Jul 15, 2024  
2023-2024 College Catalog 
2023-2024 College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

SOC 101 - Introduction to Sociology [SUN# SOC 1101]

3 Credits, 3 Contact Hours
3 lecture periods 0 lab periods

Introduction to the basic concepts of sociology, sociological analysis and research. Includes social structure, status, social group, social control, social stratification, social class, gender, race, sexuality, ethnicity, aging, learning and physical challenges, family, religion, education, government, health, technology, corporations, terrorism, environmental sustainability, social movements and social change, mass society, and postmodernity. Also includes globalization within and across contemporary societies and cultures.

Gen-Ed: Meets AGEC - SBS and C; Meets CTE - SBS and C.

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Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Define in plain language what the scientific method is and explain how it is used, and how scientific ways of knowing differ from other ways of knowing.
  2. Identify how distant, impersonal social forces shape the lives of groups and individuals in society (sociological imagination).                      
  3. Identify the main claims of social-conflict theory, structural-functional theory, and symbolic-interaction theory.
  4. Identify the causes and implications of social classes in the United States today.

Performance Objectives:
  1. Identify the main claims of Marx (in the form of social-conflict theory), Durkheim (in the form of structural-functional theory) and Weber (in the form of symbolic-interaction theory) and relate these claims to at least five societal phenomena on an identified list.
  2. Define in plain language what the scientific method is and explain how it is used, and how
    scientific ways of knowing differ from other ways of knowing.
  3. Distinguish between academic sociology and applied sociology.
  4. Distinguish between empirical and theoretical questions.
  5. Recommend the type of research method that would be the most appropriate for answering a given empirical or theoretical research question and explain how they know.
  6. Distinguish between macro- and micro-level realms of social reality.
  7. List examples of how distant, impersonal social forces shape the lives of groups and individuals in society.
  8. List and define a minimum of five examples of socio-demographic traits (e.g. age-sex structure, sex ratio, distribution of wealth, mode of production, literacy rate, mortality rate, life expectancy, unemployment rate, ethnic composition).
  9. Define and explain the relevance of concepts from the official Sociology Program Key Concepts list, including, but not limited to, the following: social structure, norms, status, culture, socialization, industrialization, modernity, rationalization, social group, social control, social stratification, class, power, gender, race, ethnicity, minority, post-colonialism, corporation, authority, special interest group, kinship, religion, fundamentalism, urbanization, ecologically sustainable culture, collective behavior, and globalization.

  1. Foundation: Sociological Thinking and Building Blocks of Society
    1. Society: the determinative system of social relations in which humans are embedded
    2. Macro-micro connections
      1. Seeing public issues reflected in our private troubles (a.k.a. the sociological imagination)
      2. Macro-level, societal traits versus micro-level, individual traits 
    3. Major sociological perspectives
      1. Structural-functional theory (and Durkheim’s key concept, anomie)
      2. Social-conflict theory (and Marx’s key concept, alienation)
      3. Symbolic-interaction theory (and Weber’s key concept, weltanschauung)
    4. Sociology as a social science
      1. The scientific method: its nature, its power and its limitations
      2. How the scientific method differs from other ways of knowing
      3. It’s all about the data—theory building, hypothesis testing and falsification
      4. Empirical versus theoretical questions
      5. Asking and answering questions with surveys, experiments, field methods, case studies and secondary sources: which methods for which questions
    5. Cultures, nations and societies
      1. Nature versus nurture: “human nature” as an intellectually bankrupt idea
      2. Cultural values
      3. Cultural variation, cultural relativism and ethnocentrism
    6. Social organization
      1. Micro-sociology: face-to-face interactions in dyads and small groups
      2. Meso-sociology: groups, networks and organizations
      3. Macro-sociology: societal and global systems
  2. Social Interaction and the Social Construction of Reality
    1. Socialization and the self as social: ideas of Mead and Cooley
    2. Norms: conformity and deviance
    3. Collective behavior and social movements
    4. Urbanization, population patterns, and society-environment connections
    5. Globalization and modern societies 
  3. Structures of Power
    1. Stratification and social mobility
    2. Inequalities of social class
    3. Inequalities of race and ethnicity
    4. Inequalities of gender and sexuality
    5. Inequalities of youth and age
    6. Global problems, the influence of large corporations and ecological crises
  4. Social Institutions
    1. Marriage and the family
    2. Religion
    3. Education, popular culture, and the mass media
    4. Economy and work
    5. Government, politics and the military
    6. Science, technology and medicine
    7. Law and social control

Effective Term:
Fall 2015