Sociology is the study of society and the influence of society on our behaviors as human beings. SOC1010 at BGSU covers a wide range of concepts and allows you to learn what sociology really is and what sociologists really do. There are so many topics to be covered in sociology because it’s such a broad field and these topics are all things that could help you in your specific field of study and your understanding of society.
1. The Sociological Imagination
It allows you to see the world through a broader perspective. Using a sociological imagination can help you, regardless of the field you’re in, because it helps you to step outside your typical way of thinking. With a sociological imagination you’re less likely to rely on stereotypes to explain a situation.
People tend to judge other people, there’s no denying that. Stereotyping leads to so many different social issues. It may lead to discrimination and it’s useful to understand what stereotypes are and how to keep an open mind instead of using them. There’s so much more to each culture and group of people than our stereotypes allow us to understand.
3. Conducting Research
Not only will you discover that there are so many different ways to conduct research, but you will also learn the rules for each type. There is a specific set of ethical guidelines to conducting research studies as well. Knowing how to conduct research will help you in any field that you choose because research is important in almost every field.
You will cover culture, what it is, and how it impacts us. There are so many cultures within the world and you’ll learn about quite a few of them. It’s important to realize that the culture that you belong to isn’t the only culture around you and SOC1010 may help you appreciate and respect other cultures.
5. Social Norms
Social norms tell us how to act. They are constructed by society and the culture that we belong to. You’ll begin to understand why you react a specific way in a certain social situation, it’s because of the social norms put in place by society that tell you to act that way. We typically judge people if they break a social norm that our society has constructed. Sometimes, social norms are laws. Many places have laws prohibiting you from walking around in public naked and yes, that’s a social norm.
Privilege isn’t the most comfortable topic to cover but it’s so important to understand what privilege really is. We watched a very powerful video about the different types of privilege and everyone should watch it at least once in their life. Not only does it help you to appreciate what you have, but it allows you to see what other people lack and it can show you how to use what you have to help.
Talking about discrimination is hard, especially in a room full of people who you might not know all that well. It’s truly a big issue in our society and it’s important to understand why. By understanding why, it may help to put a stop or at least lower the amount of discrimination experienced on a daily basis.
8. Race and Ethnicity
Race and ethnicity are two very different things and you will learn about each of them and what makes them different. Many people don’t really even understand what ethnicity is, they just know that they’re part Irish on St. Patrick’s day. Society tends to judge people based on their race and/or their ethnicity and we never stop and think about how to end that. We are all humans and we are all different. Taking SOC1010 has the potential to help you to celebrate our differences.
Many sociologists study poverty because of the other sociological factors that cause it. For example, some races are more likely to live in poverty than others and sociology looks to explain why that may be. With such high poverty rates all around the world, it’s definitely a topic that should be understood by our generation.
10. Gender and Sexuality
Gender identity and sexuality are very popular topics in today’s society. Sociologists are aiming to educate people on different gender identities and different sexualities. You will also explore traditional gender roles and how much they have changed since they were first created. It’s really interesting to see how these things changed over such a small amount of time.
Everything in sociology is connected by one thing: society. Society is the center of all sociological concepts, good and bad. SOC1010 will help you to understand the diverse world that we live in and why it should be appreciated. Some topics will be difficult to discuss, but the professor ensured that we were all as comfortable with the discussion as possible. Talking about these concepts in a class setting will help you better understand the society you live in.