SO 208 Social Inequality
S1T 2009 DLA
Cummins, Kim D.
Senior Instructor Sociology/Adjunct Faculty
MA Sociology University of Central Missouri 1980BS Criminal Justice University of Central Missouri 1978
Email is checked at least once every 24 hours; Virtual Office is checked at least once every 48 hours
12 January - 8 March, 2009
Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore
Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore
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Learning Outcomes: Core Learning Outcomes
SO208: SOCIAL INEQUALITY
Core Assessment (New for July, 2006)
The Core Assessment assignment for this class will be a major essay that integrates, analyzes, applies, and critiques several sociological concepts and research findings from this course individually, together, and with additional sources from your own literature review and archival study.
You must incorporate the findings from at least five outside sources of original academic research in this essay. You may also include additional sources for examples or background information, but only reputable, peer-reviewed academic sources will count toward the reference requirements of your essays. This means that magazines, newspapers, professional periodicals, or internet sources are only appropriate for examples and illustrations in this project — if you have any questions as to whether a specific source is acceptable for your essay, you should ask your instructor rather than guess. Also, focus on articles or books presenting original research or theories, not on those reviewing others' works or editorializing about opposing approaches. Reference works, textbooks, and literature reviews are all excellent places to begin your search, but you must find and read the original in order to develop your own reaction. Ask your instructor for source approval if in doubt.
You should also consider incorporating relevant and reputable statistical and other social scientific data collected by researchers, governments, and other agencies and organizations. A wealth of such archived data is publicly accessible through the Internet, and their use can help you better understand your issue and develop a stronger analysis and critique. Again, if in doubt, ask your instructor for approval of your data source.
If you do not properly cite those external sources that contributed to your work, then you are guilty of plagiarism. This will not be tolerated and may result in immediate and serious academic penalties. If you have any questions as to when and how to use citations and references in you essays, please contact your instructor. Your final essay will also be formatted according to the relevant portions of the American Psychological Association Style Guide. The main text of your essay will consist of no more than 3,500 words (or about fifteen pages). While it possible to construct a successful essay in fewer words, this assignment is comprehensive and detailed enough that most students will find it a challenge to successfully address all of its points in the allotted space. Begin work on your essay early and leave plenty of time for revision to assure the best possible grade.
SO208 CORE ASSESSMENT
Begin by identifying yourself on the dimensions commonly associated with social inequalities: social class (income, wealth, (current and intended) education level, occupational prestige (associated with current or planned career), race, ethnicity, and gender. In addition, you might also identify yourself on dimensions associated with less traditional inequalities, such as national origin,, sexual identity or preference, age, weight, able-bodiedness, and so forth. Explain where you fit and how that affects the life chances for you and others like you. Use theoretical concepts and empirical findings from class materials, other relevant research, and archival data sources to describe and analyze your “place” in the world. Why do you think our society stratifies individuals and groups on these dimensions and not others? Use important theoretical concepts to perform this analysis. Discuss how various ideas might be synthesized to produce a better explanation.
Then select two people who differ from you on several of these dimensions. Talk to them and ask them where they think they fit in our society's opportunity structure and how they think it affects their life chances. Compare their assessment with your own analysis of their position and with available data. Compare and contrast all three of your positions in the opportunity structure. Do they perceive themselves differently than you did? Use the theories and concepts from the class to explain any differences between your respective objective chances and subjective assessments. Do you each have accurate or inaccurate expectations? Why?
Who has the greatest advantages and disadvantages among your three examples? Why? How? Which attributes have given each of you the greatest advantages and disadvantages? How do the dimensions interact with one another to produce additional effects (for example, it is different to be white and female, white and male, or black and male, etc.)? Suggest what individual choices and public policies would be most likely to even out the life chances among your cases. How likely are these to come about?
Project yourself twenty years into the future. Are these inequalities likely to persist? Why or why not? Where would you expect each of you to be in that time? Why? How do these subjective expectations correspond with the major applicable theories of inequality and with relevant trend data?
Finally, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your analysis, and of the conceptual tools and social scientific data you used in your efforts. If the general public, or members of the groups you analyze in your essay, were to know what you now know, what would be the individual and social consequences, if any? Why? Explain and justify all assertions with appropriate logic and evidence.
Link to Class RubricClass Assessment:
Chapter Discussion Topics Rubric
Texbook -- Complete at least one Main Post for EACH of the Chapter Topics by Thursday, midnight MST. This provides ample time for instructor and student replies. Quantity and quality will factor into your earned grade. More substantive posts will increase your points, but thoughtful and original posts that evidence critical reasoning, empirical evidence, and clear applications will increase your points significantly.
Responses --Complete at least one reply to a fellow student's Main Post by Saturday, midnight MST. This provides ample time for instructor and student replies. Respond to postings of your fellow students with information and concepts gathered from the applicable readings that demonstrate having read and understood the materials.
On Time -- Five points of your score is allocated to meeting due dates & times for both Main Posts and Replies. No postings will be accepted after Sunday midnight MST in any given week.
