Sociology 131: Understanding Societies Kerry A. Rockquemore Henry Ford Community College

Course Syllabus


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The Course Syllabus contains the following items:

Course Description

Instructor Availability

Student Expectations of the Instructor

Textbooks

Course Requirements

Class Web Site

COURSE SYLLABUS
COURSE DESCRIPTION

 

 

 

 

This is an introductory sociology course that will make you aware intellectually, emotionally, and experientially 
of the social forces that impact your life.  Teaching and learning in the context of this class will be 
multidimensional.  You will learn about social  forces through lecture, role play, and fieldwork.  Through these 
alternative pedagogical strategies, this class will work as a learning community to explore the causes of 
inequality, the roots of social structure, and the construction of our individual identities.  The goals of this 
course are to convey basic substantive knowledge from several areas of sociological investigation and to 
enable you to acquire a sociological perspective for understanding your own experience and that of the social 
world in which we live.  
 

 

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AVAILABILITY OF THE INSTRUCTOR:

 

 

 

You are warmly invited to attend the instructor's office hours with any questions or  concerns regarding the 
class.  I will be available at the following times:
 
Tuesday: 9:00am - 9:30am; 1:35pm - 2:35pm
Wednesday:  9:00am - 9:30am; 1:35pm - 2:35pm
Thursday:  9:00am - 9:30am; 1:35pm - 2:35pm
 

 

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STUDENT EXPECTATIONS OF THE INSTRUCTOR:      

Students can expect the instructor to:
1. Arrive on time and be prepared for class.
2. Follow the written syllabus and communicate any changes in advance.
3. Take students' interests and experiences into considerations when preparing for class.
4. Respond in a timely fashion and as fully as possible to student work.
5. Be available to students as needed outside of class.
6. Evaluate the student's work fairly according to clearly communicated expectations.
 

 

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TEXTBOOK:

 

 

The required textbooks may be purchased in the campus bookstore.
Schaefer, Richard T. and Robert P. Lamm. (1998).  Sociology (6th ed).  New York:   McGraw-Hill.
Finsterbusch, Kurt (Ed.).  (1998).  Annual Edition.  New York:  Dushkin/McGraw-Hill.
 

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COURSE REQURIEMENTS:

 

This course is based on a model of contract grading.  Each student will select one of the available options for 
mastering the course material.  This agreement will be put in writing and signed by both the student and the 
instructor.
 

To obtain a grade of "C" in the class, students must successfully complete the following tasks:
 
Students are REQUIRED to come to class prepared to discuss the assigned material and participate in class 
activities.  This course is conducted as an interactive seminar hence, careful preparpation and active participation
on the part of all students is absolutely critical.  Regular attendance makes possible the kind of continuing 
give-and-take on the issues that enhances the experience of everyone in the course.  For this reason alone, you 
should want to come and to take part in the discussion.  For students enrolled in the course, attendance is 
mandatory.
 
Students are allowed three absences for whatever reasons (be they hangover or death in the family).  It is NOT 
necessary to notify the instructor of the reason for your absence. Any time a student misses class, they may 
obtain the missed material via the course web-site.  STUDENTS WHO MISS MORE THAN THREE CLASSES 
WILL BE ASKED TO DROP THE COURSE IN ORDER TO AVOID A FAILING GRADE.  If a student misses
more than three classes and wishes to complete the course, they may choose to do a  field experiment to make 
up for the missed classes.  If you think that you will miss more than three classes,  kindly do not take this section
of Sociology 131.  Students will not be allowed to join the class after the fourth class meeting.
 
ATTENDANCE:  I will keep track of your attendance and participation on a daily basis.   If you are not in class 
when attendance is taken, you are not in attendance for that class period.  
 
PREPAREDNESS: Your preparedness will be measured by your performance on six quizes which will be given 
every Thursday at the beginning of class.  You will be allowed  to drop your lowest quiz score, therefore, there 
will be NO make-up quizes offered  for any reason.  
 
PARTICIPATION:  Your participation will be determined by the instructor based upon your in-class behavior.
 
 
If a student wishes to obtain a grade of "A" or "B" in the course, they must contract for  one the following options:
OPTION A: THE TRADITIONAL PATH
Students will take a mid-term exam (100 questions:  multiple choice, true/false, and essay) and a cumulative final 
exam (100 questions:  multiple choice, true/false and essay).  The final grade will depend upon the students 
performance on these two examinations.
OPTION B: INDEPENDENT RESEARCH
Students will be required to conduct independent field research project and turn in a  10-15 page written report 
on their findings.   Students are required to turn in a progress report in the third week of class, an outline the 
fourth week of class, a rough draft the fifth week of class, and the final paper will be due at the beginning of the 
sixth week of class.
OPTION C: SERVICE-LEARNING
Students who select this option will be placed into a (pre-selected) social service agency  in the metro-detroit 
area.  They will be required to spend a minimum of three hours per 
week at the agency.  Students will keep an ongoing journal of their experiences and write a 5-7 page integration 
paper at the end of the semester.
 
 

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CLASS WEB SITE

http://members.tripod.com/~rockqu/index.html