Course Level 1: Introductory
Estimated Study Time: 40-50 hours
Offered by: Saylor Academy
The following excerpt is from Saylor Academy’s course listing:
Sociology is the scientific discipline that studies society. It examines human interactions, cultural phenomena, and topics that include inequality, urbanization, and their effects on groups and individuals. In unit 1, we study the philosophy of science sociologists rely on called positivism which asserts we can only gain authentic knowledge or truth through empirical observations. We need to be able to experience our observations, or make scientific measurements with a form of sensory experience, as opposed to using faith-based and emotional experiences.
The sociological imagination is a central concept to sociology, which allows sociologists to make connections among personal experiences and larger social issues. For example, did you know the United States has the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the industrialized world? To understand this trend, sociologists use scientific methods to study and make connections about various social issues, such as sex education in schools, sexualization in the media, poverty, and the personal issue of teenage sexual activity and pregnancy.
In this course we introduce a range of basic sociological principles so you can develop your own sociological imagination. We study about the origins of sociology as a discipline, and some major sociological theories and research methods. We also explore the topics of sex and gender, deviance, and racism. As we move through the course, try to develop your sociological imagination by relating the topics and theories you read about to your own life experiences.
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