Sociology Course Descriptions
SOC 101 - Introduction to Sociology
A survey of the basic concepts of the sociological analysis of human behavior. Topics include culture and socialization; deviance and social control; stratification and social class; inequalities of gender, race, ethnicity, and class; collective behavior and social change; and the role of social institutions in society including family, health care, education, religion, politics, and the economy. Some sections may include a service-learning component. This course fulfills the diversity, global, and multicultural requirement.
SOC 215 - Deviance & Institutional Problems
This course is a study of the definition and management of those defined as socially deviant with an emphasis on western societies. A sociological perspective is used to examine a range of topics including drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, stigma management, fear and risk perceptions, and the medicalization of deviance, as well as evaluate contemporary institutional problems surrounding the management of deviance such as inequality, classism, racism, and sexism.
SOC 255 - Marriage, Sex, and Family
The course introduces a sociological analysis of the family across cultures. This includes an exploration of the social dynamics of human attraction, dating, mate selection, marriage, sexuality, family planning, pregnancy, parenting, and aging. We examine challenges families face with communication, two-job families, finances, conflict, crises, abuse, divorce, remarriage, blended families, and death. Students will develop skills for analyzing family health and for improving family relationships.
SOC/CRJ - 263 Juvenile Delinquency
The history of the treatment of juvenile offenders; patterns of delinquency; treatment modalities; causative factors; the juvenile justice system; social and cultural influences upon juveniles in modern society; current theories of juvenile delinquency.
SOC 279B - CORE: Nonviolent Social Change
The course addresses the philosophical and religious foundations, theory, history, and practice of nonviolence as a method of social change. The course will include study of some of the great nonviolent leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Dorothy Day, Cesar Chavez, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Building on a nonviolent foundation, the course explores strategies for social organizing, designing campaigns for social change, fundraising, coalition building, recruiting, marketing ideas, media relations, and empowering grassroots leadership.
The class will explore common elements of successful social change movements throughout history including: labor, women’s, human rights, poor people’s, peace and environmental. In relation to social change, the course will address the question, “What does it mean to belong to a community?” Students will work with diverse communities and have the opportunity to translate knowledge into action through a community service component focused on the common good.
Prerequisite: CORE 179 or appropriate transfer status. Pre- or Co-requisite: ENG 111.
Not open to students with Credit in SOC 320 or SOC 322.
SOC 279E CORE: Health and the Community
Health is integrally connected to the realization of the common good within communities. Ensuring the conditions that allow for human flourishing demands an examination of how communities and societies promote health, prevent disease, and respond to the illnesses of their members. This course provides an overview of cultural and social aspects of health at the individual, community, and societal level. We will explore how individual health beliefs and practices vary across cultures, how disease and illness are constructed within societies, how healthcare providers can best interact with diverse patients, and how social structure maintains health inequalities. Specific topics will range from a micro-level examination of the role of traditional healers, folk remedies, and decision making to a macro-level view of power and inequality. The course will also critically examine the dominance of the Western biomedical model, its influence on defining and treating illness and how it compares to non-western and/or alternative models of medicine. This course fulfills the diversity, global, and multicultural requirement. Not open to students with credit for SOC 310.
SOC 279F CORE: Social Entrepreneurship
This course examines the role of social entrepreneurship, which combines the innovative and resource maximizing principles of business to improving social and environmental issues, in contributing to the common good of communities. Students will examine current social and environmental issues at the local and global level, and consider how social entrepreneurs can help address these issues. Attention will be given to examining the assumptions and advantages of social entrepreneurship, the relationship between social entrepreneurship and the common good, and the tension between profit, sustainability, and the common good. Prerequisite Core 179, ENG 111
SOC/CRJ 340 - Human Trafficking
This course provides students with an overview of human trafficking on a domestic and international scale. The course will explore the root causes of this crime, trafficker tactics, victim indicators, current laws, law enforcement’s view and approach to this criminal activity, and the role of advocacy by non-governmental organizations. Not open to students with Credit in SOC/CRJ 385C.
