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Fall 2011

Wed: 13:30-14:50, Fri 13:30-14:50 rm4619, lift 31-32

Dr. J. M. Groves Room 3379.

Division of Social Science. Office Hours: One hour after each class or by appointment.

Teaching Assistants: Miss WANG Yanrong (Freda)

Miss XIA Qing (Olivia)

This course will help you to appreciate the power of the sociological imagination for understanding your everyday lives. As participants in human societies we all have ideas about the way our society works. The sociological perspectives that we shall examine on this course, however, are more well-thought out, based on evidence, and challenge some of these “common sense” ideas.

This is an age in which we tend to explain human behaviour in terms of our individual achievements, personalities, and even our genetic make-up. The sociologist, however, looks at human behaviour as the product of groups, organizations and culture.

In order to master this sociological outlook, we shall examine a number of topics that are central to our lives from the point of view of sociological perspectives and methods. These topics will include: culture, deviance, inequality, religion, mental health, social change and development, gender, intimate relationships and the family.

Learning Outcomes

An appreciation of the importance of sociology

Mastery of sociological ideas

The ability to think sociologically


For each class there will be a chapter (or part thereof) from the text book, Sociology: A Down to Earth Approach. Core Concepts. by James M. Henslin, Pearson International Fourth Edition available in the University Bookstore (HK$263.50). I encourage you to purchase the book. However, I shall also make copies of it available at the Reserve desk of the University Library. For some classes, I shall also assign some more detailed “additional readings.” These will...