Class Calendar

Monday, August 29, 2016

3 Perspectives and sports

Today we talked about the three perspectives of sociology and how they relate to sports.

I like to think about the three perspectives as three different ways of having a sociological imagination.  Three specific ways of having a sociological imagination are the three founding perspectives of sociology.  These three perspectives were the beginning of sociology.  All three of them were a reaction to the extraordinary changes of the industrial revolution taking place in Europe in the 1800s.  The founder of each of these theories is considered one of the founding fathers of sociology.  Here are the ways that we applied each theory to the tv show:

What are the groups and what functions do they serve? Are there negative influences from any of the groups (dysfunctions)? This is functional theory. It was developed by Emile Durkheim.

Who has power? How or why do they have power? How do they use it? This is conflict theory. It was first developed by Karl Marx.

What are the important symbols? Note that the symbols might be an object, but also might be an idea, an event or something else. How do people act based on the symbols they find important? This is symbolic interactionism. I like to connect symbolic interactionism to Max Weber.

Can you relate any of these theories to your own life? How can the things you do be interpreted through one of these theories? For example why do you wear what you wear or why are you going to college or why do you stress yourself out to get "good" grades?

Post 2: Posting on your blog to show evidence

Please remember that posting on your blog is the primary way that you provide evidence that you are learning. The posts are what will determine your grade at the end of the semester. Here is a prompt to help you with post number 2:

Explain some of the sociological theory that we have learned thus far: sociological imagination, sociological mindfulness, the three sociological perspectives (founders of sociology) and the social construction of reality. Then give an example from your own life/your own perspective. Also be sure to explain how the sources we looked at relate to the lesson. Remember to write properly using correct spelling and grammar.
Here is the scale that will be used to report your progress:

4 Exceeds Standards
3 Meets Standards
2 Shows some proficiency in the standards, but needs more work.
1 Does not demonstrate any proficiency

Here are the three areas you will graded on:
Sociology Content  - explain the sociology concepts that we learned this week. Demonstrate that individuals are shaped by their social life.
4 Explain multiple concepts that we  learned and apply them to a unique example (your own life or something you watched, etc...)
3 Student fully explains the sociological content using relevant terminology from the class.
2 Student somewhat explains the content from class but does not do it in detail and/or uses little or no sociology concepts or terms.
1 Student completed the assignment but did not explain any sociology at all.

Literacy - demonstrate an understanding of the sources used in class (books, movies, websites, etc…) and be able to connect them to sociological concepts/themes.
4 explain and apply multiple sources from class or a connection of an outside source found by the student.
3 Student refers properly to a source from class and explains its connection to sociology in the student’s own words.
2 Student refers to a source from class but it lacks depth, clarity or correctness.
1 Student completed the assignment but was not correct in interpreting the sources from class.

Academic Expectations - be a part of the community of class; being present and on-time, listen, share, respect, and trust other students; participate in class and write properly.
4 Student contributes to the class through commenting, listening and reading. Student uses proper grammar, spelling, punctuation and clear and academic writing. Student meets deadlines and is on time. Student’s work is neat and professional.
3 Student is able to meet almost all of the expectations above.
2 Student meets some of the expectations.
1 Student turns in the assignment or shows up, but does not meet any of the expectations above

Click here to see a student example of post 2.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Constructing a teenager

Please answer the following questions related to the Parent-teen conflict reading:
1.  What does the author say about media and teen suicide?

2.  What is rolelessness?  How do teens experience it?

3.  How are teens an example of the social construction of reality?

4.  How might some of the tension between teens and parents be caused by the social construction of "teenagers"?

We read an excerpt from sociologist Stephanie Coontz called "Parent-Teen Conflicts."  Hopefully the article helped you see that the idea of a "teenager" is a social construction.  The idea of a teenager has only been around since the 1940s.  Before that, individuals went more from childhood to adulthood very quickly.  Now, the process of childhood has a long drawn out middle period.  This encompasses the "teenage years" but it also includes what sociologists call "young adulthood."  Sociologists estimate the average age of independence in the United States  to be 27.  That is when (on average) individuals can be self-sustaining financially and emotionally and socially enough to have a family and residence of their own.  So this leaves a long middle period between the age of puberty (10) and independence (27).  And throughout that time, there are many mixed messages being given to young adults.  This results in "rolelessness," or a feeling of not knowing what is expected of you during those years.  One example was the lack of meaningful work.  Teens generally have jobs that society deems as unworthy or meaningless.  This can leave teens feeling like they don't matter.  Can you see how Coontz makes that point?  Do you see how that can be true?  Can you see how being a "teenager" is a social construction?  I wonder if by the end of the year, our community service helps erase that notion? 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Welcome Parents!