SOC/POL/CRJ 352 - Research Methods
This course examines research design and measurement techniques useful for understanding social science research. The course is skill based involving students in critical evaluation of existing research relevant to their specific field of study, design of a research project, and an introduction to data analysis using SPSS. Of particular interest are issues of problem definition and research question formulation, conceptualization and operationalization of variables, sampling, and application of various methodologies from experimental designs to evaluation research. Prerequisites: MTH 140; junior standing or consent of the instructor.
SOC/CRJ 365 - Criminology
Study of the nature, distribution and types of crime in society. Theories of crime causation in both historical and contemporary perspectives are examined. Prerequisite: CRJ 105 or consent of instructor.
SOC 379A - CORE: Poverty & Development Seminar
This course will examine the causes, consequences, and solutions to Central American poverty while studying in Guatemala. The course will explore poverty in the context of colonial history, economic globalization, political and economic policies of unrestrained capitalism and trade, population growth, tropical climate, and cultural patterns. Students will travel in both urban and rural Guatemala meeting with non-profit organizations, government officials, and living with poor families.
Grassroots efforts to address poverty including micro loan programs, sustainable agriculture, empowerment of women, literacy campaigns, prejudice reduction, and education for democracy will be emphasized. Spanish is useful but not necessary.
Prerequisite: CORE 179 or appropriate transfer status; ENG 102 or ENG 111. Not open to students with Credit in SOC 241. This course fulfills the diversity, global, and multicultural requirement. This course partially fulfills the Social and Behavioral Science requirement.
SOC/SWK 379B CORE: Global Ethnic Relations
This course seeks to empower students to become knowledgeable, caring, and active citizens in a diverse and often ethnically polarized world. The course examines multiple dimensions of global diversity (race, ethnicity, religion); common responses to differences including prejudice, discrimination, segregation, colonization, genocide and positive alternatives such as assimilation and egalitarian pluralism. We will examine ethnic relations in the U.S. and around the world through the lens of history.
The course concludes with the ethical basis for seeking social justice via anti-discrimination work and strategies for dismantling discrimination and repairing strained ethnic divides at the individual, institutional, and societal levels. Students will have the opportunity to translate knowledge into action for social justice through a bridging cultures project.
Prerequisite: CORE 179 or appropriate transfer status; ENG 102 or ENG 111. This course fulfills the diversity, global, and multicultural requirement. This course partially fulfills the Social and Behavioral Science requirement. Not open to students with Credit in SOC/SWK 346 or 279D.
SOC/CRJ/POL 379C CORE: Violence and Change: Terrorism, Genocide, War
Consideration of justice and the common good in light of the nature of violence, terror, and genocide. The question the course seeks to understand is whether violence can ever be justified as a means to overcome social, economic, political or personal injustices. Prerequisites: CORE 179 or appropriate transfer status; ENG 111. Not open to students with credit in POL/CRJ/SOC 347.
SOC 479 - CORE: Sociological Theory
An analysis and integration of major theorists and theoretical schools in historical and contemporary social thought. Underlying themes include human nature, the structure and functioning of social groupings, and the articulation of individual and society. This course is a macroscopic, systemic analysis of human behavior which both focuses on and makes connections between/among concepts of self, community, justice and truth. Prerequisite: Completion of junior core seminar.
SOC 1/2/3/485 - Special Topics
Intensive reading and class discussion of selected topics in sociology not covered in regular courses.
SOC 2/3/486 - Independent Study
Intensive reading or special research projects for students with advanced standing. Includes Honors Program research. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor, academic advisor, division chairperson.
SOC 497 - Internship & Seminar
Fieldwork under supervision in a local organization or agency. The student will spend 50 hours in the field for each hour of Credit and will meet with faculty weekly in seminar to discuss and to reflect upon the connections between coursework and fieldwork. Prerequisite: senior standing; 2.5 GPA; successful completion of application requirements for fieldwork.