This course introduces the theories, questions, and issues that are the major concern of anthropology, psychology, and sociology. Students develop an understanding of the way social scientists approach the topics they study and the research methods they employ. Students are given opportunities to explore theories from a variety of perspectives and to become familiar with current theories on a range of issues researched by classical and contemporary social scientists in the three disciplines.
Unit 1 - Introduction to the Social Sciences
Unit 2 - Anthropology
This unit provides students with the opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding of the similarities and differences between the questions posed, methods used, and the results of the research of three social sciences. An introduction to anthropology should include such topics as a comparison between physical and cultural anthropology, a discussion of evolution and creation, and a comparison of humans to other primates from both physical and cultural anthropological perspectives. The activities that introduce psychology should include an examination of language, the human brain (reasoning, cognition), and theories on emotions and personality. Students again may compare the reasoning ability of other species to humans. The final topics of this unit should familiarize students with sociology. Defining groups, norms, rules, and values will form the basis of a comparison between human and animal groupings. Students also explore groups within their own lives.
Unit 3 - Psychology
This unit identifies and assesses the major influences that contribute to an individual’s personal and social development. This unit begins with an exploration of the acquisition of language, the ability to communicate and its impact on personal and societal growth. Students study the influence of heredity and environment on human development, socialization - its agents, methods, and impact, and a study of the power of mass media on the adolescent and society. An investigation of the development of the personality should include an examination of the major theories in the field of psychology. In the last topic, students investigate rites of passage in their lives and other cultures.
Unit 4 - Sociology
This unit focuses on the characteristics, types, and influences of social groups on the individual, families, and the community. First, students learn about groups from the sociological perspective by studying the characteristics of groups, the different impact of primary and secondary groups, and how they influence group members’ behaviour. Next, they examine the anthropological view on why humans form social groups. The psychological perspective looks at how individual behaviour influences the group or is shaped and controlled by the group. Students study how social scientists research group behaviour and the ethics of social science research. Finally, students conduct a more in-depth examination of a particular group, such as a cult, youth sub-culture, team, club, social group, profession, employee group, or bureaucracy to see the particular influence of the group on the individual, family, and community.
Unit 5 - Course Culminating Activity