Principles of Sociology SOC 1101G Stéphan Larose Winter 2014

Lecture times: Monday: 11:30-13:00, FSS 2005 Thursday: 13:00-14:30, FSS 2005

Contact Information: Office: Social Science Building (FSS) 10062 Phone: 562-5800 x3448; leave a message on the voicemail Office Hours: Thursday: 15:00-17:00 Friday: 13:00-16:00 E-mail: Teaching Assistants: Luc Léger, Shannon Russell, Hamdi Souissi, E-mail policy: You are welcome to email me with pressing course issues to which I will try to reply within two working days. However, discussions of course content material should take place in class, or during office hours. Please note that I reserve the right to not respond to an email if the level of language or the request made is inappropriate. Use email wisely. Official Course Description: Introduction to the principal fields, the concepts, and the essential methods of sociological analysis. Sociology and the other social sciences. Critical thinking and techniques of intellectual work. The craft of the sociologist. General Course Objectives: This course is a general introduction to the discipline of sociology. It is designed to provide an acquaintance with the major theoretical perspectives, basic concepts, and principles of research used by sociologists to gain an understanding of the social world, and to present key areas of sociological investigation. It is also meant to spark what C. Wright Mills called the "sociological imagination", "the ability to see the relationship between individual experiences and the larger society".

A variety of topics will be discussed but since sociology deals with a field of study too large to cover in a single semester course, I have chosen a selected tour of some specific and important areas of social life, mostly: culture, the body, humour, work and occupation, (sub)urbanization, consumerism, gender, ethnicity, the family and intimate relationships. We will use these visits as an opportunity to see how sociologists have approached these topics, to present major themes and debates marking the development of sociological thought, and to illustrate the specific insights to be gained into the social condition. Principles of Sociology is not only an initiation into the craft of the sociologist, it is also a tool of reflection on the society in which we live. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to exercise their own sociological imagination as they observe their lives and the social world around them. Learning Goals and Objectives: The main purposes of the course are to help students acquire a basic understanding of sociology, and to prepare them for further courses in the discipline. By the end of the course, they should have also developed the ability to think sociologically and link their own personal experiences with social issues. More specifically, upon completion of this course, students should have acquired: a familiarity with the field: its object of study, paradigms, major theories, basic concepts, and principles of research; an understanding of the role of sociologists in explaining both everyday life and socio-historical processes; an ability to look critically at our society and its institutions, as well as to foster a cross-cultural understanding of human behavior; a better understanding of how their own lives are shaped by social processes.

Textbook: Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials (5th Canadian Edition) by Diana Kendall, R. Linden and J. Murray, Scarborough, Ont: Thompson Nelson, 2011. Lecture Schedule and Reading Assignments: Week 1 (Jan. 6, 9): Introduction to the Course; Thinking Sociologically 6- Introduction to the course: Syllabus, Objectives, and Expectations 9- The Sociological Imagination: What Is It, and Why Does It Matter? Reading: Chapter 1 Week 2 (Jan. 13, 16): Major Theoretical Perspectives 13- Origins of Sociology: Social Fact, Social Conflict, Social Action 16- Major Theoretical Perspectives Reading: Chapter 1 (cont’d)


Week 3 (Jan. 20, 23): The Sociological Inquiry 20- Major Theoretical Perspectives cont’d 23- The fallacies of Common Sense Week 4 (Jan. 27, 30): The Sociological Inquiry cont’d 27- The Principles of Sociological Research. MidtermI review 30- MIDTERM I! Week 5 (Feb. 3, 6): Culture, Subcultures and Countercultures 3- What is Culture? What is it Made of? 6- Material Culture Reading: Chapter 2 Week 6 (Feb. 10, 13): The Socialization Process: From the Cradle to the Grave 10- Return and post-review of midtermI 13- Agents of Socialization Reading: Chapter 3 Week 7: READING WEEK: NO CLASS Week 8 (Feb. 24, 27): Social Structure and Social Interactions in Everyday Life 24- Social Structure: a Macrosociological Perspective 27- Social Interactions: a Microsociological Perspective. MidtermII review Reading: Chapter 4 Week 9 (Mar. 3, 6): Ethnic Humour and Inequalities of Ethnicity 3- MIDTERM II! 6- Ethnic Humour: Russell Peters! Week 10 (Mar. 10, 13): Ethnic Humour and Inequalities of Ethnicity cont’d 10- Inequalities of Ethnicity: Arab-American comedians 13- Return and post-review of midtermII Reading: Chapter 9 Week 11 (Mar 17, 20): Gender, Family, Marriage and Intimate Relationships 17- The First Social Differentiation: Gender Reading: Chapter 10 20- Social Institutions: Family and Marriage. Foundations Built on Rock or Sand? Reading: Chapter 12 Week 12 (Mar. 24, 27): Sociology at the Movies 24- The End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of the American Dream (documentary on (sub)urbanization, consumerism, fossil fuel addiction, and the energy crisis) 27 - In-class discussion of the movie.


