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North Idaho College • Coeur d' Alene • Social & Behavioral Sciences • Social Science

Sociology 101 SOC-101

  • Fall 2012
  • Section 02
  • 3.0 Credits
  • 08/27/2012 to 12/20/2012
  • Modified 09/11/2012

Contact Information

Instructor: Maureen Steinel

Email: [email protected]
Office: LKH 222
Phone: 208-769-3314

Office Hours: T/R 11:00-12:00 PM; Thursday 1:00-2:15 PM; M/W 9:00-10:00 AM; and by appointment.

Meeting Times

M/W 10:30-11:45.

Room: STR 102.


This introductory course presents the fundamental principles affecting human social systems. The concepts of traditional as well as contemporary theorists will be discussed. Emphasis will be placed on the forces governing groups and the conditions that transform social life. This course fulfills a social science requirement for the A.A. and A.S. degrees. Lecture: 3 hours per week


Brinkerhoff, David B., Lynn White, Suzanne Ortega and Rose Wietz. 2011. Essentials of Sociology, 8th Edition. Belmont, CA.: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.



General Education Abilities

1. Cultural, Environmental and Global Awareness: The world is becoming smaller and more cultures are coming into contact than ever before. In this course you will not only learn more about our own society, but other cultures as well and how they are connected to the larger socio-historical global whole. In the process of taking this course, you will gain a broader understanding of the similarities and differences from around the world-and within our own culture.

2. Scientific Reasoning: This class requires the ability to organize, develop, and integrate one's own ideas, beliefs and feelings within an appropriate framework, i.e. readings, questions, answers, and comments exchanged in class regarding the various topics covered and discussed. Good communication requires a respectful, courteous manner in spite of differences in ideals and moral values.

3. Critical Thinking: At times during the course of the semester you will be presented with multiple--and perhaps even contradictory--explanations regarding issues surrounding social and cultural phenomena. You will need to understand the different perspectives offered and demonstrate the ability to critically apply the different perspectives put forth in this class.

Learning Outcomes and Assessment

1. Understand the origins of sociology and how sociology relates to the other social sciences. Explain what science is and the methods social scientists use to study their subject matter.

2. Relate how their behavior is social and how they fit into society and other social structures. Discuss the processes involved in social interaction, its impact on social structures, social change, and the socialization process.

3. Describe the nature of culture and its diversity within the United States and internationally. Display an understanding of issues surrounding cultural diversity and an understanding of cultural backgrounds other than their own.

4. Identify and give examples of the various levels of social structure, including social groups, formal organizations, communities, and societies.

5. Describe the properties and processes common to behaviors called "deviant" and the mechanisms of social control that may be applied.

6. Explain the significance and dimensions of social stratification in social structures, and be able to discuss the dynamics of stratification as it relates to race and ethnicity, gender, and age.

7. Describe the basic structures and functions of several social institutions, such as the family, economy, education, religion, and politics. Discuss how social institutions change and how they relate to each other and to other aspects of social structure.

8. Explain the basic elements of ecology and describe how urbanization and population changes influence the social and physical environment

9. Relate what is characteristic of collective behavior and social movements, gives examples of various types of each, and explain how these relate to social change.


Course Requirements:

               Class participation: All students are required to participate in class and will be graded accordingly. Class participation is necessary in order to create the proper learning environment. Class participation which includes attendance is worth 45 points toward the final grade. (This will assist students meeting the fulfillment of course objectives #1, 2, 6, 7 & 9).

               Exams: There will be a midterm exam and final exam for this course worth 80 points each. The final exam is not comprehensive. Make-up exams are only given under extreme circumstances. There will also be seven assessments worth 10 points each throughout the semester for a total of 70 points. Assessments cover weekly reading assignments, films, class lectures and supplemental handouts and may be administered in class or as take-home assignments. One make-up assessment will be offered toward the end of the semester for students who miss one assessment. (This will assist students with the fulfillment of course objectives #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9).

