Sociology – Class Reflections and Reactions: Qualitative Remarks
“In their own words”:
Teaching Philosophy – Combination of techniques – visual, audio, special needs, international, returning students, and Socratic learners.
Teaching Philosophy – Combination of techniques – visual, audio, special needs, international, returning students, and Socratic learners.
Sociology Course Wrap-up
I have learned quite a few things in my Sociology class that I didn’t get the chance to learn at my old school. Like for instance, how the White Colonists didn’t make peace with the Native Americans like we were all originally taught. Instead, the Native Americans were abused and murdered by the White Colonists, in order to take their land for themselves. I find it quite ironic how our country is labeled “The land of the free, and the home of the brave” when this was our country’s true origin story. I’m not saying America is a bad country by any means, at least not at the moment, I just find the whole situation a bit ironic. I also learned about the three perspectives, the functionalist perspective, the conflict perspective, and the symbolic interactionist perspective and how they can be used to help create a better situation for a group of people. In chapter 1 of the text, it is stated that these sociological perspectives can help by first examining a group of people and what the issue seems to be. Then, they can use the perspective that they think works best for the situation.
I plan to do more research about our history, and to find out if anything else that we have been taught in our childhood was false, or was actually a bad thing to do or celebrate. I might go to the library or some historical museums, or possibly look up some stuff online and read up on other historical events. I think it’s important to look up and see for yourself whether or not something is good or bad, or to find out the truth about something. This is because you may never know what stories and truths have been hidden from the world because somebody wanted to rewrite history and claimed that something else happened for their own personal gain. Just like with the White Colonists who abused the Natives, re-writing history saying that they befriended them instead, or how Nike, a popular shoe company tries to hide their horrific misdeeds from the world, despite being outed as an abusive company who shows absolutely no care for their workers. One of the issues that I found the most interesting was the relationship between isolated and feral children. Isolated children are ones who are locked up in solitude, and are continuously abused throughout their life. In the text, it is stated that a child named Isabelle, along with her mother were isolated for years, and as a result, Isabelle acted hostile towards other people because she wasn’t taught how to act towards others. Feral children are usually children who live outside, and are raised by animals. Thus acting more like an animal, than a human being. I find both if these interesting, because while both may be raised differently, with the feral child at least having some experience of a loving family if they are raised by animals who care about them, while the isolated child lives with constant abuse, they both were neglected by their original families, and no one taught them how to act around other human beings. I was also very interested in the short film that was shown in class about how Nike was hiding the fact that they borderline abuse their workers and barely give them anything in return. Despite this, they still manage to get billions of dollars from brand deals and people who simply wear their merchandise.
I really enjoyed learning about other cultures, and how other people view the world, and deal with the problems that occur, due to either racism, sexism, or people judging others poorly based solely on their background. I wasn’t too interested in some of the theories since they do bleed into some of the other topics I previously mentioned, but they still are a very important part of sociology, and should still be used regardless. I really found the wage gap between men and women, how other people are treated differently solely based on their skin color and the school system, and how all of these problems still exist today to be very interesting, because it shows that we have a long way to go before we reach true equality and fairness for everyone involved. I was also surprised how the wage gap was mostly fixed, and now the problem is that more people will tend to take a man’s side rather than a woman’s when it comes to business. Sill, once again showing that we are far from done with fighting for what we believe in. I do believe that we will get there, but we all have to work together as a group to do so.
History of Africa 2021
This week we start to finish up a very long semester. Looking back, I did not perform my best in this class. However, despite my poor grades on some aspects of the course, I retained a good amount of information from the readings and lectures. Here at Hudson Valley, I’m simply listed as a History major. When I go to UAlbany however, I will be a Medieval History major. Although I will mostly be focusing on the North Mediterranean, Middle East, and Europe, the Saharan and Mediterranean African nations and kingdoms will also be very important to my studies.
The Gold Empires of the Sahara were near-mythical places in the eyes of many Europeans, who in their minds created many mythical Kings- such as Prester John. Although the course did not cover the Ancient and Medieval periods as much as my advisor told me it would, there was never a lack of valuable or interesting information in the other periods we learned about. Out of all the continents and periods, I was taught about in High School, almost none of it was African History. I spent much more time learning about American, European, and Asian History while South America and Africa were almost entirely left out. This isn’t to say that I didn’t learn anything about African History, but what I did learn was not as extensive, or was shown through a European lens.
This class was one of the few History classes I have entered and not known much about at all. If asked at the beginning of the Semester to explain briefly each period of African History through each region, I would find it difficult to explain much about Sub-Saharan Africa. Most of my pre-colonial knowledge of Africa comes from Northern Africa mostly, and my colonial and post-colonial knowledge was limited overall. So I had a lot to learn, and thankfully this class has done a very good job at filling in the gaps. Am I an expert on African History? No, but my knowledge has certainly been expanded significantly and I now have adequate knowledge about Africa that pertains to my Medieval studies.
I hope that one day if I ever teach at a college level, I can include some units on what life was like in Medieval Sub-Saharan Africa. We have all these facts about the Gold Empires, but many of us would probably find it difficult to imagine what life looked like in these places. This is something I hope I can work to fix, as a lot of people know a lot of facts, but many do not know what life truly was like during these periods. This kind of situation leads to a lot of misconceptions.
Overall, I think I most enjoyed learning about the colonial period. It was surprising to learn just how horrible conditions were in European-controlled Africa. I knew that it was pretty bad, but I was not prepared to learn about just how truly awful it was. I found it most surprising how many times the Europeans worked to find different ways to exploit Africa. First, taking millions away from their homes as slaves. Then brutally occupying much of the continent and extracting billions of tons of raw materials, and then following these nations’ independence, influencing them during the Cold war and funding proxy wars. Even in the Present, many corporations are exploiting African labor and resources, Hundreds of years later and the wealthy still aren’t done abusing Africa.
When it comes to my African leader project, learning about Morocco and its King Mohammad VI was very interesting. It was surprising how efficiently Morocco dealt with the 2011 Arab Spring revolts, restabilizing Mohammad VI’s rule within a few months. This course was a great pleasure. I haven’t gotten to meet you yet Professor, but I will be in your Sociology course next Semester, and I very much look forward to it!
2020 Sociology Reflections
Final Journal I love this course because it gave me the perspectives to view society in. My plans in the future is to educate my neighborhood and family on these class struggles and organize solutions to the problems of the urban communities. I have to expand my awareness on human rights so I can help bring awareness to the injustices done in the community and to articulate our grievances to the right people. I will pass out flyers with the all of the constitutional rights on them and post them around the city on telephone poles just so people can know their rights. I will even color coordinate them so it can be better organized. I believe it is important to educate the urban/inner-city population of their human rights because they’re the ones who are being oppressed in this current system and they don’t know when their rights have been violated.
All across the country this has been the problem, and I remember an organization called the Black Panther Party that did the same thing and I would love to speak like Fred Hampton and unite everyone black, white, and brown against racism. The panther’s saw things through the eyes of Carl Marx, with it being a class struggle.
The best I took from this course was what I learned in every lecture. I felt engaged and learned a lot. I never knew the term “the haves and the have nots” would be in sociology as well as Karl Marx. The thing I liked the least is that I never got to come to class, it would have been nice for me because I feel the class would have been a little different. The issues I find most interesting and surprised to see is how Karl Marx conflict perspective is what I’ve seen all my life and I never knew class struggle is what he was preaching all along. I find this surprising because my step father reads a lot of his books and believes in socialism to a degree. He always called me comrade jokingly now I see where he gets it from.
