• Bob Robinson, coordinator
    Russ Crescimanno, Beth Easterling, Sheila Smith, Daniel Stuhlsatz, Carey Usher

    Sociology is the scientific study of the social dimension of human experience. Sociology involves application of scientific principles and procedures in order to better understand social interaction, social groups, organizations, and institutions. Many sociologists are involved in research; others manage; some teach. Though specific areas of expertise and abilities vary, sociologists command an arsenal of skills, knowledge, and experience that can be put to good use in an increasingly complex social world.

  • Requirements for the Major in Sociology

    39 semester hours

    SOC 100
    INT 222
    SOC 248
    SOC 282
    SOC 300
    SOC 320
    SOC 400 or SOC 401
    Six additional Sociology courses
    Completion of Senior Achievement Test

    Senior Requirement: Completion of SOC 400 or SOC 401 and completion of the Senior Achievement Test.

    Note: In meeting the requirements for the major, students may include two of the following in lieu of sociology electives: BUAD/INT 266, SOWK 124, SOWK 153, SOWK 272, SGS 226, SGS 261, SGS 318, SGS 338, or Anthropology courses approved by the Anthropology and Sociology faculty. A maximum of six semester hours of internship credit (SOC 287 and/or SOC 387) may count toward the sociology major.

    Requirements for the Minor in Sociology

    18 semester hours

    SOC 100
    SOC 112
    SOC 232, 254 or 300
    Three sociology electives, all of which must be Sociology courses and two of which must be at the 200-level or higher. A maximum of three semester hours of internship credit (SOC 287 or SOC 387) may count toward the Sociology minor.

  • Civic Engagement Opportunities

    • The faculty aims to instill a sense of civic engagement and altruism.
    • Several courses require a service component.
    • Service internships are encouraged.
    • The student SOC CLUB offers many service opportunities each semester.
  • 100 General Sociology (3 s.h.) (S)
    Designed to introduce the unique perspective of the sociologist through readings, discussions, and lectures as well as observations focused on the everyday social world. Deviant behavior, social class, and globalization are some of the more specific topics.

    110 Sociology of the Family (3 s.h.) (S)
    Acquaints student with the field of marriage and family from a sociological perspective. Focuses include mate selection, dating, premarital sex, the marriage contract, parenthood, communal living, and divorce. Alternate years.

    112 Social Problems (3 s.h.) (S)
    This course applies a sociological perspective to  a full range of  social  issues. Sociological theory and analysis help us to better understand and explain tensions within society such as those stemming from population, war, centralized power, environmental issues, race relations, poverty, gender inequality, sexual issues, drug addictions, family relations, and health care. The course includes a service component.

    200 Drugs and Society (3 s.h.)
    Acquaints student with the relationship among drug use, the individual, and society at large. Topics covered include regulation of narcotics and dangerous drugs; drugs, crime, and violence; drugs and sports; tranquilizers and depressants; and marijuana, cocaine, and the use of LSD.

    205 Death and Dying (3 s.h.) (T)
    Topics covered through reading, discussion, and lecture are: concepts of death, death rites of other cultures, experiences of death, preparing for death, and contemporary attitudes toward death. Recommended background: SOC 100. Alternate years.

    210 Prisons and Punishment (3 s.h.)
    Major philosophies of punishment and related history of prisons. Develops understanding of justification for punishment and how American prison systems do and do not reflect these justifications.

    211 Criminology (3 s.h.)
    This course introduces students to social scientific theory explaining crime and criminal behavior, with an emphasis on sociological theory. This is an introductory-level class focusing on the basic principles of criminology from a sociological perspective. Course topics include basic concepts, different methods of measuring crime, diverse theories of criminology, and a focus on the social origins of crime and criminal behavior. Criminology has captured the attention of political scientists, biologists, anthropologists, psychologists, and sociologists. Legislators, politicians, mass media, law enforcement, the courts, and the corrections system all have a profound impact on the nature of crime. Indeed, crime is an integral part of the fabric of American life. Strongly recommended background: a 100-level sociology course.

    214 Sociology of Popular Culture (3 s.h.)
    Acquaints students with study of popular culture in America with a focus upon sociological significance of such cultural products as television, radio, magazines, and popular music.

    222 Social Science Statistics (3 s.h.) (Q)
    For course description, see INT 222 in the Interdisciplinary Studies listing.

    225 Sex Roles and Male-Female Relationships (3 s.h.) (G)
    Examines nature and dynamics of male/female relationships. Traditional notions of masculinity and femininity and changing sex role identities in modern society are analyzed. Focuses upon socialization process, theoretical attempts to explain sex role division, and biographical case studies of men and women.

    232 Deviance (3 s.h.) (S)
    This course will survey social theories that have been developed about deviant, non-conformist, behavior and will survey a selection of the many studies that have been conducted on this topic. The student will learn how deviance is socially constructed when members of a society or group define the actions of others as being outside the boundaries of normative, approved, behavior. Reactions by those in power emphasize these boundaries, and these reactions are a major force defining the culture of a society. Classical sociological theorists often considered the creation of deviance as fundamental to the creation of integrated groups and societies. Time has only reinforced the validity of their insight.

