Sociology | Social Problems & Policies
S101 | 3749 | Brooks

Topic:	Issues & Opinions in American Society & Politics

Welcome to Sociology 101. In this course we investigate public
opinion 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 origins 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.