Effective: Late Fall 8-Week, 2018/2019

SOCI 111: General Sociology

Back to Top

  Course Description

Introductory study of small and large scale human social interaction and social organizations. G.E. Course meets Multicultural graduation requirement.

Prerequisite: None

Proctored Exams: Midterm and Final


As part of TruitionSM, students will receive their course materials automatically as described below.


  •  Conley, D. 2017. You may ask yourself: An introduction to thinking like a sociologist (5th). New York: W.W. Norton.  eText

Bookstore Information

Visit https://www.ccis.edu/bookstore.aspx for details.

eText Information

If a course uses an eText, (see Textbook information above) the book will be available directly in Desire2Learn (D2L) and through the VitalSource eText reader the Friday before the session begins, if registered for courses prior to that date.  Students will have a VitalSource account created for them using their CougarMail email address. Upon first login to VitalSource, students may need to verify their account and update their VitalSource password.  More information about how to use the VitalSource platform, including offline access to eTexts, can be found in D2L.  Students that would like to order an optional print-on-demand copy of eligible eTexts can do so through the VitalSource bookshelf at an additional cost.  Once orders are placed, it can take approximately five to seven business days for students to receive their print-on-demand books.

Physical Course Materials Information

Students enrolled in courses that require physical materials will receive these materials automatically at the address on file with Columbia College.  Delivery date of physical materials is dependent on registration date and shipping location.  Please refer to confirmation emails sent from Ed Map for more details on shipping status.

Returns: Students who drop a course with physical course materials will be responsible for returning those items to Ed Map within 30 days of receipt of the order.  More specific information on how to do so will be included in the package received from Ed Map.  See here for Ed Map's return policy. Failure to return physical items from a dropped course will result in a charge to the student account for all unreturned items.

Note: Students who opt-out of having their books provided as part of TruitionSM are responsible for purchasing their own course materials.

  Course Overview

This course is designed to familiarize you with the basic concepts, theories, methods, as well as an overview of the various topics of study in the discipline of sociology. You will develop a sociological perspective, distinct from an individual perspective, with which to understand and explain culture, social structure, social process, and other aspects of social life in a small group, a society, or the global community. As one of the basic general education courses, SOCI 111 will foster intellectual growth and responsible citizenship based on a comprehensive and critical understanding of the relationships between individuals and society. Each week we will focus on a different subject in sociology, with reading assignments, online discussion, and other activities that will help us explore the subjects.

  Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.

  Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe the significant theoretical perspectives within sociology: functionalism, conflict theory, symbolic interactionism, and feminist sociology.
  2. Explain the significant research methodologies within the discipline.
  3. Describe the process of socialization.
  4. Describe the sociological imagination.
  5. Explain crime, deviance, and social inequalities along the lines of race, gender, class, and sexuality.
  6. Explain the role of major social institutions.


Grading Scale

Grade Points Percent
A 900-1000 90-100%
B 800-899 80-89%
C 700-799 70-79%
D 600-699 60-69%
F 0-599 0-59%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (15) 225 22%
Papers (2) 200 20%
Quizzes (4) 200 20%
Exams (2) 375 38%
Total 1000 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 1: Introduction 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 2 15
Discussion 3 15 Friday/Sunday
Quiz 1 50 Sunday

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 5 15 Friday/Sunday
Quiz 2 50 Sunday
Proctor Information N/A

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 7 15 Friday/Sunday
Gender Socialization Paper 100 Sunday

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Midterm Exam 175 Sunday

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 9 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 10 15 Friday/Sunday
Quiz 3 50 Sunday

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 11 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 12 15 Friday/Sunday
Educational Policy Analysis Paper 100 Sunday

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 13 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 14 15 Friday/Sunday
Quiz 4 50 Sunday

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 15 15 Wednesday/Saturday
Final Exam 200 Saturday
Total Points: 1000

  Assignment Overview


There are 15 discussion assignments in the course. One of these is a graded introductory discussion, and the others are 14 graded topical discussions worth 15 points each. Students must post their initial response prior to seeing the other posts of their classmates. Topical discussions should be essay-style of at least 2 paragraphs, reflecting a solid grasp of the course content, and include original thoughts on the topic. Use APA style for any citations in your discussion posts. The first discussion assignment each week has an initial post due date of Wednesday at 11:59 pm CT. If there is a second discussion assignment for the week, it has an initial post due date of Friday at 11:59 pm CT.

You are required to reply to at least 2 of your classmates. Response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday during Weeks 1-7, and by 11:59 pm CT Saturday of Week 8.


There are 2 APA style papers in the course worth 100 points each. They are to be written in essay, not question-and-answer format.

Gender Socialization Paper

This paper is to be an in-depth analysis of your experiences with gender socialization, using a sociological framework, which includes social institutions and historical forces. At a minimum, you are to cite the the textbook and 1 peer-reviewed sociological article, and it should be no less than 1000 words long. It is due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of Week 3.

