MindEdge Online Learning



Introduction to Sociology is a comprehensive overview of the foundational theories and concepts in sociology. It grounds students in the history and methodology of the discipline before introducing them to the sociological analysis of key areas of modern culture, such as race, gender, family, crime, government, and education. The course highlights research that has advanced our knowledge of how and why people interact. Content is made engaging through a variety of learning materials: text, interactive games, videos, review questions, and personal reflection, all designed to foster “sociological imagination” (the ability to recognize and identify the social forces which shape our lives).

MindEdge’s Introduction to Sociology teaches a recognition of the role culture plays in forming human beings, an appreciation for how the discipline of sociology has contributed to our knowledge, an understanding of key sociological thinkers, theories, and terms, the capacity to analyze how social forces such as socialization, groups, and stratification shape society, and a┬ásociological understanding of gender, race, class, crime, marriage, religion, health, education, and the government


Module 1: Introduction to Sociology

  • Define sociology and the “sociological imagination”
  • Classify sociological perspectives
  • Recognize the kinds of questions sociology addresses
  • Describe the history of sociology as a field of study and identify the early practitioners
  • Identify different theoretical schools and their perspectives on society
  • Explain the methodologies sociologists use to study human societies and social phenomena
  • Identity the strengths and weaknesses of different kinds of research designs

Module 2: Culture

  • Give a sociological definition of culture
  • Identify the role that values, norms, and sanctions play in human society
  • Articulate the concept of folkways and its role in culture
  • Recognize diversity in human cultures
  • Recognize cultural universals
  • Recognize and explain the role of subcultures and countercultures within the dominant culture
  • Explain how ethnocentrism and cultural relativism play a role in how humans assess foreign cultures
  • Detail the ways human beings communicate with one another
  • Analyze how technology is changing culture

Module 3: Socialization

  • Define socialization and explain the process by which an individual becomes socialized within a culture
  • Contrast the role of “nature” and “nurture” in forming an individual
  • Recognize and explain agents of socialization within a society
  • Identify different theoretical perspectives on socialization
  • Explain the role of biology and culture in establishing sex and gender
  • Identify the characteristics of sex role
  • Distinguish the different processes of socialization across the life course

Module 4: Groups, Organizations and Social Structure

  • Identify the importance of structure to social life and its influence on behavior
  • Define social group and identify types
  • Classify relationships among groups
  • Define a formal organization
  • Explain the history of the rise of bureaucracy
  • Recognize the effects of the growth of bureaucracy
  • Illustrate how sociologists analyze social groups and organizations
  • Explain how social groups shape a person’s behavior

Module 5: Race and Ethnicity

  • Explain how race and ethnicity have social meanings and origins
  • Differentiate between race and ethnicity
  • Explain how people have or acquire a race or ethnicity
  • Explain the concepts of and the differences among prejudice, discrimination, and racism
  • Understand the role that the legal system plays in defining and reinforcing race
  • Define institutional racism and give an example of it in U.S. society

Module 6: Gender and Sexuality

  • Distinguish between sex and gender according to sociological theory
  • Describe how individuals acquire a gender identity
  • Identify different areas of gender stratification
  • Explain how social context shapes human sexual behavior
  • Identify different sexual identities

Module 7: Stratification and Global Stratification

  • Define social stratification
  • Analyze how systems of social stratification function
  • Identify types of social mobility within stratification
  • Give a sociological explanation of class in the United States
  • Explain the causes and consequences of poverty and social inequality
  • Identify examples of sexism and ageism
  • Distinguish between race and ethnicity
  • Distinguish between prejudice and discrimination
  • Discuss relationships among minorities

Module 8: Deviance and Crime

  • Define deviance as a sociological concept
  • Offer different theoretical perspectives on deviance: symbolic interactionism, functionalism, and conflict theory
  • Explain social control and how it is enforced
  • Characterize Merton’s five-part typology of deviance
  • Explain cultural approaches to dealing with crime and deviance, including the medicalization of deviance
  • Describe different types of crime
  • Detail the different sociological perspectives on incarceration
  • Describe the prevalence and effects of incarceration in the United States
  • Explain the use of the death penalty in the United States
  • Explain how the criminal justice system leads to stratification

Module 9: Marriage and Family

  • Explain the sociological concept of a family
  • Distinguish among different sociological theories about the family: functionalist, conflict, interactionist
  • Detail the progressive stages of family life
  • Describe different family arrangements
  • Explain why family violence occurs
  • Identify diversity in family life in America
  • Explain how marriage and family life are changing
  • Detail the effects of marriage and divorce

Module 10: Religion

  • Explain the sociological approach to the study of religion
  • Summarize the history of the sociological study of religion
  • Detail the functionalist, conflict theorist, and symbolic interactionist views on religions
  • Recall the types of religious groups
  • Analyze the relationship between secularization and fundamentalism
  • Explain how religions are changing

Module 11: Population and the Environment

  • Define demography
  • Articulate the importance of the Malthusian problem and its relevance today
  • Detail sociological perspectives on the interaction between humans and the environment
  • Describe the sociological perspectives on how the state derives power and authority
  • Identify the key elements of a modern society
  • Provide a survey of education around the world
  • State the roles education plays in society
  • Examine the relationship between education and social stratification
  • Explain how sociologists understand health and illness
  • Define collective behavior and social change
  • Differentiate among forms of collective behavior
  • Explain how collective behavior triggers social change
  • Detail the methodologies sociologists use to study social change
  • Identify and explain the causes of social change
  • Explain how modernization and globalization result from social change