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Effective: Late Fall 8-Week, 2017/2018

SOCI 111: General Sociology

Course Description

Introduction to the study of small and large-scale human social interactions and social organizations. Course meets multicultural graduation requirement.

Prerequisite: None

Proctored Exams: Midterm and Final



Syllabus Contents

Textbooks

Required

  • Kendall, Diana. (2015). Sociology in Our Times (10). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.
    • [ISBN-978-1-285-46023-9]

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.


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

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) 210 21%
Papers (2) 215 22%
Quizzes (4) 200 20%
Midterm Exam (1) 175 18%
Final Exam (1) 200 20%
Total 1000 100%


Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 1: Introduction 0 Wednesday
Discussion 2: Sociological Imagination 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 3: Research Methods 15 Friday/Sunday
Quiz 1: Theories and Methods 50 Sunday
Week 2
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4: Body Rituals 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 5: Socialization Theorists 15 Friday/Sunday
Paper: Norm Violation Paper 75 Sunday
Proctor Information N/A
Week 3
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6: Statuses and Roles 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 7: Homelessness 15 Friday/Sunday
Quiz 2: Culture, Socialization and Social Structures 50 Sunday
Week 4
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8: Social Networking 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Midterm Exam 175 Sunday
Week 5
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 9: Fear and Crime 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 10: Feminization of Poverty 15 Friday/Sunday
Quiz 3: Deviance, Crime and Class 50 Sunday
Week 6
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 11: Discrimination 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 12: Gender Stereotypes 15 Friday/Sunday
Paper: Gender Socialization 140 Sunday
Week 7
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 13: Aging 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 14: Families 15 Friday/Sunday
Quiz 4: Race, Gender and Age Inequalities 50 Sunday
Week 8
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 15: Education 15 Wednesday/Saturday
Final Exam 200 Saturday
Total Points 1000

Assignment Overview

Readings

It is critical that you read all weekly reading assignments prior to participating in discussions or submitting other assignments. Mastering the weekly reading assignment is absolutely essential for your success in the course.

Discussions

There are 14 topical discussions for this class worth 15 points each and an Introduction Discussion. The discussions are located in the Discussions area of the course. Your posts for the topical discussions should be essay-style, reflecting a solid grasp of the course content, and include original thoughts on the topic. You should base your post on the readings, as well as any information I provide in the course. Make sure that you attribute your sources using APA style. These discussion questions are designed to help you understand key concepts in the assigned readings.

I expect you to read your classmates postings and respond to at least two other classmates. The only exception to this is the Week 1 Introduction Discussion. You should read the majority of other students’ posts and provide substantive responses that extend the discussion. Often you will find that you learn even more about the topic from your classmates than from just reading the book. Remember, standards of civility apply.

Each week your initial post for the first discussion is due Wednesday and for the second discussion it is due by Friday. You will not earn points for any initial posts made past the due dates. Your response posts for both discussions are due by Sunday.

Your discussion postings are graded for the quality of the content and your participation. Only those posts that address each discussion question clearly, correctly, and fully can earn the full credit.

Papers

You will write two papers for this class. Your writing should be complete, succinct, thoughtful, and appropriate for the assigned topic. You should use APA style and essay-format (please no question/answer format). Please use 1” margins, Times New Roman or Arial 12 point font, and include page numbers. Proofread your work before submitting. Your papers will be submitted to Turnitin.com, so please be sure to paraphrase and attribute.

Plagiarism Quiz: You must review the plagiarism tutorial and complete the plagiarism quiz located before you will be able to upload your papers.  You will need to review the tutorial before you can take the quiz.

Week 2 Paper: Norm Violation

For this paper you will follow a scenario and write about your understanding of the role of social norms in cultures. You will choose one of four scenarios that ask you to violate a very mild standard of conduct and observe the interactions/reactions of those around you. Specific assignment details are provided in the Content area of the course. This paper is worth 75 points.

Week 6 Paper: Gender Socialization

For this paper you will write an in-depth analysis of your own gender socialization. You will consider how your own experiences with gender socialization were shaped by social institutions and historical forces. Specific assignment details are provided in the Content area of the course. This paper is worth 140 points.

Quizzes

There are four 20 multiple choice question quizzes worth 50 points each. These open-book quizzes are available in the Quizzes area of the course. You will have 40 minutes to take each quiz, and will only have one attempt. Make sure you have a reliable internet connection, and can take the quiz without undue distractions.

Midterm and Final Exams

Both exams are computer-based, proctored exams found in the Quizzes area of the course. You need to schedule a proctor for both exams to ensure the integrity of the examination process. The exams are closed book (no notes, textbooks or other reference materials allowed) and will include multiple choice, true/false, and essay questions. You will have 120 minutes for each exam.


Course Outline

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

Week 1: Sociological Theory and Methodologies
Readings

• Chapter 1 (The Sociological Perspective)
• Chapter 2 (Sociological Research Methods)

Note: The first two chapters are available in the course frame if your text has not arrived.