Educational Policy Analysis Paper

This paper is to be an exploration of American educational policy.  For this assignment, you must cite the textbook and 2 additional peer-reviewed journal articles, and it must be no less than 1000 words long. It is due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of Week 6.


There are 4 open-book quizzes that cover textbook chapter readings worth 50 points each. These quizzes consist of multiple-choice items, and can be found in the Quizzes Area of the course. You are allowed 40 minutes, and 1 attempt, to complete each. Quizzes are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday during their respective weeks.


There is both a proctored midterm exam and proctored final exam. Both exams cover all course chapter readings, supplemental readings, or videos as assigned in the Content area of the course. The exams are closed book, and are available in the Quizzes area of the course. You will have 1 attempt, and 120 minutes, to complete each exam. Each test consists of multiple choice and essay questions.

 The midterm exam is worth 175 points, and covers Weeks 1 - 4. It will be open from 12:01 am CT Tuesday through 11:59 pm CT Sunday of Week 4.

The final exam is worth 200 points, and covers Weeks 5 - 8. It will be open from 12:01 am CT Tuesday through 11:59 pm CT Saturday of Week 8.

  Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.


Textbook: Chapters 1 and 2


Video: “Quiet Rage: The Stanford Prison Experiment”

Discussion 1: Introduction

Introduce yourself (please tell us more than your name). What is your occupation, what degree are you studying, where are you from, do you have any hobbies? Why did you decide to enroll in General Sociology? What do you hope to gain from the course?

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Discussion 2

Explain why both history and biography are essential for the sociological perspective. How might you use the sociological imagination in your everyday life? I’d like you to use an original example (not from the textbook) and consider an element of your life (present or past experiences) that could be viewed as a public issue as well.

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Discussion 3

Review the video, “The Stanford Prison Experiment.” Considering that video, and your readings from Chapter 2, why do sociologists have to run their projects by Institutional Review Boards? What are the “golden rules” sociologists should keep in mind when conducting research?

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Friday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Quiz 1

Quiz 1 covers textbook material from Chapters 1 and 2. It must be completed by 11:59 pm Sunday of Week 1.


Textbook: Chapters 3, 4, and 5

Horace Miner: "Body Ritual Among the Nacirema"

Discussion 4

After reading Horace Miner’s “Body Ritual Among the Nacirema,” reflect upon the elements of both material and nonmaterial culture present in his study. Focus on a single body issue that was presented and describe it. What are your thoughts about this cultural component within this context? Can you draw any parallels to our own culture? (Hint: It’s more enjoyable if you do not Google this).

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Discussion 5

To prepare for this discussion, you will map your social network. Make yourself the hub, and include as many people as you can think of that you know. Ask each person in your network to name 5 people they all know, and map those 5 people.

After you construct your network map (you don't need to submit it), write 2-3 paragraphs reflecting the characteristics of your network (and those of the people in your network). How many of these ties involve sharing information? Material resources? How many are egalitarian versus the number of ties with a power imbalance? How many people in your network ties’ own networks (that second layer) do you know? What is the nature and extent of those ties, if any?

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Friday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Quiz 2

Quiz 2 covers textbook material from Chapters 3, 4, and 5. It must be completed by 11:59 pm Sunday of Week 2.

Proctor Information
Submit your proctor form to the appropriate Dropbox folder by the end of the week. Remember to “Save” the form before placing it in Dropbox. See the Content area for more information.

Textbook: Chapters 6, 7, and 8


Video: “Killing Us Softly 3”

Discussion 6

As explained in the text, deviance can be mild. Recall some instance in which you broke a social rule in dress, etiquette, or speech. What was the reaction? Why do you think people reacted like that? What was your response to their reactions?

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Discussion 7

In what three ways is social class having an ongoing impact on your life? What social mobility has your own family experienced? In what ways has this affected you or your family?

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Friday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Gender Socialization Paper

For this assignment, you will provide an in-depth sociological analysis of your gender socialization. How did social institutions and historical forces shape and/or constrain who you are today? What role did gender norms and gender roles play in this process? Your analysis should be focused around your own experience, but you also need to cite the textbook and one peer-reviewed sociological article in the paper. The body of your paper should be no less than 1,000 words long.

Your Gender Socialization Paper is due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of Week 3.


Textbook: Chapters 9 and 10

Peggy McIntosh: “The Invisible Knapsack”

Discussion 8

Thinking about the history of race, what do you predict for the future of “race” and “ethnicity” as social categories in the United States? Will they stay the same? What do demographic trends and history lessons suggest might happen in the coming decades in the United States? You need to include sourced content to support your position (tie to our readings, please).

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Midterm Exam

The proctored midterm exam covers all course materials from Weeks 1 - 4. This 120-minute, closed book exam consists of multiple choice and essay questions. The exam opens at 12:01 am CT Tuesday, and it must be completed by 11:59 pm Sunday of Week 4.


Textbook: Chapters 11 and 12

National Alliance to End Homelessness: “Housing First”

Discussion 9

Considering the readings in the text and Instructional Materials, respond to the following questions: 

  • If Housing First policies for alleviating homelessness are as successful as recent research has shown, do you think they will be widely adopted? 
  • Can you imagine how stigma about mental illness might make it difficult to convince cities to provide housing before sobriety? 
  • Use the internet to locate and explore one city’s use of the approach, and describe their experience.

