SYG2000: Principles of Sociology


Summer 2016

Class: M-F 12:30-1:45 p.m. in Pugh 170






Monika Ardelt, Ph.D.

Kim Wingard, MA


3350 Turlington

3333 Turlington



205 613-3054


Office Hours:

Tuesday and Thursday 1:55-2:45 p.m. and by appointment

Monday and Tuesday from 2-4 p.m. and by appointment




Course Content


It can be said that the first wisdom of sociology is this: things are not what they seem. This too is a deceptively simple statement. It ceases to be simple after a while. Social reality turns out to have many layers of meaning. The discovery of each new layer changes the perception of the whole.

(Peter Berger, 1963)


My goal in this course is to help you see the world you live in through the sociological lens. Many of the things we take for granted are socially constructed and have hidden functions or meanings that we will try to explore in this course.

Above all, this course provides a “tasting menu” of sociology. Although it is impossible to cover the whole discipline of sociology in one semester, this course will introduce you to key sociological theories and concepts related to culture, socialization, social structures, the social construction of reality, deviance, social stratification, race/ethnicity, gender, families, education, and religion. Sociologists explore how society shapes our interactions, beliefs, values, opportunities, and constrains and, conversely, how human interaction shapes society. Through readings, class discussions, and written assignments, you will begin to develop the “sociological imagination,” which will give you a deeper understanding of your own and others’ behavior and the society you live in.

Social and behavioral science courses, like SYG 2000, provide instruction in the history, key themes, principles, terminology, and underlying theory or methodologies used in the social and behavioral sciences. These courses might also emphasize the effective application of accepted problem-solving techniques. You will learn to identify, describe, and explain social institutions, structures, and processes and to analyze the processes and means by which individuals make personal and group decisions. Students are expected to assess and analyze ethical perspectives in individual and societal decisions.


Major Course Objectives


1.      Introduce students to some of the basic concepts, theories, and methods that sociologists use: Reading assignments and lectures will provide you with opportunities to see how social scientist use varied methods to collect information about specific social issues. You will learn to use that information to analyze social patterns and the possible consequences of those patterns.  

2.      Provide students with a brief overview of sociology as a discipline within the social sciences that exposes students to strategies to identify, study, and address social issues and research questions: In-class group exercises and individual assignments will provide you with opportunities to apply critical thinking skills to sociological issues and questions.

3.      Help students to develop the ability to understand how various social processes and structures affect one another: You will learn how various social changes related to work, culture, family, education, and other matters involve shifts in public perceptions and social initiatives.

4.      Encourage students to develop a better understanding of how their own lives and significant relationships are shaped by larger social forces.

5.      Explore with students how social interactions between individuals can affect the larger society.


General Education Student Learning Outcomes

The general education student learning outcomes (SLOs) describe the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that students are expected to acquire while completing a general education course at the University of Florida. The SLOs fall into three categories: content, communication, and critical thinking:

·         Content is knowledge of the concepts, principles, terminology, and methodologies used within the discipline. Students demonstrate competence in the terminology, concepts, methodologies, and theories used within the discipline. 

·         Communication is the development and expression of ideas in written and oral forms.  Students communicate knowledge, ideas, and reasoning clearly and effectively in written or oral forms appropriate to the discipline.

·         Critical thinking is characterized by the comprehensive analysis of issues, ideas, and evidence before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion. Students analyze information carefully and logically from multiple perspectives, using discipline specific methods, and develop reasoned solutions to problems.


In this course, students’ knowledge of Content will be assessed through three exams, 10 online reading quizzes, and 10 written assignments. Communication will be evaluated based on several in-class small group exercises and 10 written assignments. Critical thinking will be assessed through three exams, several in-class small group exercises, and 10 written assignments.




Ferrante, Joan. 2011 or 2013. Seeing Sociology. An Introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. 1st or 2nd editions.


Course packet available at Target Copy (1412 West University Avenue right next to Chipotle Restaurant; Phone: 352-376-3826;


Website for student resources:




Readings: It is essential that you read the assigned readings as scheduled since I plan to use most of the class time for discussions and some group exercises. To initiate a discussion, I might ask you to write the answer to a short question during class. Your written answer will then serve as the basis for class discussion, and I will feel free to call on any student in class to contribute to the discussion.


Reading Quizzes. Reading quizzes on additional online readings about specific research questions related to the respective chapters (located in e-Learning under “Modules”→ “Additional Readings: Research Questions for Seeing Sociology”) will be available in e-Learning under “Quizzes” after we have finished with the last topic. You will be able to take the quiz until 1 hour before class starts on the day when the reading quiz is due. Each quiz consists of 4 questions from the additional online reading and is worth 0.4 points. There are a total of 10 online reading quizzes worth 4% of your final grade. The questions should be easy to answer if you have read the assigned online material. You will have one attempt and 4 minutes to take each quiz.


