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Time: W: 13:00-15:50 Instructor: Dr. Charles Quist-Adade Office: Surrey Main 3850C Phone:

Room: Surrey Main 3820 599-3079 9329

Voice Mail:

Office Hours: W. 12:0 0-12:45


COURSE DESCRIPTION: In his classic book Invitation to Sociology, preeminent contemporary sociologist Peter Berger (1963) observed: “…the first wisdom of sociology is this - things are not what they seem.” Berger goes on to note that, “Social reality turns out to have many layers of meaning. The discovery of each new layer changes the perception of the whole.” (p. 23) The main objective of this course is to examine those various layers of meaning and reality. We will do so through a variety of sociological perspectives, which will enable us to understand our society and other societies operate at both individual and group levels. While doing so, we will explore the structural aspects of human society that most often go unnoticed by the individual, yet have an enormous influence on the life chances, life styles, and opportunities available to us. But, we create what creates us; we are not mere products of social structures; we also create and modify those same structures that shape us. In other words, we make choices, take advantage of opportunities (or make opportunities) and influence changes in society. We will thus interrogate how we as social actors create social institutions and structures, which come to guide, influence, empower or constrain us. This examination will, hopefully, help you better understand the forces that shape your own life and how you, in turn, shape the lives of those around you and the society in which you live. Thus, the course will critically examine how people relate to, shape, and are shaped by society. Our primary purpose is to explore the relationships between individuals and the larger societal structures to which they belong. These structures may be social subgroups such as families, friendship circles, social clubs, unions, or they may be larger institutions such as the government, media, or markets. We will examine a variety of theoretical approaches or paradigms to these relationships and explore the practical implications of each approach. A central theme in the course is how subgroup affiliation and mechanisms for empowerment influence one's vision of oneself, one's country, and the world. Exploring cultural differences, such as race, ethnicity, gender, class, religion, sexual orientation, ability and disability provides insight into ongoing constraints and opportunities shaping identity.

Finally, this course takes a praxis-oriented social justice approach and hence emphasis will be placed on fusing theory with practice through activities and projects that link theory with practical, everyday life activities of students and members of society locally and globally. For details, click: