What is society, and why do we have it?
Humans are unique among living beings in the scale and complexity of our social formations. Through society, we make the worlds we live in – we cultivate identities, families, language,morality, governments, wealth,religions, and so forth. Society makes
these things and makes them meaningful; society can turn a piece of paper into money, and
money into something people will spend their lives pursuing. Thus, society can and must be
studied, and studied with all empirical tools available to researchers. This course, Social Inquiry,
provides an introductory survey to the questions and topics at the heart of the social sciences.
Unit one focuses on longstanding questions such as “what is human nature”, “why do we have
society in the first place?” and “do individuals make society, or does society make individuals?”,
while unit two explores specific topics of interest to social scientists. Some topics for inquiry
include: identity, gender and sexuality, economy, politics, inequality, family, law, and language.
This course is a required foundational course for the Social Studies major and may be of interest
to anyone fulfilling their exploratory requirements as well.

offering time

Fall 22


Social Studies


Ian Kalman



Course code


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