All reading, video, and audio materials will be made available online through this syllabus.
SOC 3063 addresses the study of emergent, relatively unstructured social events, activities, processes,
and behaviors, as well as the collective context in which they occur, by examining major concepts,
theories, and empirical findings. Forms of collective behavior to be addressed include group dynamics,
fads and crazes, rumors and urban legends, mass hysteria and moral panics, crowds, mobs, stampedes
and riots, disasters and disaster–relevant behavior, social protest actions, and terrorism.
The course objective is to provide you with an opportunity to derive depth understanding of collective
behavior, and its impact on human well-being. This will be sought through class lectures and
discussions, readings, video and audio assignments, and a group project and class presentation.
This section of SOC 3063 is a hybrid course in the sense that it combines conventional in-class teaching
with supplemental instruction derived through online resources. Specifically, you are required to devote
considerable out-of-class time to examining various video and audio programs and clips linked to the
course via this syllabus.
Successful completion of SOC 3063 satisfies 3 hours of upper-division electives.
Course Management System
Blackboard Learn is available by virtue of enrollment in this class. It is an important resource which will
allow you access to the course syllabus, assigned materials, and course grades. (Let me know
immediately if you have any difficulties with this site.)
The course requires your active involvement. At the minimum, you are expected to attend class, read
text assignments and cover assigned Internet materials prior to class, and take examinations as
specified. You are responsible for adhering to all rules concerning conduct, including those relevant to
scholastic dishonesty (see The Student Code of Conduct). You are also expected to reflect the
Roadrunner Creed in your behavior. To additionally facilitate your success, consider the following
1. Do not be a “spectator.” Your success in the class will be proportional to your engagement. This is
your class—actively participate. Ask questions, discuss experiences, offer opinions... Get to know other
students (exchange phone numbers/email addresses). Talk about the course, share lecture notes, hold
study sessions before exams...
2. Read / watch / listen to assigned text and Internet materials before the presentation date. It will be
helpful to take notes as you watch videos and listen to audios.
3. Should you have any concern or problem that is affecting, or may affect, your academic status or class
involvement, please communicate with me about it. If posted meeting times are inconvenient, you may
arrange a conference at another time. Note: all e-mail communication should be directed to me at
email@example.com. Support services, including registration assistance and adaptive equipment,
are available to those with documented disabilities through the Office of Disability Services.
Course Policies and Practices
1. Student Survey. During the first week, please complete an online survey about yourself in order to
better meet your learning needs.
2. Class Beginning. A few minutes before starting each class, a selection of popular music may be played
that in some way relates to the topic to be discussed that morning. Please listen in silence and try to
determine how the lyrics of the song are relevant to topic concepts. At the conclusion of the song,
volunteers will be called on for brief discussion. Note: My knowledge of current popular music is quite
limited—therefore, any song contribution from you would be appreciated (please e-mail suggestions to
me with brief description of how the music applies to concepts).
3. Attendance. Attendance will be taken on a regular basis.
4. Coming Late. Please enter and take a seat without disrupting others.
5. Notetaking. PowerPoint slides are regularly used in class to overview key ideas. Such slides will
include images, graphics, animations, and video. Understand that your notetaking effort should
also be directed to what I am saying, rather than solely the slides. Slides are not posted to Blackboard.
6. Class Ending. Do not attempt to pack-up until the class is over. Class ends at 10:50—please let me
know if I run past that time.
7. Technology Use. Avoid embarrassment: turn your cell phone off before class starts. Under no
circumstances can a cell phone be out during an exam. The use of laptop or tablet computers is
permitted during class for course purposes only.
8. Grade Reporting. All evaluation results (except those for the final exam) will be returned to you in
class (no one else may pick these up for you). Grades will also be made available to you on Blackboard
(grades cannot be reported to you by telephone, fax, or e-mail).
9. Drop Procedure. Should you decide to no longer attend, be sure to follow appropriate UTSA
Three exams, including a non-cumulative final exam, will be administered over the semester. Each exam
will consist of 50 multiple-choice questions, and collectively, exams will account for 80 percent of your
final grade. Please note: exams from previous semesters are not made available as study aids, nor are
exams taken during the semester released. If you miss an exam for a valid reason, you must submit a
written request (paper copy) for a make-up exam, including documentation for your absence, at the
time of your return to class. All make-up exams will consist of essay-length questions and will be
administered immediately after completion of the final exam.
Video Clip Assignment
Working in a group with three other students, you will locate an online video clip that is highly relevant
to social stratification. The clip should be available through streaming (be sure to provide its URL), and
should be no less than 2 minutes and no longer than 8 minutes in length. An appropriate lesson context
plan for its classroom use should then be developed. Specifically, the plan must describe how the clip
will enhance understanding of social stratification, and as well, include a set of questions that could be
asked relative to the classroom application of the clip. Toward the end of the semester, your group will
present the clip and the lesson to the class. In addtion, the clip and a summary of the lesson will be
uploaded to the course blog for class display. The assignment will account for 20 percent of your final
Exam scores and final average should be interpreted on the following basis:
A = > 89
B = 80 – 89
C = 70 – 79
D = 60 – 69
F = < 60
(reading and video assignments are still tentative)
Defining the Subfield
Perspectives on Collective Behavior
Collective Behavior Overview
Social Contexts of Collective Behavior
The Millenials Are Coming!
Fads, Fashions, and Crazes
Fads of the Century
Fads of the 1990s
Collective Behavior and Role of Rumor
Collective Delusions & Mass Hysteria
Mass Delusions and Hysterias
Collective Delusions & Mass Hysteria (continued)
Salem Witch Hunts
Student Meetings / Topic Selection
Tutorial on Multimedia Presentations
A System for Integrating Online Multimedia Into College Curriculum.
Group Dynamics / Structural Properties of Groups
Group Think and Deindividuation
Why the Other Lines Seem to Move Faster than Yours
Group Dynamics / Structural Properties of Groups (continued)
12 Angry Men
Sociology of Disasters: Natural
National Geographic Website: Natural Disasters
Earthquakes with 1,000 or More Deaths Since 1900
Sociology of Disasters: Natural (continued)
Japan’s Killer Quake
Sociology of Disasters: Man-Made
A Survival Guide to Catastrophe
List of Accidents and Disasters by Death Toll
How Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear Plant Disaster Happened
Sociology of Disasters: Man-Made (continued)
Storm that Drowned a City
How to Keep Yourself Safe If There's a Crowd Crush or Fire…
Student Meetings – Presentation Work Hour
Black Wall Street (view pts 1-12)
Detroit Riot, 1967
Attica Prison Riot, 1971
Annotated Bibliography on Riots and Protest
Social Movements / Protest
to be determined
to be determined
to be determined
December 2, 4, 6
Final Exam (Wednesday, 7:00-9:30)