Course Descriptions

Department of Sociology/Social Work
COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

SOC-101  Sociological Imagination
Introduction to principles and concepts for the sociological analysis of human societies. Social relations, social structure, and institutions characteristic of societies past and present are examined, and causes and directions of social change are considered.
3 Credit hours

SOC-110  Cultural Anthropology
The anthropological perspective is introduced, placing human behavior and institutions within their evolutionary, ecological, structural, and ideological contexts. Examples are drawn from the full range of human societies, with an emphasis on nonindustrial forms.
3 Credit hours

SOC-201  Introductory Seminar in Sociology
Designed for students considering a major or minor in sociology. The seminar locates sociology in relation to other disciplines; reviews the basic perspectives used by sociologists to study human behavior; and considers the methods and applications of sociological inquiry.
3 Credit hours

SOC-205  Families
Examines families in the United States, past and present, emphasizing the variety of family experiences in different social contexts and the relationship between family life and social change. Includes comparative material on families in other countries and considers possible alternatives to current family forms.
3 Credit hours

SOC-206  Theories of  Deviance and Crime
Considers deviant behavior as violation of social norms. Examines the concepts of deviance and crime in socio-historical context. Evaluates major theories advanced to explain deviance. Surveys different types of deviance, including conventional crime, non-criminal deviant behavior, and white-collar corporate, and government crime. [FORMERLY SOC-206 Deviance and Crime]
3 Credit hours

SOC-207  Racial and Ethnic Relations
 Examines the social origins of prejudice and discrimination, and analyzes intergroup trends in conflict, competition, and cooperation. Considers issues of immigration, economic and political power, and ethnic, racial and religious pluralism.
3 Credit hours

SOC-211  Social Movements
This course examines social movements that seek change in the social, cultural and political structures of society. The social, economic and political contexts of these movements are treated as well as their origins, tactics, organization, recruitment, and successes and failures. Case studies focus on movements in the areas of labor, civil rights, feminism, the environment, “right wing politics”, and neighborhood activism.
3 Credit hours

SOC-216  Youth and Crime
In-depth examination of the nature and extent of youth criminality in the U.S. Explores changes in youth culture and theories of delinquency. Social policies are related to youth criminality and the youth justice system is considered.
3 Credit hours

SOC-219  Introduction to Criminal Justice: Police, Courts, Corrections
This course introduces students to the sociological study of the criminal justice system. It examines the cultural and social foundations of this system, and review debates about problems with the criminal justice system and proposals to change it.  Topics covered include nature of the crime problem, requirements of criminal law, policing, the role of the courts and legal professionals, sentencing, incarceration and alternatives to it. [FORMERLY SOC-319 Criminal Justice and Corrections]
3 Credit hours

SOC-225  Population Study
Demography; its definition, historical emergence, and growth; population as a social problem in developing and developed nations; population theories, sources and methods of demographic data, population composition, and distribution; demographic processes including fertility, mortality, and migration.  [Formerly SOC-225 Birth, Death and Migration]
3 Credit hours

SOC-245  Social Problems
American social, economic, and political institutions and their interrelationships are analyzed, with an emphasis on the causes, directions, and consequences of social change in American society.
3 Credit hours

SOC-246  Drugs, Crime & American Society
Explores the nature and extent of drug use in the U.S., how drugs are legally defined and socially constructed, and considers how and why drug policies have developed and changed historically. Considers how the criminalization of drugs has impacted policing strategies, courts, probation programs, sentencing and corrections, as well as other social institutions. Examines the role of local and federal agencies in enforcing drug laws, and considers debates about directions for legal reforms.
3 Credit hours

SOC-247  Aging  
The emergence of social gerontology, demographic foundation of aging, the aging process, comparative study of aging and aged, effect of aging on the individual, social institutions and aging, and problems of aging and some solutions.
3 Credit hours

SOC-248  Social Service Organizations
Examines the growth and variety of social service organizations. The training of providers, such as teachers and physicians, and relationships between professionals and clients in settings such as schools and hospitals are studied as well as organizational decision-making, finances, and community relations. [FORMERLY SOC-348 Human Service Organizations]
3 Credit hours

