Introduction to Sociology

A Comprehensive Introduction to the World Around Us
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  • Lectures 84
  • Length 13 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English, captions
  • Includes Lifetime access
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About This Course

Published 11/2013 English Closed captions available

Course Description

"The Way We Live" is a comprehensive introduction to Sociology and self-paced video course 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 rich-media supplement to existing courses, or for review and test preparation (e.g. CLEP Exam)

What are the 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.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • 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.

What 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 .

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Introduction to Sociology
Article

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/

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

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

26:40

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:

00:46

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:

03:47

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:

10 questions

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

Section 2: Sociological Research
Article

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

26:40

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:

02:08

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:

10 questions

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

Section 3: Culture
Article

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

26:40

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:

03:23

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:

10 questions

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

Section 4: Society & Social Interaction
Article

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/

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

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

26:40

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:

00:30

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:

10 questions

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

Section 5: Socialization
Article

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/

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

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

26:40

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:

06:52

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:

10 questions

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

Section 6: Groups & Organizations
Article

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/

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

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

26:40

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:

04:09

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.

Download the transcript for this lecture below:

10 questions

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

Section 7: Deviance, Crime & Social Control
Article

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/

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

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

26:40

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:

02:18

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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10 questions

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

Section 8: Media & Technology
Article

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

02:34

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:

02:04

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:

02:15

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:

06:08

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.

Download the transcript for this lecture below:

11:29

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.

Download the transcript for this lecture below:

10 questions

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

Section 9: Social Stratification in the United States
Article

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

26:40

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:

01:49

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:

02:13

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.

Download the transcript for this lecture below:

05:04

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.

Download the transcript for this lecture below:

10 questions

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Section 10: Global Inequality
Article

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

26:40

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:

01:39

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.

Download the transcript for this lecture below:

01:50

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.

Download the transcript for this lecture below:

10 questions

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

Section 11: Race & Ethnicity
Article

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 11

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:

assimilation
authoritarian personality theory (of prejudice)
discrimination
ethnicity
genocide
institutional prejudice and discrimination
master status
minority
pluralism
prejudice
race
racism
segregation
stereotyping
Thomas theorem
white ethnics
xenophobia

26:40

For racial and ethnic minorities, the struggle for recognition and equality is nothing new. Perhaps nowhere is this more visible than in the United States. The polarizing effects of stereotyping, racial prejudice and discrimination, and its impact on generations of Black Americans, are discussed. Learners will also meet the Bazzy family – an Arab-American family in Michigan who must cope with local misconceptions and generalizations about Arab culture in the wake of 9/11.

VIDEO FOCUS

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

  • Members of ethnic groups, such as Arab Americans, often find that members of the dominant culture do not clearly understand their unique cultural attitudes and behaviors. Prejudice and discrimination are common. Throughout American history, minorities have been the victims of racial and ethnic prejudice, stereotyping, racism, discrimination, and even genocide.
  • Sociologists point out that discrimination is usually based on stereotyping. For example, Muslims have been stereotyped and discriminated against since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
  • Changes in the U.S. economy have disproportionately affected minority group members, as illustrated by the plight of disadvantaged African Americans living in decaying urban neighborhoods.
  • The challenge for minority groups is to find ways to maintain their unique cultural identities in the midst of pressures to conform to mainstream culture.
  • The new Arab-American Museum in Dearborn, Michigan may help to educate the non-Arabic public about Arab Americans and reduce the bigotry and stereotyping directed at this one particular ethnic group.


Download the transcript for this lecture below:

02:40

Professor of Sociology and Public Policy Dalton Conley discusses the "race-class debate," which focuses on whether racial background or class and economic standing is more important in predicting opportunity in the United States.

Download the transcript for this lecture below:

02:54

Professor of Sociology and Public Policy Dalton Conley talks about the perpetuation of unequal opportunity in the United States. Professor Conley notes that there are a number of cultural, economic and social channels by which racial and class distinctions get perpetuated across generations.

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02:40

Professor of Sociology and Public Policy Dalton Conley discusses institutional racism.

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02:46

Professor of Sociology and Public Policy Dalton Conley talks about residential segregation, noting that it has important economic, educational and family consequences. Professor Conley observes that there is a premium for being a white neighborhood in the United States, and a social-psychological aversion to minorities on the part of many Whites. As long as Whites are the majority group and control most of the assets, he says, that situation is likely to be perpetuated.

