The Truth About Us

Sociology is simply asking “Why” questions about society and social behavior, then using critical thinking and a scientific research method to find answers. With this new knowledge, sociologists and sociology students are well-positioned to make positive changes in their lives, their communities, and the world.

Course Outcomes

  • Develop a sociological perspective to understand how society influences people.
  • Explain how culture, social groups, and social interaction shape the behaviors and thoughts of individuals in a society.
  • Describe how society is organized and structured, including the role of social institutions.
  • Define social stratification and explain how it contributes to inequalities based on class, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and age.
  • Identify how the major sociological theories are used to explain social behavior and social institutions.
  • Apply the sociological research process to examine social issues.
  • Write about social behavior and social institutions clearly and logically, using proper grammar, spelling, and formatting.

Media Assets

  • Features 12 Video Stories.

So what is Sociology and why do we need it? This week you’ll find out all about this fascinating science that is used to understand how society works, how our social institutions are formed, and what it all means for us.

Sociologists use a research process that is based on the scientific method. This helps researchers ensure that they are objective when gathering data, and that their data and conclusions are accurate and reliable.

What makes us who we are? Why do we do eat the foods we eat, tell the stories we tell, celebrate special holidays, shake hands, or hug and kiss our loved ones the way we do?

What exactly do we mean when we say “society”, and what are the building blocks that organize and structure it? The roles you play, groups you belong to, and social institutions in your life are all part of the structure of society.

All societies need rules and norms to function, and we’re socialized to follow them from birth. But what happens when you deviate from social conventions and break the rules, or even the law?

Not everyone has the same amount of wealth, resources, or power. This uneven distribution of resources means that societies are stratified.

This week you’re going to try and answer these questions by looking at the categories and markers that societies use to define people. You’ll explore what these categories mean, how they contribute to inequality, and how they shape our lives.

Organized religion is one of the oldest social institutions in the world. No matter what your faith, the institution of religion gives followers a distinct set of beliefs and practices to help find meaning and purpose in life.

Now it’s time to use all of the concepts, ideas, and social theories you’ve learned to examine one of our most important social institutions, the government. What is the function of government and politics in society?

The government isn’t the only formal institution that can impact our life chances and opportunities. Work and the economy are hugely important to the well-being of most people in modern societies.

So now what? How can you continue to use the sociological perspective and critical thinking skills you’ve been cultivating in this course?

An in-depth look at this course is available! View Course Demo >