Future Benefits of Sociology

Dr. Florence Wakoko-Studstill Fall 2009
Day 1: August , 17, 2009

The value of the course may not be apparent now but will help you in the future.  How to think analytically about a “social problem” e.g. poverty, inequality, Differences between urban and rural, gender, LCDs and developed societies. Awareness that there are both costs and benefits of any social change. Important always to ask which group stands to gain and which one may lose. Learning about multicultural issues—What is fact, what is fiction—what is still a matter of research debate?

1. When you become a middle manager and your boss and employees are gripping about something you did, think about “role strain”. Then think about what you can do to get out of this no-win position as quickly as possible. 2. If you are considering a new job, you always want to know, is the average “salary” quote, a mean, mode, and be sure to get that “median” for a more accurate picture of what is average, since it is unaffected by an extreme score. 3.) If you make it up into the “elite”, you will understand how remarkable your achievement is and why your brother or sister remained roughly in your parents socioeconomic class. 4.) If you live in another country, try to use sociological concepts ----- Culture, norms, values, mores, folkways, to understand this “strange/unique” experience. Remember: incest and murder violate “mores” almost everywhere; dropping chewing gum or spitting on the street may violate folkways in the US but watch out for Singapore, you are heading for a ‘more” serious violation. 5.) Problems ---If you get “downsized” remember ¼ of all Americans fall into poverty once in a ten-year period. It’s just your turn now. It will pass quickly but you wont get welfare and you will likely lose your health insurance -----Sorry, we only provide for the long term poor. 6.) Gain knowledge about other people’s lives, how to begin to “walk in the shoes of others” and to be cautious about “ethnocentrism”. Keep this introductory overview for your reference throughout the course.