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Sociology Course Descriptions


SOC 100 Foundations of Sociology (3)
A course designed to place sociology's development as a social science in the evolution of Western thought; it will also cover the elements of social scientific thinking. Major emphasis will be given to the analysis of culture, social structure, socialization, institutions, social inequality and social change. This course fulfills the social sciences requirement for the Veritas Program and is normally a prerequisite for all 300- or 400-level courses in sociology. (Fall and Spring)

HISOC 150 Who Were the First Americans? (3)
Who were the first Americans? Yesterday's answers are no longer convincing. While the issues are far from settled, there is some evidence to suggest that humans may have arrived in the Americas as early as 25,000 years ago, and perhaps much earlier, possibly from Europe as well as Siberia, by sea as well as by land. This course explores how scientists are using archeology, genetics, linguistics, geophysics, and other techniques to rewrite the story of the earliest Americans. (As needed)

SOC 106 Cultural Anthropology (3)
This course is a survey of human adaptation to, and creation of, the social environment by means of culture. Comparison of ways of life among diverse peoples with emphasis given to non-Western cultures. (Spring)

SOC 200 Sociology of Families (3)
Covers the historical development and transformation of American families is examined. The course analyzes the connections among demographic, economic, political and family trends, and constructs an interpretive framework for understanding the "personal trouble" (or "triumphs") of families within broader historical and institutional contexts. The course also analyzes contemporary "solutions" to family crises. (As needed)

SOC 202 Introduction to Conflict Resolution
This course will explore theories and conflict resolution methodologies that exist in today's society. Students will explore how they individually handle conflict. Students will also explore the theories, skills, and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques that lead to productive conflict resolution. (Spring, even years)

SOC 203 Foundations of Mediation
This course will explore mediation as a conflict resolution method as it is utilized in today's world. Students learn about the mediation process and the skill set necessary to use this alternative dispute resolution (ADR) method whether in a formal or informal setting. (Spring, odd years)

CVSO 201 The West in the Modern World: Capitalism and Globalization (3)
This course focuses on the development of a world capitalist system over the last 150 years. It examines the unprecedented rapid changes in the West in the last century and a half, due largely to industrialization. In the course of the West's expansion, it has remade the world's economies into today's global economic system. This course will explore the historical particulars and the large-scale social patterns that have evolved. This course is part of the four-course Western civilization sequence and can also count as a sociology elective. (Spring)

SOC 205 Sociology of Interpersonal Violence
This course entails an examination of violence among individuals and groups primarily in the United States. Throughout the course we ask the question, "What are the social causes of violence?" as well as look at various forms of interpersonal, institutional, and structural violence. Particular emphasis is placed on domestic violence, rape, child abuse, murder, assault, and hate crimes. Specific individual and institutional steps to eradicate violence are addressed, and the course includes service-learning opportunities. Students are encouraged to think through the various myths and controversies that arise when discussing violence. (As needed)

THSOC 207 Catholic Social Teaching (3)
An examination of modern Catholic social thought from within the broad context of Scripture and the Christian tradition. The course considers philosophical and theological questions about the role of faith in modern social and political life, while dealing with topics such as labor, poverty, war and peace, and other issues of human rights and social justice. (Spring)

SOC 210 Sociology of Medicine
This course looks at medicine as both an impressive human achievement and as an arena for conflict and inequality. Topics include: the experience of being ill; the origins and current state of the U.S. health care sector; the training and perspectives of health care providers; the tough decisions that have to be made in the space between technology and human dignity; the meanings of different illnesses; issues of fairness in health care; and the "medicalization" of society. (As needed)

SOC 211 Sociology of Sport
While participation in sport varies widely, sport in general has become deeply embedded in the popular consciousness, culture, and social fabric of every society and bears the distinctive imprint of the culture in which it exists. The Sociology of Sport is the study of the network of roles, relationships, and interactions found in sport and their application to the institutional nature of sport. This course uses sociological perspectives to understand issues, problems, aspects, and dimensions of sport that may not be readily understood from common sense or experience alone. (As needed)

SOC 213 Military and Society (3)
This course covers military careers, the military-industrial complex, diversity in the military, and much more, with an emphasis on the United States. The approach is interdisciplinary, drawing on the work of sociologists, psychologists, historians, anthropologists, clergy, journalists and military officers, Examples of topics include recruitment, military spending, killing, different kinds of conflicts (counterinsurgency, cyberwarfare), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, just war theory, women in the military, and non-violent alternatives to armed conflict. (As needed)

SOC 214 Sociology of Religion (3)
This course covers classical and modern perspectives on the nature and function of religion as a social institution; sources of religious variation; the relationships among religion and culture, social class, prejudice, radicalism and other social factors. (As needed)

SOC 215 Military and Society
This course covers the changing nature of warfare and the place of the military as a key institution in U.S. society. Military careers are examined, including recruitment and basic training, different kinds of missions, military families and veterans' issues. Emphasis will be placed on diversity in the military and on the military's cultural significance in the 21st century.

SOC 225 Sociology of Death and Dying (3)
This course examines death, dying and bereavement from a variety of perspectives (e.g., historical, cross-cultural and social-psychological), but it emphasizes a sociological perspective on death and dying. Among the topics covered are: the social meaning of death, America as a "death-denying" culture, the dying process, death and the law, hospice, funerals and body disposition, and the grieving process. (As needed)

SOC 251 Bebop to Hip Hop: Sociology of Black Music (3)
This course uses the sociohistorical development of musical traditions such as jazz, rhythm-and-blues, soul, funk, and hip hop as a way to reflect upon and more deeply understand society and culture. Particular attention is given to issues of race, class, gender, and social inequality.

