INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY
SOCIOLOGY 201
PROFESSOR ELAINE LEEDER


COURSE DESCRIPTION
: This course aims to familiarize students with the basic concepts utilized in understanding society and the place that we, as individuals, fit in that society. To these ends we will study American society and social institutions, while learning to view both from a theoretical and critical sociological perspective. We will look at various aspects of social life, including our behavior in large and small groups, the place of the individual in social-historical perspective, the nature of socialization, deviance and the social-structural conditions of inequality as they are reflected in race, gender, class, sexual orientation and gender expression. Further, we will explore the field of social change and social movements as these forces try to influence the course that society takes.

COURSE OBJECTIVES:

  1. To give students a working definition of sociology as a social science
  2. To explore and define basic sociological concepts and terms
  3. To develop a definition of the major schools of sociological thought: structural functionalism, conflict theory and symbolic interaction
  4. To develop a beginning critical perspective on the structure of our society
  5. To begin to explore the bases of inequality in American society
  6. To begin to develop a cross-cultural perspective to social problems
  7. To begin to understand what the idea "The Sociological Imagination" means
  8. To begin to look at various social institutions such as the family, prisons, and mental hospitals from a critical and sociological perspective

COURSE FORMAT:

The large lecture class will meet on Monday and Wednesday for fifty minutes. In these meetings there will be lectures, films, guest speakers and large class discussion. You are required to participate in a once-a-week fifty-minute small section meeting that is facilitation by a student assistant. Your specific time is designated by your section number (the three-digit number following 9309 for Sociology 201). Please remember your section number since most of the course activities are dependent on your knowing that number. The format of large and small groups is used to help you understand the intersection of your personal lives with the sociological perspective.

GRADING FORMAT:


Preliminary Quiz
Two Papers each worth 20%
New York Times Journal
Final


20%
40%
20%
20%
100%

 

REQUIRED READINGS:

Abbott, Jack Henry. In the Belly of the Beast: Letters from Prison. Vintage Books

Henslin, James.(2002) Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. 4th edition. Allyn and Bacon.

Rosenhan, D.L. (January 19, 1973). "On Being Sane in Insane Places." Science 179 (xerox available from your teaching assistant)

New York Times. You must obtain a daily subscription to the NYT

Yezierska, Anzia (1925). The Breadgivers. Persea Books.

All books and newspapers except the Rosenhan article are on sale at the SSU Bookstore

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

1. You are allowed only THREE (3) unexcused absences (counting both discussion group and large lecture.) More than 3 absences will negatively influence your grade. Be forewarned: attendance is taken daily in both the large and small sections, sit with your sections EVERY DAY so you will be counted. It is NOT up to your T.A. to notice where you are sitting in the auditorium. Do not have anyone else sign for you. That too will negatively influence your grade.

2. Arrive on time for lecture and small group. Being late is highly disruptive to others.

3. Do not leave lecture or small group early. This too is highly disruptive to others.

FINAL EXAMINATION:

The final exam will be during finals week and will be short answer, fill-in and essay. The exam will be one to two hours long and will also include the key sociological concept sheet that was handed out at the beginning of the semester. The final will cover the chapters of the textbook for weeks 10-14 and all the novels and lectures from the beginning of the semester.

THE NEW YORK TIMES JOURNAL:

As part of the requirement for the course you must subscribe to the daily NYT on sale at the bookstore. You will be expected to read it at least 3 times a week. Collect from the Times articles related to subjects we cover in class. You make pick a theme that interests you, like gender relations, or race or inequality. Clip the articles that are of interest to you and then paste them into a journal notebook. You may also choose to not focus on a theme and pick articles that reflect on contemporary issues that are being written about. You will be expected to comment on every article you clip, tying what you have read to what you are learning in class, or have read in the textbook. Remember this is 20% of your grade and I take it seriously. The reason I have required the Times is to help you become aware of contemporary sociological issues and to begin to see the relevance of having a sociological understanding. It will help you to explain what is happening in our country and the world, using sociology as the frame of reference.