Attendance and Class Participation: Attendance of class and participation in class discussions are required, which will be graded through the Top Hat ( classroom response system (see below) and several in-class “Write a Caption” group exercises.

Groups for the “Write a Caption” exercises will consist of 2-4 students. Each successfully completed “Write a Caption” statement that is given to the instructor at the end of the respective class will earn each group member who wrote his/her name on the “Write a Caption” statement 0.5 points for a maximum of 6 points or 6% of your final grade. Only group submissions that include the names of 2-4 students will be accepted for credit (i.e., no individual submissions). The “Write a Caption” group exercises will not be announced in advance, but there will be at least 14 opportunities to participate in these in-class group exercises.


Top Hat. We will be using the Top Hat ( classroom response system in class. You will be able to submit answers to in-class questions using Apple or Android smartphones and tablets, or through text message. During each class, I will ask a number of “polling” questions. Your in-class responses to these questions will serve as another attendance grade, for a maximum of 4 points or 4% of your final grade. If you get 75% or more on your Top Hat responses, you will earn the full 4 points.

You can visit for the Student Quick Start Guide, which outlines how you will register for a Top Hat account and provides a brief overview to get you up and running on the system. An email invitation will also be sent to your school email account (if you don't receive this email, you can register by visiting our course website at Please make sure that you sign up with your first and last name and (this is important!) your ufl email so that your Top Hat account and score can be linked to your e-Learning account in Canvas.

Top Hat requires a paid subscription. I have secured special pricing for this class in the amount of $17 (instead of the regular $24) for 4-months of unlimited access. For a full breakdown of all subscription options available please visit


Use of Electronic Devices: Except when using the Top Hat classroom response system, I request that you do NOT use any electronic devices, such as a laptop or cell phone, that might distract you during class. Even if you use a laptop for note-taking, the temptation will be too strong to go on the internet and leave the classroom mentally.


Assignments: Twice a week, I will give you a 2-page (in Times New Roman, double-spaced, 11 or 12 font, at least 600 words) written assignment that you should submit to me via E-Learning before class on or before the designated due date. For general information about e-Learning in Canvas visit


The written assignments must be submitted either as a Word document (*.doc or *.docx) or saved and submitted as a rich text format (*.rtf) file. I will not be able to download, read, and grade any other file format. Each 2-page assignment is worth 2 points. To get full credit, you need to submit at least 2 pages of text that pertain to the assignment (do not include your name, my name, the course name, the assignment instructions, or anything else that is not part of the assignment). There are a total of 12 assignments. Ten of the assignments (or the first 20 points you will earn) are required and will count as 20% of your grade. Two additional assignments are optional. Except for the first two assignments, I will not accept any late entries regardless of the excuse. If you submit more than 10 written assignments, you can earn up to 2 extra credit points that will be added to your total score at the end of the semester.


To submit your MS Word file or *.rtf file in e-Learning, go to the University of Florida e-Learning Support Services home page at (bookmark this page). To sign into e-Learning in Canvas, click on the “e-Learning in Canvas” link using your assigned Gatorlink username and password. If you do not have a Gatorlink ID or if you cannot remember your Gatorlink login information, go to the Gatorlink website at <> or to the CIRCA Help Desk in the Hub (phone: 392-HELP) for assistance.


After you have successfully logged into e-Learning, you will be taken to your Dashboard, which will help you to navigate through Canvas. For further assistance please contact e-Learning Support Services at (352) 392-4357 or email:


To submit an assignment entry via e-Learning, navigate to our course and click on Assignments in the menubar. Assignments can be displayed in the order they are due or by type. Do the following to submit an assignment:

Step 1: Click the assignment you want to submit. 

Step 2: Click on the “Submit Assignment” link.

Step 3: To upload your file, click the Choose File button. Browse for a file to upload.

Step 4: Check “This assignment submission is my own, original work”

Step 5: Click Submit Assignment when you are done. After you have submitted your work, you will see information in the Sidebar about your submission. If you choose, you may resubmit another version of your assignment before the deadline using the Re-submit Assignment link.


To view your grades, click on Grades in the menubar.


Note: The writing in this class will NOT count toward the 24,000 word writing requirement.


Cheating: I define copying parts or all of an assignment or exam from an author, the internet, or another student or allowing another student to copy parts or all of your assignment or exam as cheating. Writing an absent student’s name on the in-class “Write a Caption” statement is also considered cheating. In addition, you are not allowed to use any electronic devices (e.g., cell phones) during exams.

WARNING: Students who are caught cheating in this way will fail the class immediately!


UF students are bound by The Honor Pledge which states, “We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honor and integrity by abiding by the Honor Code. On all work submitted for credit by students at the University of Florida, the following pledge is either required or implied: “On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid in doing this assignment.” The Honor Code ( specifies a number of behaviors that are in violation of this code and the possible sanctions.


