Sociology

  • John Wells, department head
    Russ Crescimanno, Robert Robertson, Sheila Smith, Daniel Stuhlsatz, Carey Usher

    Sociology involves application of scientific principles and procedures to understand and solve the problems of social groups, organizations, and institutions. Many sociologists are involved in research; others manage; some teach. Though specific areas of expertise and abilities vary, sociologists command an arsenal of skills, knowledge, and experience that can be put to good use in an increasingly complex social world.

  • Requirements for the Major in Sociology

    36 semester hours
    SOC 100
    INT 222
    SOC 282
    SOC 300
    SOC 320
    SOC 400 or SOC 401
    Six additional sociology courses
    Completion of Senior Achievement Test

    Senior Requirement: Completion of SOC 400 or SOC 401 and completion of the Senior Achievement Test.

    Note: In meeting the above requirements, students may include two of the following in lieu of sociology electives: ED 115, INT/BUAD 266, SOWK 124, SOWK 153, SGS 226, SGS 261, SGS 265, or SGS 338. A maximum of nine semester hours of internship credit (SOC 287 and/or SOC 387) may count toward the sociology major.

    Requirements for the Major in Sociology/Psychology

    41 semester hours
    SOC 100
    SOC 200
    INT 222
    SOC 248
    SOC 254
    SOC 300
    SOC 320
    SOC 400/401
    PSYC 101
    PSYC 111
    PSYC 220
    One of the following: PSYC 210, PSYC 211, or PSYC 311
    One of the following: PSYC 203, PSYC 205, or PSYC 232

    Requirements for the Minor in Sociology

    18 semester hours
    SOC 100
    SOC 110 or 254
    SOC112
    Three sociology electives of which two must be at the 200 level

  • Civic Engagement Opportunities

    • The faculty aims to instill a sense of civic engagement and altruism.
    • Several courses require a service component.
    • Service internships are encouraged.
    • The student SOC CLUB offers many service opportunities each semester.
  • 100 General Sociology (3 s.h.) (S)
    Designed to introduce the unique perspective of the sociologist through readings, discussions, and lectures as well as observations focused on the everyday social world. Deviant behavior, social class, and globalization are some of the more specific topics.

    110 Sociology of the Family (3 s.h.) (S)
    Acquaints student with the field of marriage and family from a sociological perspective. Focuses include mate selection, dating, premarital sex, the marriage contract, parenthood, communal living, and divorce. Alternate years.

    112 Social Problems (3 s.h.) (S)
    Focus on theory of social problems, critically formulated and applied to tensions within society such as those stemming from population, war, centralized power, environmental issues, race relations, poverty, gender inequality, sexual issues, drug addictions, family relations, and health care. Course includes a service component.

    200 Drugs and Society (3 s.h.)
    Acquaints student with the relationship among drug use, the individual, and society at large. Topics covered include regulation of narcotics and dangerous drugs; drugs, crime, and violence; drugs and sports; tranquilizers and depressants; and marijuana, cocaine, and the use of LSD.

    205 Death and Dying (3 s.h.)
    Topics covered through reading, discussion, and lecture are: concepts of death, death rites of other cultures, experiences of death, preparing for death, and contemporary attitudes toward death. Recommended background: SOC 100. Alternate years.

    210 Prisons and Punishment (3 s.h.)
    Major philosophies of punishment and related history of prisons. Develops understanding of justification for punishment and how American prison systems do and do not reflect these justifications.

    211 Criminology (3 s.h.)
    This course introduces students to social scientific theory explaining crime and criminal behavior, with an emphasis on sociology theory. This is an introductory level class focusing on the basic principles of criminology from a sociological perspective. Course topics include basic concepts, different methods of measuring crime, diverse theories of criminology, and a focus on the social origins of crime and criminal behavior. Criminology is a very complex and far-reaching discipline. It has captured the attention of political scientists, biologists, anthropologists, psychologists, and sociologists. Legislators, politicians, mass media, law enforcement, the courts and the corrections system all have a profound impact on the nature of crime. Indeed, crime is an integral part of the fabric of American life. Strongly recommended background: a 100-level sociology course.

    214 Sociology of Popular Culture (3 s.h.)
    Acquaints student with study of popular culture in America with a focus upon sociological significance of such cultural products as television, radio, magazines, and popular music.

    222 Social Science Statistics (3 s.h.)
    For course description, see INT 222 in the Interdisciplinary Studies listing.

    225 Sex Roles and Male-Female Relationships (3 s.h.) (G)
    Examines nature and dynamics of male/female relationships. Traditional notions of masculinity and femininity and changing sex role identities in modern society are analyzed. Focuses upon socialization process, theoretical attempts to explain sex role division, and biographical case studies of men and women.

    232 Deviant Behavior (3 s.h.) (S)
    This course will survey social theories that have been developed about deviant, non-conformist, behavior, and will survey a selection of the many studies that have been conducted on this topic. The student will learn how deviance is socially constructed when members of a society or group define the actions of others as being outside the boundaries of normative, approved, behavior. Reactions by those in power emphasize these boundaries, and these reactions are a major force defining the culture of a society. Classical sociological theorists often considered the creation of deviance as fundamental to the creation of integrated groups and societies. Time has only reinforced the validity of their insight.

