Sociology | Social Problems and Policies (Topic: Issues and Opinions in American Society and Politicspr01
S101 | 3654 | Clem Brooks


Welcome to Sociology 101.  In this course we investigate public
opinion, social conflicts, and how people develop attitudes towards
issues relating to race, gender, family, government, and political
parties.  We consider the roles of the media and political activists
and the origins of new issues and conflicts.  We also examine what
this research tells us about the strategies that are effective in the
struggle for social change.  Throughout the course we will devote one
class per week to discussion of questions raised by our readings and
class materials.

We start by studying the Civil Rights Movement to better understand
the popular origins of such widely-used protest strategies as the
sit-in and the boycott, and also to see the effect that participation
in social movements can have on people's lives.  We then consider the
changing nature and focus of racial conflict by examining public
opinion towards affirmative action.  Next we survey the originals and
possible future of conflicts surrounding both abortion and family,
considering issues of gender, social change, and competing cultural
values.  We conclude by examining attitudes toward government and the
increasing importance of the electronic media in shaping peoples'
views of, and willingness to participate in political activities.