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COURSE NAME: "Introduction to Sociology"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2023

INSTRUCTOR: Jenn Lindsay
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 3:00 PM 4:15 PM

This course will introduce students to the basic concepts and practices of the study of society. Students will learn central ideas such as socialization, culture, stratification, institutions, work organization, gender, ethnicity, race and globalization. They will also learn about how sociologists practice their craft reading about studies of current social issues - inequality, changes in family life, social movements and others - and by carrying out small scale out-of-class research assignments.

The course covers the major scientific approaches to understanding society, culture and institutions, and the basic methods and perspectives of sociology. We examine the history, development and core concepts of sociology and we then take up important issues in the structure and dynamics of social life: education, culture, religion, class, race and gender, deviance, the family, globalization, migration, religion, media and social change. By the end of the course students will have some initial experience in putting these methods into practice as well. They will be in a position to express their ideas about society—based upon study rather than merely opinion—in writing and orally. They will also be familiar with some electronic databases available to researchers on social issues. Classes will provide a mixture of lectures and group discussion based on contemporary topics and materials. Students are expected to do the required readings in the textbook and additional handouts in preparation for discussion in the following class, and to participate actively in those discussions. 


Having taken this course, students will be able to: 

1.    Describe, interpret and evaluate various aspects of western societies 

2.    Show awareness of the most significant social transformations and societal processes that characterize contemporary societies; 

3.    Reflect in a theoretically informed way on society, engaging our own taken for granted beliefs and values; 

4.    Analyze and identify significant social issues using a broad sociological perspective 

5.    Conceptualize society via its main institutions 

6.    Explain and exemplify main sociological concepts such as social class, socialization, social and cultural stratification, deviance, social interaction, gender, race and power. 

Discuss sociology’s contribution to the study of modern society and global transformations 
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberCommentsFormatLocal BookstoreOnline Purchase
White Tears Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Colour Ruby Hamad (Autore)Trapeze 978-1398703100  Hard Copy  
Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for MenCaroline Criado Perez (Autore)Harry N Abrams Inc 978-1419735219  Hard Copy  

Mid­term ExamA combination of short and long answer questions which will demonstrate students’ ability to identify, understand and critically discuss the concepts learned in the course and to apply them to analyzing specific cases of social problems. 15
Final ExamA combination of short and long answer questions which will demonstrate students’ ability to identify, understand and critically discuss the concepts learned in the course and to apply them to analyzing specific cases of social problems. 25
Weekly Journal Responses Due to your instructor via Moodle on Friday night. Personal reflections should be at least 250 words in length and focus on AT LEAST one of the week’s assigned readings, and at least one of the films or discussion themes presented in class. The goal here is NOT to summarize the readings/films but to interact with and respond to them. I am looking for genuine personal engagement: show me you are listening and thinking critically. The journals will not be graded individually, but they will each be read carefully and will be graded as a whole. Grammar and writing quality count! Think of this as a weekly written check-in with me, your course instructor. Tell me what you're thinking about in class, tell me how the reading struck you. Did anything make you angry, or comfort you? What topic this week are you still curious about? 25
Fieldwork ObservationThe written and oral explanation of out of class research will be graded based upon having carried out the research observation assigned in an efficient manner to be able to answer the questions involved, and on students’ ability to explain what they did, what they found and what conclusions they come to in a logical and coherent fashion. 25
Attendance and ParticipationClass participation grading is based upon attendance, regular participation in class discussion, generating good questions or interesting insights to fuel class conversation.10

AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course.
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

Attendance is mandatory and makes up 10% of your final grade. I will accept a maximum of three absences, after which I will detract 2% of your final grade for each absence. You cannot make-up a major exam (midterm or final) without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, such as a documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family (in which you must attend the funeral) or other situations of similar gravity. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam. Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Individual students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed. The final exam period runs until ____________
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.




Week 1: The Sociological Perspective: Introduction to Major Theorists and Theoretical Paradigms. 


Week 2: Contemporary Perspectives in Sociology


Week 3: Research methods; Culture


Week 4: Socialization and Symbolic Interactionism


Week 5: Social Structure, Modernity and Formal Organizations


Week 6: Deviance




Week 8: Social Class and Inequality


Week 9: Race and Ethnicity


Week 10: Sex, Gender and Inequality


Week 11: Gender cont’d


Week 12: Religion


Week 13: Case Studies: Hijab and Sinti


Week 14: Social Change and Conclusions