During this section section in The Family, we will jump in to our analysis of the discipline of sociology, the sociological perspective, and understanding social structures. Some opening questions to consider:

What are social institutions? How is power engaged between social institutions and individuals? How do identities and demographics impact these? Please explore this topic, as you will be asked to talk about it during the classroom discussion.

Readings for next class are posted on Blackboard. Please note, that we are reading two chapters for the next two class, so plan ahead with your time. We may have our first quiz over these two chapters, so please have notes on the readings.

During this section of class, you can post a link to the comments section in order to illustrate our discussion. This link can include a  pop culture (film/television) examples that illustrate the concepts expressed in the two chapters we are covering. These are not required, but helpful during discussion.

For January 31st, Thursday, we will be reading chapter 1: The Sociological Perspective, and chapter 2: The Structure of Social Groups.

Chapter 1: The Sociological Perspective

Some ideas to consider for our discussion on chapter 1:

What is the range of the discipline of Sociology? How is it different from other disciplines? What are the various levels of analysis (personal, global, etc.) and topics that sociology covers at each level? How are the insights of sociology important for individuals? What does it mean that individuals are socially determined? What are examples from your own life? What is the sociological imagination? What are the definitions of the key terms throughout the chapter? Can you provide your own examples of them? What are the problems with the sociological perspective? What are the methods, and their corresponding problems, of sociological research? What does it mean to think like a sociologist?

For February 5th, Tuesday, we will be discussing Chapter 2: The Structure of Social Groups

Some ideas to consider for our discussion on chapter 2:


Milgram’s Obedience to Authority

The Stanford Prison Experiment

Inside the Amish Church (on shunning practices)

Asch Conformity Experiment

Leon Festinger and cognitive dissonance

Additionally, you should begin to think about a topic for your short presentation next week. Please see syllabus for details on assignment. You will be asked to have a rough idea of your topic in class.