Exams: There will be three exams, two midterm exams on May 20 (covering assigned readings from Chapters 1 to 3) and June 2 (Chapters 4 to 7) and the final exam on June 17 (Chapters 8, 9, 11, and 12) during regular class time. All exams will consist of multiple choice questions. The exams will be based on the readings as well as on material from class, including class discussions. The exams will not be comprehensive, that is, they will cover only material presented in class or in the readings that were not covered by the previous exam(s).

I do not plan to give any make-up exams. So if you should encounter any difficulties, come and see me early!


Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: Students with disabilities requesting accommodations should first register with the Disability Resource Center (352-392-8565, by providing appropriate documentation. Once registered, students will receive an accommodation letter which must be presented to the instructor when requesting accommodations. Students with disabilities should follow this procedure as early as possible in the semester.





Reading Quizzes

First midterm exam

Second midterm exam

Final exam

Group class participation

Individual class participation

% of Final Grade









Plus you can earn up to 2 extra credit points, which will be added to your total score if you complete more than 10 written assignments!


I will not grade on a curve, i.e. your grade will depend on your absolute performance, not your performance compared to other students.


The points that you will earn can be translated into letter-grades as follows:

92.5 - 100.0 = A

90.0 - <92.5 = A-

87.5 - <90.0 = B+

82.5 - <87.5 = B

80.0 - <82.5 = B-

77.5 - <80.0 = C+

72.5 - <77.5 = C

70.0 - <72.5 = C-

67.5 - <70.0 = D+

62.5 - <67.5 = D

60.0 - <62.5 = D-

          <60.0 = E


For information on current UF grading policies for assigning grade points, see


Requirements for class attendance and make-up exams, assignments, and other work in this course are consistent with university policies that can be found in the online catalog at:


Students are expected to provide feedback on the quality of instruction in this course based on 10 criteria. These evaluations are conducted online at Evaluations are typically open during the last two or three weeks of the semester, but students will be given specific times when they are open. Summary results of these assessments are available to students at


A WORD OF CAUTION: Keep in mind that the points you earn during the semester will determine your final grade. All assignments must be submitted by the due date and cannot be turned in after the end of the semester to improve your grade. Your actual total points at the end of the class will determine your grade. I will not round up points. Begging will be futile!


Important phone numbers and contact information: University counseling services and mental health services: 392-1575 or;

University Police Department: 392-1111 or 9-1-1 for emergencies



Tentative Class Schedule




05/09 – 5/10

What is sociology?
Assignment 1 due!

Ferrante: Modules 1.1 – 1.3 (1.1 – 1.2 for 2nd edition)

05/11 – 05/12

The emergence of sociology

Ferrante: Modules 1.4 – 1.5 (1.3 – 1.4 2nd edition)


Theories and perspectives of sociology
Assignment 2 due!

Ferrante: Module 1.6 (1.5 for 2nd edition)

05/16 – 05/18

Assignment 3 and Reading Quiz 1 due!

Ferrante: Chapter 2; e-Learning→Lessons: How Does a Foreign Practice Take Root?


Assignment 4 and Reading Quiz 2 due!

Ferrante: Chapter 3; e-Learning→Lessons: To Whom Do Americans Talk about Important Matters?


First Midterm!


Social structures
Reading Quiz 3 due!

Ferrante: Chapter 4; e-Learning→Lessons: How Do Organizations Promote Altruistic Behavior?

05/24 – 05/25

The social construction of reality
Assignment 5 and Reading Quiz 4 due!

Ferrante: Chapter 5; e-Learning→Lessons: How Does Online Dating Shape Intimate Relationships?

05/26 – 05/27

Assignment 6 and Reading Quiz 5 due!

Ferrante: Chapter 6; e-Learning→Lessons: Can Gangs Have a Purpose?


Memorial Day – No class!

05/31 – 06/01

Social stratification
Assignment 7 and Reading Quiz 6 due!

Ferrante: Chapter 7; e-Learning→Lessons: How Do Food Menus Reflect Social Class?


Second Midterm!

06/03 – 06/06

Race and ethnicity
Assignment 8 and Reading Quiz 7 due!

Ferrante: Chapter 8; e-Learning→Lessons: Why Do People Give Inconsistent Answers to Race Questions?

06/07 – 06/08

Assignment 9 and Reading Quiz 8 due!

Ferrante: Chapter 9; e-Learning→Lessons: How Do we Document and Explain the Global-Scale Subordination of Women?

06/09 – 06/10

Assignment 10 and Reading Quiz 9 due!

Ferrante: Chapter 11; e-Learning→Lessons: What Does It Mean to Be Single?

06/13 – 06/14

Assignment 11 and Reading Quiz 10 due!

Ferrante: Modules 12.1 – 12.4 & 12.7 (12.1 – 12.3 & 12.6 for 2nd edition); e-Learning→Lessons: What Does 'Acting White' Mean to Low-Income Youth?

06/15 – 06/16

Assignment 12 due! 

Ferrante: Modules 12.5 – 12.6 (12.4 – 12.5 for 2nd edition)


Final Exam