Sociology 205---10:00

Social Stratification and Social Systems
Lane Community College
Winter 2004
10-10:50 MWF (239 in #19)
David H. Kessel

Office.....419F Center Bldg

Office Hours...9-9:45 MWF, 12-1 W, & by Appt.
Office Phone.........463-5187 (Voicemail #7804)
Home Phone...............................736-0204


LCC Catalog Course Description

What you'll need for SOC 205

Policies and General Comments

Schedule of Topics and Readings

Assignments and Instructions

Due Dates

Required Reading

Online Reader

Grading Scale

Grading Standards

Summary of Points in Course

My Philosophy of Teaching

205 Discussion Board

Beginners Central

Lane Community College

TSS Directory

LCC Catalog Course Description

Explores the dynamics and influences of social stratification. Examines prejudice, discrimination, race, and ethnic groups. Discusses systems of bureaucracies, political and economic action, delivery systems, the development of communities, and collective behavior.

Grading Scale

A+ = 98-100 (Exceptional)
A = 94-97 (Excellent)
A- = 90-93 (Good/Excellent)

B+ = 87-89 (Very Good)
B = 83-86 (Good)
B- = 80-82 (Good/Fair)

C+ = 77-79 (Fair)
C = 73-76 (Fair/Basic)
C- = 70-72 (Basic)

D+ = 66-69 (Poor/Basic)
D = 60-65 (Poor)

F = ??-59 (Needs alot more)

Grading Standards

Required Reading Materials

Society in Focus, Fifth Edition, by William E. Thompson & Joseph V. Hickey

Online Reader

Black Like John Howard Griffin
Click on title to read a short description of the book

Schedule of Topics and Readings

(Dates) (TH = Thompson/Hickey Chapter/Pages) (O = Online Reader)

(Where an (O) appears, go to the Reader to find the online required reading materials)

1. Introduction/TSS/Sociological Concepts (1/3-1/7 ) ( O)

2. Social Stratification/Inequality/Poverty (1/10- 1/21) (TH 8)( O)

3. Global Stratification (1/24-1/26) (TH9) (O)

4. Deviance & Conformity (1/28-2/4) (TH7) (O)

5. Racism/Ethnicity (2/7-2/18) (TH10, BLM) (O)

6. Sex and Gender (2/23-3/4) (TH11) (O)

7. Age & Elderly (3/7-3/9) (TH12) (O)

8. Conclusion (3/11) (O)

Assignments and Instructions


There will be five (5) Analysis Papers worth 20 points will get 10 for just doing it and I'll evaluate the other 10 of 100 points. Minimum length is 1 page...Maximum is 3 pages. Topics are HERE.


You will have a Book Report on BLACK LIKE ME...worth 100 points. Instructions are HERE.


A research proposal using the Internet...worth 100 points. Instructions are HERE


This exam...worth 100 points...covers all the materials of the course. It will be a Take-Home Essay test and can be found HERE

Due Dates

1/12.....................Analysis Paper #1 Due

1/26.....................Analysis Paper #2 Due

2/09.....................Analysis Paper #3 Due

2/18.....................Analysis Paper #4 Due

2/25.....................Book Report Due

3/07.....................Internet Research Assignment Due

3/11.....................Analysis Paper #5 Due

3/14.....................Final Due (between 10-12)

Summary of Points in the Course

100 pts...................Analysis Papers
100 pts...................Book Report
100 pts...................Internet Research Assignment
100 pts...................Final Exam
400 pts...................Total Points

What You'll Need for SOC 205

& SOC 205

You are going to need access to a Computer for this course with access to the Internet. Whether its your own computer, your parent‘s, one in a Lab, a friend's computer, or one at a Library, they're not that difficult to find these days.

That means you'll need to have or to learn a basic minimum of skills in navigating the Internet. It's a tool that's quickly become a necessity in today's world...especially as it relates to academics. If you have no experience in doing this, don’t worry, there's plenty of help available...especially at LCC. I've included a link above to "Beginners Central," a tutorial to help assist you. I’m also willing to help get you started...let me know if you need help.

ALSO, you will need an EMAIL address for this course. There will be occasions I may need to email you individually as well as the class as a whole. Likewise, you may need to email me with questions or information and possibly, an assignment. If you don't have an Email account, please get one is a requirement of the course, not an option. Many are free, such as Yahoo and Hotmail...and these can be accessed on any computer, anywhere. I will be glad to assist you in setting one up...just ask me. IF you already have one (or when you get one), please send me a message (indicating your name---sometimes usernames don’t reveal that) so I can enter your address into my address book and create the class list. Send it to Please pay prompt attention to this matter...Thanks.

