A basic definition■Sociologyis the scientific study of human social relationship, groups, and societies■Unlike natural sciencessuch as physics, chemistry, and biology, sociology is one of several social sciences engaged in the scientific study of human beings and the social world they consciously create and inhabit.■Sociologists adhere to the principle of social embeddedness: the idea that economic, political, and other forms of human behavior are fundamentally shaped by social relations
Some of the questions we ask:■Why are some people desperately poor and others fabulously wealthy?■Why does racial segregation in housing and public education exist, and why does it persist half a century after civil rights laws were enacted in the United States?■What accounts for the decline of marriage among the poor and the working class – as well as the Millenial generation?■Why are the poor more likely to be overweight or obese than their middle class counterparts?■Why is the proportion of women entering and completing college rising while men’s enrollment has fallen?■Why, in spite of this, do men as a group still earn higher incomes than women do as a group?■How is that social media is simultaneously praised as a vehicle of transformational activism and criticized as a cause of social alienation and civic disengagement?
The first problem for all of us is not to learn, but to unlearn.
Course DescriptionThis course offers students an introduction to sociology as a way of understanding our social world. The goal of this course is to learn basic sociological concepts and theories and use them to examine how social institutions, culture and ideologies around class, race, sexuality, and gender shape the experience of everyday life. Through the readings, writing assignments, lectures and class discussions, it is my hope that the students will develop an increased awareness of the ways social, political and economic inequalities define our lives both at the individual and at the structural level. Sociology is not about “common sense” explanations of social phenomena rather it is about learning how to critically analyze the dynamic of power relations that define the societies in which we live in.
ObjectivesAt the end of this class students should be:1. Familiar with sociological perspectives, theories, and concepts. 2. Knowledgeable of the structure of social life and of the roles played by social institutions, social inequality, identity, and social change in shaping it3. Comfortable in applying critical and analytical skills4. Able to apply the sociological imagination to their personal lives.
Course RequirementsAttendance and Class Participation(5% attendance and 10% participation) You are expected to attend class regularly and to come prepared, having completed the readings. Participating in discussions is one of the best ways to learn. You are expected to contribute your insights to the class. The culture