SOCIOLOGY OF THE ENVIRONMENT
You must be the change you want to see in the world.
Fall 2011, SOC
Benton Hall 319
, 3 credits
1, TTh 11
5899, ext. 5932
And by appointment
1027 Cedar Hall
(Do NOT e
mail me through ANGEL)
Issues for Debate in Environmental Management
1) ALL WRITTEN WORK MUST BE TURNED IN DURING CLASS
accept assignments via e
2) YOU MUST BE IN CONTACT WITH A CLASSMATE AND CHECK MY WEBSITE
FOR NOTES WHEN YOU MISS CLASS (I provide any missing handouts)
3) YOU CAN SEE SCORES FOR ALL OF YOUR GRADED WORK USING ANGEL
(USE YOUR EAGLENET LOGIN AND PASSWORD)
4) MIDTERM GRADES W
ILL BE POSTED ON EAGLENET
5) BRING READINGS TO CLASS
6) I WILL NOT REPLY TO PHONE OR E
MAIL QUESTIONS THAT
CAN BE ANSWERED BY READING THE SYLLABUS (AND/OR
ATTENDING THE FIRST WEEK OF CLASS)
The Goal of this
: The most important goal of this course is that you learn how to use Sociology to
think critically about the world around you, and also to understand your potential to create change.
What we can expect from each other:
I have clear expectations
of you and of myself and here’s what they
look like: We will read and be prepared to discuss the assigned readings on the class period they are due. We
are here to help each other. We will learn from each other.
Notes about community
we all need social
We will work together during the first week of class to
develop guidelines for creating a productive and supportive classroom environment. We will collectively
enforce these guidelines.
we will all work to create a classroom environ
ment that is welcoming to all, honoring the fact that
we are diverse with respect to race and ethnicity, gender, social class, sexual orientation, age, ability/disability,
country of origin, and religion.
We will be respectful of each other during discuss
ion (especially when we
disagree) and to try to learn from each other.
We will encourage the participation of everyone. We will not
allow personal attacks, or blatant sexist, racist, homophobic, or antagonistic language in the classroom.
Outside of our c
lass, there are other local groups you might want to check out. On Kirkwood’s Campus:
cultural Club (firstname.lastname@example.org), Black Student Union, Sign Language Club (email@example.com), and
Unity (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com).
Greater Cedar Rapids/Iowa City/Coralville area:
5500), African American Museum (55 12th Ave Se, Cedar Rapids, IA), Rapids AIDS (Cedar
Rapids, IA), and ICARE (438 Southgate Ave, Iowa City, IA).
Your Evaluation of Me:
In addition to the evaluati
ons at the end of this class, you will likely have the chance
to give me mid
semester feedback about the class. Also, please feel free to give me any feedback (you may
leave an anonymous note in my mailbox in the office if necessary) at any point during t
The goal of
this class is to make it as useful and productive for you as possible.
My Evaluation of You:
Here’s the deal:
ten Assignments (approximately 3
al or group service learning
(approximately 100 points)
And here’s the detail on each one of those…
You will be graded on class participation, familiarity with the course readings
t writing assignments
based on the readings that will be
at the beginning of class.
consulting my website and for
talking to a classmate for notes and details on all missed
assignments (see me only for handouts).
o your verbal contributions, you may also make
written contributions on your
participation feedback sheet
00 points total)
See description b
, but will include
: 1) project itself, 2) journal
documentation of project
relates to class material,
4) outside research about the impact of the project, 5) periodic presentations of
4 to the class
a 6) final presentation of all of the above during the final exa
ten Assignments (approximately 3
00 points total):
We will have a variety of writing
assignments over the course of the semester.
Assignments will be given in class.
responsible for consulting my website and
for talking to a clas
smate for notes and details on
all missed assignments (see me only for handouts).
You will do at least one of these per
week and be expected to report back to the class about your findings.
require you to conduct outside research connect
ed to the readings for the week.
Participation and Attendance:
It is very important and
that you will attend all class sessions.
Remember, assignments are given out and due in class.
Keep in mind:
“Learning is central to our work at
Kirkwood Community College.