SOC-252  Media, Culture and Society
Examines mass-produced commercial culture, how it has developed, and the role it plays in modern society. Analyzes the content of these cultural forms, how its production is organized, and how audiences respond to it.
3 Credit hours

SOC-261  Schools and Schooling
Schools and the process of schooling are analyzed within a broad historical perspective as well as within the structural and cultural context of American society. Education within a global perspective is also considered. Issues discussed include school funding, integration, tracking, technology, bureaucratization, and the "cultural wars" fought within the schools.
3 Credit hours

SOC-269  Physical Anthropology
An analysis of the biological development of the human capacity for culture. Topics include: modern theories of evolution and their application to human evolution; the relationship of human beings to other primates, the human fossil record, and variation among modern human populations. A background in biological studies is not necessary.
3 Credit hours

SOC-270  Area Studies: Africa
An intensive investigation of problems arising from historical and contemporary studies of tribal, peasant, and transitional societies in Africa south of the Sahara.
3 Credit hours

SOC-271  Area Studies: Europe
Studies problems arising from historical and contemporary studies of peasant populations of Europe.
3 Credit hours

SOC-272  Area Studies: Indians of North America
Societies and cultures of the Indians of North America from the Arctic to Mesoamerica. Emphasis on evidence of these tribal groups prior to extensive acculturation and their contemporary situation.
3 Credit hours

SOC-300  Work And Occupations
Analyzes the nature and organization of work in modern society. Focuses on such issues as division of labor, specialization, alienation, professionalization, and the role of technological change. Includes an examination of the historical development of work in the 20th century, and a consideration of contemporary and future patterns of work organization.
3 Credit hours

SOC-301  Methods Of Sociological Research
The second in a series of required courses for majors. Builds upon the Introductory Seminar in Sociology. Social research methods using documents, observations, and questionnaires are taught, and used in completing research projects. Pre-requisite: SOC-201
3 Credit hours

SOC-308  Cities And Suburbs
Examines the growth of an urban way of life under the influence of industrialism. Study of community, political, and economic institutions in cities. Comparisons between urban and suburban areas.
3 Credit hours

SOC-309  Peasant Society
A comparative view of peasants and their significance in agrarian, colonial, and industrial societies. Peasant economic, political, and social institutions are analyzed with an eye to both their internal operation and the way they relate to non-peasant groups who hold power in these societies. The changes that have occurred in the peasant world are viewed both as a consequence and a cause of wide reaching political and economic upheaval.
3 Credit hours

SOC-310  Pre-Industrial Economies
The anthropological study of technology, production, and exchange in nonmarket cultures, as related to the social, ideological, and ecological systems in which they are embedded. The question of whether the concepts that derive from market economies can be applied to all economic systems is considered in detail.
3 Credit hours

SOC-311 Social and Cultural Change
Investigates the process of change in both industrial and nonindustrial settings. Particular attention paid to the role of the individual in change as well as the roles played by the mode of production, social organization, and ideological constructs. Case studies are drawn from non-Western as well as Western sources.
3 Credit hours

SOC-312  Women In Society
Examines changes in women’s roles and in male-female relationships. Focuses on impact of law, economy and social movements in shaping women’s positions as wives and as workers. Explores theories and evidence concerning the nature and extent of sex differences. Attention to women’s socialization through language, schools and media.
3 Credit hours

SOC-313  Gender and Criminal Justice
This course will examine women’s experiences with the criminal justice system as offenders, victims, prisoners, and practitioners. It will consider how gender has shaped theories of crime and criminological research. It will explore how cultural constructions of gender have influenced substantive and procedural criminal law, the ways criminal justice agencies respond to crime, and how these have changed historically. Attention will be given to the development of new approaches, reforms, and challenges.
3 Credit hours

SOC-314 Social Theory
Introduces the major thinkers and conceptual problems characterizing the development of sociological thought. Required of sociology majors. Pre-requisite: SOC-201
3 Credit hours

SOC-315  Issues in Modern Social Theory
Examines current trends and issues in sociological thought.
Pre-requisite: SOC-314 or permission of instructor
3 Credit hours