All the journals that I have written in this class, were each and every one of them a life lesson. The class itself improved my critical thinking and made me more knowledgeable than I was before I take the class. Each chapter focused on different aspects of society, all linked up together in a way that made sense and was easy to understand why things in society they are way they are. My awareness is indeed integrated, and what I want to do with this knowledge is to build it even more, and from then raise awareness about some topics, that can change the world and society we live in. I want to make everybody around me understand that even though cultures are so different from each other, we can work together as a whole. To do so though I want to make clear that love, respect, and understanding are the keys to this somehow utopian dream. What I loved about the course is all the variety of information, and the way that they were presented. Videos, texts, songs, all of them helped each other out and resulted in a greater understanding of the subject. What I liked least about the course was the online format. I feel that if it was a person to person teaching method not only we would be more engaged, but we also would listen to each other’s opinions.
Not everybody thinks the same, so listening to another opinion, would probably influence the way we think and the way we perceive the world. Or vise versa, we would be an influence on other peers. Undoubtedly, the most interesting topic of all was racism. It is a word that brings you anger, frustration, and makes you wonder why some people are racists. Why so much hate? Why so much anger about another person of a different color, sexuality, religion, appearance, culture, background, and whatever else make people hate and prejudice. Concluding, I want to thank you for the amazing experience I had in this course. Even though we had an online class I know you did your best to teach and help us. I appreciate all the work you put in the material that we had to study and that helped us perceive the world in a different way, and become better people.
I believe this course has taught me numerous things that I do not believe I would have learned without taking this course. This course has helped me develop a new look onsociety and how it functions. We learned about hate, when it comes to discrimination, prejudice people and racism. I learned the differences between them and how the directly and indirectly effect everyone. One of my favorite topics we touched on was education from the sociology perspective. As in education major it was neat to see how classrooms can be improved. I plan on making my classrooms technology free and fun to help kids that I work with stay concentrated and learn. Like we saw in the video and in the reading its important to have kids be engaged and not be bored while in the classroom. It is important for me as a future educator to put my students in the best position to succeed which includes coming in and getting engaged and ready to learn. The most important part of that is getting them to want to come to school and get smarter. Something that I liked best about this course is that I was able to share my opinions about some of the topics that have been or are currently happening in this world. Something that I liked least about this class is it being online, I feel like I would have learned better and would have been able to ask more questions in person. Some of the issues that I found most interesting were culture issues and majority of racial, ethnic, and religious experiences of discrimination or institutional discrimination because we hear or see or even talked about both these topics daily, weekly or even monthly. If gave me the chance to hear and discuss it more besides with what I was hearing from social media. Something that was the most surprising to me was the YouTube video concerning Nike’s (exploitation) because I didn’t realize or know that the workers back then were not making that much making Nikes shoes and also how Nike employees were living.
I actually love this assignment and having an outlet to apply ALL of the feelings I’ve been having in the current climate. It has been made abundantly clear that neither symbolic interactionalism nor functionalism are working for this society. Sure, they have a cute “white picket fence” feel to them but, unfortunately, society isn’t all rainbows (happy pride month!) and unicorns. If I were a sociologist, which I think a lot of us have a penchant for in our own ways, I would absolutely follow the conflict perspective. Because the conflict perspective focuses on the more, for lack of better words, negative aspects of society, I feel that it aids in identifying the ever-changing nature of society and different groups’ socioeconomic needs and, frankly, rights. Is it too bold to say that the conflict perspective is what has brought us to this very moment in history? Police reform? Fighting for civil rights? If we hadn’t been focused on the systematic oppression of black men, women, and children by police forces (the police being on the micro scale) then, privileged white people would be content to continue to turn a blind eye to the murders of POC that are happening just on the other side of their “white picket fence.” It is my hope that these demonstrations don’t stop until police forces are defunded and new laws are put in place (this would be on the macro scale) to check these officers, their precincts, and local legislatures on their use of excessive police force (see: police brutality.) Perhaps, I may be lacking diplomacy in this entry but, it is very hard to see how either of the other two theories discussed in this chapter could EVER work for EVERY group in society ESPECIALLY during a critical time in our history.
Final Reflections 2019
Initially, I came into this class not knowing what to expect, or what sociology exactly was. I did not think I would be interested in any of the information. By the end of this course I can say that I am really glad that I was able to experience what this course had to offer. I have learned so much about the way society is ran, not only in this country, but all over the world. There are so many different perspectives that we see throughout day to day living. I know realize that society has many ways of doing things. Things that may not always be the right thing. But the great thing about this course is that it makes you really think about how to make the world a better place. It also makes you think about the world we live in today. Particularly the ideas of the symbolic interactionism, the functional analysis theory, and conflict there were amongst my favorite topics to learn about. To me these perspectives almost reflect the way the human body works. For example, our body fights of disease (conflict theory), sends signals to and from the brain (symbolic interactionism), and all of the major body functions (functional analysis). It is amazing to me how the two are intertwined. I want to become more educated about our society so maybe I can make a difference in the world here things may be lacking. I can also say that you made the class a very enjoyable experience. It is so clear that you love what you do and that is always inspiring for young students. I want to thank you for the experience and hope that one day our paths with cross again.
Journal 11: Final Reflection
Throughout this course, I have realized that sociology is not the study of social interaction but is the study of the development, structure, and functioning of human society. This class has taught me to not take for granted my position but look as to how I got to where I am. Who came before me to determine that I will start out where I did and allow for me to have the experiences that I have had. What does it mean that I have had the skills that I have, and most certainly, what about my culture I have taken for granted. I plan to take advantage of my new knowledge and look for ways that the three theories are expressed in my every day. I already knew of social class, but I did not know the Caste system was still used anywhere, I plan to read further into global stratification to see where this might still be used and why. To expand my awareness, I plan to read the news, watch TED talks, and look for active debates in sociology. This is important so that I am up to date in today’s society and am on top of the current status of the functioning of society.
I’ve never taken a summer class before this year. At first, I was worried that I would have trouble getting used to the condensed format, but I found that it wasn’t an issue for me. Some of the material we learned I was already somewhat aware of, it was just a matter of putting the concepts into words. We all have a basic idea of how our society works; the question is why it
works that way. These journals were an exciting assignment. Being assigned to write freely on a topic is something I haven’t done in a long time, which is a shame. In this class, I learned about the different sociologists and their theories, how culture occurs and impacts society, how humans develop and socialize, how people interact with each other, how they get broken up into groups, and how race and wealth affect both individuals and society as a whole. I don’t have a specific idea of how I will use this knowledge in the future. It may come in handy in some of the classes that I will be taking in the future, such as history. I did gain more awareness on specific issues, such as exploitation factory workers in other countries, and whether or not affirmative action is fair. The next time I buy new clothes, I will make sure that what I buy was made in America, if I can. I also have a sewing machine that I haven’t used much lately, so I could maybe make some of my own clothes. I once made a blouse using a template, so I know it’s something I can do. I am also more aware of my privileges and how I shouldn’t take them for granted. It can be really disheartening knowing that so much of your life and what you have was initially built on the suffering of others. But no matter how much you want to, you can’t change the past. The best thing we can do is try to make up for past mistakes and create a more fair and accepting future.
