from those of others in class. However, we must treat each other with the respect and courtesy that we would also like to receive from others. Please read guidelines for online etiquette (Netiquette) on the SMC online home page.
Instructor reserves the right to change course-work due dates, readings schedule, quizzes and/or exam dates. Students should keep in contact with the Instructor to stay informed about any possible changes.
DO NOT use logical fallacies (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. in reasoning or unsupported claims when constructing your arguments/answers.
***Do not focus ONLY on the individual person, as groups and institutions are the units of analysis in Sociology.***
Please: Do not use Discussion thread posts to discuss logistic issues specific to online classes on CANVAS. We are lucky to have CANVAS which is equipped with excellent teach support. Please contact CANVAS tech support if you face a technical issue Or go the SMC Library and ask our great librarians to familiarize you with the Online course format offered by CANVAS. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding.
When responding to a classmate’s answer as part of an ORIGINAL RESPONSE, simply agreeing or disagreeing is not sufficient. Use theories and supportive evidence to explain how and why you agree or diagree; and keep your focus on discussion thread question/s. Remember: we all enjoy reading other people’s posts but our purpose in this course is to learn from our civil discussions.
Originality means translating course readings information, concepts and examples into your own words, not repeating them verbatim. Also, students can and should come up with other/additional examples from course readings FIRST, and not repeat what other students have already posted.
A deep understanding of sociological theories and concepts are required in each original post in the Discussion Threads. Sociological theories need to be stated clearly and concisely and then applied to the social problem or issue posed by the question/s in the discussion threads.
DO NOT use theories’ definitions—apply them to answer questions.
Please feel free to ask me for help or clarification about requirements for Discussion Thread Posts if you still need assistance after thoroughly reading the above Syllabus.
Help is always available at SMC. Please check Sociology Supplemental Learning Site: All students have access to this Canvas site which has practice quizzes, study guides, video links, and more.