Sociology | Introduction to Sociology
S100 | 4727 | Blouin

In this class we will learn how sociologists describe and explain
human behavior by focusing on people’s locations and interactions in
various social contexts (e.g. racial groups, families, corporations,
societies, etc.).  While other disciplines emphasize biological,
psychological or other individualistic explanations for human
actions, sociologists generally account for behavior by considering
broader social forces.  For example, how do the expectations of
others guide our actions?  Or, how does being rich, poor, male, or
female affect a person's life chances and experiences?  In this
course we will learn that people are much more than the product of
their own minds and bodies. Humans are also profoundly shaped by
contact with others and the culture and society they live in.

In addition to offering a rich and insightful perspective for
interpreting our world and our own lives, sociology provides useful
tools for understanding important social problems such as racism,
poverty, and crime.  Throughout the semester we will consider why we
have these problems and what we can do about them.

You will be exposed to the theories, methods, and substantive issues
of sociology.  Some of the topics to be covered include gender,
race, class, deviance, politics, and the family.  The goals of the
course are to introduce you to the unique insights sociology has to
offer and to provide you with a deeper, more systematic
understanding of American society and your place in it.