Required Media
• “Quiet Rage: The Stanford Prison Experiment” Dir. Philip Zimbardo (2004) [available in the Content area of the course]
Discussion 1: Introduction
Introduce yourself. Please tell us more than your name. Include, for example, your major, occupation, hobbies, interest, your geographical location, and any other information that you can share with us to help us get to know you. Why did you decide to enroll in General Sociology? What do you hope to gain from the course? Due Wednesday.
Discussion 2: Sociological Imagination
What is the sociological reasoning discussed by C. W. Mills in his concept of the sociological imagination? How might it be useful in your everyday life? I’d like you to use an original example – not one drawn from the textbook, and consider an element of your life (present or past experiences) that could be viewed as a public issue, as well. Your initial post is due Wednesday and your responses are due Sunday.
Discussion 3: Research Methods
Consider a social phenomenon (homelessness, drug abuse, unemployment, divorce, discrimination, bullying, etc.). Posit a hypothesis you could use to evaluate this issue (specify an independent and dependent variable in a “testable” statement). Describe what research method you would use to evaluate this (surveys, experiment, interview, field research, etc.), and how you would gather a sample. What would you expect to find? Your initial post is due Friday and your responses are due Sunday.
Plagiarism Tutorial and Quiz
Complete the plagiarism tutorial and take the quiz in our course area (not CougarTrack). You will not be able to post any assignments to folders in the Dropbox area until you do both. It should take you about 20 minutes to complete the tutorial and quiz.
Quiz 1: Theories and Methods
Quiz 1 covers Chapters 1 and 2. You may use your textbook or other notes to answer the 20 questions. Please save your responses frequently. The quiz is due Sunday.
Week 2: Culture and Socialization Processes
Readings
• Chapter 3 (Culture)
• Chapter 4 (Socialization)
• “Body Ritual Among the Nacirema” Horace Miner (1956) [available in the Content area of the course]
Discussion 4: Body Rituals
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? Your initial post is due Wednesday and your responses are due Sunday.
Discussion 5: Socialization Theorists
Select one of the socialization theorists presented in our textbook (Freud, Piaget, Kohlberg, Gilligan, Cooley, Mead, Corsaro, Erikson) and describe the main points of the theorist. Do you feel their perspective is still pertinent in today’s American culture? Why or why not? Your initial post is due Friday and your responses are due Sunday.
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.
Paper: Norm Violation Paper
For this paper you will consider the role of norms in cultures. Before you write you must choose one of four scenarios to violate a very mild standard of conduct and observe the interactions of those around you. Do not deviate from your chosen scenario. Do not conduct experiments with anyone less than 16 years of age. There is more information on this assignment in the Content area of the course.

Your paper, worth 75 points, should be approximately two pages long, double-spaced with 1” margins. Be sure to include your name on the paper. Save your file as a .doc (Microsoft Word) file and upload it to the appropriate folder in the Dropbox area by Sunday.

Note: You will not be able to submit your paper until after you have reviewed the plagiarism tutorial located in the Content area of the course and taken the plagiarism quiz in the Quizzes area.
Week 3: Structure and Interactions
Readings
• Chapter 5 (Social Structure and Interaction in Everyday Life)
Discussion 6: Statuses and Roles
Describe the statuses you currently occupy (achieved, ascribed, and mastered). What roles correspond to those statuses? Describe (specifically) ways you experience both role strain and role conflict (do not conflate these two concepts, or consider them generically, outside of the sociological definition). Your initial post is due Wednesday and your responses are due Sunday.
Discussion 7: Homelessness
Consider the social problem of homelessness. What are your personal experiences with the homeless? Would you argue homelessness is inherently individual (shaped by personal choices) or structural (shaped by processes of socialization and our social institutions)? Incorporate elements from our textbook readings to support your position! Your initial post is due Friday and your responses are due Sunday.
Quiz 2: Culture, Socialization and Social Structures
Quiz 2 covers Chapters 3, 4, and 5. You may use your textbook and other notes to answer the 20 questions. Be sure to save your answers before submitting. The quiz is due Sunday.
Week 4: Social Groups
Readings

• Chapter 6 (Groups and Organizations)
• “The Rise of the New Groupthink” Susan Cain (2012) [available in the Content area of the course]

Note: You will also want to review chapters 1 through 5 in preparation for the midterm. In addition to the chapters, review Horance Miner’s article “Body Ritual Among the Nacirema”.

Discussion 8: Social Networking

Consider the increasing prevalence of online social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, etc). Do you use any of these? How do you interact with individuals on these networks? Does it differ in any way from your face-to-face interactions with friends or family? In what way is this method of interaction an improvement? What are the drawbacks and unintended social consequences of social networking? Why do you feel these networks are so popular? Your initial post is due Wednesday and your responses are due Sunday.

Note: There is only one discussion this week so you can focus on preparing for your midterm.

Midterm Exam
The midterm exam covers Chapters 1 through 6 of the textbook. You will also need to be familiar with the Zimbardo Experiment, and the Horace Miner reading. The exam includes multiple choice, true/false and essay questions. You will have 120 minutes to complete the exam. No notes, books, or reference materials are allowed during the exam.

