General Sociology [CRN 77130]

Discipline: Sociology
Instructor: Ferguson
Credits: 3
Day: B
Start: 1340
End: 1500
Field Work: Day 1 - Monday, 10 October | Morocco
Prerequisites: None Download Syllabus

This introductory course provides an overview of sociology as a discipline, including emphases on sociological concepts, methods, perspectives, and areas of substantive concern.  At the same time, the sociological orientation of this course should enable you to view the surrounding world in a different light. The familiar (e.g., families, friendships, school, work) and perhaps the unfamiliar (e.g., poverty, mental illness, natural disasters), can be analyzed and understood using sociological perspectives.

This course is organized into five thematic sections.  The first section is an introduction to the discipline of sociology and the study of society. This introduction includes an overview of the historical significance of sociology and the development of its subsequent theories and methods.  The second section examines the relationships between the individual and society through the processes of socialization, social interaction, language, and group membership. Section Three focuses on culture, social structure, and the need for community. The fourth section investigates some of the major social institutions in society, including the family, religion, education, and the government. The final section examines social stratification and social inequality. In particular, we will discuss how societies stratify individuals and groups based on their social class, gender, race, and ethnicity. Where appropriate, I will incorporate a global lens to understanding social issues and the discipline of sociology.

Course Objectives

  1. To introduce students to the essential concepts, theories, and methods used in the discipline of sociology to analyze phenomena.
  2. To give students an awareness of the history of the discipline of sociology and the linkage between sociological thought and other disciplines.
  3. To enable students to identify and examine sociologically relevant problems and issues both locally and globally.
  4. To encourage critical thinking and writing skills which demonstrate the students’ abilities to understand and analyze social issues.
  5. To enhance students’ understanding and appreciation of the complexity of social life.

Field Work

Country: Morocco
Day: 1 - Monday, 10 October

Students will have the opportunity for in-depth discussions with young people from Morocco.  Questions will be accumulated in class related to cross-cultural contexts for understanding social interaction, socialization, social norms, social roles and statuses.  These questions will guide one-on-one small group discussion.  The settings for these conversations will include on-campus and informal off-campus settings.  Conversations will address the set of topics we have been studying in sociology up to that point in the semester, but students may ask questions about any topic covered in the syllabus, i.e., social institutions, social inequality, and social change.  Students will be prepared to open and examine their own lives as they explore the lives of young people in Morocco. Learning objectives:

  1. Apply introductory sociology by thinking critically about social concepts, theory, and research in a person-to-person context.
  2. Make person-to-person connections with your people in Morocco.
  3. Learn about culture and introductory sociology in the context of Morocco.