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SOCY 1001 Introduction to Sociology

About the Course

This will be a challenging course that will require a lot from you. In exchange, you will learn a great deal about yourself, your society, and changing times. One of the most demanding aspects of this course will be its challenge to you to think in ways that you are probably unfamiliar with. Sociology as a discipline fundamentally challenges the status quo. This has the tendency to shake people up a bit. Go with it! Allow yourself to confront your own opinions and beliefs while questioning their origins. This will help you formulate your position on issues in a comprehensive, knowledgeable way.

In this class we get to look at the world around us in new and interesting ways. This can be difficult and also really fun! If you’ve ever spent extended time around young children, you will be familiar with this feeling. Children approach the world around them as strangers, questioning and curious. They ask questions that make us deeply question our reality (if we take their questions seriously). I once had an eight or nine year-old child ask me a really good question about violent movies. After seeing the preview for the most recent blow-up-everything-in-sight blockbuster Hollywood movie, he turned to me and asked “How come in the movies when bad guys blow things up and kill people they are the bad guys, but when good guys do the same thing, they’re still the good guys?” Hmmm, good question Ryan! And that’s what this course is designed to do; compel you to approach the world around you as if it were all new, unknown.

This course requires you to use your critical thinking skills. This means that you will be asked to suspend your judgments and consider an argument, theory, or hypothesis from multiple angles, primarily sociological ones. You should always be asking yourself what the latent and obvious implications are of something, who benefits, and what sort of questions are being asked to arrive at certain conclusions. This will help you in becoming an informed student, citizen, and participant in your own life.

Another thing that sociology does is help “debunk” social life. Let’s test some popular ideas on a continuum of agree to disagree. Locate your beliefs on the continuum below for each of the statements that follow.

Grade Breakdown

There are eight units in Sociology 1001. There will not be a midterm or final exam. Your written assignments will “test” you on your knowledge of course material. It is important that you complete all units in order, since the written assignments will require you to use ideas from preceding units.

Each unit requires a written assignment, but not all assignments are equal in value and vary in weight toward your overall course grade. There are 400 points total to be earned in the course;

Unit 1: 30 points
Unit 2: 55 points
Unit 3: 60 points
Unit 4: 55 points
Unit 5: 60 points
Unit 6: 70 points
Unit 7: 30 points
Unit 8: 40 points

Required Text

Andersen, Margaret L. and Howard F. Taylor. 2007. Sociology: The Essentials. 4th edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thompson Learning.

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