This course introduces students to core sociological theorists and perspectives, including functionalism, conflict and symbolic interactionism, and familiarizes them with basic research designs, terminology and findings within the context of collective behavior and social movements.

The course includes such topics as theory construction, demarcation and interrelationship of social institutions and organizations, the structural aspects of inequality and social change, and alternative theoretical orientations for explaining various social phenomena. By the end of this course, given that you have kept up on your readings and assignments, you will be able to critically evaluate various public issues using some of the theoretical frameworks and analytical insights that the sociological lens provides. In learning to identify the interrelationships between and among various groups and individual members, your values and beliefs may very well be challenged. Both discussion and debate will be encouraged. Regardless of where you side in an argument, this course will help you understand the consequences and implications of many of the positions adopted by politicians, community leaders, and social movements.