Professor: Dr. Ralph B. McNeal Jr.
Office Hrs: TBD
Office: Manchester Hall, Room 315
Sociology helps us understand why people do what they do in everyday life by analyzing the
social context within which they are embedded.
This semester, we will analyze how these social
contexts constrain or facilitate behavior and social relations.
For the purposes of an introductory
course in Sociology, we will think of society as being comprised of two major components: social
structure and culture.
When Sociologists study how various aspects of social structure & culture
affect human behavior, they rely on a collection of theoretical perspectives.
In this course, we
will rely heavily on the three classic
theoretical frameworks: functionalist, conflict and symbolic
This course’s main objective is to develop students’ “Sociological Imagination” - a way of seeing
patterns of behavior in a given society (or between societies).
Upon completing the course,
students should possess a sociological imagination that enables them to examine any given
behavior using a functionalist, conflict and/or interactionist perspective; to explain this behavior
using key elements of society (e.g. social structure and culture); and to discern how, and to what
degree, each aspect facilitates and/or constrains behavior or social relations. To realize these
objectives, the course material spans a range of topics, levels of knowledge and expectations.
many classes, you are only required to know the material at a very cursory level (i.e. recall,
recognition & identification); in this class, you must be able to synthesize, apply and critically
analyze the material upon completing the course
Please notify me immediately if you have a diagnosed learning disability, such as dyslexia, ADD,
ADHD, testing anxiety, etc.
Being aware allows planning to accommodate your disability.
Students must abide by the University’s Code of Academic Conduct.
Cheating on an exam results in a major infraction and the student (1) fails the exam in question
(0%), (2) has a strong possibility of failing the course (after further consideration), (3) must
attend an academic misconduct hearing, and (4) will have the Dean of Students consider the case
for further action. If the student is found guilty, the Dean may impose further sanctions up to and