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Readings Course
and Grading

SOC 101 Final Exam: Wednesday, May 11, 3:00 – 6:00 p.m., in 208 Bailey.
Course Information:

Meeting Time and Place:

Tuesday & Thursday, 9:25 – 10:40 a.m.
204 Kethley Hall


Professor: Dr. Alan Barton  
Office: 201F Kethley Hall  
Telephone: 846-4097  

Office Hours:

During Spring Semester, 2005, the professor holds regular office hours at the following times:

      Monday:  10:00
– 11:30 a.m.; 3:45 – 4:30 p.m.
      Tuesday:  10:45
– 11:45 a.m.; 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
      Wednesday:  10:00
– 11:30 a.m.; 3:45 – 5:00 p.m.
      Thursday:  10:45
– 11:45 a.m.; 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.

If you cannot make one of these times, contact the professor to set up an appointment.

Course Web Page:

You can find the most up-to-date information pertaining to the course on the course web page.  Check the web page periodically for changes to the syllabus, weekly study questions, and other information about the course.  The web page is located at:, Sp 04/SOC101Syllabus.htm


Course Text:

John J. Macionis. 2004. Society: The Basics. 7th Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Course Reader:

Leonard Cargan and Jeanne H. Ballantine. 2003. Sociological Footprints: Introductory Readings in Sociology. 9th Edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson.

The books are available at the campus bookstore.  You should purchase the books, or otherwise make arrangements to access the course reading assignments.

    • Click here for tips on how to study the course readings.

Course Overview:

This course introduces you to concepts in the discipline of sociology.  We will primarily study how and why humans organize themselves into large and small groups, focusing on how sociologists study group behavior.  The course covers the general rubrics of social structure, social action, and social change, presenting theories that sociologists use to understand these dimensions of social life, and empirical research upon which these understandings are based.  We will use many practical examples from a variety of settings to understand inequality in social organizations.  You will have many opportunities to read, write, discuss and lead discussions about these topics over the course of the semester.

The course meets twice per week.  Tuesdays consist of lecture and discussion on a weekly topic, drawing upon material presented in the course text.  Please read the assigned readings before the class meeting for which the chapter is assigned, and come to class prepared to discuss the material in the text.  Thursdays are dedicated to assignments and student-led discussions of readings from the course reader, pertaining to the week’s topic.  Please read the assigned readings before the discussion session, and come to class prepared to discuss the issues presented.


Course Organization and Approach:

This course uses a participatory, learner-centered, adult education approach.  An adult education approach recognizes that YOU are responsible for your own learning.  The instructor can only provide opportunities to learn, but cannot force you to learn.  Course material is presented in readings from the text, current topic readings drawn from news outlets, lecture, and student-led class discussions.  You are expected to work hard in this course, meaning that for every hour of class time, you should spend at least two to three hours outside of class preparing by doing readings, assignments, studying for quizzes and exams, and thinking about the course material.

You are expected to take responsibility for the success of the course, that is, you should take an active interest not just in the course material, but in the course itself, making it a success for all participants.  Factors such as interest, motivation, creativity, and initiative are important elements in evaluating your performance in the course and assigning a grade.

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Learning is least useful when it is private and hidden; it most powerful when it becomes public and communal. Learning flourishes when we take what we think we know and offer it as community property among fellow learners so that it can be tested, examined, challenged, and improved before we internalize it.

                                                                                                       ~Lee Shulman

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Course Objectives:

After you successfully complete this course, you will be able to:

(1)  Identify and explain three sociological paradigms, and apply them to understand particular social issues and problems;

(2)  Define important sociological concepts, explain important sociological theories, and describe sociological research methods;

(3)  Explain how sociology has developed and changed through history;

(4)  Explain the connections between social structure, social action, and social change;

(5)  Identify 5 important social institutions, and explain the relationship between institutions and individuals;

(6)  Describe how current issues are shaped by social conditions and social structure.

These objectives contribute to overall course goals:

(1)  Developing critical thinking skills.  The discussions, readings, writing assignments and quizzes are designed to encourage you to develop and use higher-order thinking skills, including analytical, synthetic and applied thinking.

     • Click here for more information on thinking critically.

(2)  Understanding the social structures and processes that condition our lives.  A basic goal of all sociology courses is to help you understand the nature and workings of these social structures, and how they open opportunities and impose constraints on individuals operating within these structures.  Sociologist C. Wright Mills called this using your "sociological imagination;" activities in this course are designed to encourage you to use your sociological imagination.

     • Click here for more information on the sociological imagination.


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16.9% of Mississippians have a college degree.  For the U.S., the figure is 24.4%  (Source:  U.S. Census, 2000). 

When you finish your degree, you will join an elite group.  What is your strategy for finishing your degree? 