Faculty design educational experiences to facilitate learning, and students learn
by engaging in those experiences.
Attendance and engagement in all scheduled classes is regarded as integral to
learning and is expected of all
Kirkwood faculty members identify expectations for learning and
attendance in their course syllabi.
Students are accountable for the learning outcomes for that session, including
those sessions that have been missed.”
Turn things in on time!!!
Instructor discretion will be used in allowing credit for late work in all situations.
But, here are
the general guidelines:
me by e
) in advance if a medical (or other)
emergency will prevent you from turning in an assignment and I may be able to make
accommodations for you depending on the documentation
you have and/or the
frequency of such events.
If you are not able to come to class on a day when an assignment is due, I do not make
distinctions (except in the case of college excused absence [absences for college
sponsored activities will be accommodated
subject to the guidelines in the student
handbook] or absence with medical or other documentation) between an "excused" and
I believe you are all adults and are responsible for making your
own decisions about coming to class.
ess, as stated in the syllabus and as discussed extensively the first week of class,
when you are absent from class, you are responsible for being in touch with a classmate
for the assignments and notes as well as checking my website for further informatio
am only a resource for handouts when you miss class.
There is a possibility that the people you contact will not return your calls/e
time for you to have an assignment ready if there is one due the very next class period,
but that is a risk
that you assume when you miss class (and do not have medical
documentation or college approval for your absence AND/OR you have not notified me
in advance so that I can work with you as stated above).
The lateness penalties that
exist are then a (small) c
onsequence of choosing not to come to class.
I cannot make
decisions for you about coming to class, but I can make our class just like the "real
world" in that there are occasionally negative consequences associated with the choices
Again, IF you
notify me by e
in advance of an extended
illness or emergency, I am often willing to work with
you and excuse a lateness penalty
even if you do not have documentation AS LONG AS this does NOT occur often.
I will NOT, however,
reply to e
mails or phone calls that could be answered by reading
this policy thoroughly (e.g., an e
mail that says, "what di
d I miss") or by listening and
asking questions about this policy during the first week of class.
The formal policy for late work is:
Any piece of late work must be turned in to me WITHIN 2
class periods after the due date for that assignment for any credi
t. (For example: If the
assignment was due Monday, it must be in by Friday for consideration of any points. Or, if the
assignment was due Tuesday, it must be in by the following Tuesday.) Points are taken off the
first class period after it was due, and mo
re points are taken off the second class period after it
is due for lateness (these are points just for lateness and do not include any points taken off in
the process of grading the assignment). However, after the second class period past the due
u will no longer be able to receive any points for the assignment. Any exceptions to this
rule will have to be approved by me and will require documentation of the extenuating illness
For small (point total) assignments, plan on a 20% de
duction the first class that the assignment
is late and a 40% deduction the second class late (remember, no credit after that). For larger
(point total) assignments, plan on a 10% deduction first class late and a 20% deduction second
class late (again, no
credit after that).
Here are some other important words directly from the College about this class…
Surveys the basic principles, concepts, research strategies and empirical findings
representative of the field today. The course examines the range of sociological thought, identifies areas of
specialization within the discipline and establishes a basis
for further study in the field.
Social Sciences Core Course Objectives:
All Social Science core courses, including Introduction to
Sociology, are designed to meet the following objectives that focus on research methods and evaluation
throughout the seme
ster. The student will:
be able to understand and think critically regarding how the discipline conducts science.
become acquainted with classic and contemporary theoretical perspectives within the discipline.
become acquainted with classic and contempora
ry research within the discipline.
understand how the discipline analyzes data and draws conclusions.
learn the ethical guidelines and challenges of the discipline.
Specific Course Learning Outcomes:
The student will:
1. differentiate between how sociol
ogists conceptualize environmental issues and how others
would define them.
2. distinguish among the major theoretical perspectives’ conceptualizations of environmental issues
and how research is done on those issues.
