SOC120 Introduction to Sociology


Have you ever wondered why social inequalities exist? Or, have you wondered why men and women act and think so differently? If you answered yes – or no – to any of those questions, welcome to Sociology! Sociology is the systematic, scientific study of the patterns and processes of social life, touching on all of its major dimensions – political, familial, economic, religious, etc. It is the study of our behavior as social beings, covering everything from the analysis of short contacts between anonymous individuals on the street, to the study of global social processes. Put simply, it is the study of society.

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Student Learning Objectives:

In this course, students will be able to successfully:

  1. Explain social behavior with the use of sociological concepts.
  2. Analyze the structure, function, and processes of social institutions as these relate the individual to society.
  3. Identify issues and problems in the various social environments which influence the individual and structure human behavioral patterns.
  4. Evaluate various sociological theories, explaining their strengths and shortcomings.
  5. Evaluate sociological research studies in terms of the scientific method.

Course Readings:

  1. Intro to Sociology Openstax (Free pdf)
  2. Additional online reading links will be given in class and will be available on Canvas.

Course Requirements:

Students are expected to regularly attend class and do all readings by the date indicated on the syllabus. Students who wish to drop the course are responsible for knowing DVC’s deadlines and procedures. Students are also expected to know the standards for ethical student conduct contained in the DVC Code of Student Conduct, (Links to an external site.) especially those concerning cheating and plagiarism.


Course Hours and Workload:

This course will be asynchronous, meaning that we will not be meeting at a specific time each week. In other words, all lectures will be pre-recorded with links provided through Canvas. The workload is very heavy. In addition to the lectures, students will have to do readings from the textbook, articles, watch films, complete assignments, etc. There are assignments that are due every week, so please make sure you are utilizing the calendar feature on Canvas. Lastly, it is highly encouraged that students complete assignments before their due date. In other words, do not wait until last minute to complete an assignment as there may be times where students have to interact with another student in a group discussion. Furthermore, you risk the chance of it being counted as late if you wait until last minute.


Although this course is asynchronous, students will need the following to be successful in the course:

  • Computer with internet access
  • Canvas course page as all assignments, lectures, and information about the class will be provided through Canvas
  • Access to (see below)
  • No webcam is needed

Student Technology Help Desk (Links to an external site.)


Library Help Desk (Links to an external site.)

***If you have any issues with Canvas, please click on the “Help” icon on the left side of Canvas or call the 24/7 Canvas Helpline for Students: 844-303-5586


Make sure you set up a free account with You will be required to watch a few documentaries on there. If you have issues creating an account, please reach out to kanopy and/or DVC library services.

Cheating or Plagiarism:

Cheating or plagiarism will result in a failing grade for the assignment and the possibility of college disciplinary action. Re-using a paper/assignment that was used for another class is also considered plagiarism as it is being submitted as current, brand new work. This is called self-plagiarism. For more information regarding plagiarism, please visit

Attendance/Class Participation 

Students are expected to complete all class modules through Canvas. This includes: listening to video lectures, reading articles, participating in discussion boards and fulfilling the minimum word requirements, etc. Every assignment that is worth points is given a due date, so please make sure you are utilizing the calendar function on Canvas. It is worth noting that an instructor may drop students who miss more than the equivalent of two weeks of a term­-length course. Students must contact the instructor to inform him or her of an absence. The college does not relay such messages. (Links to an external site.)


Every student in this classroom, regardless of personal history or identity categories, is a member of this group. Your experiences are important and you should share them as they become relevant to our class. No student in this class is ever expected or believed to speak for all members of their group(s).

In this classroom, you have the right to determine your own identity. You have the right to be called by whatever name you wish. You have the right to be referred to by whatever pronouns you wish. You have the right to adjust those things at any point in your education.

If you find that there are aspects of course instruction, subject matter, or class environment that result in barriers to your inclusion, please contact me privately without fear of reprisal.

Sensitive Subjects

Many of us may get triggered while in this class because engaging with academic material can evoke strong emotions. For some of us, the emotions are evoked because the issues are very real in our everyday lives. Others of us will get triggered because we are just finding this stuff out and it upsets us. Then there are some that will get triggered because we feel guilt or shame for not having known or understood how things have been working in our society. All of these feelings are okay. It’s how we handle them that matters. I hope we can challenge ourselves to pay attention to our emotions, consider what’s triggering us, listen to and respect one another, and share this honestly with the class (or with me in private if you prefer). This is how authentic learning and growth take place.

