PRINCIPLES OF SOCIOLOGY
FALL QUARTER ‘97
Office: Science 434
Phone: (770) 423-6306
Overview: Read the newspapers. Look at the news. Observe what is happening around you.
Events occur that appear to be inexplicable. There are murders and massacres occurring as we speak. Some people and communities, on the other hand, open their hearts to victims of disaster. People fall in love and get married. People also get divorces. Students take courses that are coordinated through cyberspace. Some people refer to themselves as part of the Internet society -- Netizens. Masses of individuals react to the death of someone they have never personally met. What is happening in society? How do we explain the interactions, reactions and events that shape our lives?
The purpose of this course is to examine the social nature of human behavior and to obtain an understanding of societies, cultures, social problems, and social change. C. Wright Mills, who wrote The Sociological Imagination (1959), eloquently stated that these understandings do not come about in a vacuum: in order to understand social phenomena, we must understand the social contexts in which they occur.
. . . We have come to know that every individual lives, from one generation to the next, in some society; that he lives out a biography, and that he lives it out within some historical sequence. By the fact of his living he contributes, however minutely, to the shaping of this society and to the course of its history, even as he is made by society and by its historical push and shove. (P. 5)
Course Objectives: This course is designed to acquaint you with sociological concepts and theories, and the methods of social science research. This knowledge will then provide you with tools to understand the social world around you. You will use your sociological imagination and tools to carry out your own research. Essentially, you will experience sociology in action! We will begin the course with a discussion of “What is sociology?” At the end of the quarter you will informally discuss with colleagues your analysis of a facet of the social world.
Required Text: Thio, Alex.1996. Sociology. New York: HarperCollins College Publishers
Grading: Grades for this class will be determined by a series of three exams and a research project. Each exam will count for approximately one-fourth of your grade. The exams, which are multiple choice in content (50 questions each), cover a separate section of material. The research project counts for the final one-fourth of your grade.
Exam dates and content covered: Exam I - Monday, October 13 - Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 Exam II - Wednesday, November 12 - Chapters 7, 8, 9, 10 Exam III - Wednesday, December 3 - Chapters 12, 13, 15, 23, and chapter selected by the class
Exams are scheduled for one hour and ten minutes. Class resumes after the exam.
Research project - “Social Interaction in . . .” (you define the setting). Observe the verbal and non-verbal communications of 10 people (5 males and 5 females) in a specified setting. You will go into the setting on 5 separate occasions and observe your subjects for 20-30 minutes. After you have completed your data collection, you will analyze and discuss your findings in a 5-8 page paper. Your setting is due on October 1 and your final paper is due at the beginning of class, Wednesday, November 19. (Class will not meet on Wednesday, November 12. Use this time to complete your paper. I will be happy to look at rough drafts of your papers prior to the due date.)
Evaluation: 90-100=A 80-89=B 70-79= C 60-69= D less than 60 = F
Course withdrawal: October 29 is the last day to withdraw from class without academic penalty.
Academic Dishonesty: Cheating on exams and plagiarism are serious offenses at KSU. Any student found guilty of an infraction of a regulation for academic honesty can be suspended for at least one quarter.
OUTLINE FOR YOUR PAPER IN PRINCIPLES OF SOCIOLOGY:
"Social Interaction In . . . (You define the setting)”
I. Purpose of the paper
A. Other than the fact that this project reflects a course requirement, why are you doing this research project? More specifically. what do you plan to learn In terms of human Interaction?
B. Project focus
1. What questions are to be answered by you? 2. Why did you pose these questions?
II. Methods decisions
A. Situations sampled (setting)
B. Time periods sampled
C. People sampled
III. Presentation of the data
A. Description of findings organized around questions and issues pertaining to social interaction/verbal and non-verbal communications. Provide whatever Information Is needed to take the reader into the situation being described and analyzed.
1. Presentation of patterns, themes. tendencies, and trends that emerge from the data. Provide descriptive information based on the observations and statements that you recorded. Do not present the field notes from all 10 of your subjects in the body of the paper; rather, give examples of your data in order to elaborate on the patterns you discern. For example, analyze how the gender specific behaviors of males and females converge and diverge.
IV. Analyses and conclusion
A. What are the basic findings of your research? Apply the sociological concepts that you have learned this quarter to the data you have gathered.
A. Include your field notes in an appendix to your paper. Your field notes, unlike your paper, do not have to be typed.