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Sociology

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Course Descriptions

101 Introduction to Sociology
An introduction to the scientific study of human behavior in its social context. It explores the nature of social interaction, social structures and processes, and social institutions. It introduces basic sociological principles, methods, and major social theories.

202 American Society
A study of the changing composition of the American social scene underscoring the factors relating to this change in the past and the current picture of American social institutions.

204 Sociology of Aging, Dying, and Death
Aging is examined as a social process that occurs throughout an individual's life course until death. Topics include aging in relation to social institutions such as economy, family, education, and health. Differences in the aging process by race and ethnicity, social class, health status and disability are addressed. Cultural contrasts across societies and changes through history are studied. Sociological theories of aging are applied and compared.

205 The Family
An analysis of the family as a social institution and of marriage as a system of social interaction. Emphasis is given to the family in America and the sub-cultures which form its history. Interactions between family members will be analyzed using a socio-psychological model and will focus on courtship practices and the problems of marital adjustment.

206 Social Problems
An analysis of some of the fundamental problems of modern society. War and violence, hunger and poverty, problems of the workplace and the environment are among the problems typically explored.

211 Research Methods
This course is designed to provide an overview of social research methods, the theory behind them, and their successful application. Students will explore how sociologists use scientific methods to answer questions about social problems, examine the different methods used to conduct research, and design a research project. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches will be explored.

Prerequisite: SO101 or permission of the instructor

212 Social Statistics
An introduction to the logic and techniques of statistical analysis as applied to human behavior, including organization and presentation of statistical data, measures of centrality and dispersion, probability, sampling, hypothesis testing, estimation, tests of association and significance, and an introduction to multivariate techniques.

215 Criminology
An examination of the relationship between crime and modern social life. The course will focus on the nature and types of crime and criminality, theories of crime and law, crime as a social problem, as well as the agencies and institutions through which society attempts to prevent and control crime.

216 Juvenile Delinquency
An examination of juvenile delinquency and society's response to it. The course will focus on the nature and extent of the delinquency problem, theories of delinquency, delinquency policy, and the juvenile justice system.

218 Individual and Society
An examination of social behavior among individuals in social and cultural contexts. Explored are the influences and consequences of social interaction in various social settings such as work, politics, and personal life.

221 Deviance and Social Control
An examination of the origin, nature and scope of socially disapproved behavior. Special attention will be directed to mechanisms of social control utilized by different societies to limit deviant behavior. Among the substantive areas to be covered will be mental illness, addiction, violence, suicide and corporate and organizational deviances. In addition the course will compare and contrast images of deviance and social control historically and cross culturally.

228 Sociology of Health and Illness
An examination of how societies address the health of their populations. Topics include cultural values, the meaning of health and illness, societies' economic forms, standard of living and social resources including income, gender, race, ethnicity as related to health. Also examined are ways societies organize to maintain health and provide care for health and illness, including economic and political processes, the health care delivery organizations, and the roles and statuses enacted by individuals.

229 Mass Media
An examination of mass communication, its media, its content, and its effect on an audience. Inquiry is also directed toward the process and institution of public opinion and its place in the communication network. Propaganda is investigated as it offers a perspective on the nature of communication.

230 Social Movements: People, Power and Change
Social Movements are organized for the purpose of promoting or resisting social change. This course explores major theoretical perspectives on social movements as well as concrete examples, including , but not limited to the peace movement, environmental movement, and civil rights movement. Students will research a social movement of their choosing and create a portfolio that illustrates the elements of the movement.

309 Gender and Society
An examination of the social and cultural significance of gender. The social and cultural processes that contribute to gender, the organization of gender within social institutions such as education, economy, politics, and family, and the relation of gender to social differences such as class, age, and race are explored and critiqued using relevant sociological theory and method.

325 Sociological Theory
A survey of the development of sociological theory from the Enlightenment to the present, the course will explore classical theory of Durkheim, Marx, Weber and its relationship to the development of contemporary social theory.

Prerequisite: Sociology 101 or permission of the instructor.

330 Race and Ethnic Relations
An examination of race and ethnicity with a particular emphasis on race and ethnic relations in society. Major themes and concepts include assimilation, power, exploitation, solidarity, inequality, prejudice, stereotyping, discrimination, racism, and ethnic conflict, both domestic and international, at the individual and institutional level. Issues and policies that have had an impact on racial and ethnic relations will be explored. Particular attention will be paid to the ways in which racism and ethnic conflict can be combated and social justice promoted.

332 Peace, Conflict, and War
This course is designed as a survey of the topics pertaining to peace, conflict, and war from a sociological perspective. The study of peace, conflict, and war is broad and diverse field and therefore this course highlights only a few subareas. Historical moments of peace, conflict, and war will be discussed. Students will scrutinize both how scholars understand and how people experience these moments. The course focuses on the cultural and structural elements of peace, conflict, war and violence in our daily lives to help us critically assess its importance and influence.

333 Sociology of Genocide
Genocide provokes heated, emotional debates due to the complexity, controversy and ambiguity of these political crimes against humanity. Through a socio-historical, interdisciplinary, cross-cultural and comparative case study approach, students will critically evaluate the root causes, responses, prosecutions, and future prevention of genocide. Our critical examination and analysis will include, but will not be limited to, the following genocides: Armenian, Soviet Union, Rape of Nanking, the Holocaust, Cambodian, Rwandan, and Sudanese.

334 Global Society
An examination of the global nature of social life in the modern world. Special emphasis will be given to globalization and development, important global social institutions and global social issues, particularly poverty, conflict and environmental degradation.

335 Law and Society
This course is sociological analysis of law and legal structure in its social context. Students will evaluate law and legal institutions, especially in relation to equality, justice, and fairness, and how law is involved in the processes of social control, social conflict, and social change.

342 Social Inequality
This course examines social stratification, the structures of inequality that are central to an understanding of group relations and individual opportunity. The main focus will be on inequality in the United States, but global inequality will also be examined. Major systems of stratification to be discussed are economic class, race, ethnicity, and gender. Other systems of inequality, such as those based on age, sexual orientation, religion, and disability, will also be examined.

343 Economy and Society
This course is a sociological investigation of the relationship between the economy and society. The structure and function of economic institutions and their impact on individuals and groups will be examined. Topics that will be explored include, but are not limited to, industrialization, capitalism, wealth and social inequality, work, corporations, and globalization.

344 Political Sociology
An analysis of how American political institutions, influence society and the social life of its citizens. Topics of discussion include economy, power, authority, media influence on politics and citizen participation.

Prerequisite: Sociology 101 or Politics 104, or permission of the instructor.

351 Special Topics in Sociology
Detailed examination in a seminar format of a topic of current sociological interest or concern. The department will choose and announce the topic prior to course registration.

400 Independent Study

453 Senior Seminar
A required integrative course engaging seniors in empirical research. The student, under direction of a faculty member, develops theory, designs methods of research and data collection, analyzes data and, finally, presents conclusions in a formally structured research report. Open only to senior Sociology majors.

454/ 455 Internship
The primary objective of the internship is to provide students with an opportunity to develop and apply their academic knowledge and skills through a supervised experience in a professional setting. The internship may be in the private or public sector in such settings as hospitals, schools, human services agencies, non-profit organizations, businesses, law offices, and the courts. SO454 is a six credit course and SO455 is a three credit course. Students may take up to nine credits of internship. Open to juniors and seniors.