Hello and welcome to sociology!

This is the blog we use for our class.

 Sociology is the study of how people are influenced their society.

“Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.”

Some topics covered in this class:
culture; American values; influence of family, school, media; gender; deviance; social class; race

Welcome and thanks. 


What to know about my class:

1.         We are blogging.
Each day, the lesson is posted on my blogpage.
Students have their own pages. They must post on there.
The posts are the most important assessment in this class.
 2.         There is a service experience requirement.
Ten hours are due before winter break.
Many opportunities are listed on my blogpage.
Please encourage and even join your students in doing some service that is meaningful and perhaps out of their normal routine.

Are you going to eat that? The Social Construction of Reality

There is no difference between spit or saliva except for how we think about each. This is called the social construction of reality. Our reality is how we experience the world. The social construction is that our society or the people around us influences how we experience the world. Hence our experiences(reality) are created (constructed) by others (society). Spitting in different cultures or different situations (baseball) can be experienced differently, i.e. more or less acceptably. For example, most of us have been to baseball games and watched players spit all throughout the game. We didn't get repulsed by that. During one World Series, Reggie Jackson averaged 19 spits per at-bat! Another example is when parents or siblings use their saliva to wipe off a baby's face. We don't find that repulsive, but if a teacher drops saliva onto a desk it becomes gross. This can be true for nearly all of our experiences; feelings of happiness, sorrow, stress, worry. Nearly all of these are created within us by the society we are in.
Here is an example that you might not realize. The Japanese would be grossed out by the typical American bathroom. In Japan, toilets are located in a different room than the shower and bath. And the Japanese shower is always separate from the bath. They see the shower for cleaning and the bath for soaking after you have cleaned. What are some moments in your own life where you experience these feelings, but when you stop and think about it, you realize that the feelings have been created for you by society?
Another way social construction can be illustrated is in our symbols and how they shape our reaction. For example, there is a feeling that you should not walk on the Patriot.There is no real reason why, but it is a social construct. Another example is the faculty restrooms. Some of the restrooms are for individual use, that is one person at a time. These rest rooms are exactly the same: one toilet and one sink. However, the rooms are labelled with "Men's" and "Women's" signs. That makes men feel weird if we use the "women's" room, even though the men's room is exactly the same. (and vice versa). The sign is a social construct that elicits that feeling.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Experiencing Sociology...(Community Service)

Hopefully you are willing to try community service with an open mind. I think that most students who have done service experiences before will say that it was rewarding and an overall good experience. Maybe if you have done a service experience before, you can blog about it. Do you see how doing community service might make you sociologically mindful?  What was it like? What went well? What advice would you have for those who have never done it? If you have never done something like that, what do you think about it? What are your concerns and questions?

I think the most challenging aspect of this is to get students to begin thinking about what experience they might want to do without constantly hounding them. I hope you are up for it. This is your homework - find some places that you might be interested and call them! Have at least 2 places in mind by the end of the third week of the semester. Here is the assignment that I call Step 1. Please turn this in by the first progress report.

Some advice that I want to emphasize:
When you call places to volunteer, do NOT say "I have to do community service..." That makes a bad first impression. It sounds like you are being forced. Instead, say "I want to volunteer..." or "I heard it was a really cool experience so I want..." or you can even say, "My teacher told me about this experience so I wanted to try it..."

Be open minded and willing to feel a little uncomfortable. The best learning experiences of my life were when I was willing to put myself in that position.

Some of the more rewarding experiences have been PADS, the Uptown Cafe, and Clearbrook. Try to do these if you are interested, but you may have to do it with a parent or another adult.

Do not wait until the second half of the semester. These experiences take some time to setup. Sometimes the opportunities are filled, so don't wait! The sooner you set this up, the better chance you will have of finding something that is worthwhile and meaningful. If you wait, you will be rushing and you will only find some last-minute, not-so-great opportunity.

Finally, be patient but persistent when contacting these organizations. Many of the organizations are run by unpaid volunteers. Sometimes they do not work regular hours. If they don't get back to you right away, try calling at a different time of day or a different day of the week or try a different number, etc...

Monday, August 22, 2016

Sociological Mindfulness

Some Questions for reflection on Schwalbe's Sociological Mindfulness:

1) What does Schwalbe mean by "sociological mindfulness?"

2) How is this different from sociological imagination?

3) Why does Schwalbe say we should bother with sociological mindfulness?

4)What are some ways that you might live your life differently or view aspects of your life differently if you live with sociological mindfulness?  (Try to be as specific as possible.  This is a good place to start for your next post.)  One example is from the slam poem Touchscreen poem we watched.  If you realize that people are influenced by living in this age of technology that is sociological imagination.  And if you question the influence of technology on you and make conscious choices about how to let it influence you, that is sociological mindfulness.

Schwalbe's "sociological mindfulness" can be a difficult idea to grasp and Schwalbe admits that.  Mindfulness is a  concept that describes an awareness in world at this moment here and now.  It implies being tuned in to the present moment.  Sociological mindfulness therefore, is being tuned into to both the way in which the present moment is influenced by society and also being tuned into how we are a player in shaping the present moment.  The simple way I look at sociological mindfulness is that it is the mirror image of sociological imagination.  In other words, once we realize that people are influenced by their social setting, we can then realize that influence is happening right now and we are a part of it.  Each of us is both influenced by other people and influencing other people.

So, I think there are 2 critical aspects to sociological mindfulness.

First, in being tuned in to the present moment we can see and appreciate how each individual (including ourselves) is affected by when and where we live and all of the social experiences that entails.  That is, we can think with a sociological imagination about others.  And because we realize that others are impacted by these experiences we can appreciate each person's uniqueness.  This makes us more forgiving of others and of ourselves.

The second part of sociological mindfulness is being tuned into the idea that each of us is a participant in a society.  We all affect the social world, even in little ways.  Each little act we do matters and has an affect on other people.  This aspect has a much longer explanation:

Sociological mindfulness is an awareness that we are being influenced by the world and so we can question that influence and hopefully guide it.  And it is an awareness that we are influencing others and hopefully it makes us question that influence so we can have the impact that we want on our world.  Sociological mindfulness is an awareness that society is dynamic and fluid and we are a part of that. In short, sociological mindfulness is the awareness that how we interact in the world matters!

Another way of thinking about it is in Schwalbe's reading,
Think of the people you love and the kind of life you wish for them...I hope you will consider the possibility that mindfulness may be useful as a way to create better lives for more people.
What kind of life would you wish for those whom you love? How can you affect the world to be more like this way of life? Can you see how humans impact society? How can you make an impact that supports the world you want to live in? I think by answering these questions, students can begin to think with sociological mindfulness.

If you are still having a hard time grasping sociological mindfulness think about the past and all the ways individuals with sociological mindfulness have impacted our world: think about  Rosa Parks, Gandhi, Elenore Roosevelt, Desmond Tutu, Caesar Chavez, Einstein, Mother Theresa, Rabbi Heschel, and think about the movements like the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, the women's rights movement, the civil rights movement, the elimination of polio etc... Here is a link to 9 people who changed the world.  And here is 10 acts of courage that changed the world.  All of these people and movements are a product of those who had sociological mindfulness.  Think about Rosa Parks and realize that her actions changed the people on that bus and that changed the people of the city which changed our nation and that has influenced the world's view of human rights and the dignity of all human beings.  Our actions in day to day life, like where we sit on the bus and how we treat others can make a difference.   That awareness is sociological mindfulness.  In my personal life, it might be my parents sending me to college even though they themselves never went there and they didn't have the money.  My grandfather might have had sociological mindfulness when he came alone to America in 1916 at age 15.  He wanted a better life for his future and his family's future.  Both, my parents and my grandparents had an awareness that their choices mattered and that their choices affected the future.  So they made the best decision they could for my future based on that awareness.