Respectful Dialogue

“Everyone thinks; it is our nature to do so. But much of our thinking, left to itself, is biased, distorted, partial, uninformed or down-right prejudiced. Yet the quality of our life and that of what we produce, make, or build depends on the quality of our thought. Shoddy thinking is costly, both in money and in quality of life. Excellence in thought, however, must be systematically cultivated.”

-Linda Elder and Richard Paul, Critical Thinking: Teaching Students How to Study and Learn

In this class, I would like us to cultivate “excellence of thought” by creating a learning environment that supports a diversity of thoughts, perspectives, and experiences, and that honors all our identities (including race, gender, class, veteran status, sexuality, religion, ability, etc.). With this in mind, let’s discuss what we all need in order to slow down, recognize our own positions (including unexamined biases), and take another look at someone’s ideas, experiences, or values. How can we listen and hear different opinions, even if we don’t accept them or understand them, with an open heart and mind? In this class, let’s practice these skills together.

Late/Partial Assignments

will NOT be accepting any late/partial assignments. If something is due at 9:00pm, do not wait until last minute to submit it. I will not count even if it’s one minute late. Additionally, do not submit any partial assignments. For example, if a student does not meet a minimum word count on an assignment, I will not give any credit for the assignment.


There will be three in-class exams (two midterms and one final).  These exams will measure your understanding of the assigned readings, lectures, and films presented in the course.  Each exam may be composed of multiple choice, essay, and/or true/false questions.  Each exam will be worth 50 points (150 points total). I will not be grading on a “curve.” If for any reason you are unable to make a test date I provided, let me know as soon as possible. I will earnestly try to accommodate your situation. 


There will be a quiz at the end of each unit module. This quiz will be based off the textbook and your comprehension of the material. Each quiz will be worth 10 points (90 points total). I will not be grading on a “curve.” If for any reason you are unable to make a test date I provided, let me know as soon as possible. I will earnestly try to accommodate your situation. 

Final Paper

This course does not have a final paper, but many assignments have minimum word counts. It is imperative that each student meets the word count and writes at a certain level to be successful in the course. Please proofread all assignments.


Every student has the opportunity to earn a maximum of 300 points.

  • 50 points for each exam (150 total)
  • 10 points for each unit quiz (90 points total)
  • 60 points for class participation (assignments, orientation quiz, homework, participating in discussions)

A = (270-300+ points)

B = (240-269.99 points)

C = (210-239.99 points)

D = (180-209.99 points)

F = (0-179.99 points)

If you have any concerns about your grade during the semester, please feel free to talk to me at any time. We can chat during my office hours, emails, etc. In other words, I am readily available to help you.


Date (Mon-Sun) Assignment
Week 1


·         8/17 First Day of Instruction

·         Orientation Module

·         E-Ice Breaker

·         Orientation Quiz

Week 2


·         Unit 1: What is Sociology
Week 3


·         Unit 2: Culture and Social Structure
Week 4


·         9/7 Labor Day (Holiday)

·         Unit 3: Socialization

Week 5


·         Unit 3: Socialization

·         Midterm 1 (Friday, 9/25)

Week 6


·         Unit 4: Social Groups
Week 7


·         Unit 5: Deviance
Week 8


·         Unit 6: Social Stratification
Week 9


·         Unit 7: Race and Ethnicity
Week 10


·         Unit 7: Race and Ethnicity
Week 11


·         Midterm 2 (Friday, 11/6)

·         Unit 8: Gender, Sex, Sexuality

Week 12


·         Unit 8: Gender, Sex, Sexuality
Week 13


·         11/11 Veteran’s Day (Holiday)

·         Unit 9: Social Change

Week 14


·         Unit 9: Social Change

·         11/25-11/27 Thanksgiving (Holiday)

Week 15


·         TBD

·         Final Review

·         Final Exam, Sunday 12/6

A note about Canvas and grade totals

Canvas is an online tool used to help you succeed in this class. While I post grades for individual assignments to Canvas, you should NOT trust the automatic calculations for the final course grade. I strongly suggest calculating this yourself using assignment weights provided above and point totals provided on Canvas. The final grade you have on Canvas is NOT always your final course grade.


Each and every one of you is responsible for completing all assignments and modules. A great way to fully understand concepts from the readings is by writing down questions while you read. Good luck!

Student Resources and Support

Online Learning Support  (Links to an external site.)(includes guidance for Canvas, Insite, NetTutor, ConferZoom, etc.)

Online Student Services  (Links to an external site.)(includes Tutoring, Counseling, Admissions and Records, etc.)

Disability Support Services  (Links to an external site.)(includes information on note taking, alternative media, testing, etc.)

Basic Needs (Links to an external site.) (includes food, housing, and health resources)

 *Instructor reserves the right to change syllabus to fit class needs*


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