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Personal Collection Detail View

Sociology 101

by Cathy Swift
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Sociology is the study of society. It focuses on identifying, explaining, and interpreting patterns and processes of human social relations. This introductory course is designed not just to teach you some of the major findings of sociology, but to help you master fundamental sociological skills, including both the ability to think with a "sociological imagination" and to understand the basics of computer-based data analysis--skills which have broad applicability in a range of educational and work settings. Suggested textbooks are: Joan Ferrante, Sociology: A Global Perspective, Seventh Edition, 2008 and Anderson & Taylor, Sociology: Understanding a Diverse Society.
Introduction to Sociology
Learning Outcomes:
Students will develop: 1) An understanding of the three main sociological perspectives; 2)An understanding of several important sociological theories; 3)The ability to apply these perspectives and theories to contemporary social problems; 4) Insight into the critical link between social structures, social forces and individual circumstances; 5) Insight into how you shape society and how society shapes you.
Pedagogy Approach:
Assessment Methodology:
Exams, quizzes, assignments

Authorized users only:


Level of Measurement

Added 01/28/2013
The user finds on this website all the information necessary to master the difference between ordinal, nominal and interval/ratio levels of measurements. An explanation of each type is provided and can be referenced at any time. The 10 multiple exercises are varied in difficulty and ask the user to identify a data set as one of the three levels of measurement. The selected response is reported on the subsequent screen and identified as correct or incorrect with explanations for the correct response and a message to "try again" for the incorrect response. The follow-up question in each exercise reinforces the concepts by requiring the user to identify a statement related to the previous exercise as valid or invalid. Again an explanation is provided that justifies the correct response. The situations selected for the exercises are interesting and timely. Could be useful in research methods unit/course.

Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America

Added 01/28/2013
'While Asian Americans "only" make up about 5% of the U.S.'s population (as of 2008), we are one of the fastest growing racial/ethnic groups (in terms of percentage increase) in the U.S. The Asian American community has received a lot of scrutiny over the years but in many ways, still remains misunderstood. Therefore, this site serves as a concise but comprehensive introduction to the Asian American community. Its purposes are to: 1) Educate those who would like to learn more about the Asian American population; 2) Provide general and specific information about different topics and issues that affect the Asian American community 3) Identify other sources of information related to Asian Americans.' This is a great resource for diversity unit, race studies, etc.

The Global Social Change Research Project

Added 01/28/2013
This site has the World Social Change reports, reviews of main world demographic and political changes and data used to develop the reviews, and a review of theories of change. This site also links to free information about long term changes in political, economic and social systems. The site also links to theory, data, research, syllabi, history, and more.

Exploring Constitutional Law

Added 01/28/2013
The web site provides a comprehensive overview of the topics, issues, and cases that students are likely to encounter in such a course. More specifically, the site includes the language of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, links to primary documents regarding the drafting of the Constitution and the ratification debates, images relating to important constitutional moments and locations, links to web sites having to do with the Supreme Court and some famous constitutional cases, Supreme Court opinions in a few recent landmark opinions, biographical information on the founding fathers, and sample constitutional law essay and multiple-choice questions. The author has also developed a couple of games -- the Constitutional Trivia Quiz and Bill of Rights Golf -- that give students incentives to read the materials closely. And he has provided links to his other web sites on landmark cases, the First Amendment, and on the constitution and the powers of government. The core of this web site, however, is its collection of "Cases, Notes and Materials." The author has developed a bunch of pages on various constitutional law topics such as "The Power of Judicial Review," "Student Searches," "Is Your Home Your Castle," "Proving Unconstitutional Discrimination," "Separation of Powers," and "Prior Restraints on Publication."

Multicultural Pavilion

Added 01/28/2013
This learning object provides current news and views in multicultural education on a monthly basis. In addition, it features resources for teaching and learning, engaging intercultural activities, definition of related terms and research articles as well as information on the digital divide. Likewise, the site is linked to the Multicultural Supersite specifically designed for teachers, pre-service teachers, and teacher educators hosted by McGraw-Hill; to NAME, the largest national organization focused on multicultural education; and, the Diversity Web which offers a compendium of resources related to institutional leadership and change at the college and university level. At first glance, the information seems very eclectic and some of it seems peripheral to multicultural education (e.g., links to historic speeches and documents, and quotes) but upon further reflection it appears that the author uses a very broad definition of multiculturalism to guide the content development of this website. The vast majority of essays and other resource materials on this site are written by Paul Gorski himself, although there are other articles and poems that readers have submitted. The online quiz is a useful awareness-raising tool, and a similar version is available for printing.

