Portland Community College -- Sociology 204 Syllabus - Winter 2008
Professor: S. Rowan Wolf, PhD 503- 977-4083 Office: Sylvania SS 215 H82

Main Site: http://www.srwolf.com/wolfsoc --- PCC Site: http://spot.pcc.edu/~rwolf

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Summary of Assignments | Online Readings

All readings not in the required texts for the class are available on line. I am providing the materials in this format for environmental (fewer trees are turned into paper) and economic (reduce copy costs) reasons. If you do not have access to the internet, you should speak to me to get access to the articles.

Class Information: M/W 1:00-2:50 CRN 11463 ST235 moved to TCB 214 <> T/R 9:00-10:50 CRN 10853 SCB 204  <>  T/R 1:00-2:50 CRN 11294 TCB 216 

Texts: The text books are required. (1) *Andersen & Taylor. General Sociology: Sociology in Everyday Life (paperback) OR Andersen & Taylor "Sociology: Understanding Diverse Society" (hardback full text) (2) Daniel Quinn. Ishmael. Texts are also available in the Sylvania Library on reserve.  Additionally there are three required readings scheduled that are only available online. You must access them through the online syllabus in the "Schedule" section.

Office Hours: M-R 8am- 8:45 am T/R 11:00-1:45 Friday 10am-12pm Other are times available by appointment.

About Your Teacher: I have my PhD in sociology from the University of Oregon. My special areas of interests are stratification systems, organizations, and the interplay of values and how they are embedded in social interaction and structure. As an Instructor, I encourage the participation of students in the learning process. My best hope is that students will leave my courses with the tools to look at the world critically and holistically.

Students with Disabilities or Special Needs I encourage students who have disabilities to contact the Office for Students with Disabilities for assistance in requesting accommodations. Please meet or talk with me outside of class to discuss any special considerations or problems that may affect your participation or performance in the class.

Flexibility Statement: All assignments and calendars may change in response to institutional, instructional, or weather needs. Changes in assignments may affect the number of total points available in the course.

If you need to drop or withdraw: You are responsible for dropping or withdrawing from the class. The college policy is that you may withdraw from the course until the end of the fourth week of classes. If you quit attending and do not drop the class, you will receive whatever grade you have earned in the class. The College has restricted faculty discretion is giving Incomplete's or an X grade, and they may impact your financial aid if you are receiving any. Please inform me if you are dropping the course.

Course Description: We will explore various aspects of social interaction and social organization. Topics will include, socialization, group dynamics, culture, social stratification, sex roles, and race and ethnic relations.

Course Objectives:
1. Have an enjoyable and stimulating learning experience.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the course content.
3. Demonstrate ability to step outside personal experience to analyze the social environment.

Your grade will be based on your completion of the items detailed below (and others that may be assigned). Your final grade is based on percentage of total points accumulated. A= 90-100%, B=80-89%, C=70-79%, D=60-69%, F - below 60%.

1. Attendance 10 points per week (105 total). Though you are not graded on your participation in the class, attendance is part of your grade. If you cannot make a class, or need to arrive late or leave early, please let me know. Unexplained absences are considered ditching the class. Excused absences receive reduced credit.

2. Reading Journal up to 10 points per week of readings (100 total). Entries should be made for each reading (text, Ishmael, and additional readings) for each week. You should bring your journal with you to each class and I will check collect them periodically. There should be entries for each week and each reading. The entries can include your ideas, points from the readings you thought were important, and questions that the material raised for you. I do not expect the journals to be comprehensive in terms of writing essays, however, they should be readable.

The easiest thing for you to do is to get a separate wire bound notebook and mark it as your Sociology 204 Journal. Put your name and class on the front of the journal. Write in the journal as you do your reading. Bring the journal with you to each class. The journal will be useful to you in class discussions and in writing your papers for the class. It should help you integrate the information as we go through the course as well. First and foremost, the journal is a learning aid for you; therefore, style is flexible as long as I can easily identify the week and readings to which you are referring.

Entries should be clearly marked for reference using the following format:
Week 1
Andersen Chapter 1
comments / questions / important points / ideas
Week 2
Chapter 2: Sociological Inquiry
comments / questions / important points / ideas
Ishmael: Chapters 1-3
comments / questions / important points / ideas
Additional Reading: Body Ritual Among the Nacerima
comments / questions / important points / ideas

3. Papers- 50 points per paper (150 total): Papers are due on the last class period of the week. Papers must be a minimum of two single-spaced (four double-spaced) typed pages of discussion and critique over questions from the text "Thinking Sociologically" sections of the text, Ishmael, class lectures and discussion, and/or supplemental readings. You should select one topic or question and discuss it for the entire length of the paper. The papers are NOT a review or summary of the material covered. Appropriate topics for each paper are those which have come up in the section of the course the paper covers. All sources must be cited appropriately. The purpose of the papers is to 1) demonstrate you have an understanding of the material, and 2) the ability to think critically about the issues and concepts covered in the class. While I do not grade on grammar, papers should be clear enough for me to understand them.

