Sociology (SOC)

SOC-101  Principles of Sociology  (3 credits)  

The course introduces students to the "sociological imagination," as C. Wright Mills described it. The enduring value of a sociological imagination is to help students situate peoples' lives and important events in broader social contexts by understanding how political, economic, and cultural forces organize social life. Sociology explores minute aspects of social life (microsociology) as well as global social processes and structures (macrosociology). Topics covered vary from semester to semester, but may include socialization, suburbanization and housing, culture, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class stratification, deviance and crime, economic and global inequality, families and intimate relationships, education, religion, and globalization. Additionally, students will use the sociological perspective and gain the ability to distinguish between facts, values, and opinions. Counts as a required course in the Nuts and Bolts Course Cluster for all Sociology majors.

SOC-189  Topics in Critical Inquiry  (3 credits)  

Critical inquiry is the process of gathering and evaluating information, ideas, and assumptions from multiple perspectives to produce well-reasoned analysis and understanding, and leading to new ideas, applications and questions. This course is intended to introduce new students to intellectual inquiry at the university by engaging them in in-depth study of a single topic utilizing a variety of perspectives and methods. The course emphasizes the essential role of critical and creative thinking to their lives as students, citizens, future professionals, and productive members of their communities.

Course Types: Topics
Corequisite(s): Take SOC-189L

SOC-189L  Topics in Critical Inquiry - Lab  (1 credits)  

Critical inquiry is the process of gathering and evaluating information, ideas, and assumptions from multiple perspectives to produce well-reasoned analysis and understanding, and leading to new ideas, applications and questions. This course is intended to introduce new students to intellectual inquiry at the university by engaging them in in-depth study of a single topic utilizing a variety of perspectives and methods. The course emphasizes the essential role of critical and creative thinking to their lives as students, citizens, future professionals, and productive members of their communities. The lab for the course is an interdisciplinary application lab, wherein students work in teams to demonstrate what they learned in the didactic portion of the course through the creation of a project, presentation, art object/installation, play, podcast, short film, co-authored reflection (debrief) on a simulation experience, etc. Faculty who design the didactic portion of the course together will design this portion as a 5-week experiential component of the course, which might include community partnerships or field trips. Students who take the course and lab will be invited to display their project results in a one-afternoon presentation at the end of each semester (to be arranged by college events personnel).

Course Types: Topics
Corequisite(s): Take SOC-189

SOC-201  Social Problems  (3 credits)  

This course is designed as a critical introduction to major social problems. Students learn to think critically about the ways in which social problems are constructed and to recognize the linkages between the experiences of individuals (personal troubles) and the broad social forces that shape them (public issues). Particular attention is given to social problems related to inequality and privilege, deviance, broken social institutions, and global concerns. Potential solutions are considered from both individual and policy perspectives. Counts as a course in the Stratification and Inequality, Activism and Social Justice, and Law, the Person, and Society Course Clusters.

Course Types: Themed

SOC-202  Media and Society  (3 credits)  

This course offers a sociological perspective on the relationship between the media and society. Media narratives and imagery affect public perceptions of social phenomena as diverse as gender, crime, family relationships, disability, wealth, race/ethnicity, politics, and popular culture. As such, it is important to understand how those narratives and imagery are shaped by the structure of the media industry, including media concentration, inequality of access, and the proliferation of media platforms including the emergence of new media. Counts as a course in the Media, the Person, and Society Course Cluster.

SOC-203  Social Theory  (3 credits)  

The course is a survey of the development of sociological theories since the nineteenth century. How theory influences society and the sociocultural influences which shape theory are also explored. Emphasis is on theory in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

SOC-204  Social Stratification  (3 credits)  

This course examines the nature, causes, and consequences of social stratification in the United States, with attention given to the distribution of wealth, power, prestige, and other resources in U.S. society. Students examine the implications of the ideology of the American Dream and explore how structural inequalities based on social class, race/ethnicity, and gender impact the life chances and experiences of individuals. Counts as a course in the Stratification and Inequality and Social Institutions Course Clusters.

