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Course: Soc 101 Instructor: Stephen Sills

Semester: Spring 2004 Email:

Section: 6658 Required Texts: Macionis, John. Society the Basics
Location: Red Mountain 7th Edition
Class Times: TH 7:10 to 9:50PM


Introduction to Sociology (3 cr, 3 per); Fundamental concepts of social organization, culture, socialization, social
institutions and social change. Prerequisites: None.

Course Description:

This course is designed to introduce you to the basic concepts that sociologists use to analyze various aspects of
social life. The goal is not to have you accumulate "facts" about society, but rather to give you the tools that will
permit you to look at the world and your own life through the sociological lens. In other words, the aim of the course
is for you to gain a capacity to think critically about the relationship between individuals and society. We will
examine basic sociological concepts, principles, methods, and propositions. Topics in this course will include: the
history of sociology, sociological theory and methods, culture, social institutions, stratification, inequality, sexism,
racism, and the family. This course will also incorporate a global perspective of sociology as we look at social
phenomena at the local and global scales and examine the interrelationship between these realms.

Evaluating what you understand will happen in short assignments, exams and reaction papers, and class
participation. There are 1000 pts available. Grades will be calculated as:
♦ Short Assignments 35% (350 pts)
♦ Exams 40% (400 pts)
♦ Reaction Papers 20% (200 pts)
♦ Attendance and Participation 5% (50 pts)
♦ Attendance Bonus and Extra Credit +5% (50 pts)

Grading Scale:
The final course grades will be determined by the following scale:
♦ 895-1000 points = A (90%-100%)
♦ 795-894 points = B (80%-89%)
♦ 695-794 points = C (70%-79%)
♦ 595-694 points = D (60%-69%)
♦ 0-594 points = F (0%-59%)

Short Assignments
On a regular basis students will have short assignments based in part on the reading materials, handouts and class
discussions. Students are expected to complete the assignments before class, as they will be used for the basis of in
class collaborative work and debate. Some assignments , marked “in class,” will be completed as interactive group
projects during class time.

There will be two exams worth 200 pts each. Exams will cover the information from readings, lectures, discussions,
and assignments. Attendance is imperative to success on exams! Exam format includes true/false, multiple choice,
short answer, and short essay questions. An exam study-guide will be provided the class before the exam to help you
focus your studies. Missed exams must be completed within one week of the missed exam. Missed exams must be
scheduled prior and taken in the Testing Center during non-lecture hours. Ability to take a missed exam relies on a
documented excuse.

Reaction Papers:
A central component of this course is the ability to apply what you have learned to a social concern of personal
relevance to you. There will be two short papers (100 pts. each) that take the form of short essays covering topics
presented in class and in the readings. Instructions for each paper will be provided in class. Each paper will require
thoughtful application of the concepts you have learned. Papers will be typed, double-spaced, and about 3 too 5
pages in length depending on the assignment.
Attendance is required. Attendance is vitally important for the understanding of the material and participation in the
group discussions Attendance will be taken on five random occasions throughout the semester. Four of these
attendance checks will count for 25 pts each for a total of 100 pts (10% of the final grade). Thus, if you are present
for four of the five random checks, you will receive full credit for attendance. The fifth will count as an extra 10 pt
bonus for perfect attendance. If you are out for official reasons, sick, or absent for any other prearranged reasons,
you will be given an attendance make-up assignment worth 25 pts. If you are absent for any other reason, you will
not receive credit for that day and no make-up will be provided.

Official absences are those, which occur when you are involved in an official activity of the college, i.e., field trips,
tournaments, athletic events, and present an official absence excuse. If you must miss a class for an official reason
present the written excuse to me before the absence. Other official absences include jury duty and subpoenas.
Appropriate documentation will be required. If prior arrangements have been made, you will not be penalized.

Religious/Cultural Holidays:
You have the right to observe major religious/cultural holidays without penalty. At least one week before the holiday,
you should submit a written statement that includes both the date of the holiday and the reason why class attendance
is impossible. Prior arrangements must be made. If prior arrangements have been made, you will not be penalized.

If you are absent due to personal illness, or illness of a dependent, you must provide written documentation to that
effect. Acceptable documentation includes doctor’s note (on office letterhead), hospital record, or records from a
recognized medical/healthcare agency.

Extra Credit:
You will be given the option of up to four 10 pts extra credit assignments (40 pts total or 4% of final grade).
Throughout the semester there will be the possibility of writing 2-3 page (typed) reaction papers for outside lectures
and presentations, special TV programs, and other events that will be announced in-class.

Disabled Students:
Please let me know at the beginning of the semester if you have a physical or learning disability that may need
accommodations. The college will make reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities.
Students should also notify Student Services of any special needs.

Cell phones & Pagers

I understand the importance of staying connected with family and others for emergencies, etc. Please turn all
communications devices to vibrate mode. If an emergency arises and you must answer a call, please step outside of
the class discreetly and without disturbing your fellow students. Emergencies are not calls from friends or family to
find out what time you will be finished with class or what you would like for dinner.


Course content may vary from this outline to meet the needs of this particular group. All dates are tentative; we may
need to make adjustments to the schedule as the course progresses. Additional information about topics/assignments
will be will be provided in class.

Part 1 - The Sociological Perspective

1 22-Jan Introduction - Sociological Perspectives Ch 1 E-mail introduction
2 29-Jan Sociological Research & Methods Ch 1 Assignment 1
3 5-Feb Culture Ch 2 Assignment 1
Date Extended
4 12-Feb Presentations, Lecture on Socialization Ch 3 Assignment 1 Presentations
5 19-Feb Social Interaction Ch 4 Assignment 2 Due
Video: TBA
6 26-Feb Social Groups Ch 5
7 4-Mar Deviance and Social Control Ch 6 Assignment 3 Due

8 11-Mar Video: The Stanford Prison Experiment Assignment 4 Due

Review for Exam
9 25-Mar Exam 1 & Discussion Reaction Paper #1
Part 2 - Stratification
10 1-Apr Stratification, Social Class & Poverty Ch 8
11 8-Apr Video: Homelessness Assignment 5 (in class)
12 15-Apr Sex, Gender, Sexuality & Gender Inequalities Ch 7 &
Ch 10
13 22-Apr Race & Ethnicity Ch 7 Assignment 6 DUE
Part 3 - Social Institutions
14 29-Apr Family & Religion Ch 13
15 6-May Education & Medicine Ch 14 Assignment 7 DUE
TBA Exam 2 Reaction Paper #2

Note that topics, readings, and assignments may be adjusted throughout the semester.