Soc 285-02 Information Society

Fall 2008

Dakota State University

Kennedy Center 116   

10:00-10:50 M, W, F

3 credits; Prerequisites:  CSC 105


Professor:  Dr. Viki Johnson

Office:  148-B Science Center


Phone:  605-256-5823

Office Hours:  M,W,F 8:00 to 10:00; M,W 1:00 to 2:00

                         Or, by appointment


Course Description:  Analysis of present and future impact of computerized information on social relationships and the fabric of society.  


Required Texts:


De Palma, Paul, Ed.  2008.  Computers in Society 08/09, Fourteenth Ed.  Boston:

McGraw Hill.


Harris, Muriel.  2007.   Prentice Hall Reference Guide (customized for DSU).  Sociology 285 is a major area writing intensive course.  All composition and writing intensive courses at DSU utilize this common writing handbook.


Ritzer, George.  2006.  McDonaldization:  The Reader, Sec. Ed.  Thousand Oaks, CA:  Pine Forge Press.          


Course Goals and Outcomes:


SOC 285 meets System General Education Goal #3:  Students will understand the organization, potential, and diversity of the human community through study of the social sciences.


Student Learning Outcomes:

As a result of taking this course, students will:

1.      Identify and explain basic concepts, terminology and theories of sociology from different spatial, temporal, cultural and/or institutional contexts.

2.      Apply selected sociological concepts and theories to contemporary issues.

3.      Identify and explain the social or esthetic values of different cultures.


In addition, as a result of taking this course, students will be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of:

4.      The allocation of human or natural resources within societies.


SOC 285 meets Institutional Graduation Requirement Goal #2:  Students will refine their understanding and practice of reading and writing as integral parts of researching, learning, discussing, and presenting academic materials. 


Student Learning Outcomes:

As a result of taking this course, students will:

1.      Read extensively and respond critically in written discourse.

2.      Use writing to learn course content by practicing writing as an integral, on-going part of the course and applying writing conventions of appropriate style manuals (ASA).  


SOC 285 meets the Global Issues Requirement:  Students will understand global issues and how they affect the human community.


Student Learning Outcomes: 

As a result of taking this course, students will:

  1. Demonstrate a basic understanding of global issues.


In addition, as a result of taking this course, students will be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of the following by being able to:

  1. Identify and analyze global issues, including how multiple perspectives impact such issues.
  2. Identify the benefit and cost implications of global issues.
  3. Interpret global issues and data utilizing sociological, analytical, and/or philosophical tools. 
  4. Reference knowledge from international sources, including sources that may be fragmented, conflicting, and multidisciplinary. 


SOC 285 meets the Major Area Writing Intensive Requirement:  Students will refine their understanding and practice of reading and writing as integral parts of researching, learning, discussing, and presenting academic materials. 


Student Learning Outcomes:

As a result of taking this course, students will:

  1. Read extensively and respond critically in written discourse.
  2. Use writing to learn course content by practicing writing as an integral, on-going part of the course and applying writing conventions of appropriate style manuals (ASA).


Basis for Course Grade


Assessment of the goals and objectives will be determined through five major course components; participation, being an online discussion leader for your group, a group presentation, a final synthesis essay, and a service learning project OR through researching/following a country.  There are 395 total points in the course.  The final course letter grade will be determined as follows:


90% and above (354 to 395 points)    A

80% to 89% (315 to 353 points)         B

70% to 79% (275 to 314 points)         C

60% to 69% (236 to 313 points)         D

59% and below (235 points or less)    F



Participation (70 Points)

Every two weeks, you will be given up to a maximum of 10 participation points, to total 70 points at the end of the semester.  Participation includes in-class activities, and reading and writing assignments.   


In-class Activities

Class attendance is expected; however, you will not be awarded participation points or have points taken away solely on the basis of whether or not you attend class.  Class activities will include small and large group face to face and electronic discussions; mini-lectures to highlight, emphasize, or clarify reading assignments, or to give additional information not contained within the reading assignments; watching film, videos, and video clips, in order to demonstrate and highlight course concepts, social and cultural theories, and multiple viewpoints; participating in classmates’ presentations; and researching, visiting, and interacting with websites related to course content.