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-101

SOC-206  Sociology of Work  (3 credits)  

Work (including both paid employment and unpaid labor) plays a central role in shaping social relations, social inequality, and identity in the contemporary United States. Students will examine how the nature of work and employment have been transformed in the current labor market as well as the impact of those changes on other social institutions such as the family. Attention will also be paid to the racial, gender, class, and other categorical barriers to full inclusion, equality and advancement in the workplace and how those barriers may be affected by organizational structures, policies, and practices. Counts as a course in the Work, the Person, and Society Course Cluster.

SOC-211  Social Change  (3 credits)  

This course is designed to help make sense of a rapidly changing world of increasing global interdependence, violence, expanding knowledge and telecommunications, changing values, clashes between religious and secular agendas, transforming family relations and shifting patterns of social inequalities. Competing explanations of social change will be identified and discussed. Special focus is placed on how major social trends influence individuals, intergroup relations and various organizations such as family, work, and community. Counts as a course in the Activism and Social Justice Course Cluster.

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-201

SOC-214  Cultural Diversity  (3 credits)  

The course focuses on the experiences of those from culturally marginalized groups within the larger Western culture. Attention is paid to concepts such as the social construction of race,colonialism/post colonialism,institutional racism,deculturalization,cultural hegemony and forms of resistance.

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-101 or SOC-201

SOC-215  Research Methods in Sociology  (3 credits)  

In this course,students are introduced to qualitative methods and the basics of interpreting statistics. Students learn how to analyze and evaluate existing research,construct a research project,conduct focus groups and in-depth interviews,and analyze policy and primary documents. Ethical considerations regarding conducting research and uses of research are discussed.

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-101 or SOC-201

SOC-222  Health, Illness and Society  (3 credits)  

This course explores the broad area of sociological inquiry known as the sociology of medicine. This is a critical survey and analysis of theory and research on health institutions in modern society as well as social etiology of disease, sociological components in treatment, hospital organization and medical practice and sociology of medical education. Students examine the relationship between health, illness and the social factors that may affect wellness. In addition to applying theories and models of society to issues of health and illness, students examine how health care is organized and delivered in the USA and in other capitalist, socialist and emerging societies. Counts as a course in the Medical Sociology and Social Institutions Course Cluster.

SOC-301  Deviance and Society  (3 credits)  

This course is an introduction to the social scientific study of deviance. Students will be exposed to a wide range of perspectives and substantive topics intended to aid in defining, understanding, and explaining social deviance. Deviant behaviors, beliefs, and conditions all have social origins, are learned and made manifest in social interaction, and produce profound consequences for individuals and society at large. Counts as a course in the Law, the Person, and Society Course Cluster.

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-201

SOC-302  Gender  (3 credits)  

This course is an exploration of the concept of gender, and how gendered forms of meaning making are shaped culturally, internalized and enacted. Attention is also placed on challenges and alternatives to conventional gender prescription, the confluence of gender and power, sexism and homophobia, and the meanings of gender in various religious, ethnic/racial, class, and age groups. Counts as a course in the Stratification and Inequality Course Cluster.

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-204

SOC-304  Media Literacy  (3 credits)  

This course is designed to foster an informed, critical, and practice understanding of how exposure to popular media influences the way we see the world. Through examination of topics such as the influence of advertising on media content, techniques of media persuasion and spin, and deconstruction of the subtle (and not so subtle) proliferation of media-driven cultural narratives and imagery, students will develop the media literacy and analytic skills needed to evaluate the accuracy and agenda of the media content they consume. Counts as a course in the Media, the Person, and Society Course Cluster.

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-202

SOC-305  Race and Ethnicity  (3 credits)  

Race and ethnicity are socially constructed concepts with immense power to influence the opportunities and outcomes experienced in U.S. society. This course examines the nature of race and ethnicity in the United States, including the historical, social, and cultural forces contributing to the contemporary racial/ethnic landscape. Students will explore the causes and consequences of societal conflicts over racism, immigration, identity, and racial/ethnic inequities in education, housing, employment, and other institutions. Counts as a course in the Stratification and Inequality Course Cluster.

