Sociology | Introduction to Sociology
S100 | 3591 | Aucoin


S100 Introduction to Sociology     Aucoin    4:00-5:15 MW   3591

Sociology is the scientific study of social life.  The goal of
sociology is to explain why people think and behave in certain
ways.  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.  The culture in which we live shapes the
meanings we give to objects, which in turn guide our behavior.
Each society has its own norms and values, but not everyone in
that society shares all of these.  Our behavior is further
influenced by the values and norms of the groups to which we
belong.  We will examine how the norms and values of different
groups lead to different behavior.  We will also examine how the
values and norms of a society are maintained or modified.

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.