You will be asked to respond in writing to mini-lectures, videos, and other activities that we do in class.  For example, after viewing a video, I may ask you to respond to a particular question about it or to tell me how it related to a particular concept or idea that we have been discussing.  Likewise, at the beginning of the class, I might ask you to give your opinion on a statement or idea about something that we will be exploring further that day in class. In both examples, you will only get a limited amount of time to respond (generally five or 10 minutes), and while I want you to be cognizant of writing mechanics so that I can understand what you are trying to say, the main focus of your response should be on the content.  Thus, if you were in class to view the video, and you were there the day that we start out with a writing assignment, you will get participation credit for doing those activities.    


Classroom Discussion Group

During the first week of class, you will be assigned to a permanent group.  Throughout the semester, you will be having small group discussions and doing other activities with your group members.  Being in the same group with the same students throughout the semester gives you the advantage of getting to know the members of your group quite well and feeling comfortable discussing issues with them and participating in other classroom activities.  You will also be doing a group research project with the members of your classroom discussion group.    


Reading and Writing Assignments

Sometimes I will ask you to respond in writing to a reading assignment.  Therefore it is very important that you keep up with the reading and complete it by the due date.  All reading assignments and their due dates are posted on the syllabus calendar.  Assignments should be read by class time on the day that they are due.  Once again, content will be the key with these writing assignments and you will also be given a limited amount of time to respond to them.  If you have your textbooks with you, you can reference them, but you will not have time to read the entire chapter or reading selection.  Sometimes I may just ask you to summarize what the reading was about, and other times I might ask you a more specific question.  In either instance, while some might consider these in-class writing assignments to be akin to a quiz, I will not ask or expect you to remember little details.  I will be looking for the big picture or overall purpose or idea of the reading, and I want to know that you are indeed doing the reading assignments.


Therefore, if you come to class regularly, participate in whatever it is that we are doing, and you read your assignments by the due dates, then you should do well in the participation portion of the class. However, if you never come to class, or if you come to class but do not participate in discussions or activities, and/or if you do not read your assignments, you will not do so well with the participation portion of the class.  So, it is both quantity (coming to class) and quality (actually participating in whatever it is that we are doing) that is considered when assigning participation points.  Under “DSU Getting Started” on the class D2L site, you will find a “Participation Grading Rubric,” which gives more details about the quantity and quality expectations, so that if you lose participation points, you understand why.     


Online Discussion Leader (60 Points) and Online Discussion Participation (140 Points)


Online Discussion Leader

In addition to being assigned to a classroom group, you will also be assigned to an online discussion group. Your online discussion group will be composed of different class members than your classroom discussion group.  You will have the opportunity two times during the semester to lead your group’s discussion.  You get to choose which article(s)  or reading(s) on which to focus the discussion that week, and what question or questions you wish your group members to discuss.  Each time that you are an online discussion leader, you must submit a paper to me indicating why you chose the particular article or reading on which to focus, the basis on which you chose your discussion questions, and the social and technological implications of the particular article or reading. 


The paper will be graded for both content and writing mechanics.  Twenty points will be given for content and the way in which you guide the discussion, and 10 points will be given for writing mechanics.  If you miss any of the writing points, you have the option to re-write your paper to get back some or all of the 10 points (You cannot re-write your paper for points missed in the content and discussion guiding section).  Indications will be made on your paper highlighting the mechanical problems.  If the problem is repetitive, specific page numbers in your Prentice Hall Reference Guide will be given for your review.   In addition, you may stop by my office to visit about the writing issues that were highlighted in your assignment, and we can work through them so that you don’t have similar issues in future assignments.  More specific guidelines for re-writes, their due dates, and how and what should be submitted, can be found under “DSU Getting Started” on the class D2L site. 


I will randomly choose the week in which you guide an online discussion, and you can choose which article(s) or reading(s) you wish to discuss.  You have the option to change weeks with someone else in your group, but each group member must guide a discussion two times.  Your paper is due two days before the week in which you lead discussion.  More specific guidelines for leading the discussion and doing the discussion paper assignment, including content and length expectations, are given in the assignment guidelines posted under the “Dropbox” link in the class D2L site.