Total Points Possible
Chapter Discussion Topics Rubric
Web Discussions Rubric
Web Discussions -- Each week there will be one web-based reading along with a topic/question to discuss. You are required to provide a Main Post for the topic/questions. These Main Posts are due by Thursday, midnight MST
Responses -- Complete at least one reply to a fellow student's Main Post by Saturday, midnight MST. This provides ample time for instructor and student replies. Respond to postings of your fellow students with information and concepts gathered from the applicable readings that demonstrates having read and understood the materials.
On Time -- Three points of your score are allocated to meeting due dates & times for both Main Posts and Replies. No postings will be accepted after Sunday midnight MST in any given week.
Total Points Possible
Web Discussions Rubric
Essay Assignment Rubric
Core Assessment Assignment
Breakdown of Components
Late Submission of Course Materials:
Classroom Rules of Conduct:
What are some things we can do to create and maintain trust in our learning community?
1. Wait before responding to something, especially if it creates an emotional reaction. Reread the posting several times before you assume you understand what is being stated. Give yourself time to reflect carefully before responding.
2. If something you read appears to be confusing, contradictory, or disturbing to you, ask for clarification: "When I read ____________, I was confused. Could you clarify what you meant by that?"
3. Focus your response or critique on the point being made by the other person and not the individual making the point:
"I see your point, and I would agree that some people are happy with the status quo. They see no reason to accept personal responsibility for social problems and may not be able to envision their role in bringing about social change. However, is this the failure of only one group? How do you think we can best educate all people to see we are "all in this together?"
4. Resist the temptation to make assumptions based on limited information. Some people are better at expressing their thoughts and ideas in writing than others. What they write is not always a true reflection of what they meant to say. That's why it is good to ask for clarification.
5. Avoid asking an individual to speak for his or her race, ethnicity, gender, etc. This assumes everyone who identifies with the race, ethnicity, gender, etc., thinks the same way. We "know" this is not the case, but we fall into this trap time and again.
6. Examine your postings for possible stereotypes or assumptions about people and their motivations for behavior. Though everyone is entitled to their opinion, one of our learning objectives should be to recognize and confront stereotypes. It is usually easier to see this in others as opposed to ourselves.
7. Before you craft a response, ask yourself, "What is it I want someone to understand and what is the most effective way to state my points to create that understanding? What is my motivation? Do I want to retaliate, prove I am right, or create understanding?
Students are asked to complete their assignments in MS Word if possible. Even though the eCollege classroom can accept MS Works, Word Perfect, or other types of files, be advised that your instructor may not be able to accept them. You should also keep this in mind in terms of being able to share documents with other students in the classroom. If you do not have MS Word and your documents are not compatible, you will have to save and submit your documents as RTF files. If you are using MS Word 2007, please save your document in an earlier version of Word. These still need to be submitted as attachments that can be placed in the Dropbox basket or uploaded to the document sharing or discussion areas 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. NOTE: There is a time out feature for the eCollege classroom. If you are composing a response and are not moving around in the classroom, your session may time out after a period of time has gone by. When you go to submit your assignment, it may not submit and will "disappear" into cyberspace. For this reason, you should always compose and save your postings in a word processing program and then copy/paste them into the editor when you want to post them.
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. You are also expected to familiarize yourself with the features of the eCollege classroom by reviewing the Student Orientation Tutorial (CDL 300) made available to you on the Academics PSH Page. This is the page that lists the links to courses in which you are currently enrolled after you login at http://www.parkonline.org. This tutorial should appear under the heading "Special Courses" at the top of that page. If you have difficulty accessing certain features of the classroom, this may be due to the existence of a firewall or other security features on your computer. A document with instructions for troubleshooting such problems is located in the document sharing area of the classroom. Go to "Doc Sharing" tab at the top of the page when you login to the classroom. If you need help using the course tools (Gradebook, Drop Box, Discussion Threads) in the eCollege classroom, you can access that help by clicking on HELP icon at the upper right corner of the Course Home Page.
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/account 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. If you have your mail forwarded from Pirate Mail to another account, it is a good idea to check the option to have a copy of each email saved in Pirate Mail. This ensures that you have a copy of all email sent to you. Forwarding mail is not always reliable. When emailing the instructor, please email from your Pirate Mail account and make sure that you put SO208, your last name, and your student ID number in the subject line of your email (Ex. SO208 Smith 493221).
Weekly reminders and other important announcements will be made in the Announcements section on the Home Page of the course (very top). Weekly announcments are posted at the beginning of each week. Other announcements may be added as necessary. Students are expected to look for new announcements each time they enter the online classroom. It is your responsibility to know the information contained in these announcements. Copies may be sent to your Pirate Mail address, but the main point of communication for these messages will be the Announcements section of the Home Page.
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: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 87You can avoid problems of plagiarism by writing your papers in your own words and using quotations sparingly, if at all. In this course, you are required to write the majority of your assignments in your own words. No written assignment or paper may be composed of more than 15% directly quoted or closely paraphrased material. Information from your references sources should be summarized and/or paraphrased in your own words and properly cited by using in-text citations in APA style. Those who choose to copy and paste material from their reference sources as a substitute for writing out their assignments in their own words will be given one warning and a zero on that assignment. If it happens a second time, the student will be referred to the proper Park administrator for disciplinary action.
Attendance Policy:Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.
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: http://www.park.edu/disability .
Last Updated:12/28/2008 11:43:28 PM