At first, you never know what to expect in college. You may take a couple of courses and find that the information doesn’t stick. Or, you may find that the class makes more than just an impact on your GPA, but also who you are as a person. As this is my first time revisiting college since, after high school, I went into this course, amongst another feeling kind of scared. However, once I felt as though I was understanding the material and could apply it to my life, it all made sense. The main reason why I love this class: It’s an eye-opening experience. I consider myself a down to earth individual. I am trying hard to make an honest living, attempting to better myself to help others, and using my skills of dedication and accepting things that come to me to learn new things each day that I am in class. I will admit that I was between the functionalist view and conflict for a while in my life until I started to know what life was really about: giving it your all. I don’t understand why some people view the worst for future generations, or why people can get into such bad disagreements that conflict strikes. But this class has taught me to be more accepting of when those situations, amongst other circumstances, occur. To look at every positive and negative experience with an open mind, and to share the beauty of living in a diverse society, rather than hiding from it. I wish this class were for the full 16 weeks, instead of just a six-week course. I care deeply about how I am viewed, and I always want to be more aware of that. Given the strength and the comfortability of my professor, not only was I made more aware of society and the cultures in it, but I was informed of the social dilemmas that continue to hold back our country. It is through the my generation and the generations to come that we continue to build on peace and acceptance. I view my time in class as a positive experience, one of which has helped shape my opinions to form more understanding opinions. Through the use of critical thinking in this class, I feel as though I have engaged a part of myself I did not know was there. I am so happy that I have found this and will continue to build on it each day. I plan on joining clubs, something I didn’t think I would do. Clubs that may or may not seem appealing, just because I want to know more about the people I associate with. It was my goal at the beginning of the class to learn about communication and how to approach new experiences. I have learned methods on how to do this. Now it is time to apply those methods and learn more about this beautiful country we live in, and the people
Intersession: Final Journal Assignment: Race and Ethnicity
Looking back at everything I have learned this semester is eye-opening. We covered so much but I feel like I just barely scratched the surface. I loved sociology more than I thought I would have and hope to at least read a few more sociology books. It is so interesting how people can think based on how they grew up, where and with who. It’s amazing how some people even if they know something is right will conform to the group just to fit in. Is that a societal issue we still need to work on? Shouldn’t everyone embrace their individuality and be proud to show it off. Or does the media plan a bigger role in our everyday lives than education? I believe this course only further instilled in me to stand up for what I think is right for as many as possible, instead of it benefitting a few. I love that I always try to see everything from multiple different sides, and this course gave me, even more, to think about.
This course has taught me a lot about myself and changed the way I look at a lot of the information I was taught growing up in high school. I am going to join anti-sexism and racism sites and inform my friends about ways women and African Americans are discriminated aginst. In addition, I am going to fight against lobbyists in Political Action Committees, who corrupt elections and appease false interest that is not of the people, rather of the powerful elite who pay for it. This is unfair to our nation as we are a democracy and rely on the voice of the people to make decisions. It’s ironic how a nation where there is supposed to be a freedom of speech and expression is being controlled by a small group with profits in mind.
I am going to start by changing the way I look at things and try to see the negative hidden behind the good. This will expand my view of things and prevent me from getting tunnel vision. I would use functional analysis to explain why society needs to work as a whole unit of interrelated parts and not against each other. As much as I want to do all this alone, it is needed to come together because only together are we strong and divided we are weak.
Another key element I have learned was how connected everything truly is. Every aspect of our society: racism, the economy, educational systems, technology, socioeconomic status and far beyond all thrive and function based on one another. This forces me to realize now that my treatment of issues I encounter must take into account the larger picture. I hope I am able to navigate my life and any problems thrown at me with more knowledge and understanding of why something happened and how I can solve it effectively and respectfully.
Ultimate, I would consider myself a conflict theorist. It is unfortunate that human nature forces so much conflict upon us, however with an increased understanding of human behavior we can, as a society work together to counteract these behaviors and create an environment that provides security and opportunity to everyone. We cannot work based on the individual but must work for the group in order to function as a society.
This class has made me use critical thinking more than any other class. I enjoy sharing my thoughts often and I would get frustrated in high school when I wasn’t allowed to. This class has also taught me a lot about the many different struggles of people from different backgrounds as mine. I rarely pay attention to news from different countries or things that I don’t this, though they may seem like good things at first, they only lead to discrimination against entire groups of people based on just one or two people of the group.
Social stereotypes, even ones that seem positive, never end well. They categorize people and create negative thinking. People in a place of privilege need to take advantage of their privilege and speak up for equality. Society is very easily manipulated by people in power and things they hear others say and if people in power start preaching equality, they could just make the world a better place for everyone.
After taking this course I feel more informed and educated on social matters in the world in a broader sense. Although I found most of the topics that were discussed ones that I am familiar with, this class has opened my eyes to these topics in a different way than I had known them before.
Coming out of this class I believe that I will have a new viewpoint on how I am viewing what is going on around me. When I look at the news, I will be looking at it from a perspective that considers everyone involved as opposed to how it just effects myself. When I am going about my daily tasks, I will be doing the same, as well as thinking of the past and how it allowed me to be where I am today.
To be honest I didn’t know what to expect from this class when I signed up. I had to take the class in order to play baseball so I’d be lying if I told you that I signed up just to be smart and get some of my credit requirements out of the way. Coming into the class I wasn’t being very positive, me being a person who had a hard time going to my normal one hour classes found it very hard to believe I’d be able to go and sit through a six-hour class.
Now that I’ve told you about my thoughts going into the class I should tell you that taking this intersession class was one of the best decisions of my life. My teacher Professor Chambers was one of the best teachers I’ve had to this day, she made the class much more tolerable.
Now onto the subject of sociology, I knew nothing about sociology. I knew it was in a way similar to psychology. With help from Professor Chambers, she taught the class everything we needed to know from sociologists to the issues within our society. Overall I’m very happy I decided to take this class.
This class has given me a greater perspective on how one person can affect society, how society can affect an individual and how society changes and evolves. I think I will look at world events, both past and present with better understanding. I will have a better understanding of the climate of local social events and interactions in communities small social networks, sports, college, family groups and even friendships with a deeper perspective and understanding. I do believe everyone would benefit classes that helped them understand human nature, social development of a society or an individual. By studying examples of breakdowns within society (Columbine) and self-exploring how this applies in our own lives taught me that each of us really are like a stone thrown in the water, causing a ripple. I will use what I have learned to help influence others in a positive way and I am more motivated to continue similar studies.
This class changed my thinking on many subjects, as well as inspired me to change the minds of others. So much information was thrown at me that it has been difficult to process how all aspects of our society are intertwined and create our cultural environment. We are a vastly complex society that constantly creates and solves problems, based almost entirely off of the human condition and how predictable human behavior can be. Sociologists use the multiple perspectives on humanity to decipher our intricate societies and can go as far as using this knowledge to mend problems we have created.
One of the major things I took away from this class was the importance of making an attempt to understand other points of view besides my own. It is easy to get caught up in our own beliefs, especially if you have been raised your entire life believing one ideology is inherently correct. I consider myself to have an open mind and get easily frustrated/flustered with those who are not as willing to think about other ideologies. I was raised in a very tolerant and accepting environment, and struggle to understand those who were not. I found this most evident while watching the Affirmative Action debate video. I thought about that video the entire rest of the day, and attempted to construct a mentality that would allow me to understand both sides of the argument, as I found myself leaning heavily in support of affirmative action. It is impossible to now truly what the solution is, and we must take into account everyone’s views in order to reach a socially accepted compromise, allowing our society to progress further in its values of racial, educational and economic equality.
Another key element I learned was how connected everything truly is. Every aspect of our society: racism, the economy, educational systems, technology, socioeconomic status and far beyond all thrive and function based on one another. This forces me to realize now that my treatment of issues I encounter must take into account the larger picture. I hope I am able to navigate my life and any problems thrown at me with more knowledge and understanding of why something happened, and how I can solve it effectively and respectfully.
Ultimately, I would consider myself a conflict theorist. It is unfortunate that human nature forces so much conflict upon us, however with an increased understanding of human behavior we can, as a society, work together to counteract these behaviors and create an environment that provides security and opportunity to everyone. We cannot work based on the individual but must work for the group in order to function as a society.
The number one thing is that this class was very interesting when I’m done with my first degree is to pursue a sociology degree in sociology. In class, I learned that societies have structure. Many people behave according to their social class. /The legal justice system, the education system, and so on create rules and expectation that guide individual choices and behaviors. To fully understand someone you need to go back to their past family history, community and which social class they came from. Societies create categories of people. People are divided into groups based on gender, class, sexual orientation, and nationality to name a few.
