INTRO TO SOCIOLOGY LN1 - ONLINE MEDIA QUESTIONS
Professor Reymers - Spring 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: reymers@morrisville.edu

Optional Bonus online media assignments will replace a missing or late assigment from earlier in the semester, or in the event all assigmments have been submitted, each bonus assignment will add an additional point to the Online Media grade.


OPTIONAL Online Media B2: Plan B for Civilization

This assignment is optional.

OM10

Watch these videos and answer the following questions (numbers at the end refer to the approximate time in the video when each topic is discussed):

Plan B: Mobilizing to Save Civilization - Part 1 (15 minutes long)

1. What is Lester Brown's message about climate change, according to Matt Damon? (00:30 sec)

2. What is the connection between glaciers high in the Himalayan Mountains and hundreds of millions of people living in the lowlands of India, China, and Bangladesh? (5:00 min)

3. How might China’s rapid industrialization threaten its food supply? (9:00)


Plan B: Mobilizing to Save Civilization - Part 2 (15 minutes long)

4. Why does Lester Brown think climate change will lead to increased violence? (4:00)

5. What types of environmental damage might lead to widespread famines? (08:30)

6. What three specific food products may lead to greater environmental stress? (10:00)

(Optional-continue watching the program)
Plan B: Mobilizing to Save Civilization - Part 3
Plan B: Mobilizing to Save Civilization - Part 4
Plan B: Mobilizing to Save Civilization - Part 5
Plan B: Mobilizing to Save Civilization - Part 6

OPTIONAL BONUS ASSIGNMENT
Due on or before
Friday, May 6

DO NOT send answers in an attachment.

E-mail your completed answers to: reymers@morrisville.edu with SUBJECT LINE: SOCIB2

 

 


OPTIONAL Online Media B1: Overpopulation

OMB1

VIDEO: Watch The Overpopulation Myth (YouTube, ~50min long), featuring Hans Rosling and answer the following questions:

1. When did human population reach 1 billion people? What is it now? (~3 min)

2. What is happening in Bangladesh with respect to the family institution? (~4 min)

3. What has happened with respect to average number of babies in the world in the past 50 years? (~9 min)

4. What has happened in terms of infant mortality (death of children) over the past 200 years? (~19 min)

5. What will the predicted world population be in 2100? (~21 min)

6. How have hospitals in Mozambique changed in the last 30 years? (~30 min)

7. What is the difference in income from the poorest to richest among the world population? (~36 min)

8. What percent of adults in the world today are literate? (~43 min)

9. In terms of the proportion of the world in extreme poverty, how has world income distribution changed in the last 50 years? (~ 46 min)

10. What is the energy-related problem with ending the world's extreme poverty? (~52 min)

OPTIONAL BONUS ASSIGNMENT
Due on or before
Friday, April 29

DO NOT send answers in an attachment.

E-mail your completed answers to: reymers@morrisville.edu with SUBJECT LINE: SOCIB1

 

 


Online Media SOCI10: Global Inequality

OM9

Watch The Rich, the Poor, and the Trash (DW Documentary, 2018, 30 min) and answer the following questions.

1. Where does the documentary take place and who is being featured at the opening of the video?

2. What are some of the causes of inequality, according to economist Kate Raworth, and what is the result?

3. What are the income and social benefits available to the average Kenyan in Nairobi?

4. Explain the following quote: "The world is more unequal than any one nation is within it" (Raworth 2018).

5. How were homeless man Pierre Simmons' recycled cans used by the New York City wealthy (and how did he feel about it)?

6. What does Pierre Simmons think are the solutions to inequality in America?

Due on or before
Friday, April 22

DO NOT send answers in an attachment.

E-mail your completed answers to: reymers@morrisville.edu with SUBJECT LINE: SOCI10

 

Online Media 9: Race and Protest

Protests

Watch this 15-minute videoand take notes, then respond to the questions below for this week's online media.

Race is a hard topic to talk about in the U.S. because it has such a long and contentious history. The country was founded at the height of the period of global colonialism, where European powers were competing to "take over the world." It was a time prior to industrialization, so labor was done primarily on the backs of animals and humans (not machines, as we live now). And ideas about other cultures were hardly sensitive, often demonizing and dehumanizing those who did not look, act, or conform to the colonizers standards, those typically of European cultural descent. This led to immoral and highly questionable practices like slavery and indentured servitude (a practice that has repeated itself endlessly throughout human history since the Agricultural revolution). There were those who fought against these practices at the time -- the Abolition Movement -- and there has always been racial strife regarding the systematic way African Americans have been disenfranchised from representation in our American democracy. Every few decades this animosity boils up to the surface and reignites tensions. The last such period was the late 1960s when race riots broke out in many American cities. Fifty years later we saw it happen again in America 2020.

This week, we will focus on the current protests and riots as related to social stratification (the separation of people in a society by standards). How can we best explain and understand the history-making events from the summer of 2020? There is typically a focus on the disorder and anarchy related to the protests, and riots often are seen as something remarkably deviant, abnormal, irrational, and just plain bad. (But remember what we said about deviance, that sometimes it is positive, despite being seen as bad by some). And, certainly, the innocents who are caught in the midst of it, who may lose life or property, are tragic victims who require restitution and justice as well.