FINAL NOTE:

I look forward to a challenging and rewarding semester for us all. I know that this is a very large class, but I hope that with discussion in the lecture hall, as well as my visits to your small group sections, I will get to know you personally. I invite you all to visit my office by appointment. Call my assistant, Jan White, at 664-2112 to schedule a time. Don't be frustrated if it takes awhile to get an appointment. As dean sometimes I have to go to meetings, which makes getting in to see me a bit of a challenge. Or you could just drop by Stevenson 2078 and ask if I am available for a quick hello. Sociology is both fun and stimulating to study and I hope that you will enjoy the "terrible and magnificent lesson" (C.Wright Mills)

SECTIONS AND TEACHING ASSISTANTS:

The following section numbers list the name of your teaching assistant and where you will meet. The sections will begin the second week of classes.


001
002
003
004
005
006
007
008
009
010


Friday, 9-9:50 a.m.
Friday, 9-9:50 a.m.
Weds. 10-10:50 a.m.
Mon. 2-2:50 p.m.
Mon. 6-6:50 p.m.
Tues. 6-6:50 p.m.
Weds. 3-3:50 p.m.
Weds. 7-7:50 p.m.
Thurs. 3-3:50 p.m.
Thurs. 6-6:50 p.m.

Ives 101
Ives 101
Ives 24
Ives 24
Ives 45
Ives 34
Ives 78
Ives 35
Ives 35
Ives 78

Meghan Lewis
Thabiti Terry
Anthony Taylor
Marciel Gamino
Jennie Goldman
Taylor Priestley
Helaana Harbaugh
Anthony Sult
Andrea Fredericks
Lana Kay Tyer
Floater TA: Kelly Hand


WEEKS ONE - THREE

INTRODUCTION TO THE COURSE: WHAT IS SOCIOLOGY?
The sociological perspective, the social/historical moment, the sociological imagination, definitions of power, sociological theories.

READING: Henslin, Chapters 1 and 2 Yezerska, all Rosenhan, all Begin reading the NYT at least 3 times a week and begin journal

PRELIMINARY QUIZ TO BE GIVEN THE MONDAY OF WEEK FOUR
The format will be fill-in, short answer and brief essay on the readings and lectures in the course so far.

WEEKS FOUR AND FIVE

THE INDIVIDUAL IN SOCIETY: A look at culture, society, deviance social control, and what occurs to the individual when s/he encounters society.

READING: Henslin, Chapters 3, 4 and 6 Abbott, all NYT continue reading 3 times a week and keep journal with reaction entries

FIRST PAPER DUE: Guidelines will be provided for a three to five page paper synthesizing the text and Abbott's book on the issues of deviance and social control. Paper will be due the Monday of week six.

WEEKS SIX THROUGH NINE

SOCIAL INEQUALITY: A sociological look at the social stratification system as it relates to social class, race, ethnic minorities, poverty, gender and sexual orientation and gender identity.

READING: Henslin, Chapters 7, 8, 9 and 10 Mathabane, all NYT continue reading 3 times a week and keep journal with reaction entries Page 5 Intro. to Soc. Syllabus

SECOND PAPER DUE: Guidelines will be provided for a three to five page paper synthesizing the textbook and Mathabane's book about issues of race and ethnic inequality. The paper will be due the Monday of week 10.

WEEKS TEN THROUGH TWELVE

SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS: A look at the American family, including domestic violence. A cross-cultural look at family life in the context of globalization.

READING: Henslin, Chapter 12 NYT continue reading 3 times a week and keep journal of reactions to readings. This period is a time for you to catch up on your NYT reading and get your journal in order.

NEW YORK TIMES JOURNAL DUE: Submit your journal to your T.A. for evaluation and reaction. Due the Monday of week 13.

WEEKS THIRTEEN AND FOURTEEN

SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND SOCIAL CHANGE: A look at collective behavior and how people mobilize to influence the course of their society. We will look at both revolutionary and evolutionary social change.

READING: Henslin, Chapter 15 Begin preparing for the final exam.

GUEST LECTURER: SOCIOLOGISTS AT WORK, Dr. Peter Phillips (Project Censored)

FINAL EXAM: This is non-cumulative on the textbook, but is cumulative on the novels, NYT and terms used throughout the course. Use your concept sheet, lecture notes and papers to study for this exam that will be the same format as the preliminary exam.

 

Course Resources l Dr. Leeder's website l Social Science Home l SSU Home