Syllabus for SOC-376



Women and Social Action examines the ways women are challenging traditional gender stereotypes and the social structures within which men and women live, including the areas of education, the media, religious organizations, the criminal justice system, and the economy.

This course focuses on ordinary women who are working collectively in diverse settings to empower themselves and others. The course explores the barriers that women face, goals and strategies for social change, and the rewards and challenges of social action.


After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Identify the impact that gender stereotypes and barriers have on women's lives.
  2. Explain how gender stereotypes and barriers intersect with other social systems such as age, class, disability, ethnicity, race, religion, and sexual orientation.
  3. Analyze and evaluate whether the goals of methods of particular social actions are consistent with an empowerment model of social change.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the University's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbooks

ISBN-13: 978-0912670614

ISBN-13: 978-0205578726

Teleclass Study Guide

ISBN-13: 978-0757501500

Note: Please see the note about this study guide in the Strategies for Success>Study Tips section of this syllabus.

Video Programs

Note: The video programs are being offered via streaming video technology through this course site. Each study assignment will include the necessary links for accessing the video stream.


Women and Social Action is a three-credit online course, consisting of ten modules.  Modules include study materials and activities.

It consists of 24 study lessons, or classes; 4 essay assignments; 2 journal assignments; 5 graded online class discussions; and a midterm and a final examination. Study assignments include classes in the teleclass study guide together with their associated video programs and textbook reading.

Periodically, you will complete a written essay assignment or a journal submission and submit it to your mentor for correction and grading. You will also participate in online discussion assignments throughout the course. In addition, the course requires you to take two examinations: a proctored midterm and an unproctored online final examination.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in five (5) graded online discussion forums, complete four essay assignments, which consist of two questions each, complete two (2) journal submissions, which consist of 11 and 13 entries respectively, take proctored, online midterm and final examinations.  Read through the essay assignment questions and the journal assignments before you begin each class in the teleclass study guide.

Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

In addition to posting an introduction to the class, you are required to participate in five graded online discussions, each focusing on an issue related to women's studies.

Communication with the mentor and among fellow students is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct assignments: an initial response to a discussion question and at least two subsequent comments on classmates' responses. Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation.

Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement. You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

Essay Assignments

You are required to complete four essay assignments. The four essay assignments are built around associated classes in the study guide. Each assignment requires that you to write two (2) complex essays that integrate concepts from the reading and viewing material.

Your answers to the essay questions should be well developed and convey your understanding of the course materials. Each essay should be a minimum of two (2) typed, double-spaced pages or equivalent. In your responses, give examples to support your arguments, elaborate on your ideas, and formulate opinions.

Journal Assignments

You are required to complete two journal assignments. You are expected to keep a structured learning journal, which you will submit to your mentor in two parts. Check the course Calendar for submission dates. Journal Submission 1 covers Classes 1 through 11, and Journal Submission 2 covers Classes 12 through 24.

The journal will consist of your responses to the journal assignments that are presented in the boxes at the beginning of each class in the teleclass study guide. Your response to each journal assignment should be no more than 250 words (one typed, double-spaced page). That means that Journal Submission 1 should be no longer than 11 typed, double-spaced pages or equivalent, and Journal Submission 2 should be no longer than 13 typed, double-spaced pages or equivalent.

These journal entries will give you the opportunity to reflect on your own experiences and feelings. They should be a record of your own thinking during the course. Even though you will submit your journal entries in two groups, it is suggested that you complete each entry as you are doing the relevant study guide class.


You are required to take two proctored online examinations: a midterm exam and a final exam. Both exams require that you use the University's Online Proctor Service (OPS). Please refer to the "Examinations and Proctors" section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information area of the course Web site) for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures. You are strongly advised to schedule your exam within the first week of the semester.


Online exams are administered through the course Web site. Consult the Course Calendar for the official dates of exam weeks.

Sample Examination

You will find a sample online examination in the Final Exam Module. Use this sample exam to familiarize yourself with the online testing setting and format before you take your online exam. Keep in mind the following potential differences between the sample exam and your online exam:

Midterm Examination

The midterm exam is a closed-book, proctored online exam. It covers material assigned through Module 5 from the teleclass study guide, the accompanying videos, and textbook readings. The exam consists of four essays. You are given two hours to complete it.

Statement about Cheating

You are on your honor not to cheat during the exam. Cheating means:

If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in your exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.

Final Exam

The final is a closed-book, proctored online exam. It is two hours long and consists of four essay questions. The final exam covers all material assigned in Module 6 through to the end of the course from the teleclass study guide, the accompanying videos, and textbook readings. Note, however, that one essay question in the final allows you to draw on information you learned before the midterm, if you wish. That item will be identified to you in the exam.

Sample Examination

You will find a sample online examination in the Final Exam Module. Use this sample exam to familiarize yourself with the online testing setting and format before you take your online exam. Keep in mind the following potential differences between the sample exam and your online exam:


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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