Introduction to Sociology

Soc. 201 Summer 2011,

 Course Outline, Reading Assignments and Test Schedule

Texts:  Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach, 8th Edition James M. Henslin, Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon, 2009.
Hands on Sociology: Using Computers To Learn About Society, (Third Edition) by William Feigelman & Yih-Jin Young, Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon, 2006.

It is highly recommended that you consult the Henslin textbook website at the Allyn & Bacon Website to help prepare for examinations. There you will find an assortment of study aids, detailed chapter outlines, summaries, flash cards, and practice short-answer questions to assist you in preparing for exams. At the site simply select a chapter of interest to review and you will be guided to a variety of different tasks to complete for reviewing. URL:



If you want to increase your learning in this class and bolster your grade at the same time it is highly recommended you do one or more of the optional mini-essays (up to three permitted). You can find suitable mini-essay projects listed on my homepage under the button listing these assignment choices. You also can choose from among the essay questions offered in Hands On Sociology, listed at the conclusion of each assigned chapter.


I. Unit 1

Covers Chapters 1-4 and takes us through the first three weeks of the summer class.



1. The Sociological Perspective.

The Sociological Perspective.

The Origins of Sociology.

Sexism in Early Sociology.

Sociology in North America.

Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology.

Doing Sociological Research.

Research Methods.

Ethics in Sociological Research.

            Assignment: Henslin, Chapters 1, Feigelman &Young, Chapters 1,2 &3.

2. Culture.

What Is Culture?

Components of Symbolic Culture.

Many Cultural Worlds: Subcultures and Countercultures.

Values in U.S. Society.

Technology in the Global Village.


Assignment:  Henslin, Chap. 2


3. Socialization.

What Is Human Nature?

Socialization into the Self, Mind, and Emotions.

Socialization into Gender.

Agents of Socialization.


Socialization Through the Life Course.

Are We Prisoners of Socialization?


Assignment:  Henslin, Chap. 3


4. Social Structure and Social Interaction.

Levels of Sociological Analysis.

The Macrosociological Perspective: Social Structure.

The Microsociological Perspective: Social Interaction in Everyday Life.

The Need for Both Macrosociology and Microsociology.

Assignment: Henslin  Chapter  4.

First Exam on Unit #1 Assignment: Henslin Chaps. 1-4. 

Assignment: First for-credit-exam on Feigelman & Young HOS book, Test on Culture Chapter, Chap. 4

I. Unit 2 Covers the next three weeks

Theme: Social Inequality


5. Global Stratification and Social Class in the US


An Overview of Social Stratification.

What Determines Social Class?

Why Is Social Stratification Universal?

Maintaining Global Stratification.

How Do Elites Maintain Stratification?

Comparative Social Stratification.

Global Stratification: Three Worlds.

How Did the World's Nations Became Stratified?


6. Social Class in the United States.

What Is Social Class?

Sociological Models of Social Class.

Consequences of Social Class.

Social Mobility.


Assignment: Henslin, Chapter 7 & 8.

Assignment: Second for-credit-exam on Feigelman & Young HOS book, Test on Stratification Chapter, Chap. 8.

      7. Inequalities of Race and Ethnicity.

Laying the Sociological Foundation.

Theories of Prejudice.

Global Patterns of Intergroup Relations.

Race and Ethnic Relations in the United States.

Looking Toward the Future.


8. Inequalities of Gender and Age.

Inequalities of Gender.

Issues of Sex and Gender.

How Females Became a Minority Group.

Gender Inequality in the United States.

The Changing Face of Politics.

Inequalities of Aging.

Aging in Global Perspective.

The Symbolic Interactionist Perspective.

The Functionalist Perspective.

The Conflict Perspective.

Looking Toward the Future.


Assignment: Henslin, Chapters 9 & 10 .

Assignment: Unit 2 Exam on Henslin Chaps. 7-10

Assignment: Third for-credit-exam on Feigelman & Young HOS book, Test on Aspects of US Political Life, Chapter 11.

Unit 3: Social Institutions

9. Politics and the Economy.

Politics: Establishing Leadership.

Power, Authority, and Violence.

Types of Government.

The U.S. Political System.

Who Rules the United States?

War and Terrorism: A Means to Implement Political Objectives.

The Economy: Work in the Global Village.

The Transformation of Economic Systems.

Capitalism in a Global Economy.

Assignment: Henslin  Chapter 11.

10. Marriage and Family

Marriage and Family in Global Perspective.

Marriage and Family in Theoretical Perspective.

The Family Life Cycle.

Diversity in U.S. Families.

Trends in U.S. Families.

Divorce and Remarriage.

Two Sides of Family Life.

The Future of Marriage and Family. 

Assignment: Henslin, Chapter 12.

Optional mini-Essays due from Feigelman Website ( or essay projects from assigned Hands On Sociology Chapters. Up to three mini-essays can be submitted from this semester's selected list.

11. Population and Urbanization.

Population in Global Perspective.

A Planet with No Space to Enjoy Life?

Population Growth.

City Life.


The Development of Cities.

Urban Problems and Social Policy.


12. Social Change: Technology, Social Movements, and the Environment.

How Social Change Transforms Social Life.

Theories and Processes of Social Change.

How Technology Changes Society.

The Growth Machine Versus the Earth.

Social Movements as a Source of Social Change.

Assignment: Henslin, Chapters 14 & 15

Assignment: Unit 3 Exam on Henslin Chaps. 11, 12, 14 & 15.