SOC 300 Social Theory (3)
This course is a survey of the major theoretical thinking in sociology, including its emergence in the 1800s, the major schools of social theory, and the relevance of theory to sociological research. Students will learn the skills of analysis, evaluation and application of sociological theory to contemporary social issues. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Spring)

SOC 303 Sociology of Gender (3)
This course examines women, men and gendered lives as they appear through every aspect of social life, including personal and social identity, social relationships, and institutional structures. Topics include gendered aspects of work, education, family, media, sexuality, politics and social change, and violence, primarily in the United States. Particular attention will be paid to how gender as a major organizing principle of social life intersects with other socially defined positions of race, social class, and sexuality. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (As needed)

SOC 304 Race and Ethnicity (3)
Comparative study of dominant and minority group relations. Focuses on outcomes of social contact among different ethnic, racial, nationality and religious groups, which include conflict, amalgamation, acculturation, assimilation, racial prejudice and racial discrimination. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (As needed)

SOC 307 Social Inequality (3)
This course examines the nature, structure, historical development and operation of social inequality in contemporary American society. A comparative and historical analysis of class, race and gender inequalities, and their effects on the "life chances" of individuals. Methodological and theoretical approaches to stratification are critically examined, along with "common sense" understandings of social inequality. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Fall)

SOC 314 Deviant Behavior (3)
A central theme of this course is that deviance plays an integral role in the definition of what is "normal" in human group life. Deviant behavior as an agent of social change as well as a source of social stability will be addressed. Various sociological perspectives will be employed in discussing such topics as delinquency; organized, white collar and government crime; sexual deviance; and mental illness. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (As needed)

SOC 315 Society and the Individual (3)
This course stresses the sociological perspective on individuals and social interaction. There is no society without individuals and human individuals are innately social; we are not fully human without society. This course will examine language and communication, the self, early, childhood, and adult socialization, social roles, groups, interpersonal attraction, morality and deviance, stigma and the management of problematic identities, culture and identity, and the influence of the media on identity. The class will emphasize ethnographic fieldwork and the interactionist tradition in sociology.

SOC 320 Special Topics (3)
A course designed to supplement regular course offerings by permitting the pursuit of knowledge about subjects of varied sociological/criminological interest suggested by faculty or students. (As needed)

SOC 398 Independent Study (1-3)
Individually tutored reading and research on a selected sociological/criminological issue. Permission of the instructor, department chair, dean of the school/college and associate provost is required. Prerequisites: SOC 100 for sociology majors, CJUST 110 for criminal justice majors. (As needed)

SOCNW 360 Pre-Columbian Civilizations of the Americas (3)
An examination of the development of high civilizations in Mexico, Central and South America. Special attention will be devoted to the latest of those civilizations, the Maya, Aztec and Inca, but students will also learn about the important early New World civilizations as well, such as the Olmec, or the city of Teotihuacan, and Chavin and the Moche in the Andes. The approach will focus on the evolution of complex adaptations to the environment, intensive cultivation and the rise of empires. This course satisfies the Veritas Program's non-Western requirement. (As needed) BUSO

SOCNW 401 Biography and Non-Western Culture (3)
A senior seminar in anthropology, the course will use biographies and autobiographies of people from non-Western societies to examine how particular individuals' lives reflect sociocultural forces. The class will investigate material and non-material culture, and the social patterning of emotion, gender, family, age, personality, work, and inequality and rewards. These life histories will provide students with cognitive and cultural tools with which to think about how lives are lived in different social and cultural environments. This course satisfies the Veritas Program's non-Western requirement. (As needed)

SOC 403 Methods of Social Research (3)
Concentrates on the basic procedures constituting the research process, focusing on theory construction, the relationship between theory and methodology, and the principles and problems of data collection in experimental and non-experimental research. An annotated research proposal for the Senior Research Project is required. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Fall)

SOC 404 Statistics (3)
A continuation of SOC 403, which is prerequisite for the course, emphasizing the application of statistical techniques to the analysis of data. Completion of the Senior Research Project is required. Prerequisites: SOC 100 and 403. (Spring)

SOC 480 Internship (1-6)
Provides opportunities for students to serve as interns at nearby social service, criminal justice and social action agencies. Permission of the instructor, the department chair and the dean for academic affairs is required. Prerequisites: SOC 100 for sociology majors, CJUST 110 for criminal justice majors. This course is normally available only for juniors and seniors. (Fall and Spring)

SOC 480 Internship (1-6)
Provides opportunities for students to serve as interns at nearby social service, criminal justice and social action agencies. Permission of the instructor, the department chair and the dean for academic affairs is required. Prerequisites: SOC 100 for sociology majors, CJUST 110 for criminal justice majors. This course is normally available only for juniors and seniors.

SOC 498 Senior Seminar (3)
The capstone course of the sociology and criminal justice majors aims at providing a context for understanding the broad foci of the disciplines of sociology and criminal justice. Students review some key sociological and criminological writings with a more mature perspective and use these to develop a paper that synthesizes their knowledge of sociological/criminological theory, research and applications. Students also develop their abilities to analyze their personal experiences and explore options for continued study or employment related to their undergraduate training. Prerequisites: SOC 100 and 403 for sociology majors; SOC 100 and 403 plus CJUST 110 for criminal justice majors. (Spring)

 
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