Sociology Course Information

Sociology Course Descriptions

sociology class

153 Sociological Imaginations (3)

A general survey of the basic concepts and processes necessary for an understanding of society, culture, groups, institutions, and social behavior. The applications of the discipline are emphasized to encourage the student to appreciate the utility of the sociological approach. This course satisfies a general education requirement in social science.

203 Social Problems (3)

This course focuses on some of the phenomena which have been identified as social problems in the United States. Among the issues discussed are poverty, gender and racial stratification, hyper-consumerism, changing family structures, inequality in the educational system, health care issues, the work environment, drug abuse, and crime. Particular attention will be given to the role of the social structure in the creation and perpetuation of social problems, and how social problems are interrelated. This course satisfies a general education requirement in social science.

204 Social Psychology (3)

Social psychology seeks to understand and explain human behavior in its social context. It is concerned with how people, and the social forces that impinge upon them, affect one another's thoughts, feelings and behavior. The course consists of an overview of major theories and research studies in modern social psychology, and explorations of subspecialties in the field.

220 Contested Masculinities (3)

This course is an introduction to various forms of masculinity, how masculinities are constructed and performed by individuals, and how individual performactivities create larger social and cultural understandings of masculinity in specific historical, social, and cultural settings.

230 Social Inequalities in Education (3)

The social processes of education and schooling as an agent of socialization will be examined and critiqued. Both the structural and cultural barriers that lead to unequal access and opportunities into this social institution as experienced by different subcultures will be explored and analyzed.

255 Race, Ethnicity, and Identity in the United States (3)

This course assesses the social, political, historical, and demographic outcomes of intergroup relations in the United States. Dominant-minority relations are analyzed in relation to the other. Particular focus is given to past and current social policy and dimensions of social inequality.

257 Sociology of Families (3)

This course is an overview of families using the lense of the sociological perspective. Students will examine how families are shaped by economics, politics, and culture. Additionally, students will consider how families reflect inequalities in gender, sexuality, race, and class.

students sitting in desks during class


306 Consumer Society (3)

This course covers readings by both classic and contemporary sociologists and other social critics who have analyzed consumer society. The goal is to deepen the students’ critical analyses of the reasons for and impacts of consumerism on a personal, societal, cultural, and global level. Additionally, students will learn about the strategies to resist consumerism and how social activists are working to reconceptualize the ways in which Americans shop, produce and buy food, use energy and transportation, and view mass media. Prerequisites: SOC 153, and a 200 level SOC course.

student laughing in class

319 Social Theories (3)

This course focuses on various theoretical perspectives offered by classical and contemporary social theorists. Covering the period from classical Europe social thought of the late 1800s to contemporary theory, students will acquire a fundamental understanding of social theory. By focusing on how differences in socioeconomic background, race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, etc., shape the types of theories one develops about society, students will have a greater appreciation of the diversity of social theory in conceptualizing society(ies) and culture(s). Prerequisites: SOC 153 and 200 level SOC course.

329 Religion and Society (3)

This course analyzes religion in the United States from a sociological perspective. Emphasis will be given to the relationship between religion and other social institutions including the economy, politics, and the mass media. Prerequisites: SOC 153 and 200 level SOC course.

330 Gender and Law (3)

The goal of this course is to explore the intersection of gender and the construction, application, and outcomes of laws and policies (both civil and criminal) in our society, including a historical and prospective application of the sociological perspective on gendered legal systems. Prerequisites: SOC 153 and either 203 or 204.

340 Juvenile Deviance (3)

This course provides and examination of the changing definitions of deviance and then applies those definitions to children and adolescents. Different models of dealing with juvenile delinquency are also examined in the context of differing definition and culturally variant power distributions. Prerequisites: SOC 153, and a 200 level SOC course.

345 Sociology of Poverty (3)

Poverty is a significant social problem in our world today. Students will be introduced to the leading debates within the sociology of poverty. In this course, we will consider the measurement of poverty, competing explanations for poverty, and possible solutions to poverty. Prerequisites: SOC 153 or SW 202.

350 Diverse Childhoods (3)

This course explores the sociology of childhood using a cross-cultural perspective. The social construction of children and childhood will be examined. Topics considered include historical constructions of childhood, sociological theories of socialization, race, class and gender diversity, children’s peer cultures, and cultures of parenting. Prerequisite: SOC 153 and a 200 level SOC course.

students playing a game for class

360 Social Stratification: Class, Gender, Race (3)

This course will identify and investigate the following topics: general principles of stratification, theoretical explanations by which inequality emerges and is maintained, the relationship between class and other forms of inequality in the United States especially gender, race, and social hierarchy changes over time. Particular attention is given to the role of women in various socioeconomic locations in the United States. Prerequisites: Two of the following: SOC 153, 203, 204, or GWS 207.

students in a group assignment

365 Social Construction of Gender (3)

Drawing upon sociological and feminist perspectives, this course examines the ways in which gender, as a social construct, shapes the lives of women and men and how larger social institutions influence one’s gendered experiences. Included is an examination of the diversity of gendered experiences due to social and cultural factors such as class, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, nationality, and historical period. Prerequisites: SOC 153, and a 200 level SOC course or GWS 207.