Sometimes our society oppresses some groups in the United States. Some people have better education, healthcare, etc while others struggle for equal access.
Even though this was a shortened class, I learned a ton from it. I think you did a great job of squeezing a lot of information in but also not overwhelming us at the same time. I really enjoyed the class and found the topics very interesting.
I said before how I took a class in high school on sociology and I do not remember a little bit from it but I learned so much more in this class that I would ‘ve never known about before. I plan on continuing my studies in spring. I think what I learned in this class will be very helpful.
I plan to expand my awareness by just reading more about the topics. I always have my phone and it would probably take five minutes a day just to read an interesting article I think what I learned in this class will be very helpful.
I plan to expand my awareness by just reading more about the topics. I always have my phone and it would probably take five minutes a day just to read an interesting article, I think I could definitely use more knowledge to know why and where they happened. I want to be a part of knowing why communities or groups rebel or go against their leaders, I want to know when people are treated unfairly.
I think it is definitely important I continue to do these things so I can learn more about other social groups and things happening across the country. I didn’t know about racism and sexism and every other ism that is really happening not only in other countries but our own. I don’t want to be naive to these things anymore, I don’t want to think that our country is improving and was doing such great things when in reality there are still people suffering and need help.
This class definitely made me want to understand more groups, communities, and religions. I think it’d be interesting to learn why they believe so strongly in something and who it effects them. I think everyone has the right to their own beliefs and religions and no one is better than anyone else. We’re all just people on this earth and no one is inferior.
Final Reflections 2016
Initially, I came into this class, not knowing what to expect, or what sociology exactly was. I did not think I would be interested in any of the information. By the end of this course, I can say that I am happy that I was able to experience what this course had to offer. I have learned so much about the way society is run, not only in this country but all over the world. There are so many different perspectives that we see throughout the day to day living. Now, I realize that society has many ways of doing things. Things that may not always be the right thing. But the great thing about this course is that it makes you think about how to make the world a better place. It also makes you think about the world we live in today. Particularly the ideas of the symbolic interactionism, the functional analysis theory, and conflict there were amongst my favorite topics to learn about. To me, these perspectives almost reflect the way the human body works. For example, our body fights of disease (conflict theory), sends signals to and from the brain (symbolic interactionism), and all of the primary body functions (functional analysis). It is incredible to me how the two are intertwined. I want to become more educated about our society, so maybe I can make a difference in the world where things may be lacking. I can also say that you made the class a delightful experience. It is so clear that you love what you do, and that is always inspiring for young students. I want to thank you for the expertise and hope that one day our paths with cross again.
If you couldn’t already tell, this is not my best piece of work. I let my procrastination get the best of me and am now left with a half-finished journal of reflections. That being said, this class has genuinely inspired me to learn more about the sociological world. Coming into this class, I had some doubts about whether or not I would find it interesting, but from the very first day reading the interview with Marilyn Manson, I was intrigued. I find the whole concept of C. Wright Mills’ Sociological Imagination of the most mind-blowing things I’ve ever read. His words may be hard at first, but once you are able to break them down and understand them, you can see a beautiful and not nearly spoken enough about theory. Why do we let ourselves judge others for their actions and not by the situation? If I could, I would, without doubt, retake this class. This class opened my mind to a world that I once held concerns.
These past 6 weeks have taught me a lot. It has shown me the power an individual can have in the group. It has taught me that the intertwining relationship between political, social, and economics.
In the beginning, we talked about conflict, functionalist, and symbolic points of view. These helped throughout the class because we got an opportunity to look at each lecture through each one of these perspectives.
Through the discussions in class, I have an opportunity to learn from classmates. The first day I sat next to Rosie. She helped me throughout the course to see things from a different perspective. We even emailed back in forth a few times discussing lectures. In this class, I had the opportunity to learn from my peers, and it was a unique experience I enjoyed.
You a teacher introduced me to some concepts I never took the time to think about. The lecture, when we discussed crime and our justice system, introduced me to how flawed it is. It showed how people, due to circumstance, are given unequal chances. You helped elaborate on my ideology of blue and white collared crime. Through the way you taught me, I learned to look at things from different perspectives and to have an open mind.
All in all, it is an exciting ride taking this sociology course. I’ve learned quite a few things these past six weeks that I didn’t know before. What I’ll probably wind up choosing from this particular class and the most important thing I’ve learned is to gain perspective. To emphasize and try to understand what someone else is going through who don’t have the same, skin color, education, or attitude that I have. Cultural relativism, true cultural relativism not propagated for political reasons, is an understanding between people who just so happen to be from different cultures, Not an agreement, an understanding. When you see people doing things that seem weird, or dressing in odd ways, it’s all for a reason. There is a reason behind everything. Seeing a Muslim man unwilling to shank the aid of a woman may seem as aberrant rudeness at first glance, but in reality, it is the modesty of his faith which makes him refuse to touch her hand I fear of making her seem indecent.
When I think of understanding and the reality of human nature of today’s society, I can’t help but think of what I’ve read about Dr. Thomas Szasz, and his thoughts on how deviant people act are not based on mental illness, but of the individual’s particular experiences in life that in life that dictate one’s behavior. People who had a family member who was a belligerent drunk may later in life refuse to drink alcohol. Not to seem like a pride, come off snobbish or have higher morals than others, but to know having seen what alcohol does and want to keep their wits about them all at times.
I thoroughly enjoyed what little time I spent in your class and much appreciated our conversations. Sociology is not, as you may have realized from my previous entries, something that I subscribe to. If I could only pick one ideology to follow, it would be Newtonian Physics; for the laws of that field are indeed infallible. With that said my eyes had softened t the idea summarized as a series of equations. This has occurred in other courses, such as my economics class that I took this semester.
My biggest takeaway from these past six weeks is the people. The sociologists and their theories, my classmates and their perspectives and the people who I know see in a new found light; considering the stress placed on them from their environment more and their misguided reactions less. We are all people, and sociology is an invaluable piece in furthering my understanding of the world around me, I say this with all sincerity; I am indebted to you and thank you very much.
As I reflect on this 6-week summer session, I am happy I decided to take this course. Being an older student, I have seen and faced many issues in my life, and this course has helped me gain a better understanding of myself, as well as others. This course has familiarized me with the terminology, theories, and perspectives it takes for me to think critically about society and continue to learn and grow in my life as well as my career. Many of the issues in society were already familiar to me, but being able to apply my thoughts and perspectives and understand where they come from and which theories I favor and why is a pretty cool discovery for me. Of course, it helped to have such a passionate professor willing to share knowledge rather than just teach, and I plan on expanding on this course at another state university in the fall.
Overall during my time in sociology, I learned about how we think and why we view the world the way we do. I got the chance to get an insight into many questions that I had, such as where our opinions come from and what makes our personalities unique. In this course, we touched upon subjects that I did not expect. Social change and how nature and nurture helped to raise who we are today. I learned how to play a better role in my community, along with how to communicate with others. The examples that we learned help me to get a better understanding of life and how sociology contributes to the videos that we saw in class was also a useful tool for me because I am a visual learner. I couldn’t believe that something as simple as our culture and where we come from was all aspects of the study of sociology. Also, this class was very different from my others because it had me think about how everything works in today’s society. It was certain things I didn’t know about. For example, the little girl that was found in the wild and how she was not able to speak English or walk like humans. She was raised and nurtured by dogs, and her behavior represents the behavior of dogs.
Final Journal Assignment
According to all my reflection journals, what I have learned in this course was the three perspectives in sociology: functional analysis, symbolic interaction, and conflict theory.
I plan to expand my awareness, and what I have learned when I major in Africana studies and when I travel to Africa, I will have a better perspective on different cultures and social norms in their society. Sociology helps me with Africana studies because sociology examines different social classes and different cultures. I think it is important because people in our community need to have a better understanding of people’s way of life-based on culture, religion, race, and ethnicity rather than being closed-minded.
