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 SOC 1 Introduction to Sociology
Instructor: Eric Strayer
Phone: Social and Behavioral Sciences (message only) 755-6739

TEXTBOOK: Introduction to Sociology (Links to an external site.) . This is available online at no charge. You may read online or, I suggest downloading the PDF. If you enter their site from the beginning, do not be fooled by the donation request should you run across it. Look further down and the link for a free copy is there. (Donate if you wish - great organization.)

My own
WEBSITE is It contains numerous resources, some of which may not be included in this class.

: Additional readings, videos, and audios may be assigned.

: I have included a short quiz on the syllabus as a prerequisite for participating in this class. It is based upon the contents of this syllabus. You do need to take this stuff seriously. Go for it.
ACCOMMODATION REQUEST: Just as the school and I are to accommodate students with special needs, the reverse is true. I have a hearing problem that includes both audibility and pitch. So, with some students, even if I am directly in front of them, it is still inaudible. Please feel free to repeat what that student has said. It is weird, I know. Thanks for your help.
EMERGENCY: The campus safety and facilities emergency status bulletin telephone number is 831-796-6222. From a campus line, simply dial 6222. This line will announce any known emergency situations or outages on campus. To report an emergency, please contact campus security at 755-6888. The Hartnell campus emergency website is here: (Links to an external site.)

EVACUATION directions are pending, however in such an emergency assist any disabled persons near you, and absolutely do NOT cluster around the doorways or block walkways, even if you think it is only a drill, as this will obstruct entry by emergency responders. Hartnell College offers an SMS-based emergency notification service for your mobile phone. Go to this web address and subscribe: (Links to an external site.) . You will be doing yourself and the rest of the campus a tremendous service if you do. On one of the walls is a clear folder with a list of instructions specific to a variety of emergencies. Finally, IN CASE OF AN INTRUDER ALERT, should the instructor not be available for some reason, a small box is on the wall next to the door. It contains a key to lock the class IN. You must break the box by stepping on it.
:  For my classes, whether fully online of in a hybrid fashion, I use a learning management system (LMS). As of late, there are numerous ones being used. I tend to use Canvas. The reason for this is that I teach at more then one college, and find it quite frustrating to have to reorganize my courses for two and three difference LMS systems at a time. This is the best solution I have. I realize that you, the student, face the same issue when attending different schools. So it goes. (More details on this system are available on the homepage for the course.) NOTE: I may be required to by the school to use Etudes or something else.

: I will be using the LMS Canvas as a reference point for the basics of the class. You do not need an account to access the course in Canvas, only the link   I will be using Etudes for the actual graded assignments as it is directly linked to Admissions and Records.

: I use other technologies as well. In particular is Google Drive. Hartnell students have an account through the school upon registering. You must learn it. I will help. There are many videos on Youtube that may be helpful, as well as a help page on the email instruction page of the Hartnell website found here: (Links to an external site.) . NOTE: As of this writing I found the top of the page blank. Scroll down for the information. This will likely be corrected buy the time you read this, but just in case....
: Several of the modules in Canvas contain information regarding detailed instructions on featured assignments, how to access information, and other miscellaneous resources including videos. If confused on something, go there first. Then, if in a group, ask your group members. Then ask me.
: I have a brief essay on your responsibility for saving your work. It is in one of the first modules in Canvas. Read it. Do it. Thanks. Find the essay here: (Links to an external site.) .
: If you are dependent upon financial aid, you must take care of it the first week of class. When printed copies of books are required it is almost a certainty that there is on on reserve in the library. Check with me. Check with the library. It is your responsibility to investigate all options for successfully completing this course.

: Grade books in LMS systems are good and bad. They are great for tracking your accomplishments, but often give inaccurate measures of the total accomplishment. Check the percentage, and be advised that the posted grade is likely wrong due to ungraded assignments, or open assignments, or open tests you have not taken yet.

: Unlike K-12, college grades are permanent. They are on file. If you transfer they will follow you. You cannot get a 4.0 back if you lose it. If you are getting behind, then withdraw. If you forget, you will very likely get an F. If you do, you may retake the class. But if you have forgotten and are just about to transfer, you may be in a serious pickle. You may also be out some tuition costs. Remember: GRADES ARE PERMANENT.

: It is your responsibility to drop the class. Hartnell is pretty forgiving having a late drop date, however without tuition reimbursement if late. This may make it all the easier to forget to drop. A "W" is better than an "F."

: Welcome to the Introduction to Sociology class. Sociology is the study of social forces upon groups and individuals. It is also the study of the "familiar," yet often with unexpected causes and outcomes. Sociology is a special perspective and a chance to observe the world around you with a unique point of view.
Do we create the circumstances in which we find ourselves? Are we alone responsible for the outcomes of our endeavors? Or are there components of the social structure around us that help predetermine such outcomes and stack the odds in one direction or another?
Fortunately, others before us have wondered about such things and created a network of paths for us to explore in this course, while we discover for ourselves and by our own studies some of the apparent causes for social conditions that we might otherwise take for granted.
COURSE OBJECTIVES: You will learn to:

  • Evaluate sociological research methods and data, and recognize the limitations of individual experience and of over generalizing from single cases and "common sense" observations.
  • Distinguish among the principal concepts and theoretical perspectives that define the sociological perspective, and apply them in the analysis of social phenomenon.

