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Introduction to Sociology

A Comprehensive Introduction to the World Around Us
4.0 (13 ratings)
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Last updated 8/2016
English English
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Includes:
  • 12.5 hours on-demand video
  • 21 Articles
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What Will I Learn?
Understand the broad scope of sociology and its relevance to human existence.
Apply the sociological imagination by examining our society’s beliefs and values.
Define how societies are shaped and identify structures, institutions, or dynamics causing change.
Evaluate social structures using major sociological perspectives; conflict, functional and symbolic interaction and discuss the consequences.
Recognize appropriate scientific research processes and procedures.
Describe stereotypes and myths concerning social structures including race, class, gender, education, religion and media.
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Requirements
  • System requirements: PC, laptop or mobile device (with Udemy app) and broadband connectivity.
  • Course requirements: There are no pre-requisite or other course requirements.
Description

"The Way We Live" is a comprehensive introduction to Sociology and self-paced online study guide that combines the real world immediacy and intimacy of professionally-produced video with the free, open-source, peer-reviewed textbook "Introduction to Sociology" from OpenStax College. Noted sociologists provide insights for understanding social groups and institutions, social change, and the sociological forces of daily life.

Areas of exploration include:

  • Sociological Investigation
  • Culture
  • Social Interaction
  • Groups and Organizations
  • Deviance
  • Sexuality
  • Social and Global Stratification
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Aging
  • Economy and Work
  • Politics and Government
  • Family
  • Education
  • Religion
  • Population and Urbanization
  • Social Movements

Students visit Delancy Street, an innovative alternative to the correctional system that focuses on rehabilitating instead of simply housing criminal offenders. They meet the people of the Winnemem Wintu tribe of the Pacific Northwest and learn how government land and water policies have affected them. They gain perspective about how thoroughly issues of gender saturate daily life in our society through the players on a women's professional football team.

The course is organized in 22 sections and covers all of the topics commonly taught in college introductory courses in Sociology. It can be adopted as is for use as a complete online course, as a quality textbook replacement to existing courses, or for homework and test preparation (e.g. CLEP Exam)

Who is the target audience?
  • Professors of Sociology looking to adopt low-cost, media-rich supplemental materials for their students.
  • Anyone with an interest in the social groups, organizations and institutions that form the world around us.
  • Students currently enrolled in (or considering enrolling in) Introduction to Sociology classes .
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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 84 Lectures Collapse All 84 Lectures 13:07:32
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Introduction to Sociology
4 Lectures 32:41

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 01

OpenStax College. (2012, June 12). Introduction to Sociology. Retrieved from the Connexions Web site: http://cnx.org/content/col11407/1.7/

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KEY TERMS

After reading the textbook assignments and watching the video, you should be able to identify and explain the significance of the following:

functionalism
global perspective
latent functions
macro-level orientation
manifest functions
micro-level orientation
positivism
social functions
social structure
social-conflict paradigm sociology
stereotype
structural-functional paradigm
symbolic-interaction paradigm
theory
sociological imagination

Preview 01:28

What is Sociology? Various perspectives are offered by leading sociologists for understanding the complex interplay of individuals, groups and relationships in society, and how they provide a context for living and a roadmap for understanding life’s limitations … and possibilities.

VIDEO FOCUS

As you view the video in this lesson, consider the following:

  • Each individual makes choices about how to live his or her life. The video points out how these choices are strongly influenced by the complex web of groups and relationships that we call society.
  • Sociologists use the sociological imagination to study how individual concerns and problems reflect larger social issues and problems.
  • Individuals can use the understanding that they gain through the study of sociology to better their own lives. As the video shows, children who are raised in poverty and despair may learn how to succeed through educational attainment.
  • Sociologists have discovered that poor health, low educational attainment and other problems are not just the problems of individual people, but that they are related to social factors such as race, ethnicity, and social class.
  • Sociology can be used not only to understand society but to change it for the better. Results of sociological research can be used to influence public policy.

Download the transcript for this lecture below:

Preview 26:40

Professor of Sociology and Public Policy Dalton Conley talks about the origins of the discriminatory lending practice known as "redlining."


Download the transcript for this lecture below:

Historical Perspective
00:46

Functionalism, also called structural functional theory, sees society as a structure with interrelated parts designed to meet the biological and social needs of individuals who make up that society.

Philosopher Hilary Putnam talks about turning away from his earlier view of functionalism, to another perspective which recognizes the impact and significance of experience and one's social environment on the way one thinks.


Download the transcript for this lecture below:

Functionalism
03:47

Let's Review! Take this short quiz and check your knowledge for this section.

