Sociology | Introduction to Sociology
S100 | 4077 | Blouin


In this class you will learn how sociologists explain and sometimes
even predict human behavior by focusing on people’s locations and
interactions within groups (e.g. families), organizations (e.g.
corporations), and societies. While many emphasize biological,
psychological, or other idiosyncratic explanations for human actions,
sociologists account for behavior in broader, more relational terms.
They do not believe people are pre-programmed, completely autonomous
individuals, but rather are social creatures who are profoundly
affected by social interactions and the culture and society they live
in.  In this course we will explore broad questions about the self
and how it is shaped by society.  Because it is a two way process, we
will also consider how people shape their social worlds.

In practical terms, Sociology provides useful tools for understanding
important social problems such as racism, poverty, and crime.  It
asks why do we have these problems and what can we do about them?
Common sense may tell us that social problems are inevitable, or the
fault of relatively few bad apples. Sociology refutes such
conventional wisdom and suggests that things are not always as they
seem. In this class you will be challenged to reconsider some of the
taken for granted assumptions about yourself and how the world works.

You will be introduced to the theories, methods, and substantive
interests of sociology.  Topics to be covered will include, among
other things, class, gender, race, family, deviance, and politics.
The goals of the course are to expose you to the unique insights
sociology has to offer and to provide you with a deeper more
systematic understanding of American society and your place in it.