Sociology is the study of human social interaction. Sociologists try to stand back and look at human interaction from a broad perspective. This isn’t always easy, because those of us who study sociology are, in effect, studying ourselves. We are challenged to use the “sociological imagination,” a tool that allows us to understand the interplay of self and the world–the situation in which we act in the world as individuals and the world also powerfully shapes our actions. We want to understand how larger social structures impact our individual lives, for example, how does my country’s economic situation impact my ability to get a job? Seeing individuals as part of a larger social and historical phenomenon is our task.
We’re global, and we’re historical. We look for similarities in social structures and human interactions across cultures and through time. We’re micro and we’re macro. We study everything from seemingly individualistic behaviors like body piercing to global social phenomena like the use of Facebook and other social media to coordinate protests and mass actions in a variety of countries. But most of all we’re active. You won’t be listening to lectures in our classes at Lake Superior College. Instead you’ll be doing sociology. We use simulation games and hands-on research, group work and lots of discussion. We hope you leave each sociology course with an increased understanding of your place in the world around us, and a heightened curiosity about why individuals, groups, communities, and whole societies work the way they do.