Anthony Giddens Lecture on Globalization

Added 01/28/2013
The module can be used as a stand-alone lecture or as a supplemental resource. The content of the module is well written, engaging and easy to understand. The lecture helps students to broaden their understanding of globalization to include political, cultural and technological dimensions. Excellent examples help to bring the concepts to life. There is also an assignment attached with this module that can be used in class with discussion groups.

NAFTA: Are Jobs Being Sucked Out of the United States?

Added 01/28/2013
Online lesson on NAFTA. Covers opposing views on how it has affected jobs in the U.S., including data charts for students to analyze and questions for them to answer. Questions are in odd format, requiring students to click an icon to scroll through them, but students can actually type answers onto "notebook paper" in the exercise and then print the answers (assuming the site works correctly) to turn in. Students also review the data concerning the effects of NAFTA on employment in the United States.

Sociology Workbench

Added 01/28/2013
Focus on exploratory data analysis for qualitative data is stressed. This is one of the few sites that has a qualitative focus. This site will guide the user (novice and experienced) through data analysis of qualitative data, how to develop surveys, and how to distribute the survey. By creating and using an on-line survey the issue of learning to enter data into a statistical program is bypassed and students can focus more on the analysis of data. Additionally the interface for conducting analyses is simpler than statistical packages such as SPSS, thus this site should be easier for the student to learn.

Teaching about Biases Against Immigration

Added 01/28/2013
This exercise helps students understand that xenophobic attitudes have existed throughout United States history and that our culture has survived and been enriched by each new wave of immigrants. Students should be aware that these biases have been expressed in each generation, especially when large numbers of immigrants have come to our country.

The Stanford Prison Experiment

Added 01/28/2013
The Stanford Prison Experiment is a comprehensive overview of the simulation study of the psychology of imprisonment conducted at Stanford University in 1971 under Dr. Philip Zimbardo. It includes a slide show style format explaining the basic premise, experimental procedures, and basic results. Incorporated into the slide show presentation are video clips and discussion questions. It also includes an additional section of thought-provoking discussion questions, a section of related links that include relevant materials used in the study and that include materials relating to the broader topics of prison psychology and relevance to modern prison issues.

Active Learning Strategies for Teaching about Religion

Added 01/28/2013
This site offers a collection of instructional strategies to promote active learning in the classroom on topics related to a variety of religions. Activities are indexed according to religion, cognitive skills, learning styles, multiple intelligences. Many activity ideas are easily modified to suit other disciplines, suggestions are made for each activity.

Race: The Power of an Illusion

Added 01/28/2013
Companion website to three-part film by the same title. Series of three films explores the social construction of race (i.e., that race is not truly a biological category), the history of racial ideas and how we came as a society to create and solidify racial inequalities, and the consequences of these ideas, specifically in the realm of housing and wealth. The companion site includes six excellent modules that offer brief facts as well as links to allow students to "go deeper" into issues of interest. Some of the modules include interactive features like quizzes and games. Site also offers resources for teachers, including a number of separate lessons/modules on related issues such as environmental racism and activities studying DNA and racial classification.

People Like Us: Social Class in America

Added 01/28/2013
This is a companion website for the PBS film "People Like Us: Social Class in America." Offers fun games that can provide a basis for discussion by helping students explore and define their own social class position based on their tastes rather than their family’s income. Provides video clips from the film that can give students a sense of some of the content without watching the full two-hour film. Includes links to other resources, such as a tool letting users enter their zipcode and learn about the social class makeup of the area they live in and a section where users can read very brief vignettes about social class and then add their own social class story to the website and read those submitted by other users. Also offers links to essays about class issues, a teacher’s guide for use with the film, a discussion board, and more.

Historic Ad Collection

Added 01/28/2013
This site includes copies of and information about 7,000 advertisements printed in U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955. There are five main subject areas: Radio, Television, Transportation, Beauty and Hygiene, and World War II. Also included is an advertising timeline that indicates significant occurences in the area of Advertising.

