Introduction to Sociology


SOCI 203 (WL01)

Introduction to Sociology

Instructor: Juergen Dankwort, Ph.D.

Voice Mail: 778-885-2529

Best way for communication à Email:





This course will introduce students to the essential concepts, theoretical perspectives, and methods used in the discipline of sociology. Topics will include culture, media, deviance, gender, ethnicity, globalization, family, religion, education, social inequality, social change, and social movements. Students will, above all, critically examine assumptions we make about social life and will develop informed views on social issues that are important in their own lives and the lives of others in local, national, and international communities.


This course will include a combination of lectures, class and small group discussions, videos, media analysis, and other activities such as written reflection, in-class tests based on module content, and in-class presentations.




Required (Available at Kwantlen bookstore):

Henslin, J.M., Glenday, D., Pupo, N. & Duffy, A. (2010). Online electronic edition of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach (5th Canadian Edition). Toronto: Pearson Canada.


Note:  It is recommended students explore the useful publisher’s resources provided online by publisher.


Additional required readings will be given out during the semester either online or distributed in class. Students are responsible for that content as well as what is discussed in class and the assigned textbook chapters for the four tests.


Your instructor will furnish a bibliography supplement for this course at your request. These sources may be useful for a term paper or other contributions you may make in class that will improve your level of participation.


·       You are also encouraged to visit the personal website of your instructor for useful links to valuable resources at this URL: Once there, click on “Archive of selected links” in the menu bar top of page. (Any new links you find that are relevant would be highly appreciated and can be added to this archive).



This is a reading and writing intensive course. Students will be expected to complete about 50 pages of reading per week in addition to reading that is required for the term paper. Competency in writing for academic purposes is a necessary key to success and your quality of writing will be taken into account in determining your final course grade. Students who need to develop such skills should consider taking an academic preparation course either before or while taking this course.

Assessment of your work in this course is based on the following:

1)    Two tests based on the readings, lectures, in-class exercises and audio-visual material examined. The mid-term and final tests are primarily comprised of multiple choice, true/false and short essay style questions. Dates for these are listed in your course schedule. The final test will be held during final exam week.

2)    Participation (includes between-class assignments): Students will be expected to take part in discussions and educational exercises during class time. The course is designed to include interactive work in groups comprised of other students in the class. Group assignments may include doing short in-class presentations on a chosen topic. Hence, attendance is vital if you want full course credit. Everyone is expected to attend regularly and to participate actively in class and group discussions. Students are expected to contribute to class discussions on a regular basis. Your voice, as your experience is extremely important because through your participation we will learn with and from each other. Attendance is taken when an in-class exercise such as a presentation is taking place because that is when inter-active learning opportunities occur. If a between-class assignment is not completed at the time it is used in class, no credit can be given for that. NOTE: It cannot be “made-up” later because it will not have been used for the in-class exercise on the assigned date.


IMPORTANT: If you miss a class session you should consult with a classmate about what took place during that session and any work that might have been assigned in addition to what is on this course outline. (Your instructor does not have the resources to provide individualized, one-on-one information for each student missing a class.)

3)    Term paper: This is a formal essay between 6 to 8 pages in length, typed and 1.5 lines spaced, using American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines for your referencing/citation style. Use one inch margins and a standard font like “Times” or “Arial” size 12 point (or if font is larger such as “Geneva” or “Helvetica” for instance, use a smaller size such as 11 or 10 point.) Please familiarize yourself with APA style referencing because correct referencing as writing quality counts towards your course grade. Details on how to write the Term Paper are provided below (3.1).  NOTE: Late submissions of term papers will result in a loss of 2 points for each day the assignment is obtained by your instructor past the due date).

Instructions on how to do this assignment:


Select one topic from a chapter in your textbook that interests you. Now look for a recent story or news item in Canada’s newspaper of record, The Globe & Mail, from the CBC or the Tyee –two other sources available online. You may choose another source but it must first be approved by your instructor. You can also first search for that news item/story and then go to your textbook to see which chapter appears to address the story. The idea here is for you to try and match a current news item with a sociological topic. NOTE: At Week 5 in the course, you are required to turn in a typed sheet with the chosen chapter topic from your textbook and the news item or story you have found. Use APA referencing. Type your name, the course title and number, instructor’s name on the sheet. Failure to do so on time will result in a loss of 2 points for this assignment each day it is late.


In your own words, (a) discuss or summarize the content of the story you have found. (b) Explain in as many ways as you can how it is sociological, using your selected textbook chapter(s) as your main reference. (c) Give your own opinion or viewpoint related to the story. (d) Find two to four additional references, preferably in professional journals, besides your textbook that will support your viewpoint.

How to organize your paper:

Begin your paper by stating what your paper is about and its highlights in a brief introductory paragraph. (Example: “This paper is a discussion of [identify your selected news story using the APA referencing style]Â….that will attempt to explain how it is related to the field of sociology. My own views about this story are also offered with additional references.” In the body of your paper you get into the details of your discussion that you very briefly outlined in the first paragraph.

You should have a concluding paragraph that highlights the key points of your paper.

