Introduction to Sociology

Induction Week

Some schools and colleges have a set period of time at the start of the academic year where they encourage students to have a taster of the different subjects on offer at the centre with a view to ‘firming up’ their curriculum choices. Even if your centre does not have such a system in place, it is worthwhile considering having your own induction period. Here you can spend a short amount of time exploring some key concepts and ideas which underpin the study of Sociology and possibly set an assignment on this to help you ascertain students’ levels of literacy and research skills.


  1. The first activity suggested here is titled ‘The Sociology Society’ and as well as teaching some basic concepts, it works well as an icebreaker activity for the students. The teacher begins by contextualising the lesson (a brief consideration of what Sociology is), before moving on to a series of questions for them to consider as a class. The questions consider issues such as how are we different? What do we have in common? How is the ‘Sociology Society’ possible (that is, what are the rules of the sociology classroom)?

    Discover More The Sociology Society, lpsocsoc.pdf

  2. As a homework task, students could be directed to the link below:

    Discover More A series of presentations on introductory sociology.

    Of particular use is the ‘What is Sociology?’, ‘What do Sociologists study?’, and information located under the ‘for kids’ heading. From this students could conduct some wider research on one of the sociologists referred to, for example Max Weber, and present this on a small poster for display in the classroom.

  3. In a further session, students could be shown Sam Richards’ ‘The wisdom of Sociology’ TedxLacador talk. In this talk, Richards talks about how the study of Sociology can be a life-changing experience as it teaches us to rethink our own problems as well as ourselves. We eventually come to realise that even in our loneliest moments, we are more connected that we realise:

  4. Watching this talk could produce a useful springboard for the rest of the year as students and fellow teaching colleagues can be invited to give a Tedx talk of their own.

  5. At this point in the course it is also useful to talk to students about the work of the British Sociological Association. Their ‘What is Sociology?’ section of the website found here:

    Discover More Welcome to the What is Sociology? section of the BSA website is useful as a source of background information on the study of sociology and career paths. It also has a fantastic resource here:

    Discover More Are you a student thinking about university? which can be printed off for students at the start of the year, as well as forming the basis for open evening discussions.

  6. The course booklet located here:

    Discover More Strategies for Success Course Guide
    an informal observation. Decide in advance whether or not a small extract from C Wright Mill’s ‘The Sociological Imagination’ is appropriate for the class you are teaching – it’s not imperative that this is used. Once students have conducted their observations has outlined, they can feedback their findings to the rest of the class. From this the teacher can also begin to encourage students to think about the strengths and limitations of the method they have just used.


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