It appears that your browser does not support JavaScript. We use JavaScript on our website to display some information. Please use a browser that supports JavaScript.

Introductory Sociology

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Fall 2012
Prothro-Yeager Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times



Dr. Beverly L. Stiles (view Profile)


Course Objectives
  1. Introduce you to sociological concepts and theories
  2. Help you to use these concepts and theories to better understand your own social experiences and events in the larger social world
  3. Provide you with an understanding of how sociologists conduct research
  4. This course will allow you to begin to “think” like a sociologist:


The student should acquire an understanding of the “sociological perspective.”  This is an important term because it points to the fact that the discipline of sociology is more than just the facts that have been accumulated.  Rather, it is a way of thinking about and viewing human behavior.  The “common sense” knowledge of human behavior that we all acquire through living in society often contains a great deal of accurate information—it must if we are to survive in society.  However, it also contains much that is erroneous—under rigorous investigation it simply turns out to be false.  The sociological perspective goes beyond the level of common sense knowledge by using scientifically sound procedures to understand human social behavior and human group life.  This perspective involves an understanding of both how a sociologist does his

Course Expectations

Read the following chapters.  Take exams over this material.  There will also be additional material in lecture as well as in-class and out-of-class activities.  You will be responsible for the additional discussion/lecture material as well as material from films/videos.


Tentative Schedule of Topics and Exams



Topic1                         The Sociological Perspective

Text—Chap. 1 & 2


Topic2                         The Social Construction of Knowledge

                                                Text—Chap. 3


                        ********************FIRST EXAM***************************


Topic3                         Culture



Topic4                         Identity and Socialization

                                    Text—Chap. 5



Topic5                         The Presentation of Self

                                    Text—Chap. 6


***********************SECOND EXAM****************************


Topic6                         Social Deviance

                Text—Chap. 8


Topic7                         Groups and Families

                                    Text—Chap. 7


                        ***********************THIRD EXAM*************************


Topic8                         Social Stratification (Social Class) and Poverty

                                    Text—Chap. 10



Topic9                         Inequality---Race, Ethnicity, and Gender

                                    Text—Chap. 11


Grading Standards

There will be four (4) exams, including the final (the final is not comprehensive).  The first 3 exams will consist of 50 multiple choice questions from the text, as well as bonus questions from lecture, in-class exercises, and films.  I will not curve grades so bonus questions can help your grade a great deal.  The bonus questions are usually short answer/essay.  The final exam will consist of 40 multiple choice questions as well as two essay questions, each worth 10 points.


                                                If you miss an exam, you may take an all essay make-up exam on the last day of classes for the semester, Friday, Dec. 7th. at 3:00 in this room only when you provide proof of and excused absence.  I will lower your grade one letter grade from what you actually score on the exam (I deduct 10 points).  If you miss this make-up, you receive an automatic 0 for the exam.  Having to work is not an excuse for missing class.  If you miss more than one exam on the day it is scheduled, I will automatically drop you from class. Please do not miss any exams!



                                                Grades will be determined by the following scale:


                                                A = 90-100

                                                B = 80-89

                                                C = 70-79

                                                D = 60-69

                                                F = below 60

Final Exam 12/11/2012 1:00
Submission Format Policy Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.
Late Paper Policy

No late work is accepted.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

ATTENDANCE:                    You’ll find a high correlation between attendance and class grade!

A good portion of each exam will focus on lecture material that is not in the book.  In addition, in-class exercises and/or pop quizzes will provide bonus points.  Therefore, good attendance is a necessity.  YOU WILL BE DROPPED IF YOU HAVE MORE THAN 3 (THREE) UNEXCUSED ABSENCES.  I may drop a student for excessive excused absences as well, at my discretion.  If your combined excused and unexcused absences add up to more than 3 (three) absences, I will deduct 5 points from your final grade for each additional absence.



An absence is considered officially excused ONLY if a student:

  1. Presents a written excuse from a physician, or MSU infirmary
  2. Presents written evidence of attending a mandatory university function (band, choir, sports, etc.)
  3. Presents a written excuse from a physician for a dependent child’s illness, or
  4. Has a death in his/her immediate family
Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at