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-204

SOC-309  Soc of Disability & Rehabilitation  (3 credits)  

The course introduces students to the many levels of social consequences that disability can confer upon an individual. The effects of disability (personal, interpersonal and cultural) have significant implications for persons with disabilities, rehabilitation workers and the rehabilitation system. This course will analyze the effects of disability within a sociology framework. Counts as a course in the Medical Sociology Course Cluster.

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-207

SOC-311  Families  (3 credits)  

This course emphasizes the changes in contemporary families, composition of families, expectations of family members, current policies impacting families, and family as a political issue. Consideration is also given to the myths and stereotypes of family life. Counts as a course in the Social Institutions Course Cluster.

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-101

SOC-312  Sociology of Sports and Phys Activity  (3 credits)  

This course will investigate the institution of sports from a sociological perspective as it relates to contemporary American organized sports. The perspective taken is that sport is a social entity and thus serves as a microcosm of society and a window through which to view sociological processes. This course will investigate how social phenomenon such as stratification, discrimination, violence, race, and gender are evident in amateur and professional athletics. We will also examine how sports relate to sociological conceptions of community. This course is intended to help you develop a better understanding of how sports are related to broader sociological processes in society. Contemporary American sports are given central focus. Using a variety of readings and online discussions surrounding sports, students will explore the positive and negative consequences, societal risks, and ethical issues related to sports in society. In the process, students will develop a critical approach towards the study of sports. Other topics addressed by this course include the study of sports and socialization, intercollegiate and interscholastic sports, violence and more generally deviance in relation to sports. Counts as a course in the Social Institutions Course Cluster.

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-101

SOC-313  Health Disparities  (3 credits)  

This course will explore how factors such as person's socioeconomic status, place, race, and ethnicity affect health; how these characteristics play out in case studies; the financial and ethical implications of health disparities on society as a whole; effective strategies for limiting health disparities; and how our own local community members are utilizing these strategies to promote positive change. Additionally, the course will examine relevant historical issues, theories, and empirical data, emphasizing critical analysis and application of knowledge. Students will gain a better understanding of research on health disparities and interventions to promote health equity through a combination of readings, lectures, reflection papers, in-class exercises, and research assignments. Students will summarize the evidence regarding a specific health disparity (topic and population of their choice) and develop an intervention proposal to promote health equity. Counts as a course in the Medical Sociology and Stratification and Inequality Course Cluster.

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-207

SOC-315  Social Inquiry and Activism  (3 credits)  

With a strong focus on social justice, this course prepares students to be responsible citizens in a participatory democracy by (1) challenging them to think critically about the reality claims in contemporary public discourse and (2) providing an in-depth introduction to social activism. Students conduct critical analyses of media narratives about a current event of their choice and engage in supervised activism projects designed in consultation with the instructor. Counts as a course in the Activism and Social Justice Course Cluster.

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-201

SOC-316  Social Policy for Better Health  (3 credits)  

With focuses on the social, legal, and political contexts in which health care systems exist and adapt, this course is designed to give students experience creating social policies that address real-life health care issues. And because policymaking involves collaboration and engagement, students will work together on projects to address an existing health issue as identified by the Centers for Disease Control's Prevention Status Reports, employing tactics such as influencing policy and legislation, changing organizational practices, fostering coalitions and networks, educating providers, promoting community education, and strengthening individual knowledge and skills. Class-wide efforts culminate in group presentations and a comprehensive policy brief. Counts as a course in the Medical Sociology Course Cluster.

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-207

SOC-320  Inequality in the Labor Force  (3 credits)  

This course examines the problems of inequality and discrimination in the workplace, identifying specific groups most suffering from discrimination based on sex, age and state of health. Strategies for reducing these inequalities will also be explored. Counts as a course in the Work, the Person, and Society Course Cluster.