The Starfish Parable is another way to think about being sociologically mindful
One day, an old man was walking along a beach that was littered with thousands of starfish that had been washed ashore by the high tide. As he walked he came upon a young boy who was eagerly throwing the starfish back into the ocean, one by one.
Puzzled, the man looked at the boy and asked what he was doing. Without looking up from his task, the boy simply replied, "I'm saving these starfish, Sir".
The old man chuckled aloud, "Son, there are thousands of starfish and only one of you. What difference can you make?"
The boy picked up a starfish, gently tossed it into the water and turning to the man, said, "It made a difference to that one!"
 We cannot change the world, but by being aware of how our actions affect those around us, we can make a difference for those who we do come into contact with us.

This reminds me of chaos theory which is a modern theory of science and math that events sometimes seem random but really they are part of a complex system.  Sometimes the butterfly effect is used an example - that the world is so connected and reliant on all processes that the wind from a butterfly flapping its wings in Mexico might contribute to a typhoon across the pacific in Japan.  This thinking applied to society might be considered sociological mindfulness.

I like the video from Louis CK about soc imagination. Here is an article that explains if we can be more mindful of the technology, we can be more appreciative of it and thus live a more fulfilled and happier life.

Here is a Thai commercial that promotes the idea of sociological mindfulness.

 Here is a video that highlights sociological mindfulness from a radical perspective.

For a further understanding of this idea, you click on the link to "sociological mindfulness" and see some of my posts about it.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Immunity and Community

1. Describe life in Roseto.

2.  What did Dr. Wolf set out to study originally?

3.  What did he find instead?

4. Were the people aware of these effects? Explain.

In the book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell uses a sociological imagination to understand extreme success stories (aka Outliers). Using the introduction to understand sociology we see a few important ideas.
First, sociologists study how people are affected by their social groups. People are influenced by the groups they are a part of, whether it is family, a church, a town, etc. This often contradicts the idea that people are the sum total of their own individual genes and decisions. An important sociologist, C Wright Mills, calls this having a sociological imagination. He says that one must understand the history and the biography of an individual to understand who they are. That is, people are influenced by when and where they live.
Second, we see that sociologists do not simply make opinions or philosophical ideas, rather they make claims based on research and data.
Lastly, understanding sociology can change how we think about the world and who we are. For example, in this excerpt, one might change how he thinks about good health.
Do you see how the excerpt highlights these three ideas? Can you use your sociological imagination to think about your own life or your own troubles?
The rest of Gladwell's book uses a sociological imagination to explain extreme success stories. For example, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs tremendous success and wealth stemming from the development of computers:
Gladwell describes how being born in the mid 1950s was particularly fortuitous for those interested in computer programming development (think Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, both born in 1955). It also helped to be geographically near what were then called supercomputers, the gigantic predecessors to the thing on which you’re reading this post. Back in the 1960s, when Gates and Jobs were coming of age, a supercomputer took up a whole room and was not something most youngsters would have had a chance to see, let alone work on. But because of their proximity to actual computers, both Gates and Jobs had a leg up on others their age and had the chance to spend hours and hours (10,000 of them in Gladwell’s estimation) learning about programming.
We can apply this model to more than just financial success. Think about what opportunities your own biography and history have afforded you. How has when, where, and to whom you were born shaped your life today?

Your Sociological Imagination

The "sociological imagination" is an important theme throughout our semester. The idea of the sociological imagination was developed by C. Wright Mills who said that having a sociological imagination helps one to see the connection between history and biography. That is, who we are (our biography) is determined by where and when we live (history).

The Outliers reading provides an example of how the people of Roseto were affected by where and when they live. Because they lived in the town of Roseto at that time, they lived in a way that affected them (without even knowing it) so that they had a much lower chance of getting heart disease and living longer than the rest of the country.

Think about your plans for the weekend or what you brought for lunch.  How is it affected by where and when you live?  What are the influences shaping your plans and what you eat?  Do you see how it is not simply your choice?

Another way to examine the connection of biography to history is through the Beloit Mindset list. Every year, Beloit College publishes a list of how the current year's freshmen will experience and have experienced the world differently. A couple examples of this are from the NY Times: Here is an article about students not writing in cursive. And, this link is about the changing role of the wristwatch.  Both show that being born in a different time means students will experience the world differently.  This might sound obvious, but there is a tendency for people to think that they are simply who they are regardless of time or place.  Something you can write about is how kids being born today might experience the world differently than you have.  Or, how might kids being born in 2013 be influenced differently than you have?  And yet another way to think about this is, how might you have been different if you grew up somewhere else?  Especially for those of you who have moved, try to imagine what your life would be if you still lived somewhere else.