Online Discussion Participation

When you are not leading the discussion in your group, you be participating in the discussion.  A maximum of ten points will be assigned each week for discussion participation. 


You are expected to use Standard English on the discussion boards. While you can be much more informal and conversational with your writing style on the discussion boards, please do not use text or instant message abbreviations.  An occasional LOL is okay, but your message should not be peppered with abbreviations.  While you will not lose points for occasional grammatical errors, if your message is so poorly written that it is barely decipherable or if it is filled with writing errors, you will lose participation points, and I will address the issue individually with you.  For additional and more specific guidelines, including online etiquette expectations, please click on the “Discussion Guidelines” link under “DSU Getting Started” on the D2L class site.  In addition, the “Discussion Guidelines” document also includes a grading rubric giving more specific details about the expectations, so that if you lose discussion points, you understand why.    


Group Presentation (45 Points)

Each group will have an opportunity to present on a topic of their choice pertaining to computers, technology, and society.  Specific topics can be chosen from the following broad course categories:


Social Impact of Computing

McDonaldization of Society

Employment, Work, and Education


Crime, and Legal and Regulatory Issues

Communication, People, and Social Participation and Networking


Each group must present to the class for two class periods.  You are expected to include a lecture and/or discussion section and at least two other activities, such as videos/video clips, music, web site exploration/interaction, hands on activities/demonstrations, etc.  This is not meant to be a “typical” classroom presentation wherein you tell the class about a topic, basically in a lecture type of format.  I want you to be as creative as possible, and capture the interest of your classmates and involve them in your presentation as much as possible.  We will discuss this in more detail during the second week of class.


Since it is often difficult for all students in a group to find a common time to meet for group projects, several whole and several partial class periods will be devoted to the group presentation.  You are expected to discuss, design, and work on the details of your presentation during these class periods.  If you want to leave class early or not come to class during those times, the “Overview of the Presentation” and the “Individual Contribution” portions of the project listed below must be completed and turned in.  Any electronic handouts, PowerPoints, music, videos, discussion questions, etc., for your presentation must also be organized, completed, and/or turned in.  If you leave class early or do not come to class without completing and turning in these items, you will lose in-class participation points.  Finally, any revisions needed for the “Overview of the Presentation” may also be done during these class periods.     


Overview of Presentation

Each group must submit a two page paper (approximately) outlining your topic choice, your activities, and the references you will use, as well as a justification for the topic and the activities.  This must be submitted at least two weeks before your group is scheduled to present.  This part of the group presentation is worth 15 points, and each group member will receive the same score on this part of the presentation.  Ten of the points are for content (clearly outlining what your group will do for the presentation) and five of the points are for writing mechanics.  It is expected that group members will work together and hand in a well-written document.  For this part of the presentation, however, you MUST re-do and/or re-write as a group if you miss any points in EITHER the content or writing mechanics part of the paper.


Individual Contribution

Each group member will submit an explanation of what their contributions were/will be for the presentation.  Perhaps you did the research, prepared a PowerPoint or other document, made the discussion questions or will lead the discussion, etc.  You must indicate all of your group contributions.  In addition, you must also tell if you believe everyone in your group contributed equally to the presentation, and if you personally contributed more, less, or the same as everyone else in your group (This gives you the opportunity to express or explain any problems or issues that may have arose during the planning of your group presentation.).  This part of the group presentation is worth 15 points.  Ten points are for content and five points are for writing mechanics.  If you miss any of the writing points, you have the option to re-write your paper to get back some or all of the five points (You cannot re-write your paper for points missed in the content section).   




The Presentation

The presentation is worth 15 points.  Each person in your group will receive an individual grade for the presentation, depending upon what your role is in it.  If you do not come to class the day that your group presents (regardless if you have done the “behind the scenes” activities for your group and are not actually presenting), you will receive a zero for this portion of the group presentation grade. 


More specific guidelines, expectations, and a grading rubric for the presentation, as well as for the overview and individual contribution, can be found in the assignment guidelines located under the “Dropbox” link on the class D2L site.        