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”  Luke 12:48 

Will you be ready to live up to the responsibilities of a college graduate?

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Course Policies:


YOU are responsible for learning the course material and for your progress in the course.  You are expected to attend class regularly and complete all of the assignments.  You are expected to know all material presented during class sessions, whether you attended the class or not.  If you miss a class session, you should check with another student to see what you missed.  “I didn’t know” is NEVER a valid excuse.  If you don’t know something, it is your job to find out.


Missed assignments CANNOT be made up.  It is assumed that if you miss class or an assignment, you are making a choice that prioritizes other activities above the class.  For this reason, none of the assignments or coursework can be made up.

Assignments are due at the time specified; no late assignments will be acceptedIf you miss a quiz or writing assignment, you will receive a grade of zero for that assignment.  In the first instance, this will count as your lowest grade and will be dropped.  Subsequent instances will be scored as zero.

If you must miss a presentation or other in-class activity, it is up to you to arrange to trade with another student before the event.  Please notify the instructor of such changes.

If you miss a scheduled presentation, points will be deducted from your grade.

Illnesses and Emergencies:

Illnesses and emergencies MUST be documented.  If you must miss class due to illness or another personal emergency, notify the instructor BEFORE the missed class period either by e-mail or telephone.  If you cannot notify the instructor in advance, bring a note from a doctor or other professional to the next class meeting.

Illnesses and emergencies pertain only to the student, not to the student’s family, friends or others.  If you must miss class for an official university activity, you should make arrangements with the instructor BEFORE the missed class.  Appropriate documentation is required.

If you are absent, and do not notify the instructor or bring a note, it will count as one full absence.  If you notify the instructor before the absence, the missed class will count as one-half absence.  If you bring a note from a doctor or other professional, the first two missed classes will count as excused, and will not count as an absence.  After two excused absences, each additional excused absence counts as one-half absence.  One or two absences during the semester will result in a one point deduction from your attendance and participation grade; three or four absences will result in a two point deduction; five or six absences will result in a four point deduction; seven or eight absences will result in a six point deduction; nine or ten absences will result in an eight point deduction.

You are responsible for all material presented in all classes, even during an excused absence.  You should get class notes from another student for all class sessions you miss.

It is in your interest to provide the instructor with written notification (e.g. a note or e-mail) to document any missed classes.  It is risky simply to tell the instructor and expect him to remember.

Make sure that you sign the roll sheet at each class meeting.

Class Discussion:

Class discussion is an important element in this course.  The purpose of the discussion is to provide you with an opportunity to practice thinking skills in a safe environment. 
In discussions, you are encouraged to explore ideas presented in the readings and lectures, to think about and apply concepts, and to develop arguments and evaluate evidence.

You must demonstrate appropriate respect for the opinions and ideas of other students.  If you repeatedly show disrespect for other students, you will be asked to leave the classroom.  Class discussions are NOT a time to chat with other students about topics not related to the course.  Talking privately with other students while the rest of the class is trying to carry on a discussion is disruptive, bothersome, and disrespectful to other students and to the professor.  If you repeatedly talk out of turn, you will be asked to leave the classroom.  If you are asked to leave the classroom for disruptive or disrespectful behavior, you cannot make up any work that you miss as a result.

It is acceptable (and encouraged) to disagree with the perspectives of other students, but you should phrase this to show disagreement with the idea or opinion, not with the person presenting the idea or opinion.

Electronic Devices (Cell Phones, Pagers, etc.):

Please make sure that all cell phones, pagers, and similar electronic devices are turned off during class time.  If your phone or pager repeatedly interrupts class, you will be asked to leave the classroom.

DO NOT bring cell phones or other portable communication devices to class during quizzes, exams, or in-class assignments.  If the instructor sees a cell phone or other device during a quiz, exam or in-class assignment, you will receive a grade of zero on the quiz, exam or in-class assignment, and you will be asked to leave the classroom.

If you must have a cell phone or pager (e.g. if you are a volunteer fireman or emergency responder), you MUST make special arrangements with the instructor.

Academic Honesty:

You are expected to comply with all academic standards and ethics as defined in the DSU Bulletin and Handbook.  You are expected to do your own work in this course.  Plagiarism and other forms of cheating will NOT be tolerated.

You should be full aware of the Course Policy on Plagiarism and Cheating.  If you are caught cheating in this course, you will be dismissed from the course with a grade of "F."  In addition, a report will be filed with the university's Vice President for Academic Affairs.

IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO UNDERSTAND THESE GUIDELINES.  Make sure you know what constitutes plagiarism and cheating BEFORE turning in any assignments.  Once you turn in an assignment, you are representing it as your own work.  If you are suspected of committing plagiarism, pleas of “I didn’t know what plagiarism was” will not be accepted.

