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Sociology

Course Descriptions

Sociology Courses


SOC 101 Principles of Sociology (ST) (4.00 SH). In taking this course, students will become more aware of the effects of social forces on the individual. The course provides an introduction to the concepts and methods used in the systematic study of society. Topics include: social norms, social groups, social conflict, social inequality, social institutions, social change, and the sociological perspective. Meets Social Thought and Tradition Intellectual Perspective requirement (ST).

SOC 102 Deviance (ST) (4.00 SH). An exploration of norm-breaking behavior and its consequences. Traditional and contemporary theories of deviance will be examined, as will particular areas of deviant behavior. The change in definitions of what is regarded as deviant will be dealt with at length. Meets Social Thought and Tradition Intellectual Perspective requirement (ST).

SOC 105 Cultural Anthropology (HC) (4.00 SH). An introduction to the perspectives, methods and topics of study of cultural anthropology. Central focus is on cultural universals of language, religion and values and the cultural stances of ethnocentrism and cultural relativism. Emphasis on contemporary indigenous peoples, and especially Native Americans, as they encounter and assimilate into commercial, global-scale societies. We also discuss the roles and responsibilities of anthropologists as ethnographers, including issues of authority, methodological rigor, objectivity and advocacy. Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

SOC 106 Individual & Society (ST) (4.00 SH). Analysis of the interrelationship between society, culture, and the individual with emphasis upon the emergence of self and the participation of the individual in social processes. Attention is paid to comparative theories of action and empirical studies. Meets Social Thought and Tradition Intellectual Perspective requirement (ST).

SOC 107 Sociology of Gender (ST) (4.00 SH). An examination of the social and historical influences upon behavior as it is differentiated by gender. The pattern of learning sex roles as well as the current redefinition of such roles will be discussed. Material from a variety of sources will be examined with the intent of both documenting and explaining this differentiation of roles. Meets Social Thought and Tradition Intellectual Perspective requirement (ST).

SOC 108 Social Problems/Policies (ST) (4.00 SH). An examination of societal intentions and actions for resolving issues of public concern such as poverty, unemployment, and the well-being of those who are sick, disabled, displaced, at risk, dependent or racial/ethnic minorities. Both historical and ideological factors will be explored as will be the consequences of action in terms of social programming and policies. Meets Social Thought and Tradition Intellectual Perspective requirement (ST).

SOC 200 Studies in Sociology (4.00 SH). This course will deal with specific aspects of society not included in the regular curriculum. Topics will be announced prior to registration.

SOC 204 Social Work (4.00 SH). An exploration of the knowledge base, theories, and methods that social workers use. Several of the major fields of practice are examined including family and child welfare, health care, mental health, criminal justice, and gerontology.

SOC 209 Minority/Majority Relations (ST) (4.00 SH). This course will trace the history of race as a concept, examine how racial and ethnic relations changed over time in the U.S., analyze the causes and consequences of prejudice and discrimination, and consider how majority-minority relations shape life chances for various groups in the U.S. and throughout the world. Some of the topics we cover include: ethnic identity, popular culture, segregation, immigration, racial profiling, and interracial relationships. Meets Social Thought and Tradition Intellectual Perspective requirement (ST).

SOC 210 Gerontology (HC) (4.00 SH). A study of the different social, biological, and demographic aspects of aging. Population characteristics of people over 65 as well as patterns of age-graded expectations will be examined. Special attention will be paid to the changing roles of the elderly in our society as well as attitudes toward aging. Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

SOC 214 Social Class in America (ST) (4.00 SH). An examination of the various forms and systems of social inequality in human societies, with attention to the mechanisms that perpetuate inequalities, ideologies that legitimate them, and possibilities for social mobility. Particular focus is on the pronounced and growing income and wealth inequality in the contemporary United States and the social problems of poverty and food insecurity. Meets Social Thought and Tradition Intellectual Perspective requirement (ST).

SOC 215 Women in Cross-Cultural Persp (ST) (4.00 SH). This course examines the contemporary situations of women in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, with particular attention to how their economic, political, family, and religious roles and dominant cultural ideologies influence their world-views, opportunities and experiences. Particular attention is paid to how women themselves construct and experience their lives in various cultural contexts. The experience of societal development within these nations, and its particular consequences for women, will be highlighted throughout. Meets Social Thought and Tradition Intellectual Perspective requirement (ST).

SOC 241 Sociol Violence NonViolence (4.00 SH). Violence, from a sociological perspective, is considered a social phenomenon that evolves in a socio-historical-political moment. This course will evaluate theory and research on violence and nonviolence from both a macro and micro sociological lens. Topics investigated will be interpersonal violence, violence against animals, hate crimes, school violence, bullying, terrorism, structural violence, and social movements that involve both violence and nonviolence. We will also investigate how race, social class, gender, sexual orientation, age, and ability shapes who is more likely to be a victim or perpetrator of violence.

SOC 260 Food, Culture and Society (ST) (4.00 SH). This course is an introduction to the emerging field of study called the Sociology of Food. We explore social, cultural and political issues, at the global, national and local levels, around the production, distribution, preparation, consumption and symbolism of food. Choices and outcomes regarding these processes reflect individual and group identities and relationships, access to resources and position in various social hierarchies. Students also are asked to reflect on the ethics of food processes and policies and their own food choices. Meets Social Thought and Tradition Intellectual Perspective requirement (ST).

