Basic concepts of sociology

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Basic concepts of sociology essay assignment

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Specific attention is given to culture characteristics, societal changes,
inequalities in social classes, and how they relate to different groups in society.
Course Textbook
Macionis, J. J. (2011).
Society: The basics
(11th ed.).
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Course Learning Objectives
Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:
Analyze people’s behavior from a sociological perspective, discover your own sociological imagination, and apply
it to a variety of
social problems and situations.
Define the development of sociology as a science and differentiate it from the other social
List at least five sociologists and their ma
jor contributions to the field.
Describe the three major sociological perspectives

Functionalist, Conflict, and Interactionist

and analyze
human behavior applying these perspectives appropriately
xplain the elements of a culture and how cul
ture is different from society.
Explain the seven steps of the scientific research process and identify appropriate research procedures in an
experiment or
an article describing research.
Explain the relationship
s between social structure, social stratification, and the
consequences of social status.
List at least four universal social institutions and descri
be the characteristics of each.
Describe how inequality and other social factors contribute to social chang
Summarize the relationship between socialization and the family.
Upon completion of this course, the students will earn three (3) hours of college credit.
Course Structure
Unit Learning Objectives:
Each unit contains learning objectives
that specify the measurable skills and
knowledge students should gain upon completion of the unit.
Written Lectures:
Each unit contains a Written Lecture, which discusses lesson material.
Reading Assignments:
Each unit contains Reading Assignments from one
or more chapters from the textbook.
Learning Activities (Non

These non

graded Learning Activities are provided to aid students in their
course of study.
Key Terms:
Key Terms are intended to guide students in their course of study. Students should
pay particular
attention to Key Terms as they represent important concepts within the unit material and re
Unit Assessments:
Units I, II, and VII contain Unit Assessments, which are composed of multiple

choice, short
essay, and essay questions.
SOC 1010
ion to
Course Syllabus
SOC 1010,
ion to
Units III, IV, V, and VI contain Project assignments. Specific information and instructions regarding this
assignment are provided below.
Final Exam (proctored):
Students are to complete a Final Exam in Unit VIII. All Final Exams are proctored

low for additional information. You are permitted four (4) hours to complete this exam, in the presence of your
approved proctor. This is an open book exam. Only course textbooks and a calculator, if necessary, are allowed
when taking proctored exams. This
Final Exam consists of an essay question.
Ask the Professor:
This communication forum provides you with an opportunity to ask your professor general or
course content related questions.
Student Break Room:
This communication forum allows for casual conver
sation with your classmates.
Unit III Project
Portfolio Project 1
For this assignment, you are
to select ONE (1) of the
Case Studies
for the project
. A Case Study is an
assignment in which a situation (a case) is provided and
is analyzed through a series of questions. You will need to
answer these questions as you would a short answer question or essay question (depending on the length of your
response) for an assessment. The questions and subsequent answers should be placed wi
thin a word document with
proper headings, title page, and reference list (if outside sources are used). Use APA style formatting for this assignment.
The Case Study is the first entry in what is to be a portfolio for this course. There are a total of fou
r portfolio assignments,
with the
assignments meant to test your ability to apply the information you learned to the environment around you.
This skill is important as it will allow you to perceive the changing world around you and apply the concepts
of sociology in
your everyday life. The ability to apply these concepts to the world around you can also be transferred to other courses as
Case 1
John Rommel was born in 1955 to a lower class family in New York. His father had immigrated over to
the United States
from Germany prior to the rise of Hitler in 1933. He desired to show pride in his new country, so he worked hard at the
docks to earn a living for his family. While he was never made much, he always stressed pride in his work and obeyed t
law. He believed this was a firm foundation for becoming successful.
John always showed a bright mind and highly intuitive nature, but he never showed any desire for schooling. He saw
society as an unfair, unforgiving system that repressed those of low
er social status. John was not a violent person; he
considered himself very honorable, but he did not have a desire to work like his father did, earning low wages for hours of
tedious work to support his family. Instead, he opted for more illegal endeavors

gambling, stealing, and even dabbling in
organized crime. However, he never told his father because he did not want to disrespect his family. When he turned 17,
he became a drug