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10 questions
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Sociological Research
3 Lectures 30:15

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 02

OpenStax College. (2012, June 12). Introduction to Sociology. Retrieved from the Connexions Web site: http://cnx.org/content/col11407/1.7/

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KEY TERMS

After reading the textbook assignments and watching the video, you should be able to identify and explain the significance of the following:

cause and effect
concept
correlation
critical sociology
empirical evidence
existing sources (of data)
experiment
interpretive sociology
measurement
objectivity
participant observation
qualitative methods
quantitative methods
reliability
science
scientific sociology
survey
validity
value-free
variable

Approaching Research
01:27

Sociological research and methodology is often the subject of fierce debate among sociologists. The pursuit of objectivity in sociological research, Critical Sociology, and the idea of Sociology as a science…each has transformed the way sociologists approach sociological research.

VIDEO FOCUS

As you view the video in this lecture, consider the following:

  • Sociological research begins with a question that is suggested by a particular problem or social issue or by the researcher's personal interest. Some researchers are motivated by the desire to improve society by gathering useful information that may lead to social change.
  • Sociology is a social science, but most sociologists agree that complete scientific objectivity is not possible since sociologists are part of the social world that they study.
  • Some sociologists take the view that researchers should strive to be as objective as possible in their work. German sociologist Max Weber referred to this as the value-free approach. Other sociologists feel that their research should not attempt to be objective, but rather it should be designed to better the situations of exploited persons and groups
  • Research may be qualitative or quantitative, involving observations, surveys, experiments, or analysis of secondary data. The methods that are used in a particular study depend on the questions that are being asked.


Download the transcript for this lecture below:

Truth Be Told
26:40

Professor of Sociology and Public Policy Dalton Conley talks about the wealth gap between low asset families and those with financial resources, and discusses various public policy strategies that might narrow that gap.

Download the transcript for this lecture below:

Sociology and Public Policy
02:08

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10 questions
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Culture
3 Lectures 31:28

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 03

OpenStax College. (2012, June 12). Introduction to Sociology. Retrieved from the Connexions Web site: http://cnx.org/content/col11407/1.7/

**********************************************************************

KEY TERMS

After reading the textbook assignments and watching the video, you should be able to identify and explain the significance of the following:

counterculture
cultural integration
ultural lag
cultural relativism
cultural transmission
cultural universals
culture
culture shock
ethnocentrism
folkways
high culture
language
material culture
mores
multiculturalism
nonmaterial culture
norms
popular culture
society
subculture
symbol
values

What is Culture?
01:25

Values, beliefs, traditions, language, and material goods form the subject of this lesson about the components of culture. The lesson begins with a Slice of Life look at the Amish - a group whose members in Southeastern Pennsylvania maintain language and other cultural traditions unique to early Germanic settlers to the region. The American values of individual rights and consumerism are also discussed.

VIDEO FOCUS

As you view the video in this lesson, consider the following:

  • The Pennsylvania Dutch (Amish) provide an example of a subculture with values and norms that differ from those of mainstream American culture.
  • Amish culture is based on religious ideals and practices, a separate language, and avoidance of modern technology. Materialism is frowned upon. Mainstream American culture is seen as the outside world that exists in opposition to Amish ways of life.
  • In spite of their subcultural ways, the Amish are part of American culture in many respects. A challenge for the group is how to choose aspects of the mainstream culture that fit with their own values, beliefs, and norms.


Download the transcript for this lecture below:

Common Ground
26:40

Each family follows a diverse path consisting of values and beliefs of its specific culture and society, governed by norms, including laws, mores, (mor-ays) and folkways.

Download the transcript for this lecture below:

Culture, Family and Diversity
03:23

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10 questions
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Society & Social Interaction
3 Lectures 28:32

READING

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 04

OpenStax College. (2012, June 12). Introduction to Sociology. Retrieved from the Connexions Web site: http://cnx.org/content/col11407/1.7/

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KEY TERMS

After reading the textbook assignments and watching the video, you should be able to identify and explain the significance of the following:

ageism
anticipatory socialization
cohort
concrete operational stage
ego
formal operational stage
generalized other
gerontocracy
gerontology
id
looking-glass self
mass media
peer group
personality
preoperational stage
resocialization
self
sensorimotor stage
significant others
socialization
superego
total institution

Types of Societies
01:22

Humans are born without culture. For virtually anyone, culture begins with the family and continues through other social agents such as school, peer groups and mass media. This lesson follows the general process by which people develop their personalities and learn about the world around them – a process referred to as “socialization.”

