The course is designed to introduce students to the sociological study of society. Sociology focuses on the systematic understanding of social interaction, social organization, social institutions, and social change. Major themes in sociological thinking include:

  • the interplay between the individual and society;

  • how society is both stable and changing;

  • the causes and consequences of social inequality;

  • and the social construction of human life. Understanding sociology helps discover and explain social patterns and see how such patterns change over time and in different settings. By making vivid the social basis of everyday life, sociology also develops critical thinking by revealing the social structures and processes that shape diverse forms of human life.

Over the semester, you will develop and apply your sociological imagination to think systematically about how things we experience as personal problems are social issues. In your textbook readings, you will be introduced to the significant topics that sociologists study and how the topics are analyzed. During class time and through our assignments, you will have a chance to further develop your sociological imagination and apply it to new situations. In exams and exercises, you will have the opportunity to demonstrate your mastery of sociological thinking.

This course has no prerequisites and is appropriate for just about everyone. The course is an introduction to the field of sociology for students who plan further study, and an overview for students will only visit the world of sociology once. The course will also provide students an opportunity for students to learn information relevant to the sociology section of the MCAT.

Course Objectives

Upon the successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate understanding of fundamental sociological theories and concepts;

  2. Explain, evaluate and apply the process of sociological research;

  3. Discover and develop a sociological imagination and apply it to societal issues;

  4. Understand the ways in which social institutions are interdependent; and

  5. Explore how social factors contribute to social inequalities and efforts to create social change.