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Discussion 10

Why do people get married? What factors contribute to successful marriages? To unsuccessful ones? Which sociological theory best represents your view on marriage and family? Tie your response to the course readings, but you can also share anecdotal supports.

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Friday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Quiz 3

Quiz 3 covers textbook material from Chapters 11 and 12. It must be completed by 11:59 pm Sunday of Week 5.


Textbook: Chapters 13 and 14


TED Talk video: Andreas Schleicher, “Use Data to Build Better Schools”

Discussion 11

How does family background – for example, cultural capital from the home – affect educational achievement? How do studies about family size and birth order complicate our understanding of the effect of family background?

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Discussion 12

Research one of your favorite companies (e.g., Gap, Old Navy, Nike, Starbucks, Whole Foods, Wal-Mart) – a regional company, or a local company. Report results including where the products are manufactured, how employees abroad and locally are treated, health and other benefits offered, and the company’s impact on the environment. Are locally owned businesses more “compassionate” than large corporations? What is the impact on local economies of large companies? Be sure to provide your sourcing within the post! When responding to peers, consider similarities and differences to your own organization.

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Friday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Educational Policy Analysis Paper

After watching the TEDTalk from Schleicher, explore American educational policy. Using two scholarly sources and your textbook, describe which sociological theory most directly ties to educational policies in America. Provide three policy-based suggestions to improve educational equality, outcomes or achievement. Your suggestions should tie to sociological theory and current policy weaknesses.

Your Education Policy Analysis Paper is due by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday of Week 6.

Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.

Textbook: Chapters 15 and 16

Discussion 13

Drawing from the readings, discuss how dictatorships and democracies differ. How are the citizenship rights of the population (as defined by T.H. Marshall) different under these two kinds of political regimes? How do you think these three rights are aligned in contemporary American society?

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Discussion 14

Pick one organized religion to research. First, describe the religion’s prevalence in the U.S. and membership patterns. Then, apply the symbolic interactionist perspective to this system, describing the symbols, rituals, beliefs, and religious experiences members share. You are required to source your content on this topic.

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Friday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Quiz 4

Quiz 4 covers textbook material from Chapters 13 - 16. It must be completed by 11:59 pm Saturday of Week 7.


Textbook: Chapters 17 and 18

Discussion 15

Use an example from this chapter to describe some of the possible links between technology and innovation, social movements, and social change. How do information and the way it is circulated affect social movements and, in turn, social change?

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Final Exam

The proctored final exam covers all course materials from Weeks 5 - 8. This 120-minute, closed book exam consists of multiple choice and essay questions. The exam opens at 12:01 am CT Tuesday, and it must be completed by 11:59 pm Saturday of Week 8.

  Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.

Plagiarism and Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a cumulative process that begins with the first college learning opportunity. Students are responsible for knowing the Academic Integrity policy and procedures and may not use ignorance of either as an excuse for academic misconduct. Columbia College recognizes that the vast majority of students at Columbia College maintain high ethical academic standards; however, failure to abide by the prohibitions listed herein is considered academic misconduct and may result in disciplinary action, a failing grade on the assignment, and/or a grade of "F" for the course.

Additionally, all required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.


There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Columbia College is committed to creating a learning environment that meets the needs of its diverse student body. If you anticipate or experience any barriers to learning, communicate your concerns with the instructor. In addition to speaking with the instructor, the following resources are available to ensure an opportunity to learn in an inclusive environment that values mutual respect.

  • For students with disabilities/conditions who are experiencing barriers to learning or assessment, contact the Student Accessibility Resources office at (573) 875-7626 or sar@ccis.edu to discuss a range of options to removing barriers in the course, including accommodations.
  • For students who are experiencing conflict which is impacting their educational environment, contact the Office of Student Conduct at studentconduct@ccis.edu or (573) 875-7877.
  • For students who have concerns related to discrimination or harassment based on sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy or parental status, please contact the Title IX Office at titleixcoordinator@ccis.edu. More information can be found at http://www.ccis.edu/policies/notice-of-non-discrimination-and-equal-opportunity.aspx

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted. Late papers or exams are only approved with communication and mitigating circumstances. If late work is accepted, it may still receive a 20% per day point reduction.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

Proctor Policy

Students taking courses that require proctored exams must submit their completed proctor request forms to their instructors by the end of the second week of the session. Proctors located at Columbia College campuses are automatically approved. The use of ProctorU services is also automatically approved. The instructor of each course will consider any other choice of proctor for approval or denial. Additional proctor choices the instructor will consider include: public librarians, high school or college instructors, high school or college counseling services, commanding officers, education service officers, and other proctoring services. Personal friends, family members, athletic coaches and direct supervisors are not acceptable.

  Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Technology Solutions Center, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. If you have technical problems with the VitalSource eText reader, please contact VitalSource. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.