Final Synthesis Essay (30 Points)

The final synthesis essay is the “final” for the course.  It will give you an opportunity to bring together or synthesize course content, and tell how computers and technology have impacted American society, global society, and your own personal life.  Twenty points of the essay are for content and 10 are for writing mechanics.  If you miss any of the writing points, you have the option to re-write your essay to get back some or all of the 10 points.  If you miss more than 10 of the content points, you can also re-write to get back some or all of those points.   


This essay is due by 10:00 AM on December 3rd.  You will receive your graded essay back by December 10th.  Rewrites are due on December 15th during the final exam time (10:10 to 12:10).  You can bring in your finished document for review, or you can work on your document during the final exam time, and ask for any needed assistance or guidance.  More specific guidelines and length and content expectations can be found in the assignment guidelines under the “Dropbox” link on the class D2L site.    


Service Learning Or Researching/Following a Country (50 Points)

You will have the opportunity to choose between doing service learning or researching/ following a country.


Service Learning

If you choose this option, you must complete 10 hours of service learning at one of the service learning sites (Habitat for Humanity or Bethel Lutheran Home) or attend a weekend service learning retreat with students from the University of South Dakota (The cost for this trip is completely covered by DSU and USD).  A representative from both Habitat for Humanity and Bethel Lutheran Home will come to class to talk about service learning opportunities at each of their sites, and we will also discuss the weekend retreat opportunity. 


After completing your service learning hours, you must write a paper describing your experiences with service learning, what you personally learned, and how it relates to the course concepts and ideas that we have been discussing throughout the semester.  The length expectation for this paper is approximately three pages.  In your service learning paper, you will be graded for both content and writing mechanics. More specific guidelines and point break downs can be found in the assignment guidelines located under the “Dropbox” link on the class D2L site.



Researching/Following a Country

If you pick this option, you must choose a country, research the social implications of computers and technology for its society, in both macro (social institutions, such as government, economy, family, religion, education, etc.) and micro (face to face interactions and relationships) terms.  You must write a paper outlining the three major social implications that technology has had during the past approximately 10 years on the country that you chose to research.  You must reference at least three sociology/social science and three technology journals (A total of six journals) in your paper, and follow American Sociological Association (ASA) citation and reference guidelines.  You can use popular magazines and websites in addition to the six journals if you wish.  The paper should be approximately five to six pages in length, excluding the cover page and reference page(s). 


Then, five times throughout the semester, you must post information about your country (Tell what is presently going on with society/culture and technology) to share with the rest of the class.  Your postings should tie in with the course content that we are discussing at the time and can include article links, websites, images, or other info (All with clear explanations given for each website or image, etc., used).  The first posting should be a historical and contemporary overview of the country.   


In your paper and on your D2L postings, you will be graded for both content and writing mechanics.  More specific guidelines and point break downs for both the paper and the postings, as well as ASA citation and reference links, can be found in the assignment guidelines.  You should note that ASA guidelines are very similar to American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines, which are contained within your Prentice Hall Reference Guide.


A Final Note About Your Grade

Please keep in mind that not taking any assignment or portion of the course seriously will impact your grade.  For example, losing multiple points in the writing mechanics category (and not re-writing) on various assignments will greatly impact your grade.  Writing mechanics are also a significant portion of your grade on your service learning or researching/following a country projects.  Finally, if you don’t take the participation part of the course seriously and lose 10 points “here and there” throughout the semester, or only get half of the points most of the time, it will also greatly impact your grade.


Also please note that late assignments will NOT be accepted.  This includes written and discussion board assignments (You must post by the due date and time).  In addition, you can NOT make up missed in-class assignments.  And, there is NO extra credit in this class. 


You can turn in ONE late written assignment during the semester, as long as you submit it within TWO days (48 hours) of the due date.  You will not be able to submit it through the “Dropbox” link if it is late, so simply email me the assignment, and no explanation will be needed nor will any questions be asked.  However, this is a ONE time deal only.


You can also post late ONE time on the discussion board. As with written assignments, you must post within TWO days (48 hours) of the due date and time in order to receive credit.  It is expected, however, that you will not routinely wait until the last minute to post (See the participation grading rubric for more information on this), as the idea of posting on the discussion board is to have a “discussion,” wherein you are posting periodically throughout the week.  It is difficult to have a back and forth dialog if every one posts on the very last day, and at the very last minute.


