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Introduction to Sociology and Social Life

  • Description
  • Outcome
  • Certification
  • The free online course Introduction to Sociology and Social Life is the first in a series of four courses that describes in detail the concepts of societies and cultures, and the types of processes that produce them. The course introduces you to sociology by giving an overview of the three main theories - Structural-Functionalism, Conflict Theory and Symbolic Interactionism. It then covers the history of how sociology evolved from from its founding by Auguste Comte in the nineteenth century right through to the modern theorists. The course reviews social inequality, its causes and impacts, the way people are socialized and how different cultural socialization can cause social division. It also reviews why groups form and how they function. You will learn more about culture and how it is defined, its mores and norms, what differentiates cultures and what is common to all cultures. You will also learn how population and the environment are linked and the impact this can have on society. This course will be of great interest to professionals working in areas as diverse as medicine, politics, law, urban organization and marketing, and any learner who would like to know more about how cultures and societies evolve and change.

  • Having completed this course you will be able to:
    - Explain concepts and theories central to sociology and how they are used;
    - Describe the three main theories: Structural-functionalism, Conflict Theory and Symbolic Interactionism;
    - Identify ways sociology is applied in the real world;
    - Discuss the role of social control within culture;
    - Describe the difference between psychological and sociological theories of self development;
    - Describe the importance of socialization both for individuals and society;
    - Learn the roles of families and peer groups in socialization;
    - Explain how socialization occurs and recurs throughout life;
    - Apply the concept of carrying capacity to environmental concerns.

  • All Alison courses are free to study. To successfully complete a course you must score 80% or higher in each course assessments. Upon successful completion of a course, you can choose to make your achievement formal by purchasing an official Alison Diploma, Certificate or PDF.

    Having an official Alison document is a great way to share your success. Plus it’s:

    • Ideal for including in CVs, job applications and portfolios
    • An indication of your ability to learn and achieve high results
    • An incentive to continue to empower yourself through learning
    • A tangible way of supporting the Alison mission to empower people everywhere through education.

Introduction to Sociology and Social Life
  • Free

  • 3-4 Hours

  • OpenStax College

  • Assessment

  • Certification

  • 50 Pts

Modules List( 7 )
  • Introduction to Sociology and Social Life Course Resource Documents View Resource
  • Module
    An Introduction to Sociology
    • This module introduces you to sociology by giving an overview of what culture is and how it develops and changes over time. It looks at are areas such as population and diversity with reference to the three main theories - Structural-Functionalism, Conflict Theory and Symbolic Interactionism.
    • Learning Outcomes
    • What Is Sociology?
    • The History of Sociology
    • Theoretical Perspectives
    • Why Study Sociology
    • Lesson Summary
  • Module 2: Introducing Culture
    • This module introduces expands on what culture is by examining popular culture and sub culture, how the norms are maintained and the effect of language and symbols on a culture. The different perspectives each theory has on culture are also outlined.
    • Learning Outcomes
    • What Is Culture?
    • Elements of Culture
    • Pop Culture, Subculture, and Cultural Change
    • Theoretical Perspectives on Culture
    • Lesson Summary
  • Module 3: Sociology and Social Interaction
    • This model reviews the evolution of societies, particularly industrial and post-industrial, and the emergence of conflict theory. It also looks at the reality of social interactions or habitualisation and ‘roles and status’ affect society along with our own view of our selves.
    • Learning Outcomes
    • Types of Societies
    • Theoretical Perspectives on Society
    • Social Constructions of Reality
    • Lesson Summary
  • Module 4: Understanding Socialization
    • Socialisation, or is how we learn the norms and beliefs of our society, from childhood through education and into the workplace is covered here. It reviews why it is important and what problems people can have if they are not socialised into the society in which the live.
    • Learning Outcomes
    • Theories of Self Development
    • Why Socialization Matters
    • Agents of Socialisation
    • Socialization Across the Life Course
    • Lesson Summary
  • Module 5: Introducing Groups and Organization
    • Within all societies the are various groups and subgroups the people belong to. This module looks at the different types of groups, such as family or political, how they are formed, what type of structures they have and how they compete with each other.
    • Learning Outcomes
    • Types of Groups
    • Group Size and Structure
    • Formal Organizations
    • Lesson Summary
  • Module 6: Population, Urbanization and the Environment
    • Societies and the environment have a symbiotic relationship. As we impact on the environment we diminish what we can take from nature. We see the challenges in addressing climate change given the increase in urbanisation and different stages of industrialisation throughout the world.
    • Learning Outcomes
    • Demography and Population
    • Introduction to Urbanization
    • The Environment and Society
    • Lesson Summary
  • Module 7: Introduction to Sociology and Social Life Assessment
    • You must score 80% or more to pass this assessment.
    • Introduction to Sociology and Social Life Assessment
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