366 Critical Whiteness Studies (3)

In this interdisciplinary course, students will examine how the meaning of white skin privilege has changed over time and how various "non-White"/immigrant groups have "become white," often through an assimilation process that involves embracing a racist ideology in which whiteness is privileged. This course will introduce students to the diverse range of work being done in critical whiteness studies, a new field that examines the meaning of whiteness (may also be listed as ICS and SOC).

370 Medical Sociology (3)

The course focuses on a sociological approach to the study of medical phenomena, including the nature of illness behavior and distribution of disease; the social psychological dimensions of the patient-physician relationship; the socialization of the medical professional; the social organization of medical care delivery systems; the development of international public health programs; and the social context of death and dying in American society. Prerequisites: SOC 153, and a 200 level SOC course.

371 Applied Sociological Statistics Lab (1)

Students will learn to create a dataset, work with secondary data, and use a computerized statistical package such as SPSS to analyze data. Pre- or corequisite: SOC 372 

372 Sociological Statistics (3)

Statistics deals with the quantitative methods used for measurement and description of social variables, building up to the analysis of associations between variables. The place of statistics in research and theory testing is emphasized. The class includes training in the use of computerized statistical packages such as SPSS. Prerequisite: Nine hours of SOC, completion of the College mathematics requirement or permission of the instructor.

373 Crime and Societies (3)

As an introduction to the topic of criminology, this course examines crime as a social problem within American society. Particular attention is given to the nature and function of law in society, theoretical perspectives on crime, victimology, sources of crime data, the social meaning of criminological data and the various societal responses to crime. These topics are addressed through specialized readings, discussion and analysis. Prerequisites: SOC 153, and a 200 level SOC course.

380 Applied Sociology (3)

This course explores the various applications of sociological theory, concepts, and methods to contemporary social behavior and issues. Students will be introduced to aspects of applied sociology, including, but not limited to: program evaluation, needs assessment, policy analysis, focus group research, and action research. Students will come to appreciate the uses of the discipline of sociology with the specific intention of yielding practical applications for human behavior and formal organizations. Prerequisites: Nine hours in SOC.

382 Sociology of Popular Culture (3)

This course examines contemporary theories about popular culture. Particular attention is given to the symbiotic relationship between popular culture and political economy, and to the impact of American popular culture on both American society and on the emerging global culture. Prerequisites: SOC 153, and a 200 level SOC course.

384 Research Methods (3)

The course is designed as an analysis of the process of social research, in terms of problem definition, research design, data sources, and methods of data analysis. Specifically, students are exposed to several types of research methods: survey, content analysis, field research, and historical-comparative research. In addition, students will be developing their own research projects. . Pre or corequisites: SOC 372, 12 hours in SOC, or permission of the instructor.

390 Special Topics in Sociology (1-3)

A seminar focusing upon a selected area of interest in sociology. Topics may include such areas as sociology through film, feminist theory, women in society, political sociology, death and dying, poverty, mental illness, social psychiatry, peace studies, sociology of law, criminal justice, juvenile delinquency, etc. This course may be repeated for credit with a different topic and the consent of the advisor. Prerequisite: Nine hours in SOC.

students smiling

485 Research Tutorial (1-3)

The research tutorial program is designed to permit students to learn various aspects of research by working with a faculty member on his/her current research. Projects will entail exposure to a variety of research forms and procedures. All participants must have 3.0 average, a minimum of 12 hours completed in SOC, junior or senior status and permission of both the instructor and the department chair. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of five credit hours, only three of which apply to the hours required for a major in the department. Graded: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory. Prerequisite: Twelve hours in SOC, junior or senior status and permission of both the instructor and the department chair.

495 Senior Seminar (3)

As the capstone course for Sociology majors, this seminar requires students to build upon previous work in sociology, especially its central themes, theoretical perspectives, research methods, and substantive findings by conducting an original project to fulfill the requirement for the senior comprehensive. The project can be an original research study, theoretical analysis, or an applied project. Applied Sociology Concentrates must complete an applied project in the course. A major paper is completed and presentation/defense of the work occurs at the end of the term. Prerequisites: Twelve hours in SOC, junior or senior status and permission of both the instructor and the department chair.

497 Advanced Independent Study in Sociology (1-3)

Independent readings and seminar discussions in selected areas of interest. Readings are generally intended as a supplement or complement to regular course offerings. This course is not intended as a substitute for an existing course. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of six credit hours. Only six credits of independent study (including 297) may be earned in the department. Prerequisites: Twelve hours of sociology, junior or senior status and permission of the instructor and the department chair.

499 Sociology Internship (1-6)

A service learning experience in an approved sociological setting under professional supervision. Prerequisites: 12 hours of sociology, junior or senior status and permission of the instructor and department chair. Applied Sociology Concentrates must complete a minimum of 3 hours in SOC 499. Graded: Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory.