SAMPLE - This was the Course Syllabus for SOC14 - Deviance and Social Control Summer 2011

Instructor Information
Lutz Kaelber, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Vermont

Communication and Announcement Policy
I always try to be available for help. To contact me, send me a message in Blackboard any time, using the Messages link at the left of your screen. During the week, I'll usually respond within 24 hours, but probably not on weekends. I may not regularly check my UVM email, so all communications with me must go through Blackboard. I will make announcements either through "Announcements" or "Messages" in Blackboard.

Course Overview and Goals
Course Description
This course is a course in sociology (a "science that aims at an interpretative understanding of social action and thereby at a causal explanation of its course and consequences"-Max Weber); it relates deviance, as a particular form of social action, to social structure. Its goal is to identify, analyze, and explain different forms of deviant behavior, and how society creates or responds to it. It considers a wide variety of issues, such as different theoretical approaches to deviance and social control, empirical patterns of deviant behaviors, and temporal, spatial, and cultural variations in these patterns. Topics include
      

disability as deviance obedience to authority prostitution pornography eugenics the Holocaust and other Nazi crimes same-sex marriage and civil unions

NOT considered are topics addressed in detail in other sociology courses, such as drugs and criminology, or issues that pertain to other academic disciplines, such as motivational aspects of deviant behavior (psychology), "cults" (religious studies), or the administration of justice (criminal justice). This course's focus is on institutions, not individuals.

I will expect active participation throughout the duration of the course, on-time preparation and posting of reading and writing assignments, and a willingness to consider new ideas.

An Important Note
In this course we may read texts, watch films, or discuss materials that include graphic and explicit language and pictures and explore sensitive themes such as genocide, other forms of violence, or prostitution. Some of the views expressed in this course may challenge ideas or beliefs that students hold dear; while it is understood that at times students might feel discomfort, it is generally expected that they will read these texts, watch these movies, and discuss the materials. In other words, for students enrolled in this course it is assumed that they are consenting to grapple with sensitive issues, in a critical and respectful manner. If dealing with sensitive/violent materials in this course is a problem, it is the student's responsibility to inform me within the first week of classes so that the feasibility of strategies to circumvent the problem can be discussed.

Objectives
After taking this course, students should have a better understanding of
  

the behavior of individuals and groups who commit deviance; the ways in which society reacts to a variety of deviant behavior; and theories that help explain deviant behavior and the social reaction that follows.

Prerequisites
There are no prerequisites for taking this course.

Course Format
Class format consists of a sequence of lectures and assignments (modules) that encourage you to think about deviance. Because this is an online course, you have the flexibility of completing assignments at any time, from anywhere, as long as you complete and post them on or before the scheduled deadlines (all times are EST).

Hardware/Software Requirements and Plug-Ins
Please make sure to use a reasonable recent computer with MS Word as well as a PDF reader (such as Adobe Acrobat of Foxit Reader). In order to be able to access materials and view/download/upload them, you should have either a broadband connection, or at the very least, access to a broadband connection, such as in a public library. Make sure you use an up-to-date browser as well as a flash player

(http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/) and Apple Quicktime.

Required Reading
Required Readings for Purchase
BOOK: Erich Goode, Deviant Behavior (9th ed.; Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2010). ISBN 0-205-74807-4 (Note: the book should be purchased at the beginning of the semester. Other editions can not be used.) All other readings are available on or through Blackboard. Start reading these materials early, and read them carefully and thoroughly. The book is available for purchase at popular vendors such as Amazon and the UVM bookstore (tel.: 800-331-7305 or 802-656-3290).

Online Readings
Besides this book, there will be readings available online in the "Lectures." Sometimes the readings are regular websites, but they are mostly "electronic reserve" readings, that is, articles that you can download in ".pdf" format from this server or online course reserves at the UVM library Web site. If the link takes you to the UVM library course reserves, you'll be prompted to enter your UVM net ID and password to access them. (Most of these might be easier to read if you print them out; that's why you should make sure you have access to a functioning printer.)

