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We present a two-assignment series that developed students’ sociological imaginations and that could be done in a face-to-face or online course. The series used the Sociological Images blog and students’ own visual images (e.g., photographs) to meet course learning goals: (1) link sociological theories and concepts to social events/trends, (2) apply these ideas to real life by identifying sociologically relevant images in daily life, and (3) communicate sociological analysis in academic and popular written forms. The use of a blog encourages students to embrace public sociology. We present faculty and student assessment data (pretest from nonequivalent comparisons group) from six lower division sociology classes at a regional university (N = 157). Students entered with little a priori ability to examine images using a sociological lens, and students who completed the series successfully applied sociological concepts and theories to critically examine elements of their lives, achieving core sociology disciplinary learning goals.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Teaching Sociology in 2021 following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at

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