Syllabus Entrance
Printer Friendly
Email Syllabus

SO 315 Minority Group Relations
Cook-McDaniel, Kimberly

Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


SO 315 Minority Group Relations


U1T 2006 DLB


Cook-McDaniel, Kimberly


M.S. Human Services

Office Location


Office Hours

Wed. & Thurs. 7PM MST - 9 PM MST

Daytime Phone



Class Days


Class Time


Credit Hours


Parrillo, Vincent N. (2006). Strangers to These Shore, (8th Ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon, Inc.

ISBN # 0-205-45763-0

Textbooks can be purchased though the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased though the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:
This text has a Companion Web Site with an online study guide. You should complete the online study guide for each chapter as appropriate. This will enable you to better prepare for your open book midterm and proctored final.,8189,2214298-,00.html

Course Description:
An examination of the patterns and causes of prejudice and discrimination.   Surveys the history and current status of groups in American society which  have been subjected to discrimination based on race, ethnicity, sex or  religion.  3:0:3

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain how majority (dominant) and minority (subordinate) groups are defined and how those definitions are commonly justified, internalized by members of both, and manipulated for relative advantage.
  2. Know the historical development, current importance, and likely future developments in socially significant minorities, such as those based on “race” and ethnicity, history and geography, culture and religion, gender or sex, privilege, birth, and so forth; and critically assess how those definitions are created and applied.
  3. Know the social history of American migration patterns and how they were shaped by power, status, and access to other resources; and compare and contrast this history with those of other areas and times.
  4. Examine the patterns and causes of prejudice and discrimination, and interpret the consequences for individuals and societies.
  5. Explain how social institutions, such as economic, political, educational, and cultural systems, are created or adapted to perpetuate disadvantage among minority group members.
  6. Evaluate the history and current status of groups in American society that have been subjected to systematic discrimination, including African Americans, Native Americans, and other specific ethnic and religious groups.
  7. Explore, apply, and evaluate common responses by minority groups to discrimination, including assimilation, accommodation, separatism, and radicalism.
  8. Analyze and evaluate current issues in minority group relations; and apply your theoretical and social historical knowledge to specific minority group struggles in the present day, and to extrapolate their likely trajectories.

Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:
This class will assess you based on the completeness of each assignment and / or project. You will have weekly readings and web sites designed to provide you with needed resources to successfully complete the weekly assignments and discussions.

Discussion questions and responses to peers are graded weekly. They are worth 10 points each week and are based on their completeness and relevance to the discussion topic. Responses to peers must be more than an “I agree” statement and should enhance the overall learning experience in general.  Please run your posting through a spell checker before submitting your final post. Grammar and spelling problems will result in a deduction of points.

Each week there is a “Self Check”. Although these “Self Checks” are not graded you should utilize these checks to test your knowledge and as your study guide for the MidTerm and the Final Exam.

Journal discussions are completed each week and are a part of your Research Activity. These should be posted in the Journal area and labeled according to the week's guidelines. These posts carry a point value that impacts your overall grade for the course.

You will have 2 group projects during the term. Each worth 9 points. While the project is completed in a group setting each group member will be afforded the opportunity to evaluate each group member's participation. This accounts, in part, for the individual's grade during the group project.

The paper is worth 125 pts and requires you to write at the university level. Guidelines for completing this project can be found within the syllabus.
The midterm exam is worth 100 pts and is an open-book and open-notes exam. This exam appears in week 4 of the class and will close at the end of Unit 4. The Final Exam is a requirement. No one can pass the class without taking the Final Exam. It is worth 125 pts and appears in week 8.

The following point values are applied to course activities:

Discussion are worth 80 pts (8 x 10 pts)
Group Project 18 pts (2 x 9 pts)
Journal 52 pts (4 x 8pts; 2 x 6 pts)
MidTerm Exam 100 pts
Paper 125 pts
Final exam 125 pts

Total 500 pts

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Late weekly class participation and other assignments are not accepted for any reason. If you do not complete the required assignments by the 11:59 PM MST deadline in the week they are due, you miss your chance for class participation in that week. My goal in establishing this rule is to create an online environment that is fair to me and to those who have made the effort to submit assignments on time. With the number of students I have each term, it is impossible for me to keep track of makeup work for those who want to submit late assignments. Therefore, there are no exceptions to due dates for anyone. Everyone is treated exactly the same, regardless of circumstances. Everyone is given the same deadlines for assignments. If you think that your present work schedule or work responsibilities will prevent you from regular participation in the classroom and/or from timely completion of the assignments, you may want to consider whether or not this is the best time to take this course.

