Introduction to Sociology

Introduction to Sociology 121-800 Autumn 2018

This course is an introductory analysis and description of structure and dynamics of human behavior in our society. Students will apply the scientific method to the observation and conceptualization of social roles, status, and culture. Processes in socialization, intergroup and collective behavior, and specific analysis of major institutions and social changes are considered.

Sociology 121 Goals

  • To provide students with an accurate perspective of sociology.
  • To acquaint students with theoretical and methodological approaches of sociology.
  • To help students develop ability to analyze and abstract relevant facts concerning human behavior.
  • To encourage students to think sociologically.
  • To provide an opportunity to gain in a sophisticated awareness of ethnocentrism and some ability to objectify his or her own observations.
  • To encourage a student to evaluate his or her culture and social structure relative to the institutions which control human behavior.
  • To increase student’s awareness of the powerful effect of the socio cultural environment on human nature and behavior.


Required Materials

Introduction to Sociology by OpenStax College of Rice University.  This is a free etext which is available as a pdf file in the Etext link of our class.  The book may also be read online or downloaded at Students do not need to make a donation if asked.


Technology Suggestion

It is recommended that students utilize Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer as the browser and a PC.  Other browsers, smartphones, and MACs are not as compatible with these programs. Students are responsible for checking their CLC emails for announcements at least three times per week for any news or announcements. Communications must be from a CLC student account to the teacher.



Chapter 1: An Introduction to Sociology Test                                   20 points

Chapter 2: Social Research Test                                                         20 points

Chapter 3: Culture Test                                                                       20 points

Chapter 4: Society and Social Interaction Test                                  20 points

Chapter 5: Socialization \Chapter 16: Education Test                       20 points

Chapter 6: Groups and Organizations\Chapter 8: Media Test           20 points

Chapter 11: Race and Ethnicity\Chapter 12: Gender Test                 20 points

Chapter 21: Social Movements and Social Change                           20 points

Documentary Sociology Homework                                                 40 points


Total Points 200

If a student earns 179-200, the grade earned = A

If a student earns 159-178 points, the grade earned = B

If a student earns 139- 158 points, the grade earned = C

If a student earns 119-138 points, the grade earned = D

If a student earns 0-118 points, the grade earned = F


Academic Honesty

The College of Lake County rules about academic honesty are located at Academic dishonesty results in a failing grade for the assignment and informing the College administration at the teacher’s discretion. If you have any questions as to what constitutes academic dishonesty, please inform the teacher. I am happy to help.  The CLC library also has useful information  Please do not paste from Internet sources without credit.  Resubmission of a paper from a previous class constitutes a form of plagiarism.  Please do not paraphrase or rephrase another source without credit.  Papers must be at least 80% original to the student, with sources used to help define, but not replace, original ideas.

W Grades

The last date to withdraw from the class with a W grade is September 30, 2018. In order to withdraw from Introduction to Sociology after this date, the student must have a current passing grade at the time of the student request.

Students with Special Needs

The College of Lake County expects that students with test taking, note taking, or other special accommodations contact the Office of Students with Disabilities 847-543-2474 or 847-223-0134 TTY. The College of Lake County Counseling Office offers professional counseling for students who are in crisis or are having personal problems. Grayslake Campus (847) 543-2060; Waukegan Campus (847) 543-2186; Vernon Hills Campus (847) 543-6501. There is also 24 hour help at Crisis Care (847) 377-8088


Test Instructions

Many weeks there is a test.  The tests are located in the Tests tab of the class Blackboard website.

Student may access a test only once.  Please do not select the link for the test until you wish to engage the test. Tests are timed.  Students have 40 minutes for each test.  The computer will close a test that runs past the 40 minutes.  When taking the tests, please do not utilize the internet browser back button at any time.  This action locks students out of the test.  Students do not need to save the answer for every question.  However, please select Save and Submit to finish the test.  Then, confirm the submission. If the test is submitted properly, students are able to select Ok to see the grade.


Suggestions for Studying for the Tests

Read each assigned chapter carefully, taking notes on the reading as if this were a traditional classroom.  Read the Thinking Like a Sociologist lecture for that chapter. Each week has a lecture which is located in the Thinking Like a Sociologist tab of our Blackboard class website to learn about how sociologists could apply some of the information from the chapter. Also, each chapter students are emailed a lecture with examples and reminders. Good notes are very important to success.

The etext has optional resources at the end of each chapter. The glossary, chapter summary, and quiz questions are good for helping to prepare for the tests, although they are not required.  Examples, definitions, famous sociologists, and themes are most important to study.

Documentary Sociology Homework Instructions

There are five photographs available in the Documentary Sociology discussion board tab.  Please choose one of these images and think about what sociological theory, vocabulary word, theme, idea, or concern it symbolizes.


Using at least 600 words, please answer these questions and email to the instructor before 11:59PM, Wednesday September 26, 2018.