VIDEO FOCUS
As you view the video in this lecture, consider the following:

  • The importance of the socialization process is illustrated by the popularity of reality television shows that offer "extreme makeovers."


  • The most important agent of socialization is the family because this is where the bulk of early childhood learning takes place.


  • Schools and peer groups are other key agents of socialization.


  • Socialization takes place throughout the life course.


Download the transcript for this lecture below:

Fitting In
26:40

Author and journalist Randy Shilts talks about his background and upbringing as a gay man. He states that he grew up believing there was something wrong with him, and only heard reference made to his sexual orientation in the form of jokes or disparaging labels.


Download the transcript for this lecture below:

Growing Up Differently
00:30

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Check Your Understanding
10 questions
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Socialization
3 Lectures 35:06

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 05

OpenStax College. (2012, June 12). Introduction to Sociology. Retrieved from the Connexions Web site: http://cnx.org/content/col11407/1.7/

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KEY TERMS

After reading the textbook assignments and watching the video, you should be able to identify and explain the significance of the following:

achieved status
ascribed status
dramaturgical analysis
master status
nonverbal communication
personal space
presentation of self
role
role set
role strain
social construction of reality
social interaction
status
status set
Thomas theorem

Why Socialization Matters
01:34

This video looks at how such aspects of social interaction as language, humor and emotion can shape and change the way we view the world around us. Nowhere is this interaction more visible than in the fusion of language and emotion which characterize the world of politics. But social interaction in the more mundane world of everyday life can be just as significant.

VIDEO FOCUS

As you view the video in this lecture, consider the following:

  • People often use humor in social interaction in order to show that they are able to transcend difficult or disturbing situations.
  • The dimensions of social interaction, such as personal space and nonverbal communication, vary from one culture to another.
  • Language shapes people's categories of thought and their views of social reality.
  • Everyday social interaction consists of people playing the roles that they must play, according to the social status positions they occupy.
  • Even the mundane tasks of every day life have a significance in terms of maintaining social interaction and they can tell us a lot about a society‚s culture and values.


Download the transcript for this lecture below:

Face to Face
26:40

How traditional were your parents in socializing you about gender roles? As you look back, think of ways you benefited from their traditional or more contemporary guidance as a factor in your own gender socialization.


Download the transcript for this lecture below:

Gender Socialization
06:52

Let's Review! Take this short quiz and check your knowledge for this section.

Check Your Understanding
10 questions
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Groups & Organizations
3 Lectures 32:10

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 06

OpenStax College. (2012, June 12). Introduction to Sociology. Retrieved from the Connexions Web site: http://cnx.org/content/col11407/1.7/

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After reading the textbook assignments and watching the video, you should be able to identify and explain the significance of the following:

KEY TERMS

bureaucracy

bureaucratic
inertia
bureaucratic
ritualism

category

expressive leadership

formal organization

groupthink

in-group

instrumental leadership

network
oligarchy

out-group

primary group

rationality

rationalization of society

reference group

scientific management

secondary group

social group
tradition

The Importance of Group Dynamics
01:21

Whether a small group or a multinational corporation, every organization has its own culture. This lesson looks at organizational behavior and includes discussion around the ideas of Frederick Taylor and “scientific management,” corporate culture and the pitfalls of bureaucracy.

VIDEO FOCUS

As you view the video in this lecture, consider the following:

  • Primary groups provide expressive support and a strong sense of community.
  • Groups can exert pressure on their members to conform, which can lead to groupthink, where individuals de-emphasize their own opinions to conform to the decision of the group. Groupthink can lead to unforeseen and disastrous outcomes such as the space shuttle disasters of 1986 and 2003.
  • Large organizations are structured to accomplish complex tasks efficiently.
  • Frederick Winslow Taylor‚s scientific management model was very efficient but it led to worker alienation and increased distance between workers and managers.
  • After World War II, the Japanese model of teamwork and worker participation in decision-making became increasingly influential in the United States.
  • The prevalence and success of scientific management in industrial production has led to the McDonaldization of much of American society.
  • Increased global competition and the shift from an industrial to an information-based post-industrial economy have led many organizations to see their employees as a valuable resource and to focus more on teamwork.

Download the transcript for this lecture below:

All Together
26:40

Professor of Sociology and History Craig Calhoun talks about globalization protests, stating that these are not spontaneous reactions, but rather part of a concerted effort to achieve better working conditions, greater access to healthcare, and a cleaner environment. Many of those who participate in such protests do so because they believe a variety of economic activities playing out on a global scale have worked against these outcomes.