Why? Besides being an immensely rich and important source of all sorts of information, the Internet provides the opportunity for providing reading material for academic classes...making materials accessible to anyone...anytime. This also cuts down on the amount of copying necessary...saving paper and money. My own website, The Sociology Shop, will be an integral component of this has a “room” for our class, links to required reading materials, a Discussion Board for our class, and the details of the course...including assignments and instructions you will need, plus, of course, due dates. The Required Reading Materials...beyond the effect substitute for asking you to buy a Reader, thus saving you money. Thus you need to become familiar with The Sociology Shop in general as well as familiar with our “Sociology 205 Room”...which you are “in” right now.


Analysis Paper #1

We're going to be covering various areas of "inequality" in this course...primarily class structures, racism, sexism, and political/economic... so maybe a good place to start is with "Equality." What is it...what isn't it? Some say its absolutely necessary, some say its not possible, some say its not desirable, and some say "inequality" is simply a fact of human existence...i.e. inevitable. Regardless, to even grasp what inequality is...we need to grasp what equality is, too, right?
Sociologist Alexander Liazos gives a different slant on this important the short piece entitled
Equality (doesn't equal) Sameness. Read it and comment on a brief summary of your current views as it applies to the areas mentioned above. Just why do we tend to equate "equality" with "sameness"? Why do we have such a difficult time with "differences"? Why are we seemingly obsessed with "ranking" and notions of superiority and inferiority? Is "heirarchy" an inevitable arrangement of people? The questions could go on forever about this...I'd like to see what you can make of it as we begin.

Analysis Paper #2

On pages 228-230, Thompson and Hickey briefly describe how social stratification is explained from the three major sociological perspectives (Functionalism, Symbolic Interactionism, Conflict). Each views stratification (esp. class structure) very differently. Read over this material...summarizing each perspective. Then, without necessarily choosing just one (although there is "room" for preferring one or more over the others), develop your own view of social stratification (you could call this synthesizing). NOTE: Think of each theoretical perspective as a "paradigm" of its own...but remember, paradigms are a larger frame of understanding than the theories themselves.

Analysis Paper #3

Although there are numerous typologies of deviance, the one I find most useful is the major one we covered (or will cover) in class:

Statistical/Numerical Deviance
Absolutist Deviance
Reactivist Deviance
Normative Deviance

Together they cover a lot of "ground" about deviance, but separately each has its limitations. Further, some contradict the other types, but overall, deviance in our society is a mixture of WAYS deviance is/can be SOCIALLY DEFINED.

EXPLAIN each type and indicate the "problem" each has when viewed separately (i.e. its paradigmatic limitations). Illustrate each type (from your observations of others or from your own personal experiences---i.e. identify an instance in which each is used). Also, are they THAT separate from one another?

Analysis Paper #4

Do a reaction to/analysis of the content of the video on Racism (Oprah Show) we saw in class on 2/11/05. What ideas, in particular, stood out for you? Were there any concepts in Chapter 10 of our textbook which were illustrated or referred to in the ideas expressed by the participants? In particular, as expressed by a student in one of the classes, did the “age” (8/9 years) of the show/video somewhat invalidate the ideas and points expressed? (In other words, as we way beyond these ideas by now?)

Analysis Paper #5

You are to evaluate yourself in this course. This is NOT about the grade you expect to have earned. Rather, it's about how well you handled the course content...nor is it about the teacher, per se. (Yes, I know I'll probably get mentioned, but the focus is on YOU, not ME) Rather, it's about how well you handled the course content. It would include what you learned and its impact on you. How hard did you work at the process of learning? How did you feel about the various assignments and the teaching approach in relation to your performance? In short, what did you learn, overall, and how well did you go about learning it? Needless to say, honesty is an essential component of this analysis paper.


Do a serious and thorough job and you'll get the full 20 points
Do a lesser job and you'll get less points...simple as that
Take yourself seriously and I'll recognize it.


Reminder...this is NOT an evaluation of can do that through the Student Evaluation mechanism Online at LCC...and I strongly encourage you to do so.

(All papers are yours, but this AP is the one I keep for my records)