SOC-316  Feminist Social Thought
An introduction to feminist social theory, with emphasis on its breadth and variety. Special attention paid to the ways feminist theorists have analyzed the relationship of gender to other kinds of group differences.
3 Credit hours

SOC-317  Law and Lawyers
Relationships between law, the economy, and the state are explored. Discussion of laws, legal systems and legal reasoning using cross-cultural comparisons and historical analysis of these in the United States. Particular attention given to impact of law on corporations, workers, women, and minorities. Changes in legal profession and legal education are examined. [Formerly SOC-317 Law and the Legal Profession]
3 Credit hours

SOC-320  Religion and Belief Systems
The relation of religious phenomena to social structures and processes; religion in cross- cultural perspective.
3 Credit hours

SOC-321  White Collar & Corporate Crime
This course considers the applicability of traditional theories of criminality to white collar and corporate criminality, examines definitional debates about white collar and corporate crime, considers the social and legal responses to these crimes compared to other types of crimes, assesses the social and economic impacts of such criminality, and considers how white collar and corporate crimes are investigated, prosecuted, punished and deterred.
3 Credit hours

SOC-322  Punishment and Corrections
This course explores the nature, forms, rationales, and effectiveness of punishment as a form of crime control. It traces the development of corrections in the U.S., identifies cultural trends and developments in penology, including mass incarceration and supermax prisons, considers the ways race and class have shaped these, and the reverberating effects penal policies have had on American culture and society beyond the criminal justice system. It examines the role of laws, politics, crime control agencies, as well as of media, and corporations in shaping penal policies. Topics also include: prison subcultures, inmate rights, correctional practices, privatization of prisons, and alternatives to punitive policies of incarceration and capital punishment.
3 Credit hours

SOC-330 Class and Economic Inequality  
Social, economic, and political aspects of the division of society into classes are considered. Theories of stratification and the distribution of wealth, power, and prestige in societies past and present are examined.
[Formerly SOC-330 Social Inequality]
3 Credit hours

SOC-340  Power and Politics
Examines the nature and distribution of power in contemporary societies; analyzes the relationships between political.
3  Credit hours

SOC-341  Developing Societies
Examines theories explaining patterns of development; indicators and measures of social well-being; and problems such as population, hunger and environmental crises in developing countries. Focuses especially on patterns of development in Latin America or China.
3 Credit hours

SOC-342  Police and American Society
This course examines important issues regarding police in American society, such as the paradoxes inherent in police work, police organization and strategies and their effectiveness, the dilemmas of supervising police work, police unionism, the nature and implications of police occupational subculture, the use of police discretion, forms of police misconduct and accountability, professionalization of police and the trend toward police privatization. It also considers the diversity of the police force, trends in the delivery of policing services, the impact of new technologies on policing, and the challenges of policing in a multicultural society.
3 Credit hours

SOC-343  Policing and Counter Terrorism
This course examines the history of different models of policing, considers how the war on terrorism has impacted policing in the U.S., and explores the conflicts inherent in policing in a democratic society. Topics include recent changes in the nature of police work and functions (including crime prevention, investigation, peacekeeping, and intelligence gathering), and in the organization of policing, police-community relations, policing strategies (including traditional, community oriented, problem-solving and intelligence-led policing). 
3 Credit hours

SOC-345  Race and Crime
Examines the impact of crime policy on minority communities in the United States, with particular attention to the impact of “The War on Drugs”, three-strike laws, and mandatory sentencing on minorities and minority communities. Drawing on sociological research, the course explores myths and realities concerning the relationship between race and crime.  The relationship between racial attitudes, historical race relations, and mass incarceration are discussed.
3 Credit hours

SOC-346  Health Care and Society
Application and contributions of sociology to medicine; the strategy and methods of sociomedical research; sociology of illness, addictive and mental disorder; medical institutions; health services and medical care; and current status of medical sociology.
3 Credit hours

SOC-349  Retirement and Leisure
Examines the social phenomena of retirement as an event, process, social role, and life stage. Explores the meaning of leisure, time utilization, and creativity among the elderly. Defines related problems and issues, i.e., financial, physical, psychosocial, and environmental. Positive as well as negative implications are presented and evaluated. Prerequisite: SOC-247 recommended
3 Credit hours

