Sociology 190
Mills College
Spring 2012
Professor Maggie Hunter

Professor’s Contact Information Office Hours
Office: Vera Long 116 Tuesdays 11:00-12:00
Office Phone: (510) 430-3220 Wednesdays 1:00-2:00
Email Address: ude.sllim|retnuhm#ude.sllim|retnuhm *or by appointment.

Course Description
The Sociology Proseminar is designed to prepare students for the senior seminar course and guide them through the early stages of the senior thesis/project. In this course students will each choose a research topic, review the relevant research literature, choose an appropriate research method, and conduct some preliminary research and analysis. The course will review some of the most common research methods including qualitative interviews, ethnography, survey data analysis, and content analysis. In addition, we will study exemplary works in the field of sociology to see what constitutes extraordinary research and how great researchers do it. Students enrolled in this course will be well prepared for the Senior Seminar course in Sociology or Anthropology.

Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes
• Choose an appropriate research question and research method.
• Complete the introduction, literature review, and methods section of the thesis.
• Conduct some preliminary research and data analysis.
• Complete a professional oral presentation.
• Improve writing and communication skills, organizational skills, and research skills.
• Practice critical thinking skills.

Assessment Techniques
1. The first three assignments on research topics will assess the student’s ability to choose an appropriate topic.
2. The evaluation of the three sections of the thesis (intro, lit review, methods) will assess the quality, rigor and appropriateness of that work.
3. The preliminary research and data analysis will also assess the efficacy of the research topic, literature review, and research method.
4. The oral presentations and the final versions of the introduction, literature review, and methods section will also assess the student’s writing skills, organizational skills, and research skills.
5. The final paper in this course will be used in a college-wide assessment of the critical thinking goal of the program and the college.

Course Assignments
Each student should keep hard copies of assignments in a three-ring binder for easy reference, in addition to electronic copies. All assignments must be completed on time. Further details on each assignment will be given later in the semester.
Final Research Topic 5%
Project Timeline 5%
Project Bibliography 10%
Annotated Bibliography 10%
Methods Section 15%
HSRB application (if applicable)
Preliminary Data Analysis 15%
PowerPoint Presentation 10%
Introduction and Literature Review 30%

Statement on Accessibility
To request academic accommodations due to a disability, students should contact Services for Students with Disabilities in the Cowell Building. If you have a letter indicating you have a disability which requires academic accommodations, please present the letter to me so that I will be able to provide the accommodations that you need in this class.

Grading Policies
Your grade for this course will be based on 1) your ability to understand and synthesize main ideas from the assigned readings, 2) your ability to choose an appropriate research topic and method, 3) completion of all assignments in a thoughtful and timely manner, and 4) your ability to communicate effectively (in speech and writing) order to demonstrate your full understanding of the course content and your individual project. It is crucial to complete all assigned work. Failure to complete all assigned work will likely result in your failure in the course. Late assignments will jeopardize the successful completion of your senior thesis. In an emergency, late assignments may be accepted and will be penalized.

Class Attendance and Your Grade
Students are required to attend all scheduled classes. Each student will be allowed 1 absence from class for any reason during the semester (e.g. illness, travel, etc.). However, after 1 absence, a student’s total grade for the course will be reduced by 3 percentage points per missed class, regardless of the reason for the absence, with an exception for extreme emergencies.

Academic Integrity
Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated in this course. Academic dishonesty includes all types of cheating and plagiarism. In an institution of higher learning plagiarism is a serious breach of academic trust. For purposes of the Mills Honor Code, plagiarism is defined as, “intentionally or knowingly using someone else’s ideas, words, and/or thoughts without giving proper credit to the source. All work for which another source is not cited is assumed to be that of the writer. Material taken from another source must be cited by footnotes or by other means, as determined by the assigning faculty member” (Mills Student Handbook). Breaches of academic integrity may result in failure on the assignment and/or failure in the course.

Grading Scale
93-100 A 77-79 C+
90-92 A- 73-76 C
87-89 B+ 70-72 C-
83-86 B 65-69 D
80-82 B- 64 and below F

Required Books & Supplies (available at Mills College Bookstore)
• Students will need a 3-ring binder for this class.
• All readings are available on Blackboard.