My thoughts and knowledge on sociology
Before taking this class, I was skeptical and was not sure what to expect. Being as I have only taken psychology classes, I wasn’t sure what sociology would be about. When you google “define sociology,” the definition: “the study of the development, structure, and functioning of human society” comes up. But it is so much more than that. The science breaks down every little part of human life and comes up with explanations for each based on what is happening during that particular period. It uses empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a common knowledge about social order, disorder, and change.
Basic sociology studies and analyzes aspects of society to gain knowledge. Applied Sociology is implementing solutions to solve problems in society. Being an active reformer is crucial for applied sociology. Public Sociology serves a middle ground between just research and reform.
My favorite thing to learn about was the theoretical perspectives in sociology, which include symbolic interactionism shows how symbols are constant throughout life. They are things we attach meaning to and are vital to understanding how we view the world and communicate with one another. Functionalism shows society as a whole unit made up of interrelated parts that work together. The conflict theory shows society as groups that are competing with one another for power. These theories were fascinating to me, and I can see myself applying with I have learned in this class to my everyday life.
Thinking back on my experiences during this short six-week session, I am happy that I had the opportunity to take this course. I am leaving with so much more than I ever thought. The exciting thing is how sociology was able to relate to things happening outside of the classroom. The chapter in the text that sociological perspective was a great introduction it revolved around the history of sociology, which is essential to see how far research has come. The sociologist that made this subject possible, and the struggles that they went throughout their lives is important to note. Historically, change is usually met with resistance, and it’s nice to see that hard work pay off. Sociological Imagination revolves around the idea of individuals can be understood if you know their context in history. For example, unemployment is a terrible thing to go through, but usually, there is a bigger picture that many are unaware of without realizing the influence of corporate and government interference.
Finding your place within society is all about the Sociological Imagination, and I am looking forward to expanding my sociological perspective even more. It is evident that something needs to be done, but the first step would be the realization. The second step I would say is getting together with other like-minded people to do something about it and embrace the idea of social change. I feel like a large part of why things do not change because the view of the world is too big. What I mean is the world is nothing but a bunch of individuals at the core of it all, and we make up the world and are responsible for the changes or lack of changes that take place.
Reflections and Reflections – Robert
Being in an Engineering program this class was an elective. I wasn’t really looking forward to taking, especially during winter break. I needed these credits to be able to graduate on time in May. My girlfriend and father recommended I take this course because it was fun. I can honestly say that I did have fun and my mind was opened up to various new ideas and forms of thinking. I didn’t realize that there were words for the ways that I felt and thought about society. I didn’t realize that my critical thinking towards how society has come to this point was making me think like a sociologist.
Now that I have all this new knowledge about sociology and society I find the most important thing that I will be taking away from this class is that I feel sociology should be used for the advancement of society. We should all take this knowledge and apply it to our society so we can have better society so we can have better solutions for the problems we face today. The more critical thinkers we have working for the solutions to our problems the better the solutions we can come up with.
My favorite part of the course was the topic of the Harvard debate on Affirmative Action because it got me thinking more than any other topic. I could have written a book on my reasons of the pros and cons of Affirmative Action and still not been able to pick a side of the debate that I agreed with. Morally I wouldn’t want Affirmative Action because I pride myself on my hard work and dedication to my field of study, not just the color of my skin or my ethnic background. In the same breath I also need to admit that out of all ethnic groups Blacks have never received reparations for slavery. So this topic I believe one of the best topics covered in this class by far because I really had to think hard to find my own personal answer which usually doesn’t happen to often.
I originally as you may remember went to college at SUNY Potsdam where I studied Environmental Studies. I’m currently all finished up there, but sadly I was one credit short of graduating. That was the primary reason I took this course, but when I was checking to see what course were available at HVCC, Sociology did catch my eye immediately. I have never taken a sociology course in my life. In fact I honestly didn’t even know what exactly sociology was until you explained it to us on the first day of class. While this winter course was short, I feel as though I learned a great amount of information in a very short time span. All of the topics we talked about, from socialization, to politics and the economy were truly fascination. We live in a current day and age where I feel as though many people don’t ask enough questions why certain things are because they are, or why people do things they do. I feel as though sociology helps to bring a better understanding to why society is a certain way, and why people act a certain way. Life can be very complex, and every day there is a constant battle between good people and bad people, good actions and bad actions. If one were to study sociology, the world would definitely better understand this reality and possibly want to make a change in the world.
While I did enjoy most of the class lecturers and found all of them to be highly intriguing, the topic/debate I enjoyed the most was the nature vs. nurture lecture. I feel as though this came up a lot during this course, and for good reason. People have been arguing what truly makes a human being, is it nature or nurture, for years. In this class many individuals were looked at in this debate in the hopes of trying to decide what makes someone who they are, or why they act a certain way. We look at Columbine specifically, because there has been a huge debate on why the shooters committed such a terrible crime. In this case, I believe that there were many reasons as too why they did it, but I also believe that they were generally evil. I think everyone is a combination of their genetics, or nature, and the experiences they have with the people in the environment around them, or nurture. In life, I truly believe some people are good human beings, and some are bad human beings. That is just the reality of life. I would like to thank you for teaching this course, you definitely opened my eyes to many new topics, and learned a great deal of knowledge from all the lectures. Take care and I hope you have a great future!
In short: THIS CLASS ROCKED! SOCIOLOGY ROCKS! PROFESSOR CHAMBERS ROCKS1
Jennifer Celella Summer 2015
Coming into the class I wasn’t expecting to learn so much, however, I was blown away by how much I learned in such a short span. I say this class is not just sociology because it had to do with the way in which it was taught. I never really questioned the way in which things were in society until after taking this course, I have learned that everything is society is built on some type of structure. For example, it seems quite simple now, but the thought that pink is for girls and blue is for boys I really never thought to question that. I believed that’s just how things are; but no that not the truth, that’s an example of the structure that was created and not necessarily right. I begin to look at everything that way and it brought me to race. Growing up it doesn’t matter what race you are, you are taught that blacks are essentially the worst of them all, but the truth is all humans are one race. The structure of slavery has put all black in an inferior position and I didn’t quite get that. I even learned the self-hatred paradigm, which blacks having low self-esteem or even hating their own group because they are often taught that their group is less. The truth of the matter is we still have long way to go to break that structure of blacks not being as equal or any other minority groups. When I feel that, something may not be right, I look at two things; am I just believing in the structure of society and if I was in the position would I do. I also found that there really is two sides of a story and each individual have a different perspective. A debate that confirmed that for me is when we were discussing the confederate flag and whether we should get rid of it. I understood but side, to many the flag stood for hatred and believed it was best to get rid of, while others view it as southern pride and wanted to keep it around. It’s important to be knowledgeable on both sides before making any decisions and I believe that has made me more aware. Real change is not just about be aware of what’s going on around you but to also help in some way or another to make society better. Using the final perspective is the best way of uniting people. These things almost seem as common sense but I believe we lose a bit of that when we try to conform to society. Walking away for the course, I am ready to tackle the world with my newfound knowledge.
The first journal would be as thick as all the journal entries I have made so far. I have learned about the pioneers of sociology and social reform. I have learned about the main three perspectives of sociology, how to apply them and the importance of each. I have learned to try to understand what makes men or women tick without judgment or prejudice. I have learned what true intelligence is.
I will never stop learning about the American culture and I will never stop trying to understand the way in which people function flow through this world. I have learned that I am a true social reformer and I have learned that there is no higher calling. I have met the most awesome people in this class. I already have and plan to continue to share what I have learned with those who would hear.
Thanks to Professor Chambers, I have learned an excellent teaching style that integrated reading, media, visuals and class contribution into a fully immersed learning environment. I have seen that when you expect the best you receive the best. I will never forget the experience of this class and will carry the lessons I have learned all the days of my life.