  • Which image was chosen?
  • What does this image symbolize about sociology specifically? Define the sociological theory, vocabulary word, theme, idea, or concern being discussed.  Please be detailed, teaching the reader what the word or theory means and why it is important.  Write as if the reader has no experience with the word or idea.
  • What about the picture symbolizes this idea? Or, why is the image an example of the sociological word or theory selected?  How does the sociological idea chosen specifically apply to this image?
  • Please email the homework in .doc or .docx Word formats only. Please no Google doc links, Apple extensions, or password files. The professor’s email is


While there is a great deal of freedom with what sociological idea to choose and how it could apply, the Documentary Sociology homework is not about personal opinions or ideas.  Sociology is a science and the definition of the sociological idea and the application to the image should be objective and factual, with supporting evidence to show why conclusions were derived. Try to avoid slogan sociology or common sense, usually media generated, simplistic sociological ideas. Use at least some quotes from the class etext or other scholarly sources to support ideas. All sources, whether directly quoted or paraphrased, should be cited using either MLA or APA formats. If you have questions about how to cite, The Owl at Purdue is a good resource.


Please avoid the use of personalisms when writing.  Personalisms are these words or phrases:

I, I feel, I think, I believe, In my opinion, Personally, Me, My, We, Us, Our, You, Your. Avoiding personalisms helps the writing be more objective.  Use a word processor’s search function as a double check to make certain these words are not present unless they are used with a quotation from another source.  Proper grammar rules apply and the homework should be original by the student.  Try to have a thesis statement or theme to the writing.  Please double space the document for easier reading by this aging professor!


The best homework will be careful with grammar and be objective.  There are sources or references to the etext cited.  The best papers will have specific definitions of the sociological ideas, a discussion of why the idea or theory is important, and an application to the image that includes reasons why the photograph is a symbol or example of the sociological word or theory.


Late Policy

There are no late homework or tests accepted unless there is a serious, unforeseeable, unavoidable, and verifiable emergency which is at the discretion of the teacher to agree qualifies. Technology problems, unless a CLC network problem or community power outages, do not qualify as computers are available at local libraries and at the CLC library for use if needed.  Work conflicts do not apply as all students are busy.  Confusion about due dates and times is also not an accepted reason.  If any of these are possibilities, please consider submitting work before the due date and time to avoid problems.  This policy is created to be fair to all students.  Please be certain to save a copy of the email utilized to submit the paper and confirm that the email was transmitted properly. Please save a copy of that email until a grade is provided.


Thinking Like a Sociologist Lectures

The Thinking Like a Sociologist tab contains online lectures, each corresponding to a week’s readings.  These are meant to help students think about some of the ideas from our chapters.  They usually apply sociology to popular culture examples.  There are test questions about these readings and questions from the emailed lectures.



John Tenuto at 847-543-2537 or anytime. I am available for synchronous communications Mondays and Wednesdays from 12:30PM-1:30PM and Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:30AM until 12:30PM by calling 224-237-4423. This number is only available during those hours. Please do not call that number at other times. If you wish to call at another time, please call 847-543-2537. If I do not answer during these times, I am speaking to another student.  Please leave a message and I will return the call.  Please always feel free to ask questions. I try to answer emails within a day, and many times within a few hours, and that is a great method for communicating questions.  I am happy to help!

Please print the next page schedule and checklist for reference.  Work may be submitted early if a student wishes.


Before 11:59 PM Wednesday August 29, 2018

  • Please familiarize yourself with our online class environment and requirements
  • Please email the professor a greeting
  • Please read Chapter 1: An Introduction to Sociology from our etext
  • Please read the Thinking Like A Sociologist lecture “The Symbols of Superman and Sociological Theory”
  • Please complete the test for Chapter 1


Before 11:59 PM Wednesday September 5, 2018  

  • Please read Chapter 2: Social Research from our etext
  • Please read the Thinking Like A Sociologist lecture “The Amish”
  • Please complete the test for Chapter 2


Before 11:59PM Wednesday September 12, 2018   

  • Please read Chapter 3: Culture from our etext
  • Please read the Thinking Like A Sociologist lecture “The Culture of Nostalgia”
  • Please complete the test for Chapter 3


Before 11:59 PM Wednesday September 19, 2018     

  • Please read Chapter 4: Society and Social Interaction from our etext
  • Please read the Thinking Like A Sociologist lecture “Jar Jar Binks or Jar Jar Thinks”
  • Please complete the test for Chapter 4


Before 11:59 PM Wednesday September 26, 2018  

  • Please read Chapter 5: Socialization and Chapter 16: Education from our etext
  • Please read the Thinking Like A Sociologist lecture “The Socialization of Smallville”
  • Please complete the test for Chapter 5\Chapter 16
  • Please email the Documentary Sociology homework to


Before 11:59 PM Wednesday October 3, 2018  

  • Please read Chapter 6: Groups and Organizations and Chapter 8: Media and Technology from our etext
  • Please read the Thinking Like a Sociologist lecture “The Influence of Science Fiction”
  • Please complete the test for Chapter 6\Chapter 8


Before 11:59 PM Friday October 12, 2018

  • Please note that this week there are two tests to take, one for Chapters 11 and 12, and a second, separate test for Chapter 21
  • Please read Chapter 11: Race and Ethnicity and Chapter 12: Gender from our etext
  • Please read the Thinking Like a Sociologist lecture “The Pedagogy of the Oppressed: Education and Prejudice/ Discrimination”
  • Please complete the test for Chapter 11\12
  • Please read Chapter 21: Social Movements and Social Change
  • Please read the Thinking Like a Sociologist lecture “Academic Cheating”
  • Please complete the test for Chapter 21
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