ERIC Number: EJ890119
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Enriching Sociology 100: Using the Novel "Things Fall Apart"
Hartman, Cheryl J.
Teaching Sociology, v33 n3 p317-322 Jul 2005
The author has been teaching Introduction to Sociology for several years, and each semester new students bring their own perspectives to the study of sociology, making the content fresh and new. In order to help students understand sociological concepts in more experiential ways and to give them a glimpse into a culture that may be different from their own, the author has turned to the use of a novel, "Things Fall Apart," by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe (1959), as supplemental reading to the main text. In this article, the author shares how the novel helped her understand aspects of African culture that had puzzled her: how polygamy functions so that women sharing one husband can live in harmony, and how it demonstrates key sociological concepts for her students. In assigning this novel to introductory sociology students, her purpose was: (1) to help students understand sociological concepts through a fiction reading experience; (2) to give students a glimpse into a culture different from their own; (3) to internationalize the curriculum; and (4) to provide a shared reality within which to discuss sociological concepts.
Descriptors: African Culture, Sociology, Novels, Cultural Context, Cultural Differences, Lesson Plans, College Instruction, Introductory Courses, Instructional Effectiveness, Teaching Methods, Class Activities, Reading Lists, Reading Assignments, Supplementary Reading Materials
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
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