SOCI 1301

Introduction to Sociology

SOCI 1301

  • State Approval Code: 4511015125
  • Semester Credit Hours: 3
  • Lecture Hours per Week: 3
  • Contact Hours per Semester: 48

Catalog Description

The study of human society; human behavior and personality as a product of group life; community organization, social change and current social problems. Major divisions in the course include theories, methods, culture, socialization, inequities, social institutions and social change.

Course Curriculum

Basic Intellectual Compentencies in the Core Curriculum

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Listening
  • Critical thinking

Perspectives in the Core Curriculum

  • Establish broad and multiple perspectives on the individual in relationship to the larger society and world in which he/she lives, and to understand the responsibilities of living in a culturally and ethnically diversified world.
  • Stimulate a capacity to discuss and reflect upon individual, political, economic, and social aspects of life in order to understand ways in which to be a responsible member of society.
  • Develop personal values for ethical behavior.
  • Develop the ability to make aesthetic judgments.
  • Use logical reasoning in problem solving.

Core Components and Related Exemplary Educational Objectives

Communication (composition, speech, modern language)

  • To understand the importance of specifying audience and purpose and to select appropriate communications choices.
  • To understand and appropriately apply modes of expression, i.e. descriptive, expositive, narrative, scientific, and self-expressive, in written, visual, and oral communication.
  • To participate effectively in groups with emphasis on listening, critical and reflective thinking, and responding.
  • To develop the ability to research and write a documented paper and/or to give an oral presentation.

Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • To employ the appropriate methods, technologies, and data that social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.
  • To examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods, social structures, and cultures.
  • To use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
  • To develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.
  • To analyze the effects of historical, social, political, economic, cultural, and global forces on the area under study.
  • To understand the evolution and current role of the U.S. in the world.
  • To differentiate and analyze historical evidence (documentary and statistical) and differing points of view.
  • To recognize and apply reasonable criteria for the acceptability of historical evidence and social research.
  • To recognize and assume one's responsibility as a citizen in a democratic society by learning to think for oneself, by engaging in public discourse, and by obtaining information through the news 4 media and other appropriate information sources about politics and public policy.
  • To identify and understand differences and commonalities within diverse cultures.

Instructional Goals and Purposes

Panola College's instructional goals include 1) creating an academic atmosphere in which students may develop their intellects and skills and 2) providing courses so students may receive a certificate/an associate degree or transfer to a senior institution that offers baccalaureate degrees.

General Course Objectives

1. To introduce students to critical and conceptual thought about human interaction.
2. To introduce students to important sociological terms such as class, race, gender, and power.
3. To introduce students to issues of living and interacting within a diverse, multicultural society.
4. To encourage students to think critically about the information they have received from schools, media, and other sources of authority.

Specific Course Objectives

1. To analyze the relationship between the individual and the social structure.
2. To know the different components, or institutions, comprising the social structure.
3. To develop an awareness of classical theories of society.
4. To develop an understanding of alternative theories of society.
5. To understand the basic elements of the research practice.
6. To develop the ability to apply sociological concepts and theories to concrete situations.
7. The student will be able to define and demonstrate a basic understanding of the sociological perspective.
8. The student will be able to define and demonstrate a basic understanding of the social basis of human behavior.
9. The student will be able to define and demonstrate a basic understanding of the concepts of the major social institutions.
10. The student will be able to define and demonstrate a basic understanding of the elements of social change.

General Description of Each Lecture or Discussion

Sociology 1301 is a survey of the major ideas in sociology and its sub-fields. In addition to the course objectives outlined above, students should learn the following content areas that comprise the general subject matter of the course. Depending on student interest and need, individual instructors may place more or less emphasis on selected topics and/or introduce relevant topics.
• Historical Roots of Sociology
• Science, Sociology, and Research Methods
• Media and Society
• Economic Sociology
• Conflict Theory
• Functionalist Sociology
• Feminist Sociology
• Alternative Sociological Paradigms
• Society and the Environment
• The Family
• The State
• Consumerism
• Race
• Class
• Sex and Gender
• Masculinity
• Sociologies of Religion
• Identity
• Culture and Social Change
• Modern and Postmodern Sociology
• Drugs and Society
• Crime and Society
• The Life Cycle
• Social Psychology

Methods of Instruction/Course Format/Delivery

For the traditional classroom course, teaching approaches are expected to vary with individual instructors who should employ those techniques that work best for them and their students. Although lecture and reading assignments are the primary forms of delivery, other instructional methods may involve classroom discussion, student presentations and lectures, audio-visual instruction, invited speakers, critical thinking activities, in class writing exercises designed to stimulate critical thinking, and group activities. Distance learning is also available for students who cannot attend lectures and who are capable of the amount of self-direction and discipline required to complete such a course. Reading the materials, communication via email, and on-line discussion are some of the methods used for distance learning.


Faculty may assign both in and out of class assignments, essay projects, and exams to assess the student's knowledge and abilities. Faculty may also choose from the following assessment criteria:
• Attendance
• Class Preparedness and Participation
• Exams
• Tests
• Quizzes
• Internet Assignments
• Journal Assignments
• Library Assignments
• Readings
• Research Papers
• Written Assignments

Text, Required Readings, Materials, and Supplies

SOC 2, Nijole V. Benokraitis, 2011-2012 Edition, Wadsworth Cengage Learning
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