But can we see all protest as "bad" behavior on the part of irrational and self-interested individuals? How can a riot be seen as a more complicated phenomenon than just a few "bad apples"? Watch this 15-minute video and take notes, then respond to the questions below in your discussion this week.

After watching this video, discuss your take on "law and order" with respect to crowd behavior:

1. What is the difference between the conciliatory and the repressive response of police toward protesting crowds?

2. What is the role of trust and respect in relation to compliance with the law?

3. What is the role of fear in the same (how does "suppression beget aggression")?

4. What is looting really about?

5. How does "order" become a fluid concept?

6. Are there proper and improper uses of police action when it comes to dealing with a protest?

7. How does this relate to the political life of the country at the moment, after an insurrection at the Capitol building on January 6th?

Due on or before
Friday, April 15

DO NOT send answers in an attachment.

E-mail your completed answers to: reymers@morrisville.edu with SUBJECT LINE: SOCI9

 


Online Media 8: Deviance & Social Control

Deviance video

Watch this video about the sociology of deviance and then answer the following questions:

1. What is a definition of deviance from the video?

2. What is the difference between informal and formal deviance? Give an example of each.

3. Summarize the functionalist perspective on deviance.

4. Summarize the conflict perspective on deviance.

5. Summarize the interactionist perspective on deviance.

6. What are the four primary reasons why we put criminals behind bars? Briefly define each reason.

7. How does having a criminal record affect someone, even after they have "paid their dues"?

8. What is plea bargaining and in what way does it disadvantage the poor?

Due on or before
Friday, April 8

DO NOT send answers in an attachment.

E-mail your completed answers to: reymers@morrisville.edu with SUBJECT LINE: SOCI8

 


Online Media 7: 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?


Due on or before
Friday, Mar 25

DO NOT send answers in an attachment.

E-mail your completed answers to: reymers@morrisville.edu with SUBJECT LINE: SOCI7

 


Online Media SOCI6: Three Perspectives

Review the textbook reading for chapter 4.2, regarding the three sociological perspectives, then complete the assignment.

Read Three Sociological Perspectives, by Paul Colomy, and answer the following questions:

1) Which sociological perspective(s) would be called “macrosociological” and why?

2) If a sociologist suggests that “juvenile courts were created by social elites to control the threat of crime from poor immigrants,” she would likely be coming from which perspective and why?

3) What perspective would be embraced if a sociologist wanted to study the “different meanings that body piercing has for adolescents and for parents” and why?

4) What are the main terms you can identify that belong to each of the three theoretical perspectives? Make a list of each.


Due on or before
Friday, Mar 11

DO NOT send answers in an attachment.

E-mail your completed answers to: reymers@morrisville.edu with SUBJECT LINE: SOCI6


Online Media SOCI5: Learning Social Roles

OM4

Answer these questions regarding the next media assignment, Learning the Student Role: Kindergarten as Academic Boot Camp, a reading by Harry L. Gracey:

1. What does the author, Gracey, mean by his title: "kindergarten as academic boot camp?" What are the simkilariies to a boot camp from a sociological perspective?

2. What are the similarities between the student role in kindergarten and the student role in high school and college? What are the differences?

3. Describe the main learning objective of the students in this school which claims to want to enhance their ability to "live with others in a small society."

4. According to Gracey, what do we do within the space of rigid rules and routines created for us by authorities?

Due on or before
Friday, Mar 4

DO NOT send answers in an attachment.

E-mail your completed answers to: reymers@morrisville.edu with SUBJECT LINE: SOCI5

 

 


Online Media SOCI4: The Elements of Culture

OM4

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, Feb 18 5pm

DO NOT send answers in an attachment.

E-mail your completed answers to: reymers@morrisville.edu with SUBJECT LINE: SOCI4

 

 


Online Media SOCI3: The Baloney Detection Toolkit

Carl Sagan

One of the chief thinking tools of science is reason. Reason relies upon an understanding of logic, a way of thinking that is enhanced by understanding the problems of logic and how to solve them. Famous scientist Carl Sagan wrote a book (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark) in which he provides nine tools for thinking about and solving logical problems. He calls this process "Baloney Detection" (we might more accurately call it "bullshit detection" today).

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.
2. What is tool #2 in the baloney detection kit? Explain it's purpose.
3. What is tool #3 in the baloney detection kit? Explain it's purpose.
4. What is tool #4 in the baloney detection kit? Explain it's purpose.
5. What is tool #5 in the baloney detection kit? Explain it's purpose.
6. What is tool #6 in the baloney detection kit? Explain it's purpose.
7. What is tool #7 in the baloney detection kit? Explain it's purpose.
8. What is tool #8 in the baloney detection kit? Explain it's purpose.
9. What is tool #9 in the baloney detection kit? Explain it's purpose.

Due on or before
Friday, Feb 11 5pm

DO NOT send answers in an attachment.

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

 

 


Online Media SOCI2: 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?

Due on or before
Friday, Feb 4 5pm

DO NOT send as attachment.

E-mail your completed answers to: reymers@morrisville.edu 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?

 

* 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. Keep the Word/Google doc all semester so that you can go back and make corrections if needed, and so you can review your answers en masse before exams.


 

 

 

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