SOCIOLOGY DOES NOT
Even if it looks like it does.
If you are somewhat up to speed as to what
sociology is, that is, as a social science, and how
it compares to and differs from the other social
sciences, then it is time to also consider that it
changes at a rapid rate.
Sociology, at least how you will find it in this
class, is event orientated. As C. Wright Mills
noted, it is the relationship between history and
biography (you and your time). It is relevant to
your epoch (historical moment). This history is
being made every day.
Each new event, whether it be a new armed
conflict, an economic crisis or sudden change, or
a new movement whether it be political or
religious or something else, is a part of your time
Sociology, then, being also a perspective as well
as a social science, is both a record of change
and a record of how that change is perceived. So
you will be encouraged, and even prodded, to
get up to speed on some of the more important
issues of the day. Your day that is.
Consider that on a daily basis our civil rights, our
voting rights, our right to privacy, our right to
health care, our right to feel safe from violence,
our right to safety in the work place, etc., are
continually being challenged locally, and at the
state and federal level.
Examples are often found in what appear to be
rather mediocre and banal news stories. But,
with the sociological imagination, you can see
implications that, unfortunately, the majority of
the populace cannot.
As well, new (or newer at least) theoretical
perspectives are employed. In an introductory
class, usually it is the old classics that are
explained in some detail. But from time to time I
may challenge you with concepts like "identity
politics," or "intersectionality," or "critical theory,"
or "historical deconstruction(ism)," and the like.
The reason is not to make the class more
difficult, but to actually make it more relevant to
you. You'll see.
The point is, that it is quite valuable at times to
digress a bit into tangential topics. That is, to look
at events and social phenomena as interrelated
and as possible influences on one another.
Or to take a current event and explore its
relevance to themes covered in this class.
Whether you are online, or f2f, or hybrid, I ask
you to push hard to seek relevance for yourself.
Sociology is not merely looking at the world
through a magnifying glass piece by piece, but
identifying patterns that may actually be