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

What does it mean to be “modern” or to live in the “developed” part of the world? This course explores the causes, processes, and consequences of social change with an emphasis on the social, economic, political and cultural dimensions of globalization. It surveys the shift from modernization theories to the conceptualization of globalization.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Acquire a basic knowledge of the theories, dimensions, sources and impacts of social change
  2. Use a historical and comparative approach, focusing on national and international social changes to provide insights into the global changes occurring now
  3. Strengthen clear and effective written communication skills
  4. Strengthen critical thinking skills


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 via the sources noted below.

Required Books:

So, Alvin. 1990. Social Change and Development: Modernization, Dependency, and World-System Theories. London: Sage Publications.

McMichael, Philip. 2016. Development and Social Change: A Global Perspective. 6th Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

    Every Wednesday I will be posting an assignment question covering the readings (topics) for that week. The answer/response has to be 400 words or more and is due Saturday midnight (HI time). While you are allowed to ‘chat’ to others about the assignment question, I will not accept identical answers. You will find these assignments in “Tests & Quizzes” in Laulima.

    Midterm Assignment

    At the end of week five, we will have the midterm (see schedule at the end of the syllabus). I will be posting a midterm question covering the readings (topics) for week 5. You can use any material (additional books if you like) to answer the question (with appropriate citations). The midterm answer/response has to be 500 words or more and is due Saturday midnight (HI time). While you are allowed to ‘chat’ to others about the midterm question, I will not accept identical answers.

    Final Exam Assignment

    Our final exam is due on the last day of class. I will be posting a Final Exam question on Monday of the last week covering the readings (topics) for the last week (from the book: McMichael Chapters 10). Again, you can use any additional material to answer the question, but your response needs to demonstrate that the course material has been read. The Final Exam answer/response has to be 750 words or more and is due by Saturday midnight of the last week; HI time). You have to take the final exam to be considered for a final grade.

    For all assignments, please use the Framework for Ethical Decision-Making in order to analyze and deliberate upon contemporary ethical issues discussed in each week.

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 Messages forum. When you click on this link you will see topics for every week of this semester corresponding to your weekly reading assignments.

You need to raise one “critical thinking” question a week, based on the readings. In addition, you have to reply to at least two “critical thinking” questions a week posted by other students. This means you need to participate in the discussion at least three times a week, on at least two different days/dates of the week (In a classroom this would look like this: during a week of class you ask one question and you address two questions raised by your classmates). You need to post your “critical thinking question” by Wednesday (midnight, HI time) of each week in order to give you (and your classmates) enough time and flexibility to address the questions posted by others. All posts must be posted by midnight Saturday (HI time) of that week. If you don’t post during a week you will lose the points for that week. There is no make-up discussion by over-participating the following week since the topic changes every week.

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.

Your original question should be in the 75-word range and your responses to classmates in the 50-word range.

I will provide you with an example in Laulima, of a “critical thinking” question and a few sample “responses” for which you would receive full credit. This will give you an idea about the expected quality of the questions and answers/responses.

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 to first talk to me if you need assistance. Please see me during my virtual office hour (detailed information in the syllabus in Laulima), 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!