Course Requirements

 1. THREE SHORT ESSAYS (30 percent) These short papers (2-3 pages each) will require students to analyze material selected from the books and articles we read and then to relate these sociological ideas to "real life." The final essay will be a short persuasive paper focusing on a current social issue, in which students offer a sociological perspective on that issue and present their own opinions about the relevant social policy options.
 2. MID-SEMESTER EXAM or LONGER ESSAY (20 percent) Students will have the option of taking an hour exam in class or writing a medium length paper (4-6 pages).
 3. FINAL EXAMINATION (25 percent) this comprehensive exam will be given in class, with some essay questions provided in advance.
 4. CLASS-PARTICIPATION PROJECTS (25 percent) This set of assignments will focus mainly on the work to be done by your task group of four or five students. Each group must choose some medium for a regular exchange of ideas, and group grades will depend on the relevance and liveliness of your exchanges, to be determined from your own documentation of the discussions. Other grades will depend on the group's performance in a series of field-study projects and class presentations. Individuals will also be given the option of keeping a personal journal for the class or of choosing some other medium for documenting their own thoughts and reflections, so that your grade for this set of assignments need not depend entirely on the work of your task group. (Of the 25 percent of the course grade allocated to these assignments, up to 10 percent may be based on individual work). At the end of the semester, you will turn in a portfolio of the highlights of the work done for these projects and a self-evaluation of your own class participation. The point in all of these projects will be for students to reflect on and creatively apply ideas from our readings and class discussions.

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Required Books

Erikson, Kai. 1976. Everything in its Path: Destruction of Community in the Buffalo Creek Flood. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Feagin, Joe R. and Melvin P. Sikes. 1994. Living with Racism: The Black Middle-Class Experience. Boston: Beacon.

Ferguson, Susan J., ed. 1999. Mapping the Social Landscape: Readings in Sociology. Second Edition. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield.

Hochschild, Arlie Russell. 1997. The Time Bind: When Work Becomes Home and Home Becomes Work. New York: Metropolitan.

Poppendieck, Janet. 1998. Sweet Charity: Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement. New York: Penguin.

Ritzer, George. 1999. Enchanting a Disenchanted World: Revolutionizing the Means of Consumption. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge.

Tuan, Mia. 1998. Forever Foreigners or Honorary Whites? The Asian Ethnic Experience Today. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

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Page last modified March 24, 2000 by Kent McClelland