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101: Lorenzo 1 SOCIOLOGY INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY Autumn 2009 Class: Saturdays, 9:00am - 1:20pm at Gahanna 206 Instructor: Leeda Copley Email: The first wisdom of sociology is this: Things are not what they seem. Peter Berger (1963) There may come a time in the career of every sociologist when it is his solemn duty to raise hell. Edward Alsworth Ross, American Sociologist Association President (1914-1915) Lorenzo 2 SCHEDULE: Please note that this schedule is tentative and subject to changeit is your responsibility to attend class in order to stay abreast of any changes. Readings listed here are from your textbook. All readings and homework should be completed BEFORE the class for which they are assigned unless noted. Week Date S 9/26 Reading Assignment Introductions HMWK DUE 1 Chapter 1 The Sociological Imagination 2 S 10/3 Chapter 2 Sociological Research Chapter 3 Culture Chapter 4 Socialization Chapter 5 Social Structure and Interaction Chapter 6 Deviance MIDTERM EXAM (9:00 am 12:00 pm) Chapter 7 Families Chapter 8 Education and Religion Chapter 10 Social Class Chapter 12 Gender and Age NO CLASS ONLINE LECTURE: Chapter 13 Race and Ethnicity THANKSGIVING NO CLASS Chapter 15 Social Change FINAL EXAM (9:00 am 12:00 pm) 1, 2 3 S 10/10 3, 4 4 5 S 10/17 S 10/24 5, 6 6 7 8 S 10/31 S 11/7 S 11/14 S 11/21 7, 8 10 12 9 10 11 12 S 11/28 S 12/5 S 12/12 13, 15 Lorenzo 3 SOCIOLOGY 101 HOMEWORK QUESTIONS These are due at the beginning of each class, preferably typed. Remember, the point of these assignments is not JUST to demonstrate your knowledge of the reading, but your ability to USE the knowledge you have gained. Getting into the practice of correctly attributing sources is a key skill to learn during college. I absolutely DO expect you to include parenthetical citations when you take information from your textbookeither by quotes or paraphrasing. The first citation in each of your homework assignments should include the textbook author and page number (Witt, p. 78), all others just need a page number (p. 222). I do NOT expect you to include a separate reference page with your homework unless you use material from somewhere other than your textbook. I have relaxed this rule for these homework questions so we can all save some trees, plus I expect your citations will overwhelmingly be from your textbook. Lorenzo 4 Chapter 1 The Sociological Imagination 1. Why would poverty be of interest to sociologists? (Witt, p. ) 2. The plots of movies, books and television shows almost always deal with how an individual relates to larger groups and society. Please list and explain two or three examples (NOT already listed in your book). 3. How are sociology and common sense similar? How are they different? 4. Where and when did sociology originate? What factors explain why sociology developed where and when it did? 5. Using Goffmans dramaturgical approach, discuss the reaction students would likely have when observing one of their college professors swimming nude in a lake. 6. Using the functionalist perspective, discuss the various reactions of the American people in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Then, use the interactionist perspective to discuss the increased number of people buying flags after 9/11. Finally, use the conflict perspective to discuss the various methods that businesses and corporations have used to profit from the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. Lorenzo 5 Chapter 2 Sociological Research 1. Identify and briefly explain the five basic steps in the scientific method. 2. Explain why surveys conducted by radio and television stations, in which viewers and listeners are encouraged to place 800 calls or send text messages to give their views, do not use a representative sample. 3. During a class, carefully observe the behavior of the instructor and other students. First of all, what type of research is this? What patterns do you see in how people use space in the class? Regarding who speaks? What categories of people are taking the class in the first place? (Note: If you dont have another class before our next meeting, feel free to report your findings from any other activity involving a group, such as a religious service, business meeting, PTA meeting, etc.) 4. Discuss how social research may affect the quality of human life. Include an explanation of how dispelling social myths could be considered by some critics as a threat to social order. 5. Consider various ways in which you might try to disguise your identity in performing a participant observation study of street gangs, and whether or not it would be ethical to do so. 6. Provide examples of any societal dangers that might occur when the results of poor research are publicized. Can you recall any recent instances of this? If you cannot recall any examples, go online to do a bit of research. Lorenzo 6 Chapter 3 Culture 1. The graffiti on a college campus or a community can provide insight into the different subcultures in an area. Analyze graffiti from both pro and con perspectives. Note how graffiti may serve as a nonverbal form of urban communication, an art form that frequently demands a high skill level, and a symbol of group pride and identity. 2. As noted in the text, language is a powerful force in shaping our images of the world around us. Come up with some examples of words NOT IN YOUR BOOK that could be considered sexist and possible solutions. For example, it is relatively harmless to change bellboy to bellhop. 