What is Sociology?

This brief video features NKU sociology students describing how the discipline of sociology has pushed them to think sociologically about the world around them, and how the sociological perspective is benefitting them in their careers. Watch the (11 minute) video, and write a brief response (described below). The video can be accessed here:

NOTE: If clicking the link does not work, try to copy and paste the link into a web browser.
The video describes five ‘paths’ towards the creation of knowledge in sociology, and concludes with a description of why students might study sociology. As you watch the video, pay attention to the questions related to each path/topic (listed below). For each item, write a short (~1 paragraph) response that addresses the question(s). NOTE: There are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers. The purpose of this assignment is to get you started in thinking about the discipline of sociology and what sociologists ‘do’ so that you can begin thinking about how to use the knowledge from this course to examine and understand the world around you.
Path 1: Personal experiences drive the types of knowledge a sociologist finds interesting, and the types of knowledge they will create
Do any of the experiences described by the presenters interest you? Which one(s) do you find the most interesting and why? Do you have a personal connection to any of the topics or ideas discussed? Can you think of a personal experience that might be examined sociologically?
Path 2: Applying the ideas of those considered giants in the discipline
We will learn more about these ‘giants’ throughout the semester. But, from the video, which theorists’ perspective seems most interesting to you? How might you be able to apply their ideas to the world around you?
Path 3: Ask key questions to guide them in the creation of knowledge
Which of the key questions discussed in the video did you find the most interesting? Why? Can you think of an example of something that you might examine using one of these questions?
Path 4: “Things are not what they seem”
How might looking beyond popular understandings be helpful in understanding the world around you? Can you think of an example where looking beyond the ‘popularly held assumptions’ about something might be important?

Path 5: The compelling issues of the day shape the kinds of knowledge sociologists create
Which issue(s) discussed by the students were the most interesting to you? Can you think of other kinds of issues sociologists might be interested in studying?
Why Sociology?
What is your intended major? Even if you are not interested in sociology as a major or minor, how might acquiring a sociological perspective be beneficial to your area of study? To your ultimate career goals? If you are unsure of your major or career choice, think about how a sociological perspective might help you navigate the world around you. If you don’t see a connection at this point, don’t worry! Instead, briefly summarize how sociology has helped one or more of the student presenters in their career paths.

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