Sociology | Introduction to Sociology
S100 | 3640 | Lisa Aucoin


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
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 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."

Course Goals
This course will enable you to think critically about the social world
in which you live.  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
world into which future generations will be born.  I believe that you
will find this class relevant to your studies and to your life.

Tentative requirements include attendance and participation in class
discussion, three non-cumulative exams, and two written assignments.