Introduction to Sociology Spring 2021: You Will Find Your Syllabi and Course Resources Here—Click on This Link, then Scroll to Bottom of Page— (SOCI 1301)

Instructor: Ruth Dunn

Introduction to Sociology (SOCI 1301) Instructor: Ruth Dunn

Sociology is Exciting, Useful, and Fascinating! When we try to explain Sociology we often have either not enough words or too many. However, Kenneth Plummer, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex, United Kingdom, put beautifully the magical draw of Sociology when he wrote:

“And the sociologist gets up every day and stands in wonder at the little social worlds—and indeed human societies— that we have created for ourselves: their meaning, order, conflict, chaos and change. For the sociologist, social life is sometimes sensed as something quite inspiring, and sometimes as something quite horrendous which brings about disenchantment, anger and despair. Sociologists stand in awe and dreading, rage and delight at the humanly produced social world with all its joys and its sufferings. We critique it and we critically celebrate it. Standing in amazement at the complex patterns of human social life, we examine both the good things worth fostering and bad things to strive to remove. Sociology becomes the systematic, sceptical study of all things social.” (Plummer 2010)

Sociology is a useful scientific enterprise because it gives us the scientific tools we need to understand ourselves and the people around us. Sociology matters because it gives us the scientific tools we need to analyze, explain, and predict human behavior in groups. Therefore, the information you will receive in this course is useful, and it matters. All of your course material is either peer-reviewed or is accurate based on your instructor’s training and knowledge. Sociology is a science. Our scientific perspectives have descriptive meaning in the real world. Science observes various phenomena and then wants to know what those phenomena are, and under what natural or social circumstances they occur. From those observations, we develop theories that are tested many times so that we know they are valid and that they apply to real people, real societies, and real social systems in our real world. Science is as objective as the scientist can make it. We follow very strict protocols in our search for knowledge and truth.

The material for this course is grounded in the science of sociology and is not “common sense,” or “opinion,” or “well, that’s just a theory.” In science, our theories are robust and have weight; they are valid because they have been tested, and they do explain and predict reality. Sociology is useful, and it matters because it is the scientific study of us, all of humanity in all our diversity. To learn more about this, go to the Modules Tab in EO-Canvas and read all of the information about Perspectives, Theories, and Causation.

This course examines material and contains content that some of us might find challenging, offensive, obscene, or extremely difficult. No personal affront is intended, I am NOT trying to hurt your feelings or give you nightmares, but I maintain the right and responsibility to access your grasp of all the material discussed in this class since it meets all Sociology Department learning objectives. If you are disturbed and if necessary, you may contact me in Eagle Online Canvas email about this. There are many topics that we may be studying this semester, including but not limited to rape, torture, murder, mutilation by the self and others, nudity (forced or voluntary), slavery, economic, social, and political inequality, human sexuality including gender identity, human trafficking, what it means to be human, how the structures of our society guide how we think and the way we interact with one another, cannibalism, globalism, isolationism, the movements of populations, war, climate change, religion, child abuse, and other equally difficult ideas and topics. I do not teach these things to hurt your feelings or cause you psychological damage; I teach them because they are about the way we behave and the way we interact with one another based on the ways we structure our societies. Many of these topics/issues are very difficult, and we will be looking at videos and still photos that will be profoundly disturbing to many of us. However, we are adults. Even if you are not a legal adult, you are in an adult college classroom, and you must be prepared to be confronted with ideas you had never thought about and knowledge that you didn’t know existed. If you are offended by the course material, withdraw from the course. I am not trying to upset you, I am trying to impart information that it is critical for an informed citizen of the world to know.



Course Overview

Course Description

(Sociology) SOCI 1301 Introduction to Sociology—SOCI 1301, Introduction to Sociology is a survey course which focuses on the nature of human groups in American and world societies, their social and cultural adaptations, and the impact which various social processes may have on their social organization and social change. This is a Core Curriculum Course.

(From: ACGM: Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board 2016)

SOCI 1301 Introduction to Sociology

The scientific study of human society, including ways in which groups, social institutions, and individuals affect each other. Causes of social stability and social change are explored through the application of various theoretical perspectives, key concepts, and related research methods of sociology. Analysis of social issues in their institutional context may include topics such as social stratification, gender, race/ethnicity, and deviance.

Approval Number                                                              45.1101.51 25 maximum SCH per student

Maximum SCH per course                                               3 maximum contact hours per course

 Core Curriculum Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

1. Compare and contrast the basic theoretical perspectives of sociology.

2. Identify the various methodological approaches to the collection and analysis of data in sociology.

3. Describe key concepts in sociology.

4. Describe the empirical findings of various subfields of sociology.

5. Explain the complex links between individual experiences and broader institutional forces.

Core Curriculum Skills and Assessment

Sociology 1301 is a core curriculum course. It may be used to fulfill the requirements for a core Social and

Behavioral Sciences course OR a core Cross/Multi-Cultural Studies course.  

Please click here to go to the HCC Student Catalog for more information about course offerings.

Given the rapid evolution of necessary knowledge and skills and the need to take into account global, national, state, and local cultures, the core curriculum must ensure that students will develop the essential knowledge and skills they need to be successful in college, in a career, in their communities, and in life. Through the Texas Core Curriculum, students will gain a foundation of knowledge of human cultures and the physical and natural world, develop principles of personal and social responsibility for living in a diverse world, and advance intellectual and practical skills that are essential for all learning. Students enrolled in this core curriculum course will complete several assignments designed to cultivate the following core objectives:

Critical Thinking Skills—to include creative thinking, innovation, inquiry, and analysis, evaluation and synthesis of information

Communication Skills—to include effective development, interpretation and expression of ideas through written, oral and visual communication

Empirical and Quantitative Skills—to include the manipulation and analysis of numerical data or observable facts resulting in informed conclusions

Social Responsibility—to include intercultural competence, knowledge of civic responsibility, and the ability to engage effectively in regional, national, and global communities.


These objectives will be assessed as follows:

Critical Thinking: Nearly all the work in this course will require critical thinking about the societal topics that we address. Your critical thinking skills will be assessed through the written work that you submit and being able to conduct an informed discussion of the required readings.

Communication: Nearly all the work in this course will also require that you be able to communicate well in writing. Your communication skills will be assessed primarily through the written work you submit and class participation.

Empirical and Quantitative: You will be required to answer questions from the required readings that assesses your empirical and quantitative skills. Furthermore, you will be expected to critically assess various research projects and comprehend various quantitative facts.

Social Responsibility: This entire course, reading and class material, is largely focused on social responsibility as an element of Sociology is the understanding that we are interactive social beings.

Course Students Learning Outcomes (CSLOs)

  1. Compare and contrast the basic theoretical perspectives of sociology.
  1. Identify the various methodological approaches to the collective and analysis of data in sociology.
  1. Describe key concepts in sociology.
  1. Describe the empirical findings in various subfields of sociology.
  1. Explain the complex links between individual experiences and broader institutional forces.
Textbook Cover SOCI 1301 Academic Year 2021
Textbook Cover SOCI 1301 Academic Year 2021