Unformatted text preview: Dickinson College
Department of Sociology Social Analysis
101 Dana Hall
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 1:30 – 2:45
Professor Amy C. Steinbugler
Office: Denny Hall, Room 106
Office Hours: Mondays 3:00-5:00, Tuesdays 10:15-11:45, Thursdays 3:00-4:00
Email: [email protected]
Sociology is the study of social life, groups, and societies. Developing a sociological imagination
means being able to ‘think ourselves away’ from the familiar routines of everyday life in order to look
at them anew. This means understanding how our own lives are shaped by social forces [that either
privilege or disadvantage us] and making connections between personal troubles and larger public
issues. It also includes comprehending how social interactions give meanings to categories like gender,
race, sexuality, and class. In this class we will examine multiple theoretical perspectives and apply core
concepts to critically analyze contemporary social issues.
• Students will learn to see how their personal biography is situated within history and
shaped by social, political, and economic forces
Students will develop an understanding of social life that emphasizes the structural as well
as the individual causes of social problems
Students will be able to identify how social identities are performed and enacted in
Students will develop an ability to critically evaluate ideas and arguments Required Texts:
Alexander, Michelle. 2012. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. (2nd edition.) The
New Press. ISBN: 1595586431.
Armstrong, Elizabeth and Laura Hamilton. Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality. Harvard
University Press. ISBN: 0674088026.
Ferguson, Susan. Mapping the Social Landscape: Readings in Sociology. (8th Edition) McGraw-Hill. ISBN:
978-1506368283. 1 Course Requirements:
There are three exams in this class—two are during the semester and the other is the final exam. The
final exam is cumulative. Exams will include both short answer and essay questions. The first and
second exams are worth 15% of your final grade. The final exam is worth 20%.
Over the semester, you will complete three short writing assignments (2-3 pages each). They include:
Sociological Imagination Assignment
Presentation of Self Assignment
Norm-breaking Assignment Due: Tuesday, September 12th
Due: Friday, October 6th
Due: Tuesday, October 24h All papers are due in my mailbox in Denny 219. Papers left under my door will be accepted on the day
I find them, which may make them several days late. Detailed descriptions of each assignment are
posted on Moodle. Each of these writing assignments is worth 10% of your grade.
In order to contribute to class discussions, you must keep up with the reading and analyze texts
critically. Toward that end, you will submit questions/reactions to the readings, and post these to the
weekly Forum on the Moodle site before 9 am on the day of class. (Late posts will not earn credit.)
Your questions and proposed topics for discussion should be substantive, based on a careful reading
of the material. Your timely postings also will help me fine-tune my class preparation in order to
address issues and concerns that you have identified. Over the course of the semester, you must post
questions on Moodle before at least 12 classes.
While I realize some students may feel shy or uneasy about talking in class, I encourage you to be
brave, take risks and participate in class discussions. It is not enough to simply read class material. I
expect you to take notes, think about what you’ve read and come to class ready to raise questions and
ideas. Knowing and understanding the assigned readings is critical for class participation, written
work, and for performing well on the exams.
Also, while I encourage you to form opinions about the material we read and discuss in class, it will
not be sufficient to simply voice these opinions—an important aspect of participation is demonstrating
that you understand and are intellectually engaging class material. In other words, in class I expect you
to go beyond your initial responses to the texts. I expect you to work to understand the author’s
arguments and to think critically about the author’s logic and assumptions. This requires some time. If
you don’t reflect upon the readings until you get to class, discussions will move v e r y s l o w l y.
Further, I expect all students to respect one another and to respect each others’ opinions, whether or
not you agree with what is being said.
Please silence and store your phones, tablets and laptops during class. I understand that some
students prefer to type their notes rather than write them by hand, but open laptops are a distraction to
you and to other students. Furthermore, research that suggests taking notes by hand is more effective
for learning and knowledge retention (see, for instance: “The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard: 2 Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking” by Mueller and Oppenheimer in Psychological
Science 25(6), summarized in Scientific American, June 3, 2014).
Class begins promptly at 1:30 pm and I take attendance at the start of every class, so be on time. You
are expected to attend each class and participate in class discussions. Your ability to participate in
these discussions is strongly linked to your commitment to attend class. It is the responsibility of
each student to keep up with class material. If you are not able to make it to class, you will still be
responsible for material covered that day and it is up to you to get class notes from ANOTHER
STUDENT. Your exam grades will reflect your familiarity with the substance of class discussions. If
you miss more than five classes, you should expect to fail the course.