Another example of the sociological imagination might be reflected in how different generations think differently about the world. You might remember this pepsi ad that shows the way different generations might think about the world differently.

Here is a moving and inspiring slam poetry performance by Marshall Soulful Jones called Touchscreen:
Here is some interesting research to follow up with Marshall Jones' poem:

From Psychology Today:
...the emergence of reading encouraged our brains to be focused and imaginative. In contrast, the rise of the Internet is strengthening our ability to scan information rapidly and efficiently ...
From The Independent:
A Wisconsin paediatrician, Dr Sharon Rink, told local news channel WBAY2 she has seen a surge of teenagers coming to see her for treatment [because of selfies], something which was unheard of five years ago.
Please Answer:

1)What does it mean to have a sociological imagination?

2)How is the article Outliers an example of sociological imagination?
3)How is Marshall Jones' poem an example of having a sociological imagination?
4)What are some ways you are influenced by when and where you live?


Finally, for a bit of humor, watch this Louis CK video called Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy.    He provides a funny look at how not having a sociological imagination can makes us really annoyed with our problems but really we should be thankful. Also the twitter feed #FirstWorldPains is a humorous example of this.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Flag Football Volunteer Opportunity

This Weekend!

You can volunteer with the Special Olympics at Stevenson for Flag Football.

There are positions from 9am-4pm

Here is Registration code: CAAiXn

Information Sheet, Textbook download info, Blog info, Annotating

Please take out your packet and open up to the second to last page called "Info Sheet"

Info Sheet: Second, we filled out an information sheet that is for me to get to know you. If you haven't filled it out, please print it here and fill it out.

Textbook Download:  Sociology 2016-17
Book: The Real World 5th Edition

The SMARTdesk team has already registered a code for your eTextbook.

On your iPad, in the blue and white envelope email App, in your SHS gmail account:
Look for an email from:
“Your W.W. Norton Digital Production Registration”

In that email you will see:

“To access your digital content, you can visit:

and sign in to your account.”

Tap the link.
It will take you to the web via your Safari App.

On that webpage, tap on the “green bar” that has the words:
Sign In, Register a Code, or Purchase Access

In the next window you will see:
Have you already registered for this product?
Yes, I want to sign in

Your SHS email address

Your Password is the 8 numbers you use to login to Infinite Campus and your SHS gmail
WITH Shs in front of them.  Example  Shs12345678

Now Select: Sign In

You are now successfully logged into your W. W. Norton Digital Resources account.
You will see your copy of The Real World, An Introduction to Sociology, 5th Edition

It is suggested you make this a “webclip” on your iPad for easy access.

If you are having any problems, please visit the SMARTdesk.
The SMARTdesk is open on regular school days from 7:30 AM - 4 PM.
On late arrival days: 10 AM - 4 PM

Blogging Info: First, we checked the blog. Be sure that your blog has a link to my page and that your blog is listed on my page on the right side under "Ways of Learning."  Be sure that you posted your first post.

Annotating: Lastly, we discussed annotating for this class. Anytime students are assigned readings in this class, they should assume that they must annotate. Annotating is a skill to help you remember what the reading was about and understand what the author's point is. You do not have to highlight the whole page and fill the margins with notes. Concise, informative notes that help you remember what the reading was about or that help you relate it to class are all you need. Another way to think about annotating is that you are having a conversation with the author and the annotations are your comments. Here is a guide for annotating.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Blogging Day 2 in sociology

Here is some reminders about blogging:

Here are some reminders about blogging:
Remember, do NOT use your last name or our school's name.
Please use proper grammar and punctuation.
After each post you do, you must comment on other students' posts.
Please write mindfully because what you post to the internet can last even after you delete it.
Make your posts unique and authentic. Feel free to add pictures and links.

By the end of today, try to accomplish these tasks:
Write your first post.  For the first post, simply try to answer this question: Who are you? Write a blog entry that defines who you are. Explain to the class what makes up the person you are. What are the biggest influences in your life? What are your goals/purposes in life?

After that, check to see if you have a link to my page from your page.

Then, go to my page and see if I have your blog listed (on the right side).

