Sociology 3 is a course offered at UC Irvine that will make you look at the world differently as a student, community member, and individual. This course focuses on social problems that are present in society and that continue to persist today. It is a very interesting course in which you will learn about racism, case studies such as drunk driving, and views of prominent sociologists about society. There is a lot of material that is covered in the course, so be sure to keep reading to find out the key concepts covered in Sociology 3!
1. Emile Durkheim and Kai Erikson
Emile Durkheim and Kai Erikson both argue that crime plays an essential role in uniting a society against common enemies and in establishing the moral boundaries of a community. These two sociologists are very important in the course because many of the readings include their points of view on society. When crime occurs, it can unite a society together based on the common belief that the “bad” groups or individuals in society must be punished.
2. The concept of social structure
In a society, there are individuals, groups and institutions which are all related to one another and these relationships may be strong, weak, direct on indirect. The totality of these individuals, groups and institutions and the relationships between them make up the social structure. It is useful for us to consider social structure so that we can understand the scientific advantages of the definition of a social problem and also to understand why the social movement organization forms.
3. What is sociology?
Sociology is a social science, and as a science, it attempts to approach its subject matter objectively. The social sciences are more subjective because humans are conducting the research and humans are the subject of the research. Additionally, it is the study of society, or a social science involving the study of the social lives of people, groups, and societies. It is the study of our behavior as social beings, covering everything from the analysis of short contacts between anonymous individuals on the street to the study of global social processes.
4. Case Study: Drunk Driving
New York City began confiscating cars of people who were caught drinking and driving. However, this was contradictory because if you were stopped for running a red light then you would receive a ticket and a fine but if you were stopped for the same issue with a certain Blood Alcohol concentration (BAC) then your car could be confiscated. The behavior is the same in both cases, but the consequences are very different. We believe, as a society, that the combination of alcohol and driving deserves a particular punishment and that punishment isn’t necessarily based on what you have actually done. It’s often based on what you could do, or to be more precise, on the extra potential for harm that your drinking poses. The reason that we don’t like drunk drivers is that by making the decision to drink and drive, an individual deliberately increases his or her chance of killing someone else with a vehicle.
5. Redlining and Block Busting
Redlining was a discriminatory practice in which the government, banks, insurance companies, and other places refuse or limit loans, mortgages, insurance, within specific geographic areas considered to be “high risk”, often African American or minority areas. Block busting was a business practice of U.S. real estate agents and building developers meant to encourage white property owners to sell their houses at a loss, by implying that racial minorities were moving into their previously racially segregated neighborhood, thus depressing real estate property values. This led to white flight, a large scale migration of whites from racially mixed urban regions to more racially homogenous neighborhoods.
Sociology 3‘s course code at UCI changes every quarter. Although a course code cannot be stated, the best way to find this course when registering for classes is to look for “Sociology 3: Social Problems.” The professor that teaches the course varies year to year, but it is a great class that will give you insight into how society attempts to fix, or worsen, its social problems. Perhaps this course may even inspire you to pursue a minor or double major in Sociology!