How to Sociology is an Open Educational Resource (OER), curated and compiled by Randy Lamkin, Ph.D. with major assistance from Jessica Dai, Reference & Instruction Librarian, USC Beaufort Library.
About this OER and the Author
How to Sociology was developed as the required readings source for a face-to-face course in applied sociology at USC Beaufort. This OER is used in conjunction with a Blackboard course site, which is used for student assignments and grades.
I have spent most of my professional career working outside of academia. I worked for almost 10 years at a 600-bed hospital, first as Coordinator of Management and Organizational Development, then as Director of Education. I have provided training and consultation in supervision and management, team building, and strategic planning. I have worked with executive teams and governing boards. I have facilitated intensive team retreats. I also worked for an educational research firm that provided market research for higher education and corporate universities. I helped design and supervise, as well as conducted hundreds of telephone interviews. For most of my career, I considered myself an applied sociologist. (And I have taught sociology at eight different colleges and universities.)
In 2016, I felt that the time had come and I felt almost compelled to develop an applied sociology course for USCB. When I began to look for exemplary courses and textbooks, I was disappointed with what I found. The courses and books seemed less like advanced applications courses and more like attempts to make Intro Sociology more relevant. Of course, the latter is a worthy endeavor, just not what I needed.
So, I somewhat reluctantly decided that I would design my own course from scratch. After participating in a USCB workshop on OER, I realized that what I also needed to do was develop my own OER for the course. I could not have done this without the help and encouragement of Jessica Dai. I am also grateful to Jim Glasson, John Salazar, Najmah Thomas and Summer Roberts for their help.
One of the primary assumptions that guided the development of the course and this OER was that I needed to teach what I have learned about applied sociology. In that respect, this OER is unlikely to be of much value to an instructor who has little or no experience applying sociology in the world. However, I turned to several colleagues at USCB for help and as guest lecturers in areas where I lacked applied expertise and I would encourage other instructors to do the same. Collectively, the applied knowledge can be found.
As an OER, this resource is open to use by others, with proper attribution of all sources herein. We have taken great care to respect copyrights and Creative Commons licenses in the materials we have used and to give proper attributions. We would expect anyone who uses this to do the same. How to Sociology is licensed as a CC BY-NC.