If you are not sure what constitutes plagiarism, see the DSU Library's "Plagiarism Prevention: A Guide for Students."  The Course Policy on Plagiarism and Cheating also outlines examples of plagiarism.  If it is still unclear, see the instructor.

Special Accommodations:

Appropriate accommodations will be made for students with medical problems or diagnosed disabilities.  Have Dr. Richard Houston at Reily Health Center (846-4690) contact the course instructor to make arrangements.


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An international study of 13-year-olds ... found that Koreans ranked first in mathematics and Americans last. When asked if they thought they were "good at mathematics," only 23 percent of the Korean youngsters said "yes" compared to 68 percent of American 13-year-olds. The American educational dogma that students should "feel good about themselves" was a success in its own terms though not in any other terms.

                                                    ~Thomas Sowell (quoted in J.M. Henslin, 2004)

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Assignments and Grading:

You must complete all of the following assignments:

(1) Reading, Attendance and Participation (20 points)

• You are expected to do all of the assigned readings and attend all class sessions.  Please arrive on time.
• You are expected to engage actively in all class discussions.
• If you miss class frequently, or show up late to class, this suggests a lack of interest in the course material, and this will be reflected in your final grade.
• Please do not come to class meetings unprepared (i.e. not having done
- and thought about - the assigned readings).
• Make sure you sign the attendance sheet at each class session.

Additional Resources:

• Click here for tips on taking effective notes.
• Click here for tips on getting the most out of class sessions.
• Click here for more tips on getting the most out of class sessions.
Click here for tips on how to study the course readings.

(2) Discussion Leader (15 points)

• You will pair up with a classmate, and together you will prepare and facilitate a discussion on an assigned reading from the course reader.
• We will discuss two readings each Thursday; each discussion should last approximately 25 minutes.
• As discussion leader, your goal is to get the students discussing the article in sociological terms, applying the theories presented in the text and in class.

Additional Resources:

• Click here for guidelines on leading a discussion.
• Click here for a schedule of discussion leaders.

(3) Quizzes (20 points)

• Three in-class quizzes will be given during the semester.
• Each quiz is worth 10 points; the lowest grade will be dropped at the end of the semester.
• The quizzes will consist of short-answer questions (e.g. multiple choice, true/false, fill-in-the-blank, matching terms)
• On the quizzes, incorrect answers receive partial credit (see the link below); blank answers receive no credit
• The first quiz covers all course material presented since the beginning of the course; the subsequent quizzes cover material presented since the previous quiz.

Additional Resources:

• Click here for suggestions on studying for quizzes.
• Click here for an explanation of quiz grading.

(4) Writing Assignments (20 points)

• Three in-class writing assignments will be given during the semester.
• Each writing assignment is worth 10 points; the lowest grade will be dropped at the end of the semester.
• You should complete each assignment and submit it at the specified time.
• You should prepare papers using standard college prose, and should check for errors in spelling and grammar prior to submitting the paper.
• You are expected to do your own work on these assignments – see the policy on plagiarism and cheating; this policy will be enforced with no exceptions.

• Click here for tips on writing papers for this course.
• Click here for the writing assignments.

(5) Final Exam (25 points)

• Each student must take the final exam.
• The exam includes short-answer and essay questions.
• The exam tests your ability to absorb and synthesize course material presented in the readings and lectures.
• The final exam is comprehensive.

Additional Resources:

• Click here for tips on taking essay tests.

(6) Engagement (+/- 10 points)

• A total of 10 points may be added or subtracted from your final grade to reflect the degree of engagement in the course that you exhibit.
• Engaged students demonstrate qualities such as motivation, extra effort, interest in the course material, improvement over the course of the semester and leadership.
• Lack of engagement is manifested by frequent absences, talking with others or dozing off in class, lack of interest in the course material, lack of preparation, and lack of participation in course activities.

Additional Resources:

• Click here for tips on developing good study habits.

Computing Your Grade:

Your final grade in the course will be calculated as follows:

• There are a total of 100 points available for the semester.  Your final score is simply the sum of all points earned over the semester.
• If you accumulate 90 or more points during the semester, you will get an “A” in the course.  If you accumulate 80 to 89 points, you will get a “B,” for 70 to 79 points you will get a “C,” and for 60 to 69 points you will get a “D.”  If you get less than 60 points, your final grade will be an “F.”
• Note that you start with zero and earn points; you do not start with 100 and lose points.

If you comply with all course requirements and submit all of the assignments satisfactorily and on time, you can expect a “C” in this course.  To receive a higher grade, you must demonstrate a superior grasp of course material and an ability to apply the material in productive ways.  It is also helpful to show an interest in the course material and in learning, and an achievement-based orientation.

Note that you simply cannot pass this class unless you attend the lectures and discussions regularly, as a substantial portion of your grade depends on attendance and active participation in class activities.