Grading Components
1. Papers
You will be required to turn in three papers. All papers are due before the end (EST) of the designated day. They have to be submitted as a MS Word document, attached to a message in BB (no pasting into a message, and no regular email submissions!), and have the following format: lastnamepaperno.doc Example: SmithPaper1.doc IN MY EXPERIENCE, STUDENTS WHO TURN IN LATE PAPERS TEND TO DO VERY POORLY.

2. Exams
There will be three on-line exams on the readings and lectures. The last exam is cumulative. All exams have to be taken and completed on the designated day given in the Course Schedule. There is no makeup for a missed exam unless there are mitigating circumstances such as illness that must be documented.

3. Discussion Postings and Participation

The discussions are a significant part of this course. The course is divided into 5 modules, and there are discussions on all of these modules. No late discussion postings under any circumstance. Only makeups will be considered, and only for documented illnesses or other documented inadvertent circumstances. Components Papers - 100 points each Exams - 150 points each Total Max. Points Grade Schedule Grade 300 1000-966 points A+ 450 1000 965-933 points A 932-900 points A899-866 points B+ 865-833 points B 832-800 points B799-766 points C+ 765-733 points C 732-700 points C699-666 points D+ 665-633 points D 632-600 points D599-000 points F

Discussion Postings - 50 points each 250

Policies and Procedures
Special Needs
If you have special needs (due to personal circumstances, emergencies, disability, illness, etc.), I will do my best to make the necessary accommodations. Please let me know as soon as possible, but I need at least a week's notice. For documentation of a disability, please see the UVM Disability Services to help you become eligible under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990. See the UVM Student Handbook for details.

Academic Honesty
Offenses against academic honesty are any acts that would have the effect of unfairly promoting or enhancing one's academic standing within the entire community of learners which includes, but is not limited to, the faculty and students of the University of Vermont. Academic dishonesty includes knowingly permitting or assisting any person in the committing an act of academic dishonesty.

Academic dishonesty, especially plagiarism (submitting material as one's own work that is someone else's) and cheating (getting unauthorized help on an exam or assignment), cannot be tolerated in learning communities. Some may not understand that plagiarism involves more than copying an entire paper from another source. Plagiarism also occurs when phrases and sentences are copied without acknowledgment. Of course, you will be using a few words or concepts in your writing(s) that come from the assigned reading. That is legitimate. What is not legitimate is copying phrases and sentences from the assigned reading or other sources and using them as if they represented your own writing. A rough rule of thumb is that plagiarism occurs if the writing in question could not have been constructed without copying directly (however sporadically) from the assigned reading. In any case, you are responsible for knowing and following all University policies regarding Academic Honesty. A detailed description of UVM's code of academic integrity can be found online. Offenses against academic honesty will be handled in accordance with applicable University policies. If I find evidence of a major academic offense, including materials being lifted off a web page, I will file formal charges with the designated judicial authorities. Sanctions for major offenses include dismissal from the University.

Paper Instructions
Composition/Submission
You should compose your paper offline, using your own word processing software. Most of us will be using Microsoft Word, but to ensure that I can read your work, save and send me your essay according to the following guidelines: 1. Name your file with your last name and the assignment name. Note: do not punctuate or leave a space between your name and the number. Save it as a MS Word or RTF ("rich text format") file, and check that it has a .doc, .docx, or .rtf extension after the file name (example: millerpaper1.doc). 2. Click on the Messages link on the left in the course menu. Click on "Messages." Click on "New Message." Under 1, Recipients, click on "To." Choose Lutz Kaelber (Instructor) from the menu and click on the top triangle button to move it to the Recipients field. In 2. Compose Message, fill in the subject line, with your name and title of the assignment (for example, "Sean Miller, Paper 2"). In 3. Attachments, click on the Browse button. A separate window will open up in which you can browse your computer (hard drive, usb stick, etc.). Click on the correct file that contains your document, give the file the correct name (see above), and then click on the "Open" button. This should close the separate window. In 4. Submit, click on the Submit button. Give it some time to upload. Now go to the "Sent" folder and check that your file was indeed sent. You should see a paper clip symbol to the left of the name of the recipient. Only paper submissions in Blackboard are accepted. You cannot use regular email to submit assignments. Pasting text into messages is not accepted either.