All written work must be handed in as a paper copy. Unless prior permission is given, I will not accept
any papers by email. I will deduct one full grade (i.e. from a B to a C) for each day the paper is late.
Grading and Assignments
Your final grade will be based on the following:
Writing Assignments (10% each)
Moodle Posts 10%
10% Total 100% Letter grades for the entire course will be assigned as follows:
94% or higher = A
90%-93% = A87%-89% = B+
84%-86% = B 80%-83% = B77%-79% = C+
74%-76% = C
70%-73% = C- 67%-69% = D+
64%-66% = D
60%-63% = D59% or lower = F A note on grades: As you can expect in a college course, it is very difficult to earn an A. Most
students will earn a B or a C. Alternatively, it is somewhat difficult to earn a D. And for those
students choosing to do so, it will require some special maneuvering to earn an F. “A” work is
considered to be that which goes above and beyond the parameters of the assignment and does so
concisely and cogently. “B” level work is fundamentally sound, follows the guidelines, and indicates a
good, solid performance. “C” level work generally means the main ideas are present but there are
significant areas for improvement. “D” level work suggests multiple areas for improvement, and/or
serious flaws in logic that compromise true understanding of the material. “F” level work is
overwhelmingly poor, without any indication that the student understands the material or the
assignment. 3 Dickinson Plagiarism Policy
To plagiarize is to use without proper citation or acknowledgement the words, ideas, or original
research of another. Whenever one relies on someone else for phraseology, even for only two or three
words, one must acknowledge indebtedness by using quotation marks and giving the source, either in
the text or in a footnote. When one borrows facts which are not matters of general knowledge—
including all statistics—one must indicate one’s indebtedness in the text or footnote. When one
borrows an idea or the logic of an argument, one must acknowledge indebtedness either in a footnote
or in the text. When in doubt, its best to err on the side of caution.
Most plagiarism is unintentional, the result of ignorance or inaccurate note-taking. I cannot evaluate
your paper, however, by guessing about your intentions. I can only evaluate it as it exists. Whether
plagiarism is intentional or inadvertent, the penalty is severe. If you have questions, consult me.
Accommodating Students with Disabilities:
Dickinson values diverse types of learners and is committed to ensuring that each student is afforded
an equal opportunity to participate in all learning experiences. If you have (or think you may have) a
learning difference or a disability – including a mental health, medical, or physical impairment– that
would impact your educational experience in this class, please contact the Office of Disability Services
(ODS) to schedule a meeting with Director Marni Jones. She will confidentially discuss your needs,
review your documentation, and determine your eligibility for reasonable accommodations. To learn
more about available supports, go to , email
[email protected], call (717) 245-1734, or go to ODS in 106 Dana Hall.
If you’ve already been granted accommodations at Dickinson, please let me know as soon as possible
so that we can meet to review your Accommodation Letter and complete your “Blue Form”
Implementation Plan. If you will need test proctoring from ODS, remember that you will need to
provide them with at least one week's notice.
COURSE SCHEDULE AND READINGS:
[Readings below should be read by the date beside which they are listed.]
The Sociological Perspective
Week 1: Tuesday, August 29th Welcome and Introduction Week 1: Thursday, August 31st C. Wright Mills, "The Promise" [Mapping, 1-7]
Donna Gaines, "Teenage Wasteland: Suburbia's Dead-End Kids" [Mapping, 719] Week 2: Tuesday, September 5th Michael Schwalbe, "Finding Out How the Social World Works" [Mapping, 5969]
Craig Haney, W. Curtis Banks, and Philip G. Zimbardo, "Interpersonal
Dynamics of a Simulated Prison" [Mapping, 69-78] 4 Week 2: Thursday, September 7th Kenneth Allan, three excerpts from Explorations in Classical Sociological
Theory: Marx and Durkheim (10pgs) [MOODLE] Week 3: Tuesday, September 12th Kenneth Allan excerpt on Weber (12pgs) [MOODLE]