Finally, in-class assignments can not be made up.  Remember, however, that participation includes in-class writing assignments, participating in discussions, and other class activities.  Therefore, missing one in-class assignment does not necessarily mean that you will lose significant participation (or any) points.  Remember, you are graded on both quantity and quality.  If you have done everything else within that two-week time period, and done it very well, you will likely not lose any or very few points for missing only one in-class assignment (Again please refer to the grading rubric in the “Discussion Guidelines” link under “DSU Getting Started” for more specific guidelines).         



Classroom Policies


Conduct:  You are expected to respect my rights, as well as the rights of the other students in this class.  To this end, you should refrain from talking, whispering, and other disruptive behaviors while I or other students are talking.  In small group and whole class discussions, respect and tolerance for other viewpoints will be expected. 


Freedom in Learning Statement:  Students are responsible for learning the content of any course of study in which they are enrolled. Under Board of Regents and University policy, student academic performance shall be evaluated solely on an academic basis and students should be free to take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in any course of study.  It has always been the policy of Dakota State University to allow students to appeal the decisions of faculty, administrative, and staff members and the decisions of institutional committees.  Students who believe that an academic evaluation is unrelated to academic standards but is related instead to judgment of their personal opinion or conduct should contact the dean of the college which offers the class to initiate a review of the evaluation.


Academic Honesty:  Cheating and other forms of academic dishonesty run contrary to the purpose of higher education and will not be tolerated in this course. If you engage in any form of academic dishonesty, you will receive an “F” in this course. All work for this class must be original, meaning that you cannot turn in a paper or any other assignment that you have written or done for another class.  Please be advised that, when I suspect plagiarism, the Internet and other standard means of plagiarism detection will be used to resolve my concerns.  DSU’s policy on academic integrity (DSU Policy 04-05-00) is available online at


University Policy Regarding the Use of Tablets in the Classroom:  The Tablet PC platform has been adopted across the DSU campus for all students and faculty, and tablet usage has been integrated into all DSU classes to enhance the learning environment.   Tablet usage for course-related activities, note taking, and research is allowed and encouraged by DSU instructors.  However, inappropriate and distracting use will not be tolerated in the classroom.  Instructors set policy for individual classes and are responsible for informing students of class-specific expectations relative to Tablet PC usage. Failure to follow the instructor’s guidelines will hinder academic performance and may lead to disciplinary actions. Continued abuse may lead to increased tablet restrictions for the entire class.


In this class, you must have your tablet closed during face to face discussions, when watching film and video, during group presentations, or during other class activities which do not utilize the tablet.  If you wish to take notes during a film or activity, you can do so, but you must have your screen flat, in the tablet mode.  In addition, the note taker for your group can have their screens up for typing notes, during group discussions or activities. 


Simply having your screen up during a video, for example, is distracting to other students.  Instant messaging and other continuous typing is even more distracting.  Thus, if you are unable to refrain from using your tablet during class activities in which its use is not required, you will be asked to leave the classroom.      


Because tablet technology is an integral part of this course, it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that his/her Tablet PC is operational prior to the beginning of each class period.   


Accommodations/ADA Statement:  If you have a documented disability and/or anticipate needing accommodations (e.g., nonstandard note taking, test modifications) in this course, please arrange to meet with the instructor.  Also, please contact Dakota State University’s ADA coordinator, Keith Bundy, in the Student Development Office located in the Trojan Center Underground or at 256-5121, as soon as possible.  The DSU website containing additional information, along with the form to request accommodations is: .  You will need to provide documentation of your disability.  The ADA coordinator must confirm the need for accommodations before officially authorizing them. 





Tentative Calendar*

All  assignments and their due dates are also posted on the D2L calendar.  Specific guidelines for assignments can be found under the “Dropbox” link. 