Study Questions:

Each week, a set of study questions pertaining to the week's topic will be posted on this web page. These questions are designed to assist you with the week's reading assignments. It is recommended that you prepare short answers to these questions to prepare for lectures and discussions. Questions for the quizzes, the final exam, and writing assignments are frequently drawn from these study questions.

Click on hyperlink for study questions:

Week 1 Week 6 Week 11
Week 2 Week 7 Week 12
Week 3 Week 8 Week 13
Week 4 Week 9 Week 14
Week 5 Week 10 Week 15


Course Outline:






Introduction to Sociology

Course Introduction;
Review Syllabus;
Course Policies and Expectations


Sociological Themes;
Founders of Sociology

Sociological Footprints
Ch. 1 (Durkheim)


The Sociological Imagination


Science and Society;
Theory and Methods in Sociology;
The Sociological Imagination
Society: The Basics
Ch. 1



Sociological Footprints
Ch. 2 (Mills)
Ch. 5 (Berger)


The Building Blocks of Society


Material & Non-material Culture;
Norms, Symbols, Values, Beliefs;
Cultural Diversity

Society: The Basics
Ch. 2

Discussion Sociological Footprints
Ch. 12 (Harris)
Ch. 13 (Buss et al.)


Becoming a Social Being


Understanding Socialization;
Agents of Socialization;
Socialization & the Life Course

Society: The Basics
Ch. 3
Writing Assignment No. 1
Sociological Footprints
Ch. 6 (Davis)
Ch. 10 (Taub et al.)







Social Structure and Social Interaction


Components of Social Structure;
Social Construction of Reality;
Theories of Social Interaction

Society: The Basics
Ch. 4

Discussion Sociological Footprints
Ch. 15 (Hall et al.)
Ch. 16 (Wood)


Groups and Organizations


Types of Social Groups;
Groups and Social Control;
Characteristics of Formal Organizations

Society: The Basics
Ch. 5

Quiz No. 1
Sociological Footprints
Ch. 19 (Hacker)
Ch. 21 (Kahlenberg)


Keeping People in Line


Normality, Deviance and Social Control;
Labeling Deviance;
The U.S. Criminal Justice System

Society: The Basics
Ch. 6

Discussion Sociological Footprints
Ch. 51 (Ball)
Ch. 54 (Rosenhan)


Stratification and Social Inequality


Systems of Stratification;
The Functions of Class;
Social Mobility

Society: The Basics
Ch. 8

Writing Assignment No. 2
Sociological Footprints
Ch. 20 (Kerbo)
Ch. 22 (Gans)









Inequality in the World System;
Global Wealth and Poverty;
Theories of Globalization

Society: The Basics
Ch. 9

Discussion Sociological Footprints
Ch. 18 (Ritzer)
Ch. 55 (Flavin)


Social Relations: Gender and Race


Gender and Social Inequality;
Women and Work;
Institutionalized Discrimination

Society: The Basics
Ch. 10 (pp. 244
Ch. 11 (pp. 271–282)

Quiz No. 2
Sociological Footprints
Ch. 14 (Fishbach et al.)
Ch. 46 (Merton)





Social Institutions: Economy and Governance


Economic Change;
Corporations in the Global Economy;
Power and Pluralism

Society: The Basics
Ch. 12

Discussion Sociological Footprints
Ch. 38 (Zuckerman)
Ch. 41 (Meyer)


Social Institutions: Family and Religion


The Changing Family in the U.S.;
Religious Markets;
The Protestant Ethic & Capitalism

Society: The Basics
Chapter 13

Writing Assignment No. 3
Sociological Footprints
Ch. 23 (Skolnick et al.)
Ch. 35 (Berger)







Social Institutions: Education


The Functions of Schools;
Issues in U.S. Education

Society: The Basics
Chapter 14
(pp. 368–382)

Discussion Sociological Footprints
Ch. 27 (Gracey)
Ch. 29 (Kozol)


Social Change: Mobility and Technology


Population Growth and Social Change;
Migration and Urbanization

Society: The Basics
Chapter 15

Quiz No. 3
Sociological Footprints
Ch. 56 (Mitchell)
Ch. 57 (Flynn)


Social Change: Processes and Products


Social Movements and Social Change;
Modern Society and the Idea of Progress

Society: The Basics
Chapter 16
(pp. 436–446; 450–461)

Discussion Sociological Footprints
Ch. 60 (Bell)
Ch. 61 (Ervin)
16 Dead Week

The Value of Sociology;
Sociology as a Career;
Opportunities for Sociologists;

Sociological Footprints
pp. xii–xx
Review for Final Exam;
Course Evaluation



FINAL EXAM, 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.



Be prepared; don’t give up

See what others have to say about preparation

See what others have to say about perseverance

Readings Course
and Grading