Sociology 206

Institutions and Social Change

Lane Community College
Summer (3rd Term) 2006
10:00 - 11:50 PM...M T W TH
David H. Kessel

OFFICE: 419F Center Bldg
Office Hours......9-9:45 AM MTWR
Office Telephone......463-5187
Home Phone...............................736-0204


Click on each of the following links. Answers to most questions can be found here.

LCC Catalog Course Description

Class Policies and General Comments

What you'll need for SOC 206

Grading Scale

Grading Standards

Required Reading Materials

206 Online Reader

Schedule of Topics

Assignments and Instructions

Due Dates

Summary of Points in Course

Web Basics (Tutorial)

***NEW: Non-required Discussion Board***

Lane Community College

TSS Directory

LCC Catalog Course Description

Sociological study of dynamic organizational nature of society through analysis of social change and major social institutions such as family, education, religion, economy, and political systems.

Grading Scale

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

B+ = 87-89 (Very Good)
B = 84-86 (Good)
B- = 80-83 (Good/Fair)

C+ = 77-79 (Fair)
C = 74-76 (Fair/Basic)
C- = 70-73 (Basic)

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

F = ??-59 (Needs alot more)

Required Reading Materials

Society in Focus, Fifth William E. Thompson and Joseph V. Hickey

206 Online Reader

Schedule of Topics and Readings

(Numbers are chapters in the Thompson/Hickey textbook)
Also supplied are Key Terms from each chapter as well as an outline of each chapter

REMEMBER: Go to 206 Online Reader for additional required readings

8/21....Introduction/Course/The Sociology Shop(Handouts/Online)
8/22....Critical Sociology/Sociological Concepts/Institutions (Online)
8/23....Concepts cont. and Education (TH14) Key Terms (Chapter 14 Outline)
8/24....Education cont.

8/28....Family (TH13) Key Terms (Chapter 13 Outline)
8/29....Family cont.
8/30....Political Economy (TH16 & 17) Key Terms (Chapter 16 Outline) (Chapter 17 Outline)
8/31....Political Economy cont.

9/05....Media (TH 100-105,159-162,231-232,328-333,429-431,456-458,473-476,608-612)
9/06....Media cont.
9/07....Religion (TH15) Key Terms (Chapter 15 Outline)

9/11....Religion cont.
9/12....Health and Health Care (TH18) Key Terms (Chapter 18 Outline)
9/13....Health cont. & Social Change (TH20) Key Terms (Chapter 20 Outline)
9/14....Social Change cont. & Conclusion (Online)

Assignments and Instructions


There will be four (4) required Analysis Papers...each worth 25 points. Minimum is 2 pages/Maximum is 4. Topics are HERE.


A required Movie Review of an entertainment movie dealing with institutions (selected from a list of eligible movies)...worth 100 points. Go HERE for the list of movies you can pick from.

Please follow the format indicated in the Guidelines for Critical Academic Review of Entertainment Movie


There will be an Quote Assignment...worth 100 points...covering the institutions we talk about in class. Instructions are HERE

Due Dates

8/24----------Analysis Paper #1 Due
8/30----------Analysis Paper #2 Due
9/05----------Analysis Paper #3 Due
9/11----------Movie Review Due
9/15----------Quote Assignment Due (by NOON-Office/Email)
9/15----------Analysis Paper #4 Due (by NOON-Office/Email)

Summary of Points in the Course

100 Points.......Analysis Papers (4)
100 Points.......Movie Review
100 Points.......Quote Assignment

300 Points...Total

Analysis Paper Topic


The focus of this course is twofold...first, on the institutions of our society (and by implication, on the "system" as a whole) and second, on social change. For the better part of the term we will examine the major, family, religion, etc. So, it would seem reasonable to start with a definition and understanding of just what an "institution" is and isn't, sociologically. To facilitate this understanding, the following two links will take you to an outline of ideas concerning institutions and and then to a short essay based on this outlined information. Please read this material and then...

...write an analysis paper about what you've read...i.e. explain, in your own words, what an institution is all about and how this definition might differ from what you thought they were about. What does all this make you think about? What implications about our well as us as you see or can think of or speculate about?

So, here are the two links:

Outline of Institutions

Essay about Institutions


After reading and considering the ideas Paulo Freire presents, react or respond to them. The following are SOME possible issues to address...Can you relate to his metaphors, especially the "Banking" one? Consider your own past and current experiences in school. What teachers are or have been "Bankers" and which ones are or have been "Problem-Posers"? What do you think of all this? Would the current "crisis" in our schools...the dropouts, disciplinary problems, diminished if we transformed our approach? Does this give any insight into the lower performances our country is so worried about these days? How would you describe the differing "institutional pattern of social relations? How does each approach address the "hidden curriculum" in schools? Is a synthesis of the two approaches possible? If so, how would that work?



