SOCI 101: Sociological Perspectives

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1 SOCI 101: Sociological Perspectives Course Overview This course is an introduction to sociology. Sociology focuses on the interactions among people as individuals, groups, or societies. The purpose of this course is to provide you with the tools needed to evaluate the world from a sociological perspective. In general, we will be examining the world critically and asking why people do and say the things they do. In this pursuit, we will examine many different parts of the social world, ranging from culture to deviance to the family. I hope that throughout our course, you will discover how life choices, life outcomes, and behavior are constrained by social history and social structure. After completing this course, you should have a basic understanding of sociology as a discipline a good sense of the issues studied by sociologists an understanding of how sociology can help us better understand and explain those social issues the ability to critically evaluate social claims made in everyday life (from the media, politicians, and so on) by drawing on the theories and concepts we have learned in class the tools to evaluate society from a variety of viewpoints and angles. Required Texts See the course description for the most up to date list of required textbooks. Library Services (including e reserves) Students enrolled in Carolina Courses Online have access to the UNC Library System. Visit Distance Education Library Services to access a wide array of online services and resources including e reserves, online databases, online journals, online books, and live help with research and library access. Most online resources require you to log in with your Onyen and password. If you have any trouble finding the resource that you need or logging in to a resource, you can contact the library through the contact information at Distance Education Library Services. You can chat live about your problem, or send an e mail to request assistance. Course Structure

2 The course consists of twelve lessons. Each lesson has five elements: 1. reading assignment 2. study questions 3. lesson notes 4. analytic reflection paper 5. discussion forum assignment. Course Requirements I will describe each component in detail below, but let me begin by reminding you to save your work frequently. Technology can be very temperamental, and if you lose an assignment before you ve saved it, you d be responsible for doing the assignment all over again. Also, please note that you are responsible for submitting all work by the due date. I do not accept late work unless there is an exceptional circumstance, such as a death in your family, in which case you should alert me as soon as possible. Reading Assignments For this course, I have assigned the typical amount of reading I would assign in a traditional classroom setting. It may look like a lot of reading, but remember that the reading is for the entire week, not just for one day of class. Study Questions For each reading, I have provided a list of study questions. These questions are for self study, so you don t need to write out the answers or turn in any work related to the questions. The questions will guide you as you read, highlighting the main points you should take from each reading. When you have finished with a reading, you should be able to answer each question. If you are unsure of an answer, then you know to follow up with me or your classmates by using the discussion forum or e mail. Lesson Notes The lesson notes introduce you to the material we are covering in that lesson. I recommend that you read these notes before you complete any of the assigned readings. Analytic Reflection Papers For each lesson, I will assign a question, topic, or activity based on the readings, and you will need to answer in a reflection paper of approximately two double spaced pages with 12 point Times New Roman font and one inch margins. Reflection papers should be e mailed to me as an attached Microsoft Word file. The papers are due before 11 pm on the last day of each lesson. Please note that there is not one set day on which lessons are due. It's important to consult the Schedule so that you know when a lesson ends! There is a link to the Schedule in the left navigation bar.

3 E mail me your papers. Please put SOCI 101 Reflection#_Your Last Name in the subject line of your e mail, and name your assignment file with this same designation. For example, if your last name was Smith, the subject line for your Lesson 1 paper (and the name of your attached file) would be: SOCI 101 Reflection1_Smith. I will let you know within twenty four hours that I have received it, so don t assume that it has been received until I send a confirmation. If you have not received an e mail from me after twenty four hours, then you know that I have not received your assignment, and you should e mail me again. Make sure that you answer all parts of the assignment and that you use evidence and claims from the readings to defend your thoughts. Once you ve written a response for the paper, I recommend reading through it right away. After reading a sentence, do you find that you have questions such as why or how? Here s an example of a sentence that leaves the reader with many unanswered questions: I agree with the author that class is very important in parent child interactions. After reading that sentence, what type of questions would you want to ask the person who wrote the sentence? You d probably first want to know why the writer agrees with the author. In addition, you re probably curious how class is important in parent child interactions. If the writer had drawn upon course material, he or she would have been able to answer these questions and demonstrate strong knowledge of the topic at hand. If you have any of these types of sentences in your written response, you need to further develop your response. You want to make it clear why you think the way you do. Always make sure to answer any unanswered questions that may be in the reader s mind. You ll notice unanswered questions in the paper if you read it in the manner of someone who is grading the paper! Here s an example of a more fully developed version of the original sentence: I agree with the author that the class of parents shapes parent child interactions. She does a good job of presenting evidence that demonstrates that distinct patterns exist between lower and upper class parents in terms of how they interact with the children. Parent child interactions in lower class families are more hierarchical, where the parent is firmly in charge and issues directives, while parent child interactions in upper class families are less hierarchical, as children are often encouraged to voice their opinions and engage in discussion with their parents. I will grade reflection papers on a scale of A 10 will be awarded for answers in which you demonstrate an exceptional understanding of the course material, have left no unanswered questions for the reader, and have thought deeply about the assignment. Many students have the idea that a lot of comments from the instructor equals a bad paper. It's quite the contrary in this course! It is my job to challenge you, and the reflection papers give me a chance to respond to you individually. So lots of comments in this course often means that you stimulated my thinking! Discussion Forum Assignments Each week you must post in our online discussion forum. You need to submit two posts each week. The first should be your thoughts on the readings for the week, and the second should be a response