Overview of the Social Impact of Computing


Week One (September 3rd and September 5th)

Course Introduction and Group Assignments  

Read by September 8th:

Computers in Society

Article 1 (“Five Things We Need to Know About Technological Change”), pp. 3-6

Article 2 (“Slouching Toward the Ordinary:  Current Trends in Computer-Mediated Communication”), pp. 7-11


Week Two (September 8th, 10th, and 12th)

Social Implications of Technological Change and Service Learning Representatives’ Presentations

Read by September 15th:


Chapter 1 (“An Introduction to McDonaldization”), pp. 4-24

Chapter 2 (“Precursors:  Bureaucracy and Max Weber’s Theory of Rationality, Irrationality, and the Iron Cage”), pp. 26-30

Chapter 3 (“Islands of the Living Dead:  The Social Geography of McDonaldization”), pp. 32-39

Chapter 8 (“A Conversation With Eric Schlosser, Author of Fast Food Nation”), pp. 70-73

Online Discussion Group (Post September 8th through September 14th)


McDonaldization of Society


Week Three (September 15th, 17th, and 19th)

Service Learning Representatives’ Presentations, Social Implications of Technological Change, Defining the McDonaldization of Society, and Discuss Group Presentations

Read by September 22nd:


Chapter 5 (“A Sociology of Rib Joints”), pp. 46-52

Computers in Society

Article 7 (“The Beauty of Simplicity”), pp. 28-31

Article 8 (”The Software Wars:  Why You Can’t Understand Your Computer”), pp. 32-38

Online Discussion Group (Post September 15th through September 21st) 


Week Four (September 22nd, 24th, 26th)

Hardware and Software Design and Work on Group Presentations

Read by September 29th:


Chapter 16 (“The McDonaldization of the Internet”), pp. 155-168

Computers in Society

Article 40 (“The Digital Divide:  In Search of a PC for the People”), pp. 184-185

Article 10 (“National ID:  Biometrics Pinned to Social Security Cards”), pp. 48-49

Online Discussion Group (Post September 22nd through September 28th)



Employment, Work, and Education


Week Five (September 29th, October 1st and 3rd)

Education versus Work, and Work on Group Presentation

Read by October 6th:

Computers in Society

Article 12 (“Computer Software Engineers”), pp. 56-59

Article 37 (“Restoring the Popularity of Computer Science”), pp. 177-178

Article 13 (“The Computer Evolution”), pp. 60-62

Article 15 (“Making Yourself Understood:  In an Age of Technology, Writing Skills are More Important Than Ever”), pp. 63-67


Chapter 17 (“McJobs:  McDonaldization and Its Relationship to the Labor Process), pp. 171-177 

Chapter 18 (“McWork in Europe”), 179-181

Online Discussion Group (Post September 29th through October 5th)


Week Six (October 6th, 8th, and 10th)

Employment, and Work on Group Presentation

Read by October 15th:


Chapter 19 (“Supersizing Farms:  The McDonaldization of Agriculture”), pp. 183-195

Chapter 15 (“McMorals Revisited:  Creating Irrational Characters?”), pp. 136-153

Computers in Society

Article 20 (“Back-to-School Blogging:  Web Logs Help New Students Prepare for Campus Life”), pp. 98-100

Article 21 (“Email is for Old People: As Students Ignore their Campus Accounts, Colleges Try New Ways of Communicating”), pp. 101-103

Online Discussion Group (Post October 6th through October 12th)

Group Presentation October 15th and 17th  





Week Seven (October 13th, 15th, and 17th)

Group Presentation [No class 10/13 (Native Americans’ Day)]  

Read by October 20th:

Computers in Society

Article 11(“Brain Circulation:  How High-Skill Immigration Makes Everyone Better Off”), pp. 50-53

Article 12 (“The New Face of the Silicon Age:  How India Became the Capital of the Computing Revolution”), pp. 54-55

Article 36 (“Is the Crouching Tiger a Threat?  Considering the Changing Representation of the Computing Community”), pp. 175-176

Article 38 (“China’s Computer Wasteland”), pp. 179-181

Online Discussion Group (Post October 13th through October 19th)


Week Eight (October 20th, 22nd, and 24th)

Globalization and Culture, and Work on Group Presentation

Read by October 27th:


