Class Lecture Outlines

CoWeb Site Issues

Survey Questions                                                           
Processing of Downloading Articles

Sociology Cliff Notes 
Sociology Vocabulary 

The AMERICAN Human Experience
Syllabus -
   Fall 2014  


Introduction to Sociology - SOCI-1101H (Honors)  (CRN 21186)  Tue/Thur 4:00-5:15   Rm. CL-4180

Professor: W. Ernie Guyton    Phone: 678-891-3367    Fax: 678-891-3084

Office: CB-2114   Tutoring & Advisement hours:  Mon/Wed 11:30-12:30 & 4:00-5:30; Tues/Thur 10:30-12:30; Fri 11:00-12:30

   E-Mail: (email me only within iCollege)  Class Website:   

CoWeb: special Honors project @ 

iCollege:  for Email, Gradebook and occasional Support Materials @

Textbook: Society: The Basics; 12th Edition;  Author: John Macionis  (the CD attachment "Soci Labs" not required)

Articles: on Reserve in the Library (Circulation Desk) or Online (password given in class & iCollege)  Gil Library


Sociology is the study of human interaction and relationships within American society.  The science focuses on patterns or trends to our thinking and behavior in our society, or as subgroups within the society. We will look at the uniqueness of these patterns in the United States in the context of history and global cultural diversity.  Not only do we want to understand why certain patterns of behavior exist, but look at alternative human strategies around the world. You will soon discover that Sociology is a strategy itself in understanding who we are, and inevitably, who you are as a member of American society.


Semester Schedule of Topics & Readings 


Week 1 - What is Sociology and where does it fit into Higher Education?  It's importance as a discipline.  Overview of this class and the syllabus.  Basic terms surrounding sociological thinking, research, and theory.   The "Big 3" - Schools of Theory for social sciences.  Durkheim; Marx & Weber. 

Chapter 1  (skip pp. 20-23, 26-30)


Week 2 - Culture & Society:  Is "Culture" just in yogurt and high class people?  What do the Social Sciences mean by Culture?  Components of Culture; Cultural Diversity in the world and the U.S.; Cultural Universals; Cultural Humor (99-101);  When to use the terms Subculture, Race & Ethnicity, or Society;   Ethnocentrism & Cultural Relativism.

Chapters 2 (all)


Week 3 – Socialization:  The learning of one's own culture or society.  Who does the socializing?  The Nature vs. Nurture debate. 

A process that goes on throughout one’s whole life course.  Rites of Passage; Looking Glass-Self; Generalized Other;  Dependence vs. Independence Training.  Aging and the Elderly: Concept of retirement; the status of the aged; ageism; family care of elderly.      

Chapter 3 (skip 66-68; Erikson’s 8 stages on 70-71)  Assisting Article: Fountain of Age


Week 4 - Language & Culture:  one of our most important human tools.  The evolution of human language.  What we can learn about a culture from language alone, and how an individual language goes on to shape our perceptions and world view.

Chaps. 2 (only read pp. 41-42);  4 (only read 94,95,98,99)     Assisting Article: Man at the Mercy of Language


Week 5 - Social Interaction and Group Dynamics:  The roles and statuses we play.  Identity of Self; coming into Self through the Group;  Ingroup & Outgroup phenomenon;  Groupthink;  Networking;  Durkheim's Mechanical & Organic Solidarities & Anomie (pp. 421,422,448,450)

Chapters 4 (only pp. 88-93);  5  (only 110-114) 


Week 6 -  *Individualism: an  underpinning issue for American society;  Attribution Theory; Thomas' Theorem (93);  3 types of Rationales;  Rational-Legal Authority (p.318);  Scientific Management/Bureaucracy/McDonaldization of Society; Alienation (pp.195,117,122) & Disenchantment (Marx & Weber)

*Read Article on "Individualism".    Chap 5


Week 7 -  Family & Marriage: a local and global perspective on the diversity of family types, marriages, and kinship patterns.  Divorce in America.  Sexuality; Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality.

Chapters  13 (pp. 340-355);  6 (only pp. 130-132;137-140)


Week 8 - Social Stratification: Class & Caste systems.  Does Meritocracy work?  Revisiting Marx and Weber on the issue.  Social Classes in the U.S. and Social Mobility.  

Chapter 8 (all)


Week 9 - Global Stratification: Global Poverty and Inequality - Modernization & Dependency theories.  Sex and Gender: a world of Patriarchal rule; Women's Inequality;  Gender roles

Chapters 9 & 10 (all)


Week 10 - “Race”: A race to get rid of this term.  The African-American experience & dilemma.   How do you become a "minority"?  Ethnic/Racial Prejudice.  Affirmative Action-pros & cons.     

Chapter 11 (all)

Survey Due – Thursday,  November 20th


Week 11 - Transitions from the Industrial Revolution to the present.  The severe effects Economy has on our society and its social dynamics.  The U.S. economy in a new light; changes in Capitalism and Socialism around the world.  Politics: Power & Authority;  Politics in the U.S.;  Power-Elite Model vs. Pluralist Model.

