Sociology Course Descriptions
SOC 100, INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY, 4 credits
Begins with the question "How is social order possible?" and examines how groups form and how they elaborate codes (norms, roles, values) and exert control over members' behavior. Selected topics in the empirical study of how people's character and life chances are affected by society's organization and how social arrangements continue or are changed. Offered each semester.
SOC 101, FAMILY LIFE, 4 credits
The study of the social forces and cultural traditions shaping different kinds of family relations and emotional qualities of family life. The emergence of the modern family and its current concerns. Changes in the patterns and meanings of woman-man and parent-child relations. The causes and consequences of variation in these patterns, processes, and problems. Offered in alternate years.
SOC 108, RELATIONS BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN, 4 credits
Love and its aberrations, men's and women's perceptions and treatments of one another, the nature of masculinity and femininity, the gay and lesbian communities in America, and pornography analyzed from a sociological perspective. Offered in alternate years.
SOC 115, SOCIAL PROBLEMS, 4 credits
Private troubles and public issues. How some troubles become social problems. Social problems as consequences of modern developments in city life, and in changing forms of economic behavior. The diverse social policies in responding to social problems. Offered in alternate years.
SOC 206, URBAN CULTURES AND COMMUNITIES, 4 credits
The geography of the contemporary city as a place of diverse communities and clashing cultural assumptions. Urban planning and the social consequences of different architectural arrangements. Urban life, country life, and suburban life as dream and nightmare. Offered in alternate years.
SOC 245, MEDIA, SOCIETY, AND CULTURE, 4 credits
An analysis of the role of radio, television, magazines, movies, newspapers, and the computer on-line services in our society. Overview of the interactions between audience, media controllers, and political institutions. Offered every third year.
SOC 254, DEVIANCE AND SOCIAL CONTROL, 4 credits
Critical examination, through original works, of the major contrasting approaches in American sociology to the explanation and interpretation of deviance. Attention will be given to formal, medical, and informal norms and sanctions. Offered in alternate years.
SOC 282, LIFE CYCLE, ADULTHOOD, AND AGING, 4 credits
An introduction to the field of social gerontology, including the study of current thinking and research about the changing social conditions for the elderly in industrialized societies. Offered each year.
SOC 326, DEMOGRAPHY, 4 credits
A systematic introduction to the study of human populations. Historical and contemporary global population issues related to size, growth, and composition will be included. Examines social, economic, and biological factors associated with fertility, mortality, and migration. Prerequisites: SOC 100 and CORE 130 or higher-level mathematics course.
SOC 342, SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, 4 credits
Overview of major social psychological theories and methods of study; emphasis on socialization, attitude formation and change, prejudice and discrimination, persuasion, and small groups. Prerequisite: SOC 100. Offered every third year.
SOC 345, ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE-, 4 credits. A systematic introduction to the field of environmental justice. Explores the impact of environmental stresses on specific populations’ health and quality of life. Examines social, economic, and political factors associated with environmental impacts on disenfranchised communities of color. Specific topics to include: history of environmental justice, impact of environmental racism; race, class, gender and environmental exposure; the emergence of the environmental justice movement, framing environmental justice problems; the environmental justice framework, case studies in environmental justice, environmental concerns of Blacks, and environmental policies to address environmental inequalities. Prerequisite: SOC 100 or permission of Instructor.
SOC 347, SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND SOCIAL CHANGE, 4 credits
Key issues in the study of socio-cultural change. Dynamics of movements which have sought to promote or resist changes in society, culture, or human character. Broader processes of change that keep shaping the world of our experience. Relations of particular social movements to long-term cultural changes. Offered every third year.
SOC 351, CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, 4 credits
A study of the entire range of behaviors in the criminal justice system, from those who commit what are called crimes, to those who enforce the laws defining what is criminal, to those who prosecute, convict, sentence, and incarcerate. The life of men and women behind the walls and the social consequences on their families and communities. Offered in alternate years.
SOC 360, SPECIAL TOPICS IN SOCIOLOGY, 4 credits. This course is an integrative treatment of a specific area or topic in sociology, with particular attention to areas and topics current in sociological theory, methods, and practice, but not included as regular course offerings. Possible topics include historical sociology; qualitative research methods; sociology of popular culture; sociology of women; and race, class, and gender. The course may be taken more than once for credit as topics change from term to term. Prerequisite: SOC 100 or permission of Instructor.
SOC 365, MEDICAL SOCIOLOGY, 4 credits
The study of contemporary issues in medical and health care. Special attention is given to the efficiency and effectiveness of health care delivery systems and also to the pervasive inequality in the quality of care in the United States. Offered every third year.
SOC 374, SOCIAL THEORY, 4 credits
An inquiry among major social thinkers in the 20th century into the conceptions of the good life and the metaphors they use in explaining the relationships among persons and between persons and various social institutions. Some metaphors are love, the jungle, the organism, the marketplace, the stage, and the game. Prerequisite: SOC 100. Offered each year.
SOC 376, ETHNICITY AND RACE, 4 credits
The study of different ways of arranging the relations among racial, ethnic, and religious groups in complex heterogeneous societies. Also the inquiry into the ideological, social, and psychological sources of prejudice, cooperation, and peaceful coexistence. Group identities, their subversions, manipulations, revivals, and upgradings. Prerequisite: SOC 100. Offered each year.
SOC 380, INDEPENDENT READINGS AND RESEARCH, 1-4 credits
The student undertakes an extensive research project in an area of sociological inquiry. Choice of supervising instructor and preliminary plan must be approved prior to registration for the course. Prerequisites: SOC 100 and permission of instructor.
SOC 390, PRACTICUM, 4 credits
The practicum entails assignment to some community agency or setting where the student will participate in a minimum of ten hours a week in the regular activities sponsored by the agency. Each student keeps a daily log of activities, reports regularly to the supervisor in the field, and each week meets with or reports to the faculty advisor. In recent years students have completed their practica in health facilities, in criminal justice programs, and at community centers, among younger and older persons. Offered each year. Prerequisite: SOC 100 and a minimum of two additional courses in sociology.
SOC 499, SENIOR SEMINAR, 4 credits
Required for all majors in sociology, the seminar continues the development of critical awareness of sociological theories and methods of research. Each student develops a project on some aspect of the general sociological theme identified by the instructor. Each participant makes an oral presentation to the other members of the seminar and submits a final, written paper. Seminar topics vary from year to year. Prerequisites: SOC 100 and SOC 374. Offered each year.