What Is Sociology?: Crash Course Sociology #1


What Is Sociology?: Crash Course Sociology #1

Hello, I’m Nicole Sweeney and I have a
question for you: Have you ever wondered how the world works? I’m not talking about atoms and molecules,
or wave functions and chemical reactions; I mean the world of people. For example, have you ever wondered who goes
to college, and why? What is it that makes people march in the
streets? How do you know to raise your hand in math
class, but not at the dinner table? Why do some people like Broadway musicals, and
some people like hip-hop, and some people like both? Well, we’re gonna find out about all of that
stuff and so so much more. Especially, you! You’re going to learn about you, and your place in
the world because this is Crash Course Sociology. [Theme Music] Sociology got its start thanks to a French
philosopher named Auguste Comte in the 1800s. He wanted there to be a systematic
science for studying society, a way to investigate
and solve its basic problems. And while sociology today is very different from
what Comte imagined, that’s still kind of what it is. Sociology is the scientific study of society
and human behavior. But isn’t society this great big thing? I mean, society is whole cities; it’s the
economy; it’s politics. And what does all that have to do with raising
your hand at the dinner table? A lot, as it turns out. A society is just a group of people who share
a culture and a territory. And culture is in everything, from the biggest
questions in politics to the smallest interactions
between people. So yes, society is big, but it’s also very
small. Want to see how?
Let’s go to the Thought Bubble! Imagine you’re sitting alone in your room,
singing along to your favorite Broadway show
at the top of your lungs. Not another person in sight. Society isn’t anywhere to be found. Except that it is. Even if you ignore the house that you’re in –
and the parents, siblings, or roommates you’re
probably bothering while you’re singing so horribly – there’s still the song that you’re singing,
and the music that goes with it. Those things, along with literally every
object in the room that you didn’t make yourself,
are all products of society. And you might be all alone when you’re belting out
Hamilton, but you weren’t alone when a friend first
introduced you to the musical, and its songs. And for that matter, your taste in music isn’t
purely yours either. What kind of music you like can be influenced by
anything from what you were exposed to as a kid,
to what your friends like now, to what neighborhood you grew up in,
or what schools you went to. Society is tricky; it gets in places you might
not expect. Thanks Thought Bubble! So when we say that sociology is the study
of society and human behavior, that means
that sociology is incredibly broad. In fact, it may be the broadest of what we
call the social sciences. The social sciences include disciplines like
economics and psychology, and while they all
have different focuses and perspectives, they’re all trying to understand the social
world objectively, through controlled and
repeated observation. So what makes sociology different from any
of these other social sciences? Well, like the others, sociology is looking for
patterns – recurring characteristics or events. But it looks for all kinds of patterns in
all kinds of places. Sociology looks at all aspects of society,
and at all scales, from two people talking,
to differences between nations. It’s this scope that really sets sociology apart, especially
in what’s known as the sociological perspective. And the sociological perspective means
two things: 1, It means seeing the general in the particular,
and 2, it means seeing the strange in the familiar. Seeing the general in the particular is a way of
saying that sociology tries to understand social
behavior by placing it in its wider social context. To go back to you belting out Broadway tunes in your room, the sociologist who overhears you from the sidewalk might notice not just your choice of what to sing, but how that individual choice may have been influenced
by your class, neighborhood, race, gender, or age. To take another example, a sociologist might not care
whether or not you, in particular, decide to get married, but she might be interested in learning more
about a declining marriage rate in your society – and, say, what’s causing it and
whether it’s having any societal impacts. Or maybe she’s more interested in the fact
that, in the US, people tend to marry partners
of the same class and race as them. In both of these cases – what people
sing or whom they marry – the sociologist is interested in a general
pattern, a pattern composed of a massive
number of particular individual choices. Each individual forms a part of the pattern, and in looking at their individual choices, a sociologist can see elements of the whole pattern, like seeing how a single stone fits into a mosaic. Seeing the strange in the familiar is the
second part of the sociological perspective,
and it’s maybe more difficult to do. To see the strange in the familiar is to approach the
everyday world as though you were seeing it for the
first time, as if you were from another world. This is hard, but it’s also incredibly
important, and kinda cool. When we asked, at the very beginning, why you raise your hand to ask a question in your math class but not at your dinner table, that’s a very small example of trying to see the strange in the familiar. And this is so hard to do because your own
society tends to look normal to you. You take it for granted. As you’re socialized into it, you’re taught a
common-sense understanding of society, and
that’s not a bad thing! After all, you need a common sense understanding
of society in order to live in it, right? You need to know that you shake hands when you
meet someone new, and that red means stop, and that
you should try to show up on time to things. But if sociology is going to study society, it needs to be able to look at these things as strange and unfamiliar, in order to really understand how they work, and to uncover patterns of behavior in a culture. Common sense has to just get us through the
