INTRO TO SOCIOLOGY - ONLINE MEDIA QUESTIONS
Professor Reymers - Fall 2018

All assignments should be e-mailed to: reymers@morrisville.edu


Online Media 9:
Global Empathy

OM9

Watch this 2010 TEDx video of U. Penn sociologist Sam Richards discussing A Radical Experiment in Empathy (18 minutes)

1. According to Sam Richards, with what concept does one start to understand sociology?

2. Discuss the idea of "stepping into someone else's shoes."

3. To what war does Richards refer in crafting his analogy of China occupying the United States to secure its coal interests?

4. What resource does Richards focus upon in our global interests?

5. What percentage of the world's military spending does the United States spend?

6. How many civilian deaths have occurred in relation to the war?

7. How does religion figure in both personal views and in the international relations between societies?

8. What different perspectives can be taken regarding the photo of the woman holding the flag?

9. Copy and explain the Dostoevsky quote about "understanding."


E-mail
your completed assignment to: reymers@morrisville.edu, with the SUBJECT line to read: SOCI9

Due on or before Friday, 11/16 at 5pm

 


Online Media 8: #metoo

OM8

Read The Global Subordination of Women, by Cynthia Fuchs Epstein as written in the American Sociological Review (2007), and answer the following questions:

1. What are some global examples of how women are unfairly treated?

2. How does religion contribute to the global subordination of women?

3. How does biology contribute to the global subordination of women?

4. What social mechanisms and structures create "otherness" and preserve the superiority of men?'

E-mail your completed assignment to: reymers@morrisville.edu, with the SUBJECT line to read: SOCI8

Due on or before Friday, 11/9 at 5pm

 


Online Media SOCI7: Crime and Social Status

OM7

Watch Crash Course Sociology, Episode #20, Crime, and answer the following questions as you watch:

1. Using the raw numbers from 2017, explain why they aren't useful and why we should use the rate of violent crimes. Then compare this rate to the 1991 rates and draw the logical conclusion.

2. Who is more likely to be arrested for a crime and why?

3. In what way(s) is race a factor in crime rates?

4. What are the three parts of the criminal justice system in the U.S.?

5. What are the problems with the bail system in the U.S.?

6. What is a plea bargain and how are the incentives for taking one unbalanced?

7. What is mass incarceration and why/how has it developed over the past 40 years?

8. What are the approaches to and reasons for punishment of convicted felons?

E-mail your completed assignment to: reymers@morrisville.edu, with the SUBJECT line to read: SOCI7

Due on or before Friday, 10/26 at 5pm


Online Media 6:
Social Networks

OM6

Watch this video
(46 minutes) and answer the following questions:

1. What is the meaning of the term "six degrees of separation"?

2. Why were Cornell researchers Strogatz and Watts studying crickets?

3. What is the paradox of "small world problem" and how is it solved?

4. How was actor Kevin Bacon used to study the six degrees of separation?

5. What is a network hub?

6. What are some other examples of small world networks?

7. Who are society's "hubs"?

8. How can the reality of social networks lead to negative outcomes?

9. How can our undertstanding of networks help to ward off these problems?

10. How many of the forty packages made it back to Marc Vidal in Boston and how many connections did they take to get there?

E-mail your completed assignment to: reymers@morrisville.edu, with the SUBJECT line to read: SOCI6

Due on or before Friday, 10/19 at 5pm

 


Online Media 5:
Socialization and the Self

OM5

Answer the following questions about Online Media 5, George Mead's "I" & "Me":

1. Briefly describe the background of sociologist George Herbert Mead. When was he publishing his ideas? At what universities did he teach and write? Who was a close intellectual ally? Include any other information you think is relevant.

2. What was Mead's evolutionary thinking about the development of the human mind and sense of self?

3. Define the "Me" and the "I". How does the existence of this "dual nature of our own selfhood" define our social existence? What implications does this have for "meaning" and "perspective-taking"? What does the author mean by the term "theory of mind"?