Then, comment on 2 other students' posts. Comments should be short(1 to 2 sentences) but sweet (meaningful; leave feedback)

Grading the blogs:

After this first post each subsequent post will be assessed in these three areas:

Academic Standards
The assignment should be neat, well organized, and on-time. It should contain proper writing including proper prose and correct spelling.

Sociology Content
The student should demonstrate an understanding of sociological ideas and themes. Student should use sociological terms correctly. Each blog needs to incorporate specific content from the class using readings, class discussions, videos, activities and the posts on my blog page. It is necessary to convey your understanding of course content as it relates to sociology and your life.

Student is able to fully apply the sociological ideas to his/her own experiences (a real life experience, something s/he watched or read, another class s/he had). Student gives an authentic example of the sociology. The example may include how s/he has been influenced as well as life experiences s/he has had. The post should demonstrate how you may feel differently now having learned a new perspective.

Using your blog throughout the semester:

One post is due by the beginning of the last class period of the week.   Usually, this will be Friday.  So if you are in period 2, then the post is due by the start of period 2 on friday.

Here is how you will be graded on your posts:

Sociology  (Artisan – students can craft authentic posts that richly explain the class content in a unique way): Students will be able to explain the concept of sociological imagination through different supporting content.  Students will demonstrate that individuals are shaped by their social life.  (Excellent includes application to student’s life and demonstration of sociological mindfulness.
10 Student is able to fully explain the sociological content and apply it to a unique example.
9  Student fully explains the sociological content using relevant terminology from the class.
7 Student somewhat explains the content from class but does not do it in detail and/or uses little or no sociology concepts or terms
5 Student completed the assignment but did not explain any sociology at all.

Standard:  Literacy (Scholar – Students can read and understand a wide variety of sources and make meaning from them):  Objective: Student demonstrates an understanding of the sources used in class (books, movies, websites, etc…) and connecting them to sociological concepts/themes.
Target (the scale):
10 Student refers properly to multiple sources from class and/or explains the connection of an outside source found by the student.
9 Student refers properly to a source from class and explains its connection to sociology in the student’s own words.
7 Student refers to a source from class but it lacks depth, clarity or correctness.
5  Student completed the assignment but was not correct in interpreting the sources from class.
                                    Success criteria:
                                    Reference to evidence from the source(refers properly)
                                    Students’ own words (explains)
                                    Author’s message/thesis

Academic Expectations (Citizen- Student recognizes the importance of being a part of the community of class; being present and on-time, listening, sharing, respecting, trusting other student, participating in class and writing properly.)
10 Student contributes to the class through commenting, listening and reading.  Student uses proper grammar, spelling, punctuation and clear and academic writing.  Student meets deadlines and is on time.  Student’s work is neat and professional.
9 Student is able to meet almost all of the expectations above.
7 Student meets some of the expectations.
5 Student turns in the assignment or shows up, but does not meet any of the expectations above

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Creating your blog

Today you will be creating your own blog page to use as an ongoing e-journal throughout the duration of this course.  You will be expected to use the next couple of days to develop your blog using creative yet appropriate images, design, fonts, colors, etc. to make it your own.  You need to follow the steps as well as the restrictions that are listed below.
NOTEDo not use last names on the blog and do not use specific identifiers such as your address or the name of our school.  Instead, you can consider using your first and middle names or other nicknames and for the school, simply say a suburban high school or something like that.
STEP 1: Please go to and follow the steps to create your blog.  Begin by clicking on “Create a blog.”  If it asks to text you a verification code, you can do that without fear of google spamming you.  Don’t feel pressured for a good title – this is changeable.  As you fill out the info,  PLEASE BE SURE THAT YOU WRITE DOWN THE FOLLOWING INFO:
PASSWORD: ______________________________
BLOG ADDRESS/URL:  http://www.                                           

Lastly, enter your info into the form titled Blog Info Form by going to this link, or fill it in below: 

