Sociology 204

Lane Community College
Summer 2004
1st Four Week Term
MTWTH 8:00-9:50
Center Bldg....Room 008 (Basement)

Office....................................419F Center
Office Hours......MTWTH: 10-11
Office Telephone........................463-5187
Voice Mail.........463-3535 (Mailbox 7804)
Home Phone...............................736-0204

David H. Kessel


Please click on each link...You will find answers to most of your questions here...please look here first...before asking me...Thanks.

LCC Catalog Course Description

Class Policies and General Comments

What you'll need for SOC 204

Course Objectives

Schedule of Topics

Required Reading Materials

Online Reader

Assignments and Instructions

Due Dates

Summary of Points in Course

Grading Scale

Grading Standards

SOC 204 Discussion Board

Discussion Board Instructions

Beginner's Central
A Tutorial for beginners and veterans alike

Lane Community College

TSS Directory

LCC Catalog Course Description

Introductory Sociology at LCC is split into three (3) 3-credit courses. This is the 1st one:

Soc 204 Introduction to Sociology

Development and application of the sociological imagination, concepts, and perspectives concerning human groups, includes attention to socialization, culture, organization, stratification and societies. Examines fundamental concepts and research methodology.

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)

Required Reading Materials

Sociology, Eighth Jon M. Shepard

Online Reader

Schedule of Topics

IMPORTANT: For a detailed outline of topics and additional required readings, go to the Online Reader.

(Numbers are chapters or pages in the Shepard textbook)

6/21 & 6/23............I. Introduction and Course Objectives

6/23 - 6/29.............II. The Sociological Perspective/Imagination/Consciousness (1)

6/30 - 7/06............III. Science and Social Research (2)

7/07 & 7/08...........IV. Culture (3)

7/12 - 7/14.............V. Social Structure & Society & Socialization (5 & 4)

7/14 & 7/15..........VI. Groups (pp. 142-155)

7/15......................VII. Conclusion

Assignments and Instructions


There will be two(2) Analysis Papers...each worth 25 pts...for a total of 50 pts. Topics can be found HERE


There will be two (2) Discussion Board Responses...each worth 25 pts...for a total of 50 pts. INSTRUCTIONS are HERE


You will be asked to review (sociologically) EITHER a movie...OR a fiction book...worth 100 points.
-----Eligible Movies are HERE and Review Guidelines are HERE.
-----Eligible Books are HERE and Instructions are HERE.


There will be an Internet Assignment worth 100 points...utilizing The Sociology Shop. Instructions are HERE.

Due Dates

6/24----------Analysis Paper #1 Due
6/28----------1st Discussion Board Response Due
7/01----------Analysis Paper #2 Due
7/08----------Movie Review or Book Report Due
7/12----------2nd Discussion Board Response Due
7/15----------Internet Assignment Due

Summary of Points in the Course

50 Points........Analysis Papers (2)
50 Points.........Discussion Board Responses (2)
100 Points.........Movie Review or Book Report
100 Points........Internet Assignment

300 Points........Total


Pick ONE (1) of the following movies to do your Movie Review on...worth 100 points. I've picked these because each portrays society in a way we can relate to...with, of course, a "sociological imagination."

Each title is a link to a synopsis and review of the movie from All Movie Guide (AMG), pound for pound my favorite movie site on the Internet. You may, of course, use any movie site you like, but AMG is a good one. Click on the title and read about the movie.

After watching your movie sociologically (which is to say...not purely for entertainment, per se), use the following Guidelines to write your Review. These Guidelines are required as the format for your Review, although you can add issues and topics to them, as you wish:

Guidelines for Critical Academic Review of Entertainment Movie

Here are the movies:

The Truman Show



A Bug's Life

The Handmaid's Tale
(Click HERE for an "Essay on Book and Movie" by David H. Kessel


Pick ONE (1) of the following books for your Book Report...worth 100 points. All of them concern the "future" in some way, but also could refer to our own society. Each of them has an essay or other links about it in the "Future" Science Fiction Room of TSS (Click HERE to go to an alphabetical list of books...scroll down till you find the book you want). I suggest you take a look at this information before deciding on which book you want to read.

Also, you will need to find copies on your a library or at a bookstore like Smith Family. But, as indicated below, there are a few which are online, if that interests you.

