Students may begin their study of sociology in any of eight foundation courses. Each course combines lecture and discussion and has an enrollment limit of twenty five students. 

All of these courses apply the theory and methods of sociology to achieve an understanding of the character of life in modern societies, especially our own. The courses are distinguished by their particular thematic focus and course materials. Students may enroll in only one introductory course in sociology. After that, students should enroll in a mid-level course.

Regardless of the variations in content, the following goals are common to all introductory sociology courses at Kenyon. Individual faculty will pursue additional goals that reflect the particular subject matter of their courses and their unique approaches to the field.

  • Convey the distinctiveness of a sociological perspective, including its historical origins.
  • Develop a critical examination of modernity.
  • Introduce the fundamental elements of sociological analysis and their interrelationships. These include culture, social structure and change, social inequality, social process, and consciousness.
  • Examine the ideas of significant figures in sociological thought. Principle among these are the classical social theorists (Marx, Durkheim, Weber), as well as a variety of classical and contemporary sociologists and others whose work is relevant to sociological thinking.
  • Consider the place of science in sociology and examine at least some of the findings and methodological techniques (quantitative, qualitative, historical, hermenutical) employed in sociological inquiry.
  • Develop at least some of the skills demanded of students in the sociology program. These include exegesis, empirical research and data analysis, analytical writing, oral presentation, group discussion, and collaborative work.
  • Illustrate the value and relevance of sociology for students' own lives and the world.
  • Introduce the character of sociological work and the array of topics which students can engage through continued study within the department and encounter across the discipline.

Foundation Courses

SOCY 101 Human Society
SOCY 102 Social Dreamers: Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud
SOCY 103 Society and Culture
SOCY 104 Identity in American Society
SOCY 105 Society in Comparative Perspective
SOCY 106 Social issues and Cultural Intersections
SOCY 107 Institutions and Inequalities
SOCY 108 Public Life