Chapter 12 (all)


Week 12 - Religion: Important to humans everywhere.  Functions & Dysfunctions of Religion. World Religions; Transitions in religion in the U.S.; Secularism and New Philosophies. 

Chapter 13 (pp. 356-367)


Week 13 -  Population, Cities & Suburbs.  Modern Humans and the Environment - environmental issues and sustainable strategies. 

Chapter   15 (skip 423-425)


Week 14 - Social Change and the Future:  Globalism vs. Separatism;  Cultural Lag;  selective technologies;  Melting-Pot strategy vs. Multiculturalism (pluralism).  The trappings of Modern Life (“Modernity”) in the U.S..  

Chapter 16 (skip 441-445)


Final Quiz & Article Quiz - Tuesday, December 9th  @  4:00-6:00


 Course Requirements and Guidelines


1) Textbook readings from the assigned chapters (or specific pages) in this syllabus.

2) 7 Quizzes will consist of a mixed selection of question types personally created from the topics, terms, and lecture material covered in class.  The textbook, your notes, study guides and articles will be your assistants.  These quizzes make up the majority of points earned.  Though there are no major exams in this class, quizzes will be given in class approximately every 2 weeks. You will be notified as to their dates by the professor in class at least 1 week prior to each quiz.  No make-up quizzes without documentation of serious illness or other incidents/accidents of a serious nature (ex. accident with injury, or death of close family member).  However, the lowest scored quiz will be dropped at the end of the semester, which would include a missed unexcused quiz.  There is no comprehensive final exam.  The instructor is not responsible for missed quizzes or assignments, however, inform me immediately by phone or email if you miss one.  Make-up quizzes will be given immediately following the student’s return to class with adequate documentation. 

3) Read assigned articles on Reserve in the Library (and online).  Seven (7) short articles will be assigned throughout the semester.  You will take an Article Quiz at the end of the semester as a part of your Final Exam (“reading and comprehension” true/false type questions relating to the major points of the each article). 

4)  Graded Commentary – Let’s solve U.S. and World problems together!  Within a special collaborative website (CoWeb), big questions will be asked by the professor for students to tackle (How do we handle immigration? national Health Care? separation of Church & State, strengthen or weaken it?  controls on Capitalism, yes or no?  etc.?).  Students will type in their solutions into the CoWeb website (top of syllabus).    I’ll be looking for your solutions, and the direction American society and/or the U.S. Government could take to address these issues.   Your grading will be based on your quality of thoughts, ideas and research behind your solutions (and thinking sociologically), as well as spelling and grammar.  Further instructions given on the CoWeb site. 

5) I will ask you to perform 1 Sociological Survey.  I’ll give you a set of questions and instructions to get your interview started (link at top of syllabus).  You will turn in your responses and analysis of the survey on the date in the syllabus, approx. 2 pages typed (2 ½ max); spelling & grammar will factor into the grade as well. 

6) Class attention and good notes are crucial to high grades.  So, it stands to reason that absences will usually hurt you in a lecture based class.  7) Absenteeism – Your presence or absence will be recorded every class meeting.  Good attendance will be rewarded with extra points* added to the final quiz.  8) ESL Students - only paperback dictionaries can be used during testing.  9) Cheating will result in expulsion from the class and possibly the college.  10) Late for class or leaving early without prior notice is a sign of disrespect.  If you are more than 10 minutes late do not enter the classroom.

Articles listed in chronological order to be read leading up to an Article Quiz given at end of semester

1)”Tribal Wisdom”     2)”Tyranny of Choice”   3)  “American Individualism”   4) “Answers to Questions about Sexual Orientation”   5)  “Intelligent Design vs. Evolutionary Theory”   6) “The Matter of Race”  7)  “Dutch Treat Themselves w/ Respect”




6 Quizzes @ 30 points each ...............................180

Issues Commentary............................................. 50

1 article quiz….....................…………..…......... 40  

1 Sociological Survey….……………..…..……. 30


Total  ..................................................................300  


*Good Attendance +3,+2,+1


Final Grades: based on a 10% point scale (300>270=A; 269>240=B; 239>210=C; 209>180=D; 179>=F)


Statement of Non-Discrimination:  Georgia Perimeter College supports the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order #11246, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.  No person shall, on the basis of age, race, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation, national origin or disability, be excluded from participation in, or be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity of the college.  Any individual with a grievance related to the enforcement of any of the above provisions should contact the Asst. Director of Human Resources.   (pictures below prove our acceptance of diversity in employment)


           No Smoking:  As of October 1st, 2014, GPC is a smoke-free college.  Smoking, or use of any tobacco products, is prohibited on GPC college campuses.  (except for the hippie guy below)




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                          "Indiana Guyton"        or            "Hippie Professor"                         Sokothai ruins in Thailand                                    Yosemite N.P., CA