Sociology Courses

SOC 101(3 hours)/SOC 101R (4 hours). Introductory Sociology
A survey of the basic concepts, theories, methods, and research associated with the sociological analysis of society. Emphasis will be placed on the study of major forms of human association and interaction, as well as the social structures and processes that affect the individual. (Every semester)

SOC 198. Special Introductory Topics in Sociology (Subtitle) (3 hours)
This course examines an introductory topic in sociology not covered in any other departmental offerings. This course may be repeated for credit if the topic is different.

SOC 210. (3 hours)/SOC 210R (4 hours) Social Problems
This course examines problems of social inequality, deviance, and social institutions in a local and global context. Some societal problems focused upon in the course include poverty, racial discrimination, crime, educational inequality, healthcare, and environmental degradation. Students will explore the consequences of social problems and use sociological theories to explain their persistence and define solutions. (Every year)

SOC 225. Social Movements (3 hours)
The study of how human beings interact with the natural environment across increasingly urbanized landscapes. The course will focus on how cities create sustainable urban environments that protect and improve the natural environment while increasing human well-being. Topics include the study of the historical development of cities, current urbanization trends and impacts, systems-based thinking, the critical role of community engagement, and modern urban-planning concepts and strategies for creating sustainable cities. (Every two years)

SOC 295. Sociology of Race & Ethnicity (3 hours)
(Same as AFR 295)
This course is designed to help students understand the social construction of racial and ethnic categories and the inequalities between different groups.  Students will learn about prejudice and discrimination as well as ways to address social problems related to racism. (Every two years)

SOC 303. Sociological Theory (3 hours)
Prerequisite: SOC 101
This course provides an examination of classical and contemporary sociological theories. Key perspectives such as functionalism, symbolic interactionism, conflict, feminist and structural theories will be covered in-depth and considered in relation to the nature of theory construction. Emphasis is on critical engagement with theorists and perspectives, and their respective strengths and weaknesses. (Every Fall)

SOC 304. Introduction to Social Science Research Methods (3 hours)
Prerequisite: SOC 101 or CRJ 160.
In this course students are introduced to fundamental ideas and methods of social
science research, including the link between theory and research, the evaluation of
research literature, the basics of research design, and the principle elements of surveys,
experiments, and field research. Students will complete laboratory exercises in these
areas and will learn basic descriptive statistics through the use of a standard statistical
analysis program (e.g. SPSS). (Every Fall)

SOC 310. Social Work (3 hours)
Prerequisite: SOC 101
An historical and philosophical examination of social welfare services and social work
practice. Attention is given to the societal and value context in which the American social
welfare system evolved and to the development of social work as a profession. (Every
two years)

SOC 312. Sociology of Gender & Sexuality (3 hours)
(Same as WGS 312)
This course examines the cultural influences upon the construction of gender and how we learn conceptions of masculinity and femininity in society.  Students will explore gender inequality, violence against women, and issues related to masculinity.  As the class takes a sociological approach to gender, it connects the concept to meanings of sexuality and discusses relevant social problems such as homophobia. (Every two years)

SOC 313. Deviance (3 hours)
Prerequisite: SOC 101 or CRJ 160.
In this class, students study the social boundaries that separate normal behavior from
deviant behavior. This includes historical shifts in definitions of deviance, the social
function of deviance, the influence of “moral entrepreneurs” and powerful groups in
defining and enforcing deviance, and social efforts to minimize deviant behavior.
Attention is also given to “ambiguous deviance” and the medicalization of deviance in
American society. (Every two years)

SOC 319. Social Class in the U.S. (3 hours)
This course examines the uneven distribution of wealth, income, power, and prestige in the United States and the effect of this inequality upon the opportunities and lifestyles of those who inhabit different social classes.  The course explores the cultural and economic systems that maintain inequality, movement between social classes, as well as poverty and welfare policies. (Every two years)

SOC 321. Globalization and Society (3 hours)
Prerequisite: SOC 101
This course focuses on the processes of globalization (economic, political, and
geographic) and the nature of their impact in modern societies. It examines sociological
theories of globalization that relate to arguments of dependency, modernization, neocolonialism,
and cultural and civilizational clash. The course is centrally concerned with
the unequal distribution of wealth and power for social cohesion and stability at different
scales (global-local). (Every three years)

SOC 323. Medical Sociology (3 hours)
Prerequisite: SOC 101
This course describes and contrasts the functionalist, conflict, and symbolic
interactionist models of health and sickness. It traces the historical development of
“illness” definitions as ways of defining, managing, and controlling behavior. Included in
the course are discussions of medical “gatekeeping”, bioethical issues in medical
decision-making, the formulation of national health care policy, and the organization of
health care delivery systems. (Every two years)