world; but sociology has to know what’s true. And this is important, because a society’s
common sense doesn’t consist only of harmless
conventions, like shaking hands. Just 200 years ago in the US, it was common
sense that only white men were capable of
participating in society. It was common sense that slavery was right,
and that women shouldn’t be allowed to vote. These things were common sense then in
the same way that their opposites are taken for
granted now. And the sociological perspective – seeing the general
in the particular and strange in the familiar – helps us to understand problems like this,
because it helps us see some of the key concepts
in the study of society. Among these concepts: social location,
marginalization, and power and inequality. If you imagine a map of society, laying out all the
different social groups and their relationships to each
other, then your social location is your spot on that map. Your social location is a way of classifying
yourself, by race, social class, gender, sexual
orientation, religion, etc. Understanding social location is important
because, just like the sociologist looks for
the general in the particular, a person’s life and choices will be
influenced by their social location. This is true in a bunch of ways: Most obvious is
that your social location can limit your choices. Some groups have legal rights and privileges
that others don’t. For instance, until a few years ago, gays and
lesbians could not legally marry in the US, so their
social location limited their choices. But social location also impacts what you
learn, and what you’re taught about society. Whether or not you you go to college, for instance, can be heavily influenced by whether the social class you grew up in tends to see college as a real or valuable possibility. And social location also affects what others
have learned, and are taught, about you. Take, for instance, the consistent finding that resumés with names that sound African-American tend to get called for interviews much less often than those with white-sounding names, even though the resumés are otherwise identical. In all these ways, social location can contribute
to the marginalization of a social group. If a social group is marginalized, it means
that it occupies a position outside the centers
of power. Marginalized groups are often racial, ethnic, sexual,
or religious minorities, and marginalized groups tend
to have a clearer view of how power operates. Heterosexual people, for example, often
don’t recognize what a social power it is to have
their relationships socially sanctioned, and to be able to display affection in public,
in ways that LGBT people often can’t. If marginalization is a matter of being
outside the centers of power, that draws
our attention to another fact: the fact that there are many different kinds
of power, and many different kinds of inequality. There are, of course, the obvious kinds, like economic power and income inequality, or political power and politically-enforced inequalities, like segregation or slavery. But then there are the less obvious kinds,
like social or cultural power and inequality. For instance, people who speak with non-standard accents or dialects are often judged harshly for them and can be seen as less intelligent or less mature. Sociology can help us identify and understand
all of these things, and maybe even try and fix them. And that’s the point: Sociology is about
understanding society, and society’s where we all
live, so we’d like it to work as well as possible. Good sociology can help us to create good
public policy. And if we think back to Comte, his desire
was to do just this, to understand and maybe
fix his society’s problems. The late 18th and 19th centuries were a
time of massive economic, social, and political
upheaval in Europe. This was when industrialization really took off,
with factories sprouting up like weeds, connected
by larger and larger rail networks. At the same time, the population of Europe exploded,
growing faster than at any time in previous history. This was especially true in cities, where
industrial production was centralized. And all of these massive economic and social
changes came with political shocks, too: This period saw the advent of mass democracy,
the fall of kings, and the rise of the nation-state. This, combined with the rise of science as a discipline,
was the context in which sociology arose. The first sociologists looked around at
their quickly changing societies and were driven
to try and scientifically understand them. We said earlier that society wasn’t just big things
like revolutions, industrialization, demographics. But it is also these things. It’s both the big and the small,
because they’re related. Sociology is about understanding the whole
thing, at every level, and how those levels interact. It’s about understanding why you don’t have to raise
your hand at the dinner table, and why so-called
common sense can lead to massive policy mistakes. Welcome to the science of sociology. Today we talked about what sociology is and
what it does. We discussed what it means to be the study
of society and why that’s broader than you
might think. We introduced the sociological perspective
and discussed how sociology differentiates
itself from the other social sciences. And finally we discussed what sociology
can do, and how that concern with social problems
was at the center of sociology’s beginnings. Next time, we’ll introduce different theories
of society, the basic paradigms of sociology. Crash Course Sociology is filmed in the Dr. Cheryl
C. Kinney Crash Course Studio in Missoula, MT,
and it’s made with the help of all these nice people. Our animation team is Thought Cafe,
and Crash Course is made with Adobe Creative Cloud If you’d like to keep Crash Course free for everyone, forever, you can support the series at Patreon, a crowdfunding platform that allows you to support the content you love. Speaking of Patreon, we’d like to thank all of our patrons in general, and we’d like to specifically thank our Headmaster of Learning David Cichowski. Thank you for your support.

