INTRO TO SOCIOLOGY - ONLINE MEDIA QUESTIONS
Professor Reymers - Fall 2021

From the syllabus:
Most weeks, an online media assignment will be posted on the course website and you must send your individual responses to questions regarding the assignment directly to the professor by email. Emailed answers should not be attachments and should have the proper subject heading of the week. Questions regarding online media will be based on the supplemental information from the website (they are “open book” questions). Online media are due Friday at 5pm (see the course schedule), unless otherwise indicated. They CANNOT be made up after the due date; there are no exceptions to this rule. They will be graded on a pass/fail (1/0) basis, and you are likely not to receive feedback to your email. Your lowest online media grade will be dropped at the end of the semester.

All assignments should be e-mailed each week by 5pm Friday to: reymers@morrisville.edu


Online Media 4: The Culture of Fear

"Fear is the mind killer." - Frank Herbert, Dune

Read "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). Then send your answers by email to your professor (see below).

OM3a QUESTIONS on READING:

1. What is the authors argument about how sociologists have dealt with the cultural study of fear in the past and the present?

2. What does sociologist Ann Swidler mean by saying "in the very act of using culture, people ‘learn how to be, or become, particular kinds of persons’"?

3. What does the author mean by saying that "fear today has a free-floating and raw dynamic"?

4. How can this theory of a "culture of fear" apply to our current society? Find an example in current events that relates.


OM3b QUESTIONS on VIDEO:

5. What are the social institutions and forces that promote a "culture of fear" in our society?

6. What are the problems related to promoting a culture of fear and mistrust in children?

7. Using the same logic as the video narrator (Barry Glassner), discuss how fear leads to a mistrust in social and political institutions in America today.


Due on or before Friday, 9/17 at 5pm.

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

 


Online Media 3: Is Your Mind a Master or a Slave?

After Skool

Watch this video featuring a commencement speech from writer David Foster Wallace and
animated by the After Skool team, titled "Is Your Mind a Master or a Slave?" and answer the following questions:

1. What is the point of the fish parable?

2. What does David Foster Wallace mean when he says that the liberal arts education "teaches you how to think?"

3. What example does he give of the total wrongness of something he feels absolutely sure about (our "default setting")?

4. What are some examples of DIFFERENT ways of thinking that we could choose?

5. What is the only thing that is Capital-T "True", according to the speaker, Wallace?

6. What does Wallace mean by saying "In the trenches of day-to-day life, there is actually no such thing as atheism (not worshipping)"?

7. What will happen if you worship money, looks, power, or your intellect (the "default settings")?

8. What is the really important kind of freedom created by being educated and understanding how to think?

BONUS: How does this discussion relate to the S.O.C.I. mnemonic we discussed in class?

Due on or before
Friday, Sept 10 5pm

DO NOT send as attachment.

E-mail your completed answers to: reymers@morrisville.edu with SUBJECT LINE: SOCI3

 

 

 


 

Online Media 2: The Baloney Detection Kit

Carl Sagan

Watch this video about "The Fine Art of Baloney Detection" (by Carl Sagan) and answer the following questions:

1. What is tool #1 in the baloney detection kit? Explain it's purpose in reasoning and give an example.
2. What is tool #2 in the baloney detection kit? Explain it's purpose and give an example.
3. What is tool #3 in the baloney detection kit? Explain it's purpose and give an example.
4. What is tool #4 in the baloney detection kit? Explain it's purpose and give an example.
5. What is tool #5 in the baloney detection kit? Explain it's purpose and give an example.
6. What is tool #6 in the baloney detection kit? Explain it's purpose and give an example.
7. What is tool #7 in the baloney detection kit? Explain it's purpose and give an example.
8. What is tool #8 in the baloney detection kit? Explain it's purpose and give an example.
9. What is tool #9 in the baloney detection kit? Explain it's purpose and give an example.
10. Write about an example in your own life that you can use to describe how you have applied one of the principles above to avoid "baloney".

Due on or before
Friday, Sept 3 5pm

DO NOT send as attachment.

E-mail your completed answers to: reymers@morrisville.edu with SUBJECT LINE: SOCI2

 

 


 

Online Media SOCI1: The Sociological Imagination

Sociological Imagination

Watch this video about the "sociological imagination" and read these excerpts from C. Wright Mills' original article "The Promise of Sociology," then discuss the questions below in an email to your Professor.

1. What is another personal trouble (other than obesity, as described in the video) that has social factors that contribute?

2. How do social structures contribute to social problems?

3. How does using the sociological imagination help us examine human behavior?

Due on or before Friday, August 27 at 5pm. Late assignments will not be accepted.

DO NOT send your answers as an email attachment.
(I recommend copying and pasting the questions into a document (Word, Google, Notepad, etc.) and then answering the questions as you watch; then copy and paste your answers in an email to me).

E-mail your completed answers directly to: reymers@morrisville.edu with the SUBJECT line to read: 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