Sociology is the scientific study of group behavior - whether the groups are dyads, small groups, associations, bureaucracies, societies, publics, aggregates, social movements, or mobs, etc. This introductory course introduces the student to sociological principles and theoretical perspectives that facilitate understanding the norms, values, structure and process of the various types of groups into which people organize. The course focuses on applying the scientific method to studying social problems (e.g. poverty, crime, sexism and racism) and basic institutions (i.e. family, government, economy, religion, education). Students will develop their "sociological imagination" as a way of understanding what their lives are and can be in relation to the larger social forces at work in local, national, and international environments.