The study of sociology is the study of society, and this introductory course teaches students to see that human communities are more than a collection of individuals, self-determined and self-directing. The course examines structural inequalities, cultural conditions, and social institutions that pattern and shape human behavior. First, students learn that the world around them is not "natural" but rather conditional, and human behavior is not "innate," but mutable through socialization. Students explore class, race, and gender as social constructions that work to determine an individual's life chances. Then we elucidate the patterns and outcomes associated with various social institutions and social issues, including: public health, the environment, the criminal-justice system, education.