Introduction to Sociology—Sociology 101 Dr. Evelyn Florio
Spring 2003 Florence, Italy
Office Hours: to be announced
The purpose of this course is to provide students with an introduction to the field of sociology. Sociology is the scientific study of human society and social interactions. In the course, we will study society using various theoretical perspectives. We will study topics such as deviance, racism, gender, culture, and socialization. We will apply the concepts to the U.S. as well as to Italy. Students will utilize a number of techniques to study sociology in Italy. As a class, we will go on field trips within Florence and the surrounding countryside. Students will also observe life around them and record their responses and analyze from a sociological perspective. Supplemental readings will focus on sociological issues in Italy.
The benefits of taking a Sociology Class while in Florence include:
q First, students will have the opportunity to apply the concepts of Sociology while actually living in another culture
q Second, while both Italy and the U.S. are developed countries, the organization of their social institutions (e.g., family, economy, government, etc.) differs and provides a source of comparison and contrast for the students.
q Third, students will have the opportunity to observe the social customs and norms of another culture first hand. As part of the course work, students will keep a journal of their observations that they will apply in the course.
q Develop a cross-cultural, global understanding of sociological concepts covered in class;
q Appreciate a variety of viewpoints and theories on controversial topics;
q Apply theories to sociological concepts covered in class;
q Place sociological concepts in a historical context to understand what is happening in society today;
q Become aware of the diversity found in the U.S. today and of how diversity makes society strong, but also can be divisive.
Society in Focus, 4th Ed., by Thompson and Hickey
Other assigned readings
COURSE OUTLINE Assignment
· Discovering Sociology Chapter 1
· Doing Sociology (pgs. 27-39) Chapter 2
· Culture Chapter 3
TEST #1 (Chapters 1, 2 and 3 + assigned readings, videos, field trips)
· Socialization Chapter 4
· Society and Social Interaction Chapter 5
· Social Groups and Organizations (pages 137-142) Chapter 6
· Deviance and Conformity Chapter 7
TEST #2 (Chapters 4, 5, 6, 7 + assigned readings, videos, field trips)
· Social Stratification and the U. S. Class System Chapter 8
· Global Stratification Chapter 9
· Race and Ethnicity Chapter 10
TEST #3 (Chapters 8, 9, 10 + assigned readings, videos, field trips)
· Sex and Gender Chapter 11
· Families Chapter 13
· Population, Urbanization and Ecology Chapter 19
TEST #4 (Chapters 11, 13, 19 + assigned readings, videos, field trips)
Tests will be approximately every two weeks and are worth 50 points each. Tests consist of multiple choice and essay/short answer. No make-up tests will be given unless there is a certified emergency (You MUST NOTIFY ME in advance of the test regarding a make-up in these instances.)
TOTAL = 200 points
Students will keep a journal during the quarter in Italy. Each week you will record your responses to that week’s topic. You will need a separate notebook for your journal entries. There is no specific length required for the journal, but you must show understanding of the sociological terms and concepts and include them in your responses. Reflect on what you see, what you hear, how you feel as you interact in daily Italian life. Journals will be graded at midterm and at the end of the quarter.
TOTAL = 100 points
Weekly Discussion Questions
Approximately each week you will participate in a group discussion on the topic covered that week. The discussion topics are designed to enable you to apply the concepts learned that week. You will write up your response to the question and TURN that in on the day of the discussion. You will be graded on your responses AND your participation in the group. To receive the full points, you must hand in a response and be in class for the discussion.
TOTAL = 50 points
Over the course of the quarter, you will develop a response to your experience in Italy. You will present the project to the class at the end of the quarter. The project can be a poem, a slide show, a drawing, an interview, a summary of your journal experiences, photographs, a collage…..the possibilities are open. The intent is to summarize and express what you have learned from a sociological perspective.
TOTAL = 50 points
Field trips are an important and integral part of your studies in this course and the Florence Program. They are required and will be the basis for some of your assignments and will be included in exams. The dates and times of the field trips will be announced and posted in advance. Some of the sites planned for this course may include:
· The Museum of the History of Science
· The Academia
· The Uffizi
· Fiesole Archaeological Site
· Siena and the hill towns of Tuscany
Class Participation and Attendance
The expectation is that you will attend class and participate in class discussions and exercises AND that we will all respect the viewpoints of others. Failure to attend class can have negative consequences for your grade. You are responsible on tests for material covered in class lecture, discussion, videos, as well as the text. Much of what is discussed in class cannot be found in the text. I expect all students to maintain an atmosphere where others can learn. If you are not interested in learning, please do not come to class. Please be on time and DO NOT leave early. It is disruptive to the rest of us (and rude) to arrive after class has begun or to leave before the session has ended. DO NOT visit during class. ATTENDANCE WILL BE TAKEN! If you miss class, it is your responsibility to obtain notes and handouts from a classmate. Three (3) absences are allowed without penalty. More than three absences will lower your final grade. Over five (5) absences may cause a failure (F) in the course
FIELD TRIPS AND ATTENDANCE TOTAL = 50 points
Your class grade is based on the following point distribution:
Tests 200 points
Journal 100 points
Weekly Discussion Questions 50 points
Project 50 points
Attendance 50 points
TOTAL POINTS 450 points
97-100% = 4.0 75-76% = 2.3
95-96% = 3.9 74% = 2.2
94% = 3.8 72-73% = 2.1
93% = 3.7 70-71% = 2.0
92% = 3.6 69% = 1.9
90-91% = 3.5 67-68% = 1.8
89% = 3.4 65-66% = 1.7
88% = 3.3 64% = 1.6
87% = 3.2 63% = 1.5
86% = 3.1 62% = 1.4
85% = 3.0 61% = 1.3
84% = 2.9 60% = 1.2
83% = 2.8 59% = 1.1
81-82% = 2.7 58% = 1.0
80% = 2.6 57% = .9
79% = 2.5 56% = .8
77-78% = 2.4 55% = .7
<55% = 0.0
A NOTE ON CHEATING: Plagiarism and any other form of cheating will NOT be tolerated. Students found to be engaging in these activities will fail the course.
EXAMPLES OF WEEKLY DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Week 1: Overview
Visit a Tabaccheria in your neighborhood. Observe how the Tabaccheria is set up—what products are available there…how is it different than where you would get those products in the U.S.?
Week 2: Culture
Visit a church in your neighborhood. If possible, attend service. Observe the norms, customs, etc.
Week 3: Socialization
Visit three Bars – one in your neighborhood and 2 others. Order a coffee. What norms are evident?
Week 4: Deviance
Observe ads, magazines, billboards, etc. Would what you observe be considered “deviant” in the U.S.? Why or why not? Discuss differences from a sociological perspective.
In your travels over spring break, observe social class differences. Analyze your observations using terms and concepts from the chapter on stratification.
In your travels observe different ethnic/racial groups. Analyze your observations using terms and concepts from the chapter on race.
Observe gender norm expectations among Italians. How do males greet? females? How do they interact in social settings that you have observed? Compare and contrast to gender norm expectations in the U.S.
Week 8: Population
You will be given a population pyramid and an article about birth rates in Italy. You will respond using terms and concepts from Chapter 19.