SOC 325. Urban Ecology (3 hours)
Prerequisite: SOC 101
The focus of urban ecology is the synergistic relationship between people and the
urban environment (social, physical and institutional), to include the essential bond
between human and natural environments. It includes the study of the historical
development of cities, current urbanization trends and impacts, the critical role of the
local community in the development of human relations and institutions, community
leadership and organization, and the relationship of the urban and natural environment.
(Every year)

SOC 330. The Sociology of Language, Culture, and
Communication (3 hours)

Prerequisite: SOC 101
The sociological study of language and communication with attention given to language
as the organ or medium for comprehending reality; semantics and the problem of
meaning; the relation between language and the cultural history of a people.

SOC 334. Marriage and Family: Diversity and Change (3 hours)
(Same as WGS 334)
Prerequisite: SOC 101 or WGS 180.
The course examines marriage and family structures emphasizing their changing roles in
history. It focuses on the increasing diversity of contemporary family relationships
(marital and non-marital) including the disorganization and re-organization of marital and
family life. (Every two years)

SOC 340. Sociology of Religion (3 hours)
Prerequisite: SOC 101
This course will review the history and meaning of a wide variety of western, eastern,
and indigenous religions. In addition the course will deal with the social construction of
religious life, new religious movements, religion and violence, and multicultural religious
themes of tolerance. It will expose students to the forces that legitimate, sustain, and
challenge religious systems of belief and ritual in the midst of our scientific- and
technologically-oriented world. (Occasionally)

SOC 350. Women, Crime, & Justice (3 hours)
(Same as WGS 350)
Prerequisite: CRJ 160 or SOC 101 or WGS 180
This course examines women’s involvement in crime, the criminal justice system, and women’s roles in the field of criminology. It also addresses women’s experiences with victimization and the criminal justice system’s responses. In addition, the course explores the multiple pathways to crime that women take and the role structural forces play in shaping their experiences. (Every two years)

SOC 360. Environmental Sociology (3 hours)
This course uses the sociological perspective to examine environmental problems on the
local, national, and global level. It explores how culture and social institutions affect the
environment as well as the distribution of environmental problems according to socioeconomic
conditions. This course also examines the environmental movement and its
potential to address environmental problems. (Every two years)

SOC 367. Law and Society (3 hours)
Prerequisite: CRJ 160 or SOC 101.
This course studies the moral and cultural values which shape our legal system and the
pervasive impact of that system on our society and culture. Through an in-depth
examination of the most controversial legal-societal issues of the day, the course will
illuminate the evolving role and interaction of the public, the judiciary, and the legislature
in defining and enforcing social norms, thus shaping the American social and cultural
landscape. (Every two years)

SOC 385. Criminology (3 hours)
Prerequisite: SOC 101 or CRJ 160.
An analysis of the major theories of criminal behavior, the nature and types of crime, and
the relationship between crime and society. Special emphasis will be placed on the
relationship between the notion of crime, punishment, and justice. (Every two years)

SOC 390. Special Topics in Sociology: (Subtitle) (3 hours)
Prerequisite: SOC 101 or consent of instructor.
This course examines a significant topic in sociology that is not available through other
departmental course offerings. This course may be repeated for credit if the topic is
different. (Occasionally)

SOC 405. Empirical Research Project (3 hours)
Prerequisite: SOC 304.
In this course, students will choose a topic to investigate, review the literature on the
subject, design the research methodology, and collect and analyze the data. Students
will prepare a research paper and present their findings at BEAR Day or other approved
conference. (Every Spring)

SOC 490. Internship in Sociology (1-3 hours)
Prerequisites: SOC 101 and consent of instructor
This course involves an internship at an approved business, non-profit organization,
government agency, or academic institution. It provides the opportunity for students to
gain a deeper understanding of sociological concepts, develop career-related skills, and
better define their career paths. Students will complete the course under the direction of
a faculty member and an onsite supervisor. In addition to handling internship site work
responsibilities, students complete reading and reflection assignments, and meet
periodically with the faculty sponsor. Students are required to engage in projects or
assignments requiring at least three on-site hours, or equivalent, per week for every hour
of credit. (Every semester)

SOC 495. Directed Independent Research in Sociology (3 hours)
Prerequisite: SOC 405 and consent of instructor and chair.
This course involves intensive student research under the guidance of a faculty mentor.
Students who enroll in this course are expected to present their research projects at an
approved conference. (Every semester)