Course Title

SOC 101: Principles of Sociology

Field experience in Guinea, West Africa


3 credit hours

Summer I semester, 2009, Section C70

CRN: 23148




The instructor in this course is Dr. Alan Barton, Associate Professor of Sociology and Community Development at Delta State University.


Welcome to SOC 101! This course is taught Summer I 2009 in Conakry, Guinea in conjunction with the Delta State University Community Drumming Experience field course.

This course will introduce you to concepts in the discipline of sociology, which will help in understanding the people of Guinea and of similar countries. One of the key concepts in the course is globalization, the process of social change through which the human race is becoming integrated under a similar set of values and social structures. We will try to understand Guinea within a globalization framework. Another important concept is culture, which includes a society's beliefs, attitudes, language, symbols and values, as well as material elements such as food, clothing, art and music. As we study djembe drumming and West African dance, we will use these cultural elements as windows to help us interpret other aspects of Guniean culture.


The following books are required:

Witt, Jon. (2007). The Big Picture: A Sociology Primer. Boston: McGraw Hill. ISBN: 978-0-07-299053-9.

Stone, Ruth M. (2005). Music in West Africa: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-0-19-514500-7.

Course Goals

Students taking this course will:

Course Objectives

Students taking this course will:

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

Department and College: SOC 101 is offered through the Division of Social Sciences and the Continuing Education program at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi. This course is taught in Conakry, Guinea in conjunction with the Community Drumming Experience field trip during summer, 2009.

University Mission: Delta State University is a regional Carnegie Master's I university located in Cleveland, Mississippi. DSU serves as an educational and cultural center for the Mississippi Delta, emphasizing service to the Northern Delta counties through its main campus in Cleveland, its satellite campus centers in Clarksdale and Greenville, and its growing on-line education program.

The University offers undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs of study leading to baccalaureate and master's degrees in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, and the School of Nursing, as well as a Doctorate in Education.

Emphasis is placed on excellence in instruction, followed by service and research, in the creation of a community of scholars. With special attention to small classes, a friendly
environment, and a broad liberal arts foundation, the University encourages significant student-faculty interactions. Delta State provides programs and services that promote
intellectual, cultural, ethical, physical, and social development. Students from different cultural, socioeconomic, and ethnic backgrounds will develop the ability to respect and evaluate the thoughts of others; to develop, assess, and express their own thoughts effectively; and to use the techniques of research and performance associated with their disciplines.


Last Modified: 4/22/09

Copyright © 2009- Dr. Alan Barton