Sociology | Introduction to Sociology
S100 | 4088 | Laubach

Sociology asks the question "why do people do what we do?" and looks
for answers in the patterns of social expectations, meanings, and
interactions which frame our behavior. If, as the text author
writes, "we aren't born with ideas of race, gender, age, social
class, of how people 'ought' to be," then how do we learn about and
use these differences to influence our attitudes and behaviors? This
course introduces you to the sociological perspective, a way of
looking at behavior within its broader social context. In this class
we will look for social facts empirically observable relationships
between conditions and behaviors and contrast them with more common
beliefs which are more used to sustain some group's interests than
understand social reality. This course is designed to provide a basis
for continuing in sociology, but it will also leave you a critical
perspective on and understanding of society.

The class will be divided into teams which will work together on
writing essays and presenting summaries of articles. In addition, the
class will have a midterm, final, and one of three options: two
papers analyzing books from the relevant theories and perspectives
developed in class, a class paper that can be on a topic of your
choice related to course materials, or an ethnographic study based on
field notes you collect during the semester.