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Introduction to Sociology

Soc 101
Spring 2019
Instructor: Çetin Eren
Email: erenc@mef.edu.tr
Class Hours: Wednesday 13:00-15:50
Office Hours: Thursday 12:00–13:00

This course aims to introduce the fundamental questions, theoretical frameworks,

and main research results of sociology. In the first part of the course, we will learn
what it means to “think sociologically” and how it differs from other ways of
thinking about the world and ourselves. Later, we will discuss the historical
emergence of major sociological institutions and the ways in which differences and
inequalities including class, gender, race, ethnicity and nationality are socially and
historically made.
This course is an unconventional in two senses. Contrary to most ‘‘down to earth’’
approaches we will be purposively theoretical and relate all discussions to the ‘‘big
problems’’ formulated by the founding fathers of sociology. Second, an historical
understanding of the modern world and contemporary social problems will be an
essential component for all discussions.

Macionis, John J. Sociology, 15 Edition. Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

The textbook and additional readings can be found on the HI Blackboard site of the

20% pre-class assignments
80% Module Exams (20% Module I and 30% Module II and 30% Module III)

From the second week onwards you are expected to complete a quiz before coming
to the class. Each quiz will be 2 points and the total of the ten highest quizzes will
constitute your pre-class assignment score.

A 80 -
A- 75 - 79
B+ 70 - 74
B 65 - 69
B- 60 – 64
C+ 55 - 59
C 50 - 54
C- 45 - 49
D+ 40 - 44
D 30 – 39
F 0 - 29

Attendance is not mandatory, but don’t forget that the lectures will be not the re-
presentation of the readings but its critical discussion. Hence it is probably very
difficult to pass the exams without attending the lectures.
Course Outline
Week 1 (February 6):
The Sociological Imagination
• How can a sociological imagination help you better understand your world?
• Why do social contexts matter?
• Where did sociology come from and how is it different from other social

Week 2 (February 13):

Classical Theories, Durkheim
Ritzer, 76 – 111
Selections from Suicide
• What is social fact?
• What is the role of division of labor in constituting morality?
• What is the role of religion in constituting morality and categories of thought

Week 3 (February 20):

Classical Theories, Marx
The Communist Manifesto
Ritzer, 43-75
• What is proletarianization?
• What is the link between surplus value and class struggle?
• Where do ideologies come from?
• Why is deskilling emancipatory?

Week 4 (February 27):

Classical Theories, Weber
Excerpts from The Sprit of Capitalism
Ritzer, 113-157
• What is the link between rationalization and disenchantment?
• What is bureaucratization?
• How are different forms of domination interrelated with each other?

Week 5 (March 6):

Classical Theories Simmel
Excerpts from George Simmel Selected Writings
Ritzer 158-188
• What are the different forms of interaction?
• What are the impacts of monetarization on objective culture
• How is human interaction is shaped by secrecy?

Module I Exam
Week 6 (March 13):
Macionis ch.19
• What is religion and how is it organized?
• How do people choose their religions?
• What is secularism
• What is the future of religion and secularism?
Week 7 (March 20):
Macionis ch.9
• What is deviance?
• How is morality defined and regulated?
• Who defines deviance?
• How is social control maintained?

Week 8 (March 27):

Social Stratification
Macionis ch.10
• What is inequality?
• What is class?
• What are the ideologies supporting social stratification?

Week 9 (April 3):

Global Stratification
Macionis ch.12
• What is the historical trajectory of world-income inequality?
• Which factors are responsible for global income inequality?
• Globalism or imperialism?

Module II Exam

Week 10 (April 10):

Macionis ch.23
• What draws people to cities?
• Why are so many social problems found in cities?
• How will cities change in an increasingly connected world?

Week 11 (April 17):

State Power
Macionis ch.17
• What is state power?
• How did the nation state as we know it emerge?

Week 12 (April 24):

Macionis ch.17
• What is the link between capitalism and democracy?
• What is the link between state-making and democracy?
• Are there any social requisites of democracy?
Week 13 (May 3):
Social Movements
Macionis ch.23
• What are social movements?
• Who do movements emerge, and who joins them?
• What are revolutions and why do they occur?
• What is the link between capitalism and revolutions?
• What is the link between state-making and revolutions?

Week 14 (May 8):

Module III Exam