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Beginning Mondays in March, we are bringing you Crash Course Sociology. Host Nicole Sweeney will walk you through questions big and small about how we both shape societies and are shaped by them. We hope you'll join us.

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Hello! I am not Hank, I am Nicole and I'm usually a behind the scenes member of Crash Course staff, but for the next year I will be here teaching you about sociology. We've covered allot of things here at Crash Course and Sociology has kind of been lurking through out all of them.

Sociology is the study of people and society, and that includes a really broad range of topics; everything from the social and economic inequalities, to marriage and family formation, to political and religious institutions. 

Sociologists answer questions like; what is class? and why does almost every American seem to think that they're middle class? or, how do different political institutions change the cultural norms of a society? Or, why do some societies end up with more unequal outcomes than other societies?

Sociology is the study of how we form societies and how those societies form us as individuals. While a world history class might tell you about how different races and ethnicities have been discriminated against in the past and present. Sociology tells us about how we've constructed racial and ethnic groups, and why social inequalities exist along racial lines. 

An economist might create models of how the wage an individual's offered by a firm effects their well being. Where as a sociologist might look at the neighbourhoods and communities that a person grows up in affects their well being. And understanding these questions can help us make big decisions about the kind of world that we want to live in, and the kind of people that we want to be in that world.

So I hope you'll join me over the next year as we explore all of this and more in Crash Course Sociology.