Sociology Week 1

In microeconomics, we considered how individuals make decisions after weighing their costs and benefits of an action.  In psychology, individuals are actions are explained by their own pasts, emotions and desires.  For sociologists, individuals are best understood as part of society and its various subgroups.  One’s race, gender, class, religion, education, ethnicity, family, and peer groups, to name a few, all overlap to either encourage or discourage a person’s behavior.


We will start our exploration of how events outside of the individual contribute to their success with readings from Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcom Gladwell.

This class will involve quite a bit of reading and writing.  We will spend some time the first day talking about how to read non-fiction, take notes on it and write a response paper.  So for the first week, just a little reading and a little writing.  See you October 6 at 9:30!



By October 6:

___ Read the Introduction: The Roseto Mystery and Chapter 1: The Matthew Effect in Outliers.

___ Write a paragraph response to the following question.

Gladwell says we can view success in two ways as, “… a simple function of individual merit” (p 33) or as the result of “accumulative advantage” (p 30).

 Which option does he choose?

How do you know – what evidence does he present to convince the reader his option is the best one?

Be sure to include at least one quote from Chapter 1 to support your answer.

___ Print out and bring your paragraph to class

___ Any questions or concerns – either send me an email or put in a comment.

Procrastination Links:

On The Daily Show:



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