Sociological Perspectives

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.

  • Compare the major sociological theories.

  • Have experience conducting sociological research.


Be sure to hand these assignments in this week


Discuss: Jonestown

award-winning filmmakers Stanley Nelson, Marcia Smith, and Noland Walker reveal the true, tragic story behind enigmatic preacher Jim Jones and his promise of a world of economic and racial equality that ultimately led to the largest mass murder-suicide in history. This documentary tells the story of the people who joined Peoples Temple, following Jones from Indiana to California and ultimately to their deaths in Guyana in November 1978. PBS

We will use the documentary film Jonestown: the life and death of Peoples Temple as an opportunity to identify and evaluate concepts related to the fundamentals of sociology. We will watch it together during class.

  • Be sure to have the movie ready to go at the start of class.

  • Login to the course Slack by 9:30am and say hi to your group!


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

  • Theories

  • Paradigm

  • Positivism

  • Social Darwinism

  • Structural Functionalism

  • Solidarity

  • Mechanical Solidarity

  • Organic Solidarity

  • Anomie

  • Sacred

  • Profane

  • Empirical

  • Structural

  • Manifest Functions

  • Latent Functions

  • Conflict Theory

  • Social inequality

  • Alienation

  • Critical theory

  • Critical race theory

  • Feminist theory

  • Queer theory

  • Bureaucracies

  • Iron Cage

  • Verstehen

  • Symbolic Interactionism

  • Pragmatism

  • Postmodernism

  • Modernism

The least you need to know

Extra Resources