4. Give a unique example from your own life of a specific social situation in which you express both an "I" and "Me" sense of self. For example, when two people shake hands, they create a meaningful social situation (a greeting) as one person takes the initiative (an expression of the "I", or willful, self) and the other responds, recognizing herself as the object of intent in the process of the greeting, and then enabling her own "I"-ness to literally reach out with her hand and complete the social transaction, to the gratification of the first person.

 

Due on or before Friday, 10/5 at 5pm. Late online media assignments are not accepted.

DO NOT send as attachment. E-mail your completed answers to: reymers@morrisville.edu, with
SUBJECT LINE: SOCI5

(Note: for regular correspondence, do not use the above link; if you do, be sure to remove the automatic subject line heading "SOCI#", as these emails get automatically filed in a folder other than my inbox).

 


 

Online Media 4:
Social Interaction and Performance

OM4

Watch this Crash Course in Sociology video on Social Interaction and Performance (YouTube, 2017, 11:38) and answer the following questions below.

1. How are social interaction and social structure defined?

2. What is social status? Include the difference between ascribed and achieved status. Give three examples from your life.

3. What is a social role and how does it differ from a status?

4. What is the "Thomas Theorem?"

5. What is "impression management" and what are "sign vehicles"?

6. What's the difference between "front stage" and "back stage" performances?

Due on or before Friday, Sept 21 at 5pm. Late online media assignments are not accepted.

DO NOT send as attachment. E-mail your completed answers to: reymers@morrisville.edu, with
SUBJECT LINE: SOCI4

(Note: for regular correspondence, do not use the above link; if you do, be sure to remove the automatic subject line heading "SOCI#", as these emails get automatically filed in a folder other than my inbox).

 


Online Media 3:
Asking Essential Questions

OM3

Read the short pamphlet "A Mini-Guide to Essential Questions" and answer the following analytical questions about analytical questioning.

1. What is Category 5 in the Universal Structures of Thought diagram?

2. Give an example of a question that you might have about the social world, then come up with a list of at least 3 prior questions.

3. Sociology sits in the diagram of domains of questions by discipline immediately between what two other disiplines?

4. According to the authors of the pamphlet, what two types of problems are there?

5. Explain why clarity and precision are important in formulating good analytical questions.

6. What four types of knowledge can you lean upon to enhance disciplined thinking and good question formulation?

 

Due on or before Friday, Sept 14 at 5pm. Late online media assignments are not accepted.

DO NOT send as attachment. E-mail your completed answers to: reymers@morrisville.edu, with
SUBJECT LINE: SOCI3

 


Online Media 2: Science vs. Common Sense

OM2

Watch this video about "common sense" and why it is a problem for sociological thinking. Duncan Watts, TEDx Dec 1 2011 (YouTube 15 min). Then send your answers by email to your professor (see below).

1. What is "The Puzzle" that sociologist Duncan Watts is investigating in his presentation?

2. How does Watts define "common sense"?

3. What is the "The Problem" of common sense?

4. How is the "problem of obviousness" related to determinism?

5. What do we do with "stories"?

6. Mark Twain said: "History never repeats itself, but it often rhymes." How would you interpret this proverb and what part of Watts' presentation relates to it?

7. What's the solution to large-scale social problems?

8. What is the tool invented in the recent past that has helped sociology the most (the "telescope" of sociology)?

Due on or before Friday, Sept 7 at 5pm. Late online media assignments are not accepted.

DO NOT send as attachment. E-mail your completed answers to: reymers@morrisville.edu, with
SUBJECT LINE: SOCI2

 

(Note: for regular correspondence, do not use the above link; if you do, be sure to remove the automatic subject line heading "SOCI#", as these emails get automatically filed in a folder other than my inbox).

 

 


Online Media 1: What Is Sociology?

OM1

Watch the video Crash Course in Sociology #1, What is Sociology? and answer the following questions as you watch (use "pause" and "rewind" frequently to recall the answers):

1. Who and from where is a significant founder of the ideas of sociology?

2. How is musical taste an aspect of society?

3. What are the two parts of the sociological perspective? Explain.

4. Why is understanding social location important? Give an example related to your life.

5. What different kinds of power and inequality exist?

Due on or before Friday, August 31 at 5pm. Late online media assignments are not accepted.

