Sociology 31501 syllabus spring 2014


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Sociology 31501 syllabus spring 2014

  1. 1. Sociology 31501: Gender in Society Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:00 – 3:15pm Spring 2014 in SWZ 119 PROFESSOR: Dr. Carla A. Pfeffer OFFICE ADDRESS: SWRZ 30G OFFICE TELEPHONE: (219) 785-5264 EMAIL: Please send all course-related correspondence via Blackboard Learn. In an emergency, or if the Blackboard Learn system is down/you cannot access the system, you may contact me at or OFFICE HOURS: Tuesdays and Thursdays 12-2pm (or by appointment) in SWZ 30G COURSE DESCRIPTION: Sociology is a social science seeking to better understand how individuals, groups, social systems/structures and cultures shape (and are shaped by) one another. In this course, we will use a sociological lens to focus on the topic of gender. While our focus will be on gender, we will also study how other identities (including race, class, sexuality, religion, politics, educational attainment, etc.) influence and affect gendered identities and experiences. A primary goal of this course is to introduce you to the perspectives, research methods and empirical findings on gender in sociology, as well as to apply this empirical evidence to real-world experiences. Of critical importance is the goal of cultivating your skills for analyzing the social situations and events that you encounter in your everyday lives. Throughout this course, emphasis will be placed on developing critical and integrative ways of thinking about gender as a social process in our everyday lives. This is not a course exclusively about women and women’s experiences. In this course, we will consider how gender shapes and affects the experiences of women, men, girls, boys and individuals who live in the spaces in-between these categories (e.g., those who are intersex, transgender, transsexual, etc.). COURSE GOALS: After completing this course, you should be able to:  describe the concepts of “gender binary” and “doing gender”  differentiate between the concepts of sex, gender, gender identity and gender expression.  formulate critical and analytic responses to media depictions of gender, gender identity and gender expression.  distinguish between “folk wisdom,” first-person accounts/narratives, and empirical evidence on gender and perceived gender differences, with the ability to analyze and critique each form of knowledge.  better understand the ways in which race, gender, class, sexuality, age, ability and other factors shape the experiences and opportunities of individuals and groups.  describe social and cultural factors and processes that lead to both social inequality and social/cultural change. REQUIRED TEXTBOOK: Rebecca F. Plante and Lis M. Mauer’s Doing Gender Diversity: Readings in Theory and RealWorld Experience (2010 edition): ISBN: 978-0-8133-4437-9. There will also be a copy of the textbook on reserve (a two-hour loan) at the PNC Library. 1
  2. 2. ACCOMMODATIONS: Purdue University North Central is committed to providing all students equal access to learning opportunities. Students with a documented disability that either prevents them from fully participating in any aspect of this course, or that requires an accommodation should contact me within the first two weeks of this course. Students who have self-identified and who have appropriate documentation (from a medical professional) that has been verified through the PNC Disability Services Coordinator (located in LSF 103 or by phone at 219-785-5374), will be given accommodations for this course. It is the student's responsibility to request an accommodation and schedule their exams with the Student Success Center, the Disability Services Coordinator, or me. OFFICE HOURS: Although this is not a requirement, I strongly encourage each of you to make use of my office hours. I would be more than happy to talk with you about any ideas, challenges and/or concerns you might have about the course material, and about sociology more generally. EMAIL ETIQUETTE: Whenever you are addressing an email to someone other than a good friend, you need to follow basic email etiquette. This means that you should have a proper greeting (Hello Professor Pfeffer, etc.), a message body that follows the rules of Standard Written English (capitalization, spelling, grammar and mechanics, etc), and a closing (“Thank you for your help,” or “Thank you for your time”). It is always polite to thank the person for reading the email and trying to assist you. Also, be sure to sign the email with your own first and last name. The subject line of your email should be clear and formal. Messages that do not follow this format will not be read. COURSE FORMAT AND REQUIREMENTS: The reading expectations for this course are reasonable (approximately 35 pages/week), but you will be asked to read this material closely and carefully. It is critical, for your success in the course, to make sure that you keep up with the readings so as not to fall behind. You should come to class each Tuesday having read, completely, the assigned readings for that week. This class will be heavily oriented toward class discussion of central course concepts, as well as integration of media resources that exemplify course concepts. You are expected to master the material presented in the readings, media resources and our online and in-class discussions. Your success in this course depends on attending class regularly, actively participating in class, and taking thorough notes. If you simply cannot avoid missing a class, it is expected that you will borrow notes from a classmate. BLACKBOARD LEARN: Blackboard Learn will be used as a supplement in this course. You will access lecture notes, the syllabus, and other course-related materials directly from the Blackboard Learn site for our class. PLEASE SEND EMAILS TO ME ONLY THROUGH BLACKBOARD LEARN. In the event of a campus closure (short or longer-term), all instruction will be conducted online through Blackboard Learn. You will always have access to the syllabus, course assignments, your grades and lecture slides via Blackboard Learn. This system does occasionally crash and, in those instances, you may contact me directly at or 2
  3. 3. ACADEMIC DISHONESTY: Cases of academic dishonesty (including cheating on quizzes, submitting someone else’s work as your own, submitting work that you have submitted for another class for this class, or plagiarizing by failing to give proper credit when incorporating the work of others in your written submissions) will result in a score of zero for the quiz or paper in question and may also result in a student receiving an “F” for the entire course. When you copy our textbook authors’ exact words or phrases, directly from the book and without using quotation marks or citing page numbers, you are committing plagiarism. Remember, I am able to Google the same things you are able to Google. I am also able to note changes in the “voice” of your essays and to cut and paste sections of what you have written into Google to see if the passage is your own creation or someone else’s. I take academic cheating VERY seriously. All cases of academic dishonesty will be formally reported to the Dean of Students, John Weber. For more information about plagiarism and academic dishonesty, see: COURSE EVALUATIONS: Just as you will be evaluated for your performance in this course, your evaluations of my performance as an instructor are a critical way for you to help me improve the course. I will ask for anonymous midterm feedback online and also request that you complete your end-ofsemester course evaluations through Digital Measures here: GRADING AND PARTICIPATION: Your final grade in this course will be based on your achievements on course requirements weighted in the following manner: Active Participation in Class and Online Activities and Discussions 25% Exam #1 (February 20) 20% Exam #2 (April 03) 20% Exam #3 (May 08) 20% Group Project 15% GRADING SCALE: Final letter grades are based on standard percentages, not curves, as follows: 97 -100% ...A+ 93 - 96% ... A 90 - 92% ... A87 - 89% ... B+ 83 - 86% ... B 80 - 82% ... B77 - 79% ... C+ 73 - 76% ... C 70 - 72% ... C67 - 69% ... D+ 63 - 66% ... D 60 - 62% ... D<60% … F (students earning this failing grade will not receive credit for taking the course) ACTIVE PARTICIPATION: Active participation in this class comprises a large chunk of your grade—25% in total—and will be determined by your contribution to class discussion facilitation within your group (10% of your final grade), your attendance and performance on pop quizzes (10% of your final grade), and (comprising, cumulatively, 5% of your final grade) your level of attentiveness, your contributions to group discussions in class, and/or your course engagement in other ways (e.g. coming to office hours, posting course-related comments and responses online via the Blackboard Discussion feature). Speaking in larger groups can be difficult for many people. You are encouraged to push beyond your own comfort zone in this course but will have opportunities to contribute in smaller group and one-on-one discussions about course materials and online. 3
