Sociology | Society and the Individual
S230 | 20746 | Vonderhaar
In seeking to explain society, sociologists analyze both large- and
small-scale features of the social system. In this course, we will
focus on the small-scale features. Known as micro-sociology or
social psychology, this subject examines aspects of human behavior
that fall into three basic areas: (1) the influence of social
factors on the individual, (2) social interaction between and among
individuals, and (3) group processes.
As an introduction to social psychology, this class will cover a full
range of questions that social psychologists have posed since the
latter part of the nineteenth century, including:
• How does our sense of self develop?
• Why do we identify with certain groups?
• What causes aggression?
• Why would someone help a stranger?
• Why do people fall in love?
• How do juries make decisions about the guilt or innocence of
• Why do people obey the orders of cruel leaders?
We all want answers to these kinds of questions. And, this class is
designed to provide some of them.
Von Der Haar, Christine M. 2005. Social Psychology: A Sociological
Perspective. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.