4 to at least one other student s thoughts. You will need to post on at least two separate days in order to receive credit for your participation. You, of course, are welcome to post more than this amount, and I hope you do! My hope is that the forum becomes a center of discussion for all of us to engage the material with one another. In your posts, I will look for a thesis statement, whether you brought ideas from the reading assignment into your post, and whether you ve left any unanswered questions. You will want your posts to be more than simply stating I liked this reading or I disagree with this reading. You want to develop an argument for why you like or disagree with the reading. Some weeks, the readings may lead you to have quite a few questions. That s okay, too. You ll just want to make sure you explain WHY you have the questions you do, and draw upon the class readings and material in the development of your answer. The quality of your posts will count more than the quantity. I will assess quality by determining if you integrate the readings into your comments and make a good argument. Each week you will receive a check plus ( +), worth 2 points; a check ( ), worth 1.8 points; or a check minus ( ), worth 1 point, for your discussion forum participation. If you don t participate, or don t follow the discussion forum requirements, you will receive 0 points for that week. A note about civility: I want to remind everyone to be respectful and sociological in your responses. I do not expect that we will all agree, or that comments and beliefs (yours or mine) cannot be challenged. In fact, I hope that we do engage and debate material. Just remember that we are critical of ideas, not each other! Midterm and Final Exams We will have two exams during this course a midterm and a final. The final exam is not cumulative; it will be based on material from the midterm onward. Each exam will consist of fifteen multiplechoice questions, five short answer essay questions, and one essay question. The exams will cover the readings, activities, and discussions. The three days before the exam will be set aside for review, and I encourage you to use the discussion forum to help each other study for the exam. Each exam is worth 15 percent of your final grade and is closed book and closed notes. The exam link will be available in the Exams section during the exam period. You should allow yourself two hours to take the exam, and please note that you must complete the exam in one two hour sitting. Technical note: Sakai has a limitation of 4,000 characters for written answers, and any answers above that limit will prevent the exam from being submitted. All exam questions can be answered within that limit. However, if you feel that you are unable to stay within the limit for your answer then you should write a note in the answer field that says See e mail. You should then e mail me a copy of your answer immediately following the submission of your exam. The e mail should be titled SOCI 101 Test Answer_Your Last Name, and it should include only the question that is over the character limit. All other answers must be submitted through the Sakai system. Final Paper You will write one paper for this course. The purpose of the paper is to demonstrate your ability to examine a current event or issue with a sociological perspective. You will find a newspaper or magazine article that has been published within the past three months on the research area of your

5 choosing and demonstrate how well you can sociologically analyze the topic covered in the article. See Final Paper Assignment for instructions and the grading rubric I will use. E mail me your final paper. Put SOCI 101 Final Paper_Last Name as the subject of your e mail and as the name of your attached Microsoft Word file. You must submit your paper by the due date noted in the Schedule. Grading Your final course grade will be based on the following assignments and computed according to the following percentages: Assignment Analytic Reflection Papers Discussion Forum Participation Midterm Exam Final Exam Final Paper TOTAL Percent of Course Grade 20 percent 30 percent 15 percent 15 percent 20 percent 100 percent Percentages will correspond to letter grades: A B C D F below 60 A B C D B C Academic Policies By enrolling as a student in this course, you agree to abide by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill policies related to the acceptable use of online resources. Please consult the Acceptable Use Policy on topics such as copyright, net etiquette, and privacy protection. As part of this course, you may be asked to participate in online discussions or other online activities that may include personal information about you or other students in the course. Please be respectful of the rights and protection of other participants under the UNC Chapel Hill Information Security Policies when participating in online classes. When using online resources offered by organizations not affiliated with UNC Chapel Hill, such as Google or YouTube, please note that the terms and conditions of these companies and not the University s Terms and Conditions apply. These third parties may offer different degrees of privacy protection and access rights to online content. You should be well aware of this when posting

6 content to sites not managed by UNC Chapel Hill. When links to sites outside of the unc.edu domain are inserted in class discussions, please be mindful that clicking on sites not affiliated with UNC Chapel Hill may pose a risk for your computer due to the possible presence of malware on such sites. Honor Code As a UNC student, you are expected to uphold the University s Honor Code. All work that you produce must be your own! Plagiarism is a serious offense and will not be tolerated in this course. Be sure that you understand the correct way to cite scholarly material when completing assignments by consulting the Chicago Manual of Style. If you have any additional questions about what constitutes plagiarism, or how to properly cite a source, please contact your instructor. Please view the brief Plagiarism Tutorial created by the librarians of UNC Chapel Hill, Duke University, NC State University, and NC Central University. Course Schedule Lesson Topics Lesson 1: Introduction to Sociology Lesson 2: Research Methods Lesson 3: Culture and Media Lesson 4: Socialization and the Construction of Reality Lesson 5: Groups and Networks Lesson 6: Social Control and Deviance Midterm Exam Lesson 7: Social Stratification (Think about the topic for your final paper.) Lesson 8: Poverty Lesson 9: Gender Lesson 10: Race Lesson 11: Health and Society Lesson 12: Family Final Papers due Final Exam Course Evaluation: Please take the time to fill out a brief, anonymous course evaluation. We want to know if this course met your needs and expectations. The University of North Carolina Send comments and questions to

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