Sociology 204 Room

Lane Community College
at Willamette Community Learning Center
Fall 2005
Tuesdays 6-8:50 PM

Office....................................419F Center
Office Hours.........................Before/After Class
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

Web Basics
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

Society in Focus, Fifth Thompson and Hickey (TH)

Online Reader

Schedule of Topics

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

(Numbers are chapters in the Thompson/Hickey textbook)

09/27.............Introduction/TSS/ and Course Objectives (Online)

10/04............Discovering Sociology (TH 1)

10/11............Discovering Sociology cont.

10/18............Doing Sociology (TH 2)cont.

10/25............Doing Sociology cont.

11/01............Culture and Society (TH 3)

11/08............Culture and Society cont.

11/15............Socialization(TH 4)/Social Interaction (TH 5)

11/22............Socialization and Social Interaction cont.

11/29............Social Groups & Organizations / Conclusion (Online)

Assignments and Instructions


There will be five(5) Analysis Papers...each worth 20 pts...for a total of 100 pts. Topics can be found HERE


There will be a take-home quiz covering the Sociological Concepts...worth 50 pts.


There will be an Internet Assignment worth 50 points. Instructions are HERE.


You will be asked to sociologically review a movie...worth 100 points. Eligible Movies are HERE. Review Instructions are HERE


There will be a take-home Final Exam...worth 100 points

Due Dates

10/04----------Analysis Paper #1 Due
10/18----------Quiz Due
10/25----------AP #2 Due
11/08----------AP #3 Due
11/15----------Internet Assignment Due
11/22----------AP #4 Due
11/29----------Movie Review Due
12/06----------AP #5 Due
12/06----------Final Exam Due

Summary of Points in the Course

100 Points........Analysis Papers
50 Points..........Concepts Quiz
50 Points..........Internet Assignment
100 Points........Movie Review
100 Points........Final Exam

400 Points........Total


You are to 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

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 linked below. You can also find a more detailed outline of them in the complete outline of Chapter 2 (linked below)...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" linked below. In other words, if you inverted the motifs, you'd have the components of ideological thinking...what names would you give these ideological motifs?

Relevant Links:


Berger Chapter 2 Outline



This paper is about Research. The following link is to a piece of controversial (and "unrespectable") research by Laud Humprheys in the early 70's. It's called "Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Places." It can be found HERE. In it Laud combined many different methods to study the issue of why men go to restrooms, especially Rest Stop rooms, to have a certain kind of sexual activity. His study raised all kinds of critiques about his overall methodology and about questions of ethics. Be warned...the language is explicit, but not unnecessarily so.

What I'd like you to do...after bracketing your feelings and values about the subject matter to analyze it pointing out the various methods he used and the ethical questions (as well as other matters we covered) in this piece of research. Toward the end of the article (which is just a summary by Laud of his entire book of the same name) he helps you do just that...but can you think of any other methods he used?

In addition, there's a short "Focus" about it in the textbook on page 38...and finally, there is a link to an online commentary about it at the top of the article itself.

So, put those brackets in place and read about a fascinating reality...even if offensive to yours or my own "morality." Quite clearly, Laud's study falls firmly into the "Unrespectability Motif"...the study of things not "approved" of in our society, but nevertheless, happens. Stick mainly to Research aspects of it...although some commentary about the issue itself is okay to an extent.


In class on Tuesday, the 15th, we watched a video called "Quiet Rage"...which is a retrospect in 1992 of the Stanford Prison Experiment (1971). Besides being an excellent portrayal of incarceration (and the "pathology of imprisonment"), it is a very telling portrayl of the power of "roles". We went over Role Theory last night,'ll need to find the link in the Online Reader to review this lecture material.

Thus, the topic for this AP is roles as portrayed in the video. Analyze the ideas and role theory. As Zimbardo says near the end of it...while the experiment was about roles in prison, it's also about many other areas of our, work, school, ciitizen, etc. In other words, wherever there's hierarchy, there's domination and subordination and...power/authority...and...of course, identities we must take on in those various situations. Your personal/social experiences with these roles may be a part of your AP.

For those who missed the video last night, you'll need to view the Slideshow of it...which is on the homepage of SPE. (I don't think it's in LCC's library...maybe it could be rented at a place like Pics and Flics, but not at the big commerical places, though)

Here are some relevant links, including the original writing by Zimbardo about it. Also, a link to the homepage..with the Slideshow link up at the top. There's also a link to Discussion Questions (which I passed out as a handout last night). Finally, there's a link to an article written in 1992 about the experiment.

Stanford Prison Experiment Homepage
Includes a Slideshow and Discussion Questions

Pathology of Imprisonment
Phil Zimbardo's first writing about SPE

The Stanford Prison Experiment: Still powerful after all these years


Remember those Course Objectives we spent time going over in the beginning of the quarter? Sure you do. Well, bring "closure" to the course, I want you to evaluate YOURSELF as to how well or not what "met" those objectives...yes, all ten of them. This isn't about your's about YOU in relation to what we set out to do in SOC 204. So, evaluate a thorough and serious job and you'll easily get the full 20 points for it. Do less than that and well, lets just say you'll get less than the full 20. By the way, this is the one paper I keep for my records...thanks.

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 MENU (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, 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.