Spring 2019
Sociology 130
Tuesday/Friday: 12:30pm – 2:20pm

Office: O’Connor 336
Office Hours: Mon/Wed 10:30 – 12:30 or by appointment
Phone: (508) 626-4864
E-mail: isilver@framingham.edu

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

Discussions of social problems are everywhere. They’re mentioned in Instagram and Twitter posts, news reports, and political speeches. We see them dramatized in movies, TV shows, and YouTube videos. Therefore, you come into this course already familiar with many of the issues we will discuss, and they may personally affect you. The course offers fascinating new ways to understand these important topics, exposing you to the hidden stories behind social problems.

READINGS:

Most readings are draft chapters of a book I am writing for this course titled Seeing Social Problems: Exposing the Hidden Stories. All assigned readings are posted below. There is NOTHING you need to buy!

*Please bring assigned readings to class. Either print them or access them electronically in class via your laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

HOMEWORK:

There are 13 written homework assignments throughout the semester that are due on the dates indicated below. For the ones based on chapters from my book, you are to answer any three questions of your choosing from those listed at the end of the chapter.

To be eligible for full credit on each written assignment (3 points), please post before class starts and follow these guidelines:

  • Number your responses.
  • Write one paragraph per response – more is okay.
  • Include details from the chapter. BSing counts for nothing.

GRADING AND EVALUATION:

Your final grade will be based on the following:

40%       Homework assignments
20%       Midterm paper
20%       Final paper
20%       Attendance and participation

ATTENDANCE:

I understand sometimes there are justifiable reasons for missing a class, but if you miss more than two it will start to affect your grade. If you have to be absent, there is no need to give me a doctor’s note. It is your responsibility to catch up on material you missed.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY:

Students should be aware of the University’s policies concerning academic honesty, which are stated in the undergraduate catalog: “Integrity is essential to academic life. Consequently, students who enroll at Framingham State University agree to maintain high standards of academic honesty and scholarly practice. They shall be responsible for familiarizing themselves with the published policies and procedures regarding academic honesty.” Infractions include plagiarism, cheating on exams and quizzes, unauthorized collaboration with other students, and submitting work in more than one course for academic credit without prior approval of the instructor. The FSU Catalog defines plagiarism as “claiming as one’s own work the published or unpublished literal or paraphrased work of another.” Penalties for academic dishonesty may include receiving a failing grade for the course, academic suspension, and dismissal from the University.

NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATION AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY:

By taking this class, you agree to abide by Framingham State University’s policy of non-discrimination and equal opportunity. The University is dedicated to providing educational, working, and living environments that value the diverse backgrounds of all people. The Massachusetts Civil Rights Act (“MCRA,” M.G.L. c. 12, §§ 11H11I11J) protects the rights of all residents of and visitors to Massachusetts to be free from bias-motivated threats, intimidation, and coercion that interfere with their civil rights. The MCRA protects the right to attend school, live peacefully, and enjoy other basic rights.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 22ND

*Course Overview

FRIDAY, JANUARY 25TH

*Read: Opportunity for Few: The Withering of the American Dream

*Homework assignment #1 due on Blackboard

TUESDAY, JANUARY 29TH

No homework!

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 1ST

*Read:  “I Can’t Breathe:” Policing, Race, and Violence

*Homework assignment #2 due on Blackboard

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4TH

*Extra credit opportunity! You may earn up to 5 additional points toward your final grade by attending the lecture at 4:30 in Dwight Performing Arts Center by Crystal Fleming titled “How to Be Less Stupid About Race” and writing an essay about it. See details in email sent 1/29/19.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 5TH

*Read: Crystal Fleming, The Origins of Racial Stupidity

*Homework assignment #3 due on Blackboard
Your post should have two parts:

1. A 1-2 paragraph critique — this is NOT a summary, but a discussion of something you found interesting, important, questionable, or confusing and why.

2. A question you would like to ask Crystal.

Guest: Crystal Fleming, Sociology professor at Stony Brook University

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8TH

No homework!

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12TH

Snow day!

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15TH

*Read: The Color of Drug Abuse: Handcuffs for Some Addicts, Help for Others (LINK ON BLACKBOARD)

*Homework assignment #4 due on Blackboard

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 19TH


No homework!

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22ND

*Read: Fat Chances: Weight Anxiety in a Society that Prizes Thinness (LINK ON BLACKBOARD)

*Homework assignment #5 due on Blackboard

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26TH


No homework!

FRIDAY, MARCH 1ST

*Read: What’s Sex Got to Do with it? Uncovering the Roots of Teenage Pregnancy

*Homework assignment #6 due on Blackboard

TUESDAY, MARCH 5TH

No homework!

FRIDAY, MARCH 8TH

*Read: Everybody’s Doing It: Getting Ahead by Cheating

*Homework assignment #7 due on Blackboard

TUESDAY, MARCH 12TH

No homework!

FRIDAY, MARCH 15TH

*No class

*Midterm paper due via email

*** SPRING BREAK ***

TUESDAY, MARCH 26TH

*Read: Living in Infamy: Mass Shootings as Enduring Expressions of Masculinity

*Homework assignment #8 due on Blackboard

FRIDAY, MARCH 29TH

No homework!

TUESDAY, APRIL 2ND

*Read: #MeToo: Why Gender Violence is Everyone’s Problem

*Homework assignment #9 due on Blackboard

FRIDAY, APRIL 5TH

No homework!

MONDAY, APRIL 8TH

*Extra credit opportunity! You may earn up to 5 additional points toward your final grade by attending the lecture at 5:00 in Dwight Performing Arts Center by Ashley Bendiksen and writing an essay about it.

TUESDAY, APRIL 9TH

*Read: Animals and Us: How Our Treatment of Other Species Reveals Our (In)humanity

*Homework assignment #10 due on Blackboard

FRIDAY, APRIL 12TH

No reading!

TUESDAY, APRIL 16TH

*Read: Stranger Danger: Protecting Kids from Threats Lurking Everywhere

*Homework assignment #11 due on Blackboard

FRIDAY, APRIL 19TH

No reading!

TUESDAY, APRIL 23RD

*Read: Have Kids Gotten Meaner? An Up-close Look at Cyberbullying and Suicide

*Homework assignment #12 due on Blackboard

FRIDAY, APRIL 26TH

No reading!

TUESDAY, APRIL 30TH

*Read:  “You’re Such a Downer:” Living with Mental Illness

*Homework assignment #13 due on Blackboard

FRIDAY, MAY 3RD

No reading!

TUESDAY, MAY 7TH

*Read: Conclusion – Seeing with Eyes Wide Open

FRIDAY, MAY 10TH

Course wrap-up

FRIDAY, MAY 17TH

*Final paper due via email