3. make the association among the ph
ases in the environmental movement and the environmental
issues that are researched as well as whether they are researched on the local, national and/or global
4. evaluate existing research and understand its ethical and public policy implications
Kirkwood Community College Statement on “Productive Classroom Learning Environment”:
believe that the best learning takes place in an environment where faculty and students exhibit trust and mutual
Students promote trust by preparing honest
and thoughtful work, and by expecting evaluation based on
Faculty promote trust by setting clear guidelines for assignments and evaluations, providing
honest feedback, and by assigning bias
Students show respect by being prepar
ed and attending
class on time, by paying attention, contributing to discussions, listening respectfully to others’ point of view,
meeting deadlines, and by striving for their best performance.
Faculty show respect by their timeliness and
taking students seriously, by valuing their goals and aspirations, and by providing honest
In a productive learning environment, faculty and students work cooperatively, recognize and respect
differences, model the values of character and citiz
enship, and become lifelong learners.
Kirkwood Grade Distribution (Percentages based on Total Possible Points):
93 to 100% = A
77 to 79% = C+
60 to 62% = D
90 to 92% = A
73 to 76% = C
59% or below = F
87 to 89% = B+
70 to 72% = C
86% = B
67 to 69% = D+
80 to 82% = B
63 to 66% = D
Americans with Disabilities Act:
Students with disabilities who need accommodations to achieve course
objectives should file an accommodation application with Learning Services,
2063 Cedar Hall
I will need a
written copy of any accommodation(s) prior to providing the accommodation(s).
Other Learning Resources:
The Writing Center is located in
Hall for reading and writing help.
Tutors are free and can be arranged through Learning Se
Hall. Computers are available for
computer labs throughout Cedar Hall and other buildings on campus
“According to Webster, to plagiarize is “to steal or pass of the ideas or words of another as
o use created productions without crediting the source…to commit literary theft…to present as
new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.” Kirkwood students are responsible for
authenticating any assignment submitted to an instruc
tor. If asked, you must be able to produce proof that the
assignment you submit is actually your own work. Therefore, we recommend that you engage in a verifiable
working process on assignments. Keep copies of all drafts of your work, make photocopies o
materials, write summaries of research materials, hang onto Writing Center receipts, keep logs or journals of
your work on assignments and papers, learn to save drafts or versions of assignments under individual file
names on computer or diskett
e, etc. The inability to authenticate your work, should an instructor request it, is a
sufficient ground for failing the assignment. In addition to requiring a student to authenticate her/his work,
Kirkwood Community College instructors may employ variou
s means of ascertaining authenticity
engaging in Internet searches, creating quizzes based on student work, requiring students to explain their work
and/or process orally, etc.”
Social Science Department Writing Policy:
Social Science faculty fe
el strongly that good writing is the result
of extensive writing practice. As a general rule there should be a minimum of three pages of writing for every
credit hour taught in the course. Students should be informed before the writing of the purpose and
with which their work will be graded. Faculty are responsible for giving meaningful and precise feedback on
the writing using criteria discussed with the students in advance. Exceptions can only be made with permission
of the Dean of Social
The last date to drop this class for this term is
Final Exam Information:
All final exams at Kirkwood are scheduled during the last week of the term during
the week of
The final exam for THI
S class is scheduled during that week on
Friday, December 16
at 1:00 in this room.