However, I have a least one copy of each book (sometimes more than one) which I will be happy to lend you.

So, here are the eligible books:

The Gate to Women's Country by Sheri Tepper

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Dispossessed by Ursula K. LeGuin

1984 by George Orwell (Complete Book is Online)

We by Eugene Zamiatin

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (Complete Book is Online)

The Iron Heel by Jack London (Complete Book is Online)

Job by Robert Heinlein

The Lefthand of Darkness by Ursual K. LeGuin

Walden II by B. F. Skinner

Analysis Paper Topics


Read this short piece, Why Study Sociology? Is this anything like you envisioned sociology? Just how DID you envision it, if at all? What about this description stands out...what do you think of it? In other words, react to this material as a kind of "pre-test" as we begin the class.

NOTE: "Why Study Sociology" is a summary of Chapter 1 of Invitation to Sociology by Peter L. Berger. Although this IS OPTIONAL, there is an Outline of Chapter 1 might want to look this over, too.


It is one thing to ask you to think critically and's another thing to provide "tools" with which to do so. Peter L. Berger, as well as others, provides such tools. He calls them the Motifs of Sociological Consciousness. He details four such motifs (themes) in Chapter 2 of Invitation to Sociology. The motifs are...Debunking...Unrespectability...Relativization...and...Cosmopolitan. You can find an outline of these motifs HERE. You can also find a more detailed outline of them HERE (This is the complete outline of Chapter 2...scroll down a bit until you come across the Motifs).

So, after reading over this material (I highly suggest looking at the more detailed outline, especially), tell me about them. Remember, I'm suggesting that in order to think critically/sociologically one needs to debunk, investigate the unrespectable, relativize, and be cosmopolitan. So what's this mean to you? Do you find yourself already doing any of these...or are they brand new to you? Illustrate (i.e. provide examples) of areas you use them or could use them.

In addition, I would maintain that to NOT utilize these motifs in sociological investigations and thinking, one would essentially be an ideological thinker. You will find an outline of "ideology/ideological" HERE. In other words, if you inverted the motifs, you'd have the components of ideological thinking...what names would you give these ideological motifs?

What You'll Need for SOC 204

& SOC 204

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 (Social Science Lab is on the 4th floor of Center Bldg) and on the Internet itself. I've put a link under MEMU (above) to a "beginners" tutorial which takes you through it step by step. I’m also willing to help get you started, if necessary.

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 will have a “room” for our class, links to required reading materials, a Message Board for our class, and the details of the course...including assignments and instructions you will need, plus, of course, due dates. The Online Reader...beyond the, in effect, a 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 204 Room”...which you are “in” right now. We will be viewing it in class on a regular basis.

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.

I firmly believe in the use of this technology as a teaching and learning's an essential component of the course.

Discussion Board Instructions

You will need to pick a "CODE NAME" to use when you post...a name known only to you and me. Pick something that doesn't utilize a known nickname so anonymity can be maintained and thus, a feeling of security in terms of your identity. Please put it on the Class Infomation Sheet. NOTE: Although you WILL be required to enter your "name" when you post, you WILL NOT be required to include an email address when you post (However, you CAN if you want, your choice).

I will provide numerous PROMPTS for you to consider beginning this week. I fully expect you to do a serious job on those you select...a short paragraph full of general comments just won't "cut" it. "Opinion" is fine..."analysis" is better. You will be allowed to post up to 1000 words...quite a bit...but I won't/can't dictate a certain length...that's up to you. Just remember, each is worth 25 do a full job of it.

As indicated under "Due Dates," there are two due dates for your posts...each post must be done BY MIDNIGHT ON THIS DATE. Also, if you "pass" on a Prompt when I first post it, you can go back later and do it if you change your mind.

In addition to the two required posts, I encourage you to post replies to what others have well as posting anything you want as it relates to the course (i.e. response to lectures, class comments, readings, news, etc.).

Finally, as just indicated above, I'd like to see our Discussion Board used for more than just the assignment. Also, I may, from time to time, post "announcements," or links to informative websites...or to current articles relevant to our subject matter. Thus, I encourage you TO CHECK THE BOARD REGULARLY...EVERY DAY SOUNDS ABOUT RIGHT TO ME :))