Introduction to Sociology

SOCY 122/6.0

An introduction to the concepts, theories and methods of sociological enquiry, and their application to the analysis of Canadian society.

Description

SOCY 122/6.0 is designed to introduce students to the sociological perspective and the way sociologists approach and study the social world. It also introduces students to a number of substantive areas of study undertaken by sociologists. In the first part of the course, students will be introduced to what most sociologists refer to as the classical tradition the foundation upon which all later approaches to sociological analysis developed. Students will explore C. Wright Mills's notion of the sociological imagination and then consider their own collective biography as members of the so-called Millennial Generation and how it intersects with the contemporary university system. The course then turns to three of the most important, macro-sociological frameworks that shaped the classical tradition the work of Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber. Weber's work leads into a discussion of modernism and modernity leading into an examination of the extent to which the contemporary world is one of high modernity or a postmodern world. The first part ends with an examination of culture, popular culture and the work of Bob Dylan. In the second part of the course, students will focus upon a number of substantive areas of sociological analysis the sociology of work, social inequality, deviant behaviour, war and genocide, and two particular social movements (the Student Movement and the Women's Movement).

Evaluation

Encyclopedia Assignment5%
Library Assignment5%
Anatomy of a Term Paper15%
Research Essay25%
Tutorial Work10%
Proctored Final Exam40%

** Subject to Change **

Topics

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course students will be able to"

Content

  • Identify, define and recall key information and vocabulary related to a sociological understanding of the world in which humankind lives;
  • Identify and recall key information regarding C. Wright Mills's conceptions of the sociological imagination and intellectual craftsmanship;
  • Identify, recall and discuss key information related to different theoretical perspectives developed by Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber;
  • Identify, recall and discuss key information related to the concept of culture, the debate over mass culture versus high culture and use Bob Dylan's work as a reference for the debate over culture;
  • Identify and discuss some of the key issues in the study of work from a sociological perspective;
  • Identify and discuss some of the key issues in the study of social inequality;
  • Identify and discuss some of the key issues in the study of deviant behavior;
  • Identify and discuss some of the key issues in the study of war and genocide;
  • Identify and discuss some of the key issues in the study of the student movement of the 1960s and the women's movement.

Skills

  • Generate written arguments supported with quality academic materials from appropriate sources;
  • Demonstrate academic integrity (see the section on academic integrity below) and understand what constitutes a deviation from academic integrity including, but not limited to, what is involved with plagiarism;
  • Increase reading comprehension through the use of original sources;
  • Enhance study and presentation skills through lecture study questions.

Critical thinking

  • Engage in critical thinking about social issues;
  • Analyze and evaluate social phenomena from within a sociological frame of reference as opposed to relying on the natural attitude, their everyday stocks of knowledge, or a psychological frame of reference;
  • Develop an awareness of the limits to and the contextual basis of knowledge.

Instructor

Portrait of course instructor Rob BeamishThis course is designed to introduce students to the “sociological perspective” and the way sociologists approach and study the social world. It also introduces students to a number of substantive areas of study undertaken by sociologists.

In the first term, students will be introduced to what most sociologists refer to as “the classical tradition” – the foundation upon which all later approaches to sociological analysis developed. Students will begin by exploring themselves as part of a particular “generation” – the so-called “Millennials.” The discussion will focus on the extent to which their biographies to this point in time have prepared them for what constitutes and is expected within a liberal education within a contemporary, Canadian university. It also addresses the manner in which universities may have to adjust to the backgrounds and learning modalities of the Millennial generation.

In the second half of the course, students will focus upon a number of substantive areas of sociological analysis – the sociology of work, social inequality, deviant behaviour, war and genocide, and two particular social movements (the Student Movement and the Women’s Movement).

SOCY 122S is designed for students who intend to take further sociology courses and for those in other concentrations who wish to acquaint themselves with the essentials of the discipline. 

This course is based on the introductory course that I teach in the classroom.  Taking the course by correspondence will not place you at any disadvantage although you will not receive an oral presentation of the course material.  For those who are comfortable with the internet, I have adapted the lecture notes and the PowerPoint presentations that I use in my regular intramural course and put them on the 122 Moodle site.  You may find the visual aids included in the power point presentations helpful in consolidating some of the material in your mind.

What you might miss by not attending lectures, you gain in the flexibility an online course provides.  You will have greater flexibility with respect to how you integrate this course into the many activities you undertake and the various demands on your time.  While a strength, it is important to recognize that doing a bit of work each day – or at least keeping up with the weekly schedule – is the best way to learn the material presented in this course.  Trying to read all the material towards the end of the course and doing the assignments in rapid succession will not yield the best results educationally or in terms of grades.  Be sure that you do not short-change yourself by leaving too much to the end.  A steady pace is the ideal.

Whether a student takes this course in a lecture format or by correspondence, he or she must engage with the course material in a very private and personal manner – he or she must carefully read and try to understand the course readings.  Reading, reflecting, understanding, and critically reformulating the ideas presented in the course are central to learning; they become your personal undertaking.  I have inserted italics not to admonish you that it is “your responsibility” to learn the material, but to emphasize that learning is a very personal, private activity; it takes time, a commitment to learning and a commitment to yourself.  It is a privileged opportunity and I strongly encourage you to take full advantage of all that this course and other courses offer to you in terms of personal, self-development.

Rob Beamish
E-mail: rob.beamish@queensu.ca

Time Commitment

To complete the readings, assignments, and course activities, students can expect to spend, on average, about 18 - 20 hours per week on the course.

Course Resources

About SOLUS

SOLUS is Queen’s Student On-Line University System. You’ll have access to a SOLUS account once you become a Queen’s student. You’ll use SOLUS to register for courses, add and drop courses, update your contact information, view financial and academic information, and pay your tuition.

About MOODLE

Moodle is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into Moodle to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the Moodle site.

About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a good-quality computer (Windows XP/Vista/7, Pentium III, or Mac OS X 10.5, G4 or G5 processor, 256 MB RAM) with a high-speed internet connection, soundcard, speakers, and microphone, and up-to-date versions of free software (Explorer/Firefox, Java, Flash, Adobe Reader). See also Preparing For Your Course.

Dates/Deadlines

The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are in our Dates and Deadlines section.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for 2014-15 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Canadian students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $605.31; for a 6.0-unit course, $1210.62. See also Tuition and Payment.

Grading Scheme

The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter Grade Grade Point
A+4.30
A4.00
A-3.70
B+3.30
B3.00
B-2.70
C+2.30
C2.00
C-1.70
D+1.30
D1.00
D-0.70
F0.00

GPA Calculators
Have your SOLUS grade report handy and then follow the link to the Arts and Science GPA calculators.

How does this affect my academics?
See the GPA and Academic Standing page.

Follow the link above for an explanation of how the GPA system affects such things as the Dean’s Honour List, requirements to graduate, and academic progression.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Grading Scheme
Please follow this link to the FAQ's

Campus Bookstore

All textbooks can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.

Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.