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Improving Work Groups
04:09

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10 questions
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Deviance, Crime & Social Control
3 Lectures 30:36

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 07

OpenStax College. (2012, June 12). Introduction to Sociology. Retrieved from the Connexions Web site: http://cnx.org/content/col11407/1.7/

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KEY TERMS

After reading the textbook assignments and watching the video, you should be able to identify and explain the significance of the following:

corporate crime
crime
crimes against property
crimes against the person
criminal justice system
criminal recidivism
deterrence
deviance
hate crime
organized crime
plea bargaining
rehabilitation
retribution
social control
societal protection
stigma
victimless crimes
white-collar crime

Theoretical Perspectives on Deviance
01:38

Conventional wisdom suggests that behavior “outside the norm” can be considered deviant. But can we really define deviant behavior? Differing views on sexuality and violent crime are explored in the lesson, as are some of the moral, religious and psychological factors that play a role in understanding deviant behavior.

VIDEO FOCUS

As you view the video in this lecture, consider the following:

  • Definitions of deviance vary from time to time and from place to place. An example is the changing views of drinking and drug use in the United States during the past one hundred years.
  • Types of crime include violent crimes and property crimes. Some people suggest that hate crimes offenses directed at victims because of the victim's personal characteristics should be placed in a unique and separate category.
  • Drugs are a large problem in the U.S. Some people suggest that the government's War on Drugs has discriminated against minorities.
  • Jails and prisons often do not provide offenders with the skills and motivation to rehabilitate and rejoin mainstream society. Organizations such as the Delancey Street Foundation may offer a model for successful rehabilitation programs.


Download the transcript for this lecture below:

Against the Grain
26:40

Professor of Sociology and Public Policy Dalton Conley notes that the typical Black family in America today has about one-eighth the net worth of the typical White family. He observes that, despite the Civil Rights gains of the 1960's, the gap between Blacks and Whites has actually grown since that time.

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Civil Rights and Social Control
02:18

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10 questions
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Media & Technology
6 Lectures 25:36

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 08

OpenStax College. (2012, June 12). Introduction to Sociology. Retrieved from the Connexions Web site: http://cnx.org/content/col11407/1.7/

**********************************************************************

KEY TERMS

After reading the textbook assignments and watching the video, you should be able to identify and explain the significance of the following:

cyberfeminism
design patents
digital divide
e-readiness
evolutionary model of technological change
gatekeeping
knowledge gap
media globalization
neo-Luddites
new media
panoptic surveillance
planned obsolescence
plant patents
technological diffusion
technological globalization
technology
technophiles
utility patents

Electronic Media and Socialization
01:06

What are the benefits of social networks? Boston College Professor Jerry Kane has received an National Science Foundation career award to study the use of social media technology in the classroom and in business. In the classroom, he has experimented with using Facebook as a classroom meeting space (not best suited, he found) and now uses a class wiki. This semester he requires students to develop quality Twitter messages or “Tweets” to better understand the benefits. On the business side, he is examining the risks and rewards of opening business communications over a social network, weighing the more open communications with privacy concerns.

Download the transcript for this lecture below:

Social Networking 101
02:34

Professor of Sociology and History Craig Calhoun talks about factors that sometimes make media coverage of globalization seem biased. He notes that this isn't necessarily caused by the biases of individual reporters or others in the news gathering business, but rather by the structure of the media itself. Professor Calhoun also talks about the natural tendency of electronic media to emphasize visuals, which can introduce a certain amount of distortion.

Download the transcript for this lecture below:

Biases in the Media
02:04

Professor of Sociology and History Craig Calhoun talks about the impact of social organizations and culture on everyday life. He points out that most of us find it much easier to understand and appreciate the impact of physical phenomena than to fully grasp the effects of culture and social networks.

Download the transcript for this lecture below:

Social Networks
02:15

Part 1 - Professor of Sociology and History Craig Calhoun tells the story of what led up to the 1989 Tiananmen Square Protests in China, including the role of the media and the erosion of communist rule in various locations around the world.

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The Role of Media
06:08

Part 2 - Professor of Sociology and History Craig Calhoun continues to tell the story of what led up to the 1989 Tiananmen Square Protests in China.

