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Sociology 204

Lane Community College
Fall 2003
MWF 10-10:50 AM
Bldg. 19...Room 250

Office....................................419F Center
Office Hours......TTH: 10-11 MW: 11-12
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...look here first...before asking in class...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

Beginner's Central
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

Sociology, Eighth Jon M. Shepard

Online Reader

Schedule of Topics

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

(Numbers are chapters or pages in the Shepard textbook)

09/29 - 10/01...............Introduction and Course Objectives

10/01 - 10/22...........I. The Sociological Perspective/Imagination/Consciousness (1)

10/24 - 11/03..........II. Science and Social Research (2)

11/07 - 11/10.........III. Groups (pp. 142-155)

11/12 - 11/19..........IV. Social Structure & Society & Socialization (5 & 4)

11/21 - 11/26...........V. Culture (3)

12/01 - 12/03.........VI. Deviance and Social Control (pp. 175-190)

12/05...................VII. Conclusion

Assignments and Instructions


There will be five(5) Analysis Papers...each worth 20 pts (10 for doing it and 10 evaluated)...for a total of 100 pts. Topics can be found HERE


There will be an in-class MC/TF exam worth 100 points.


There will be an Internet Assignment worth 100 points. Instructions are HERE.


There will be a Final Exam worth 100 in-class essay exam.

Due Dates

10/06----------Analysis Paper #1 Due
10/20----------Analysis Paper #2 Due
11/10----------Mid-Term Exam
11/14----------Analysis Paper #3 Due
11/24----------Analysis Paper #4 Due
12/01----------Internet Assignment Due
12/05----------Analysis Paper #5 Due
12/08----------Final Exam (10-11:50 AM)

Summary of Points in the Course

100 Points........Analysis Papers
100 Points........Mid-Term Exam
100 Points........Internet Assignment
100 Points........Final Exam

400 Points........Total

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 aan Outline of Chapter 1 might want to look this over, too.


Today, Monday the 13th, we will be finishing up the "Initial Sociological Concepts" (Item I-B. in the Online Reader schedule). In addition, we covered a couple other concepts from further down the Outline with the Initial ones. It's time to see if you can make a "whole" out of these "parts," so to speak.

So, I'd like you to write an essay linking or connecting these concepts...what sense can you make out of them as a totality? Please utilize all of them in your way or another. The initial ones are: Bracketing, Critical, Radical, Presupposing, Empathy, Definition of the Situation, Paradigms, and Epistemology/Logic. The two additional ones are Ignorance and Obvious.

In other words, all these concepts have something to do with one another. Tell me about that. The "fuller" answers would probably include some examples of at least some of the concepts...hint, hint. That is, applying them to some issue(s) would be helpful in illustrating their meaning.


The subject is Sociology and Common Sense. As a bridge from what we've been covering to science and social research issues, I want you to analyze "common sense." First, read Liazos' short excerpt entitled "Is Sociology Common Sense." It is linked in our Online Reader, but I'll include a link to it here at the end.

Then, take the "Common Sense Sayings Matching Quiz" (again, in our Online Reader, but linked below for your convenience). There are fifteen sets of common sense says which in essence contradict each other. See if you can match them with their opposites.

Then, pick any seven (7) of the sets and explain a situation for each statement in which the saying could be true or other words, show the relative nature of their accuracy.

As Liazos says, many make the mistake of treating them not only as contradictory, but also as wrong. I agree with his observation. Yet, as he says elsewhere in this excerpt, both contradictory statements CAN be true and it's sociological to figure out when, where, how, and in what conditions some are and some aren't.

So, read Liazos, take the quiz, and then explain 7 of the sets of statements. Can and should be fun.

Here are the links to the items:

Is Sociology Common Sense?

Common Sense Sayings Matching Quiz


On pages 150-151, Shepard presents five different kinds of interaction among and between groups: Cooperation, Conflict, Social Exchange, Coercion, and Conformity. These are five different "social relations" (ways of taking each other into account). But except for a fairly vague reference to "Competition" under Conflict, Shepard really doesn't do justice to a social relation so much a part of our culture.

So, as a way of combining these group interaction categories...and...a section on "Culture" (which we'll be covering very soon), I'd like you to read and analyze/comment on a short article on Alfie Kohn. This article is already linked in the Online Reader under Culture, but I've also provided a hard copy of it for your convenience.

Kohn critiques competition...presenting four "myths" about it. His critique goes very much against the ideology of competition in America. Whether you agree with him or not, what is he saying here...sociologically? Do you have any experiences like he refers to in the article? In other words, respond to his critique in any way you choose.

NOTE: This is only a short summary article about his main thesis in his much larger book, NO CONTEST: THE CASE AGAINST COMPETITION...published in 1986. So, Kohn can't mention everything in this short article that he goes into greater depth about in his book. If this subject and Kohn's sociological point of view intriques you, I suggest you read the entire's very good.


I want you to assess/analyze yourself in terms of how well or not so well you feel you met the Course Objectives for this course. There are 9 objectives...cover them all...maybe some in more depth than others. Give it a serious attempt...don't just scribble a paragraph or two. There's nothing "right or wrong" about your attempt will be the primary standard in evaluating them.

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 each Community Learning Center has a computer lab available) and on the Internet itself. I've put a link under MEMU (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, a Message Board for our class, 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.