A CAUTIONARY WORD TO PROCRASTINATORS: Expect computer problems…DO NOT wait until the last minute to post your work. Late work affects class dynamics and your grade. If you anticipate a problem meeting a deadline, be sure to contact me before the work is due. Simply put, in order to get full value from this class (and to do well), you need to be consistently prepared, and to actively participate.

Grading
The excellent paper is the standard to which student papers are held, and against which they are compared. Excellent papers are assigned a grade of A, and earn 90% or more of the maximum credit. Papers that do not meet this standard are assigned lower grades and less credit. (Note: This
section is based on the very useful description of standards by the Dept. of Anthropology at the University of MontanaMissoula.)

Excellent papers are:

 

Accurate and thorough. This means that facts and ideas are presented accurately, and the subject is covered thoroughly and completely. The paper anticipates a potential reader's questions about the topic and answers them. Well-sourced. If any outside sources are used, they are fully and thoroughly documented. Balanced. This means that the paper gives an objective and fair treatment of the facts, ideas, and viewpoints being discussed, noting the strengths and weaknesses of each. An excellent paper may be critical of previous work, but avoids unsubstantiated criticism and ad hominem attacks on other authors. Creative. "Creative" in the scientific sense means that the paper goes beyond a mere presentation of facts, but does not mean that any of the information is "made up" or nonfactual. In an excellent paper the facts are organized, analyzed, synthesized, or used as the basis of conclusions in ways that are innovative, creative, and original. Mechanically correct. This means that the paper is free of errors in style, grammar, punctuation, word usage, and spelling. All serious word processors come with spelling and grammar checkers - use them. Well-written. This means that the paper is clear in purpose, and the writing style utilizes precise nouns, strong verbs, active voice, and correct verb tense. In an excellent paper the material is organized logically, with good transitions between sections and appropriate pacing. The normal English sentence construction of subject - verb - object should be followed whenever possible.

Deductions for lateness
5% of maximum score (5 points) for every 2 hours late. Unless required by ACCESS accommodations, papers that are more than 2 days late will not be accepted.

Discussion Instructions

All discussion contributions are due before the end (EST) of the designated day. You are required to participate in the online discussions by posting one complete answer to the discussion assignment in each module and by responding to at least two other students' posts for each discussion. All discussion postings have to be made within the allocated time frame.

Steps
1. Find the correct topic folder in the Discussion Board (see Course Menu). 2. Read others' comments closely and post your best work. 3. Keep postings thoughtful and to the point. Personal experience is sometimes useful, but make sure that you explain why it's relevant to the reading or issue under discussion. 4. Remember that intelligent thoughtful disagreement is good. Do not be afraid to disagree, respectfully. The poet William Blake once said something like "Without disagreements, there will be no progress."

Grading
Here are the criteria I will use to grade your discussion: Excellent (A): always posts discussion assignments and responses on time; fully meets required number; comments based on detailed and insightful understanding of material; refers to specific parts of the texts or other materials to support ideas; regularly suggests other perspectives/directions; posts are always clear, organized, and well-written. Good (B): always present in discussion without missing any deadlines; comments show a good understanding of material, usually making reference to specific parts of the texts or other materials to support ideas; sometimes suggests other perspectives/directions; posts are usually well-written. Fair (C): misses no more than one deadline (contribution or response), but comments show a basic understanding of the material; occasionally refers to specific parts of the texts or other materials to support ideas; posts are understandable but may lose focus and show some consistent mechanical errors. Poor (D): misses more than one deadline (contribution or response); comments show limited understanding of the material with few references to texts for support; posts are difficult to understand, frequently wander off-topic, use an inappropriate tone, and/or show significant writing problems. Failing (F): doesn't participate or misses deadlines habitually. Misses two entire weeks or more.

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