Home > Sociology > [#5] – Sociology 100 – Introductory Sociology

[#5] – Sociology 100 – Introductory Sociology

Prior to my matriculation to the UofA, I had the choice between registering in either: Introductory Sociology, or Introductory Anthropology.  As a naive high-school student, my knowledge base in regards to these subjects were nil to none.  The thought of having to take either one of these courses spawned an implacable uncertainty that I just couldn’t shake.

*Note: After a while of wavering, I finally chose to take Introductory Sociology.  My decision (if you could call it that) was based mainly on the grounds that I could incorporate it into my class schedule easier than Anthropology.

 

Sociology is a (very) broad Social Science.

 

Which class would prove more interesting?  Which one would it be easier to succeed in?  How difficult is the content?  I now realize that such fruitless questions yield fruitless answers.  The only way to know for sure –to quell the uncertainty,– is to dive headfirst and … take the course!

——–

Preamble:

As stated above, I had no prior knowledge about Sociology.  Frankly, the term hadn’t even been registered in my lexicon, until I heard it in around grade 11.  Before taking the class, I deduced that because it contained the root: “socio,” then it would probably be related to social studies?  Maybe?  Beyond my haphazard speculations, all I knew was that … I knew nothing at all. (Ergo, the headfirst dive begins!)

——–

Course:  Sociology 100 – Introductory Sociology

Instructor:  Jana Grekul

Textbook:  Sociology – by Schaefer, Smith, and Grekul (2nd Canadian ed)

——–

Review:

Obviously, I was a little leery about whether or not to take this class.  I needed it for my mandatory “Arts” credits; but had I made a mistake in not choosing Anthropology?  Well, it turns out I didn’t shoot myself in the foot after all.  Let’s start with the review:

I have to say, besides English class, this was my only “arts” class at the time, and I was a bit intimidated.  On the first day, the professor asked us whether or not anybody in the room had read the play: Hamlet.  Without any sort of hesitation, the hands of 95% of the class shot straight into the air.  The class had approximately 200 students and I was in the 5% minority, dang!  (To be honest, I don’t read fiction unless I have to.  The lion’s share of my reading time is therefore dedicated solely to textbooks … Yeah!  Thumbs up for me being boring!)

The course content, to my pleasant surprise, was actually quite intriguing!  Our textbook focused on the importance of developing one’s sociological imagination in order to think critically about the many facets of society.  Because this was an ‘introductory’ course, it was, as they say: “a mile wide and an inch deep.”  We covered only the bare basics of the multifarious subject that is Sociology.  More specifically, our readings hinged upon the theoretical frameworks of Functionalism and Structuralism.  (Such paradigms seek to explain the nature of society by employing unique methodologies)

Our class was divided into two components; a lecture component, and a ‘tutorial component’.  Lectures were held on Mondays and Wednesdays, leaving the tutorials to be held on Fridays.  For the lectures, our professor insisted on not posting any power-point or online notes of any sort.  We were expected to sit, listen, and write as she spoke.

Although it may seem like an onerous task, it really wasn’t.  If you’ve been reading carefully, you may have noticed that my professor, Jana Grekul, was one of the coauthors of our textbook.  Hence, the exams, and the entire course for that matter, were very heavily based on the textbook readings.  (I caught on about midway through the course and decided to stop writing anything down during lectures; it was all in the textbook!)

The ‘tutorial’ component was a little out of the ordinary.  Basically, the class of 200 students was subdivided into cohorts of approximately 30-40 students.  Each ‘group’ was assigned a specific room to meet up in (not the main lecture theater) on Fridays.  Next, a T.A. was assigned to each group with the task of being the ‘tutorial leader’.  All we really had to do during these ‘tutorial’ sessions was to ask questions and discuss our readings.  15% of our total course grade was allocated to tutorial participation.

We had to do more writing assignments in the course than I had originally anticipated.  There were 4 in total.  Three ‘reflection papers’ and one ‘term paper’.  Cumulatively, the reflection papers equated to 15% of our mark, and were graded holistically (ie: not 5%/5%/5%) … they were looking for improvements from one paper to the next.  The term paper alone, was worth 15% of our total grade.  I had never written a term paper before, so I didn’t have the slightest clue what to expect.  Fortunately, I scored 100% on it, and got the full 15%! (Booyah!!)

There was one midterm and one final exam.  The final was not cumulative, which is very rare for a university course!  I’ll end this post by saying: “nothing ventured, nothing gained;” sometimes you just have to take that leap into the abyss, and brace yourself for all that is to come.

——–

Class Average:   B-  (2.7 GPA)

My Grade:  A+  (4.0 GPA)

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  1. August 7, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Ah, Sociology. AM SO LOOKING FORWARD TO THAT. 😀

    • August 7, 2011 at 11:19 am

      That’s great! A good attitude, like yours, will always find success!

  2. Jasmine
    April 17, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    wow, I’m a High School Student right now, and I’ve always enjoyed Social Studies. Yes, I’m aware that Sociology isn’t the same as Social Studies, but this and political Science is something I would really enjoy. Thanks for this post. i’m also going to attend the University of Alberta and I’m happy to finally read how classes are like there, especially for a class I want to take!

    Great post :0

  3. Jasmine
    April 17, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    opps that was suppose to be a 🙂 instead of a 😮

  4. April 8, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thank you so much, However I am going through issues with your RSS.
    I don’t understand the reason why I can’t subscribe to it.
    Is there anybody else getting identical RSS problems?

    Anybody who knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanx!!

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