2015-Sociology III


The Study of Society


Sociology focuses on identifying, explaining, and interpreting patterns and processes of human social relations. This introductory course is designed not just to teach you some of the major findings of sociology, but to help you master fundamental sociological skills, including the ability to think with a "sociological imagination" as well as integrate "technological fluency" with "informational literacy" utilizing basic computer-based data analysis—skills which have broad applicability in a range of educational and work settings.

Our goal in is class is for you to gain a different perspective of a diverse world often taken for granted and to gain new insight into the ways that society shapes people and the way people shape their society. Our objectives are directed at building competence as a critical thinker and change agent so that you will better able to raise relevant questions about the direction in which society is moving, interpret social trends, and examine significant social problems.

It is my hope that this hands-on experience of "doing" sociology will both enliven your interest in sociological analysis and help you develop practical skills that you can use in other contexts as well. We can best understand the process of social interaction when we understand the person in place and in time. Our syllabus sets the place, time and process of this course for you the person.

Welcome to my world, your world, our world.
Dr. Michael Thompson

Improperly Posted and No Image

—Social Identity Theory

By Tyler Rhodes—

Social identity is seen as the way we define ourselves in terms and categories we share with other people. Basically how we view ourselves in the social groups we are in. Social identity is said to be the framework for the way people socialize and behave which can also influence the way other people look at you as a person or the way you are treated by others. It is said that your social identity often can change through the course of your life, mainly throughout the teenage years when you truly try to find yourself. The teenage years are where you experiment with different hair colors, piercings, taste of music and the way they dress. It is a teenager’s first time really experimenting with individuality and finding out a place or friend group where they belong.

There tend to be many different forms of social identity such as religious, political and the biggest social identity is gender. Now a days because we are so accepting of trans-genders and other aspects of social identity, gender identity is becoming bigger and bigger. Gender identity usually starts to occur around the age of two or three, and is seen to be one’s private sense of being a man or a woman, consisting primarily of the acceptance of membership into the male or female category.

However, the social identity theory is something I find quiet interesting about social identity. Studies show that people have more pride and self-esteem when they are a part of a group. To increase self-image we tend to enhance the group we belong too, such as going from hanging out with the “nerds” to the “popular” group. Social groups are usually categorized like high school the movie Mean Girls is a perfect example of that. You have the usually jocks, the popular girls who tend to dress nice, the just group of normal kids, the nerds, the Goths. However people dress or act tend to put them in the social group they are in which isn’t a bad thing. Social groups tend to consist of the people that are like you. You don’t necessarily have to have everything in common with your social group, but you tend to have most things in common. For example the way you dress, the way you act and parts of your personality all tend to be common traits shared within social groups.

Sometimes social identity theory is what often leads to stereotypes. In-groups and out-groups become a big part of that. In-groups are the group that you as the individual belong to. The out-group is the group outside of your in-group and different from your in-group. In-groups tends to make the out-groups look negative to make themselves look better, for example like republicans and democrats, during elections one makes the other look bad to make themselves look good. But this is how it leads to stereotypes, a negative thing is said and then all people in the group are seen to have that quality or trait.

Social identity is a huge part of everyday life, its who you hangout with at school or go to the gym with or even just sit and eat ice cream with. If it was not for social identity and social groups the world would be a different place, no one would have a sense of individuality in a group and everyone would be the same. Though the teenage years are rough and awkward trying to figure out who you are, in the long run they make you out to have the social identity you do and tend to always lean towards.


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