Sociology Course Offerings

201 Principles of Sociology (3) F, S, SU. Introduction to the concepts and methods of sociology. Investigation of socialization, group processes, social institutions, and social change.

205 Marriage and Family Relations (3) Gender roles, stages of committed relationships, power and conflict in family life, work and family roles, parenting, divorce and remarriage.

301 Sociological Focus (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department) In-depth study of one sociological subject emphasizing interpretations, methodologies, and relevant applications to contemporary society. May be taken twice for academic credit with departmental approval.

302 Methods of Sociology (3) (Prerequisite: 201 and declared sociology major or permission of department) F, S. Introduction to understanding how research methods help us answer important social questions, appreciating why our limited perceptions of social processes can be wrong, and acquiring critical skills necessary for evaluating research and communicating it to others; emphasis on the advantages and limitations of different data collection strategies.

303 Social Statistics and Data Analysis (3) (Prerequisite: 201, Mathematics 134, and declared sociology major, or permission of department) F, S. Introduction to statistical concepts; determining levels of measurement; calculating and interpreting descriptive and inferential statistics, including z-scores and confidence intervals; conducting hypothesis tests; determining associations between variables; regression and correlation analysis; data analysis using SPSS.

306 Social Problems (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department) Critical review of problems resulting from social inequality (distribution of wealth, racial and ethnic relations, gender relations, sexism, healthcare), violations of social norms (substance abuse, violence, property crime), and social change (population growth, food, urbanization, environment).

310 Race and Society (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department) A theoretically grounded examination of how racial groupings are created, inhabited, transformed, and eliminated. Topics explored in this course include theoretical models for understanding racial difference, the social implications of racial hierarchies, and the significance of racial coalitions in promoting social change.

311 Economic Inequality (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department) Examines the impact of economic structures in shaping the lived experience of the individual. Topics explored in this course include theoretical explanations of inequality, the impact of inequality on daily life, and societal responses to inequality.

315 Gender and Society (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department) Study of feminine and masculine roles and lifestyles, with emphasis upon socialization experiences in settings such as home and school; expression of gender roles in family, work, spiritual, artistic, and recreational activities; inequalities of opportunities and rewards, cultural influences upon preferred gender roles.

327 Sociology of Aging and Later Life (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department) An introduction to gerontology as a social phenomenon with an emphasis on theories of aging, the composition of the elderly population, family relationships, living arrangements, work and retirement, the welfare state, end-of-life care and dying, and aging and inequality.

331 Environment and Society (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department) An introduction to the study of the relationship between human society and the physical environment, with an emphasis on the relationships among population growth, economic development, systems of inequality, and control and use of the natural environment. Local, regional, and global approaches will be used to understand environmental issues. An emphasis is placed on how the allocation of environmental resources (kind, amount, and quality) varies by race/ethnicity, gender, class, and nationality, and the different responses that these groups have to environmental problems/issues.

333 Urban Sociology (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department) Historical and current urban growth patterns, theoretical perspectives regarding urban structure and change, distribution of power and other resources in urban settings, urban cultural and social forms, problems of urban areas, and strategies of urban planning. The United States and other nations are examined. Explores how gender, racial/ethnic, class, age, nationality, and other group relations affect urban processes and life.

334 Population and Society (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department) Scientific study of population size, composition, and distribution; analysis of trends and differentials in birth rates, death rates, and migration by race/ethnicity, gender, class, age, and nationality; consideration of actual and potential pressures of population on natural resources; the interrelationship of population and the social structure as it varies by race/ethnicity, class, gender, age, and nationality.

339 Sociological Theory (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department) F, S. Selective survey of major theorists and theoretical perspectives with emphasis upon their applications to contemporary research.

341 Criminology (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department) Examines how social structures and participation in social networks influence the likelihood and nature of criminal activities. Also examines how individuals and groups react to crime. Includes a critical review and application of theoretical explanations of crime and criminal behavior.

342 Social Deviance (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department) Introduces several theoretical perspectives from which deviant behavior is analyzed, following a basic distinction between “kinds of people” theories versus explanations focused upon society and culture. Current research on several forms of deviance – violence against persons, sexuality, substance use, organizational crime, economic crime.

343 Juvenile Delinquency (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department) Critical examination of alternative theoretical explanations of juvenile delinquency and the various programs developed to prevent and control, with consideration of their assumptions, arguments, and research support.

344 Violence in Society (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department) Exploration of the various forms of violence, with attention given to how the reporting of and reactions to violence are shaped by the way it is defined and measured; causes of violence are framed in terms of culture and social structure.

346 Crime and Organizations (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department) Exploration of the types of crime committed within, by, and against organizations, characteristics of crime perpetrators, their activities, and impacts on society, as well as explanations for why these crimes exist and approaches used to combat these crimes.

347 Alcohol, Drugs and Society (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department) Drug use/abuse as a social phenomenon, with attention given to illegal drugs, legal drugs and alcohol. While there will be an emphasis on theoretical application, patterns of drug use/abuse among various populations (race, class, sex, education, etc.) will be examined, as well as society’s responses to drug use/abuse in the form of drug policies and regulatory attempts.

348 Family Violence (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department) An exploration of family violence from a sociological and criminological lens. Specific types of violence that occur in the family setting (spousal abuse, child abuse, elder abuse, and dating violence) are examined, including patterns based on gender, social class, race, age, culture, and religion. Prevention and intervention measures are discussed, along with public policy implications.