Schedule of Readings and Assignments

Week 1 – January 18
Workshop: Creating a sociological research question
Handout: Research Topic Ideas

Week 2 – January 25
Assignment Due: List of 3 possible topics (1 paragraph on each)
Readings (General Interest):
• Katherine Kinnick, “Pushing the Envelope: The role of the mass media in the mainstreaming of pornography”
• Bruce Western and Becky Petit. 2002. “Beyond Crime and Punishment: Prisons and Inequality.” Contexts.
• Javier Auyero and Debora Swistun. 2007. “Amidst Garbage and Poison: An Essay on Polluted People and Places.” Contexts.
Handout: Moving From Research Topic to Research Question
Workshop: How to use online databases (Soc Abstracts, Google Scholar, and more)

Week 3 – February 1
Assignment Due: Final 2 topics (2 paragraphs on each)
• Meika Loe, 2008. “The Prescription of a New Generation.” Contexts.
• Kathleen Hull, Ann Meier, and Timothy Ortyl. 2010. “The Changing Landscape of Love and Marriage.” Contexts.
• Lisa Berkman. 2004. “The Health Divide.” Contexts.
Workshop: Annotated bibliographies, calendaring, project timelines

Week 4 – February 8
Assignments Due: Final Topic (250 words) and Project Timeline
Readings (Qualitative Interviews):
• Kerry Ann Rockquemore. “Between Black and White: Exploring the Biracial Experience”
• Emily Kane. 2006. “’No Way My Boys are Going to be Like That!’ Parents’ Responses to Children’s Gender Nonconformity.” Gender & Society 20(2):149-176.
Workshop: How to conduct a qualitative interview

Week 5 – February 15
Assignment Due: Project Bibliography (25 sources, ASA style, no annotations)
Readings (Quantitative Survey Data Analysis):
• Jeni Loftus, “America’s Liberalization in Attitudes toward Homosexuality”
• Ellison, Skin, and Leal. 2011. “The Contact Hypothesis and Attitudes Toward Latinos in the United States.” Social Science Quarterly 92(4).
Workshop: How to use the General Social Survey (GSS)

Week 6 – February 22
Assignment Due: Annotated Bibliography (10 sources)
Readings (Ethnography):
• Mitch Duneier, Sidewalk, Introduction and Part One
• Laura Grindstaff, “Talk as Show (A Show of Emotion)”
Workshop: How to do ethnographies

Week 7 – February 29
Assignment Due: Revised Timeline
Readings (Quantitative Survey Data Analysis):
• Zuo and Tang, “Breadwinner Status and Gender Ideologies of Men and Women…”
• Juliet Schor, The Overworked American, chapters 1-2
Workshop: Working with U.S. Census data

Week 8 – March 7
Assignment Due: Methods Section (3-4 pages)
• No assigned readings
• In class video screening
Workshop: In-class content analysis activity & HSRB applications

Week 9 – March 14
Assignment Due: HSRB applications
• No assigned readings.

Week 10 – March 28
Assignment Due: Complete Preliminary Research (pilot interviews, tables, etc.)
Readings (Ethics):
• Linda Tuhiwai Smith, “Research Through Imperial Eyes”
• Jayaratne and Stewart, “Quantitative and Qualitative Methods in the Social Sciences: Current Feminist Issues and Practical Strategies”
• France Winddance Twine, “Racial Ideologies and Racial Methodologies”
Workshop: Social Location and the Politics of Research

Week 11 – April 4
Assignment Due: Preliminary Data Analysis Write-Up
• See Blackboard for assigned readings.
Workshop: Demystifying the Graduate School Application Process (begins at 4:00)

Week 12 – April 11
Individual Meetings with the professor (4 students)
• See Blackboard for reading assignment.
Workshop: Public Speaking and Professional Presentations (begins at 4:00)

Week 13 – April 18
Individual meetings with the professor (4 students)
• See Blackboard for reading assignment.
Workshop: From Senior Thesis to Resume to Job Interview (begins at 4:00)

Week 14 – April 25
• Class presentations (4 students, 15 minutes each plus Q&A)
Please bring food to share if you are not presenting

Week 15 – May 2
Assignment Due: Introduction and Literature Review
• Class presentations (4 students, 15 minutes each plus Q&A)
Please bring food to share if you are not presenting