3.3) Writing style:


Assume a formal writing style. You are not just writing a letter to a friend.  Look at some examples of academic writing if you are not familiar with such works.  For example, avoid contractions such as “isn’t” instead of writing “is not.” Review and edit your paper for coherency, organization, development, correct spelling, syntax and grammar before submitting. It is often a good idea to make an outline for yourself to help you organize your ideas before you write if you are unfamiliar with writing post-secondary level papers. It may also be helpful to use sub-headings to separate your ideas in your essay instead of a long, drawn-out discussion that is disorganized and repetitive.  Break up overly-long paragraphs.

NOTE: Get help early in the semester if you are not familiar with academic writing. APA guidelines are available online. Do NOT assume that your reader knows what your paper is about simply because your instructor has assigned this and will read it. Write your paper as if your audience does not have a clue what you are up to.




Besides following the APA guidelines, please adhere to the following expectations: You should have a title page that has your full name, course and date on it. The title of your paper should also appear on the first page of the text of your essay. Be sure to number each page (except title page), and do not go over 8 pages, excluding your references. NOTE: Please do not hand in your paper in a special cover or binder. Staple your pages. One point is deducted for each day your instructor receives the paper past the due date as indicated on your course schedule.


Requirement Weight Date due


Participation (includes between

class assignments)                               20%                               throughout course


Mid-Course Exam                               25%                               Latter part of 4th meeting


Term Paper                                          25%                Preparation completed by 5th session;

Completed paper due at last session

Final Exam                                          30%                             During Exam Week






%Conversion Scale          Grade Points    Letter Grade                   Definition


90 – 100                       4.33                 A+                   Excellent

85 – 89                         4.00                 A                            ”

80 – 84                         3.67                 A-                           ”

75 – 79                         3.33                 B+                   Good achievement

70 – 74                         3.00                 B                             ”

65 – 69                         2.75                 B-                            ”

60 – 64                         2.33                 C+                   Satisfactory achievement

55 – 59                         2.00                 C                             ”

50 – 54                         1.00                 D                     Marginal pass

0 – 49                         0.00                 F                      Failure




* Between-class assignments must be submitted to me in person on the date they are due. Electronic submissions are not acceptable for credit. NOTE: Make copies of any written work for yourself or keep your work on disk. You must accept full responsibility for lost work you cannot retrieve if needed. Between class assignments will not count towards your participation grade if turned in late or “made up” later because they are used for in-class exercises.


* Test deferrals are granted to students for only the following situations: (a) medical, (b) compassionate grounds such as death in family, or (c) legal circumstances such as jury duty. You must contact me, preferably before the test date, to explain your case and arrange a make-up test.


* Students are expected to act in a professional manner. Please be attentive and respectful of others when they are speaking, and keep an open mind toward ideas or opinions that differ from your own. NOTE: Turn off -or set to vibrate- cell phones and pagers while in class. If you are late, wait for an appropriate moment and enter the room quietly. Wait for the break if you are more than 15 min. late.


* Respect our cleaning staff by not leaving trash on desks or floors! Reduce, re-use, and recycle whenever possible.


* Class cancellations may occur due to inclement weather or other unforeseen problems. Consult Canada West University policy about this eventuality.




There are new tools now available to instructors for reviewing your submitted written work that allows for verifying if it is your or someone else’s work. Be forewarned that plagiarism is considered a most serious offense by your instructor and may result in your failing the course.




Cheating, which includes plagiarism, occurs where a student or group of students uses or attempts to use unauthorized aids, assistance, materials or methods. Cheating is a serious educational offense.

Plagiarism occurs where a student represents the work or ideas of another person as his or her own. If you fail to reference ideas or use sentences or paragraphs another person has written without informing the reader of your paper, you are plagiarizing.


Any student who knowingly contributes to an act of academic dishonesty by another student may face disciplinary action as well.


You may NOT submit work you have completed for another current or previous course without first discussing this with your instructors. Failure to notify your instructor about handing in a previously completed assignment for another course will be considered as dishonesty on your part and subject to disciplinary measures.











Week Chapter(s Topic(s) Pages
1   Feb. 25  

1 & 2

Course Introduction, Sociological   Perspectives, Finding Truths, Applying the Sociological Imagination  

1 – 45


2   Mar. 4


4 & 5


Culture, Socialization & Globalization

46 – 110
3   Mar. 11  

6, 7, 8


Stratification & Social Inequality (1): Class, Gender, Race & Ethnicity


111 – 191


4   Mar.18


Ch. 9

Conclusion of Part 3 & Review 

Stratification & Social Inequality (2): Class, Gender, Race & Ethnicity
Review of weeks (Parts) 1, 2 & 3 followed by Mid-term test

Review / read  all up to end of 214
5   Mar.25  

10 & 13


Key Factors Shaping Our Lives (1): The Family, Bureaucracies and Corporations
DUE: Your typed sheet with chosen chapter topic from your textbook with news item or story to be discussed.



215 – 238;
279 – 307



6   Apr. 1


11, 12 & 16


Key Factors Shaping Our Lives (2): Uses of Power & Authority via Economics & Politics
Crime & Deviance


239 – 278;
361 – 382


7   Apr. 8 


14 & 15 Key Factors Shaping Our Lives (3): Education, Religion & Health 


308 – 360 


8   Apr. 15  

17 & 18



Demographics, the Environment, Social Movements & Social Change

DUE: Your term paper

Note: Final test during exam week, likely on April 22nd


383 – 427




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