The Problems of Environmental Sociology
Week 1 Society’s Impact on the Environmen
Excerpt from “Waves,”
Global Problems pg. 299
and Global problems 329
ountaintop Removal in West Virginia” pg. 38 in Environmental Sociology
excerpt from “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” on ‘Oily Food’
Commodification of Oceans and Fisheries
Chapter 14 “Looming Water Crisis” in Issues for
Debate AND Chapter 15 “Oceans in Crisis” in
Issues for Debate
Inequalities: Race, Class, and Gender
“Environmental Justice” pg. 63 in Environmental Sociology AND “The Unfair Trade
Globalization and the Export of Ecological Hazards” pg. 181
Reducing your carbon footprint as preparation for planning/brainstorming for your semester
Chapter 4 CQ Researcher
Sociological Analysis of the Environment: Theories, Levels of Analyses, and Social Constructions
Sociological Imagination, Research/Methodology, and Sociological Theories applied to the
of Environmental Sociology
Social Construction of
Globalization, and Commodification
“Selling ‘Mother Earth’: Advertising and the Myth of the Natural” pg. 215 in Environmental
The Environmental Movement and Levels of Analysis of Environmental Problems
“American Environmentalism: The Role of Race Class, and Gender in Shaping Activism 1820
1995” pg. 307 in Environmental Sociology
Individual, Organizational, National, and International
Recycling and alternatives to a “convenience” society
Chapter 7 “Future of Recycling” in Issues for Debate AND Chapter 8 “Buying Green” in Issues
“Cleaning the Closet: Toward a New Fashion Ethic” pg. 396 in Environmental Sociology
The Paradox of Human Occupation and Preservation
“Rebuilding New Orleans” in Issues for Debate AND Chapter 13 “Protecting
Wetlands” in Issues for Debate
Last day to drop a class without grade recorded
Sustainable Cities and Voluntary Simplicity
Chapter 11 “Ecotourism” i
n Issues for Debate and, GUEST Dawson and talk Costa Rica,
College Meetings and Holiday
Conscious Consumption of Food
Greetings from the Non
Barcode People” pg. 408 in Environmental
AND “Eat Here”
Chapter 3 “Confronting Warming” in Issues for Debate
Outside Magazine article on 25
Anniversary of Chernobyl
OR Online Readings on Status of Nuclear Reactors in Japan post
Week 15 Preparation and Presentation of Individual/Group Service Learning Projects
Final Exam class period from 1:00
with presentation of Individual or Group
The instructor reserves the right to modify the content and schedule of the course
through verbal announcement in any regularly scheduled class period.
for this class involves you making some change in your lifestyle that
reduces your impact on the natural environment or serves to bring about environmentally positive social
You will select what type of change in your lifestyle, campus, or commun
ity you would like to
You can work with others in the class (in a group) if you would like toward the completion of
your project. You will still need to do all of the requirements, individually, but you may find ‘strength
in numbers’ if there are
others in class who
are interested in the same issu
Your project must
involve a new behavior or proposal (not something you already do).
Your project cannot involve any
Once I have approved
, you will implement
the plan (in consultation with our Service
Learning Coordinator, Jean McMenimen, if necessary) and keep a journal of your experiences that
will turn in at the end of the project.
Your journal must include:
1) a detailed description of t
elf, 2) explanation of how project relates to class material
(making specific references to specifics
from class materials)
) outside research about the impact of the project
on the environment and/or
4) record of both the successes and fa
ilures during the project, and 5) how you would
improve upon the project in the future.
Possible project ideas include….
You will be graded on the earnestness of your effort, how creative you are in developing and
implementing your project, and how well yo
u research and write your paper. We will regularly discuss
your project and provide some time in class for the project as well.
will be awarded for
ish documentation of project
(described in more detail above)
) periodic presentations of
progress of your project to the class,
) final presentation of all of the above during the
week of class/
final exam period.
See more details on the next page
Once I have approved your proje
ct, you will implement the plan (in consultation with our
Service Learning Coordinator, Jean McMenimen, if necessary) and keep a journal of your
experiences that you will turn in at the end of the project.
Your final journal due Monday the last week of c
no late work accepted
will likely be
7 pages (typed, double
spaced) and must include the following:
a detailed description of the project itself,
explanation of how project relates to environmental concerns described in our class
material (making specific references to evidence from class materials),
outside research about the social, political, or economic impact of the project on the
outside research and/or use of course materials to discuss agencies that would
benefit from your project (or with whom you could work),
outside research and/or use of course materials to suggest policies at the local, state,
, or international levels that would help with your environmental concern,
detailed description (using course materials to explain the impact on your
environmental concern) of both the successes and failures of the project, and
how you would improve or e
xpand upon the project in the future.
You will report periodically in class on the status of your project with respect to one or
more of the items you will be writing about in your journal (described above)
During the final exam pe
riod, you will formally present your project. During your
presentation, be sure to include the following:
A summary of your project.
A summary of the major findings from your journal report, paying particular
attention to parts 2, 6, and 7 above.
o/visual documentation (photo, video, power point, etc.) to describe
and illustrate your project.