Fall 2017 Syllabus

Note: This syllabus has general information for a fast check only (nicely accessible on your mobile phone). Please refer to the full syllabus (.pdf format in Laulima and sent to you via e-mail) for detailed information about all components of the class.

Course Description

This introductory course will give you an understanding of the basic principles of sociology as an academic discipline and provide an analytical perspective of society and everyday life through sociological theories. In this course we will analyze the ways in which people interact and function in groups. It is a practical as well as theoretical study which includes such subjects as culture, values, and norms, social stratification, race and ethnicity, conformity, deviance, urban living, social change, and social movements. By learning how to apply theory to empirical examples you will develop your “sociological imagination”, and cultivate an open perspective in trying to understand your behavior, society, and other cultures. This is a writing intensive course and to promote the learning of course material writing assignments will be assigned throughout the semester. In these assignments you will be able to apply the knowledge you acquire during the course and they will help you polish your critical thinking and writing skills.

Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • Know what sociology is and distinguish it from other social sciences;
  • Be familiar with the main sociological theories,
  • Know the fundamentals of sociology including research, culture, socialization, society, and groups;
  • Know aspects of various sub-disciplines of sociology including collective behavior, sexuality, deviance, social stratification, population/ urbanization, and social institutions; and integrate this knowledge into your own life by recognizing the concepts in it and critically analyzing what we "know" about society.


Instructor Role & Contact Information

I am looking forward to working closely with you this semester, and you can expect me to play an active role in the course. I will post announcements every week, join you in class discussions to help you understand course concepts, answer questions in the discussion forum in Laulima, and provide detailed feedback on discussions and assignments. Laulima and computer questions are best handled by UH Information Technology Services (ITS). For any other questions, please reach out to me if you need help—that’s why I’m here!

All of the readings will be from the required texts and from reading assignments posted on the course website (in "Modules"). Complete all reading assignments for the week prior to the weekly discussions. Books are available via the UH bookstore, or by clicking on the buttons below.

Required Books:

Schaefer, Richard T. “Sociology: A Brief Introduction”, 11th ed. McGraw Hill, 2015 (ISBN 978-0078027109)

Macionis, John J., Nijole V. Benokraitis. 2010. Seeing Ourselves: Classic, Contemporary, and Cross-Cultural Readings in Sociology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2010. (ISBN 978-0-205-73316-3)

  • There will be four writing assignments. See exact due days on the schedule at the end of the syllabus (.pdf format in Laulima)
  • The assignments open at the beginning of the semester and you can turn them in any time before the deadline (schedule yourself accordingly and avoid falling behind)
  • Each of these written assignments must be at least four (4) pages (or 1000 words each)
  • The assignments must be submitted by the due date and late assignments will not be accepted.
  • Each assignment has additional, detailed information
  • There will be 14 quizzes and 1 final exam
  • All quizzes and the final have the same format (multiple choice and/or short answers)
  • Each Friday of the week throughout the semester a quiz opens that covers the respective weekly materials (see syllabus for exact due dates and times). You have all day Friday and Saturday to take the quiz. It is always due by midnight (HI time) on Saturday.
  • In the last week there will be a Final Exam instead of a quiz (same format as quizzes, but more questions and worth more towards the final grade).

This is one of the most important elements of the course. You must participate in the weekly discussion in order to pass this class. In the column on the left side of your screen (in Laulima) you will find the Discussion and Private Message forum. I will post various discussion questions throughout each week and you are expected to enter the discussion at least twice a week. Weekly discussion responses must be posted by midnight Saturday (HI time) of that week. You must post on different days. Multiple postings on the same day will be considered as one posting. If you do not participate you will be losing the points for that week. There is no make-up by ‘over-participating’ the following week. You can earn up to 2% every week for your participation depending on the amount and quality of your postings. See the grading rubric in the syllabus for more information.

It is not considered participating in a discussion when you "just post" comments at the end of the week. A discussion should be an extended, interactive communication between the instructor and all students throughout the week dealing with the particular topic of the week.

Netiquette is a set of guidelines for good behavior in an online environment. It is etiquette for the Internet, and knowing these social rules can help you have a more rewarding semester. The netiquette guidelines discussed here are ones that are especially important in our online classroom.

  • Participate: Participate in the weekly discussion
  • Remember the human: This common Internet mantra means that even though we may not be face to face, there is a real person behind each discussion-board post. Do not write something that you would not feel comfortable saying in a traditional classroom setting. Discuss ideas, not people. In other words, do not attack a classmate for expressing his or her opinion; instead, discuss your position on the ideas that have been presented. Be kind and understanding with your classmates to keep our environment positive and productive.
  • Don’t shout. TYPING IN ALL CAPITALS MEANS YOU ARE SHOUTING AT US! Don’t do it. The same can be said of repeated exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!


Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability is invited to contact me privately. I would be happy to work with you, and the KOKUA Program (Office for Students with Disabilities) to ensure reasonable accommodations in my course. KOKUA can be reached at (808) 956-7511 or (808) 956-7612 (voice/text) in room 013 of the Queen Lili'uokalani Center for Student Services

Academic Integrity

You are expected to understand and comply with the University’s Policy of Academic Integrity. The integrity of a university depends upon academic honesty, which consists of independent learning and research. Academic dishonesty includes cheating and plagiarism. Violations of the Student Conduct Code may result in suspension or expulsion from UH, receiving a failing grade for the course or being referred to the UH Dean of Students for University disciplinary action. If you are unclear on what constitutes cheating or plagiarism please refer to the catalog by visiting Campus Policies.


The following definition of plagiarism comes from the UH-Manoa Student Conduct Code:

Plagiarism includes but is not limited to submitting, in fulfillment of an academic requirement, any work that has been copied in whole or in part from another individual's work without attributing that borrowed portion to the individual; neglecting to identify as a quotation another's idea and particular phrasing that was not assimilated into the student's language and style or paraphrasing a passage so that the reader is misled as to the source; submitting the same written or oral or artistic material in more than one course without obtaining authorization from the instructors involved; or "drylabbing," which includes obtaining and using experimental data and laboratory write-ups from other sections of a course or from previous terms.

University of Hawai`i at Manoa Student Conduct Code (1992), p. 6

It is ultimately each student's responsibility to learn about plagiarism and how to avoid it. Ignorance of the rules, saying "I forgot about that" or "I made a mistake" is not considered a valid excuse when it comes to plagiarism.

It is assumed that students entering this class are able to write college-level essays and possess college-level grammar and punctuation skills. If any aspect of your writing is not yet at this level, it is your responsibility to bridge the gap through the use of helpful, free resources such as the following:

  • I encourage you in this writing-intensive (W) class to first talk to me if you need assistance. Please see me during my virtual office hour, or e-mail me any time you need help.
  • In addition, you might want to take advantage of one-to-one writing assistance available at the Writing Center. Located in Kuykendall 411, the Writing Center offers undergraduate students 30-minute conferences and graduate students 45-minute conferences.
  • You will find a wealth of online resources at Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL).
  • Remember that I will be happy to meet with you during virtual office hours, answer emails, and respond to your concerns in the Discussion Board’s “Lounge” forum if you are having trouble with a reading assignment, a critical-thinking concept, etc.—I'm here to help!