    233 The Criminal Justice System (3 s.h.)
    Considers various elements of criminal justice system in an historical and cultural context. Functions of police, courts, lawyers, jails, bail, and prisons are examined as they relate to the assigning of the label of either juvenile delinquent or criminal. Theories of crime will be studied to understand criminal behavior and reactions to it. Strongly recommended background: a 100-level sociology course.

    236 Men and Society (3 s.h.)
    Acquaints the student with men’s studies using sociological perspective in examination of portrayal of men in films. Students will understand male socialization process and development of personality in a changing society.

    240 Community and Urban Sociology (3 s.h.) (W)
    Examines relationships between humans and place and their effects on community from a sociological perspective. Students become acquainted with ecological and socio-spatial perspectives regarding origins of urbanization, and social and psychological consequences of the urban environment. Recommended background: SOC 100. Alternate years.

    248 Social Inequality (3 s.h.) (D, W)
    General survey course in social stratification. Topics include social inequality based on social class, race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age and disability, drawing on a variety of theoretical approaches. Focus is on the United States, but significant attention is also given to a broad range of societies. Strongly recommended background: a 100 level sociology course.

    254 Social Psychology (3 s.h.) (S)
    Examines the individual in a changing society and the dynamic relationship between the person and society at large. In addition, a wide range of topics will be covered including personality development, the evolutionary setting of human behavior, perception, symbolic communication, drug addiction, madness, social control, deviant subcultures, and the effects of prolonged isolation.

    260 Medical Sociology (3 s.h.)
    Examines health/illness issues as they relate to societal conditions and social identities. Specific topics include social factors and health, the medicalization of life, the interrelationships of health and various social institutions, the health care delivery “system” in the United States, and selected ethical issues in medicine. Alternate years.

    262 Environment, Society, and the Sustainability Movement (3 s.h.) (T)
    This course focuses on the “sustainability movement”, a broad ranging set of groups, organizations and policies advocating human development that insures the well-being of the natural world.  This movement is an attempt to resolve a long-standing dispute between those who place their hopes in unfettered technological development and those who call for the preservation of “nature”.  As a course in social movements, we will consider the historical roots of today’s movement for sustainability.  We will also analyze the conceptual and organizational forms this movement takes in our day.  As a sociology course in environmental issues, we will focus on the social and cultural dimensions of a full range of environmental “problems”.  We will discuss relevant aspects of the physical, economic, political and business dimensions of these problems.  Students will have the opportunity to research and write about an appropriate topic of their own choosing.

    264 Social Movements (3 s.h.) (D)
    Analyzes organized, enduring, collective actions called social movements and counter-movements by studying social context, organizational networks, resource mobilization, collective identity, group solidarity, and leadership of social movements.

    270 Australia and New Zealand (3 s.h.) (I)
    For course description, see AS 270 in the Asian Studies listing.

    282 Community Service and Society (3 s.h.) (C)
    Development of the sociological perspective through field work in community service. Four parts to this service experience include: community service, journal of the experience, weekly class meetings, and final paper.

    284 Sociology of Religion (3 s.h.)
    Examines diversity of religious expression in human history, and major religious traditions in our world today. Much of the course focuses on the United States and includes discussion of religious affiliation and organization, religiosity and conversion, social issues, political-economy, and social inequality. Cross listed as REL 284.

    287 Internship: Career Exploration (credit varies)
    Provides students with the opportunity to observe sociology-related occupational possibilities in actual employment settings. A maximum of 9 s.h. of internship credit will count toward the Sociology major. *Prerequisite: permission of a member of sociology faculty.

    300 Sociological Theory (3 s.h.)
    This course is designed to acquaint students with the general development of sociological theory from its earliest foundations to the modern era. The nature of theories and the historical context of the writers will be explored in detail by focusing upon abstract concepts, propositions, major events and individual biographies. Some of the theories and theorists include Marxism, Durkheim, Weber, Structural-Functionalism, Symbolic Interactionism, Feminism, and W.E.B. Du Bois. Furthermore, students will write one standard sociological research paper on a special topic in sociology using one or more of the theories covered in class to explain the issue or problem. *Prerequisite: SOC 100.

    320 Research Methods (3 s.h.) (R)
    Designed to teach nature and techniques of research process. Students learn to use theory in formulating hypotheses, ways in which to collect data, and methods for analysis of data. Course covers survey research, qualitative field research, classical experiments, and unobtrusive methods. Recommended: senior standing. Cross listed as COMM 320. Highly recommended: INT 222 *Prerequisites: SOC 300 and permission of the instructor.

    387 Internship: Professional Experience (credit varies)
    Provides students with opportunity to work with professionals in a sociology-related occupational setting. A maximum of 9 s.h. of internship credit will count toward the Sociology major. *Prerequisite: permission of a member of sociology faculty.

    400 Senior Seminar (3 s.h.) (M)
    The first third of the course includes seminar discussions of issues in sociological theory and professional development. For the remainder of the semester, students write their senior research papers and give oral reports on their work, drawing conclusions from areas of study within the field of sociology. *Prerequisite: SOC 320.

    401 Sociology Senior Thesis (3 s.h.) (M)
    Students work with their thesis advisor to complete and defend their senior thesis. *Prerequisite: SOC 320.

    Note: Directed inquiries, teaching assistantships, and internships in sociology can be arranged on an individual basis.