SO 302 The Study of the Family
F2T 2007 DLB
Myers, Rhonda G.
Adjunct Faculty Instructor of Sociology/Psychology
MSW University of HoustonBS in Sociology, University of Houston
Office will be checked within 24-48 hours.
August 20 - October 14, 2007
Textbook: Skolnink, A. S. & Skolnick, J. H. (2007). Family in Transition, 14th ed. NY: Allyn & Bacon. (paper)
Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore
Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore
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Educational Philosophy: I believe that knowledge opens our mind to ever widening horizons with each course that we take. New knowledge raises us from limited perspectives to greater understandings and perceptions of life.
My role as instructor is to facilitate the opening of the mind to these greater possibilities, to encourage students to look beyond the boundaries of society, to seek better understandings of what they experience in life, and to apply these new perceptions to their careers and family life.
Learning Outcomes: Core Learning Outcomes
SO302: THE STUDY OF THE FAMILY\
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.
SO302 CORE ASSESSMENT
Pick one aspect of the modern family, its structure, function, or place in the larger society and culture. Some possible topics include: the importance of marriage, gender roles, the place of children in the family, sexuality and the bearing of children, single parent families, the employment of parents with children, differences between families of an ethnic minority and white families, the acceptance of gay and lesbian families or other alternative forms, or media representations of the family. You should feel free to choose another relevant focus for your essay, but no matter what your choice, you should have it approved by your instructor before you begin in earnest.
Find scholarly or official domestic data that identify the prevalence, variation, and trends in your focus issue over the past few decades. Is there a “cultural inconsistency” between what is actually happening and what we perceive? You should also find at least one contemporary international point of comparison. Again, is the actual similarity or difference accurately represented in our common perceptions? One good place to start is the US Federal statistics gateway site: www.fedstats.gov; the UN, www.un.org, and the World Bank, www.worldbank.org, are two additional good sources for international data; the largest clearinghouse for publicly available academic and organizational data is the ICPSR at the University of Michigan, www.icpsr.umich.edu; and the University of Chicago’s NORC is one of the largest academic opinion research centers in the country, norc.uchicago.edu. Consider multiple sources of data, when possible, and compare and contrast the actual data with public perception of the issue. Pay particular attention to the trends in the data and use sociological concepts and findings from the course and your additional literature review to analyze your issue. Over time, what about these families has changed or remained the same? Why?
Evaluate the individual and social dynamics and consequences of your topic at the family and the social levels. Explain and analyze how larger social trends affect individual family lives. Try to understand and explain why some families, who share many characteristics with those of your focus, do not exhibit the same properties. Is this phenomenon having positive or negative (or both) effects on families and the society? Why? How? According to what standard? Analyze and critique examples of partisan positions on either side of the public debate over this issue, and identify and evaluate your own biases in the matter. How can the relevant facts, theories, and research help you determine who is more likely to be right?
Finally, what trend do you think we are likely to see in this issue over the next two decades, both domestically and in your international comparison location? Defend and justify your conclusions. What public policies and individual decisions would help guide this future trend in the most generally useful and beneficial direction? Defend and justify your conclusions.
Link to Class RubricClass Assessment:
Students are responsible for:
1. Completing the reading assignments.
2. Participating in the class discussions.
3. Completing the writing assignments, including the Research Paper. See the Writing Assignments section of the syllabus for more information.
4. Completing the Final Exam.
1. Definitions of the Family - During the first and last weeks of the class, you are to compose a definition of the family that best reflects your understanding of the family at this time. Composing the definitions at the beginning and the end of the class will enable you to determine if your understanding of family changes as a result of participation in the course.
2. Reaction Papers - The Reaction Papers are to be one-page reactions to some aspect of one of the assigned readings. In preparing the papers, you may choose to comment on what you believe is an important point made in the reading, agree or disagree with a statement or conclusion of the author or offer a related personal observation based on your own experience. Students are asked to post the Reaction Papers in their respective groups for discussion with their classmates and in the Unit Dropbox.
3. Film Analysis: Family Case Study - The objective of the assignment is to complete a sociological study of a family portrayed in film using a case study format. You are to select a movie from a list provided or choose another movie (requesting approval from the instructor to use the film in the assignment) and analyze the structure and functioning of the family through responses to questions that develop the case study. You are also to determine the sociological theory that best helps you understand the family and its behavior. More information about the assignment will be provided.
4. Online Research Assignment - The Online Research Assignment is to be a critical analysis of five professional peer reviewed journal articles that are based on research data, not just opinions, and are related to the topic of your research paper. These articles may be obtained from web sites such as google scholar, but at least three articles are to be obtained from academic journals in the Park University Library online databases. A format for analyzing the articles will be provided.
5. Research Paper Draft Outline - The purpose of the assignment is to prepare a draft of the outline that will be followed in writing the research paper. The outline should include: a thesis statement, the headings of the major sections of the paper, the culture or country to be utilized for an international comparison with American families and three academic resources that will be employed in the paper. The resources must be presented in APA reference format. While the outline is a draft and may change, it affords you the opportunity to organize your thoughts and develop a structure for the preparation of the paper. More information about the assignment will be provided.
6. Research Paper - The research paper is to be a sociological analysis of a significant issue that is associated with the concept, structure, functioning or place of the contemporary American family in the larger society. It is further important to make a comparison of the experiences of families in at least one other culture or country with the issue. The Research Paper must be twelve to fifteen pages in length (2,500 - 3,500 words) and at least six resources of academic research must be used to write the paper. The resources are to be properly cited in the body of the paper and in the list of References at the end of the paper using APA Style. More information about the assignment will be provided.
Total 100%, 400 points
Course Grading Scale
Grade - Percentage - Points
A 100 –90%, 400 - 360
B 89 –80%, 359 - 320
C 79 –70%, 319 - 280
D 69 –60%, 279 - 240
F 59% and below, 239 and below
Late Submission of Course Materials:
With regard to the assignments, the syllabus specifies when they are due and I would like the writing assignments to be submitted as Word or Word compatible documents (rtf is acceptable). Yes, I will accept assignments if they are late, but your score on the assignment is determined and then reduced by 50%. Assignments will not be accepted nor will credit be granted for assignments submitted after the end of the class.
Classroom Rules of Conduct:
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 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-86It should go without saying that academic honesty is an inflexible prerequisite for academic study. Academic dishonesty is hostile to the spirit of a learning community. Therefore, Park University will not tolerate cheating or plagiarism on exams, projects, papers, essays or any other course assignments. Students who engage in such dishonesty may be given a failing grade for the assignment or course and recommended for further disciplinary action, including expulsion from the university.
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 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85The course requires a considerable amount of writing, as is appropriate for a 300 level, upper division course. Your writing must be your own and all sources must be documented. The use of commercially prepared term papers or copying and pasting papers from the Internet is, of course, unacceptable and I will check the authenticity of papers through the use of Online plagiarism detection programs. Consequences for plagiarism may include: request to redo the assignment, zero points for the assignment, failure of the course and referral for disciplinary action including expulsion from the university.
Attendance Policy:Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.
Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-88Instructors must record attendance in all Park University courses and may not retroactively correct attendance records. If you must be absent from class, let me know, by email or phone. My email addresses and phone numbers are listed at the beginning of the syllabus. If you do not inform me in advance, your absence from class will be marked as unexcused. Problems with attendance will be dealt with according to the policy statement above.
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:10/3/2007 12:13:31 PM