  4. 4. You are responsible for all material that is covered during any absences. Course materials will be accessible via Blackboard Learn. Please note that being late to class is disruptive and not acceptable. PLEASE TURN OFF ALL CELL PHONES WHEN IN CLASS. When you are in class, you are expected to be focused on the course materials and not engaged in other noncourse-related activities (texting, Twittering, cellphone calls, internet browsing, chatting with someone sitting next to you about Facebook or the weekend, sleeping, newspaper reading, etc.). If you engage in any of these activities while in class, I will not hesitate to ask you to leave the room and your participation grade will be affected. It is critical that you respect others’ rights to express their opinions and perspectives. We will discuss pressing social issues that are often controversial and have the power to provoke heated and impassioned responses. Remember, when expressing your opinions and perspectives, to always be respectful to others. Name-calling, insults, shouting and mockery will not be tolerated in the classroom or in online discussions. EXAMS: There are three in-class exams in this course. Each exam will contain a combination of multiple choice, short answer, and essay questions from material presented in the readings, media resources and class discussions. The exams are non-cumulative. Make-up exams will not be given. Exceptions to this rule are made only in dire, unavoidable circumstances (e.g., serious illness or emergency) that are fully documented (e.g., with official correspondence from physicians) and preferably with advance arrangements made directly with the instructor. Makeup exams, when offered, are essay exams. Exams will be held IN CLASS on February 20th, April 3rd and May 8th. GROUP PROJECT: Early in the semester, you will join 4-5 of your classmates to work on two critical tasks. First, you will be assigned to facilitate one class discussion over the course of the semester. You will receive these assignments during the first week of class. Second, you will develop and work on a class project and presentation over the rest of the semester. You must decide, as a group, what the focus of your project will be. You must also develop goals and tasks for each member of the group to complete. During the last week of the semester, you will present your group project to the rest of the class. You will have twenty minutes, per group, to make your presentation. Each member of the group should be involved directly in the presentation in some way. Your presentation may take the form of a video that your group makes, a poster that you create, a report on some activist or community service project in which you engaged, etc. The focus of your group project should be related to what you are learning in class. You might work to create a student group focusing on raising awareness about gendered violence, you could collect data on campus buildings to discern how disability-accessible and/or gendered they are, you could organize a guest speaker on a relevant topic, you might decide to present information on a topic of interest that extends beyond what you’ve learned or read in class (such as eating disorders, the glass ceiling, boys’ socialization, etc.). Your group must decide on the focus of your project by the end of January and you must submit a brief (one-two pages, single-spaced) project proposal to me in class on February 4th. Your project proposal should include your group number, group members’ names, topic of your group project, a brief summary of how you intend to conduct your project, and a list of tasks/responsibilities for each group member). YOU MUST RECEIVE APPROVAL FROM ME PRIOR TO BEGINNING YOUR GROUP PROJECT. 4
