Sociology | Introduction to Sociology
S100 | 11242 | Steffy

5:45PM-7:00PM 	TR	SE 105

Observing the world through a sociological lens is often a
simultaneously fascinating and unsettling endeavor.  Sociologists
ask broad and critical questions about the world we live in such as:
Who benefits from the way things are and who does not?  Who has the
power to change social arrangements or to keep them the same?  How
does society shape our individual lives?  How do the choices we make
everyday influence society?  In order to answer these questions,
sociologists adopt a unique perspective – the “sociological
imagination” – that allows them to look beyond our everyday
experiences to reveal the social forces that shape our thoughts,
feelings, and even our chances to succeed in life.  In addition,
sociologists use their unique perspective to study how the decisions
we make everyday help to shape the larger society.  In short,
sociologists examine both how society creates individuals and how
individuals create society.

In doing so, sociologists ask an incredibly broad array of
questions.  Why is the media so obsessed with Paris Hilton and
Britney Spears?  Why are so many of our clothes made overseas?  Why
do corporate executives get bonuses while the government bails out
their companies?  Why do we associate pink with girls and blue with
boys?  How is it that Americans worry about eating too much while
people in some other parts of the world struggle to obtain enough
food to survive?  This course will expose students to some of the
theoretical and methodological tools that sociologists use to answer
questions like these.  As we explore these theories and methods, we
will cover a host of substantive topics, which may include
inequality and social class, the construction of race and gender,
religion, education, culture, sexuality, and the media.