We’ve discussed a bit the problem of trying to claim some human social behaviors as “natural” or “unnatural.” Check out this interview with the author of a book about cannibalism, in which he notes that even in recent centuries in Europe, some forms of cannibalism were socially acceptable. (N.b. your sociology instructor is not trying to encourage cannibalism.)
We’ll be talking about social network analysis this week. Take a look at this visualization of the extreme separation between Democratic and Republican members of Congress that has emerged in recent years.
In 1937 (thus the flag – get it?), Ralph Linton wrote a brief essay about cultural diffusion that made its point so clearly that people are still reading the essay today. Take a look – it’s a quick five minute read: “One Hundred Percent American.”
Shankar Vedantam covers the social science beat at National Public Radio. There’s often some intriguing new discovery to hear about listed on Vedantam’s page at NPR. Look especially at stories with the heading “research news.”
We’ll be discussing correlation and causation in class tomorrow. Sometimes an apparent relationship can be entirely spurious.
Click this link to get chapter one. Read it before class tomorrow! College!
Human technology has transformed the world so dramatically that some say we are now in a new epoch, the anthropocene. What an interesting time to be taking a first course in sociology!
I’ll post announcements and interesting links here on this front page scroll. For example, the required text for this class, which you will need right away, is:
Conley, Dalton. 2015. You May Ask Yourself: An Introduction to Thinking Like a Sociologist, 4th Edition. New York: W. W. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-93773-2.
We will not be using an associated website or online tools or anything like that, so if there is some option that costs more and comes bundled with some access code, you don’t need that access code. (This is the 18 chapter text, not the brief “core” version.)