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Sociology 206 Room

Institutions and Social Change

Lane Community College
at Willamette Learning Center
Spring 2003
6-8:50 PM...Wednesdays
David H. Kessel

Office Hours...Before/After Class/By Appt.
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
TSS Online Materials
Schedule of Topics
Assignments and Instructions
Due Dates
Summary of Points in Course
Internet Resources

***SOC 206 Discussion Board*** (Disabled)

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 = 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

TSS Online Materials

Schedule of Topics and Readings

(This is a "best guess"...but DOES give a general idea of what we'll be doing...and when)
(Numbers are chapters in the Shepard textbook)
REMEMBER: Go to TSS Online Materials for additional required readings

4/02....Introduction/Course/The Sociology Shop

4/09....Critical Sociology/Sociological Concepts/Institutions (ONLINE)

4/16....Education (S12)

4/23....Political Economy (S13)

4/30....Military/Security (ONLINE MATERIALS)

5/07....Media (ONLINE MATERIALS)

5/14....Family (Chpt 11)

5/21....Religion (S14)

5/28....Health and Health Care (S15)

6/04....Social Change (pp. 495-512 in S17) & Conclusion

6/11....Finals Week

Assignments and Instructions


There will be two (2) required Analysis at the beginning and one at the end of the course...each worth 20 points (10 for doing it and 10 to be evaluated). Topics are HERE.


You will be required to write three (3) entries on the SOC 206 Discussion Board in response to "prompts" from me...each worth 20 pts (10 for doing, 10 evaluated). Instructions are HERE.


There is a Discretionary Assignment worth 100 points...divided into halves due at two different times. Instructions are HERE


There will be an Internet Assignment worth 100 points...on an Institution of your choice. Instructions are HERE


You will have one exam...a comprehensive take-home Final...worth 100 points. You can find it HERE

Guidelines for Critical Academic Review of Entertainment Movie

Student-Suggestions for Discretionary Assignment for Introductory Sociology

Due Dates

4/09----------Analysis Paper #1 Due
4/25----------1st Discussion Board Response due BY THIS DATE
4/30----------Discretionary I (50 pts worth) Due
5/09----------2nd DB reponse due BY THIS DATE
5/28----------Discretionary II (50 pts worth) Due
5/30----------3rd DB response due BY THIS DATE
6/04----------Internet Assignment Due
6/11----------Final Exam Due...between 6-8 classroom
6/11----------Analysis Paper #2 Due

Summary of Points in the Course

40 Points........Analysis Papers (2)
60 Points........Discussion Board Entries (3)
100 Points.......Discretionary Assignment
100 Points.......Internet Assignment
100 Points.......Final Exam

400 Points...Total


In order to facilitate the expression of your own perspective and to hear what others are thinking, too...there is a Discussion Board for our class. You will be required to post three (3) messages during this course...on topics from the seven (7) "Prompts" I will post for your consideration. Each of these will be worth 20 points (10 for just doing it and the other 10 will be evaluated by me).

Here's how this assignment will work:

Each Sunday evening I will post a topic, a question, a quote, or even a short piece to read from the Internet. What I want is your reaction to and analysis of what I post.

During the quarter, you can pick the three you choose to respond to. There are "due dates" BY WHICH you need to post each of them...see DUE DATES. You can "pass" on a Prompt and then go back and do it another time...but only ONE response per Prompt.

You will need to choose a "code name" which only you and I know...using it to post your three messages. I believe anonymity is the best policy in order to allow people to express themselves without fear of personal reaction from anyone else in the class. You may also use this CODE NAME to post anything else on the Board. will NOT be required to submit an email address when you post a message...just a NAME and SUBJECT (if a new message)...although, you can if you want to do so.

Length is always an arbitrary factor and I'd rather not dictate a certain length. However, I fully expect something more than a few sentences. Yes, you will get 10 points for simply writing any amount...but IF you write very little and expect to get many of the other 10, you'll be a bit disappointed. Try to choose your topics with care...choosing those about which you truly have something to say.

The Board is not that difficult to use. Posting is a two-step process. After writing a new message...or...replying to one...and after entering your Code Name...write your message in the text box provided. Then click "send"...this will take you to a "modify/approve" page where you can change anything you want...or leave as is. Then click on the "approve" box (where the 'send' was) and will be posted to the Board. I will show you how to do this in class.

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 quarter 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?

So, here are the two links:

Outline of Institutions

Essay about Institutions


Evaluate YOURSELF in this course...not grade-wise...but rather, about the ideas/material, your reactions to them, your classmates (not individually, of course), discussions, the assignments, and the course overall. Where and why were you reluctant or not reluctant to be swayed or,in other words, what was the learning process like for you? Although I’ll probably get mentioned in this essay...the point of it is YOU, not me. (Do a serious job and you'll get the full 20 pts...this is a chance to get credit...literally...for being honest about yourself!!)

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 (and each Community Learning Center has a computer lab available) and on the Internet itself. I've put a link under DETAILS (above) to Internet Resources. I’m also willing to help get you started, if necessary.

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 206 Room”...which you are “in” right now.

Final Exam

Sociology 206
Institutions and Social Change
Lane Community College
Spring 2003
David H. Kessel
Final Exam

Pick four (4) of the following questions...each is worth 25 points.

1. Speculate about what NON-ALIENATED LABOR would be like if we were able to change the political economic institution of our society. Do this by reversing the four components of Marx’s Concept of Alienated Labor that we went over in class and which is linked in the Online Reader. In other words, envision a new institution of Political Economy using Marx’s critique of the capitalist one which largely remains in effect today. (NOTE: do not spend any time telling me whether you think it’s possible or not)

2. Using the “Levels of Reality” framework, explain/define “institutions” sociologically...connecting this “meso” level concept with the micro and macro levels.

3. Discuss “institutions” by utilizing the following concepts: critical, radical, presupposing, and paradigms.

4. Pick ONE of the following institutional orders of our society. Describe it as it “is” right now...and then offer a critique of it (i.e. what needs to be changed?): Mass Media...Health Care...Education.

5. According to Madison’s Federalist Paper #10, who governs in our society? Illustrate your answer by quoting relevant statements in Paper #10...explaining how it answers the question of “who governs?”

6. As discussed in class, what are the three (3) major difficulties in trying to assess and understand the institution of “marriage and family?” Explain each one thoroughly...that is, why is each one a important limiting factor in understanding this major institution?

Please type your exam...

DUE: Wednesday, June 11, in our classroom, between 6-8 PM

Also...AP #2 is due at the same time.