            "Doing Sociology" Exercises: One of the best ways to understand our social world is to practice sociology in everyday life. In the field we call this "Doing Sociology". Students will complete five sociological exercises during the semester and write in detail about their sociological experiences. Students will complete the following to demonstrate critical thinking skills: (1) Students will discuss the topic using sociological terms and concepts; (2) Students will connect their personal sociological experience to larger society by applying the sociological imagination; (3) Students will develop an awareness of social worlds outside of their own; and (4) Students will select one major sociological perspective (e.g., functionalism, conflict theory or symbolic interactionism) to define their experience in the social world and to explore any social problems that may be present. Each exercise is worth 25 points for a total of 125 points. Students will have the option to complete one make-up assignment toward the end of the semester to make-up the missed work. Late assignments will not be accepted. (This will assist students with the fulfillment of course objectives #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 & 9).

             Stratification Assignment: Students are required to write a five page paper discussing how their family’s position in the stratification system has directly impacted their life chances, socialization and sense of self. After reading the chapters on social stratification, race/ethnicity and gender, you will discuss the relationship between stratification and life chances. Include in your discussion your parents’ and grandparents’ social statuses (e.g., educational status, immigration status, occupations, racial/ethnic identity). Take some time to think about how race and gender issues have impacted your family. For example, if you are white, how has your race impacted your life chances? How has gender inequality impacted the life chances of your mother, grandmother, and/or you? Be sure to spend time reflecting on your life chances before you write this paper. Include in your discussion an intelligent application of a minimum of 5 of the following terms:

  • Functionalism
  • Conflict Theory
  • Symbolic Interaction
  • Looking-glass self
  • Socioeconomic status (SES)
  • Gender socialization
  • Feminization of poverty
  • Life chances
  • Ascribed and achieved characteristics
  • Status
  • Social mobility
  • Assimilation
  • Prejudice
  • Segregation
  • Stereotypes
  • Discrimination
  • Institutionalized racism           

Include in your paper at least one situation where differences in social class seemed evident and where you felt aware of your own social class. Students are expected to demonstrate integration of course material, personal insights and the development of progressive thinking. Paper must be typed, 12 point font, Times New Roman, double-spaced. Electronic papers will not be accepted. No late papers, no exceptions. The paper is worth 200 points. (This will assist students with the fulfillment of course objectives #1, 2, 3, 6, 7 & 8). Assignment will be due on November 26th, 2012.     




Grading Scale: Letter grades will be assigned based upon the following percentage/point breakdown:

92.5-100% (555-600 pts.) = A
90.0-92.4% (540-554 pts.) = A-
87.5-89.9% (525-539 pts.) = B+
82.5-87.4% (495-524 pts.) = B
80.0-82.4% (480-494 pts.) = B-
77.5-79.9% (465-479 pts.) = C+
72.5-77.4% (435-464 pts.) = C
70.0-72.4% (420-434 pts.) = C-
67.5-69.9% (405-419 pts.) = D+
60.0-67.4% (360-404 pts.) = D
Below 60.0% (359-0) = F



Midterm Exam = 80 pts.

Final Exam = 80 pts.

Stratification Assignment = 200 pts

7 Assessments at 10 points each = 70 pts.

5 Doing Sociology Exercises, 25 pts. each = 125 pts.

Class Participation = 45 pts.


Total Points = 600 pts.

Course Policies

Additional Information: All work submitted must be typed, 12 point font, Times New Roman. Supplemental reading assignments and films are required as part of the course material. Students are expected to follow the syllabus for the weekly readings and assignments. Due dates for assignments are posted within the syllabus which is available on the Blackboard course home page. Late work is not accepted.

                        Internet Accessibility: Students need to have access to the Internet and check their school email regularly. Notifications, announcements and additional supplemental readings are distributed to students via email and through Blackboard. 

                        Attendance: Students are required to attend all class sessions and must follow the standards concerning attendance as stated in the North Idaho College Catalogue. Students are deducted one letter grade after three unexcused absences. Please contact me via email if you are unable to attend class. Excused absences are granted for illness, official college activities and immediate family illness or death.

                        Other: Only academically accepted websites should be accessed to retrieve material for course requirements (e.g., Wikipedia is unacceptable). Students are encouraged to meet with me during posted office hours or by appointment. Students should email me through Blackboard to schedule an appointment. My office phone is 208-769-3314.

Academic Dishonesty:

Students are expected to adhere to academic honesty policies as stated in the North Idaho College catalogue. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated and students who violate this policy will be penalized by failing the course. Plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration on research papers, cheating on exams, submitting the same work from a previous course, citing sources which were not properly used in paper development or incorrect credit given to sources, unethical behaviors while conducting research and use of illicit material are all examples of academic dishonesty.