4. Research Paper 100 points: Research papers may be over any topic of your choice that is related to the course material. Papers must be a minimum of four single-spaced pages and use a minimum of four sources beyond materials used for the class. The texts (or other introductory texts) may not be one of you four sources, though it may be used as an additional source. All sources must be cited appropriately in the body of the paper and listed fully in the bibliography (including internet sources). Any standard citation style may be used. The research paper is not significantly different than the shorter papers. I am using the same evaluation criteria.

5. Research Paper topic description. I strongly encourage you to turn in a one paragraph description of your research topic and how you intend to approach it. This is not a graded assignment, but gives you the opportunity to get feedback from me on your topic and approach. This helps ensure that your paper is appropriate to the course.

Evaluation guidelines for all papers
1. Demonstrates understanding of the sociological material/ concepts used in the paper.
2. Citations are correctly made, and paper meets requirements outlined for the paper.
3. Uses a sociological rather than an individual or psychological or other disciplinary perspective.
4. Integrates and synthesizes material/concepts.
5. Takes the "next step" beyond the material, often through number four above.

Paper Format
Your papers should include the following information:
- descriptive title or a one sentence summary of the focus of your paper;
- a substantive sociological discussion of the concept/topic you are discussing;
- your name, class, paper number, date, and my name.
All papers must be typed.
All sources must be cited within the body of any paper.

* All papers must meet the requirements of the assigned paper (see above)
* All assignments must be in on time unless you have made arrangements with me. Late assignments will receive decreased credit.


Guidelines for Citing Work Electronic source citation guideline

Exact quotes: "Globalization is a force that will affect all workers." (Neubeck and Glasberg, 1996:215)
Paraphrase: Globalization affects workers around the world (Neubeck and Glasberg, 1996:215). OR According to Neubeck and Glasberg, (1996:215) workers will be strongly affected by the forces of globalization.
Internet Sources: Currently there are approximately 40 million workers employed by multinational corporations (Smith, 1997).

Guidelines for Bibliography
Book: Neubeck, Kenneth J. And Glasberg, Davita Silfen. 1996. Sociology: A Critical Approach. McGraw-Hill, Inc.:New York.

Article: Jones, Amy. 1997. "Living Life on the Streets." American Journal of Sociology. 36(2):235-256.

Internet: Smith, Jason. 1997. "The Multinational Shuffle." http://www/multinational/shuffle.html.

Anthology: Brown, Malia. 2001. "The Way it Used to Be." In Readings for a New Society. Eds. Julius Kamis, and Frieda Byrd. Pages 32-48. Prentice Hall: Englewood, Ca.

Guidelines for Rewriting Papers
Only the first paper may be rewritten for possible additional credit if the paper received less than 45 points (excluding points deducted for lateness), and the paper did not receive zero points for plagiarism.
- Rewrites must be turned in before the next paper is due.
- Original paper with comments must be turned in with the rewrite.

Class Rules and Etiquette
There will be a lot of discussion in this class, and some of it will be over very sensitive issues. I encourage the free exchange of ideas, and feel that this is an extremely valuable part of our learning experience. Please keep the following things in mind.

Avoid making personal attacks on others in the class. Aside from being hurtful, it also tends to discourage people from participating.

Don't talk over the top of someone else. As much as possible, I will allow time for everyone who has anything to say the opportunity to do so.

Try to listen closely to points being made by others. The diversity of experience and philosophy represented in the class are an important part of the learning process.

Monitor how much of the discussion time you are taking. Though your opinions are important, everyone should have the opportunity to share. If you feel you are frequently monopolizing discussion time, sit back and listen for a while.

If you feel uncomfortable with a discussion, or that I have treated you or the issue unfairly, please tell me either at the time, at break, or after class.

Plagiarism PCC's Academic Integrity Policy
Plagiarism is cheating and will not be tolerated. Plagiarism is copying another person's ideas and/or words without giving them credit for creating them. This could be quoting from a book or an article, or copying someone else's assignment. Plagiarized papers will receive zero points (even if it is your final paper which is 25% of your grade).

Plagiarism includes acquiring papers from other students, the internet, or other sources. I do have methods available to detect stolen or purchased papers and materials.

Most plagiarism is accidental and can be easily avoided by citing work used appropriately. Remember, that I am grading you on your understanding of the concepts and frameworks of sociology. I do not grade you on your ability to write. I grade you on your understanding of the course.

Summary of Requirements

Item Points Number Total Points Notes Due
Attendance 5/class

excused absences receive reduced credit each class
Journal 10 10  100 entries for each reading assigned each class
Short Papers 50 3 150 Appropriate topic
2 single-spaced (four double) pages
Week 3
Week 6
final class meeting
Research Topic 0 1 0 For your benefit Week 7
Research Paper 100 1 100 Appropriate to course
4 single-spaced (eight double) pages
4 sources from outside course materials
Last class before finals week


NOTE: Dates listed under "Week" are the MONDAY of the week
All papers are due on the last class meeting of the week unless otherwise assigned in class. In the case of classes meeting only once a week, papers are due at class time. 