  • Explain the major sociological approaches to socialization and the development of the self.
    Compare and contrast the major theories of deviance and crime.

  • Apply sociological approaches in the analysis of basic dimensions of social stratification (class, race, ethnicity, and gender).

  • Apply sociological theories of collective behavior and social movements in the analysis of a major social movement in the U.S., such as the civil rights movement.

  • Explain some of the major sociological approaches to understanding demographic processes in the U.S. and the world.


        a.    Students will demonstrate competence in various theoretical perspectives in sociology and use these perspectives to look beyond personal experience to analyze social issues and problems.
        b.    Students will use the language and terms presented throughout the course and employ these terms in critical social analysis.


        a    Participate in classroom discussions and/or online discussions.
        b    Write responses to articles and videos assigned from the reader and other sources.
        c    Maintain a journal to record material covered in class and your personal reflections on said material.
        d    Write a three-page review of an article from an academic journal. (NOTE: There are very specific instructions for this assignment.)

    DUE DATES: LATE WORK IS NOT ALLOWED. This has been something that has slowed me down considerably in the past with negative consequences for myself and the class as a whole. Assignments will have a rigid due date and will not be accessible after that date.

    ATTENDANCE: Attendance is mandatory and taken at the beginning of class. Arriving later than five minutes after the beginning of the class will count as an absence. (If you have a special need, see me directly.) Excessive absences (or failure to keep up on assignments) will get you dropped. If you missed the first day of class you were probably dropped anyway per Hartnell policy. Hartnell's policy for absences is in the schedule of classes, both in print and online. It is your responsibility to read it and abide by it.

    Additionally, as important information from lectures and notification of changes in the class schedule, general instructions and additional assignments will occur, it is your full responsibility to be aware of this information. In-class writing assignments will be given and cannot be made up.

: Interruptions, talking, texting, Facebooking, and all the rest will get you removed from the classroom. Improper behavior such as putting your feet on the desk, table, or another chair is also unacceptable. (This must sound strange to many of you, but it happens from time to time.)

cut two ways. I encourage students to use such devices in so far as the enhance the class, with such things as fact checking, or finding data to help me keep my material up to date, or finding examples of relevant current events. BUT, to just sit in class staring at a screen while I am presenting to the class is also quite annoying and even distracting. Use your head and employ a sense of courtesy on this issue.

: you have not submitted any work by the end of the third week of a regular term.

: Weekly reading responses shall be cut/pasted into the assignment window. Cut/pasted means that you have not actually written your response in the window, but copy/pasted from some sort of text or word processor that is saved on a device such as your own computer or a remote storage device such as a flash drive. Actual papers, if one or more is assigned, shall be submitted as an attachment in the following formats only: doc, docx, pdf, rtf, rtfd. It is quite easy to save or “save as” in these formats in all most if not all word processors. See me if you have any more technical questions.  

: Discussions, when used, are for points: Online discussions are proving to be more effective than written responses. As such, I am experimentally replacing some of the regular written responses with discussion. They have just as high a level of academic expectation as regular written assignments. Note that a discussion ends at then end of the life of the topic – generally lasting a week - and usually ending at midnight on Sunday. Because they are discussions, asking to make a late contribution is out of the question, as once closed, there is nobody to discuss with any more.

Discussions require three posts (one original and two replies to another post or other posts). NOTE: From personal experience working with other LMSs, I suggest that you write any long posts and responses on a desktop “notepad” or other “text edit” feature on your computer and copy/past it into the discussion window. LMSs tend to time-out or hiccup in some fashion that loses the entry. This has happened to me many times in Blackboard and, well, fortunately nobody is usually around to hear my screams.

: If you have any doubts about the seriousness of this issue, I suggest you look at the policy in the Hartnell College Catalog. In any event, there is a Powerpoint assignment (for points) that explains things, and you are required to view and mark as understood.

: Grades will be based on one three- to five-page journal review to be taken from an article of your choice in the journal Social Forces, which is available online through the library web pages in the database EBSCOhost.

Also there are about 15 to 17 reading/video assignments, each of which requires a written response. Lastly is a final exam which is constructed of questions that come directly from  previous quizzes and tests. You should do well.

with minimally two entries (or three if otherwise noted) that are related to the general theme of sociology from either classroom material, assigned readings, or current events as they relate to sociology. It should be your "reflections" more than merely a list. See my more detailed description at and and .

: I change my mind every semester on this topic.

: I do assign in-class assignments that may be based upon a previous reading or viewing. This is primarily to encourage a cross-communication of ideas and opinions on the material, and also to prevent students from attempting to complete the course in absentia--and that only because I believe in the importance of face-to-face communication whenever possible.

L: Check your Hartnell email account frequently. You are advised to have your Hartnell account forwarded directly to your personal account for convenience.

Library Hours can be found at (Links to an external site.) 

Thank you for having read this syllabus. If you have any questions, please contact me immediately.