Shikira Angelo – Summer 2015
Throughout the course, I have learned so much about sociology some of the key concepts were how to analyze any subject matter on the macro/micro level while also taking either the symbolic /functionalist/conflict point of view. I find it extremely interesting to now be able to analyze social events from these different perspectives.
One of the best things about this class was that everyone was urged to discuss their thoughts on any given topic, this gave me so much insight on different ways any given topic could be seen or thought of and I loved that.
With these new topics in mind, I don’t think I will be able to stop myself from integrating them into my everyday thought about societal events, and I am sure that change will expand my awareness even further. It is important that I do this because as the book defines society: a group of people who share a culture and territory, I find it important to be more aware and display “cultural relativism” toward the many cultures that I interact with on a daily basis.
Leah Silva – Summer 2015
How much can you really learn in 6 weeks compared to an entire semester? I’ll tell you what you can learn a lot more than you think. Before this class, I had never taken anything related to sociology. Learning about the sociological perspective and sociological imagination while studying topics such as social interaction, deviance and social control and most of all race and religion really helped me to open my mind a little and better understand where others come from and how they think. I now understand that not everyone is like me, they don’t have the same upbringing and experiences as I did and we aren’t going to think or act the same. While I somewhat knew that before now I have a better understanding of exactly what that entails and it’s allowed me to be a more open-minded individual like you. I cannot stress enough the impact you had on my education during these last 6 weeks. Not only did your exquisite attitude everyday make the class enjoyable and make me want to be there, but it also allowed me to respect you more as a person and a teacher, which I always found to help me learn better. Nobody wants to learn from a jerk or someone who is so monotone they put to sleep! I also think the fact that you are such a well-rounded individual helped me to look at things differently, you are so open to new ideas and beliefs, you participate in so many diverse clubs and organizations that I certainly believe show your professionalism and shows that you care about everyone regardless of race, religion or other factors. You believe in “equal opportunity for all genders and ethnicities” and I respect that. After taking your class, I want to save my money and take a trip to a foreign country where I am not as comfortable such as Iraq or Iran to expand my understanding of other cultures and show my friends and people around me that we are all humans and that we aren’t as different as we think. I don’t think there are enough people like you professor Chambers and I think there needs to be. Maybe if we all were a little like you there wouldn’t be so much hate in this world.
Anthony Girgenti – Summer 2015
When I first signed up to take sociology I thought it was going to be a boring class, each Tuesday and Thursday dragging on and me being bored out of my mind. Boy, was I wrong! Professor Chambers was a very engaging professor. A very eccentric individual, she used a variety of educational tools to teach us about the fundamentals of sociology. It was a very refreshing style of teaching that she implemented, far more exhilarating then the cookie cutter style of teaching that I was accustomed to. Using relevant examples from today’s world, mixing it with power points and media from YouTube and other sources she was able to create a classroom environment like no other. She doesn’t lecture in a monotone voice, or drag on in one long incredibly unbroken sentence moving from one topic another not letting anyone interrupt her chain of thought. She keeps it lively with different voce infections, and she includes everyone from the class to weight an opinion. This was very refreshing to me due to my previous schooling experiences. Teachers or professors would normally dag on, read line by line from a book, expect that that was an effective means of learning, and were not around to assist outside of class hours. Professor Chambers is a very approachable person and if I had any issue, or any classmate had an issue, she would find time to assist you. This was amazing to me. If I ever have the honor of having her as a professor again, I would jump at the opportunity to do so. She was just a very engaging individual.
The subject matter that really stood out to me was how to interact with different cultures. The 10 ways to judge a culture was very educational for me, and I believe this should be taught in all colleges and perhaps high schools. If these techniques for understanding different cultures were introduced into our society I believe that society in general would be much more understanding about other people. Another thing I learned was the difference between counterculture and subcultures. When I began the class, I thought all cultures that weren’t mainstream we subcultures and I was quite wrong! I learned the differences and I believe I’m more tolerant of subcultures and now pay more attention to countercultures. Dependent upon what they stand for, sometimes countercultures can bring on societal change that is long overdue. I plan on going out in the world with a more open frame of mind, applying what I learned here in class to learn about different peoples and their heritages. I will attempt to be more conscientious about societal issues as well. This class has shown me that although we have made some strides in achieving a more harmonious culture there is still a lot more to be done when it comes to equality. There are too many people from too many backgrounds that are still mistreated, still victimized and still treated unequal in the eyes of the law these social injustices need to be addressed and fixed. If we can put a man on the moon, develop a space vehicle that can fly all the way to Pluto and beyond we can surely find a way to make society a more just and equal place for all.
Theodore Snyder Summer 2015
“The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing.” – Socrates
This is and was one of the most enlightening courses I have taken throughout my educational journey. I enjoyed your teaching. It was very refreshing, thought-provoking and captivating. Through your great diligence and zeal, I can honestly say I have a much better understanding of the world. I wholeheartedly believe for everyone to change their perceptions about many of the ills affecting today’s society. I have acquired a wealth of knowledge that I would never have received from many libraries or databases, it would empower me to pass on some of this information to friends, and family learning about the origin of humankind will always resonate with me along with the institution called racism.
From this moment forward, I will always question anything that does not make sense. I will not allow people or the media to shape my thought process without supporting facts that are coherent. I must admit I had not known the true and intimate details of American History and the little that I knew was all basic brainwash. With the school systems in NYC, I believe that children are deprived from learning the truth about how the country was formed and how it rose to such prominence. Also, I accept responsibility for not taking time to reaching and educating myself instead ion focusing on other things that did not matter or that were not beneficial. We are spoon-fed information that the government and powers in charge want us to know instead of revealing the truth. I am thankful for many of the technologies and social media outlets we have today because there is plenty of available topics and researchable information available to the public, and also this information can be shared and discussed. Your class was not politically correct which I found to make things more comfortable to discuss. It gave others a platform to express themselves thoroughly. When my children of age and are ready to attend college I will make sure they take sociology class so they can see to what is around them.
Thank you very much for helping me to see things differently. This enlightenment from your class was similar to Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave.” Now because of you, I can honestly say like Rene Descartes, “I think therefore I exist.”
Florentina Vorvolakaos – Summer 2015
I was NOT looking forward to taking a sociology class. Now I am so grateful I did. I will be forever grateful to Professor Chambers, for inspiring me to not only speak my mind but to do without fear of ridicule. I have a better understanding of what I have been through, what I am going through currently, and what I go through in the future being much more prepared with this new found knowledge and even more capable of helping others. I now have an appreciation for sociology instead of indifference towards it.
The culture lecture has encouraged me to continue to adhere to my personal values and to encourage others through y current position as a tutor. I will also do everything I can to help others, according to Cooley’s “Looking-Glass-Self”, maintain a healthy self-image that others will interpret in a positive fashion. We should all feel love, kindness, and respect from one another instead of bullying and hatred. My life has consisted of a great change in social class from birth to teen and will undergo an even greater change in adulthood, once I become a doctor. My parent’s hard work and unselfish ways have allowed them to live out their dreams, all the while helping others. I have followed in their image and look forward to how many others will be able to help once I achieve that next shift in social class.
My ultimate goal, as I mentioned in the journal entry on sociological perspective, is to help others break free from the stigmas of society and achieve their cultural goals with institutional means .
Sandy Marsh Summer 2015
This class was a lot more interesting than I had anticipated, the lectures, videos, and diverse discussions. In most classes, a student’s point of view is wrong because the instructor is teaching a subject in lack of better words, black and white. A business class, numbers are right or wrong. Economics, world studies, though the numbers may change from year to year, the statistical standpoint remains the same. This class help to enlighten me on subjects such as race, prejudice, the differences in peoples personal views and how thy shape societal views.
