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.

Course Improvements

We believe in making continuous improvements to our courses in order to enhance and facilitate student learning. This newest version of the course includes a vast number of data-driven improvements to assessment questions and text content in order to better illustrate, clarify, and evaluate concepts.

This 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
    • The course content was reviewed for accuracy and currency, then updated with modern examples, news, and research.
    • Updates and enhancements from OpenStax 3e revisions
  • “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 course, based on the text from OpenStax 2e Sociology and OpenStax 3e Sociology, was developed by Lumen Learning and includes additional noteworthy contributions by the Lumen Learning team and:

Primary Content Authors
Scott Barr, Contributor
Sarah Hoiland, Hostos Community College
Shailaja Menon, Houston Community College
Cathy Matresse, Columbia Basin College
Florencia Silveira, Contributor
Rebecca Vonderhaar, Tidewater Community College

This book has benefited from the contributions of many people, including Cat, Carlos Alberto, Lindsey Aldrich, Deborah Barr, Clayton Allen Bugh, Nick Burch, Sydney Cogswell, Cameron Coles, Morgan Crane, Andy Domanico, Jennifer Ferguson, Levi Figet, Jason Haynes, Elizondo Gomez, Mikela Joseph, Noor Khan, Caitlin Killian, Jacob Kuipers, David Lawrence, Sanford Messick, Amy Mae Miller, Mack Miller, Davis Misner, Adrienne Moyer, Sean MSW, Monika Myers, Jiyoung Park, Raven Reger, Tamra Roche, Alyssa Russell, Em Sapp, Nevaeh Scott-Dominguez, Henry Selzer, George Shute, Lucy Stowe, Julie Southard, Kira Thompson, Duncan Tilles, Anita Mueni, Heidi Coons, and Elizabeth Anne Wood.

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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