Engaging the students with concrete examples would definitely be a smart way to begin, rather than spouting theories. Unfortunately, unless you are dealing with a very high-level of students, the kids may not be able to rise to the occasion to care enough about theories to make it any more than an exercise in frustration for you. I hate to say it, but I feel that on a very basic level, educators are competing with (hate to say it in such a negative way) the Disney-generation. Students today want bells and whistles. AP students tend to be more serious about their studies, but a lot of honors kids know just how much they have to invest to get the grade they want. They play the numbers and get their GPAs up, and don't learn for the sake of knowledge. I'm a little idealistic, I know. However, I have let go of expecting that most of my students will learn simply because I put it in front of them and they want more. So, I have tried to fight "fire with fire" and provide lessons that are related to an aspect (for me, in literature) that grabs their attention. Yes, I use a "spoonful of sugar" with the less pleasant tasting tidbits I offer in the classroom.
If I were to teach this class, I would try to tap into things that concern the generation you're teaching (as I think is suggested above). If you want to have them discuss marriage, randomly pair students off and give them a questionnaire about things they like, what they believe, what they cannot live without, and pretend they are all in arranged marriages (as takes place in some cultures in the US and abroad). This gives them insight into who they are and what they believe. Because they like discovering who they are, this might introduce an aspect of sociology you want to address.
How they are manipulated as a segment of society by advertisers to spend their money would be interesting and informative for young people.
Creating an alien invasion scenario, perhaps students could identify the parts of society that are most precious to them by being confronted with losing those things. (Aliens may seem far-fetched, but more interesting perhaps than an invasion like the Germans planned in WWII, simply because they can't place their minds in that reality. I don't understand how aliens would make that easier, but it's been a while since I was a teen...)
Just thinking out loud...suggesting that whenever possible, think outside the box. Kids love surprises, and love to talk about things that seem to be about them!