Collin College
PSYC 2314.S03 & SOCI 1301.S10
Life's Journey: Social, Cultural, & Psychological Perspectives That Frame Our Understanding of Being Human

Fall 2017

CLASS MEETS: Tue/Thur, 10 - 12:45, Spring Creek Campus - Room I216    

Professors: Prof. Barbara Lusk Prof. Larry Stern
Office: L261 (SCC)    L207 (SCC)
Phone: 972-881-5822   972-881-5608
Office Hrs:

MW 10 – 12 and 4:00 to 4:30; TR 6:30 am –7:00 am

MW 10 - 12, TR 1-2 and by appointment
Web Pages:


From the perspectives of sociology and psychology, we shall discuss what it means to be human as we develop across the life span.  Sociologists attempt to provide accurate accounts of how social factors affect the likelihood that individuals, either alone or in combination, choose to act one way rather than anotherÑand then trace the consequences of those actions.  Psychologists tend to focus on the individual, while deemphasizing the broader social contexts of development. What commonalities exist between these two approaches? How does each draw upon the other to strengthen their accounts of human conduct? In what ways do they diverge? Students will gain a deeper understanding of these critical questions through the combination of these two disciplines.



Since this class centers on class discussions and collaborative learning, it is essential that assigned readings be completed on time.

There are two textbooks that all students are required to use. Additional materials that deal specifically with select aspects of topics to be discussed in class will be either distributed in class or listed on web sites that you will be asked to visit.

Reading assignments can be accessed through the course calendar.

(1) Texts:

Arnett, Jeffrey. Human Development: A Cultural Approach, 1st edition (Pearson Publishers, 2012)
Macionis, John.    Society: The Basics, 14th edition, Pearson, 2017 (you may use an earlier less expensive edition).

(2) Handouts: A number of articles shall be distributed in class.

(3) Internet Sites: You will be asked to visit and review a number of internet sites. In some cases you will be asked to browse the contents of the site. In other instances, required readings can be accessed through the site (see course outline).


(1) Attendance is mandatory and will be taken each class.  Most of our lectures and class discussions will go beyond the required readings and include materials not found in the text.  In some cases we shall disagree with the author and be critical of the text.  In other instances we - the two professors - will disagree with one another. 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) We will 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.

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 20th


The success of Learning Community courses often relies on the active participation of class members. We strive to foster a non-threatening evocative environment where free and far ranging discussions take place. We do not expect that everyone will agree with the comments they hear - quite the contrary. As shall be seen, there are specifiable sociological reasons why we will disagree with one another as we confront sensitive issues. Moreover, we believe that disagreement and argument - so long as it is conducted in a civil and respectful manner - leads to a deepening of understanding. As a result, we will encourage each of you to be active-participant-learners and hope that you will agree to disagree. However, we recognize that not everyone is comfortable speaking his or her 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, active participation may be taken into account if your grade is borderline.


  1. There will be seven (7) psychology quizzes and seven (7) sociology quizzes given during the semester, each being linked to specific units in the course. Each quiz will have ten T-F and/or multiple-choice questions that cover basic definitions of concepts and the main points discussed in the textbooks, websites, and the class lectures.  You are responsible for completing five of the seven quizzes offered in both psychology and sociology (for a total of ten).  If you choose to take more than 5 quizzes in either psychology or sociology, your five highest scores in each will be counted. Your grade on these will count for 10% of your final grade for each section of the course. Specific dates for each quiz will be listed on the course calendar.
  2. You will complete eight (8) blended writing assignmentsduring the semester in which you will directly apply concepts and theories discussed in class to your life and/or contemporary events. Since each essay will contain questions that correspond to both psychology and sociology, you will be receiving two grades on each essay.  Thus, each paper should be at least 1000 words—roughly four typed pages, 12-point font.  Each assignment is worth 10% of your final grade:  combined these eight assignments will count as 80% of your semester grade.
  3. For your final exam, you will submit one larger two-part take-home essay. This exam will count for10% of your final grade for the course


Five short-answer quizzes

 = 10%

Eight Writing Assignments

 = 80%

Final Take-Home Essay Exam

= 10%

Total = 100%

Bonus points (no more than one-half letter grade) may 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 October 20th.


  1. Please refer to your Student Handbook for the complete student code of conduct.
  2. Pagers and phones are to be turned off (or put on vibrate) during the class period. If we hear a phone ring during class we reserve the right to answer it.
  3. Electronic devices may be used in used in the classroom to enhance learning. Playing games, text messaging, 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.
  4. Missed Exam: Must be taken within one week; ten points will be deducted. Late assignments: Ten points will be deducted per class period.
  5. Unexcused absences of 10 hours or more will likely cost you a letter grade.
  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, studentsÑand the ProfessorÑwill 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.


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.


You may repeat these courses only once after receiving a grade, including W.


Collin 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 (SCC-D140) or 881–5898, (V/TDD-881-5950) to arrange for appropriate accommodations. See the current Student Handbook for additional information.