SOCI 1101 A: INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY by oROMUF

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									                                 SOCI 1101L: INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY
                                                    Spring 2010


Professor: Dr. Pidi Zhang                             Classroom: Carroll 1023
Office: Carroll 2288i                                           Class Hours: 2:00-3:15 pm, MW
Voice mail: 912-478-0004                                        Office Hours: 1:00-2:00 pm, MWF
E-mail: pzhang@georgiasouthern.edu                              or by appointment


Course Description and Objectives
         This introductory course is designed for three purposes. First, it should give you an honest and inviting
look into the discipline. To this end, we will read works by sociologists to gauge how they study society, what
patterns and trends they discover, and how their conclusions help us better understand the social world we live
in. Our course will prepare you to study sociology more in-depth, if you so desire. You will leave this class with
a general knowledge base that you can build on through further classes in the department, or through
non-structured evaluation of the world around you.


         The second goal of this course is to give you information from the discipline that is useful and necessary
in your pursuit of higher education. Sociology empirically studies the impact of social structure on the members
of society; therefore, all other disciplines can be enhanced through an understanding of sociology. Whether or
not you chose to continue studying sociology after this course, sociological analysis of the social world is a valuable
tool for a scholar or an employee in any field. Additionally, knowledge of the material presented in this course
should help you with critical and analytical thinking skills as well as in becoming a more conscientious and
developed writer—all valuable skills regardless of your educational pursuits.


         The third goal is to prepare you with a global perspective that will be more and more important for anyone
living in this century. We are going to put the more or less ethnocentric American perspective in contrast to view
points from other cultures, in order to achieve an understanding of human societies from a perspective as free
from our ethnocentric bias as possible and a refreshed understanding of the American society.


         To meet these goals for this course, we will read about contemporary social phenomena. Through careful
reading of the textbook, interactive discussion with our peers, and attentive listening to multiple perspectives, this
course should give us a better understanding of the world we live in and allow us to deconstruct it so as to have
a better knowledge of how the world is constructed. By the end of the course, you should be able to think
sociologically about the world around you, not only at a micro level but also at a much more macro scale as
well.


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Required Texts
          Ballantine, Jeanne H. and Keith A. Roberts. 2009. Our Social World: Introduction to Sociology . Pine
Forge Press.


General Requirements
          You must read the relevant chapters carefully.
          Your grade for the course will be based on the 10 quizzes (5 each) on GeorgiaView, four in-class tests
(50 each) of multiple-choice questions, the final exam (50), two four-page papers (50 each), discussion (50)
on GeorgiaView, and attendance (50).
          There is a quiz for each chapter. You are encouraged to take all of them. Only the 10 highest grades
will be counted. If you get kicked out for a quiz for technical reasons that test will not be included. A quiz typically
consists of 10 multiple-choice questions.
          A typical test consists of about 50 multiple-choice questions. Tests are not cumulative.
          Discussion involves providing (A) your original point about or understanding of the question(s) posted
for each chapter, and (B) a response to the original point or understanding posed by another student for each
chapter. Your point or response must consist of at least Four (4) sentences. “I agree,” “I disagree”, etc. will not
be counted as a sentence. You must express ideas that allow for an evaluation of their quality.
          You must write two papers of at least 3 pages long (double-spaced). A successful paper must have
a well-framed title (Create your own title. A title with only one or two words is usually poorly framed. Do not use
the paper type below as your title.), use original thinking, and apply the sociological perspectives when addressing
the topic. Provide a list of appropriate references to indicate the sources of ideas if they are not originally of your
own. Use parentheses to indicate sources of ideas in your text immediately after the “borrowed” part, and list
all your references clearly, including information acquired in class, if you use it, at the end of the paper. A paper
that fails to employ the sociological perspectives will usually receive a lower grade. Papers should be typed
double-spaced, in 12 New Roman fonts. Do not use other fonts or size. Attach the right grading rubric to the
end of the paper.
Grading
          You may calculate your final average with the following equation:
          Final Grade=Quizzes (50) + E1(50) + E2(50) + E3(50) + E4(50) + Final(50) + Paper1(50) +
Paper2(50) + Discussion(50) + Attendance (50)
          Grading scale:
          0 - 299 F,       300 - 349 D, 350 - 399 C             400 - 449 B        450 - 500 A


Norm-Violation Paper:
          Do we really have the freedom to do whatever we want? In your first paper you will test this question through
your experience violating a social norm. You are required to observe a social setting and understand the normative


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and expected behavior guiding social interaction in that setting. Once you have a full understanding of expected
behavior, you must violate one of those guidelines. In a double-spaced, 3 page paper, you will (1) outline the social
expectations (norms) of the setting, (2) detail how you violated a social norm, (3) describe the reaction of others
to your deviation, (4) describe your internal reaction to your deviation, and (5) reflect on how this experience
impacted your understanding of social structure. Apply the sociological perspective/imagination in this part that
may entail use of reference(s). This paper should be fun, so allow yourself to have fun with it. However, select
a minor norm, such as a folkway to violate. IT IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED TO VIOLATE A LAW. IF YOU CHOOSE
TO VIOLATE A LAW FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT, YOU WILL RECEIVE A 0!
•       DUE February10.


