Introduction to Sociology - Shannon 102 - Fall 2019

Syllabus | Schedule | Online Media | Notes | Research | Grades

Week 8. Social Groups and Conformity

Fall Break 1: Oct 14, 15
"Indigenous People's Day" (in over 100 cities)

"Relax, Recharge and Reflect. Sometimes it’s OK to do nothing."  ― Izey Victoria Odiase
   Online Media 6
Fri Oct 18 by 5pm

Sociology Quote of the Week:

Fall Break 1: Oct 14, 15
"Indigenous People's Day" (in over 100 cities)

"Relax, Recharge and Reflect. Sometimes it’s OK to do nothing."  ― Izey Victoria Odiase

Textbook Formats:
1) Read Online -
2) Download the PDF version (free)
3) or, purchase a print copy on (~$30)

Go for the Golden Points!

Online Media 6:
Social Networks

6 Degrees

Watch this video on the "Six Degrees of Separation"
(46 minutes, Top Documentary Videos, 2009) 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:, with the SUBJECT line to read: SOCI6

Due on or before Friday, 10/18 at 5pm

(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).


More info on the online media assignments:

Each week, except exam weeks (see the course schedule) you will be reponsible for completing and submitting by email a weekly online activity. This may entail doing a reading or watching a video made available online, or performing some other kind of activity. Instructions will be posted weekly right here on the webpage by Monday and will be due (by email) on Friday at 5pm of each week. You should e-mail your completed assignment to, with the subject heading of "SOCI#" (with "#" being the number of that week's online activity, as noted above).

Further Note: I will give you 3 chances to get the subject heading correct and to not include attachments in your online media emails to me.

For example, when you send the first online media assignment, you should use a subject heading in the email of "SOCI#", where "#" means the number of the specific assignment of the week. If you write something else (like, for instance, "Online Media Questions 1" or "soc 4 hw"), or if you include 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 and each further instance of not paying attention to the details will result in a 1-point reduction from your Online Media grade. For the vast majority of you who are doing it right, thank you for paying attention to the details!

- Regards, Prof Reymers


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6 Degrees Online Media 6:
Six Degrees of Separation
(2009, Top Documentary Videos, 46 minutes)

Online Media 5:
George Mead's "I" & "Me"
, from Research Starter by Sharon Link (2005)


Online Media 4:
Watch this Crash Course in Sociology video on Social Interaction and Performance
(YouTube, 2017, 11:38)

OM3a &OM3b Online Media 3:
"The Culture of Fear" by Frank Furedi (Spiked, 2007) and Watch the Interview with the author of the book The Culture of Fear, Barry Glassner (YouTube, 9 min).
OM2 Online Media 2:
Watch this video
about "common sense" and why it is a problem for sociological thinking. Duncan Watts, TEDx Dec 1 2011 (YouTube 15 min).
Sociological Imagination

Online Media 1:
Watch this video about the "sociological imagination" and read these excerpts from C. Wright Mills' before discussing your answers to the questions (left, available in Week 1) in an email to Professor Reymers (follow instructions CAREFULLY).
Due Friday Aug 30th



Know Yourself - and find
your passion! like this guy:

Dub FX - "Made"



Recommended Reading:
Careers in Sociology


Topic: Individual and Society

Topic: Values and Culture

Topic: Socialization

FAÇADE v. REALITY         
Topic: Social Construction

Topic: Social Groups & Conformity

NORM v. ANOMIE          
Topic: Deviance & Crime/War

Topic: U.S. Social Classes

MATH v. HUMANITY        
Topic: Human Population

MAN v. NATURE         
Topic: Environment and Society

Introduction to Sociology - Shannon 102 | Fall 2019 | Prof. Kurt Reymers