“It can be said that the first wisdom of sociology is this: things are not as they seem,” wrote Peter Berger in An Invitation to Sociology. “People who like to avoid shocking discoveries, who prefer to believe that society is just what they were taught in Sunday school, who like the safety of the rules … should stay away from sociology. People who feel no temptation before closed doors, who have no curiosity about human beings, who are content to admire scenery without wondering about the people who live in those houses on the other side of that river, should probably also stay away from sociology … And people whose interest is mainly in their own conceptual constructions will do just as well to turn to the study of little white mice. Sociology will be satisfying, in the long run, only to those who can think of nothing more entrancing than to watch men and to understand things human.”
This course is an opportunity to develop your sociological imagination, as C. Wright Mills wrote, by exploring the broad set of topics that sociologists study. It is a chance to delve deeply into the social world, thinking critically about the social structures, rules and norms that shape our involvement in society. Together, we will explore issues of race, class and gender in contemporary society. We will look at the role of social movements in creating societal change. We will ask about changing family structures and the role of marriage in society. We will investigate the growing challenges of urbanization in the twenty-first century, and the way technology has reshaped social interaction.
Click here for the Fall 2016 Syllabus.