349 Hate Crimes and Terrorism (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department) A critical examination of hate crimes and terrorism, including their similarities and differences, types of perpetrators and victims, perpetrator activities and tactics used, and societal impacts, as well as explanations for why these crimes occur and approaches used to impede these crimes. Major hate crime cases and terrorism incidents within the US and abroad are also reviewed.

351 Environmental Crime (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department) An in-depth exploration of the types of environmental crime activities, including major crime cases, their perpetrators and victims, and responses given to the commission of these crimes by society. Theories explaining the presence and prevalence, as well as the methods for documenting and studying these crimes are covered.

352 Rural Crime (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department) Examines critical issues related to crime in the rural context, including offending and victimization. Explores the types of crimes committed in rural areas, including those that are unique to this setting. Critiques criminological theories and their ability to explain rural crime. Analyzes the issues that rural police and agents of the criminal justice system face in dealing with criminal matters.

353 Human Trafficking (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department) An in-depth examination of what human trafficking is, including the many different forms in which it appears, and human trafficking’s pervasiveness within the US and around the world. Explanations for why human trafficking occurs, how victims are recruited and entrapped, who is likely to become a perpetrator, and how societies are investigating and responding to these crimes. Societal responses include political policies towards complicit nations, criminal justice system responses to traffickers, and prevention and aftercare for trafficking victims.

361 Self and Identity in Society (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department) Examines the core principles of sociological social psychology with an emphasis on symbolic interaction and dramaturgy; provides an overview of the development of the self and identities; explores related topics including emotions, self-esteem, influence, attitudes, and personality from a social context.

374 Work in Society (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department). Patterns and organization of work; the theories and methods associated with studying work; how work varies across social and demographic groups; and impact of family structure, technology, globalization and public policy on work.

375 Sociology of Health and Medicine (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department) Trends and group differences in health and illness; theoretical perspectives on health; the sick role; seeking and using health services; patient-practitioner relationships; caregiving issues; social organization of healthcare systems; international and cultural differences; medicalization of chronic conditions; current issues and problems.

376 Sociology of Mental Health & Illness (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department) This course examines issues of mental health and illness from a sociological lens.  The main objective is to understand mental health and illness from a social, cultural, and institutional standpoint as opposed a medical or psychological context.  Several topics will be explored:  theoretical perspectives on mental health and illness, research methodology, social patterns and trends, the importance of social factors that contribute to mental illness, social stressors, stigma and labeling, and treating mental illness.

381 Sociology of Sport (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department) Scientific study of sports to better understand how they are practiced and what those practices mean. Using various theoretical approaches, the focus will be on topics as they relate to sports such as: identity, ideology, children, gender, race and ethnicity, the media, economics, politics, globalization, drugs and violence.

382 Sociology of Families (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department) Examines sociological theories used to study the family. Explores current and historic American family trends, how society and various social institutions shape the family, and the internal dynamics of the family as a social group in society.

384 Sociology of Education (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department) This course examines the structure and operation of the education system, primarily in the United States.  Several issues will be addressed including: theoretical perspectives on education’s role in society; how schools interact with other social institutions, such as the family, economy, politics, and religion; funding sources and variety of educational institutions; factors affecting student performance; issues of access and inequality among different social and demographic groups; and public policies affecting educational outcomes.

387 Death and Dying in Social Contexts (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department) An overview of the perspectives on death in different cultures, social influences on those perspectives, death in relation to modern health care systems and related ethical issues, models of grief and its expression, last rites, consequences for survivors, suicide, contemporary risks of death.

388 Disasters and Extreme Events (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department) Types of disasters and extreme events; stages in the disaster process; theories and methods used to study disasters; how disaster vulnerability and resilience varies across social and demographic groups; how social institutions respond to disasters; disaster prevention and mitigation efforts.

389 Sociology of Religion (3) (Prerequisite: 201 or permission of department) Examines the role of religion in developing, transforming, and redefining the social world. Topics explored in this course include the origin of religious life and its implications for the individual and society, the utility of religion for promoting social change, trends in religious practice, and new religious movements.

403 Survey Methodology (3) (Prerequisite: 18 hours of sociology including 302, 303, and 339; senior standing; declared sociology major; and permission of department) F, S. The focus of this course is an individual research project that involves using survey research methodology. In this course, students select a research problem and develop testable hypotheses drawing from published studies. Students also learn sampling, measurement, data collection, creating a data file, and conducting data analysis using statistical software. Finally, students are required to participate in the Institutional Review Board (IRB) process and present their findings to the class.

496 Sociology Capstone Experience (1) (Prerequisite/Corequisite: 403; Prerequisite: Senior standing; declared sociology major, and permission of department) F, S. This course will be used as a final step towards preparing seniors for the job market or graduate school. An examination of potential careers, professional goals, and application materials, and employment/graduate school searches will occur. Students will also participate in an assessment of learning outcomes via an exit exam.

497 Special Studies (3), (2), or (1) (Prerequisite: Permission of department) Open only to juniors or seniors with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in their major courses. A maximum of 3 semester hours may be earned. All individual research projects are reviewed by three faculty members from two different disciplines. May be taken for credit (3 hours) towards the Honors degree by special arrangement.

498 Sociology Internship (3:1-6) (Prerequisite: 18 hours in sociology, including 201, 302, and 303; senior standing; declared sociology major; and permission of the department) Provides students with a structured experience working in a community service agency. Each student is expected to work 6 to 10 hours each week on site, as arranged with the cooperating agency. Readings and discussions will cover such topics as the organizational structure of service agencies, relationships with clients, and relationships with other agencies. See your advisor and the course instructor no less than one semester in advance of enrolling in Sociology 498.