Sociology | Introduction to Sociology
S100 | 3832 | Aucoin

S100 Introduction to Sociology (3 CR)
3832 11:15-12:05 MWF     BH347

Course Overview
Sociology is the scientific study of social life.  While our
common sense explanations often attribute behavior to
individual beliefs or desires, in this course we will examine
the societal influences on our thoughts and behavior.
Sociologists suggest that our lives are shaped by the society
in which we live.  Each society has its own culture, or ways of
thinking and doing.  We will examine how the values and
behavioral expectations (norms) of a society are maintained or
modified.  We will discuss why not everyone within a given
society shares all of its values and norms and look at how our
behavior is further influenced by the values and norms of the
groups to which we belong.  We will move on to discuss group
differences in access to power, prestige and wealth.  We will
explore the effects of social inequality on our chances of
achieving "success."  Finally, we will look at how various
social institutions help meet basic societal needs and how they
help perpetuate social inequality.

Course Goals
In addition to introducing you to the sociological perspective,
this course will enable you to think critically about the
social world in which you live.  Although it may be a bit scary
to let go of common sense understandings, a sociological
understanding enables us to suggest solutions to aspects of our
society we find problematic.  Our society not only influences
us, but is also influenced by us.  Therefore, sociologists
believe in the opportunity for individuals to change the
environment into which future generations will be born.  I
believe that you will find sociology relevant to your life and
to your studies.

As this is a survey course, we will be moving quickly.  Missing
class is strongly discouraged.  Your final grade will be based
on performance on three exams, two written assignments and 7-10