DO NOT send as attachment. E-mail your completed answers to: reymers@morrisville.edu, with
SUBJECT LINE: SOCI1

 

 

Administrative Note: I will give you 3 chances to get the subject heading correct in your online media emails to me. For example, when you sent the first online media assignment, you should have used a subject heading in the email of "SOCI1." If you wrote something else (like, for instance, "Online Media Questions 1" or "soci 1 hw" or "from Joe Student"), or if you have included your assignment as an attachment, you have not paid attention to the details of the assignment instructions (details which make it crucially easier for me to organize your responses and read what you have written). You can do this three times without penalty, but a fourth instance of not paying attention to the details will result in a 1-point reduction from your Online Media grade. For the vast majority who are doing it right, thank you for paying attention to the details! - Regards, Prof Reymers

 

 

 

 

Tips on Preparing for Exams

A. Do not wait until the night before an exam to study! Of course, you should be regularly reviewing your notes, but the preparation still takes time.

B. A good first step in preparation is to read through your notes a couple of times. While you are doing this, you might also

1. Highlight major topics and subtopics, with the goal of generating an outline of your notes. Even if you take your notes in outline form, this is a good practice. Major topics often extend through more than one day's lecture, and it is easy to lose track of the overall picture from day to day.

2. With a second color, highlight all vocabulary terms.

C. Outline the entire set of notes. When you study a large body of information, you should study from concept to detail, not the other way around. It will, in fact, be much easier to learn the details if you take the time to learn the concept and theory first. The least efficient approach to studying is to attempt to memorize your notes from beginning to end. It's not the words which are important--it's the ideas.

D. Consider ways of dealing with the information other than those used in class. the more ways you can manipulate and experience the material you are trying to learn, the more secure your understanding and memory will be. Some suggestions:

1. Make charts, diagrams and graphs.
2. Make lists.
3. If the subject matter includes structures, practice drawing those structures. Remember that a drawing is useless unless the important structures are labeled.

E. There are almost always types of information which you will have to memorize (eg. vocabulary). No one has ever invented a better device for memorizing than flash cards.

F. One of the most universally effective ways to polish off your study activities is to prepare a self test.

1. Challenge yourself as severely as you can.
2. As you are studying, keep a running collection of "exam questions." If you seriously attempt to write difficult and meaningful questions, by the time you finish you will have created a formidable exam. When you begin to feel you're ready for your instructor's exam, take out your questions and see if you can answer them. If you can't, you may need to go back and reinforce some of the things your are trying to learn.

G. Never, ever pull an "All-Nighter" on the night before an exam. This is a "freshman trick," meaning that good students learn very quickly that it is futile. What you may gain from extra study time won't compensate for the loss of alertness and ability to concentrate due to lack of sleep.

H. On exam day:

1. Try not to "cram" during every spare moment before an exam. this only increases the feeling of desperation which leads to panic, and then to test anxiety. You may find it useful, on the night before an exam, to jot down a few ideas or facts which you wish to have fresh in your mind when you begin the exam. Read through your list a couple of times when you get up in the morning and/or just before you take the exam, then put it away. This kind of memory reinforcement not only improves your performance on the test, it also improves your long-term memory of the material.
2. Be physically prepared.

a. Get a good night's sleep.
b. Bring necessary writing materials to the test--at least 2 writing tools, erasers, blue books if necessary, calculators if appropriate and allowed. Be aware of what the instructor has specified as permitted for use. Some instructors object to exams written pencil; some prohibit use of tools like calculators. It is your responsibility to know these requirements; you should be prepared to take the consequences if you don't.
c. This may seem silly, but go to the bathroom just before the exam. Don't expect your teacher to let you leave to do this during the test! The tension which generally goes along with taking an exam may increase the need to perform this physical activity, so you may need to go, even though you don't particularly feel like it.

 

adapted from: http://www.cod.edu/people/faculty/fancher/study.htm