Sociology 212---Social Control

Lane Community College
Summer 2000---2nd Term
12:00-1:50 MTWTH
David H. Kessel
OFFICE: 418B Center
HOURS: MTWTh 11-12 & 2-2:30

Class Policies and General Comments
LCC Catalog Course Description
Topics and Required Readings
Assignment Instructions
Due Dates
Analysis Paper Topics
Books for Book Report
Selected List of Online Sites
Grading Scale
Lane Community College
TSS Directory


Analysis Papers

Four (4) Analysis Papers worth 25 points each (10 for simply doing it and 15 evaluated)...for a total of 100 points. Topics will be assigned in class (and posted here) after relevant material is covered.

Discretionary Assignment

You will have 50 points to earn in a variety of ways...your discretion/choice. Instructions and options are online here.

Book Report

You will be able to choose from a selected list of books...posted here. Instructions can be found here. Worth 100 points.

Internet Research Assginment

A research report utilizing Internet resources on some aspect, facet, area, or object of social control...worth 100 points. Instructions can be found here.

NOTE: There will be No Exams in this course. You will have enough to do with the Assignments listed above. I "hope" this is okay.

Assignment Due Dates

7/19--------------Analysis Paper #1
7/24--------------Analysis Paper #2
7/27--------------Analysis Paper #3
7/31--------------Discretionary Assignment
8/03--------------Analysis Paper #4
8/07--------------Book Report
8/11--------------Internet Research Assignment
--------------------11-2 in my Office

Books for Book Report

You need to pick one (1) of the following books for your Book Report. A few are online and the others are fairly easy to find in bookstores or libraries (including my own personal one). For some, there are summaries, essays, and reviews in the "Future" Science Fiction Room. Click on "List of..." and scroll till you find the title.

The Handmaid's Tale



Brave New World----ONLINE

The Iron Heel----ONLINE

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

The Gate to Women's Country

The Dispossessed

Walden Two

Farnham's Freehold

Topics and Required Readings

Since there is no comprehensive textbook covering all the aspects of "social control," required readings will consist of a combination of things:

1. Articles on 1 hour Closed Reserve in the LCC Library...copies (5 cents) need to be made in the Library

2. Various materials in The Sociology Shop

3. Online articles and sites

The following required articles are in the Library now:

"Social Control"...chapter from Eitzen/Baca-Zinn

"Approaches to Social Control"...from Little

"The Concept of Social Control"...from Edwards

"The Meaning of Social Control" Berger

"Domination and Subordination" Miller

The following "online" articles are Required Reading (links are under "Selected List of Online Sites"):

Control Theories (excellent summaries)

Anth 375 Week 3: Social Control

Ironies of Social Control

The following has been added to the Closed Reserve File in the Library
Policing a Class Society by Sidney L. Harring

Here is the Schedule of Topics and Readings for the rest of the Course

Wed. 8/2
Finish "Control Theories"
Paradigms (Handout and here)
Epistemology/Logic (Handout and here)

Thurs. 8/3
---Online Article: Teaching Critically as an Act of Praxis and Resistance
---Paulo Freire
---Issues in Freirean Pedagogy

Mon. 8/7
Video: Stanford Prison Experiment
---Online: Stanford Prison Experiment Website
---Online Article: SPE: Still Powerful after all these Years
"Roles" as social control
---Handout: Quinney Excerpt
---Online Article: Welcome to Jail
---Other Online Links: Criminology Room

Tues. 8/8
Prisons cont.
---Article in Library: Policing a Class Society (Harring)
---General Topics

Wed. 8/9
Government/Political Economy
---Handout: Who Governs?
---Handout: O'Connor's Dual Functions of the State

Thurs. 8/10
Medical Control
Big Brother is Watching, Listening, name it
The Internet

Analysis Paper Topics

Analysis Paper #1

"Social Control" seems like a simple enough topic, right? Well, over the next four weeks I believe we're going to find out that's not so true. So, lets start out by finding out how simple or complicated you think it is. Go here, click on "Quote of the Week," read it, and then tell me where "you're at" about this topic as we begin this course.