Online Discussions

Online Discussion Rules:

Please remember this is an academic environment. All online responses need to reflect academic learning and respect. Disrespectful, inappropriate, insulting or harassing comments will not be permitted and postings will immediately be removed with a grade of zero. Students are expected to complete spell check prior to online entries and minimize grammatical errors. Abbreviations or emoticon terms such as "LOL" are not permitted for any required assignments. Please remember to be considerate toward the perspectives held by your fellow students. This is an online space for conversation and engagement of course material.


*Please note there will be supplemental readings assigned periodically throughout the course. All students are expected to read supplemental readings along with the required text. Supplemental readings will be included in the exams.

Tentative Reading Schedule:

Week of 8/27: The Study of Society.

Required Reading: Brinkerhoff et al., chapter 1.

Week of 9/3: Culture.

Required Reading: Brinkerhoff et al., chapter 2.

9/5: Assessment 1 covers chapter 1.

Week of 9/10: Socialization.

Required Reading: Brinkerhoff et al., chapter 3.

Doing Sociology #1 due 9/12.

Week of 9/17: Social Structure and Social Interaction.

Required Reading: Brinkerhoff et al., chapter 4.

9/17 Assessment 2 covers chapters 2 & 3.

Week of 9/24: Stratification.

Required Reading: Brinkerhoff et al., chapter 7.

Doing Soc # 2 due, 9/26.

Week of 10/1: Stratification continued.

10/1 Assessment 3 covers chapter 7.

Week of 10/8: The Family.

Required Reading: Brinkerhoff et al., chapter 11.

Required Reading: Clawson & Gerstel, "Caring

for Our Young: Child Care in Europe and the United States," (posted online).

10/11: Assessment 4 covers chapter 11.

Week of 10/15: Midterm Exams.

     *Midterm Exam 10/15

Doing Sociology # 3 due by 10/17.

Week of 10/22: Sex, Gender and Sexuality.

Required Reading: Brinkerhoff et al., chapter 9.

Week of 10/29: Deviance and Crime.

Required Reading: Brinkerhoff et al., chapter 6.

11/1: Assessment 5 covers chapter 9.

Week of 11/5: Racial and Ethnic Inequality

Required Reading: Brinkerhoff et al., chapter 8.

Required Reading: Jonathan Kozol, “Savage Inequalities."

Week of 11/12: Education and Religion.

Required Reading: Brinkerhoff e. al., chapter 12.

11/12: Assessment 6 covers chapter 8.

Week of 11/19: Health and Health Care.

Required Reading: Brinkerhoff et al., chapter 10.

Doing Sociology # 4 due by 11/19.

*Thanksgiving Holiday no class 11/21.

Week of 11/26: The Political Economy.

Required Reading: Brinkerhoff et al., chapter 13.

*Stratification Papers due 11/26.

11/28: Assessment 7 covers chapter 10.

Week of 12/3: The Political Economy cont.

12/3: Make-up Assessment covers chapter 13.

All make-up work due by 12/5.

Doing Sociology # 5 due by 12/3.

Week of 12/10: Social Change.

Required Reading: Brinkerhoff et al., chapter 15.

Week of 12/17: Final Exam

Final exam TBA.


Division Policies

Division Policies

For a complete explanation of the North Idaho College Statement on Academic Honesty & Academic Integrity please ferfer to Policy 5.06 & Procedure 5.06.01: 

Academic Dishonesty
Violations of academic integrity involve using or attempting to use any method that enables an individual to misrepresent the quality or integrity of his or her work at North Idaho College. These violations include the following:

Cheating: using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study in any academic exercise.
Fabrication: falsifying or inventing any information or citation in an academic exercise.
Plagiarism: knowingly representing the words or ideas of another as one's own in an academic exercise.
Violation of Intellectual Property: stealing, altering, or destroying the academic work of other members of the community or the educational resources,materials, or official documents of the college.Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: knowingly helping another to attempt to violate any provisions of this policy.

Student Responsibility
As outlined in the Student Code of Conduct, all North Idaho College students have both rights and responsibilities: Please access www.nic.ferpa.StudentCode/index.htm for complete information that pertains to this subject.

