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Undergraduate Course Descriptions


SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology (3) Principal concepts, methods, and findings in sociology. Societal structures, processes, institutions, and social roles from both macro- and microanalytic human behavior perspectives.


SOC 102 Social Problems (3) Application of sociological theory and methods to identification, description, and analysis of contemporary social problems. Critique and analysis of alternative strategies for social change.


SOC 230 Intergroup Dialogue (3) Guided intergroup communication skills. Cycle of socialization; social identities, and social structures that create and maintain inequality; power of dynamic of racism, sexism, and other systems of oppression.  Students explore conflict and enact collaboration to deepen understanding.


SOC/WGS 248 Ethnic Inequalities and Intergroup Relations (3) Identification of individuals and groups by self and others as members of ethnic categories. Consequences of ethnic identifications for individual, group, and societal interaction. Emphasizing ethnic inequalities, group interactions, social movements and change, racism, prejudice, and discrimination.


SOC/WGS 281 Sociology of Families (3) Families and their connections to other social and economic institutions. Diversity of family forms and experiences. Formation and dissolution of relationships. Trends and changes.


SOC 300  Selected Topics in Sociology (1-3)


SOC/WGS 305 Sociology of Sex and Gender (3) Social forces shaping women’s and men’s lives in contemporary societies. Changing gender expectations. Intersections of gender with race and ethnicity, class, and age. Social movements for women’s and men’s liberation.


SOC/WGS 309 Race, Gender and Sexuality in African Diaspora (3) To introduce students to the reality of how racism informs the common sense understanding of Black sexuality.


SOC 318 Introduction to Research (3)Techniques and problems of research in sociology. Research design, measurement, and data collection using surveys and other techniques. Computer analysis skills for social science data. Research project.


SOC 319/WGS 317 Qualitative Methods in Sociology (3) Field research methods including participant observation, unstructured interviewing, life histories, and case studies. Preparation and analysis of field notes and interview data.


SOC 334 Criminal Justice (3) Organization of criminal justice system in the United States and relations between its parts. Ideal versus actual roles of police, courts, and corrections in maintaining social control.


SOC 335/635 Political Sociology (3) Relationships between society and politics. Impacts of individuals, groups, parties, and institutions on state power in global perspective. Additional work required of graduate students.


SOC 343 The Deviance Process (3) Social processes that define behaviors or people as “deviant.” Theories of anomic and nonconforming behavior. Individual, interpersonal, and structural consequences of labeling and exclusion.


SOC/WGS 355 Sociology of Health and Illness (3) Conceptions of health and illness in society. The nature and organization of health professions and health delivery systems. Social aspects of health related behavior.


SOC 363 Urban Sociology (3) Influence of the urban way of life. Ecological and population structure and changes in the modern composite city and metropolitan region. Urban planning in relation to economic patterns, family, education, government, recreation, and religion.


SOC/WGS 364/664 Aging and Society (3) Current policy issues in an aging society. Health care, end-of-life, social security, productive aging, and generational equity. Special problems facing elderly women and minorities. Additional work required of graduate students.


SOC 367 Sociology of Sport (3) Sport and race. Class and gender. College sports. Inter-relationships among sport, media, and business/industry.


SOC 397 Criminology (3) Nature and significance of crime. Historical and modern explanations of crime. Varieties of crime. Issues in measuring crime and assessing its effects. Evaluation of crime control strategies.


SOC 400 Selected Topics in Sociology (1-3)


SOC 403 Environmental Sociology (3) In this course we will examine the ways in which our contemporary society depends on natural resources from around the world and the ways that social institutions create environmental problems and attempt to solve them.


SOC 406 Sociological Theory (3) Introduction to classic and contemporary theory in sociology. Relevance of theory to research and analysis of social issues.


SOC 415 Millennial Cities (3) Urbanization, economic development, population dynamics, and politics have been important topics in Sociology for more than a century.  This course provides a survey of dominant paradigms in Urban Sociology with a focus on global cities.


SOC/WGS/CFS 422 Work & Family in the 21st Century (3) The impact of paid work on families and of families on paid work.  The large-scale movement of mothers into the labor force, growing diversity in fathers' roles, and the impact of technology and globalization on employment opportunities across race and class.


SOC 423 Technology, Science & Society (3) How do technology and science shape and re-shape our experiences of 'self' and 'body'?  Our visions of 'nature'?  We will use history, theory, science fiction, art, and our sociological imaginations to explore these and other questions.


SOC/WGS 425 Feminist Organizations (3) Women's movement history in the United States and internationally. Successes and problems of organizations built by feminist activism. Implications for a new generation of feminist(and other) activism. 


SOC/DSP/WGS 432 Gender and Disability (3) This course will investigate the intersection of gender and disability and how it impacts such issues as representation/self-representation, art and poetry, illness, education, sexuality, reproduction and motherhood, and caring work.


SOC/WGS 433 Race, Class, and Gender (3) Intersection of oppression and privilege via socially constructed categories of "race", "class", and "gender". Racism, sexism, institutional authority, and multiculturalism.


SOC 434 Globalization and Social Change (3) How globalization is reshaping people's lives in the US and other societies. Causes, directions, consequences. Linking and standardization of patterns of consumption, culture, and production around the world.


SOC/DSP 438 Disability and Popular Culture (3) Explore representations of disability through the analysis of books, movies, television, cartoons, and journalism. It will examine how disability is portrayed by people with and without disabilities, and discuss influences on public perceptions of disability.


SOC/DSP 440 Sociology of Disability (3) A theoretical understanding of disability through the lens of sociology and that of disability studies and demonstrates how cultural institutions shape conceptions of disability in society.


SOC/QSX/WGS 456 LGBT Studies in Sociology (3) Recent sociological research in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies addressing sexuality, identity, community, representation, politics, social change and their interrelations.


SOC 466 Organizations and Society (3) Nature and types of organizations and organizational processes. Dynamic relationships of organizations to societies and individual identities.


SOC 470 Experience Credit (1-6)


SOC 490 Independent Study (1-6)


SOC 495 Distinction Thesis (3 credits). Eligible students have the opportunity to conduct original empirical research on a topic of their own choosing under the supervision of a faculty advisor. GPA requirements and faculty advisor permission needed to enroll. 


SOC 513 Statistics for Social Science (3) Designed for first-year graduate students and sociology majors considering graduate study. Measures of central tendency and dispersion, hypothesis testing, and indices of association between variables. Application of statistics to social science data. Prereq: Completion of quantitative skills or permission of instructor.

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