Sociology: Human Behavior
"My name is Sherlock Holmes. It is my business to know what other people don't know." Sherlock Holmes, "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle"
"The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes."
Sherlock Holmes, "The Hound of the Baskervilles"
"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact."
Sherlock Holmes, "The Bascombe Valley Mystery"
This engaging and very popular 1-week sociology course investigates the social world as the famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, would do. Through what Holmes called "the science of deduction," we will investigate why people act and interact, searching for the root causes of human behavior by detecting clues that allow us to solve four key mysteries:
- What causes people to behave in predictable ways—their character or their environment?
- What do our cultural habits and trends tell us about ourselves and our values?
- How does our class status, gender, and race influence our beliefs that something is either natural or normal?
- Why does inequality exist?
We will set out to answer these questions through brief readings, engaging in discussion, watching video-clips, participating in exercises, analyzing data, and forming and testing conclusions. Together, we will combine our clues to uncover hidden patterns in society and why those patterns exist. By the end of the course, students will have a basic sociological understanding of the world.