3. How is language affected by culture? How does language serve as a foundation of culture? What is the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis? 4. Distinguish among each of the following pairs of concepts: informal versus formal norms, mores versus folkways, and norms versus sanctions. 5. Discuss some positive and negative aspects of ethnocentrism. Give some examples to support your answer. 6. Do you identify with one or more subcultures? If so, describe each one, pointing out how it differs from the dominant culture. (Almost everyone is a member of several, defined by interests, ethnicity, etc... Think hard!) Lorenzo 7 Chapter 4 Socialization 1. Please identify particular phrases or symbolic gestures you use (or perhaps intentionally do not use) that you learned from your parents or grandparents. How does this sort of socialization impact the development of ones personality? 2. Identify various rationalizations you or your peers may use to explain why they received low grades on exams, and discuss face-saving based on impression management interactions. 3. Identify and explain George Herbert Meads three distinct stages in childhood socialization. 4. What rites of passage are celebrated by your family? What sorts of family rituals formal or informaldoes your family use to celebrate these? 5. Gather data from several people by asking them to name traits they consider elements of human nature. Discuss the extent to which these traits are the product of nature or nurture. 6. What cultural lessons do games such as king of the mountain, tag, or keep-away teach our children? What about a schoolroom spelling bee? What cultural values are expressed by childrens stories such as The Little Engine That Could and popular board games such as Chutes and Ladders, Monopoly, and Risk? Lorenzo 8 Chapter 5 Social Structure and Interaction 1. Write down as many of your own statuses as you can. Do you consider any of them to be a master status? To what extent is each of your statuses ascribed or achieved? Do you experience conflict or strain in any of these? 2. Consider ways in which a physical disability can be a master status. What assumptions do people commonly make about the mental ability of someone with a physical disability such as cerebral palsy? What assumptions are made about the persons sexuality? 3. During the next week, whenever someone asks How are you? stop and actually give a full and truthful answer. What happens when you respond to a polite question in an unexpected way? (Notice peoples body language as well as their words.) What does this experience suggest about everyday interactions? Note: Please use common sense and only try this when you think it is safe to do so. 4. Find and explain examples of written rules and regulations in your student handbook that could stifle your initiative or imagination. 5. are What the problems that often plague bureaucracies? Have you ever seen any of these first hand? Give examples from your own life or those of your friends or family. 6. Would you have more respect for a person who is born wealthy or a person who becomes wealthy through hard work? Address the differences associated with ascribed and achieved statuses in your answer. Lorenzo 9 Chapter 6 Deviance 1. How does a sociological view of deviance differ from the commonsense idea that bad people do bad things? 2. List Durkheims functions of deviance. From his point of view, can society ever be free from deviance? Why or why not? 3. An old saying is sticks and stones can break my bones, but names can never hurt me. Explain how labeling theory challenges this statement. 4. Do some quick research (online is fine) into the use of medical treatments to treat criminality, such as shock therapies, chemical castrations, and lobotomies. Use your finding to discuss the influence of biological and genetic factors in deviance and crime. 5. Examine binge drinking in light of the following sociological concepts: obedience, conformity, and deviance. 6. What arguments have been made by supporters of decriminalization of victimless crimes? What arguments have been made by opponents, particularly feminists, of decriminalization? Lorenzo 10 Chapter 7 Families 1. Parents, grandparents and other relatives can be a wonderful source of information about changes in marriage and the family. Spend an hour or so speaking with married people from two different generations: Ask them how long their courtship/engagement was, at what ages they married, what their married lives have been like, and what changes in family life today stand out to them. (Please contact me BEFORE THIS IS DUE if you are unable to complete this question with your family.) 2. Compile a list of factors you would want your parents to consider if they were entering you into an arranged marriage. Discuss how certain cultures criticize our rationale of romantic love for marriage and why we as a society frown upon arranged marriages. 3. Discuss the accuracy of televisions presentation of American family life. 4. What have sociologists identified as the six basic functions of the family? 5. Discuss whichif anyfunction(s) of the family you think could be adequately supplied by another outside source or social institution. 6. Identify and describe any elements of a marriage ceremony that may reinforce domination by males in our society and encourage the subordination of females. Lorenzo 11 Chapter 8 Education and Religion 1. In what ways do schools serve to transmit culture? 2. Describe the hidden curriculum and how it adversely affects students. 3. Describe credentialism. How does it apply to your or your friends lives? Your personal choice to attend college? (It is alrightyou can be honest.) 4. Discuss why the norms of religion will likely make a war on terrorism difficult for anyone to win. Do you think agnostic government leaders could clarify the disputed issues better than fundamentalist religious leaders? Why or why not? 5. Identify events or objects that some religions may perceive as profane but that other religions would consider sacred. Discuss the transition of the ordinary into the realm of faith (how, when, etc). 6. What evidence suggests that the importance of religion is declining in the US? In what ways does religion seem to be getting stronger? Lorenzo 12 Chapter 10 Social Class 1. Our society is always ready to assist the worthy poor, including elderly people, whom we do not expect to take care of themselves. At the same time, we are less generous toward the unworthy poor, healthy people who, we think, could take care of themselves but apparently do not. If this is so, why has US society not done more to reduce poverty among children, who surely fall into the worthy category? 2. Speak to your parents and grandparents (if possible), to assess the social position of your family over the last three generations. Has social mobility taken place? How much? Why? (Please contact me BEFORE THIS IS DUE if you are unable to complete this question with your family.) 3. Develop several simple questions that, taken together, would let you measure someones social class position. The trick is to decide exactly what you think social class really means. Then try your questions on several adults, refining the questions as you proceed. 4. Do a little research into historical events that illustrate Marxs concept of false consciousness. Find an instance in which the working classes readily supported causes put forth by powerful groups in society. Discuss how a false consciousness may develop and lead to people giving their life for those of another class grouping. 5. How does the Internet revolution exacerbate the difference in life chances between rich and poor in the United States? 6. Assuming that we could equally divide all the worlds wealth and assets among everyone, why would stratification soon be evident among societies again? Use one or more of the various sociological perspectives to support your answer. Lorenzo 13 Chapter 12 Gender and Age 1. Discuss why contemporary women are more enslaved by their physical appearance than women of earlier times. Give some examples to support your answer. 2. Identify certain occupations that are gender specific. In which occupations are women more disadvantaged than men and in which are men more advantaged compared to women? 3. Consider the following two statements: He fathered the child and She mothered the child. Describe the differences in meaning. How do you account for these differences? 4. In what ways are the elderly stereotyped? Think of things you have seen in movies, on TV, in books, etc. 5. What do you think of aging rock musicians (e.g., the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, or the Who) going out on concert tours? Use your opinions on these examples to discuss disengagement and activity theories on aging. 6. How is hospice care related to the concept of a good death? Lorenzo 14 Chapter 13 Race and Ethnicity 1. Describe what is meant by the social construction of race. How can this concept be applied to Americans from multiple racial backgrounds? 2. What do you think of African-American comedians who use racial humor as a base for their routine? Do you think African-American comedians making fun of African-Americans encourages amalgamation, assimilation, segregation, or pluralism? 3. Do a little research if necessary to list and explain examples of how government officials have tried to justify racial profiling during times of crisis and war (e.g., during World War II, in the aftermath of 9/11, etc). 4. What are some of the unspoken privileges that Caucasians enjoy (often without ever realizing them), as described by Peggy McIntosh? 5. Give several of your friends or family members a quick quiz, asking them what share of the US population is white, Hispanic, African Americans, and Asian; compare their numbers to those given in the text. If they are like most people, they will exaggerate the share of minorities and understate the white proportion (Labovitz, 1996). What do you make of the results? 6. Discuss the various ethnocentric practices historically used by the United States that may have contributed to the development of prejudicial attitudes toward other cultures or groups of people. Lorenzo 15 Chapter 15 Social Change 1. What are the basic differences between the various views of social change? How are they similar? 2. Ask friends or family to make five predictions about US society in the year 2050, when todays 20-year-olds will be senior citizens. On what issues do you agree? Disagree? 3. Would you consider a job after graduation that gave you the role of a telecommuter? What could be the drawbacks or advantages if you were considering a potential job as a telecommuter? 4. Describe how certain social institutions have adapted to social change consistent with Parsonss equilibrium model, and identify how culture lag might have impeded the evolutionary changes occurring in some social institutions. 5. What are the social implications of genetic engineering? Would you ever consider genetically engineering a child? Under what conditions would you or wouldnt you? 6. What is meant by personal and public sociology? How do they apply to your own life? ... View Full Document

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