SO210 Social Institutions

for F1V 2009

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SO 210 Social Institutions


F1V 2009 GO


Washington, Spencer A.


Adjunct Faculty


M.S. (2004) Angelo State University
B.S. (2000) Angelo State University

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

17 August 2009 - 11 October 2009

Class Days


Class Time

7:35 - 10:05 PM


SO141 Introduction to Sociology

Credit Hours



Skolnick, J. H., & Currie, E. (2007). Crisis In American Institutions (13th ed.).  Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
 ISBN-10:          020547215X
 ISBN-13:          9780205472154

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Course Description:
SO 210 Social Institutions: An overview of major social institutions, such as education, family, religion, culture and media, science and health care, politics, and the economy. Discusses their historical development, modern forms, social functions, and the ways in which they relate to one another and shape individual lives. 3:0:3 Prerequisite: SO141

Educational Philosophy:

I am a strong proponent of higher learning and, for that matter, learning in general.  I am fully aware that learning is most likely to occur when a variety of methods are implored.  For that reason, I will utilize group-thinking processes, student-centered learning, encourage and promote active discussion, and regularly assess your knowledge via quizzes and/or classroom writing assignments.  Frequent analysis, questioning, commentary, and exploration will be required, as each student is expected to participate in class discussions and activities.

Class Assessment:

Class assessment will consist of the following:
-- Mid-term Examination consisting of no less than 40 multiple choices, true/false, and fill-in-the-blank questions.  The examination will be based on the required readings and on information presented during class by the instructor.
--Final Examination consisting of no less than 40 multiple choices, true/false, and fill-in-the-blank questions, and at least one short-answer essay.  The examination will be based on the required readings and on information presented during class by the instructor.
--Term paper of no less than 2000 words and no more than 3000 words based on one of the institutions discussed in this course.  It will be done using APA format and must use at least six references.  All topics must be approved by the instructor.  The term paper must cover the following issues:
  • How the American forms of this institution has developed since World War II
  • Comparison of the American form of this institution to its expression in two other countries
  • How this institution positively and negatively affects individuals
  • How might individuals work to change this institution for the better
  • Explanation of how this institution is adapting to pressures from globalization or changes in other institutions
  • Provide clear and logical examples for each major point
  • Explanation of the effects of this institution in the Information Age (or how this institution has been effected by the Information Age)
  • Classroom presentation based on the topic covered by the term paper.  The length of the oral presentation is based on the number of students in the class, but will be no less than 15 minutes per student.  Students may use outside information and audiovisual materials for the presentation.


Course grades will be assigned based on the total points earned during the term. 
200 Points - Mid-Term Examination
200 Points - Final Examination
200 Points - Term Paper
200 Points - Classroom Presentation
200 Points - Classroom Participation

The grading scale is as follows: 

Point Range            Grade 
700-799                     C 
000-599                     F   

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Term papers, presentations, and examinations will not be taken late without the prior approval of the instructor.  The student must have an acceptable reason for the late submission.  All work that is received past the established deadline is subject to a penalty of 50% of the value of the assignment.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
All Park University rules will be in force for this class.  If, after the break, you do not return, then you will be considered as an unexcused absence for the entire class unless you coordinate the departure with the instructor beforehand.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:


Week 1: Systemic Problems - Corporate Power and Economic Crisis

Assignment Type


Due Date (if applicable)

Readings -

Parts One and Two

1- Take the Rich off Welfare

2 - Tax Cheats and Their Enablers

3 - The Cost of Money

5 – Nickel and Dimed…

6- Generation Broke…

7 – Retirement’s Unraveling Safety Net

Week 2: Inequality, Racism, and Sexism

Assignment Type


Due Date (if applicable)

Readings -

Parts Three, Four, and Five

9 – Top Heavy

10 – Doing Poorly…

12 – As Rich-Poor Gap Widens in the U.S…

13 – The Roots of White Advantage…

15 – At Many Colleges, the Rich Kids Get Affirmative Action

16 – Asian Americans…

17 – The Conundrum of the Glass Ceiling

18 – Selling Women Short

19 – Learning Silence

20 - Domestica

Week 3: Mid-Term Examination and Submission of Draft Term Papers

Assignment Type


Due Date (if applicable)

Review of Parts One through Five 

Discussion and review of Parts One through Five – Tuesday

Mid-Term Examination – Thursday

Submissions of Draft Term Papers - Thursday

Week 4: Institutions in Crisis – The Family, The Environment, and Work and Welfare

Assignment Type


Due Date (if applicable)

 Readings – Parts Six, Seven, and Eight

21 – Families on the Fault Line

22 – More than Welcome…

23 – Decent and Street Families

24 – A World of Wounds

25 – The Heat is On

26 – Diamond: A Struggle for Environmental Justice…

28 – The Political Economy and Urban Racial Tensions

29 – The Underclass Label

30 – So How Did I Get Here…

Week 5: Health and Medical Care, The Schools

Assignment Type


Due Date (if applicable)

Readings – Parts Nine and Ten

31 – Sick Out of Luck…

32 – Universal Health Care…

33 – The Shame of Our Nursing Homes

35 – In the Deep Heart’s Core

36 – Class Conflict: The Rising Costs of College

37 – Reading, Writing, and…Buying?

38 – Hired Education

Week 6: Crime and Justice, and America in the World

Assignment Type


Due Date (if applicable)

Readings – Parts Eleven and Twelve

39 – The Myth of Leniency

40 – Wild Pitch…

42 – Unjust Rewards

43 – Five Wars We’re Losing

44 – Oil, Geography, and War

46 – What to Do? A Global Strategy against Terrorism

Week 7: Review for Final Exam, Submission of Final Term Papers

Assignment Type


Due Date (if applicable)

Review of Parts Six through Twelve

Submission of Final Term Papers

Discussion and review of Parts Six through Twelve (Tuesday and Thursday)

Submission of Final Term Paper - Thursday

Week 8: Classroom Presentations, Final Examination

Assignment Type


Due Date (if applicable)

Classroom Presentations on term paper topics

Final Examination

Classroom Presentations – Tuesday

Final Examination - Thursday


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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

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.

Park University 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

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: .


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Last Updated:7/16/2009 10:21:18 PM