Download the transcript for this lecture below:

10 questions

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

Section 12: Gender, Sex, and Sexuality
Article

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 12

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:


abortion
asexuality
bisexuality
extramarital sex
hermaphrodite
heterosexism
heterosexuality
homophobia
homosexuality
incest taboo
pornography
premarital sex
primary sex characteristics
prostitution
queer theory
secondary sex characteristics
sex
sexual orientation
sexuality
transsexuals

26:40

Conflicting views about sexuality permeate American culture. These conflicts play out in a variety of ways, from how we perceive sexually explicit materials to how we legislate on the issue of abortion. This lesson looks at the concept of sexuality and explores different attitudes towards sexuality education, abortion and sexual orientation.

VIDEO FOCUS

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

  • Education about sexuality is a controversial issue in America’s schools.
  • Educators are concerned that sexuality education in the schools be objective and free from religious or political bias.
  • Attitudes toward sexuality education mirror attitudes about sexuality in the wider American society.
  • Sexuality education struggles to deal with controversial issues in American society such as sexual orientation, abortion, pornography, and sexual abuse.


Download the transcript for this lecture below:

26:40

Are men and women really that different? Society tends to emphasize differences more than similarities. This often leads to competition and, in some cases, inequality. This episode looks at gender issues and stratification. The gender divide in the workplace, the impact of Title Seven, and the women’s movement are explored.

VIDEO FOCUS

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

  • More and more women are becoming involved in traditionally male dominated activities such as football, and occupations such as firefighter.
  • Gender roles are learned in early life through the socialization process.
  • More women are entering the labor force, but studies suggest that women still perform most of the household tasks.
  • Despite the gains achieved by the feminist movement, many women continue to face gender-based discrimination and lack of opportunity in the workplace.


Download the transcript for this lecture below:

00:45

Author and feminist Betty Friedan talks about the "war between the sexes," noting that, at one time, the mere mention of the words "my wife" in comedy routines made the audience laugh.

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00:40

Focuses on how woman who act tough, in some way, are demonstrating gender-based roles, expectations and assumptions.

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00:34

As a country, what is the perception of gender equality between men and women?

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10 questions

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Section 13: Aging & the Elderly
Article

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 13

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:

activity theory
age stratification theory
ageism
baby boomers
caregiving
centenarians
cohort
continuity theory
dependency ratio
disengagement theory
elder abuse
euthanasia
exchange theory
filial piety
geriatrics
gerontocracy
gerontology
life expectancy
Longevity Revolution
modernization theory
physician-assisted suicide
primary aging
secondary aging
selective optimization with compensation theory
senescence
social gerontology
subculture of aging theory
thanatology

26:40

The Longevity Revolution, cross-cultural differences, stereotypes – all present challenges to meeting the needs of America’s growing population of elderly adults. This lesson explores issues surrounding aging, death and dying, and features a nursing home that provides a rich array of programs for its residents.

VIDEO FOCUS

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

  • Nursing homes and assisted living facilities struggle to provide quality care with limited resources.
  • The life expectancy of Americans has nearly doubled since 1900, a trend that is referred to as the Longevity Revolution.
  • Longer life expectancy has resulted in a significant increase in the number of older persons in the United States.
  • Older persons often face issues of health and illness, finances, and growing dependency on others.


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26:42

Looks at stereotypes and misconceptions about the aging process, as well as the realistic challenges that older people face, including medical, economic and emotional issues. Group-living options, such as assisted living and nursing homes, are explored, as is the valuable role family can play in terms of support. Family is also a part of the discussion about the inevitable end of life, as options concerning preparation for death are considered.

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10 questions

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

Section 14: Marriage & Family
Article

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 14

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:

capitalism communism
conglomerate
corporation
economy
global economy
labor union
monopoly
oligopoly
postindustrial economy
primary labor market
primary sector
profession
secondary labor market
secondary sector
social institution
socialism
state capitalism
tertiary sector
underground economy
welfare capitalism

26:40

The traditional or nuclear family of the 1950s and 1960s is what most of us think of when asked to define ‘family’. But the idea that there is a typical family is perhaps little more than a myth. This lesson considers the diversity of family forms that exist today and cultural shifts that are changing the way we look at families. You will meet the Scott-Chung family – a lesbian couple who discuss their decision to have a family.

VIDEO FOCUS

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

  • The traditional definition of the American family has been expanded to include new forms such as same-sex couples with children.
  • State governments in the United States have been very slow to allow civil unions and same-sex marriages. Legal challenges continue.
  • Attitudes and behaviors surrounding marriage and family changed in the 1960s as oral contraceptives became readily available and as women entered the workforce in increased numbers. One of the biggest changes was the idea that marriage is not just a social institution created to raise children.
  • Despite the changing attitudes and behaviors surrounding marriage, research shows that traditional gender roles still exert considerable power in the American family.


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26:42

This video explores the many and varied forms that modern families commonly take, from single-parent and stepfamilies to multi-generational families living together, and looks at the growing racial and ethnic diversity brought about by the upsurge in immigration. The lesson concludes by recognizing that while the American family has changed and continues to change—at what sometimes feels like a dizzying pace—it remains as vital and important now as it’s ever been.

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10 questions

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

Section 15: Religion
Article

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 15

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:

animism
charisma
church
civil religion
cult
denomination
faith
fundamentalism
liberation theology
profane
religion
religiosity
sacred
sect
secularization
state church
totem

26:40

Most religions define themselves by their respective rituals and traditions. What is remarkably consistent however, is the role that virtually all religions play in the lives of their followers. Religion in the United States and its effect on the tapestry of American society and politics are the focus of this video.

VIDEO FOCUS

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

  • Religion and culture are intertwined. Voodoo contains many elements of Catholicism adopted by African slaves who were prevented from practicing their own religion.
  • Both Catholicism and Voodoo contain rituals and traditions.
  • A primary function of religion is to provide meaning for human lives and to answer ultimate questions concerning death, suffering, and evil.
  • Religion has been an important part of American life for centuries. Immigrants bring many diverse religions that become a part of the American religious landscape. Many Americans consider themselves spiritual but do not participate in organized religious groups.
  • The U.S. Constitution requires the separation of church and state, but religion is a potent influence in American life.


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01:44

What does it mean to have a complete or good life?

Perhaps virtue is essential to life and perhaps, as Martha Nussbaum remarks, ". . . there is no incompatibility between virtue ethics and an emphasis on a universal account that also has a large room for principle."

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06:13

Religion, in one form or another, has been found in all human societies since human societies first appeared. Archaeological digs have revealed ritual objects, ceremonial burial sites, and other religious artifacts. Social conflict and even wars often result from religious disputes. To understand a culture, sociologists must study its religion.

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10 questions

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

Section 16: Education
Article

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 16

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:

busing
charter school
education
functional illiteracy
grade inflation
home schooling
magnet school
mainstreaming
parochial schools
school choice
schooling
schooling for profit
social capital
standardized tests
tracking

26:40

What kind of education a child can expect to receive may have less to do with the teacher and more to do socioeconomic status, race and culture. These and other factors make the question of how best to educate American children a complicated one. In this episode you will meet families with different approaches to educating their children. The growth in home schooling as an alternative to conventional education is explored.

VIDEO FOCUS

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

  • Parents often struggle to ensure that their children receive a good education in the best school possible.
  • Most choose public school, but some opt for private school or home schooling.
  • America's schools are more violent places than in earlier decades.
  • Access to education in the United States is stratified by such factors as social class, race, and geographic location.


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04:40

Professor of Sociology and Public Policy Dalton Conley talks about class-based affirmative action as an alternative to the much more common, but increasingly unpopular race-based affirmative action.

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10 questions

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

Section 17: Government & Politics
Article

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 17

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:

authoritarianism
authority
democracy
government
Marxist political-economy model
militarism
military-industrial complex
monarchy
pluralist model
political revolution
politics
power
power-elite model
routinization of charisma
terrorism
totalitarianism
war
welfare state

26:40

There are numerous ways to make your views known in a democracy, so why is it some people don’t have equal voice? Too often government only hears from those with access to money and education. The result can be inequality in housing, jobs, education and health care. This video looks at social stratification and its impact on politics.

VIDEO FOCUS

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

  • The nature of political participation can be seen in California’s ballot initiatives such as Proposition 68, intended to expand legalized gambling and Proposition 71, supporting stem cell research.
  • Levels of participation in the political process varies by sex, race, income, and education.
  • Special interest groups lobby government officials in an attempt to affect change that is beneficial to their members.
  • Political parties play an important role in the United States political process.


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02:02

Professor of Sociology and History Craig Calhoun talks about the sociological dimensions of the rebuilding effort during the war in Iraq.He focuses on the challenge of bringing together vast numbers of people with different cultural backgrounds, in order to make institutions function more effectively.

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02:03

Professor of Sociology and Public Policy Dalton Conley talks about Civil Rights legislation and equal opportunity in the United States.Professor Conley states that while Civil Rights legislation of the 1960's "opened the game up" and allowed Black Americans and other minorities onto the playing field, it did little to level that playing field.

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02:15

Professor of Sociology and History Craig Calhoun observes that one of the biggest challenges in dealing with infectious diseases on a global scale is convincing governments to acknowledge that there is a problem and that they need to make a concerted effort to solve it. Their reluctance often stems from concerns that publicly acknowledging the scope of a problem may discourage tourism and thereby have a negative impact on the national economy.

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