FALL 2017


INSTRUCTOR:  Larry Stern
OFFICE — PHONE — EMAIL:   L207 (SCC Library) – 972-881–5608 – LSTERN@COLLIN.EDU
OFFICE HOURS:  Monday & Wednesday, 10AM - 12 TR 1 - 2; and by appointment;

Section S08, MW 2:30-3:45, Room L253

All classes meet at the Spring Creek Campus Library.


Course Description: Introduction to the scientific study of social factors that influence human behavior. Includes analysis of culture and socialization processes, social interaction, deviance, social stratification/inequality, race relations, global interdependence, and gender. Must demonstrate, by assessment or prerequisite course, placement in READ 0310.

This course will provide students the opportunity to discover how the discipline of sociology—an approach that studies social factors that affect all human actions and their consequences in society—can help them make sense out of their daily lives and interpret broader societal issues. [To download a copy of the generic syllabus for this course, go to "Generic Sociology Syllabus"]

Course Delivery Method: Lectures, class discussions, and audiovisual materials such as web sites, movies, and Power Point presentations.

For a statement that outlines my teaching philosophy, what I expect from you in this class – your obligations and responsibilities – and a tentative description of some of the topics and issues we can profitably use to illustrate what sociology is and how we go about our business, go to "Introductory Remarks"

Supplies: An active, open-minded, critical brain with functioning synapses.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Compare and contrast the basic theoretical perspectives of sociology. (Critical Thinking)
  2. Identify the various methodological approaches to the collection and analysis of data in sociology. (Empirical and Quantitative Skills)
  3. Describe key concepts in sociology. (Critical Thinking, Communication Skills, Social Responsibility)
  4. Describe the empirical findings of various subfields of sociology. (Empirical and Quantitative Skills)
  5. Explain the complex links between individual experiences and broader institutional forces. (Critical Thinking, Communication Skills, Empirical and Quantitative Skills, Social Responsibility)

Course Requirements: Reading of all assigned materials; regular attendance and class participation; completion of all assignments, including papers and exams.


(1)    Textbook: Society: The Basics, 14th Edition, John J. Macionis, Pearson Prentice Hall, 2017. A used (and less expensive) 12th or 13th edition will be acceptable for this course.


Specific reading assignments are listed on the course course calendar.  Although we will not cover all of the materials covered in the text in our class discussions, you are nevertheless responsible for all of the materials covered in the assigned readings.

(2)    Internet Sites: You will be asked to visit and review a number of internet sites (see course outline).

Class Attendance:

(1)    Attendance is mandatory and will be taken each class.  Most of my lectures and our discussions will go beyond the required readings and include materials not found in the text.  In some cases I shall disagree with the author and be critical of the text.  As a result, a good set of class notes will be extremely helpful to you – indeed, they are essential if you plan on excelling in this course.

(2)   I shall allow students—with good reasons—to arrive late or depart early. Attending for only one-half of a class on a given day is better than not attending at all. If you need to either arrive late or depart early, please do so unobtrusively with a minimum of disruption
==> Excessive unexcused absences (10 hours or more) will likely cost you a letter grade.

(3)    Students who stop attending class but who do not officially withdraw will be assigned a grade of "F."
==> The last day to withdraw and receive the grade of "W" is October 20, 2017.

Class Participation:

As mentioned in my "Introductory Remarks," this class will be student-centered. As such, you will be encouraged to be an active learner. However, not everyone is comfortable speaking their mind in public and active learning can still be accomplished through other means. As a result, speaking up in class is NOT mandatory – no specified percentage of your grade depends on it. However, as will be indicated in the section on grading, bonus points may be awarded for active participation.

Exams, Writing Assignments, & Labs:

(1)    There will be seven (7) quizzes given during the semester, each one linked to a specifc section/unit of the course. Each quiz will have 10 true-false and/or multiple choice questions that cover basic definitions of concepts and main points discussed in the textbook, web sites and the class. You are responsible for taking five (5) of these quizzes. If you choose to take more than five I will count your five highest scores. Each of these quizzes will be taken on Canvas and be available for a five day period, opening on Thursday at 12 noon and closing the following Monday at 10AM. These quizzes will count for 25% of your final grade.

