SO 303 Urban Sociology
F2T 2012 DL
Kaanta, Tanya L.
Ph.D. SociologyM.S. Student Affairs in Higher EducationB.A. Cultural Studies/African Studies
Mon. Oct. 22 – Sun. Dec. 16, 2012
Macionis, John J. and Vincent N. Parrillo (2012). Cities
and Urban Life, 6th ed.
Pearson Prentice Hall ISBN-13:
Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore
Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore
Valerie Gunter and Steve Kroll-Smith (2007). Volatile
Places. Pine Forge
Jay Weinstein and Vijayan K. Pillai (2001). Demography -
The Science of Population Allyn and Bacon
Christopher Bates Doob (2005) Race, Ethnicity, and the
American Urban Mainstream, Allyn and Bacon
Efren N. Padilla (2006) Perspectives on Urban Society, From
Preindustrial to Postindustrial, Allyn and Bacon
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My educational philosophy is
one based on interactive learning from all facets of the classroom including:
lectures, readings, exams and quizzes, websites, writings, internet/videos, and
participation by all learners, myself included. I believe that learning comes
when we are able to step outside of our personal frame of reference and try and
understand a concept from a different lens. I will offer up pointed questions
and commentary meant to encourage thought and exchange within the classroom.
There are many ways to observe, understand, and analyze
society. Theory provides us the tools to do so. Additionally, there
is not a “right” way to view society, and so we will all find ourselves
gravitating toward one theory versus another. Please remember to respect
each other’s opinions. There will be some theories that will make perfect
sense while others may be confusing. Society is complicated, and so are
our world views. Even if you don’t think that a theory does a good job of
explaining how society works, try to understand from that perspective what the
author is writing.
Finally, enjoy the class! I love theory!! It really helps me
understand what is happening, why people think a certain way, etc. And don’t
forget to ask questions and engage in debate.
Learning Outcomes: Core Learning Outcomes
SO303: URBAN SOCIOLOGY
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.
SO303 CORE ASSESSMENT
Pick one urban problem or issue discussed in this course that is commonly faced in many urban areas, for example: prejudice and discrimination, housing, education, public transportation, other social and public services, unemployment, homelessness, crime, urban sprawl, or another of your choosing (be sure to get your instructor's approval for your chosen focus). Describe how that problem or issue manifests in two different urban areas of your choosing (domestic or international). Compare their similarities and contrast their differences. Explain what ecological, demographic, institutional, social, cultural, and other factors influence the issue. Use original scholarly research and other reliable data sources to explain and illustrate the phenomenon and its trends over time. 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 aspects of this issue in these urban areas has changed or remained the same? Why?
Discuss and evaluate the personal and social consequences of this issue for various populations within each urban area. Examine and evaluate more than one plan or strategy for addressing your problem. If available, evaluate the relative success of these plans, compare and contrast them, and argue whether a particular approach might be more successful in one urban area than another. Justify and support your conclusions. Explain how specific social scientific theories and research helps you to make these decisions. How might different constituencies within each urban area have interests that work with or against one another? Why?
Now that you have a clearer and more defensible understanding of the evidence and the mechanisms at work, make a decision: is this truly a problem or not? If so, for whom, and why? In either case, what have you learned from your efforts regarding best policies and practices related to the issue? What would be the social and individual consequences if your policy suggestions were implemented? Finally, what trend do you think we are likely to see in this issue over the next two decades in both of your locations? 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:
See detailed instructions and rubrics
for all assignments in the SO303 course shell at http://parkonline.org.
The major essay is the core
assessment for this class.
Major core assignment (240 points = 20.7%)
A midterm examination (200 = 17.2%)
A comprehensive final examination (200 = 17.2%)
Weekly homework assignment (8 x 30 = 240 points = 20.7%)
Weekly discussion and participation (8 x 20 = 160 points
Weekly quiz over the assigned chapters (8 x 10 = 80
points = 6.9%)
Ask the Professor (8 x 5 = 40 points = 3.4%)
A = 1,044 and above (90%
B = 928 to 1,043 (80% to 89.9%)
C = 812 to 927 (70% to 79.9%)
D = 696 to 811 (60% to 69.9%)
F = 695 and below (59% and below)
Late Submission of Course Materials:
All assignments are due on or
before the date indicated unless students receive expressed permission from the
instructor. Any assignment not turned in when it is due will be subject to a 15
point per day penalty until received. The 15 point per day reduction will occur
prior to the assignment being graded.