A small amount of extra credit is available during Week 6. You can make up a few points missed due to an unplanned absence by doing the Extra Credit Activity in that week.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
The classroom is for public messages. Students should use e-mail for private messages to the instructor and other students. All e-mails sent to the instructor and other students must include: SO315 and the student's full name in the subject line of the e-mail.

Online communications need to be composed with fairness, honesty, and tact. Spelling and grammar are very important in an online class. What you put into an online course reflects on your level of professionalism.

It is important not to take disagreement personally. Responses to different ideas and observations need to be objective. Being objective means maintaining boundaries and not making personal attacks on the ability of others or making statements that have the potential to be taken personally. An important part of online learning is discussion. Differences in thinking are good because our knowledge is broadened.

Because we have differences, we may experience conflict. The important thing is to handle conflict in a way that does not create defensiveness which does not promote learning.

Netiquette Standards
So you are familiar with Netiquette Standards please read the following:

•  Be respectful of everyone at all times.

•  Keep comments to the point that relate to the discussion topic.

•  Be patient and read before you type. You do not want to be commenting on a topic the discussion has moved away from.

•  Participate! Don't simply observe the conversations – take part in them. Add your own original thoughts. Try not to clutter the conversation with "I don't know" or "I agree" statements.

•  As in e-mail, do not use all upper case letters because that denotes SHOUTING.

•  As in e-mail, always remember once you type and send a comment it is there for the whole discussion group to read so think before you send. Read it over before sending your comment because you cannot get it back once it is sent.

•  Watch what you say and how you say it. The receiver only sees the cold hard facts (typed message) - there is no voice inflection, twinkle of an eye, or body language from which they can take as a cue to your humor.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
Week 1 (06/05/06)  Topic: Basic Concepts, Theoretical Perspectives, & Impact of Culture/Social Structure
- Read Chapter 1 & 2
- Read online articles
- Journal Entry
- Discussion question and peer response
- Self Check

Week 2 (06/12/06) Topic: Prejudice, Discrimination & Ethnic Stratification
- Read Chapters 3 & 4
- Read online articles
- Journal Entry
- Discussion question and peer response
- Self Check

Week 3 (06/19/06) Topic: Early European Immigration and Religious Minorities
- Read Chapters 5, 6 & 12
- Group Assignment
- Discussion question and peer response
- Paper topic
- Self Check

Week 4 (06/26/06) Topic: Native Americans
- Read Chapter 7
- Read online articles
- Journal Entry
- Discussion question and peer response
- Midterm Exam
- Self Check

Week 5 (07/03/06) Topic: African Americans
- Read Chapter 10
- Group Assignment
- Discussion question and peer response
- Paper topic
- Self Check

Week 6 (07/10/06) Topic: Hispanic Americans
- Read Chapter 11
- Read online articles
- Journal Entry (optional)
- Discussion question and peer response
- Paper topic
- Self Check

Week 7 (07/17/06) Topic: Asian and Middle Eastern Americans
- Read Chapters 8 & 9
- Read online articles
- Journal Entry
- Discussion question and peer response
- Self Check

Week 8 (07/24/06)  Topic: Women as a minority group
- Read Chapter 13
- Read online articles
- Journal Entry
- Discussion question and peer response
- Final Exam

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-87

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-87

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "WH".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.
ONLINE NOTE: An attendance report of "P" (present) will be recorded for students who have logged in to the Online classroom at least once during each week of the term. Recording of attendance is not equivalent to participation. Participation grades will be assigned by each instructor according to the criteria in the Grading Policy section of the syllabus.

Park University 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .

Additional Information:

This course is offered on-line, over the Internet and the World Wide Web, which allows you to participate at any time, from any location. Because of this flexibility, it is important to plan your time carefully.  Students are expected to sign in to the class conference forum and participate in class discussions and online activities each week.

You should expect to spend a minimum of five hours per class, per week on-line completing course activities like sending and receiving E-mail, performing on-line readings and research, participating in Web explorations and virtual "tours," and interacting socially and professionally with classmates.  You should also expect to spend another 5 to 7 hours reading your text and preparing your homework assignments, for a total of 10-12 hours each week.

Submission of Assignments:

A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday. The first week begins the first day of the semester and ends at midnight the following Sunday. The eCollege classroom is set to MST. Assignments scheduled for completion during a class week should be completed by Midnight Sunday, MST of the week assigned. They should be posted in the classroom or placed in the appropriate dropbox basket, whichever applies. Please read each assignment's requirements and ask questions when you have them. Your Discussion Response should be posted by Thursday in any given week in order to give classmates an opportunity to conduct a Peer Review and / or response.

Assignments should not be emailed to the instructor. The eCollege platform eliminates the necessity of sending papers, exams, and other assignments via email.  You simply place your assignment in the appropriate area of the classroom or in the designated dropbox basket for that assignment. The time you submit your assignment is noted in the classroom. It is graded there, and the grade is posted to the gradebook. You will be able to track your progress throughout the course by going to the gradebook.

If you attempt to submit weekly assignments after the midnight MST deadline, they will be rejected. You must submit assignments and postings by the Sunday, Midnight MST deadline as indicated or you will not be able to submit them at all.

Please note: This means if you are in a different time zone you must figure out by what time you need to post in your own time zone in order to make the Midnight MST deadline.

The word processing program I use is MS Word 2000. Students are asked to complete their assignments in MS Word or a compatible program (i.e. MS Works, Wordpad and Notepad). Please use the APA writing style. If you do not have MS Word and your documents are not compatible, you will be required to save and submit your documents as RTF or "Text Only" files. These still need to be submitted as attachments that can be placed in the dropbox basket or uploaded to the document sharing area of the classroom. Students should keep electronic file copies of all assignments submitted until after the end of the term and grades have been received. 


Sociological Analysis Paper (Due July 16, 2006)

For this course, you are required to write a formal paper that will be due at the end of Week 6 and will need to be submitted to the designated dropbox basket in the classroom. Detailed instructions for this paper appear below and are also posted in the classroom for your convenience. If you have any questions or need clarification regarding the requirements for the assignment, please ask prior to turning in your paper. Do not begin asking questions after you have received your grade.

This paper is due by Midnight MST Sunday July 16, 2006. No paper will be accepted after this date.


Topic of Paper:

You will be writing a sociological analysis of a dominant-subordinate relationship in a country other than the U.S. You are to focus on ONE subordinate group in a country other than the U.S. and its relationship to the dominant group in that society. In order to write an effective paper, you will have to correctly identify the subordinate and dominant group based on a sociological definition (relative power). Once you do that, you will need to research the history of the relationship between the two groups in question, going back to their point of initial contact and then reviewing their subsequent history to the present.

Choosing a Topic:

I've listed some suggested topics here, but you are certainly not limited to these:

· Palestinians in Israel

· Kurds in Iraq or Turkey

· Basque in Spain

· Chinese in Indonesia

· Turks in Germany or Greece

· West Indians in Britain

· Irish Catholics in Northern Ireland

· Algerians in France

· French Canadians in Quebec

· Asian Indians or Blacks in South Africa

· Aborigines in Australia

· Women in Saudi Arabia


This link is a good place to begin your search for a group: Yahoo Directory: Cultures. You may want to research what information is available on a topic before you make a final decision. Some topics are more difficult than others. You are required to notify me of your topic by June 15. If you do not notify me of your topic by this date, 5 points will be deducted from your final score on the paper.


Required Content of Paper:


This is a sociological analysis. You will utilize each of the major theoretical perspectives (functional theory, conflict theory, and interactionist theory) summarized on page 15 of your text and reviewed in the mini lecture given in week one. Please make certain you review the mini lecture as well as the information provided in your text on these theories before you begin to write the paper. You must understand each of the major theoretical perspectives and be able to apply those perspectives to your group's experience in that society.

Your paper must include the following content:

  • Introduction and Overview of the History of the Relationship

This section should provide information that explains how these two groups came into contact with one another, the type of relationship that they had in the beginning, and how that might have changed over time to the present (20% or 20 points). This should include information on how and why the initial contact between the two groups occurred, how the type of initial contact might have influenced the subsequent relationship between the two groups, and what role both culture and social structure played in how the groups reacted to each other. You should make certain that you trace this history from the initial contact to the present. You should be able to summarize the important aspects of this history as it relates to the above criteria.

  • An Application of the Three Major Theoretical Perspectives

This section should be an application of the three major theoretical perspectives to the ethnic situation. In doing your analysis, you should refer to the tenets of each theory and indicate by illustration how the relationship between the minority and majority group would be viewed from each of the perspectives. For example, if you are looking at the relationship from the functionalist perspective, you would want to note the functions, both manifest and latent, as well as any dysfunctional consequences. This is the main portion of your paper. If you leave this section out or fail to address it in depth, you will most likely fail the assignment. There is no way to cut out this part of your paper and still earn a passing score (45% or 45 points). This analysis must be written in your own words and should contain very little directly quoted material except for illustration. Make certain that you clearly identify each of the following in your paper by creating separate sections to cover each perspective and labeling them:

·         Functional Theory: The questions those writing from a functionalist perspective might try to answer in their analysis are: What are the consequences of the majority-minority relationship, both intended (manifest) and unintended (latent)? Are these consequences functional (contributing to the stability and on-going equilibrium of the social system, such as might be the case with middleman minorities) or are they dysfunctional (creating disorganization and conflict)? Are the consequences both functional and dysfunctional at the same time? How? What "parts" of the social system are affected by the relationship between the minority and majority groups? (15 points)

·         Conflict Theory: The questions those writing from a conflict perspective might try to answer are: What form(s) does conflict between the groups take? Is/was there competition for some type of resource? How does the majority group benefit from the way things are? What type of exploitation is taking place? What is the "justifying ideology" for oppression? Is there evidence that the minority group in question is the victim of "false consciousness?" How does the majority group maintain its privileged position in the society? What middle range conflict theories apply to this conflict and how do they apply? (15 points)

·         Interactionist Theory: The questions those writing from an interactionist perspective might try to answer are: How do perceptions affect behavior of both the majority and minority group members? What types of differences in meanings/perceptions based on culture and/or social class might be creating conflict between the groups? Is there any evidence of stereotyping? How does the majority group perceive the minority group and vice versa? How might differences in values create conflict? Is there evidence of labeling and a self-fulfilling prophecy? Can you see evidence of the Thomas Theorem in this relationship? (15 points)

·         A Conclusion with Comparison

You should conclude your paper with a discussion of how the majority-minority relationship in that country compares with what you have learned about majority-minority relations in this country. You should compare it to a particular minority group's experience in the U.S. by explaining how your group's experience is both similar and different than the comparison group in the U.S. You should also indicate what you have learned about minority group relations in general from writing the paper and taking the course (15% or 15 points).


Writing Mechanics:


The paper will be written using APA style. If you are unsure on how to use this style there are references in the Webliography section link at the top of the courseroom web page.

The remaining 20% (20 points) of your grade for this assignment is divided between 2 major areas: 1) length of paper, the organization and structure of your paper, and proper writing mechanics (10 points) and 2) the quality of the references you utilize and proper reference citation (10 points). As you can see, problems in these areas can make the difference between receiving one grade and another.


Utilize the "tools" feature in MS Word to check for errors in spelling, grammar, usage, agreement and sentence structure. When your paper is well organized and well written, you increase your chances of making a better grade on the other portions of the paper because I can better understand what you are trying to say.

  • Length/format of Paper: This paper should be approximately 8 pages in length (double spaced 12 point font, 1 inch margins). This does not include your title page or your Reference page. Do not exceed 10 pages or 5 points will be deducted from your final score. You will also lose 5 points if your paper is shorter than 6 pages.

  • References: You must use at least 5 online references in writing your paper. Make certain that these references are accessible to me by listing them in a References list at the end of your paper. It should follow the conclusion of your paper. To cite references please use the APA writing style link provided here.

    APA style - APA style - Electronic Formats

    Using URLs - APA Help

    Electronic references - Examples in Referencing

    You should provide complete documentation for each reference as well as a complete and accurate URL. You will automatically lose 1 point for each URL I cannot access. Any and all papers are subject to submission to an anti-plagiarism service to check for plagiarism. If your paper does not appear to coincide with the references you cite and/or it appears that it is not written in a style consistent with your regular writing style, it will be checked.
  • APA Style Requirement: It is crucial that you give me accurate reference citations and that you cite them properly within your paper. Your paper should be done using APA style of citing sources. See APA Style - OWL for information on using this style of writing, citing and referencing.
  • Proper Citation of References: I cannot emphasize how important it is that you follow the rules for APA, especially those that pertain to in-text citations. If you quote directly or paraphrase any source and do not note this in the text of your paper, you are guilty of plagiarism and will suffer the consequences of such. Citing your sources only in the reference list is not sufficient. Any direct quotes, paraphrases, or factual statements used should be so noted in the text of your paper at the places where they appear and properly cited using parenthetical in-text citation.

    Direct quotes less than 40 words should be enclosed in double quotation marks. Provide the author, year, and specific page citation in the text, and include a complete reference in the reference list.

    Place direct quotations longer than 40 words in a free-standing block of typewritten lines, and omit the double quotation marks. Start the quotation on a new line and indent five spaces from the left margin. Maintain your double-spacing throughout the quote. The parenthetical citation should follow the quote.

    This is fair warning. Those who ignore these instructions risk failing the course. Do not copy and paste large sections of directly quoted material from references together to use as a substitute for writing your paper in your own words.