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100 thoughts on “What Is Sociology?: Crash Course Sociology #1”

  1. Mahmoud Shatnawi says:

    I skipped school today to decide what I want to study in university, for years now I thought Im going to be a computer engineer or film maker (they are at least more interesting to me than biology or chemistry or maths).. so I have been doing some research about every major.. biology, medicine, mechanical engineering, chemistry, maths etc.. and when I discovered philosophy I kinda liked it.. and now I see sociology and I literally can't sit still.. I LOVE IT. I love these things. I didn't know I could even study those things. March 14th, 2019 (writing this to myself mainly)

  2. VKSZ _ OMAR says:

    The reason she seems smart is because it's a woman talking they just say so much.

  3. Jerry Liu says:

    Remember, watch this at 0.75 speed. I promise you the concepts and presentation will be much more accessible.

  4. Evangeline Jayme says:

    Why you talk so much ?you did not write and make any draft of sosiology

  5. Evangeline Jayme says:

    She is horney haha

  6. Velkan-san says:

    she makes me uncomfortable the way she speaks ;-;

  7. As L says:

    So why don't you raise your hands at the dinner table?

  8. 100 Subscribers But No Videos says:

    0:16 I raise my hand at the dinner table. I raise it pretty much every time I have a question or comment.

  9. Bansil Jakrik Sangma says:

    Mam Your teaching is to fast….

  10. Farzan says:

    i think she needs to leave asap why is she speaking so fast !

  11. Mister Sarajevo says:

    Sociology is basically a dumbed-down combination of Economics & Psychology.

  12. rainbow chaser says:

    Why do people care about this shlt

  13. Omar Abdelkader says:

    Why do I — we — hear communist greatness at 2:00

  14. Simone Seely says:

    Can y'all stop complaining and just put the video at .75x??

  15. UnderGround Session Radio says:

    I'm about to crash this course because you're talking too fast. Slow down!

  16. Michaela Landers says:

    Thank you! this is helping me SO much. xoxoxo

  17. 7 Horseshoes & A 4 Leaf Clover says:

    "Seeing the strange in the familiar and the general in the particular" is one of the most interesting statements I can remember hearing. Thanks CC. This is ONE of the reasons why I come here so often!

  18. MGR1900 says:

    Sociology is a BS science where leftist professors pretend to teach it while pushing their typical leftist agendas.

  19. Michael Mota says:

    Sounds like a useless degree imo.

  20. Diego Avilés says:

    Psychedelics help

  21. acajudi100 says:

    The most intelligent people learn about everything and everyone They keep audio, video and written journals to drain their brains, and to help the future generation. Those who do not learn from the pass are doomed to fail. Let go and let God always. Get marry, and not babies out of wedlock. Do not kill anyone from the unborn to the elders.

  22. Mandy Bergman says:

    Thank you, Crash Course. My sociology students LOVE these videos.

  23. bgoodfella7413 says:

    Sociology is RACIST

  24. kumar gaurav says:

    Why do u like both????

  25. Sebastian D. says:

    We live in a sociology

  26. Doug McLaren says:


  27. Jacob P says:

    I feel like this lady is wearing a wig. Anyone else?

  28. Saurabh Sharma says:


  29. ATHARVA SOMAN says:

    It's very hard to understand how this qualifies as a science😂


    gist of video
    1. What is sociology ? – Sociology is study how certain pattern of behaviour are repeating , Study of interaction between individual and society , How music that we are listening are affected by people we are surrounded with .Also society is a group of having a culture and territory .
    2. What it does ? It changes us according to norms present in society , we grow up learning we must shake hand , raise hand in classes and dont needed to raise hands on dining table . All the things we learnt are not positive , sometimes it might be negative .For example a street children due to its real life experiences that might is power but a child of same age might be very peaceful and show respect towards other individuals .
    3. The study of society ? If you want to study society as sociologist then you need to see society through sociological perspective . Sociological perspective consists of seeing general in particular and strange in familiar . General in particular means what you are doing will be as a recurrent pattern present in society . Example : You are no marrying , then sociolgist we see it as a general trend in society to no marry and if you are listening to a music , sociologist will get to know about your age , region , eductaion . It just means tumhare habits se society ko genralize kar paa rhe hae . ANd other one strange in familiar is like see all things that happens to you as if it is happening for first time and strange to you . then you wil able to see trends and recurring patterns .
    4. Sociological perspective helps in understanding society and its problems . Also Social
    5. Can help in policy making which might otherwise be filled with common sense understanding of issue and solve problems of society

  31. Manuel López Rosas says:

    De acuerdo en que el video proporciona temas de reflexión suficientes como para compartior y deliberar acerca de todo lo que encontremos de nuestro interés o a nuestro alcance.