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-206

SOC-342  Sociology of Human Rights  (3 credits)  

This course is designed as an investigation of human rights concerns in contemporary society, including five dimensions of human rights: civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights. Students explore how the concept of human rights has evolved in U.S. and international law. Attention is paid to major controversies related to human rights abuses experienced by women, men and children in both the United States and a global context. Counts as a course in the Activism and Social Justice Course Cluster.

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-201

SOC-389  Special Topics  (3 credits)  

SOC-390  Special Topics  (3 credits)  

This course is designed to present the study of collective behavior, collective action and social movements. Attention is given to various sociological theories used to explain these behaviors. The focus includes fads and fashion, sports fans, crowds/mobs that form and dissolve quickly, formal organizations and interest groups that spring up in the aftermath of disasters, outbreaks of social protest, and full-blown social movements. Students will consider the particular circumstances which bring about collectivity, the actions taken by the group, media and public response, and the political impact of the behavior.

SOC-400  Social Epidemiology  (3 credits)  

This course focuses on social epidemiology, the social factors determining the occurrence and distribution of disease, health defects, disability, and death among groups. The interdisciplinary nature of epidemiological theory, statistical measures commonly used, approaches to modifying and developing health behaviors, health and employment, and an analysis of the distribution of health care in the United States are studied. Counts as a course in the Medical Sociology Course Cluster.

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-207

SOC-403  American Labor Movement  (3 credits)  

This course explores how American people built this nation through individual, family, communal and political action, from the rise of industrial capitalism in the late nineteenth century, to the present day. As students engage with each other in extensive weekly discussions, analyze the textbook, watch video clips, and research and write their term paper, they are encouraged to reflect on how their own life has been influenced by the efforts of previous generations to make a good life and a decent society. While the course will focus on how people worked, and what their workplaces were like, it will also focus on how political movements, business innovations and government policies shaped workplaces and created the rules by which we live and work today. Counts as a course in the Work, the Person, and Society Course Cluster.

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-206

SOC-404  Collective Action  (3 credits)  

The purpose of the course is to understand the sources, development and consequences of social and political collectiveness on contemporary social life. To do so, the course will examine current theory and research on social movements, political protest, and other acts of collective resistance. Counts as a course in the Activism and Social Justice Course Cluster.

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-201

SOC-405  Drugs and Society  (3 credits)  

This survey course examines the nature of substance use and abuse in U.S. society and their implications for social policy. Attention is given to both licit (e.g., caffeine, nicotine, alcohol) and illicit drugs (e.g., cocaine, opioids). Students explore the history and contemporary social landscape of substance use, the social construction of "good" and "bad" drugs, the reciprocal effects of drug use patterns and drug use policy, and the disproportionate effects of U.S. drug policy on the lives of marginalized populations, particularly people of color and poor communities. Counts as a course in the Medical Sociology and Law, the Person, and Society Course Cluster.

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-207

SOC-406  Global Issues  (3 credits)  

This course introduces students to a sociological perspective on social phenomena that transcend national boundaries. Students explore issues relating to global development, warfare/terrorism, immigration, and emergent environmental crises including resource depletion, biodiversity loss, and climate change. Particular attention is given to how these global issues are intertwined. Counts as a course in the Stratification and Inequality and Activism and Social Justice Course Clusters.

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-204

SOC-407  Social Media  (3 credits)  

This course provides a sociological perspective on how the emergence of social media influences both social institutions and interpersonal relationships. Students will examine the effects of computer-mediated communications systems such as social networking platforms, e-mail, online chat rooms and forums, on-line games, and other new media venues affect how we interact with each other, develop virtual identities and communities, and engage with the social world. Key issues such as privacy, the digital divide, cyberbullying, internet activism, and internet addiction will be addressed. Counts as a course in the Media, the Person, and Society Course Cluster.