I particularly enjoyed our open debates, though I think you and I are mire ale by wanting to play by a story, yours, mine, and the truth. Too many people are not willing to open their eyes and their r mind to the reality that there is not just one path to enlightenment. I want to experience as many of these paths as possible, and this class helped me to an ember that just because I can cut the cheese with a knife, there are many there ways to enjoy eating just ask Anthony.
All joking aside, this has been one of my favorite classes here at HVCC, I hope to remember to bring the open-mindedness that you have helped me reclaim forward. To look at people as individuals within a whole, not a whole as an individual, and that society needs to open its eyes to the fact that we here in the United States, the greatest nation on earth, the “melting pot” of the world, we have people from every walk of life, and we are all “created equal”.
In the words of one of the greatest authors to ever live, Dr. Suess,
“a person’s a person no matter how tall, a person’s a person no matter how small”
So professor Chambers, thank you or your words of wisdom and insight into our society as a whole. I look forward to possibly taking another class of yours someday.
Stephen Beaulieu – Summer 2015
After taking sociology with Professor Chambers, I am walking away from this course with new perspectives of the world in addition to new perspectives of different issues around the world. On the first day of class when Prof. Chambers introduced herself and gave the class a brief overview of the material we would be covering during the semester, it was obvious to me and everyone else in the class that she was passionate and knowledgeable. I was excited to wake up and attend an 8:00 am. class, which I never thought I would say. Prof. Chambers used many different methods of teaching to tend to different learning styles. Some of the methods that she used were short video clips, movies, journal articles, guest speakers, lectures, and personal experiences. It was a very interactive class, which was great! The sociological journal that all students were tasked with writing in throughout the course not only made students practice their writing skills, responding to each section every week made students reflect on the topic and made me personally think critically about each section. I had such a wonderful sixteen weeks learning about sociology. I recommend everyone take this class. Thank you, Professor Chambers, you truly are an inspiration.
Patricia Early – 2014
I think the thing that helped me the most was watching videos on subjects and hearing the professor explain things through personal experiences and class discussions that included hearing other people’s experience thoughts/opinions. I was able to really understand the important details of each chapter. This class opened my eyes to how society works, different cultures and important things going on within the world that I didn’t even know was going on, or I did and didn’t know much about. The journals were easy to do and easy to keep up on.
Amber Douglas – 2014
I really enjoyed learning sociological perspective, culture, socialization, social class, and all the materials that we covered in class. I never knew about symbolic interactionist, conflict theorist, and functionalist and how they are different in seeing each topic. It was also fun to find which theory for each topic and understand and other views of it. I think this sociology class enhanced my view generally and enhanced my knowledge to view the world. Now I can use this knowledge to understand other people better without being annoyed. It was hard for me to understand perfectly because I am from South Korea and not perfect at English. However, I was able to compare the United States system on each topic, which was also fun. I want to say thank you for the energy that you bring into the class and hope you spend well in Christmas and New Year. Thank you so much.
Kwan Jin Lim – 2014
I thought this was a very good class. I learned a lot from it, and the YouTube clips were very effective. I find that having visual aids for learning information makes the process easier to remember key concepts. I really enjoyed the Rosa Parks video and learning about the civil rights movement, because it wasn’t taught much in my high school. I didn’t realize the bus boycott was so elaborate. I also liked learning how various topics related to sociology, such as why people do what they do and how historical events have effects on modern day events.
Nicholas Dottino – 2014
All in all, I am glad that I took this course and it helped to enlighten me of a lot of the social issues and beliefs that go on in our current world. It also gave a better understanding of how t macro and micro level of interactions occur. I have a better knowledge of how the theories of the sociological forefathers have been made valid and to the point about our current society. I will take what I have learned and use it in my career to have a different view on how people react in society as a whole. I am going to be a drug and alcohol counselor, so obviously this will help me to understand my clients better.
Chad Foster – 2014
This semester in Sociology has really changed the way that I view the world and the people around me. My favorite lecture was Socialization because I found it so interesting that the feral children lived with dogs and growled and everything. The debate of nature versus nurture really caught my attention when we watched the video of the monkey running back in forth from the cloth mother and the wire mother with the food. I enjoyed this class because I was not being talked at and instead the discussions got everybody involved and it was always nice to hear opinions from other people in the class. Also for an 8 o’clock class, I was able to pay attention and participate because of Professor Chambers teaching method of videos and powerpoints. I am going to take away from this class the three perspectives because now in my everyday life I noticed how those perspectives are taking place. It was a pleasure taking your class
Rachel Baker – 2014
Teaching Style – Student Centered: Energetic, Inspiring and Passionate
Teaching Style – Student Centered: Energetic, Inspiring and Passionate
I have really learned a lot in this class throughout the semester. The three main theories, micro, and macro really stood out to me because they were things I had never really heard of before. The most import thing I am taking from this class is that not all college professors drone on and only know their students’ name (hardly). You showed me that there are professors that do care about their students and about their opinions. Sociology was the only class I took this semester where my professor asked me what my opinions were. You were also the only professor who really cares about me as more than just a student and it really means a lot to me that I have a special place in your heart.
Lexi Hoag – 2014
I found this class very interesting, and very powerful. The way that you explained the topics for discussion rather than just assigning reading and moving to the next chapter really helped me. Although I am an introvert, it is very beneficial for me to have a teacher that encourages group discussions and collective thinking. Possible it is because Sociology is more difficult of a subject than others, but regardless I am extremely happy that I decided to enroll in your class. I also admire your strong work ethic. Seeing the amount of activities associations you are involved in is very encouraging and motivations. Thank you for everything that you have done for me and my class. You are without a doubt one of the best, most involved teacher I have ever had.
Jacqueline Ross – 2014
I have to say that when I started this class I wasn’t very excited or very happy to be taking it because everyone told me sociology was boring and a lot of big words that didn’t make any sense. However, when the class finally started and I saw you as the teacher and how you taught my whole perspective changed about sociology. I loved the class and I love the way that you teach because most professors just come into class read off a powerpoint or a book and that’s it but you interact with your students and are willing to work one on one. For that, I think made me really love the class. Yes, at times I still struggle with certain things about understanding sociology, but over all you are an amazing teacher and I’m very lucky and grateful to have got to work with you this semester. Thank you so much for an awesome semester Professor Chambers
Bianca Rambidis – 2014
Being involved in this course this semester has really opened up my eyes. When I first walked into class, I just figured that we were going to be talking about human interaction. But we went farther than that. I had no idea that there are sociological theories that can be taken on when viewing a topic based on human actions. I actually find myself applying silent which theory I would use to view something differently. Inside my head, I’m thinking “functionalist, conflict, or symbolic interactionist? Which one would give me a broader outcome; which one could the other person be looking at from.” It’s a great feeling to walk out of a course and actually feel enlightened by it. I also really enjoyed my instructor’s enthusiasm about topics. (Your personality made it easier to dive into the topics we covered.)
I enjoyed hearing other opinions in class. In most cases, they help my way of thinking to think more critically on topics. In some classes open discussion does not happen and you leave, the class closed-minded and one directed. I hope more of my classes from here on out involve more of the instructor asking her student’s questions during class rather than just getting the over with quickly.
It saddens me to think that this semester is over, but another will soon begin. I just hope I have as a good as a teacher as I have had this fall semester.
Samantha Kane – 2014
I mean it when I honestly say that you are one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. I always love attending class every day; your warm smile brightened our dullest days. The environment of our class was always very relaxed in the regard that we all felt comfortable to speak and ask questions for we knew you truly cared about our opinion. The dynamic in our class was offset, yet perfect. I know you truly mean it when you say that you care about your students and when you helped Devonne to get her job it spoke volumes about how great of professor and person you are. In regards to the class, I had never taken sociology before and this class has taught me to read into the aspects of life that I used to never question. As Joe and Anthony said today in class, that they now think about the three sociological perspectives in real life. I agree because I notice myself doing the same thing. Having you as a professor and taking, this class has truly changed how I will see individuals, groups, history and life itself. Not only do you know sociology like the back of your hand I noticed that you are extremely educated in other subjects such as history. You’re very knowledgeable and that’s such an accomplishment and is part of why you’re such a great professor. Having you this semester has truly been a wonderful experience, I learned a lot and met a great teacher, but more importantly a truly wonderful woman.