    Me parece también, que debemos hacer reconocimiento explícito a los responsables de la traducción con subtítulos al español (c), y en mi caso a Sociedad Mexicana de Sociología (SMS)

    @smsociologia, por donde conocí la recomendación.

  32. Menawal Pukhtoon says:

    This channel is not for slow learners like me. I thought the video is recorded normally but then uploaded with high speed.

  33. Samuel Bai says:

    Some people like broadway musicals, some people like hip hop, and some people like both (queues Hamilton)

  34. TruthSeeker says:

    People are bad. Course finished. No homework. They take pleasure in badness.

  35. Karan singh mehra says:

    Please post your video in hindi

  36. Mohamed M says:

    May I have all lectures in pdf or PPT, would of a great use

  37. abdelkader ali says:

    Gr8 job. Thank u

  38. Joshua Perez says:

    You're so meaaan. I don't sing horribly!!!

    But thanks for this crash course!

  39. Mahen magar says:

    Use o.5x

  40. John Koenig says:

    When do we get to the part where they teach you to say, "You want fries with that?"

  41. BJ Lawson says:

    If Sociology is understanding aspects of something, the whole picture, etc. Doesn't that mean that people like medical doctors have to understand the human body as the organs interacting with other things, but they also have to understand how one virus can be big and can interact with others? I am saying basically, careers use sociology a lot and I just want to know if this is correct? Or at least some part correct.

  42. Mujeeb Mahamood says:

    Great job

  43. keies Caesar says:

    Am I the only one who cringes with this lady…

  44. Harmoni Greer says:

    I seriously doubt that the LGBTQ community can't show affection in public w/o being called names. I mean that does happen in other countries like Russia/Iran but if there was a wave of that happening in America (today) we would see it all over the news as a rise in hate crime. I have personally seen lots of happy gay couples out in the open and I live in Texas.

  45. Zimba Zumba says:

    Sociology has become too political. It has become conflict theory and lecturing us on LGBT issues, privilege and discrimination. It is not a science.

  46. Poornima Suryavanshi says:


  47. Cody A. Lee says:

    Hip hop is trash

  48. mello namadungwe says:

    your not talking to us to know your singing for yourslf

  49. hayls says:

    Girl, you need to half that speed. I had to re watch like 3 times, my brain could not keep up lmao

  50. Jose Munoz says:

    Well presented. You speak much faster than I process. I had to rewind a few times.

  51. Nitin Sharma says:

    0.75x guys

  52. Amani Hill says:

    Thank for this informative video Nicole! I love your vids!

  53. Deniel kai Labine says:

    my friend told me i talk as fast as you… okay

  54. JustintheSavage ! says:


  55. faiz abbas says:

    Sociology. The subject that talks about nothing, but complains about everything.

  56. Darth Tater says:

    Sociology is pseudo science

  57. Ashley Lavergne says:

    I thought a dude did this

  58. Halil_XG says:

    Sorry …Ibn Khaldun is the founder of Sociology …??!

  59. Poonam Nehra says:

    If you want to understand her please reduce your playback speed.

  60. Rohit Maurya says:

    Can we get ppt?

  61. Seamus O'Sullivan says:

    There are so many assumptions in this video on history that are used to come to conclusions that its really sickening… for example… it is just "common sense" that women weren't allowed to vote. This is based on all kinds of assumptions. First, with voting came the mandate to "volunteer" in your local fire department and to enlist into the military. Because women did not vote, they weren't forced to risk their lives. Sure, if you want to say that women were OpPrEsSeD because they weren't force to risk their lives despite their obvious physical disadvantages when it comes to physical labor and war JUST to cast a meaningless vote to pick their handlers… then sure. whatever…

    But it sounds to me like this series of lectures, unfortunately, suffers from social Marxist propaganda. Its dogwhistled EVERYWHERE. This content is anti-white, anti individualist and anti-freedom. The kicker is that I support your right to say it all. Its too bad the platform that's enabling your propaganda to be spread to millions of people aren't of the "freedom of speech" position.