Lets try some bracketing. An issue on the minds of many these days is "gay marriage." Institutional marriage between same-sex people is controversial, to say the least. I'd like to hear what you have on your mind about this issue. Yes, I'm interested in your "opinion" about it and why you have that opinion...where did it come from and why do you maintain it. But I'm also interested in hearing your sociological analysis of it, too...basically, an empathetic understanding about it while "bracketing" your own personal opinion. So, what do you say? Should gays be allowed to formally marry? Don't just rant...analyze. Don't just "hit and run" with your comments...go into some depth about it. Try to see this issue from all don't even have to actually take a position if you don't want can 'argue' from all points of view if you want. Are there any realistic alternatives to actual marriage? Let's be sociological, okay?


According to Parent’s “bias of the system” approach to “Who Governs”…and his chapter 1 entitled “Politics and The System” (both online), what are some of the ways in which dissent about the Political Economic System is muted or eliminated, what are some specific ways (and about what?) this is done? Today's political environment ought to be particularly relevant to this question/issue, I'd say.



Consider the various “answers” to the question of “Who Governs?” in the United States. (Online) In what ways is our "system" a "mongrel" combination of all these? Do you tend to favor Pluralism or Elitism as being the more realistic description of governing in America? Why? Why not?


When all is said and done, this course has not been about memorizing, but about understanding. Understanding what? You,, that's what, eh? I've asked you to bracket your views coming into it. I'm sure some of you have worked really hard at that, and others, well...found it too difficult to do. But still, the course has been about you, not the material per se. relation to the material and the various ideas read about and tossed about by me and you. So, it seems a logical conclusion to the course would be to ask you to evaluate yourself in relation to all this. I'm not talking about your grade...I'm talking about your effort, your understanding, and your willingness to apply this understanding to your and our lives, collectively. So, do just that...provide a self-evaluation. This shouldn't be about ME...but rather, about YOU. I'm often mentioned in these kind of papers, which is okay...just don't make me the focus. As said in the beginning, education is something you do by and for yourself.

NOTE: My goal is to be able to give each of you the full 25 points. What will garner the full point total is a serious opposed to a surface effort. Take yourself serious, reflect back, and be honest. If so, you'll have 25/25 points, no problem. If you don't, then the grade will be somewhat less...

NOTE#2: I reserve the right to retain these papers for my own teaching file. So, keep a copy of what you write if you desire to have a record of your evaluation.

What You'll Need for SOC 206

& SOC 206

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 an LCC 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 also included a link above to "Web Basics" online tutorial that may be of help to you.

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 will have a “room” for our class, links to required reading materials, 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 a substitute for asking you to buy a Reader, thus saving you money. Thus you need to become familiar with the ONLINE READER as well as familiar with our “Sociology 206 Room”...which you are “in” right now.

Education---Chapter 14

hidden curriculum--414
home schooling--421
Pygmalion effect--417
self-fulfilling prophecy--417

Family---Chapter 13

family of marriage--371
family of orientation--371
serial monogamy--373

Political Economy---Chapters 16 & 17

charismatic authority--471
legal-rational authority--471
military-industrial complex--493
power elite--488
traditional authority--471
conspicuous consumption--505
economic system--505
hidden economy--520
mixed economy--509
primary labor market--515
secondary labor market--515

Religion---Chapter 15

ethical religions--443
secularization thesis--450

Health and Medicine---Chapter 18

health-care system--545
integrative (holistic) medicine--555
sick role--543
socialized medicine--546
wellness movement--540

Social Change---Chapter 20

Social change--590
collective behavior--596
social movements--596


Pick ONE of the following entertainment movies for your Movie Review

Each movie has a link to All Movie Guide, an excellent site for review of movies.

Use the “Guidelines for Critical Review of an Entertainment Movie” as your format

You will find that watching a movie for entertainment purposes and watching a movie for sociological analysis are quite different realities. It's even helpful to watch for entertainment first...then for analysis. Also, each of these movies was selected not necessarily because they're great movies, but because they portray a sociological understanding or perspective.

-----Harrison Bergeron
-----Dangerous Minds

-----American Beauty
-----One True Thing

-----Thirteen Days

-----Office Space
-----Fight Club

-----The Truman Show
-----Wag the Dog

-----The Last Temptation of Christ

-----One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
-----The Doctor