Sociology is the study of social groups, structures, processes, institutions, and events. This course will focus on understanding and applying the sociological perspective, which stresses the importance of the impact of social forces external to the individual in shaping peopleęs lives and experiences. This idea that we are all profoundly affected by the society in which we live is the guiding light of sociology. Sociologists also study the ways in which people, as they interact, shape their social systems. Topics studied will include socialization, social interaction, culture, groups, social structure, deviance, social inequality, social class, race, gender, institutions (political, economic, educational, family, and religious), collective behavior and social change. Students will be asked to learn the basic concepts, theories, and perspectives of sociology, to see how these operate in terms of social processes, structures, and events, and to apply this knowledge to better understand the social world.