North Idaho College, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504/508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, provides both services and accommodations to students who meet the guidelines provided in these acts.  For a complete description, please see:

Please contact the North Idaho College Center for Educational Access in Seiter Hall, Room 100 for assistance.  Phone:  208-769-5947

To withdraw from all courses a student must obtain a college withdrawal form from the Registrar's Office, secure the signatures of those persons indicated on the form, and return the form to the Registrar's office. No student may withdraw from the college after the final date of withdrawal from courses except for compelling and extraordinary reasons. In such circumstances a student must petition the Admissions and Academic Standards Committee for late withdrawal from college using the college withdrawal form available in the Registrar's Office.

For complete information regarding student withdrawals, please see the North Idaho College Policy 5.04.01: 




Institutional Policies

Institutional Policies


Student Responsibilities

As students undertake to fulfill the obligations and duties outlined in this document, the college community of which they are a part undertakes to respect the basic freedoms of students. In recognition of students’ rights and dignity as members of the college, North Idaho College is committed to the principles found in the NIC Student Handbook.

Center for Educational Access/Disability Support Services

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504/508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, North Idaho College provides accommodations to eligible students who experience barriers in the educational setting due to learning, emotional / mental, physical, visual, or hearing disabilities.  Instructors will provide accommodations to students only after having received a Letter of Accommodation from the Center for Educational Access. 

If a student would like to request accommodations, he or she must contact the Center for Educational Access so that a Letter of Accommodation may be sent to the instructor.  Students requesting accommodations must contact the Center for Educational Access at the beginning of each semester.


By registering at North Idaho College, you agree to provide payment by the due dates. You also understand that collection costs and legal fees will be added if the services of a collection agency are utilized.

If you are registered for a class and do not attend, you will still be liable for the tuition unless you drop the class.


Last day for students to withdraw from semester-length classes for the fall term: November 7, 2011. 

Instructor-Initiated Withdrawal: Instructors have the right to withdraw students for academic reasons up until the same date; in doing so, instructors must notify students through NIC e-mail within 48 hours of submitting documentation to the Registrar's office, and students have the right to appeal the instructor's decision. For more information, see the NIC Procedure:

Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy: All withdrawals, whether for individual classes, total withdrawal from school, or instructor-initiated are not considered to be satisfactory progress for financial aid.  See the Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy:

Additional withdrawal information:


An incomplete is assigned only if the student has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work to within three weeks of the end of the semester (or proportional length of time for a course of less than a semester in length).  Incompletes are issued only in cases of extenuating circumstances, such as severe illness or injury.  Incompletes are not issued in cases in which the student is simply unable to complete his/her work within the specified semester or session.  If a final grade of "I" is recorded, the instructor will indicate in writing to the Registrar what the student must do to make up the deficiency.  The instructor will indicate in the written statement what permanent grade should be entered if the Incomplete is not removed by the deadline.

All incomplete grades must be removed within six weeks after the first class day of the following term, excluding the summer session.  If the Incomplete is not removed by that date, the grade reverts to the grade indicated by the instructor's written statement authorizing the incomplete.

Discrimination and Harassment

North Idaho College has a zero tolerance policy for any acts of discrimination or harassment of any kind.  For more information, please see the NIC Student Handbook, Code of Conduct Article III and Article VIII. Compliance efforts with respect to these laws and regulations are the responsibility of each member of the campus community and are under the direction of the Dean of Students Office for Student Issues (2nd floor, ESU, 676-7156) and the Human Resources Office (Sherman Administration Building, 769-3304) for employee issues.



Institutional Statement

Institutional Statement


DROP FOR NON-PAYMENT:  By registering at North Idaho College, you agree to provide payment by the due dates. You will be dropped from classes if payment is not received by  5 p.m. Pacific Time on the third day of the semester. Students on the waitlist will be given the option to register for classes after students are dropped for non-payment.

DROP FOR NON-ATTENDANCE:  You must attend and participate in the first week of this class. Failure to do so will result in your being dropped from this class and may result in your financial aid award being reduced. For Internet classes, attendance is based on participation in an instructional activity; you must complete the first week’s assignment(s) by the assignment due date. Drop for non-attendance occurs at 5 p.m. Pacific Time on the second Tuesday of the semester.