Week 13 (Mar. 31, Apr. 3): Last week of class! An Overview of Related Disciplines of the Social Sciences 3 - Final exam review… and tying up loose ends. In addition to outlining important points in the textbook, I will often provide you with additional information and expand on information it only lightly covers. I am not ruling out including more short documentaries, and distributing some additional (online) reading materials as we move through the course. Class Organization, Procedures, and Expectations: The course will be organized around lectures, multi-media, pop quizzes, videos, and discussions. Students will be expected, and encouraged, to participate fully in class discussions (which includes active listening!). The PowerPoint slides for this course will be posted after each class on the course Web site on Blackboard. The slides are, literally, only slides: they are not transcripts of the actual lectures. To really benefit from the course, you should do your reading assignments, and attend classes. Note: the classroom is meant to be a community of scholars, pursuing not only independent learning, but also benefiting from one another’s unique insights. As with all communities however, there are certain standards of conduct that all students must accept. These include: mutual respect among students, an acceptance of criticism of one’s own ideas, a good measure of common civility… and lots of enthusiasm for ideas. Since we will be dealing with many controversial subjects upon which not all of us will agree, I’m committed to fostering a safe environment for learning. Students should always feel free to ask for clarifications on points that seem vague or ambiguous (they may actually be doing a favour to their peers in doing so). Pet peeves: Disruptions due to excessive chatting with your neighbour or early departures from the classroom are especially distracting. Be considerate and respectful of the needs and right of others in the class. Cell Phones: Make sure your cell phone is turned off or on vibrate during class. If an emergency requires you to answer your cell phone, do so outside of the classroom. Students with special needs: Students who require specific accommodations should discuss their needs with me as soon as possible. I will do all that I can to assist. Requirements and Grading Scheme: Midterm 1 30% scheduled for week 4, January 30 Midterm 2 30% scheduled for week 9, March 3 Final Exam 40% to be determined (during the examination period, April 7-24) Both midterms and the final exam are based upon the readings, lectures, videos and class discussions; they will consist of multiple-choice, conceptual definitions, and short answer


questions. They will not be comprehensive: Midterm 1 will cover all material up to and including week 4 (chapter 1); Midterm 2 will cover material from week 5 to week 8 (chapters 2, 3, and 4); and the Final Exam will cover material from week 9 to the end (chapters 9, 10, and 12). Make-up policy for missed exams: Make-up exams will be allowed only in the case of documented medical or legal emergencies - reasons such as travel, employment and misreading the syllabus or the examination schedule are not accepted. Students must contact the instructor before the scheduled exam whenever circumstances permit. Exams will be made up within one week; at the instructor’s discretion, make-up exams may consist entirely of essay questions. There will be NO make-ups for unexcused missed exams, and no "make-ups of make-ups". Academic dishonesty: Cheating on exams is a serious academic offense and I will prosecute it. Academic dishonesty entails disagreeable penalties to offenders. Students should acquaint themselves with the University of Ottawa policies dealing with such matters. One last thing: You will not be graded on attendance. However, since the lectures, class discussions, and handouts distributed during class are an integral part of the course, it is your responsibility to attend class - class attendance is necessary to successfully complete this course. Students who miss class should get notes and course-related materials from students who have attended the lecture. And remember, you always miss something important when you miss a class. I hope that you will find the course interesting and thought-provoking. Feel completely free to get in touch with me with any questions or problems that may arise as we move through the course.



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With the development of the Internet these past years, it has become much easier to detect plagiarism. Indeed, given the powerful tools now at their disposal, your professors can, by typing a few simple words, readily trace the exact source of a text on the Web. For more information on fraud and how to avoid it, you can refer to the Faculty web page, which offers tips to help you with your studies and the writing process for university-level projects at the following address: You can also refer to the Faculty web page for information on plagiarism in university assignments: Persons who commit or try to commit academic fraud, or who are accomplices in fraud, will be penalized. Here are some of the possible sanctions:  a grade of F for the assignment or course in question;  the imposition of three to 30 more credits as a condition of graduation;  suspension or expulsion from their faculty. To consult the regulation, go to: