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Sociology 205

Social Stratification and Social Systems
Lane Community College
at Willamette Learning Center
Winter 2003
6-8:50 PM...Wednesdays
David H. Kessel

Office Hours...Before/After Class/By Appt.
Voice Mail.........463-3535 (Mailbox 7804)
Home Phone...............................736-0204


LCC Catalog Course Description

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

What you'll need for SOC 205

My Philosophy of Teaching

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

Sociology, Eighth Edition, by Jon M. Shepard

Online Reader

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

Schedule of Topics and Readings

NOTE: The following is my "best guess" of how our course will go...but at least it gives you an idea of WHAT you should be reading and approximately WHEN.

1/08...Introduction/TSS/Sociological Concepts

1/15...Chapters 6 (pp. 156-169) and 13 (pp. 369-371)

1/22...Chapter 8 (Social Stratification)

1/29...Chapter 8 cont.

2/05...Chapter 9 & BLM (Racism)

2/12...Chapter 9 cont.

2/19...Chapter 10 (Gender and Age)

2/26...Chapter 10 cont. and Chapter 13 (Political Economy)

3/05...Chapter 13 cont.

3/12...Chapter 17 (pp. 512-526) and Conclusion

3/19...Finals Week

Assignments and Instructions


There will be two Analysis Papers worth 20 points will get 10 for just doing it and I'll evaluate the other 10 of 40 points. Minimum length is 1 page...Maximum is 3 pages. Topics are HERE.


You will be required to post three (3) responses on our Discussion Board...each worth 20 of 60 Points. You will get 10 for just doing each and I'll evaluate the other 10 points. Details and Instructions are HERE


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


You will be asked to prepare for and do the research for a paper...utilizing the Internet...on a topic of your choice...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. The EXAM is HERE

Due Dates

1/15.....................Analysis Paper #1

1/29.....................1st D.B. Post Due By

2/12.....................2nd D.B. Post Due By

2/19.....................Book Report

3/05.....................3rd D.B. Post Due by

3/12.....................Pass Out Final Exam

3/12.....................Internet Research Assignment

3/19.....................Final and AP #2 Due

Summary of Points in the Course

40 pts...................Analysis Papers
60 pts...................Discussion Board Posts
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’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 will have 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.

FINAL EXAM Sociology 205
Social Stratification
Lane Community College
Winter 2003
David H. Kessel
Final Exam

From the listed chapters...and the online materials for each...and lecture material, I want you to pick five (5) ideas/concepts/group of ideas which you feel are the most important we have covered.

Sociological Concepts
Chapters 6 (pp. 156-169) and 13 (pp. 369-371)
Chapter 8 (Social Stratification)
Chapter 9 (Racism)
Chapter 10 (Gender and Age)

For each of the five (5) you pick...

1. Define the idea or concept

2. Explain why you think it is important sociologically

3. How did the idea affect your thinking?

Then, write a brief summary of what you have learned about Social Stratification...a kind of overview of the course.

Length: 2-4 typed (double-spaced) pages

Yes, there's a lot of ideas you can choose from...concentrate on the bigger ones, whether we've talked about it in class or not.

DUE: Wednesday, March 19, between 6-8 our classroom...I’ll be there till 8:00.


Analysis Paper #1

The first AP is both a general one and a quite specific one. In short, after reading about the "selected Sociological Concepts" and hearing about them in class, I'd like your reaction and analysis of them...what's new here, which one or ones do you consider the most important, how familiar are you with "critical thinking," and how might some of them help you not only in this course but also in general life? These are just a few suggested themes for this paper...react the way you want, but do consider that we will be attempting to utilize and apply them throughout the course, so, in other words, they ARE very important, especially to your success in this course.


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

I'd like you to evaluate YOURSELF in this course. This isn't about your grade, it's about, tell me how you "did" in this course...vis-a-vis the materials and ideas we've covered. (A serious attempt at this will garner all the points...a less than serious attempt won'

Discussion Board

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 seven (7) PROMPTS for you to consider (plus, a Bonus Prompt here and there)...beginning Thursday morning, 1/16, and every Thursday morning thereafter through 2/27. 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. 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.

As indicated under "Due Dates," there are three due dates for your posts...each post must be done BY 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 three 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.). This type of "participation" could come into play when assigning a course instances where averages are borderline between one grade and another.

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 :))