SOC-350  Social Policy
Investigates the relationship between economic development and social policy in comparative and historical context. The main features of preindustrial, early industrial, and advanced industrial social welfare systems are described. Social, economic and political factors that shape social policy are investigated.
3 Credit hours

SOC-355  Social Interaction 
Examines the interpersonal relation between and among people in private life, public places, and at work. Explains how such relations affect and are affected by changes in the larger social structure.  [Formerly SOC-355 Interpersonal Relations]
3 Credit hours

SOC-361 to 369  Selected Topics
Exploration of a specialized topic or problem in sociology. Permission of the instructor required.
3 Credit hours

SOC-396  Applied Sociology
Shows how sociology can be applied in work settings. As participant observers in organizations related to their career objectives, students learn to apply sociological knowledge, perspectives, and skills. In class meetings and individual consultations with the instructor, students examine the applied dimensions of sociology, the uses of sociology in various occupations, the ethical issues involved in applied sociology, and the culture and structure of their work organization.
3 Credit hours

SOC-400  Senior Seminar in Sociology
For sociology majors only. This seminar involves in-depth examination and research of a specific issue of current importance in the discipline. Learning to do sociology is emphasized. Pre-requisites: SOC-201, SOC-301 & SOC-314
3 Credit hours

SOC-401  Sex and the Body in Society
Examines cultural meanings and social practices associated with sex and the body. Contemporary cultural norms and practices in the U.S. will be compared to other societies, historically and cross-culturally. Variations in sexual practices, ideals of sexual attractiveness according to age, gender, race, ethnicity, class and sexual orientation also will be discussed. Topics may include beauty industries (e.g. cosmetics, diet, fashion, surgery, drugs), sex and the workplace, the impact of media, social policy, and technology on ideals of sexual attractiveness, birth control, and sexual violence.
3 Credit hours

SOC-490  Independent Research and Study
Juniors or seniors who have completed at least 12 credit hours in sociology may propose an independent research project with the aid and advice of any full-time faculty member of the department. Proposals must be reviewed and approved by the sponsoring faculty member and submitted to the department’s Independent Study Committee at least four weeks prior to the last day of classes for the semester preceding Independent Study.
1 - 4 Credit hours

SOC-491  Internship in Sociology
A supervised work experience in an approved organization to gain knowledge of applications of sociology in work settings and to analyze work settings using sociological knowledge and research methods. Placements are made in business, government, and community offices that utilize sociological knowledge or research skills. Pre-requisite: 2.75 GPA
1 - 4 Credit hours

SOC-495  Supervised Studies
3 Credit hours

SOC-496 to 497  Honors in Sociology
Training in the efficient collection of data that has a bearing on the problem being investigated. Stresses the technique of proper summarization of the collected material as well as the integration of that material into a comprehensive report. A research design is prepared and hypotheses tested in the field. The original library research is then combined with the findings to produce a mini-thesis. Approval of student’s program by a sponsoring faculty member and the department Independent Study Committee is required. Pre-requisites: SOC-201 & SOC-301
3-6 Credit hours

SOW-200  Social Services & Social Work: An Introduction
An overview of the historical development of social work. Emphasis on current issues in social welfare and social service programs in the United States. Among the programs explored are those in public welfare, mental health, medical services, child abuse/neglect, school social work, and care for the elderly.
3 Credit hours

SOW-300  Methods of Social Work Practice
Interviewing techniques are taught and practiced. Skills in forming and running small groups, working with community organizations, and administering social programs are emphasized. Students study how to gather pertinent psycho-social facts about clients, make an assessment, plan an intervention, and successfully complete service to the client. Students who next will take SOW-301 Field Work Experience will be placed in a social service agency by the end of the semester. Prerequisite: SOW-200
3 Credit hours

SOW-301  Field Work Experience*
Students observe and work in a social service agency. They study the structure of the agency and the people and roles within it, and develop helping skills with clients. Approximately six to eight hours of field work a week for each three credits are required, plus class sessions during the semester.
Prerequisites: SOW-200 & SOW-300
3 Credit hours

*May be taken twice in two separate semesters for a maximum of six credits toward the total credits required for graduation.