  62. Foxes says:

    All hail Hari Seldon

  63. Emile Nicholls says:

    My mind at 3:00– huh I wonder how hard it is to study sociology

  64. Nicholas Gordon says:

    First of all, this is a great video. Thanks for making it easy to understand and funny. Second, I don't know if you've ever been told this, but you look a lot like Penny from "The Big Bang Theory"

  65. James Joseph KEATING 4 th says:

    I love how you speak your all energy Thank you 🙏 Bella ….. signed INFJ EMPATH ….

  66. Enjoy It4U says:

    I am sorry, but the one who started sociology is the Islamic scientist Ibn Haldoon
    You should mentioned that

  67. Sabaax Apfatah says:

    Thanks you

  68. Jinxy cat says:

    Why the jump cuts from near and then far then near again through out the video?

  69. I eat bitcoins with a fork says:

    Pseudoscience. Has absolutely no added value in solving actual problems. Just point them out.

  70. infamous4141 says:

    Sociology is a dead subject and to diluted! Science? How?

  71. Paradoxx Andrew says:

    i have no place in the world

  72. Niece Jordan says:

    Can there be a crash course on anthropology?

  73. sherin zada says:


  74. OneCool Gamer says:

    Watch this at night if you have trouble sleeping 😴 it will help

  75. zara azfareen says:


  76. Grim The Ghastly says:

    I love how accessible this channel is. All of the topics are presented in a way that is easy to understand and interesting to watch. I love it.

  77. Michelle Vedros says:

    slow down. I hate the you tube trend of talking like you on crack. Thank you otherwise lol

  78. DS Gant says:

    I'm always thinking about these things on an hourly basis and have finally decided to go back to school after a decade. I'll be majoring in Sociology. Thank you for the very informative video affirming that this is indeed where I'm meant to spend my creative energy, empathy and perspective. Very well done!

  79. Matthew Wilkin says:

    Good information delivered as FAST as possible. Why? Sloooooowwwww down.

  80. FlicksCode says:

    Omg this id what i wonder every day. Is this normal?

  81. Whaddup Chameleon says:

    I see a lot of people saying that there is a strong liberal bias in sociology. A study that demonstrates the concept of institutionalized racism is not inherently liberal, it’s what people do with that information that’s liberal. And just because sociology demonstrates concepts that liberals use to create and support their positions doesn’t mean that a liberal bias is automatically the reason why, maybe it’s simply because the facts just tend to point people towards a liberal position, and to say that that should discredit the field of sociology is inherently a flawed way of thinking because that’s making the assumption that we can’t live in a world where facts support the liberal position and that the facts have to align with a centrist point of view (or a conservative one or it should 50/50 or something like that) which is ridiculous. The field of sociology is just like any other scientific field. It has measures put in place to address bias. Obviously it’s not going to perfect (since people aren’t perfect) but neither is any other field of science is perfect (since people aren’t perfect).

  82. Momen Akod says:

    × 0.75 is perfect

  83. Kiran Rao says:

    Mam thanks a lot

  84. Sana Arif says:

    Please speak slowly
    My English is weak i cannot understand what are you saying 😰

  85. RGSUltra Comedy says:

    Wow she thinks she's important

  86. RGSUltra Comedy says:

    Geology isn't even a real science

  87. Duaa Elsayed says:

    This video got me so intetested in learning about sociology, thank you so much I would really like to understand the society better in order to lead a better life amd take right life decisiona

  88. jhonny rodriguez olguin says:

    I like it, this was helpful for increase the knowledge about how to see the world from diferents ways in the way that the world its looking at us

  89. jhonny rodriguez olguin says:

    In the way that how we are, I can't believe that nobody pay attention why don't comments things according to the videoclass this video is great and also some of the teachers

  90. EvilBees says:

    We truly do live in a society…

  91. brightphoebus says:

    That really answers my question as to what sociology is. Next question: Who hires sociologists? Is this a career that is in demand?

  92. Edgar Suit says:

    Flashback of 30 years ago! Fun times, Soc class.

  93. Goomatora says:

    At first I was super interested in this, then it became marginalization lgbt cringe

  94. Eric Biggers says:

    "seeing the general in the particular"
    Division fallacy much?

  95. Nicolau De Jesus says:

    Can you talk slowly. My mind became anxious

  96. Eide Lahe says:

    Helpful ♡

  97. scootchapeepee says:


  98. Hobbe Vijver says:

    you talk like you're running the 100 metres constantly, could you please slow down

  99. Julio David Rojas Rodríguez says:

    I see how Focault informs your particular take on what sociology is. Powers is all, isn't? this is so simplistic…

  100. Shiwan choudhary says:

    Crash course thanx for this wonderful series, please also provide the script so that we can incorporate the ideas into our college notes. That would be a great help

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