Analysis Paper #2

"The Handmaid's Tale" is not a "fun" movie, but it is one which should be taken serious in terms of what's possible. Although centering on "women's issues," it is not really a feminist movie, per se. It's about all of us and the use of controls to affect people's attitudes and behaviors. So, analyze it in these terms...for example, what kinds, types, levels, and purposes of "social control" do you see in it? Although its probably better to have read Atwood's book first, the movie is sufficient on its own, too. If you want some perspective on both book and movie, go to the "Future" Science Fiction Room, click on the "List of FSF Books," scroll down and you'll find some helpful links, especially, of course..., my own commentary! (including the differences between the movie and book) The "Study Guide" is also very helpful. Yes, it will probably help to have done a little reading first, too...especially Eitzen's chapter on Social Control.

Analysis Paper #3

I'd like you to try integrating two concepts...the "Levels of Analysis" idea with Berger's "mechanisms of social control." In "The Meaning of Social Control" Berger identifies a number of these mechanisms (an outline of them can be found here). We discussed in class the various aspects of a "levels" approach (details can also be found here) yesterday. So, can each of these mechanisms be portrayed on each level? If so, why/how? If not, why not? You might also want to take a look at the short essay on "Institutions" in the same Room. Try to provide examples (real or projected) for each mechanism on each level. Give it a try.

Analysis Paper #4

You have a choice of topics:
1. Respond to some of the ideas in the "Domination & Subordination" article we covered in class. There are alot of essential points in it, which ones do you think are the most essential? Or...overall, respond to the article.

2. Respond to and analyze the "Stanford Prison Experiment Video" We will be viewing this in class on Monday, Aug. 7.

So, pick the topic you want...obviously, if you pic #2, the paper will be due by Wed. 9th. If you pick #1, I suggest you do it asap...probably this week, but if you want to wait until after you do your BR, then turn the AP in by Wed. 9th, okay?

LCC Catalog Course Description

Describes and analyzes types of social controls (such as imprisonment, coercion, isolations, value training); describes the effects of controls for controller and controllee; the problems of rehabilitation and resocialization.


I am choosing to use a "graduated grading scale." I believe this type of scale more adequately reflects the varying performances by students. Under what I call a "lump-sum scale" (ABCDF), this variety is diminished. For example, there's a big difference betweem an 89 average and an 80, yet with this type of scale both would result in a "B" (3.00). Using a graduated scale the 89 would be a "B+" (3.40) and the 80 would be a "B-" (2.70). Both would be much closer to an accurate reflection of student performance. Also, this scale also allows more reachable levels of improvement and therefore, continuing motivation to least grade-wise. If you have any questions, bring them up in class.

A = 94-100 (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)

Selected List of Online Sites

The following is a short list of sites and articles concerning some aspect of Social Control. They can be used for articles or ideas for the Discretionary Assignment...and some will be Required Reading (I'll let you know soon). They may also be helpful with your Internet Research indicative of what's available on the Internet. Some are single articles, while others are academic sites which give summaries of social control theories and others are sites with interesting links. These were all obtained from Search Engines using "social control" as the key words to search for...and I've included a link to "Dogpile"...the metasearch engine...with the links it provided. Lastly, I don't necessarily agree with or accept all the points of view in these sites...and neither should you, at least not without a critical and debunking eye cast toward them.

Dogpile: Search Results {social control}

Control Theories (excellent summaries)

Anth 375: Social Control

The Sociology of Deviance & Social Control (great links)

Ironies of Social Control

The Engineering of Social Control: The Search for the Silver Bullet

Some Aspects of Negotiated Order, Loose Couplings & Mesostructures in Maximum Security Prisons

Prisons & Social Control (about Women in Prison)

A Social Control Policy for Marihuana

Chaos and Social Control: Managing Non-Linear Social Dynamics

The Poverty of Social Control: Explaining Power in the Historical Sociology of the Welfare State

Social Control Through Law: about Roscoe Pound

TSS Directory


Or you can go directly to:

Sociology Room
Index of Featured Sites
Sociological Thinking Tools
Critical Thinking
Sociological Conceptual Tools
Unrespectability Area
Progressive Room
Education Room
"Future" Science Fiction Room
International Room
Fromm Room
Criminology Room
Article Room
Secular Room
Humor Room