The Triangle Factory Fire

Added 01/28/2013
This site contains an essay and documents from Cornell University Library about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire on March 25, 1911. The site is divided into three sections. The first one, "The Story of the Fire" is an essay describing early nineteenth-century New York City sweatshops, the circumstances at the Triangle Factory that increased the number of deaths from the fire, and the subsequent political agitation, investigations, and reforms. The second section, "Sources," contains primary resources including documents, photographs, cartoons, and audio recordings of interviews with fire survivors. The final section contains "Other Resources" including lists of victims and witnesses, a bibliography, links to related sites, and tips for student projects. The combined materials offer a detailed description of the cause and effect of the Triangle Factory Fire in New York City.

Ecological Footprint Quiz

Added 01/28/2013
This site offers users the opportunity to take a brief quiz that assesses the extent of their "ecological footprint," which is the extent to which their daily life practices affect the earth. The quiz is available in 6 languages. Results tell users how many planets would be necessary to support all human beings living at the user’s current standard of living. The site also offers an opportunity to virtually set aside part of the planet for wildlife/plant diversity to examine how that affects possible standards of living for human beings. After users receive the quiz results, they can also read suggestions for a range of ways they can reduce their ecological footprint, from the everyday to the political.

Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project

Added 01/28/2013
The purpose of Densho is (1) to preserve the personal testimonies of Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during World War II, (2) to help people understand a particular episode in U.S. history, and (3) to use historical materials to explore principles of democracy, citizenship, tolerance, and justice. The website includes a collection of primary sources, essays, a timeline, a glossary of terms, and a bibliography. It is organized into five sections: causes of incarceration, learning center, archive, other resources, and about Densho. "Causes of Incarceration" consists of a series of essays. The "Archive" holds more than 2000 photographs and documents and more than 500 hours of recorded video in some 240 interviews. In the "Resources" section, one will find a timeline, a glossary, an essay about terminology, links to web resources, and bibliographies. The "Learning Center" includes four units, each of which includes historical information and primary sources. Unit One, "Causes of Incarceration Lesson Plans," includes three lesson plans for students in elementary and secondary school; the plans are designed to meet the state of Washington’s standards in civics. "Sites of Shame" includes an account of one family’s internment experience and information about specific detention sites. "In the Shadow of My Country" is a multimedia art exhibition. And the "Civil Rights and Japanese American Incarceration" unit contains five multimedia historical essays and six lessons with 18 classroom activities.

Fight hate and promote tolerance

Added 01/28/2013
This site is provided by the Southern Poverty Law Center to offer news, views, and ideas to promote ways to fight hate and promote tolerance. There are useful items that discuss current events and additional links to in-depth information about many of the related topics. Another feature of the site are tests that users can take to determine their own hidden biases. The site also provides activities and information for all age groups including K-12 teachers, parents, teenagers, and children.

Implicit Association Tests

Added 01/28/2013
The Project Implicit web site provides a variety of Implicit Association Tests (IAT) which claim to reveal implicit (unconscious) associations the participant has towards particular groups such as Blacks or Whites, gays or straights, or fat or thin people. Project Implicit claims that what we might consciously report as our attitudes or preferences towards a group might not coincide with our unconscious attitudes and preferences. The IAT is designed to detect those unconscious associations.

Global Issues that Affect Everyone

Added 01/28/2013
Site with a huge number of articles (many of which include links to additional online sources like UN reports and work by journalists) on a wide range of global issues, including poverty, sustainable development, foreign aid, conflicts around the world (various parts of Africa, East Timor, etc.), the war on terror, AIDS, women's rights, and many more. Can use for preparing lectures or for short student research assignments.

Teaching Human Rights Online

Added 01/28/2013
This site provides nine detailed case studies on human rights issues: Clinton's response to Kosovo, the International Court of Justice's response to genocide, rape and genocide in Rwanda, terrorism and human rights in India, Muslim women's rights, several different perspectives on forced labor and the Doe v. Unocal case, and international disputes over the death penalty. The modules are mostly text but include some photos, maps, and interactive features (students can, for example, type in answers and submit them online). An instructor's manual is also available by request, and briefer tips for using the materials in teaching are included within each module.
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