Sociology | Society and the Individual
S230 | 3615 | Eder

S230 Society and the Individual    Eder 9:30-10:45 TR  3615

This is an introductory course in social psychology from a
sociological perspective.  The first section will cover
interaction and culture.  We will start by looking at differences
in interactional styles cross-culturally, followed by an
examination of basic verbal aspects of interaction.  We will then
examine the main concepts of symbolic interactionism, seeing how
they apply to the study of peer cultures.  Finally we will
examine status processes within peer cultures, preparing for the
next section on stratification.

The second section will focus on the effect of social class,
ethnicity, and gender on the experience of individuals in our
society.  Here we will begin by looking at basic processes of
stratification and inequality especially as they apply to social
class.  After that we will focus on the pressures to conform to
certain definitions of maleness and femaleness.  We will then
examine how the experiences of people in different ethnic groups
are affected by stereotypes and stratification.  Finally, we will
look at stereotypes faced by people with disabilities.

The last section of the course will focus on social relationships
and community.  We will begin by looking at intimacy and
sexuality and then turn to an examination of friendship.  After
that we will look at processes of competition and co-operation
within groups.  The last part of the class will look at ways to
bridge differences and build a sense of community among
individuals as well as new models of relating together as a

We will have lectures with some discussion on most days.  In
addition, we will hold discussions for the entire class time on
six Thursdays during the semester in which the class will break
down into two discussion groups.  Students will be expected to
write four reflection papers based on these discussions, in which
the student expands on the ideas discussed and reflects on their
relationship to the readings and lectures of the week and/or
experiences in the student's life.  These papers should be 2-3
hand written pages in length, or the equivalent typed and are due
one week after the discussion which is being reflected upon.  One
fourth of the grade will be based on attending a minimum of four
discussion periods and the completion of the four reflection
papers.  There will also be three exams during the course, each
of which will be part multiple choice and part essay.  Each exam
will count as another one-fourth of a student's grade.