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The Role of Media Continued
11:29

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10 questions
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Social Stratification in the United States
5 Lectures 37:34

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 09

OpenStax College. (2012, June 12). Introduction to Sociology. Retrieved from the Connexions Web site: http://cnx.org/content/col11407/1.7/

**********************************************************************

KEY TERMS

After reading the textbook assignments and watching the video, you should be able to identify and explain the significance of the following:

absolute poverty
bourgeoisie
capitalists
caste system
class system
Davis-Moore thesis
feminization of poverty
ideology
income
Kuznets curve
meritocracy
occupational prestige
proletarians
relative poverty
social mobility
social stratification
socioeconomic status (SES)
wealth

Social and Global Stratification
01:48

Since the 1950s when opportunity reached its peak, the gap between the “haves and have nots” has grown. This lesson looks at social stratification and the dimensions of social inequality that exist in the United States. Factors that contribute to stratification are discussed, including race, gender, education, income level, and changes in the workplace.

VIDEO FOCUS

As you view the video in this lecture, consider the following:

  • Despite the existence of widespread poverty, the United States is seen by many as a land of opportunity where it is possible to better oneself through hard work and educational attainment.
  • Americans like to think of their country as a classless society, but there is a wide gap between the richest and poorest Americans.
  • Minority group members are particularly at risk for poverty and downward social mobility.
  • Many persons who live in poverty hold jobs that offer low pay and few if any fringe benefits such as health insurance. Members of the working poor face a continual risk of financial disaster.


Download the transcript for this lecture below:

Ups and Downs
26:40

Professor of Sociology and Public Policy Dalton Conley observes that sociologists have traditionally viewed social class in America as being a function of three elements: education, occupation and income. Professor Conley argues that there's actually a fourth component, wealth, which is frequently omitted, but which he believes should be included because it is often passed on from one generation to the next.

Download the transcript for this lecture below:

Social Class in America
01:49

Professor of Sociology and Public Policy Dalton Conley talks about some of the ways in which wealth is passed on from one generation to the next. As an example, he cites the fact that many parents pay for the cost of college for their children, or help them buy their first house.

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How Wealth is Passed On
02:13

Professor of Sociology and Public Policy Dalton Conley talks about what he says is the myth that the United States is the land of opportunity and social fluidity. According to Professor Conley, although most Americans believe the United States to be a mostly middle class society, the level of economic inequality in the U.S. is actually very high, while the level of social mobility is no different than any other industrialized country.

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Social Class and Social Mobility
05:04

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10 questions
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Global Inequality
4 Lectures 31:25

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 10

OpenStax College. (2012, June 12). Introduction to Sociology. Retrieved from the Connexions Web site: http://cnx.org/content/col11407/1.7/

**********************************************************************

KEY TERMS

After reading the textbook assignments and watching the video, you should be able to identify and explain the significance of the following:

absolute poverty
chattel slavery
colonialism
core nations
debt bondage
dependency theory
first-world nations
globalization
gross domestic product
modernization theory
multinational corporation
neocolonialism
peripheral nations
relative poverty
second-world nations
semiperipheral nations
third-world nations
three-worlds model

Global Stratification and Classification
01:16

Why can one continent be relatively affluent and another mired in poverty? This lesson looks at stratification on a global scale. The ideas of globalization and neo-liberalism are introduced. The lesson features Doctors Without Borders – an organization whose stated aim is to serve populations in need anywhere in the world irrespective of religious, political or social barriers that may exist.

VIDEO FOCUS

As you view the video in this lecture, consider the following:

  • There is a large gap between the richest and poorest Americans. However, the greatest amounts of economic inequality are between the world's high-income nations and low-income nations.
  • Many of the world's people live in absolute poverty, unable to afford the basic necessities of life.
  • Poverty levels are especially high in the Southern Hemisphere, particularly on the continent of Africa.
  • A nation's poverty level is related to its level of technological development.
  • The increasing globalization of the world's economies benefits some people but negatively affects many others.


Download the transcript for this lecture below:

Worlds Apart
26:40

Professor of Sociology and History Craig Calhoun discusses the sociological dimensions of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He focuses primarily on the aftermath of that day, looking at everything from the response of volunteer organizations to media coverage.

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Terrorism and September 11th
01:39

Professor of Sociology and History Craig Calhoun talks about the challenge of providing First World technology to Third World countries. He notes that without adaptations that take into account the specific conditions and environment in a Third World location, it is almost impossible to transfer First World technology to a Third World setting.

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Assisting Third World Nations
01:50

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About the Instructor
4.6 Average rating
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Intelecom Learning is a non-profit corporation operated by a joint powers authority of 15 California community college districts. Originally established in 1970 to produce distance learning courses for televised delivery, we bring instructional design, content development and digital technology together to offer teachers and students alike a universe of content for lifelong learning ... anytime, anywhere.

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