Chapter 30 (“Globalization and Culture:  Three Paradigms”), pp. 278-282

Chapter 31 (“McDonaldization and the Global Culture of Consumption”), pp. 284-290

Chapter 32 (“The McDonald’s Mosaic:  Globalization and Diversity”), pp. 300-305

Chapter 36 (“Glocommodification:  How the Global Consumes the Local--- McDonald’s in Israel”), pp. 325-333 

Online Discussion Group (Post October 20th through October 26th)


Crime, and Legal and Regulatory Issues


Week Nine (October 27th, 29th, and 31st)

Work on Group Presentation and Privacy/Big Brother

Read by November 3rd:

Computers in Society

Article 19 (“The Perfect Mark:  How a Massachusetts Psychotherapist Fell for a Nigerian E-mail Scam”), pp. 91-97

Article 23 (“Piracy, Computer Crime, and IS misuse at the University”), pp. 109-114

Article 30 (“The Virus Underground”), pp. 145-151

Online Discussion Group (Post October 27th through November 2nd)

Group Presentation November 5th and 7th


Week Ten (November 3rd, 5th, and 7th)

Privacy/ Big Brother, and Group Presentation

Read by November 12th:

Computers in Society

Article 31 (“Secrets of the Digital Detectives”), pp. 152-153

Article 32 (“Data on the Elderly, Marketed to Thieves”), pp. 154-157

Article 9 (“Scan This Book!”), pp. 39-45

Article 22 (“The Copyright Paradox:  Fighting Content Piracy in the Digital Era”), pp. 107-108

Online Discussion Group (Post November 3rd through November 9th)

Group Presentation November 12th and 14th  


Week Eleven (November 10th, 12th, and 14th)

Group Presentation [No class (Assessment Day) 11/10]

Read by November 17th:


Chapter 11 (“McDonaldization of America’s Police, Courts, and Corrections”), pp. 88-101

Online Discussion Group (Post November 10th through November 16th)

Group Presentation November 17th and 19th


Communication, People, and Social Participation and Networking


Week Twelve (November 17th, 19th, and 21st)

Group Presentation, and Computers, Communication, and Emotion  

Read by November 24th:


Chapter 13 (“McDonaldization and the Family), pp. 119-129

Chapter 20 (“From Creeds to Burgers:  Religious Control, Spiritual Search, and the Future of the World”), pp. 197-202

Chapter 23 (“McDonaldization and the Global Sports Store:  Constructing Consumer Meanings in a Rationalized Society”), pp. 216-219

Online Discussion Group (Post November 17th through November 23rd)


Week Thirteen (November 24th, 26th, and 28th)

Computers, Communication, and Emotion [No class 11/28 (Thanksgiving Break)]

Read by December 1st:

Computers in Society

Article 17 (“Romance in the Information Age”), pp. 75-81

Article 18 (“How do I Love Thee?”), pp. 82-90

Article 41 (“A Nascent Robotics Culture:  New Complicities for Companionship”), pp. 189-199


Chapter 12 (“McDonaldization of the Sex Industries?:  The Business of Sex”), pp. 103-117

Online Discussion Group (Post November 24th through November 30th)

Group Presentation December 3rd and 5th

Final Synthesis Essay due December 3rd


Week Fourteen (December 1st, 3rd, and 5th)

Information Age and Romance, Online Dating, and Group Presentation

Read by December 8th:


Chapter 28 (“Globalony”), pp. 350-358

Computers in Society:

Article 42 (“March of the Robolawyers”), pp. 200-201

Article 44 (“Toward Nature-inspired Computing”), pp. 206-211

Article 45 (“The Intelligent Internet”), pp. 212-217

Article 46 (“Mind Control”), pp. 218-221

Online Discussion Group (Post December 30th through December 7th)


The Frontier of Computing


Week Fifteen (December 8th, 10th, and 12th)

Computers/Technology and the Future

Online Discussion Group (Post December 8th through December 12th)


Final Exam Time is Monday, December 15th, from 10:10 to 12:10.              


*Student interests, time constraints, and other factors may make it necessary to modify this calendar.  Thus, changes in the course calendar may be made as deemed necessary.

Last Updated: 8/29/13