About This Course

Introduction to Sociology

There is perhaps no course more immediately impactful and relevant to students’ lives than sociology. This course provides a comprehensive overview of key sociological topics and encourages students to think critically about the social world. Students develop the sociological imagination and examine society through each of the main sociological paradigms. The course includes embedded practice questions with targeted feedback to encourage reflection and application, as well as videos, discussions, and assignments.

Key topics include research, culture, socialization, society and groups, deviance and crime, stratification and inequality, race and ethnicity, gender, sex, and sexuality, marriage and family, religion, education, health and medicine, aging and the elderly, government and politics, work and the economy, population and urbanization, and social change. Faculty members may readily adapt the course’s OER content to include new developments and research to equip students with what they need to have success in their sociological journey.


This course, based on the OpenStax 2e Sociology text, was developed by Lumen Learning and includes additional noteworthy contributions by the Lumen Learning team and:

  • Scott Barr
  • Sarah Hoiland (Hostos Community College)
  • Shailaja Menon (Houston Community College)
  • Cathy Matresse (Columbia Basin College)
  • Florencia Silveira
  • Rebecca Vonderhaar (Tidewater Community College)

What’s New?

The 2019 edition of Introduction to Sociology includes the following significant improvements and enhancements:

  • Improved course organization 
    • Modules are more consistent in size. This means some modules have been separated out from the previous version of the course. This enables greater instructor flexibility and more manageable learning for students.
    • Content is organized around specific, granular learning outcomes, which are listed at the top of each page.
    • Practice questions, try it questions, and quiz questions all align with learning outcomes.
  • Improved course content
    • Course content was reviewed for accuracy and currency, then updated with modern examples, news, and research.
  • “Try It” embedded practice questions for every learning outcome. This means that students learn about concepts and then immediately check their understanding with applied practice.
  • “Watch It” embedded videos that explain and reiterate key concepts throughout the course.
    • Most videos come from CrashCourse Sociology, although several others are included from various sources such as Khan Academy and Sociology Live!
  • Discussions and Assignments for every module

As a Waymaker course, this is customizable and delivered with user-friendly personalized learning tools to strengthen engagement and student success. There are formative self-check assessments ​and​ summative quiz questions that can be imported directly into the LMS.


The Introduction to Sociology course contains eighteen modules. Since many instructors choose not to teach every module, sometimes it works well to cover roughly one module per week for a sixteen-week semester. Although the modules are generally similar in size, some of the content is lighter in certain modules or more dense in others, so it may make sense to combine some modules in one week or draw out other modules over several weeks. See the “Pacing” page inside of faculty resources for more information and suggestions.


This book has benefited from the contributions of many people, including Carlos Alberto Elizondo Gomez, Monika Myers, Andy Domanico, Tamra Roche, Caitlin Killian, Raven Reger, Duncan Tilles, Lucy Stowe, Elizabeth Anne Wood, Kira Thompson, Cameron Coles, Jennifer Ferguson, Jiyoung Park, Sydney Cogswell, Morgan Crane, Mack Miller, Jason Haynes, George Shute, Nick Burch, Clayton Allen Bugh, Nevaeh Scott-Dominguez, Alyssa Russell, Julie Southard, and David Lawrence.

About Lumen

Lumen Learning courseware is based on open educational resources (OER). When we can find well designed, effective OER that are appropriately licensed, we use them in our courseware. When we can’t find pre-existing OER, we create original content and license it as OER (under a Creative Commons Attribution license).

Lumen’s authoring process doesn’t end when our courseware is released. Our choice to adopt open educational resources means that we have the copyright permissions necessary to engage in continuous improvement of our learning content. Consequently, our courses are continually being revised and updated. Errata reported for our courseware are fixed in a matter of days, as opposed to the traditional model in which errors persist until the next “edition” is printed (often a year or more). Students and faculty can suggest improvements to our courses directly from within the courseware as they use it. And we conduct regular analyses to determine where students are struggling the most in our courseware, and make improvements that specifically target these areas.

Given our unique approach, our list of authors and other contributors may look different than the lists you are used to seeing. We provide both a list of the primary content authors (the people involved in the initial creation of the course) and a list of everyone who has contributed suggestions and other improvements to the course since it was first released. We invite you to join us as we create courseware that supports student learning more effectively each semester.

If you’d like to connect with us to learn more about adopting this course, please Contact Us.

You can also make an appointment during OER office hours to connect virtually with a live Lumen expert about any question you may have. Learn more about OER Office Hours.


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