SOC 305 Contemporary Organizational Soc (4.00 SH). A general analysis of human organizations, their structures, normative systems, and conflicts. A special emphasis is placed on theories of bureaucracy. Prerequisite: Four semester hours of sociology or criminal justice studies coursework or permission of instructor.

SOC 306 Sociology of Family (4.00 SH). This course examines the function, structure, and variety of families. Topics include: the historical origins of contemporary American family life; patterns in family formation and dissolution, including dating, cohabitation, marriage, and divorce; sexuality and families; work-family (im)balance; and social problems, such as poverty and intimate violence. We will discuss and debate the implications of changing family life in the United States and abroad. Prerequisite: Four semester hours of sociology or criminal justice studies coursework or permission of instructor.

SOC 306A Sociology of Family/Inside Out (ST) (4.00 SH).

SOC 307 Sociology of Sport (4.00 SH). This course examines the social institution of sport through both cultural and structural lenses. Topics covered include: socialization through sport; race, social class, gender and ability construction through sport; sports, media, and mass consumption; the socio-economics of sport; and social change through sport. Prerequisite: Four semester hours of sociology or criminal justice studies coursework or permission of instructor.

SOC 327 Medical Sociology (4.00 SH). A study of the social aspects of illness and wellness. Special emphasis will be placed on the roles of participants in the health care system, as well as the development of the system itself. Prerequisite: Prerequisite: Four semester hours of sociology or criminal justice studies coursework or permission of instructor.

SOC 350 Social and Criminological Theory (4.00 SH). This course provides a general introduction to the major classical and contemporary theories in sociology and criminology. We examine the major tenets and critiques of these theories while embedding them in their historical and cultural contexts. We also discuss theoretical applications in contemporary sociological and criminological research. Taken fall of the junior year. Prerequisites: Eight semester hours of sociology or criminal justice studies courses or instructor permission.

SOC 590 Field Experience/Internship (4.00 SH). Field Experience/Internship (1-4 SH)

SOC 602 Sociology Capstone II (4.00 SH). The student will conduct a significant research project in the fall of the senior year. Prerequisites: SSC 252 and SOC 601.

 

Supporting Courses


CJS 200 Studies in Criminology & Crim Just (4.00 SH). This course will deal with specific aspects of criminology and the criminal justice system not included in the regular curriculum. Topics will be announced prior to registration.

CJS 201 Juvenile Delinquency & Justice (ST) (4.00 SH). An exploration of juvenile misconduct and its legal consequences. Theories explaining juvenile delinquency from a variety of perspectives will be examined. The emergence and present state of the juvenile justice system will be covered as well. Meets Social Thought and Tradition Intellectual Perspective requirement (ST).

CJS 202 Criminology (4.00 SH). This course covers the workings of the criminal justice system. Students will explore how we define and respond to crime, how the institutions of the criminal justice system (police forces, criminal courts and prisons) have developed and functioned, and the reasons criminal justice policies are adopted and the effects those policies have.

CJS 207 The Death Penalty (2.00 SH). This course explores the death penalty, the ultimate penalty meted out by the state. The class will address a series of important questions: Which societies have used capital punishment and in what circumstances? Which countries besides the US continue to use the penalty? What methods of execution do states use? What legal standards are applied to the death penalty in the US? Does the death penalty deter crime? What do Americans think about the death penalty? What impact does being on death row have for inmates and their families? What issues of injustice and reform are raised by the use of capital punishment?

CJS 302 Sociology of Law and Legal Systems (4.00 SH). This course tests several common assumptions about the law—that it embodies morality; that it ensures justice; that it serves everyone’s interests; that it constrains behavior; that it can be used to bring about social change. We will compare the law to other forms of social control and consider the utility of law in countries making transitions from violence and repression.

CJS 303 Management & Leadership (4.00 SH). This course analyzes the organization, management, and administration of local, state, and federal criminal justice agencies with emphasis on how the structure and functions of such agencies, as well as culture, affect the administration of justice. Prerequisite: 4 semester hours of CJS coursework or permission of instructor.

CJS 304 Crime & Law Enforcement Rural Commu (4.00 SH). This course explores the specific ways that crime and law enforcement work in the rural context. Rural areas are often seen as peaceful, orderly places, but they present a range of geographic, cultural and economic opportunities for crime. This course will explore a range of crimes (like poaching and meth production) that have particular ties to rural areas. The course will also explore the particular challenges of providing police protection to rural areas that are different from those faced by officers in urban and suburban jurisdictions.

SSC 251 Research Methods (4.00 SH). An introduction to the nature and processes of social science inquiry. Particular attention is given to designing social science research projects, and to techniques for gathering, analyzing, and communicating data from both primary and secondary sources. The course is intended to increase the student’s ability to understand published studies and to enhance student research skills. Prerequisite: Eight semester hours of sociology or criminal justice studies coursework.

SSC 252 Data Analysis for Soc Sci (QR) (4.00 SH). This class covers some introductory but powerful statistical techniques for analyzing and interpreting social science data. Students will use both descriptive and inferential statistics, and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of various statistical methods. They will also develop skills in presenting and interpreting statistical charts, graphs and tables. There is no formal prerequisite, but SSC 251, PS 301 or other exposure to research methods is recommended. Meets Quantitative Reasoning Intellectual Perspective requirement (QR).

 

What can you do with a Sociology degree?

Imagine yourself a sociologist, organizational planner, human resources manager, organizational researcher, or in a position with an international business or non-profit.