Budget/Poverty Paper:
        You are required to show to a group of young people (our class) about the cost of life in Statesboro or
the place you come from and use all the data you will have collected to make sense of the poverty threshold and
what it means to live in poverty in the United States. The paper must include but not limited to the following: (1)
Specify a typical (hypothetical) household with an accurate number of persons, their sex, age, occupation, etc.
(2) Build a table that includes ALL the items that would incur monetary costs this household would have to pay
in order to live their daily life and specify the specific cost of each item. (3) Calculate the minimum annual income
this household needs pre and after tax. (4) Provide the official poverty threshold for a household of that size (Note:
Income levels in official thresholds are before tax, not including capital gains or noncash benefits such as public
housing, Medicaid, and food stamps). (5) What you have learned from the data collection and analyses. This paper
will be 4-5 double-spaced pages in length, excluding the page for the table.
•       Topic DUE March 22th.
•       DUE April 5.


Expectations of the Student Colleague:
1.      Read all chapters carefully. Come to all class sessions on time.
2.      All assignments must be turned in by the due date. Late papers will receive a 10 point deduction for each
24-hour period of time.
3.      Students should be engaged in discussions through mutual respect. At all times in our class discussions,
respect for diversity of opinions and informed debate are both expected and encouraged.
4.      Assignments should demonstrate concentrated thought and discussion of sociological issues and its
relevance for our world.
5.      All assignments must be written in complete sentences and free from slang and “IM speak” (u is not you,
b/c is not because, etc.). You must keep your work academic for it to be considered for this course. Failure to
comply could result in a 0 on any assignment.


Expectations of the Instructor: Throughout the semester, I will…


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1.       Be prepared.
2.       Encourage students to think freely and openly about issues that arise in this class.
3.       Encourage students to intelligently challenge the arguments made in class, either by the instructor, the
course materials, or peer colleagues.
4.       Actively work with students to meet their goals for the course.
5.       Be helpful and mindful of student concerns.
6.       Be fair.
7.       Work to engage students in the course and the material.
8.       Above all else, I will treat students as sociological colleagues.


Organization of This Course: The learning goals of this course are divided into four sections.


1. Understanding Contexts: This section will emphasize how we are impacted by our social context. We will discuss
some of the theories sociologists use to form questions as well as the methods they use to answer them. Mainly,
we will talk about the importance of culture, socialization, structure, and deviance in shaping human interaction.


2. Understanding Power: This section will emphasize the power structure created and maintained through context
and normative interaction. We will primarily answer the question “Who gets what and why?” examining the role
of social class, gender, sexuality, race, and national origin in the distribution of power.


3. Understanding Structure and Institutions: This section of the course will emphasize social institutions and how
they are affected by context and power. We will look at the creation and maintenance of the following institutions:
education, family, media, criminal justice, healthcare, and religion. We will question why these institutions exist and
how they serve society.


4. Understanding Cultural Shifts and Contemporary Issues: Based on our awareness of context, power, and structure,
we will examine the state of contemporary society. We will consider the current social climate and discuss the potential
for change.


Course Schedule (Temporary and subject to change)


Section One: Understanding Contexts
1/11     Class Overview/Introduction
         Learning Goals: What sociology is. Critical thinking.


1/13     Chapter 1: Sociological perspectives and the sociological imagination
         Learning Goals: Differences between personal troubles and social issues.

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1/20   Chapter 2: Examining the Social World
       LG: The scientific nature of sociological knowledge. Select the right data collection method.


1/25   Chapter 2: Evidence and Theory – Real Life and Knowledge of It
       LG: How science gets evidence to speak. Levels of reality vs. levels of theories.
       Chapter 3: Society and Culture
       LG: Evaluate the hardware and software analogies. How are we shaped by our cultures?


1/27   Chapter 3: Cultural Changes
       LG: Unique to humans. Diversity or superiority. What makes cultures change?


2/1    Chapter 3: Cultural Lag
       LG: A common blind exaggeration of culture in affecting behavior.


2/3    Exam 1 (Chapters 1 – 3)


2/8    Chapter 4: Socialization, self, personality
       LG: Personality is shaped by EXTERNAL forces. Less of what we are born than become.


