Because some of
the most important things to be learned in this class can come
from listening and talking to other students, the class is designed
to promote discussion and exchange. Most class meetings will
intersperse short lectures with small- and large-group discussions.
Other classes will feature games or simulations or presentations
or videos-a variety of activities designed to encourage active
participation and engagement. I expect everyone to contribute
to discussion, so you will need to read and think carefully about
the assignments before every class. I also expect people to listen
to each other, so you will need to practice patience, a sense
of humor, and mutual respect.
Working in small
groups is a particularly useful experience in sociology class,
since sociologists often give close attention to group behavior.
I will be setting up task groups of four or five students each,
and these groups will receive a variety of assignments as the
class progresses. The main responsibility of the groups will
be to help each other prepare for class and assimilate the course
materials by exchanging ideas about our readings and class activities.
Task groups may choose among several formats for this interchange-an
out-of-class discussion group, an email exchange, a discussion
forum on the web, a group journal in the library, or an exchange
of reaction papers. Groups will also be given specific assignments,
such as doing informal fieldwork by observing unfamiliar social
settings. Additionally, each group will be expected to plan and
give a class presentation and then lead the class discussion
a couple of times during the semester.
One of my objectives
in this course is to help students improve their writing. If
you are concerned about the adequacy of your writing, please
come see me to discuss your papers. I also encourage you to use
the Writing Lab for advice on writing.
You must abide
by the college's rules on honesty in academic work, outlined in the Student Handbook
(pp. 53-56), which require each student to "acknowledge
explicitly any expressions, ideas, or observations that are not
his or her own." In addition, I require that every paper
contain a footnote acknowledging any assistance of
any kind that you received in producing the paper, including
any advice you got from the professor or a Writing Lab staff
member, or any help from another student in typing and proofreading.
In the case of cooperatively produced work, you must indicate
who produced which part of the product. If you are unsure of
your obligations about acknowledging sources, please see me.
For citations of sources in papers, I will accept any commonly
used footnote or reference style, but I strongly recommend that
you use the American
Sociological Association reference style, described in detail
on a page in the course web site. I will grade down any late
work, unless you request permission for the lateness and
I grant it before the due date.
Sociology Department Home Page | Grinnell
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Page last modified February
2, 2000 by Kent