SO332 Dying, Death, & Bereavement

for F1T 2008

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SO 332 Dying, Death, & Bereavement


F1T 2008 DLA


Slater, Amy M.




MA in Human Development Counseling, University of Illinois at Springfield,
BS in Administration of Justice, Southern Illinois University,
AAS in Law Enforcement, John  A. Logan College, MA Sociology, University of Central Missouri (2009)

Office Location


Office Hours

By appointment only

Daytime Phone


Other Phone



Semester Dates

8-18-08 to 10-12-08

Class Days


Class Time


Credit Hours


The Last Dance: Encountering Death & Dying, by L.A. DeSpelder, A.L. Strickland, McGraw-Hill Publishers, 2005, 7th Edition, ISBN#: 0-07-292096-3.

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
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FAQ's for Online Students - You might find the answer to your questions here.

Course Description:
SO 332 Dying, Death, and Bereavement: Examines the demographic, cultural, and social psychological aspects of dying, death, and the grieving process. Topics include cultural and individual attitudes toward death, the medicalization of death, associated institutions, end of life care, the social role of funerals, and various forms of death, such as old age, and dying young, euthanasia, suicide, and genocide. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

My responsibility as an instructor is to be a facilitator and coach to all students.  I strive to create a very interactive class by using lectures, quizes and discussions.  The material will be presented in different ways to encourage the exchange of ideas.

Class Assessment:

1. Weekly small group study question posting/dicussion: 40 points each week: 40x8 = 320 points
2. Two 500 word Reflection Papers over personal reactions to each weeks chapters, assignments and class activities.(keep as you go along in a Journal fomat so you can access that information for the paper when you need it. Reflection Paper #1 handed in Week 4; Reflection Paper #2 handed in Week 8 = 160x2=320 points
3. Core Assessment Project/Paper: Write a paper over a current social issue related to dying, death & bereavement - such as the situation that occurred in New Orleans when it was hit by a hurricane and then flooded.
a. Describe the issue as it is commonly framed in popular discourse.
b. Provide theoretical and research information from this course and other sources to support your information/viewpoint.
and real world examples.
c. Discuss  how this issue impacts individuals and the larger society. Explain how and why these effects are important using specific research.
d. Critically  evalutate the effectiveness of different institutions and cultural strategies for dealing with your chosen issue. Discuss intended and untintended consequences of those social and structual forms now in place.
e. Include or compare and contrast this issue if appropriate to other cultures.
This paper should be tightly focused. It should be carefully proofread and edited, contain an introductory and concluding paragraph, be clearly organized, and conform to the applicable guidelines of APA format,  including all citations and references. Minimum of 3000 words, plus any tables or figures. Submit by placing in the Assignment Dropbox for the Professor to grade. Worth 320 points.
4. Midterm Exam: 50 multiple choice questions taken from quiz questions/study questions from each chapter/week.= 150 pts, taken online within the course site. Your test will appear during the time allowed for it. No books or notes allowed.
5. Final Exam: 50 multiple choice questions taken from quiz questions/study questions from each chapter/week = 150 pts, taken online within the course site. Your test will appear during the time allowed for it. No books or notes allowed. In addition, there will be 2 essays questions availble online with a password which can be done online or emailed, but must be proctored. You must locate a proctor to assist you with this process and follow Park's procedures in advance of Final's week. See infomation link provided. Worth 20 points. Exams total = 320 points.

Late Submission of Course Materials:
No late work accepted.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

1. Courtesy & the "Golden Respect Rule":  Treat others as you would like to be treated - including the Professor. (unless you are a "personality disorder", and then we will have to refer you for treatment!)

2. Everyone has the right to repect regarding their own opinions, feelings if expressed appropriately, ie assertively rather than aggressively. Use "I" statements/messages rather than "you". Use "active listening". Note link to information on appropriate communication. Everyone has the right to be heard - listened to without interruption or judgment.
3. It can take a few days to adjust to a course site, so take some time to check out the areas and be patient with yourself and others. After exploring and reading all the information, if you still have questions please post them in the Office area so that other students can benefit from reading them. If you have a personal issue you can email the Professor within the course system. The turn around for responding is a maximum of 48 hours, except for weekends.
4. Other assignments will be posted in the special discussion areas created for them each week. A minimum of 3 in depth responses is required also.
5. If doing an interview, remember to use "Active Listening" when asking questions. Note information regarding the interviewee. Summarize the interview and include a paragraph about how you felt about doing the interview.
6. It's best to do assignments in a word processing program and then cut and paste into the discussion area. This way you can save your work in case of a software problem.
7. Have a BACKUP COMPUTER located in case of problems, and do your assignments early enough to be able to seek another if you have to.  Having a computer problem is not an excuse for not doing an assignment.
8. Exam times will be posted as this area is only open for a limited time at midterm and the end of the semester.


Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week 1: Chapter 1 - Attitudes Toward Death: A Climate of Change
              Chapter 2 -  Learning About Death: The Influence of Sociocultural Forces
               Each week: 1.  Study questions/discussion assignment 
Week 2: Chapter 3 -  Perspectives on Death: Cross Cultural & Historical
Week 3: Chapter 4  - Health Care Systems: Patients, Staff & Institutions
              Chapter 5 - Death Systems: Matters of Public Policy
Week 4: Chapter 6 - Facing Death: Living with Life-Threatening Illness
              Chapter 7 - End - Of - Life Issues & Decisions
              Midterm Exam multiple choice questions taken from self study quiz questions/discussion questions
               Reflection Paper #1 due over personal reactions to material & experiences from Chap 1 - 7
Week 5: Chapter 8 - Survivors: Understanding the Experience of Loss
              Chapter 9 - Last Rites: Funerals & Body Disposition
Week 6: Chapter 10 - Death in the Lives of Children & Adolescents
              Chapter 11 - Death in the Lives of Adults
              Core Assessment Paper Due.
Week 7: Chapter 12 - Suicide
              Chapter 13 - Risks of Death in the Modern World
Week 8: Chapter 14 - Beyond Death/After Life
              Chapter 15 - The Path Ahead: Personal & Social Choices
              Final Exam: multiple choice questions taken from self study quiz questions and study questions from Chap 8 - 14.
              Reflection Paper #2 due over personal reactions to each week's material and activities

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 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 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 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 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 "F".
  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 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90

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:
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 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-88


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Last Updated:8/1/2008 6:08:31 PM