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-202

SOC-408  Collective Behavior  (3 credits)  

This course is designed to present the study of collective behavior,collective action and social movements. Attention is given to various sociological theories used to explain these behaviors. The focus includes fads and fashion,sports fans,crowds/mobs that form and dissolve quickly, formal organizations and interest groups that spring up in the aftermath of disasters,outbreaks of social protest, and full-blown social movements. Students will consider the particular circumstances which bring about collectivity, the actions taken by the group,media and public response, and the political impact of the behavior.

SOC-409  Topics in Activism and Social Justice  (3 credits)  

This course is an in-depth consideration of topics related to activism and social justice. Counts as a course in the Activism and Social Justice Course Cluster

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-201

SOC-410  Senior Project  (3 credits)  

The senior project involves a major research paper and is highly recommended for students planning on graduate school in sociology or related field.

SOC-411  Topics in Media, the Person and Society  (3 credits)  

This course is an in-depth consideration of topics related to the sociology of media. Counts as a course in the Media, the Person, and Society Course Cluster

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-202

SOC-412  Topics in Medical Sociology  (3 credits)  

This course is an in-depth consideration of topics in the field of medical sociology. Counts as a course in the Medical Sociology Course Cluster

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-207

SOC-413  Topics in Social Institutions  (3 credits)  

This course is an in-depth consideration of topics related to various social institutions. Counts as a course in the Social Institutions Course Cluster

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-204

SOC-414  Topics in Stratification and Inequality  (3 credits)  

This course is an in-depth consideration of topics related to the psychology of law. Counts as a course in the Stratification and Inequality Course Cluster

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-201

SOC-415  Topics in Law, the Person and Society  (3 credits)  

This course is an in-depth consideration of topics related to the sociology of law. Counts as a course in the Law, the Person, and Society Course Cluster

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-201

SOC-416  Topics in Work, the Person and Society  (3 credits)  

This course is an in-depth consideration of topics related to the sociology of work. Counts as a course in the Law, the Person, and Society Course Cluster

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-206

SOC-417  Sociology of Education  (3 credits)  

This course examines the structure and process of education in contemporary society. The primary focus is on U.S. public education. Topics include the contribution of sociology to understanding education and teaching; the relationship of education to other institutions such as the family, government, religion, and the economy; demographic changes that affect education; the effect of social class on student achievement and teaching; formal and informal positions, roles and processes in schools; and consideration of current issues such as school funding, compensatory and special education programs, race and gender issues, and educational reform movements. Attention is also paid to the experience of students who come from culturally diverse backgrounds, and to immigrant and refugee youth. The possibilities of public schools are investigated throughout this course, as is the potential for reform using critical pedagogy and equitable policy initiatives. Counts as a course in the Social Institutions Course Cluster.

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-101

SOC-444  Internship  (3-12 credits)  

The Sociology internship is a variable credit (3-12 hours), required course that encourages juniors/seniors to investigate a career through a placement in a professional setting or in the development of future projects (graduate study). This allows students to work under the guidance of an immediate supervisor and a college faculty sponsor.

SOC-479  Independent Study  (3 credits)  

Qualified students may investigate selected topics with the permission of the instructor.

SOC-480  Independent Study  (2 credits)  

Qualified students may investigate selected topics with the permission of the instructor. The title will reflect the course content.

SOC-490  Who Rules the World?  (3 credits)  

This course examines the historical and contemporary processes by which political power is distributed in society, including the means by which power is gained, lost, inherited and abused. Attention will be given to how categories of people are systematically denied access to power (e.g. voter suppression and felon disenfranchisement), and how they take it back (e.g., social movements and revolutions). Counts as a course in the Social Institutions Course Cluster.

Prerequisite(s): Take SOC-101

SOC-600  Social Epidemiology  (3 credits)  

This course focuses on social epidemiology,the factors determining the occurrence and distribution of disease,health defects,disability and death among groups. The interdisciplinary nature of epidemiological theory,statistical measures commonly used,and an analysis of the distribution of health care in the United States are studied.