  5. 5. COURSE SCHEDULE & READINGS BY WEEK AND DAY DATE GENERAL TOPIC and CLASS ACTIVITIES WEEK #1 Tuesday, January 14 The Basics of Gender Introductions, Syllabus Thursday, January 16 Class Discussion of Readings WEEK #2 Tuesday, January 21 The Basics of Gender Class Discussion of Readings Thursday, January 23 Class Discussion of Readings, Media, Group Activities WEEK #3 The Basics of Gender Tuesday, January 28 Class Discussion of Readings, Group Activities Thursday, January 30 Class Discussion of Readings, Media WEEK #4 The Basics of Gender SPECIFIC TOPIC and READINGS Gender Diversity and the Binary: Part 1 West & Zimmerman pp. 3-12 Lorber pp. 13-19 Collins pp. 20-32 Gender Diversity and the Binary: Part 2 Walker pp. 33-35 Nataf pp. 36-41 Kessler pp. 42-46 Lord pp. 47-51 Bornstein pp. 52-54 Learning How to “Do Gender”: Part 1 Fuller pp. 55-71 Adams & Bettis pp. 72-84 Pascoe pp. 85-98 Learning How to “Do Gender”: Part 2 Class Discussion of Readings, Group Activities Tuesday, February 4 Thursday, February 6 GROUP PROJECT PROPOSALS DUE IN CLASS TODAY Class Discussion of Readings, Media 5 Jensen pp. 99-100 Hurtado & Sinha pp. 101-121 Lee pp. 122-136 Pyke & Johnson pp. 137-150
  6. 6. WEEK #5 Tuesday, February 11 Individuals in Context Class Discussion of Readings, Group Activities Constructing the Gendered Body: Part 1 Stephens & Few pp. 153-175 Braun pp. 176-188 Thursday, February 13 Class Discussion of Readings, Media WEEK #6 Individuals in Context Tuesday, February 18 Class Discussion of Readings Thursday, February 20 EXAM 1 IN CLASS Covers pp. 1-212 WEEK #7 Individuals in Context Class Discussion of Readings, Group Activities Doing “It”: Sexualities: Part 1 Tuesday, February 25 Constructing the Gendered Body: Part 2 Green pp. 193-200 Sean pp. 201-203 Slevin pp. 204-212 Higgins & Browne pp. 213-231 Martinez pp. 232-244 Naber pp. 245-262 Thursday, February 27 Class Discussion of Readings, Media WEEK #8 Individuals in Context Tuesday, March 04 Class Discussion of Readings, Group Activities Thursday, March 06 Class Discussion of Readings, Media WEEK #9 Tuesday, March 11 SPRING BREAK No Class SPRING BREAK No Readings Thursday, March 13 No Class No Readings WEEK #10 Institutions, Structures and Politics Doing Gender Diversity: At Home and At Work: Part 1 Tuesday, March 18 Class Discussion of Readings, Group Activities Thursday, March 20 Class Discussion of Readings, Media Blakemore, Lawton, & Vartanian pp. 309-320 Hines pp. 321-334 Berkowitz pp. 335-345 Hill p. 346-366 Doing “It”: Sexualities: Part 2 6 Chua & Fujino pp. 263-279 Jensen pp. 280-284 Levitt, Gerrish, & Hiestand pp. 285-305
  7. 7. WEEK #11 Tuesday, March 25 Institutions, Structures and Politics Class Discussion of Readings, Group Activities Doing Gender Diversity: At Home and At Work: Part 2 Acker pp. 367-383 Trautner pp. 384-396 Iacuone pp. 397-412 Thursday, March 27 Class Discussion of Readings, Media WEEK #12 Institutions, Structures and Politics Tuesday, April 01 Class Discussion of Readings Thursday, April 03 EXAM 2 IN CLASS Covers pp. 213-439 Institutions, Structures and Politics Class Discussion of Readings, Group Activities Thinking Critically About Structures and Institutions in Our World: Part 2 WEEK #13 Tuesday, April 08 Thursday, April 10 WEEK #14 Tuesday, April 15 Thursday, April 17 Class Discussion of Readings, Media Thinking Critically About Structures and Institutions in Our World: Part 1 Transgender Law Center pp. 415-422 Gender-Neutral Restrooms pp. 423-425 Herrmann pp. 426-439 Carlson pp. 440-452 Elliott pp. 453-461 Rogers pp. 462-464 Nagel & Feitz pp. 465-478 Institutions, Structures Rattling the Cage: Social Change: Part 1 and Politics Class Discussion of Readings, What is Gender-Normative Privilege? pp. 479-480 Group Activities Heasley pp. 481-487 Risman pp. 488-500 Class Discussion of Readings, Taylor & Rupp pp. 501-514 Media WEEK #15 Institutions, Structures and Politics Tuesday, April 22 Class Discussion of Readings, Group Activities Thursday, April 24 Class Discussion of Readings, Media Rattling the Cage: Social Change: Part 2 7 Clare pp. 515-521 González pp. 522-537
  8. 8. WEEK #16 Tuesday, April 29 Wrapping Up Group Project Presentations Group Project Presentations Groups 1-3 Thursday, May 01 Group Project Presentations Groups 4-6 FINAL EXAM Thursday, May 08 2:45-4:45pm EXAM 3 SWZ 119 Covers pp. 440-537 8