Week Topic

Chapter 1 - Developing a Sociological Perspective

Chapter 2: Doing Sociological Research  - Additional Required Reading:  Miner's "Body Ritual among the Nacerima"
Extra Credit Assignment (10 points) Go to Rowan Wolf's Website and find three resources you think might be of use to you. Send me an email (or turn in written) listing those sources and a brief statement of why they will be usefu  by 1/18
Chapter 3: Culture 
Ishmael: Chapters 1-3
Assignment: Paper 1 over topics from weeks 1 or 2
No Classes Monday 1/21

Chapter 4: Socialization
Ishmael: Chapters 4-7
Both classes will attend a Focus the Nation Global Warming event this week
Chapter 5: Society and Social Interaction  6: Groups and Organizations 139-149, 158-160            Ishmael: Chapters 8-11
Additional Required Reading:  The Pressure to Modernize and Globalize
[Not required - Other info about Ladakh and related issues: Global Vision  Global Vision      International Society for Ecology and Culture  ISEC ]
Chapter 7: Deviance Chapter 8: Crime & Criminal Justice
Ishmael: Chapters 12-13
Assignment: Paper 2 due over concept from weeks 3 through 5
Chapter 9: Social Class and Social Stratification
** T/R 9 am class meet in the PAC on 2/19 for Illumination Project - T/R 1pm class meet in the PAC on 2/21 for the Illumination Project
Supplemental: Oregon’s Income Tax is Harsh for Low-Wage Workers  2/22/06 Oregon Center for Public Policy  America's 'Near Poor' Are Increasingly at Economic Risk, Experts Say NY Times, 5/08/06
Research paper topic due. One paragraph statement of topic.
Social Class continued and Chapter 14 Age & Stratification
Chapter 11: Race & Ethnicity
M/W 1 pm class meet in PAC for Illumination Project on 3/3
Additional Required Reading:  Hate Violence by Sheffield
FYI: Resource for expanded discussion:  Southern Poverty Law Center    Stop the Hate   
Chapter 12 Gender & Chapter 13 Sexuality
Research Paper Due
Final class meetings M/W classes Monday 3/17 at regular class time  T/R class Tues 3/18 at regular class time
Assignment: Paper 3 due over concept from weeks 5 through 10, or from Ishmael chapters 8-13.

Ishmael Questions

Things to think about when reading Ishmael

We will be having in-class discussions about the book Ishmael. I would like for you to think about the following questions so that you can participate fully in those discussions. It would be a good idea to keep notes of your responses. Think beyond "yes I agree or disagree" to why you feel the way you do. We will be having discussions - not votes.

You might be interested in what others are talking about in regard to Ishmael or other books written by Daniel Quinn. If so, here is a link to the  Ishmael Community website.

Chapters 1 and 2
A. What is the concept of a "story?"
B. What are some of the things we (as a society) assume there is no need to talk about?
C. What is the role of "Mother Culture?"
D. What do you think of the definition of culture in the book (people enacting a story)?
E. What do you think of the idea that we "are captives of a civilization al system that more or less compels (us) to go on destroying the world in order to live?"

Chapters 3 & 4
A. Do we assume that creation (and evolution) ended with the advent of "civilization?" What would be different if we believed that creation never ended?
B. What do you think of the "Takers" understanding of the meaning of the world?
C. What does it mean to live like a "human?" How is that different than living like an animal? How do we feel about "uncivilized" societies? Do they "live like animals?"

Chapters 5 and 6
A. What do you think about the assertion that knowing how to live is unknowable?
B. What do you think of the flying analogy and how it might apply to society?

Chapters 7 and 8
A. What do you think about the peace-keeping law? Do societies live within this law? Should people be bounded by this law?
B. How does the peace-keeping law conflict with the belief that the world is run by the idea of the survival of the strongest?
C. What are the four things the book states that Taker society does that no other living thing does? Do you agree that this is true?
D. What do you think of the idea that first world farmers are fueling the third world population explosion?

Chapter 9
A. Is the agricultural revolution still going on (in what ways)? Does Taker culture demand this? How?
B. What are our options as a world if population is tied to food supply?

Chapters 10 - 13
A. When did history start? What does this mean?
B. How are Leaver cultures different than Taker cultures?
C. What is the cultural difference between passing on what works within a given culture vs passing on the right way to live? How is this related to the peace-keeping law?
D. Do you think that Taker and Leaver cultures acquire two different kinds of knowledge? What might be the importance of this difference?
E. Is there truth in our idea that Leavers (primitives) just don't know what they are missing? Does this mean that we are "saving" them by forcing them into our lifestyles and beliefs?
F. Is our perception of Leavers living on the knife edge of survival realistic? How do our beliefs about those cultures effect our lives and choices?
G. What do you think of the concept of Leavers "living in the hands of the gods" and our imperative to control our own lives (take our lives out of the hands of the gods)?