runner for the Gambino family because a couple of his close “brothers” had be
come involved in the
business as well.
Soon John became involved with more than just drug running; he began to assist the family with offering “protective
services” to different shops and businesses in Brooklyn’s lower east side. Should the businesses
miss a payment or
refuse their help, he would instigate certain actions against the business to cause severe damage, enough to ensure the
business owner would seek their protection from then on.
Eventually, John’s employment with organized crime caught up
to him as he was arrested at the age of 25. When he
appeared in court, his defense suggested that he plead guilty as the
had enough evidence to convict him
anyway. When he was
the judge decided to send him to prison for five years, w
ith a potential of being released
after three years for good behavior. John noticed his parents sitting in the audience at the hearing, and he began to feel a
great sense of shame for what he had done and believed he had brought shame to his family.
on what you have just read
and using your textbook as a reference, answer the following questions:
Why would John be considered a deviant? What social foundations of deviance appear to be evident in this case?
Examine the three theoretical foundations o
f deviance (structural

functional, symbolic

interaction, and social

conflict). Determine which foundation applies to John’s situation and why. Give specific examples.
SOC 1010,
ion to
Choose three theories, one within each theoretical foundation, that apply to this case. I
f a foundation does not
have an applicable theory, state why and what behavior could have been exhibited that would have reflected that.
Case 2
Lee is a 15


old boy living in Los Angeles, California. He attends a multi

cultural high school comprised of 2,200
students of various backgrounds. Recently, he has been required to enroll in a sex education class where the students
learn about differe
nt events in culture that lead to our knowledge regarding sex today. Mrs. Gabbert is the teacher and
has been teaching this sort of class for 15 years. Lee notices that a lot of the boys chuckle and laugh when it comes to
serious issues regarding sex. The
boys seem to mainly ask questions about condoms and birth control, and when the
teacher answers their questions, they whoop and holler. The girls find it rather immature, and they tend to divert the
questions more towards teen pregnancy and abortion. The t
opic of abortion strikes a chord with Lee, as he has been
brought up to believe that all life should be valued, but some in the class disagree and think that a woman’s body is hers
to deal with and make the choices as she pleases. Others take a more modera
te approach and believe that abortion is
only right if the mother’s life is in danger or
is a victim of rape.
To give a counter

opinion, Lee thinks an alternative to abortion is the legal adoption of the babies by a qualified set of
parents. This
cause a split in the classroom, though; as some believe that qualified adoption means a
typical husband
and wife, while others believe adoption should be open to gay and lesbian partners. Still others think that adoption should
be available for those who a
re single,
long as the income is available to support it. This became such a hot topic in the
classroom that Mrs. Gabbert decided to setup a debate about these
. She provides the students with a series of
questions to answer regarding the topics,
and they are to act as a group to answer the questions and present their stance
on the topics.
Based on what you have just read and using your textbook as a reference, answer the following questions:
First, how would you give a biological definition of s
ex? Give your own definition and what you think it means in
the context of society.
How do you believe the sexual revolution and counter

revolution, has influenced the events taking place in this
class? Support your statements with examples (from textbook
or other sources).
Examine the different issues at play here. Why do you believe the girls may be more concerned
with teen
pregnancy and subject
of abortion more so than the boys?
Why might the boys think condoms and birth control are funny subjects? What
influence do you believe the
subjects of pornography, prostitution (especially in media), and pre

marital sex have upon adolescents?
Examine the three theoretical analyses of sexuality. Which one do you believe applies to this situation? According
to infor
mation from the textbook, which theory do you believe these children probably believe?
What influence do you believe the recent gay rights movement has had on this classroom environment? What
does the textbook have to say regarding matters of sexual orient
Why do you think both the boys and girls may have equal opinions regarding matters of abortion? Explain the two
major positions of abortion and how this may influence the different generations.
Unit IV Project
Portfolio Project 2
This is to be th
e second entry in your portfolio, which showcases your ability to decode the concepts from this course and
effectively apply them to the world around you. This project entry deals with sociology within a historical sense. For
example, what would have happe
ned if Clara Barton never started the Red Cross or if Florence Nightingale never
pursued nursing? Those are just a couple examples of historical persons who affected society as a whole.
Using the Internet,
research a significant person or organization in
history that assisted people
or was an advocate
against inequality. Whether through philanthropy, civil rights, teachings, lifestyle, etc., this person/organization has had
significant impact upon people. Answer the associated questions below.
Describe the mission and purpose of the organization.
Who started the organization? Describe him or her (only if applicable).
What changes have occurred in society based upon the work of the organization?
What, if any, influence has the organization

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