List of Courses

SOC 103 Introductory Sociology (3 credits)

This course is a foundational introduction to the broad range of topics encompassed in the "science of society." Students will learn how to study society with sociological methodologies and how to interpret it with sociological theories and thinking. Students will furthermore explore major sociological topics such as social and economic inequality, gender and sex, the structures of family and human societies, race and ethnicity, religion, socialization processes, and forms of deviance and culture. Prerequisite: English and reading placement at college level or permission of instructor.

SOC 183 Popular Culture (3 credits)

This course presents a sociological analysis of popular culture. Students examine the role of popular culture in society using sociological theories, methods and concepts. The course will further examine how the nature of popular culture is shaped by mass media organizations and how popular culture, in turn, shapes mass media, our perceptions of self, others, and many aspects of society. Students explore various facets of popular culture, such as print media, radio, television, films, advertising, sports, and popular music. Prerequisite: English and reading placement at college level or permission of instructor.

SOC 203 Gender & Society (3 credits)

This course offers a sociological analysis of sex and gender relations in contemporary societies. One of the primary objectives of this course is to give students a foundation in sociological ways of thinking about gender in their everyday lives. We will consider how schools, the media, workplaces, families and other social institutions produce, maintain, and enforce gendered behavior and inequality. Further, we will examine the social construction of gender, cross-cultural variations in gender and the intersection of gender with race, class, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Prerequisite: English and reading placement at college level or permission of instructor.

SOC 204 Social Problems (3 credits)

This course is an introduction to contemporary social problems in the United States from a sociological perspective. Students will learn how to analyze social problems using both sociological research methods and theories. The problems under study in this course include, but are not limited to, poverty and unemployment, race and ethnic conflicts, domestic and relationship violence, drug use and abuse, homelessness and housing issues, crime and criminality, and environmental issues. The evolution of such problems will be considered, as will solutions to their ongoing persistence. Prerequisite: English and reading placement at college level or permission of instructor.

SOC 207 Sociology of Deviance (3 credits)

This course is concerned with the social construction of social deviance as well as the forces that construct, change, and control forms of deviance in society. We will examine various topics from contemporary and historical contexts, including but not limited to crime, delinquency, drug use and abuse, sexual and relationship deviance, social protest and political deviance, cults and religious deviance, and all sorts of counter-cultural social thought, movements and action. Students will learn how to apply and evaluate research methods used by social scientists to study deviance. In addition, students will learn how to evaluate forms of deviance with various sociological theories such as anomie/strain theory, differential association, labeling constructivist perspectives, and conflict and control theories. Prerequisite: English and reading placement at college level or permission of instructor.

SOC 208 Social Stratification (3 credits)

Social stratification refers to systematic, patterned inequality in the access and distribution of opportunities, rewards and resources across social categories. Students will learn about the sociological approaches to understanding social stratification and inequality and the processes by which various statuses across the stratification spectrum come to be seen as undesirable, legitimate, or natural. This course focuses on industrialized societies, but does not preclude comparison to other economic systems and societies across the globe. Furthermore, the course addresses major forms of social stratification through a historical lens, especially those related to age, class, race, gender, and various social statuses related to work, privilege, wealth, politics and power. The course examines whether forms of stratification are inevitable, the relationship of industrialization and deindustrialization to stratification, and whether theories of a ruling class are well founded in post-industrial capitalism. Prerequisite: English and reading placement at college level or permission of instructor.

SOC 209 Medical Sociology (3 credits)

This course presents a conceptual overview of medical sociology, sometimes referred to as the sociology of health and illness. Students examine a variety of social and cultural forces that affect illness, disparities in health, and access to healthcare. Students learn the major concepts, methods, and theories that medical social scientists use to understand public trends and topics in health, illness, and medicine. Furthermore, students will examine various medical topics from sociological and cross-cultural perspectives, including but not limited to medical ethics, death and dying processes, the work environments and careers of health professionals, the commodification of illness, healthcare systems and reform, and the intersection of inequalities as they relate to health, illness, and access to healthcare. Prerequisite: English and reading placement at college level or permission of instructor.

SOC 211 Race and Ethnicity (3 credits)

This course introduces students to the processes by which race and ethnic meanings (identities, cultures, racism, prejudices, etc.) have been and continue to be constructed. In addition, this course examines the major social consequences of racial meanings, including but not limited to discriminatory social policy, segregations, racial inequalities, and ethnic conflicts. While this course focuses on the U.S., students will study and compare race and ethnic meanings across regions and nations. There are important racial and ethnic distinctions across geographies, and comparing them allows students to understand the complexities of racial and ethnic meanings. Prerequisite: English and reading placement at college level or permission of instructor.

SOC 213 International Development (3 credits)

This course introduces students to the major sociological perspectives of international and comparative development, sometimes called globalization and social change or global development. It examines and compares the processes and conflicts of development across various international regions. It focuses on the relationship of development to regional economies, ecologies, food/land/income distribution, demographic shifts, and quality of life measures. This course examines the positions of the promoters of development, including post-WWII institutions of development (the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund). This course also considers the positions of social movements and resisters to development. Related topics to be studied include the influence of states on development, the intersection of resistance to development and religion, the role of multinational corporations on development, as well as prospects and tensions surrounding democratization. Prerequisite: English and reading placement at college level or permission of instructor.

SOC 214 Global Inequality (3 credits)

This course provides a foundation for understanding social and economic inequality on a global level. Students will study and compare the causes and solutions to inequality issues across various communities in both developed and underdeveloped nations. Issues to be covered include hunger, modern slavery, human and indigenous rights, disease, human trafficking, ethnic violence, homelessness and displacement, and unemployment and labor issues. Students will consider solution models to inequality issues from various perspectives including religious, governmental, philanthropic, not-for-profit, and non-governmental organizations. Students will receive training in the sociological research methods used to measure and understand global inequities. Prerequisite: English and reading level placement at college level or permission of instructor.

SOC 215 Sports in Society (3 credits)

This course examines sports using the sociological perspective, objectively and systematically applying sociological concepts, methods and theories to better understand sport and its social meanings. The structural and cultural relationship of sports to society will be explored, paying particular attention to the issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, social class, age, economics, and politics. The course will also explore how sports is a microcosm of society and parallels other social institutions such as the media, family, and schools. Prerequisite: English and reading placement at college level or permission of instructor.

SOC 220 Sociology of Work (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to the sociology of work and labor. It will carefully consider the meaning of types of work and how those meanings change and develop over time. This course examines the social and economic forces that transform work and how such transformation affects social development. Many issues related to work and employment will be considered including, but not limited to: global fair labor standards, tensions between labor and environmental justice, automation's impact on skill, professionalization, unemployment, unions and unionization, high-paid and low-paid employment, the minimum wage, the impacts of employment types on family life, human trafficking and modern slavery, migrant worker movements, labor social movements, sweatshops and offshoring, and globalization and outsourcing. Prerequisite: English and reading placement at college level or permission of instructor.

SOC 230 Environmental Sociology (3 credits)

Environmental sociology examines the interrelationships between society and the natural environment. This course is designed to provide an overview of environmental problems, to examine the underlying social causes and consequences of environmental change, and to critically evaluate these using the dominant theories in the field. Broadly, this course will consider the impacts of population, consumption, production, and development on the environment. In addition, it will consider the cultural understanding of environmental concern, environmental domination and risk. Finally, the course will consider how to apply the ideas of environmental sociology to develop solutions to social and environmental problems.