2/10   Chapter 6: Deviance and social control
       LG: Societies do not define deviance the same across space, over time.
       First paper due.


2/15   Chapter 6: Deviance and social control
       Video: Three Strikes, Prison Boom (subject to Exam 2)
       LG: Causes for the high crime rates in the U.S.


2/17   Exam 2 (Chapters 4, 6)


Section Two: Understanding Power and Privileges


2/22   Chapter 7: Stratification
       Video: America’s War on Poverty (main messages subject to Exam 3)
       LG: How does industrial shift affects the economy, which affects individuals’ lives?


2/24   Chapter 7: Stratification


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        LG: How do symbolic interactionist, conflict, functionalist theories understand inequality?


3/1     Chapter 8: Race and Ethnic Group Stratification
        LG: Minority. Changing definition of race. Institutional Discrimination. Self-fulfilling prophecy.


3/3     Chapter 9: Sex/gender
        LG: Gender differentiation and gender inequality. The Boy Code and the Pretty Woman.


3/8     Exam 3 (Chapters 7 - 9)
        Last day to withdraw without academic penalty.


Section Three: Understanding Structures and Institutions
3/10    Chapter 10: Family
        LG: Why family? (Changing) Functions. Conflict, Feminist theories of gender inequality.


3/15-19          Spring Break: No Class.


3/22    Chapter 10: Family
        LG: Marriage market. Mate selection. Types of marriages.
        Topic for Second Paper due.


3/24    Chapter 11: Education
        LG: Student popularity. Teachers’ (low) morales. Functions of Education.


3/29    Chapter 11: Education
        LG: Conflict: the “great equalizer” or a perpetrator of inequality?
        Video: Unequal Education


3/31    Exam 4 (Chapters 10, 11)


4/5     Chapter 13: Politics: Penetrating Power
        LG: Pluralist theory. Elite theory. Political participation. Authoritarian, democratic systems.
        Second Paper due.


4/7     Chapter 13: Politics
        LG: Planned, market, mixed economies. Military spending. Terrorism: in the eye of the beholder.



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4/12   Chapter 14: Medicine
       LG: Health: personal trouble or social issue? Functionalist, conflict theories.


4/14   Chapter 14: Medicine
       LG: The changing medical profession. The market health care model. Alternative models.


Section Four: Understanding Changes


4/19   Chapter 15: Population
       LG: Malthusian theory. Demographic transition theory. The conflict theory.


4/21   Chapter 15: Population
       LG: (International) Migration. Urbanization. Surburbanization.


4/26   Chapter 16: The Process of Change
       LG: Roots of terrorism. Globalization. NAFTA.


4/28   Chapter 16: Collective Action
       LG: Types of collective behavior. Social movement. Win-win, win-lose or lose-lose?


5/3    Review Session: Questions for Final Exam.


       3:00 – 5:00 Final Exam (Chapters 13 – 16)




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Dr. P. Zhang
SOCI 1101 Introduction to Sociology
Paper Guidelines


I. Grading Considerations for the Norm Violation Paper


1. Observation of a social setting (5 points)

Fail: Did not observe any social setting/behavior.
Poor: Observed an irrelevant social setting/behavior.
Average: Observed a relevant social setting/behavior that does not lend itself well to a sociological analysis.
Good: Observed a social setting/behavior that lends itself well to a sociological analysis.
Excellent: Observed a social setting/behavior that lends itself to a sociological analysis, and it takes
creative insight to see the connection.

2. Norm violation    (5 points)

Fail: Did not violate the specified norm.
Poor: Violated a poorly defined norm (See 2 above.).
Average: Violated a norm that did not cause disapproval.
Good: Violated a norm that caused little disapproval.
Excellent: Violated a norm that caused disapproval.

3. Reaction by others (10 points)

Fail: No reaction by others is described.
Poor: Reaction by others is described inadequately or a lot of descriptions that do not fit social expectations.
Average: Reaction by others described adequately but fit social expectations poorly.
Good: Reaction by others described adequately and fit social expectations.
Excellent: Reactions by others appropriately described that fit social expectations very well.

4. Your internal reaction (10 points)

Fail: No internal reaction reported.
Poor: Internal reaction is not properly described or does not make good sense.
Average: Internal reaction is not adequately described or is not very reasonable.
Good: Reasonable internal reaction is adequately described.
Excellent: Internal reaction is particularly reasonable and well described.

5. Understanding of the impact of social structure on human behavior (15 points)

Fail: No social structure is specified.
Poor: Social structure specified wrong or wrong understanding of social structure.
Average: Social structure is inadequately specified or inadequate understanding of social structure.
Good: Social structure is well specified with some good understanding of it.
Excellent: Social structure is well specified with good understanding of it rendered in a convincing manner.