Kenneth Allan excerpt on DuBois (12pgs) [MOODLE]
DUE: Sociological Imagination Assignment (leave paper copy in my 219
Denny Hall mailbox by 4pm. Please do not place them under my office
door.) Symbols, Performance, and Social Interaction
Week 3: Thursday, September 14th Erving Goffman, "The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life" [MOODLE: 8
Kenneth Allan chapter on Goffman (20pgs) [MOODLE]
C.J. Pascoe, "'Dude, You're a Fag': Adolescent Masculinity and the Fag
Discourse" [Mapping] Week 4: Tuesday, September 19th Lisa Wade and Myra Marx Ferree chapter on gender as performance (23 pgs)
Laurel Westbrook and Kristen Schilt, "Doing Gender, Determining Gender:
Transgender People, Gender Panics, and the Maintenance of the
Sex/Gender/Sexuality System" [Mapping] Socialization and Social Structure
Week 4: Thursday, September 21st Gwynne Dyer, "Anybody's Son Will Do" [Mapping, 158-168]
"How the Death of a Muslim Recruit Revealed a Culture of Brutality in the
Marines," by Janet Reitman [MOODLE] Week 5: Tuesday, September 26th Robert Granfield, "Making It by Faking It: Working-Class Students in an Elite
Academic Environment" [Mapping, 145-157]
Emily W. Kane, "No Way My Boys are Going to Be Like That!: Parents'
Responses to Children's Gender Nonconformity" [Mapping] Week 5: Thursday, September 28th EXAM 1 Deviance
Week 6: Tuesday, October 3rd Week 6: Thursday, October 5th Durkehim excerpt from "The Normal and the Pathological" (11pgs)
David L. Rosenhan, "On Being Sane in Insane Places" [Mapping, 48-58]
A. Ayres Boswell and Joan Z. Spade, "Fraternities and Collegiate Rape Culture"
Mark Colvin, "Descent Into Madness" [Mapping, 229-242]
5 Friday, October 6th: DUE: Presentation of Self Assignment (leave paper copy in my 219
Denny Hall mailbox by 4pm) Racial and Ethnic Stratification
Week 7: Tuesday, October 10th Mathew Desmond and Mustafa Emirbayer, "What is Racial Domination?"
[Mapping, 338-353] ; Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow, "Introduction"  Week 7: Thursday, October 12th Alexander: Chapter 1 , "The Rebirth of Caste" [20-58] Week 8: Tuesday, October 17th NO CLASS--FALL PAUSE Week 8: Thursday, October 19th Alexander: Chapter 2, "The Lockdown" [59-96] Week 9: Tuesday, October 24th Alexander: Chapter 3, "The Color of Justice" [97-139]
DUE: Norm-Breaking Assignment (leave paper copy in my 219 Denny
Hall mailbox by 4pm) Tuesday, October 24th at 7pm: Erica Frankenberg , Professor at Penn State University
"Contemporary School Segregation" 7pm at ATS (attendance is mandatory)
Week 9: Thursday, October 26th Alexander: Chapter 4, "The Cruel Hand" [140-177] Monday, October 30th at 6pm: Screening of 13th, directed by Ava DuVernay (location TBA) Week 10: Tuesday, October 31st Alexander: Chapter 5, "The New Jim Crow" [178-220] Week 10: Thursday, November 2nd Alexander: Chapter 6, "The Fire this Time" [221-261] Gender, Education, and Stratification
Week 11: Tuesday, November 7th Lisa Wade and Myra Marx Ferree chapter on gendered institutions (25 pgs)
John Cassidy, "College Calculus: What's the Real Value of a College
Education?" (8ps) [MOODLE]
Mitchell L. Stevens, "A School in a Garden" [Mapping, 564-577] 6 Week 11: Thursday, November 9th EXAM 2 Week 12: Tuesday, November 14th Elizabeth Armstrong and Laura Hamilton, Paying for the Party: Preface,
Introduction, and Chapter 1, "The Women" [xi-49] Week 12: Thursday, November 16th Armstrong and Hamilton: Chapter 2, "The Party Pathway" and Chapter 3,
"Rush and the Party Scene" [50-93] Week 13: Tuesday, November 21st Armstrong and Hamilton: Chapter 4, "The Floor" and Chapter 5, "Socialites,
Wannabes, and Fit with the Party Pathway" [94-148] Week 13: Thursday, November 23rd NO CLASS--THANKSGIVING BREAK Week 14: Tuesday, November 28th Armstrong and Hamilton: Chapter 6, "Strivers, Creaming, and the Blocked
Mobility Pathway" [148-179] Week 14: Thursday, November 30th Armstrong and Hamilton: Chapter 7, " Acheivers, Underacheivers, and the
Professional Pathway," and Chapter 8, "College Pathways and Post-College
Prospects" [180-233] Week 15: Tuesday, December 5th Armstrong and Hamilton: Chapter 9, "Politics and Pathways" and Appendix C Week 15: Thursday, December 7th Class Wrap-Up and Evaluations Thursday, December 14th, 2pm EXAM 3 7 ...
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