    I will not accept for credit any paper that has been composed this way, even if you cite the references in the text and in your Reference List. Anyone who chooses this method of writing his/her paper will receive a zero for the assignment. Your paper should be written in your own words. If more than 20% of your paper is directly quoted material, then you can't really call it a paper written by you, and I will not consider it as having been written by you. Your work must be your own. The majority of your paper should be written in your own words, not someone else's. If I find that it is not, you will receive a zero for the assignment, and you may fail the course, depending upon the circumstances. Details regarding specific penalties for various forms of plagiarism are discussed under Academic Honesty in this syllabus.
    • This Sociological Analysis Rubric provides a detailed explanation of how your paper will be evaluated.
    • Late Paper: No late paper will be accepted after the due date. I need the remaining time to grade final exams.

Midterm Exam:


You will take an online open book midterm exam during the fourth week of class. The exam will be set up so that you can work on it any time during that week. If the time period for the exam presents a problem for you, you will need to contact me to make other arrangements, and you should do that as soon as possible. The exam will cover chapters 1-6 in your text and any material/readings we have had for weeks 1-3 in our class discussions/activities. It will consist of 50 objective questions that will be automatically scored in the Grade book. The exam is worth 100 points or 20% of your total grade.


Proctored Final Exam:


A proctored examination will be taken in a proctored testing environment during the 8th (or 16th) week at one of the Park University sites around the country or at an alternative location. For proctored examinations, photo identification is required at the time of the test. Guidelines for selecting an acceptable proctor can be found on the Park University Web Site. Approved proctors may include pastors, librarians, guidance counselors, chaplains, US Embassy officials, military education officers, any college or university faculty member or administrator. Excluded from the list of approved proctors shall be family members, neighbors, friends, co-workers and/or supervisors. Your instructor makes the final determination as to whether or not your choice of proctor is acceptable.


The final exam for this course will be a closed book, comprehensive exam worth 125 points or 25% of your grade. No one will be allowed to pass this course without taking the final exam. The final exam is to be scheduled during the 8th week of the course. Make certain that you schedule your exam during the designated dates. See Final Exam Study Guide for information on what this exam will cover. A copy of this information may also be provided by your instructor in the Document Sharing area of the classroom.

Other Information on proctored exams:

    • It will be the responsibility of the student to arrange for a proctor, by the 6th week of the term, who is accepted and approved by the course instructor.
    • Approval of proctors is at the discretion of the online instructor. If you live within 2 hours of a Park University site, you will be expected to arrange for a proctor there and should make every effort to take your exam there. If you are not close enough to a Park University site, you will need to arrange for an approved proctor outside of Park University.
    • A proctor request form will be made available to you during the first or second week of class so that you can send your requested proctor to your instructor for approval.
    • Failure to take a final proctored exam (or submit your final project for some online graduate courses) will result in an automatic "F" grade.
    • Some Graduate Online courses may not require a proctored Final Examination.

Course Grading Scale:


Grade of A Assigned

90 -100%

450 - 500 Total Points

Grade of B Assigned

80 - 89%

400 - 449 Total Points

Grade of C Assigned

70 - 79%

350 - 399 Total Points

Grade of D Assigned

60 - 69%

300 - 349 Total Points

Grade of F Assigned

Below 60%

Below 300 Total Points


Computer Literacy


Students are expected to have frequent access to a PC with a modem and web browser, and reliable internet access. Computer literacy (ability to set up files, familiarity with search engines and browsing the Internet, and experience with downloading files) is expected. If you do not have a good anti virus software program such as McAfee or Norton, please get one and make sure that you update and run it daily as soon as you turn on your computer. Failure to heed this warning not only puts your own computer at risk, but everyone else's as well.


All students are given a Pirate Mail email account when they register for online courses. Your Pirate Mail address is the one your instructor is given and is the email address the instructor uses to contact you. You should make a habit of checking your Pirate Mail account frequently for messages from your instructor. You must have and utilize a Pirate Mail address for this course. You may have your email forwarded from Pirate Mail to another email account if you choose, but all official Park University correspondence will come to you via your Pirate Mail account.


All students will participate in conference discussions when they are scheduled.  Conventions of "on-line etiquette," which include courtesy to all users, will be observed. Since this is a course that deals with "hot button" issues and there are often conflicting perspectives and opinions, it is important to attempt as much objectivity as possible.To that end, you may find some helpful suggestions in "How to Talk About Race Issues," located at Relations.


Students are responsible for thoroughly reading each Online course policy.  If you have questions about any of these policies, please contact your instructor for clarification.









This material is protected by copyright and can not be reused without author permission.

Last Updated:5/22/2006 8:42:14 PM