6. Overall writing quality (5 points)

Fail: Paper contains so many spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, awkward sentences, etc. that it is
difficult to read and understand the meaning
Poor: Paper contains so many spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, awkward sentences, etc. that it is
distracting to read
Average: Paper contains a few spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, awkward sentences, etc.
Good: Paper is technically correct but writing style is not engaging and does not flow smoothly, OR writing
style is engaging and of high quality but the response contains a few spelling mistakes, grammatical errors,
awkward sentences, etc.
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Excellent: Paper is technically correct in terms of spelling, grammar, sentence structure, etc. and the
writing style is engaging and flows smoothly


Grading Rubric for the Norm-Violation Paper

Student: ________________________________________

1. Observation of a social setting (5 points)

Fail             Poor             Average        Good             Excellent        _________ points
0-1 pt           2 pts            3 pts          4 pts            5 pts

2. Norm violation    (5 points)

Fail             Poor             Average        Good             Excellent        _________ points
0-1 pt           2 pts            3 pts          4 pts            5 pts

3. Reaction by others (10 points)

Fail             Poor             Average        Good             Excellent        _________ points
0-2 pts          3-4 pts          5-6 pts        7-8 pts          9-10 pts

4. Your internal reaction (10 points)

Fail             Poor             Average        Good             Excellent        _________ points
0-2 pts          3-4 pts          5-6 pts        7-8 pts          9-10 pts

5. Understanding of the impact of social structure on human behavior (15 points)

Fail             Poor             Average        Good             Excellent        _________ points
0-3 pts          4-6 pts          7-9 pts        10-12 pts        13-15 pts

6. Overall writing quality (5 points)

Fail             Poor             Average        Good             Excellent        _________ points
0-1 pt           2 pts            3 pts          4 pts            5 pts



                                                                  Overall Grade: _________ points




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II. Grading Considerations for the Budget/Poverty Paper


1. Title and household specification (5 points)


Fail: No appropriate title and no specification of a household.
Poor: No appropriate title OR no specification of a household.
Average: A good title or a good household specification.
Good: A good and title and a clear household specification.
Excellent: A very well fit title and a very clear household specification.


2. Item tables (15 points)


Fail: No table or price/cost list.
Poor: Several major items are missing or no prices/costs listed.
Average: At least one major item is missing or prices/costs were listed but not very clearly.
Good: All major items are included with adequate price/cost information.
Excellent: All major items are included with very informative price/cost information.


3. Minimum annual income and official poverty threshold (10 points)


Fail: No minimal annual income or poverty threshold specified.
Poor: Minimal annual income and poverty threshold misspecified.
Average: Minimum annual income OR poverty threshold misspecified.
Good: Both minimum annual income and poverty threshold adequately specified.
Excellent: Both minimum annual income and poverty threshold well specified.


4. What you have learned (15 points)


Fail: Nothing is learned.
Poor: Learned the wrong lesson. Conclusions are contradicted by sociological knowledge.
Average: Limited learning from the experience, with little sociologically imagination.
Good: Good learning from the experience, with some sociological imagination.
Excellent: Very good learning from the experience that is particularly informed by the sociological
imagination.


5. Overall writing quality (5 points)


Fail: Paper contains so many spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, awkward sentences, etc. that it is
difficult to read and understand the meaning
Poor: Paper contains so many spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, awkward sentences, etc. that it is
distracting to read
Average: Paper contains a few spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, awkward sentences, etc.
Good: Paper is technically correct but writing style is not engaging and does not flow smoothly, OR writing
style is engaging and of high quality but the response contains a few spelling mistakes, grammatical errors,
awkward sentences, etc.
Excellent: Paper is technically correct in terms of spelling, grammar, sentence structure, etc. and the
writing style is engaging and flows smoothly



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Grading Rubric for the Budget/Poverty Paper


1. Title and household specification (5 points)
Fail             Poor              Average        Good           Excellent     _________ points
0-1 pt           2 pts             3 pts          4 pts          5 pts

2. Item tables (15 points)
Fail             Poor             Average         Good           Excellent     _________ points
0-3 pts          4-6 pts          7-9 pts         10-12 pts      13-15 pts


3. Minimum annual income and official poverty threshold (10 points)
Fail           Poor           Average             Good            Excellent    _________ points
0-2 pts        3-4 pts        5-6 pts             7-8 pts         9-10 pts


4. What you have learned (15 points)
Fail           Poor            Average            Good           Excellent     _________ points
0-3 pts        4-6 pts         7-9 pts            10-12 pts      13-15 pts


5. Overall writing quality (5 points)
Fail              Poor              Average       Good           Excellent     _________ points
0-1 pt            2 pts             3 pts         4 pts          5 pts




                                                                 Overall Grade: _________ points




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