Love you Tamu!
Kaitlyn Bonventre – 2014
This class has been an amazing experience, from start to finish. Having already studied various parts of sociology, and through critical thinking, I had created in my own mind sociological theories. Learning that many of three different theories have been greatly detailed by previous sociologists was exciting. I was able to learn about these different theories more –in-depth, leaving me with a further appreciation of the subject. I was also able to apply principles from the study of psychology, as a means of better understanding of how people interact on a micro level. As the semester draws to an end, I am sad that I will no longer attend a Sociology class, at least until the next school year. However, I will be leaving with a revived interest in writing. The journals helped immensely with this, as I was required to put my critical thoughts down on paper, expressing them in words. Undoubtedly, higher level Sociology is in my future. After my Bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management, a jump from Computer Information Systems, I plan on attending a university where I will be able to earn a Doctorate in Sociology or Sociological Studies.
Thank you, Professor Chambers
I really enjoyed this course and was one of my top two for the semester. I know I didn’t say much but I was there almost every day and listening to you and what everyone had to say. I know knowing this stuff is very important to everyone. Thank you, Professor Chambers
Edward Kane – 2014
I am so glad that I took this class with professor Chambers. I took Sociology previously in the fall of 1999 and the experience was very different. It was very quiet and boring with no interaction between the instructor and my other classmates. The teacher was not enthusiastic at all like professor Chambers is. Enthusiasm is what is going to get students interested, and which is probably I received a D in the class and had to retake it. So the instructor and the way they teach makes a huge difference. This class was a lot of fun, and I like how professor Chambers gave us plenty of opportunities to earn extra credit. This class has impacted me in that now and probably for the rest of my life. I will wonder if other people have similar or different backgrounds than my own. If they struggled or had, things handed to them. When out in public I will reflect on the class discussion on how people don’t always have the same opportunities as others depending on their background, where they are from, their family, income and social status. I have also learned how important it is to make a good first impression. Of all of life’s obstacles and setbacks, those are a few things that are out of your control.
Jessica Weeks – 2014
In conclusion, to this class I would just like to point out how much I truly enjoyed it and took away from it. This class opened my mind concerning all aspects of life. I think sociology makes you think outside the realms of basic assumption and gives you a new sense of depth. I honestly think sociology should be a required course for all students because the knowledge you gain is essential to communicating and understanding the world around you. No one is the same and the class informs you on why, and how to relate to people even though they are different than you.
I really enjoyed the unit on crime, because it allowed you to sympathize with the underdog, the criminal. Today we are housing those who have stumbled in their lives instead of trying to help them back up again. I think this system is somewhat broken. Those who have the mindset of crime will continue to commit crimes because they haven’t had the intervention to know any differently. Many see crime as the only way to get by. If we as a society aren’t educating them on other opportunities to succeed, they will always rely on that. In my opinion, major forms are needed in this section of our government.
I also really enjoyed the unit on socialization. I liked how the lectures really pointed out that not everyone is how they may be perceived, and that they might even want to be viewed differently than from what they actually are. I think a lot of people attempt to hide their flaws, which is why such high standards are set for society. We should embrace our flaws and seek support on how to deal with them.
In general, I just really loved this class. My peers were very active in our discussions, and the teacher lead the class well in my opinion. The knowledge I gained in this class will and has been more useful than a lot of knowledge I’ve gained in other classes I believe. I’m pleased that I was offered to take this class and appreciate the new mindset I’ve gained from it.
Jessica Guss – 2014
The major thing I took away from this sociology class would have to be the greater understanding it helped me build regarding society as a whole. I now understand there are many different perspectives in regards to life. I also better understand how people might react to certain situations. I really enjoyed this class because there was so much I was able to take away from it. The opportunity I also had involving the Muslim student presentation was very useful too. That presentation taught me a very valuable life lesson. It is never wise or intelligent to chastise an entire organization for the actions of an individual.
Anonymous – 2014
Before this class, I never really knew what sociology was. I knew it had to do with people and their interactions with those around them and their role in society, but it’s actually so much more than that. The units we covered in class, I never would have related to sociology had I not taken the class, some of them seem obvious right now looking back, but I really had no idea the number of topics that play a role in sociology. I like that the class was a mixture of more than one learning style. Not only was it a lecture class where the professor informed us of what we would be learning, in the class, but the class has many opportunities to interact with in-group discussions. As me being shy and timid, I didn’t speak unless asked to, but I’ve always been that person to take information rather than discuss it. The videos shown in class really helped my understanding, just because I’m more of a visual learner than anything else. I like pictures and videos, which is one reason why I enjoyed going to lectures because I knew that I’d get to learn the way that I learn.
Alexa DeSormeau 2014
Like discussed in class, I have thoroughly enjoyed this class. It was nice to be able to look at human interactions and behavior in a more precise and educated manner. I’m glad that I will be walking away with a strong understanding of the sociological perspective and the ability to look at different daily interactions in a new way. Another important take away I have learned from this class is the understanding of other social classes and socioeconomic positions. I will be more likely to be more considerate to those around me because as you know, it is a privilege to seek higher education. I am fortunate to be where I am today and this class has helped me to appreciate more. I also appreciate the freedom you provided with assignments given. Overall, I loved this class and enjoyed gaining your insight on the subject.
Deven Swiergriel – 2014
The most important aspect of the material that was covered in class that I know for a fact that I will take out of these doors of Hudson Valley would have to be the three main perspectives when studying sociology. I was completely unaware of these three major concepts when study sociology. I didn’t even have the slightest of knowledge of the three. But now after many weeks in the wonderful classroom, I am simply an expert on the three. Those perspectives make up how society is viewed. All sociologist study from one of the three or a certain degree of one or more of them. But each and everyone one of them plays a major role in the formation of our social world.
Professor Chambers, you are a wonderful human being. Anthony and I will miss you very much. Have a wonderful break and a wonderful life. Thank you for the opportunity you gave us, it was truly inspiring. Thank you again so very much.
Joseph Weir IV – 2014
The class was simply awesome. Tamu Chambers is one of the best professors that I have had in college so far, and this is my second year. I learned a lot in this class, but I am so grateful I was put in such great interactive people. We learned and we laughed, we got through the class together. We learned so many terms, and learned about so many awesome people that have such interesting points of view and I am glad I got to do my presentation/paper on such a remarkable man in the form of Herbert Spencer. Thank you for being such a supportive amazing woman Tamu Chambers! If I have opportunity I would love to take another class with you!!
Anthony Santor III – 2014
This was the second time I had taken sociology after I had taken this class in my senior year of high school. Just how you notice and appreciate more things when you re-read a book and re-watch a movie there were a couple more things that I learned taking sociology the second time around, the most prominent being how the three perspective theories of sociology; functionalist, conflict theory and symbolic interactionist change the way we view and look at society. Because I was taking a philosophy class with a professor who was a former sociologist, someone who was heavily influenced by Marx and conflict theory the things learned in class were especially helpful in doing the work for the class. The three perspectives as well as the sociological perspective of C. Wright Mills and the collective consciousness of Emile Durkheim were helpful in not only philosophy and sociology but also helped me have better understand my other subjects in English Literature and History of Africa.
My favorite part of the course was the Who Am I presentation because I learned a lot more from the presentation than I would have if it was just a lecture or reading from the book. I really liked how everyone’s presentation was different but still taught the class in different ways.
Alessio Fasullo – 2014