(2)  You will complete five (5) writing assignments during the semester in which you will directly apply concepts and theories discussed in class to your social life and/or contemporary events – due dates are listed on the course calendar. The first essay – which is mandatory – will be from unit 2B, “Social Factors and the Search for Social Patterns. You will choose your next two essays from two of the following three units: Unit 3A/B on Sociological Theory, Unit 4 on Culture, and Unit 5 on Socialization. (In other words, you do NOT have to submit a writing assignment for one of these units.) You will choose your last two writing assignments from two of the course’s last three units: Unit 6 on Race, Unit 7 on Poverty and Inequality, and Unit 8/9 on Social Responsibility where, again, you do NOT have to submit a writing assignment for one of these units. These papers are to be submitted/uploaded in the "Turnitin Assignment Inbox" in Canvas. Each paper should be at least 750 words –roughly three typed pages (12 point font). These five assignments, combined, will count as 50% of your final grade.

(3) For your final exam, you will submit one larger take-home essay question in the "Turnitin Assignment Inbox" in Canvas. The exam question has already been posted on the class calendar. This will account for 25% of your final grade.

Grading Summary:

Five short-answer quizzes =            25%
Five writing assignments

=            50%

Final Take-Home Essay =            25%

==> Bonus points (no more than one-half letter grade) may also be awarded to students with excellent attendance and above-average class participation

==> Excessive unexcused absences (10 hours or more) will likely cost you a letter grade.

==> The last day to withdraw and receive the grade of "W" is Friday, October 20, 2017.

House Rules:

(1)    Please refer to your Student Handbook for the complete student code of conduct.

(2)    Scholastic dishonesty includes cheating, plagiarism, and/or collusion. Students caught doing so will receive a zero for that assignment or exam and be referred to the Dean of Students. See the College Policy listed below.

(3)    Pagers and phones are to be turned off (or put on vibrate) during the class period. If I hear a phone ring during class I reserve the right to answer it.

(4) Electronic devices may be used in used in the classroom to enhance learning. Text messaging, playing games,listening to music, using cell phones, etc would not be considered as appropriate use of an electronic device in a learning environment. Please turn off the audio features of these devices before you enter the classroom.

(5)    Late papers will not be accepted.

(6) If you arrive late for class, please do so unobtrusively. If you need to leave early, please let us know in advance. 

(7)    Above all, students—and the Professor—will conduct themselves in the classroom in a civil manner and treat all others and their ideas with respect. Students who are disruptive will be asked to leave.

Academic Ethics:

Every member of the Collin College community is expected to maintain the highest standards of academic integrity. Collin College may initiate disciplinary proceedings against a student accused of scholastic dishonesty. Scholastic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, statements, acts, or omissions related to applications for enrollment or the award of a degree, and/or the submission of one’s own work material that is not one’s own. Scholastic dishonesty may involve, but is not limited to, one or more of the following acts: cheating, plagiarism, collusion, use of annotated texts or teacher’s editions, use of information about exams posted on the Internet or electronic medium, and/or falsifying academic records. While specific examples are listed below, this is not an exhaustive list and scholastic dishonesty may encompass other conduct, including any conduct through electronic or computerized means:

Plagiarism is the use of an author's words or ideas as if they were one's own without giving credit to the source, including, but not limited to, failure to acknowledge a direct quotation.

Cheating is the willful giving or receiving of information in an unauthorized manner during an examination, illicitly obtaining examination questions in advance, copying computer or Internet files, using someone else's work for assignments as if it were one's own, or any other dishonest means of attempting to fulfill the requirements of a course.

Collusion is intentionally aiding or attempting to aid another in an act of scholastic dishonesty, including but not limited to providing a paper or project to another student, providing an inappropriate level of assistance; communicating answers to a classmate during an examination; removing tests or answer sheets from a test site, and allowing a classmate to copy answers.

See the current Collin Student Handbook for additional information.

==> Academic dishonesty could result in a “zero” grade on the particular assignment or test.

Collin College Course Enrollment Policy:

You may repeat this course at the regular tuition level only once after receiving a grade, including W. An increased tuition level will go into effect if the course is taken a third time.

Student technical support is now provided 24/7 for students at (972) 377-1777 or at the eCollin Learning Center

Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance:

It is the policy of Collin County Community college to provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals wh are students with disabilities.  The college will adhere to all applicable Federal, State, and locl laws, regulations and guidelines with respect to providing reasonable accommodations as required to afford equal educational opportunity.  It is the student's responsibility to contact the faculty member and the ACCESS Office (G-200) or 881–5898, (TDD-881-5950) in a timely manner if he/she desires to arrange for accommodations.