INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY
(Peter Weeks, Fall, 2004)
The aim of this course is to introduce you to the practice of Sociology and how to think sociologically. The course will become a vehicle to discover the link between your own personal, lived experience and the public realms of society and history. We will identify the sociological imagination as the capacity to locate ourselves in society and history. We explore this imagination by finding ways to critically examine the taken-for-granted assumptions, common-sense understandings and routine practices which constitute our familiar world of everyday life.
In developing an understanding of the connections between the personal and the social, we focus on both the 'micro' and 'macro' levels of society: at the level of social interaction, we focus on how the social relations of gender, race and class are a part of everyday situations; at the level of social structure, we question how inequality is organized within the labour market, by gender and within the media, the educational system, and the global economy.
The objective of this course is to provide students with the basic insights to do your own social analysis. In order to do this, we make use of four theoretical perspectives: functionalism, political economy, interpretive sociology and feminism. We explore the kinds of questions asked about a range of topics and issues from each of these perspectives as a strategy for developing a sociological imagination.
1. Hale, Sylvia M. (1995). Controversies in Sociology: A Canadian Introduction, second edition. Toronto: Copp Clark.
2. Additional reading materials
will be provided in class - with a small charge for copying.
EVALUATION SCHEME for EACH Semester:
1. Midterms - 15%.
2. Reports - (3 X 20) 60%
There will be 3 reports required, of 5 to 7 pages each. These will involve not only critical summaries of the issues arising from your readings and class discussions, but also applying these ideas to some current issue or problem.
3. Examination - 25%.
The exam will consist of essay-style questions and will afford an opportunity for you to bring together and to compare the major ideas discussed during the semester.
TOPICS & READINGS:
1. Introduction to sociology & the major perspectives within it: Text, chapters 1 & 2. A new version of Chapter 1 will be circulated.
2. Functionalist Theory: Text, chapter 13.
3. Political Economy, Marxist perspective: Text, chapter 8: "Karl Marx and the Analysis of Capitalism"
4. Interpretive Perspectives: Revised chapter, "The Microsociology of Everyday Life" will be circulated.
5. Feminist Perspective: Text, chapter 5: "Gender Relations", esp. pp. 100-116.
6. Deviance and Crime (4 perspectives): Text, chapter 7, pp. 161-186.
7. Class inequality: Text, chapter 15, Supplementary materials.
8. Education: Text, chapter 16.
9. Political Economy of Canada: · Text, chapter 9, Supplementary materials.
10. Mass media and information technology: New version of chapter to be circulated.
11. Globalization: Text, chapter 10. Supplementary materials.
Introduction to Sociology
2513 Sociology of Communication
2533 Sociology of Art and Culture
2613 Sociology of Gender
3023 Modern Sociological Theory
3513 Sociology of Education
3523 Sociology of Knowledge
3563 Sociology of Music
3573 Sociology of Art & Culture
4013 Senior Seminar
4033 Advanced Sociological Theory
Dr. Peter Weeks / Sociology / Faculty / STU Homepage