Professor Reymers - Fall 2022

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:

Online Media SOCI6: Teaching the Self


Watch this After Skool video featuring the ideas of Alan Watts on the egoistic self as a social construction, then answer these questions:

1. What do you think Watts means by "real silence"?

2. Explain what Watts meant by the statement "Money represents wealth in exactly the same way that the menu represents the meal."

3. Are you the same as your personality, or ego? Is ego-consciousness the only way to think of the self?

4. What is the meaning of life, according to Watts? What do you think he means by that final quote?

Due on or before Friday, 10/7 at 5pm.

DO NOT send as an attachment. E-mail your completed assignment to, with the SUBJECT line to read: SOCI6



Online Media 5: Social Interaction and Performance


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, 9/30 at 5pm.

DO NOT send as an attachment. E-mail your completed answers to:, with the SUBJECT line to read: SOCI5.

Online Media SOCI4: The Elements of Culture


Watch this video about the elements of culture--symbols, language, norms and values, and artifacts--that sahape our ways of life in socieities around the world.

1. What is the difference between material culture and non-material culture? Give an example of each that is NOT found in the video.

2. How is language more than just the words people speak? Define and mention the "Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis" in your answer.

3. Define the difference and similarity between Values and Beliefs. Give an example of a Value you hold and a Belief that is founded upon that value.

4. What is the difference between "folkways," "mores," and "taboos"? What is the result of violating a "folkway"? A "more"? Give an example of an American taboo.

5. How do we evaluate whether values and norms are "good" or "bad" if we are caught up in the culture we belong to? In your opinion, is it possible to be unbiased and objective in evaluating these moral distinctions about cultural norms and values?

Due on or before
Friday, Sept 16 5pm

DO NOT send answers in an attachment.

E-mail your completed answers to: with SUBJECT LINE: SOCI4


Online Media Week 3:
Introduction to Critical Thinking


Watch this video featuring Professor Geoff Pynn of Northern Illinois University titled "Introduction to Critical Thinking" and answer the following questions:

1. What is critical thinking?

2. There are good and bad reasons for believing something. Is this a moral judgement? Explain.

3. What is an argument? 

4. What are the parts of an argument and how do they relate?

5. What is a deductive argument?

6. What is an ampliative argument?

7. Are ampliative arguments necessarily bad arguments? 

Due on or before
Friday, Sept 9 5pm

DO NOT send as attachment.

E-mail your completed answers to: with SUBJECT LINE: SOCI3


Online Media Week 2:
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 2 5pm

DO NOT send as attachment.

E-mail your completed answers to: with SUBJECT LINE: SOCI2



Online Media SOCI 1: 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, Jan 28 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 and read; then copy and paste your answers in an email to me).

E-mail your completed answers directly to: 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