Do not link this blog to your google + account

Do not use the name “Stevenson” or your last name

STEP 2: Once you have created a blog and are logged into your blog page (which should be at the blog address in Step 1) you can add gadgets or different apps to your page.  The first gadget that you must create is a link list that will have a link to my blog.  Here’s how to do that:
  • Click Design(At the top) or "layout"(on the side)  
  • Then--(on the side bar) click "add gadget"; scroll down and click add link list
    • The first title is simply the title you want for this list of links.  You can call it “link list” for simple or even leave it blank.
    • In the “new site url” box, write:
    • In the “new site name” box, write: Sal’s Page or Ways of Thinking
After you have the link to my page, you can add any other links you use often by clicking “add a link.”  Then you can add friends blogs, the school blog, facebook, instagram, email account, whatever might be useful.
STEP 4:  Personalize your blog by adding pictures/change fonts/layouts/templates or other gadgets to make this blog personal and conducive to you!  There’s lots of gadgets – feel free to explore them. 
STEP 5: First post:
To post on your blog, make sure you are logged in and then simply click “new post”.
  • Here is your first prompt:  Who are you?  Write a blog entry that defines who you are.  Explain to the class what makes up the person you are.  What are the biggest influences in your life?  What are your goals/purposes in life?  
  • Please remember that this blog should be treated as seriously as you would treat a test or an essay or a project for class.
  • You should also refrain from using your full last name anywhere on the blog.
  • You will be responsible for monitoring what people have posted on your blog. 
This is not your facebook account, you need to be aware that this site is public, therefore DO NOT use your Full Name on the page, DO NOT use information that a “creeper” could use to identify you.   DO keep your posts, pictures, and songs appropriate.

Monday, August 15, 2016


We started day one with silence. Sitting in silence was awkward and unusual for most of us. Some students felt the need to fill the silence with a comment or a joke. I use this to show that most students already think sociologically. That is, they have already learned to analyze groups and their behaviors. That is sociology. Nearly every class you have been in has started with the teacher standing in front of you and saying this is what you should or shouldn't do, etc... From participating in all of these first classes, you have begun to expect certain things from them. That is, loosely, what sociologists do; analyze people in groups and look for patterns of behavior and then analyze how those patterns affect people.
Although the silence experience is an example of how sociologists think, I also use it as a critique of modern education. Much of this critique came to me from Bernard McGrane's Book The Un-TV and the 10MPH Car. McGrane makes the case that students have been trained to follow and become good at school - but not at learning. Their curiosity and excitement for learning has been squashed by a system that rewards docility and conformity. Rather than taking initiative for their own learning, students expect the teacher to provide them with exactly what they need - "Just tell me what to do," is the attitude.
Although I am a part of this modern institutional creation, I have worked hard to counter these forces. My class will ask students to engage in the learning; take part in the process. Sometimes we will do experiential lessons like the silence experience where students will be active participants in the class. Our service experience is another example of this. Students will also be asked to be active as teachers in the class through their blogging. Each student will create a blog that will not only be a source of displaying what a student has learned, it will also be a resource for teaching other students. We all learn from each other. We are all both teacher and student.

Finally, checkout teacher Clint Smith speaking at a TED Talk about silence.  It is often our own silences that speak louder than our words.  This is especially true in a culture that teaches you to be a follower; to sit down and shut up and conform.  Watch that video.  Think about the speaker's message.  I want you to find your voice.  To learn who you are as a person and to learn to speak up for what you believe in in an educated and meaningful way.

What do you think about the awkward silence? Do you see how we set expectations based on our experiences? Did you know what sociologists studied before taking this class? Do you realize that students expect the teacher to tell them what to do? Can you see how this crushes a love for learning? What do you think about the idea of blogging as a way of teaching others? Here is the handout for Unit 1

Sunday, August 14, 2016

What would I do if I majored in sociology?

There are lots of ways you can use a sociology major and of course, many people end up working in an area that has nothing to do with their major anyway. Sociology is great for anything having to do with people and statistics or different groups of people. Here are some resources.

For majoring in sociology:
This is from the American Sociology Association's website:

The 21st century labor market is fast changing, increasingly global and technology-driven, the jobs that you may apply for as a graduate may not even exist yet. To navigate the 21st century means being able to keep up with the changing world.
As society evolves, you as a sociology major will have the tools to critically analyze the world and your place within it.

This page from Huffington Post will help allow you to explore why some students majored in sociology, what skill sets sociology students learn.

Here's a post from Everyday Sociology Blog about majoring in sociology.

Also, for finding jobs in sociology:
This is a link to the ASA page on jobs.  Here is a brief overview of where sociology majors end up after they complete their bachelor's degree.

Here is a downloadable pamphlet on careers for sociology majors.