Classroom Rules of Conduct:
We will cover a variety of issues
in this course. As a result, there may be times when there may be a
disagreement with someone else in the class. Disagreements are perfectly
acceptable. However, we must disagree in an agreeable fashion. It is never
acceptable to attack anyone verbally for their opinion, comment, ideas,
beliefs, etc. When responding to the comments of a classmate, begin the
response by using the classmate’s name so that everyone is certain who is being
Each week a discussion question
will be presented to the class. Everyone is expected to respond to the
question, then respond to the comments of at least one classmate. These
questions are designed to generate discussions and will be presented on
Sundays. The discussions will take place during the week. Everyone is expected
to respond to the questions in a timely manner so that classmates will have an
opportunity to read the comments and respond. Students will be graded on the
quality of the comments and responses, not merely if they respond or how much
they say. Initial responses to weekly
discussion questions are due no later than Wednesday (11:55 p.m. CST) of each
week, and responses to the comments of a classmate are due no later than Friday
(11:55 p.m. CST) of each week. You must have at least two responses to
classmates. If comments aren't submitted by the deadline, students are subject
to not receiving discussion points for that week.
Everyone is expected to check their
e-mail messages and class announcements on a regular basis (no fewer than three
times per week is recommended).
quizzes and homework assignments are due Sunday, 11:55 pm, CST. Ask the
Professor is due Friday, 11:55pm, CST. First post for discussion is due by Wed.
11:55 pm, CST. Responses to your classmates are due no later than Friday (11:55
pm, CST) of each week. You must have at least two responses to classmates.
Week and Chapter
1 – Exploring the City
2 – The Origins and Development of the World’s Cities
3 – The Development of North American Cities
4 – Today's Cities and Suburbs
5 – Urban Sociology: Classic and Modern Statements
6 – Spatial Perspectives: Making Sense of Space
7 – Critical Urban Sociology: The City and Capitalism
8 – Social Psychology: The Urban Experience
9 – Comparative Urbanism: The City and Culture
10 – Stratification and Social Class: Urban and Suburban
11 – Race, Ethnicity, and Gender: Urban Diversity
12 – Housing, Education, Crime: Confronting Urban
12 – Housing , Education, Crime: Confronting Urban
13 – Cities in the Developing World
14 – Planning the Urban Environment
Writing Assignments and Dates: All
homework assignments are due Sunday by midnight CST.
Week Topic Due
Week #1 - Article Review - Davis, F. 1959.
“The Cab Driver and His Fair: Facets of a Fleeting
Relationship,” American Journal of Sociology 65:
September. The review should be at least 500 words. (This
article can be accessed via the JSTOR on-line journal
Park on-line library, or, try pasting the link into your
(You will have to log on to the Park library website to
access the article).
Week #2 - Writing Assignment - Compare a Snowbelt and a
with respect to population composition, economic
lifestyles, political structure, infrastructure, etc.
some of the problems the Snowbelt city deals with that
Sunbelt city doesn’t have to. Be mindful of the impact on
the residents of the community and discuss real and
sociological advantages to living in each city. This
assignment should be at least 500 words.
Week #3 - Writing Assignment – Read the article on page 132 of the
text (The Shame of the Cities: Who’s to Blame?) and
describe its relationship to chapter 5, Urban Sociology,
and specifically, tell me if you agree or disagree with
and why. If you don’t agree with the article, explain why
This report should be at least 500 words.
Week #4 - Internet Assignment - Use the internet to
this assignment. Examine the rate of gun related fatalities
in urban cities then make an argument that gun violence
in urban areas will or will not be reduced with more
anti-gun laws. This report should be at least 500 words.
Week #5 - Commentary Review – Analyze Robert Solow’s article entitled
“Forty Years of Social Policy and Policy Research” and
tell me what
you believe the key point to be and if you agree with Mr.
article can be accessed by typing the following into your
The report should be at least 500 words.
Week #6 - Research Review – Read the research report of
Ms. Melissa Favreault entitled
“Discrimination and Economic
Mobility” and, first, identify
what you believe to be the most
significant aspect of the
report and explain why, then, describe
how this report supports or
refutes the data presented in
chapter 11. The response to this
assignment must be at least
500 words. (This article can be
accessed by typing the following into
Week #7 - Critical Review – Read the article entitled “Deadly Violence in the
by Ralph A. Weisheit and L. Edward Wells of Indiana State
article can be found by pasting the following link into
After reading the article, support or argue against the
main points of the article
using either the conflict perspective or the structural
Week #8 - Project Assignment – Consider the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina
and the devastation the New Orleans metro area sustained.
were responsible for rebuilding a major metro area, what
major items would you consider in your planning of the
environment and why? This assignment must be at least 500
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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty (www.park.edu/current or http://www.park.edu/faculty/).from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96
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. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95
Attendance Policy:Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.
Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 98
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Last Updated:9/14/2012 11:18:16 PM