Take the midterm exam with your designated proctor between Tuesday and Sunday. Make your proctor arrangement well in advance for this critical event so as to avoid the unexpected.
Week 5: Deviance, Crime, and Class Stratification
Readings
• Chapter 7 (Deviance and Crime)
• Chapter 8 (Class and Stratification in the US)
Discussion 9: Fear and Crime
People are extremely fearful of school violence, even though data show it is declining. Yet, people seem to have little fear of corporate crime, even though it is prevalent and costly to society. Why is this? What factors play a part in creating fear? Your initial post is due Wednesday and your responses are due Sunday.
Discussion 10: Feminization of Poverty
As discussed in the textbook this week, two-thirds of impoverished adults in the United States are women. While some women are victims of chronic poverty, others are among the “new poor” who experienced “event-driven poverty” as a result of marital separation, divorce or widowhood. What, if anything, does society owe to the children of the poor – citizens who have not chosen to be poor but are nevertheless presented with a disadvantaged class status? Could this have greater costs on society in the future? Your initial post is due Friday and your responses are due Sunday.
Quiz 3: Deviance, Crime and Class
Quiz 3 covers Chapters 7 and 8. You may use your textbook and other notes to answer the 20 questions. Be sure to save your responses before submitting. The quiz is due Sunday.
Week 6: Racial and Gender Inequalities
Readings
• Chapter 10 (Race and Ethnicity)
• Chapter 11 (Sex, Gender and Sexuality)

Note: we are skipping Chapter 9.
Required Media
Killing Us Softly 3” (2004) Dir. Jean Kilbourne [available in the Content area of the course]
Discussion 11: Discrimination
What are the institutionalized discriminations, direct and indirect, as analyzed by Joe Feagin? Can you think of a personal experience with institutional discrimination, or one from which you benefited? Your initial post is due Wednesday and your responses are due Sunday.
Discussion 12: Gender Stereotypes
According to prevailing American gender stereotypes, what characteristics are associated with men? With women? How are these stereotypes changing? Your initial post is due Friday and your responses are due Sunday.
Paper: Gender Socialization
In this assignment, you should provide an in-depth analysis of your own gender socialization. You are to apply what C. Wright Mills called the sociological imagination, i.e. you are to analyze how your own experiences with gender socialization were shaped by social institutions and historical forces.

Some of the questions you might consider are:
• What are some of the ways in which you are/were socialized into an “appropriate” gender role?
• How did various social institutions (e.g. your family, mass media, religious institutions, educational institutions, sports etc.) shape your gender identity?
• Why do we place such great importance on “proper” gender role behavior?
• How does society deal with people who violate gender norms?
• How does gender socialization shape who we become as individuals?

The paper, worth 140 points, should be no less than 1,000 words, double-spaced with 1” margins. Be sure to include your name on the paper. Save your file as a .doc (Microsoft Word) file and upload it to the appropriate folder in the Dropbox area by Sunday.
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.
Week 7: Aging and Families
Readings
• Chapter 12 (Aging and Inequality)
• Chapter 15 (Families and Intimate Relationships)
Discussion 13: Aging
Do you agree with Lois Banner’s assertion that people are defined as “old” if they look “old”? Why or why not? In what other ways do we define “old”? How do you intend to mitigate aging, if at all? Your initial post is due Wednesday and your responses are due Sunday.
Discussion 14: Families
What important functions do families of orientation serve? Families of procreation? Do these two types encompass all forms of contemporary families? Why or why not? Your initial post is due Friday and your responses are due Sunday.
Quiz 4: Race, Gender and Age Inequalities
Quiz 4 covers Chapters 10, 11, and 12. You may use your textbook or other notes to answer the 20 questions. Be sure to save your responses before submitting. The quiz is due Sunday.
Week 8: Education
Readings
• Chapter 16 (Education)
Required Media
• “How Schools Kill Creativity” (2006) Ken Robinson [available in the Content area of the course]
Discussion 15: Education
Describe your own experience with the institution of education in America. What were your experiences with both the latent and manifest functions of education? Your initial post is due Wednesday and your responses are due Saturday.
Final Exam
The final exam covers Chapters 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 15, and 16. You will also need to be familiar with “Killing Us Softly 3.” There will be multiple choice, true/false, and essays on the exam. You will have 120 minutes to complete the exam. No notes, books, or reference materials are allowed during the exam.

Take the final exam with your designated proctor between Tuesday and Saturday. Be sure to schedule your proctor well in advance of the exam so as to avoid the unexpected.

Note:
As this is the last week of the session, there is no room for tardiness, and no make-up exam is allowed. Only assignments or/and exams received by the last day of the session will be included in the basis for calculating your course grade.


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

Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

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.

Non-Discrimination

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

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

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.

I only accept a late paper or exam with communication and mitigating circumstances. If I do accept your late work, I may assess 20% off per day late. All course work and assignments must be completed Saturday of Week 8.

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 Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. 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.


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