What is Sociology?

You are embarking on a fascinating journey as you learn to see, think, and analyze yourself and the world around you from a sociological perspective. This lesson invites you to see, think, and analyze from a sociological perspective. It provides a brief overview of the historical and intellectual development of sociology, along with describing how sociology is similar to and different from other social sciences. The lesson ends with a discussion of new theoretical approaches within the discipline. The tools presented here will help you build a foundation for new knowledge and insights into social life.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Define key terms related to the discipline of sociology.

  • Understand course goals and objectives.

  • Discuss films sociologically.


Be sure to hand these assignments in this week:


  • Sociology and the Real World

Chapter 1 up to Page 15 for class on Thursday. Note: There is some issues with digital book access, so use this PDF of Chapter 1 for now.

Discuss: The Derby

Following the haves and the have-nots during Kentucky Derby weekend via on-location interviews from varied perspectives, The Derby explores unseen sides of Kentucky’s biggest sporting event. From an anonymous reveler on Millionaires Row, to Guatemalan equine workers supporting their relatives, the film offers a thoughtful yet fun peek beyond the mint juleps and fancy hats and into the heart of the fastest two minutes in sports. Remington Smith

We start applying our sociological tools to film with the short film The Derby. The documentary is available for free on Vimeo. We will watch it together during class.

  • Be sure to have The Derby ready to roll at the start of class.

  • Login to the course Slack by 9:45am and say hi to your group! If you can, it might be easier to have your phone on one device and Slack on another.


If you have any questions at all about what you are supposed to do on this assignment, please remember I am here to help. Reach out any time so I can support your success.

Lesson Keywords

  • Sociology

  • Society

  • Social Sciences

  • Sociological Perspective

  • Culture Shock

  • Sociological Imagination

  • Microsociology

  • Macrosociology