December 9, 2008 My sociology course has only 10 students (a huge benefit of taking upper-level classes), and we sit around tables in a circle and talk for three hours every Thursday. We read a book for every class and relate it back to social theory. It's interesting, because while I took a sexuality course last semester (also with the same professor), this class is mainly about using sexuality as a lens through which to view social theory.
I have to admit, I was a little blown away in the beginning - sociology has a different way of looking at things, and I wasn't quite accustomed to it. It seems to be much more theory- based than psychology (where I've taken the majority of my classes). It's kind of the difference between looking at an individual's behavior (psychology) vs. everyone's behavior (sociology).
Someone is assigned to lead the group each week, which mostly requires the person to occasionally pose questions to keep the conversation moving (which it seems to do on its own, anyway). The discussion leaders often bring food to pass around, and always seem to relate it back to the subject at hand (e.g., Oreos can represent the integration of feminist and non-feminist theories). Sometimes it's a stretch, but we let it slide and just dive into the food.
The class is mostly made up of seniors, and it's a great group of very engaged, smart people. We've talk about the differences between sex and gender, the concept of identity, and distributions of power. Everyone in the class is very open-minded, and we get to joke around a bit in the relaxed, close-knit atmosphere. My last class will be on Thursday at my professor's house, and we're planning an elaborate fiesta (complete with a pinata, of course) for when we finish our work. All in all, it's been a fun, engaging class that I've worked hard at, but look forward to each week.