Syllabus Sociology B2

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Sociology B2
Syllabus and
Contemporary Social Problems
Class Schedule
R. Maraccini
Social problems affect everyone, irregardless of age, sex, race or economic level. At some
point in our lives societal problems ensnare all of us…(Parillo, V.N.J. and A. Stimson,
Contemporary Social Problems [1985], p. 2).
Course Description
Sociology B2 studies the social problems of modern society, especially in the United States, in an effort
to arrive at alternative methods of identification and measurement of social problems. Problems include
population and the environment, power and the workplace, poverty and social classes, gender inequality,
race and ethnic relations, crime and violence, the family, healthcare, education for the masses, substance
abuse, and sexual behavior. Sociology B2 meets the BC requirements for the associates in Sociology and
the Human Services major, and is transferable to UC, CSU, and most private four year colleges.
Text
Parillo, V.N.J., Contemporary Social Problems, Sixth Edition (Allyn and Bacon, 2005). For those
wishing to save themselves some money, you can order this text through SafariX WebBooks at:
http://www.safarix.com.
Course Objectives
Sociology B2 is a 54 hour long lecture-discussion format course (consult the course description under
The 2004-2005 Bakersfield Catalog, p. 196). Employing a synergistic approach that attempts to maximize
student involvement in the learning process, this course seeks to achieve the following objectives: 1) to help
us probe beyond the stereotypical assumptions about the causes and solutions to social problems; (2) to
facilitate awareness of humans as objects and creators of society and its resulting patterns; (3) to illustrate
the complexity and interrelatedness of social problems; (4) develop familiarity with the theoretical and
methodological issues in sociology; and (5) encourage various solutions to contemporary social problems.
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Reading Assignments and Lectures
Lectures will be based on the material found in assigned chapters from the text. Exam questions will
cover material contained in both the text and lectures. Supplemental material will be brought in as the
instructor deems necessary. The instructor may choose to present material in a manner different from that
found in the text. This is so that you the student may have additional exposure to the different schools of
thought found within contemporary sociology. It is to your advantage to read the material before each class
lecture. This will not only help you to keep on top of the subject matter, but will also enable you to
maximize your participation during class lectures and discussions. I permit taping of my lectures.
Exams
There will be three examinations. Each will contain an in-class as well as a take-home portion. The inclass will be administered at the start of the class period and will consist of a combination of matching, fillin, and multiple choice items. The take-home will consist of an essay and will be given out the week prior
to the in-class portion. It must be done on a word processor, double-spaced, and typed out in either New
York or Times font, preferably either size 12 or 14. The take-home portion will be due at the start of the inclass portion the following week. There will be no exceptions! Each examination is worth 100 points. If
you must miss an exam due to an illness or some other extenuating circumstances, I need at least an
advance 24 hour notice.
The last exam is scheduled for the final night meeting (May 16 th). It will cover the last of the assigned
reading topics. The essay portion will be assigned the week prior to the exam and must be turned in at the
start of class on the night of the final. Cell phones must be turned off during the in-class portion of the
exam so as not to disturb your classmates. The best way to prepare for exams in this course is to: (1) read
all the assigned material ahead of time, (2) attend all classes and take thorough, well-organized notes, and
(3) start studying for the exam a week ahead of time by organizing and consolidating your notes and
handout materials.
Short Paper
A paper based on an electronic search (internet) not to exceed five pages in length about a social
problem of your choice will be required of all students on May 2nd, at the start of class. It should begin with
a clear statement of the problem in the introductory paragraph. In the body of your paper, you need to
address the following issues: (1) the prevalence of the problem, (2) a citation of any current statistics, (3)
the identification of at least a couple of social factors that contribute to the problem, and (4) at least one
solution to the problem. You should use the text in addressing the third and fourth items. The short paper
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must also be typed on word processor, double-spaced, using a New York or Times font, size 12 or 14.
Organization, clarity, quality of writing, and thoughtfulness of content will factor into your final grade. It
will be worth a total of 100 points. The internet source(s) must be included with your paper.
On Feb. 28th, I would like a statement of the problem you are planning to write on. Your statement will
be due at the beginning of class. I will award five points on the basis of the work done to date. These
points will be counted towards your overall grade.
Grading
Course grades will be determined employing the following scale:
350 above = A
300-349 = B
250-299 = C
200-249 = D
Less than 200 = F
Please note: The above grading scale is tentative and subject to any changes that the instructor deems
necessary concerning the quizzes, final, and paper.
Attendance
This class meets every Monday from 6:30-10:10 p.m. Each student is expected to arrange her or his
schedule so that they can attend each class session. If you are hospitalized or ill for any prolonged period of
time, you need to contact me at my office. Any student who has no absences from January 31st on will
receive an extra 15 points for perfect attendance. You must stay the entire session to collect the extra 15
points. So don't ask if you can leave early and still get the points. If you cannot attend a class you may
have a surrogate attend in your place. However, they cannot be a classmate.
This course starts promptly at 6:30 p.m. and ends at 10:10 p.m. Attendance will be taken at the
beginning and near the end of each class. The scheduled breaks for this section: Washington’s Birthday
(February 21st) and the Spring Break (March 21st to 25th).
Withdrawals
The instructor expects the student to officially drop this course. Students are responsible for officially
withdrawing from any classes they no longer wish to attend. Non-attendance does not release students
from this responsibility. Any student who stops attending and failed to officially withdraw will receive a
letter grade based on the total number of points she/he accumulated at the time they stopped attending. The
last day to officially withdraw from this course is April 8th .
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Cheating
Any student caught cheating will automatically receive an "F" for the semester. Consult pages 32-33 of
the 2004-2005 Bakersfield College Catalog for further information concerning academic honesty.
Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities who believe they may need accommodations in this class are encouraged to
contact Disabled Student Programs and Services (Supportive Services) in FACE 16, 395-4334, as soon as
possible to better ensure such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion.
Office
Messages can be left with me at my office at (661) 664-3275. I can also be reached by email at
[email protected] My office fax is (661) 664-2278.
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TENTATIVE READING AND CLASS LECTURE SCHEDULE
Read: Parillo, chapters 1, 2, and 3.
Monday 1/24: Start chapter 1.
Monday 1/31: Finish chapter 1. Start chapter 2.
Monday 2/7: Finish chapter 2. Start chapter 3.
Monday 2/14: Finish chapter 3.
Monday 2/21: Washington’s Birthday (no class).
Exam #1: Monday 2/28. Short paper statement due.
Read: Parillo, chapters 5, 6, 7 (192-196; 201-222), and 8.
Monday 3/7: Start chapter 5.
Monday 314: Finish chapter 5. Start chapter 6.
Monday 3/21: Spring Break (no class).
Monday 3/28: Finish chapter 6. Start chapter 7 (192-196; 201-222).
Monday 4/4: Finish chapter 7.
Exam #2: Monday 4/11.
Read: Parillo, chapters 8, 9, 10, 13, 14 (423-437, 444-449).
Monday 4/11: Start chapter 8.
Monday 4/18: Finish chapters 8 and 9.
Monday 4/25: Start Chapter 10.
Monday 5/2: Finish chapter 10. Finish chapter 13. Short paper due.
Monday 5/2: Do chapter 14 (423-437, 444-449).
Exam #3: Monday 5/16. Enjoy the Summer Break!
The above reading schedule is tentative and subject to any changes deemed necessary by the instructor.
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