    233 Comparative Criminal Justice Systems (3 s.h.)
    This course features a detailed consideration of the criminal justice system of selected nations, in historical and cultural context. The essential features and functions of police, courts, lawyers, jails, bail, and prisons are compared for their effectiveness, as well as for their role in assigning the label of “juvenile delinquent” or “criminal.” The course includes theories of criminal behavior and reactions to that behavior. Strongly recommended background: a 100-level sociology course.

    234 Juvenile Delinquency (3 s.h.) (S)
    This course examines how society treats young people who break the law, the social causes of juvenile delinquency, and rates of juvenile delinquency. Students will explore criminological and sociological theories relating to juvenile delinquency and apply course concepts to current events and media reports.

    236 Men and Society (3 s.h.)
    Acquaints the student with men’s studies using a sociological perspective in examination of portrayal of men in films. Students will understand male socialization process and development of personality in a changing society.

    240 Community and Urban Sociology (3 s.h.) (W)
    Examines relationships between humans and place and their effects on community from a sociological perspective. Students become acquainted with ecological and socio-spatial perspectives regarding origins of urbanization, and social and psychological consequences of the urban environment. Recommended background: SOC 100. Alternate years.

    248 Social Inequality (3 s.h.) (D, W)
    General survey course in social stratification. Topics include social inequality based on social class, race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, and disability, drawing on a variety of theoretical approaches. The focus is on the United States, but significant attention  may also be given to a broad range of societies.  The course considers current trends and their historical development. Strongly recommended background: a 100 level sociology course.

    254 Social Psychology (3 s.h.) (S)
    This course considers the development of self-identity, groups and group processes through social interaction. The focus is on the dynamic relationship between individuals and their social context. Topics include the creation of meaning, the social construction of reality, socialization, the social self, symbolic interaction and communication, sociology of emotions, group dynamics, social control, deviance, social exchange and social movements.

    260 Medical Sociology (3 s.h.)
    Examines health/illness issues as they relate to societal conditions and social identities. Specific topics include social factors and health, the medicalization of life, the interrelationships of health and various social institutions, the health care delivery “system” in the United States, and selected ethical issues in medicine. Alternate years.

    262 Environment, Society, and the Sustainability Movement (3 s.h.) (T)
    This course focuses on the “sustainability movement,” a set of groups, organizations, and policies advocating human development that insures the well-being of the social and natural worlds for future generations. This movement is an attempt to resolve a long-standing dispute between those who place their hopes in unfettered technological development and those who call for the preservation of “nature.” We will consider  the conceptual and organizational dimensions of the sustainability movement, as well as the social and cultural dimensions of a full range of environmental “problems.”

    264 Social Movements (3 s.h.) (D)
    This course analyzes organized, enduring, collective actions called social movements and counter-movements by studying social context, organizational networks, resource mobilization, collective identity, group solidarity, and leadership.

    282 Community Service and Society (3 s.h.) (C)
    This course is dedicated to the development of a sociological perspective through field work in community service. Class meetings draw out fundamental sociological concepts and theories as these pertain to the work of “non-profit” organizations dedicated to the public welfare. These concepts and theories help inform service commitments through reflection in a journal and final paper.

    284 Sociology of Religion (3 s.h.)
    This course examines diversity of religious expression in human history, and major religious traditions in our world today. Much of the course focuses on the United States and includes discussion of religious affiliation and organization, religiosity and conversion, social issues, political-economy, and social inequality. Cross listed as REL 284.

    287 Internship: Career Exploration (credit varies)
    Provides students with the opportunity to observe sociology-related occupational possibilities in actual employment settings. A maximum of 6 semester hours of internship credit will count toward the Sociology major and a maximum of three semester hours toward the minor. *Prerequisite: permission of a member of sociology faculty.

    300 Sociological Theory (3 s.h.) (W)
    This course is designed to acquaint students with the general development of sociological theory from its earliest foundations to the modern era. The nature of theories and the historical context of the writers will be explored in detail by focusing upon abstract concepts, propositions, major events and individual biographies. Some of the theories and theorists include Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Structural-Functionalism, Symbolic Interactionism, Feminism, and W.E.B. Du Bois. Furthermore, students will write one standard sociological research paper on a special topic in sociology using one or more of the theories covered in class to explain the issue or problem. *Prerequisite: SOC 100 and permission of the instructor.

    320 Research Methods (3 s.h.) (R)
    Designed to teach nature and techniques of research process. Students learn to use theory in formulating hypotheses, ways in which to collect data, and methods for analysis of data. Course covers survey research, qualitative field research, classical experiments, and unobtrusive methods. Recommended: senior standing. Highly recommended: INT 222 *Prerequisites: SOC 100 and permission of the instructor.

    387 Internship: Professional Experience (credit varies)
    Provides students with opportunity to work with professionals in a sociology-related occupational setting. A maximum of 6 s.h. of internship credit will count toward the Sociology major and 3 s.h. toward the minor. *Prerequisite: permission of a member of sociology faculty.

    400 Senior Seminar (3 s.h.) (M)
    The first third of the course includes seminar discussions on issues in sociological theory and professional development. For the remainder of the semester, students write their senior research papers and give oral reports on their work, drawing conclusions from areas of study within the field of sociology. *Prerequisite: SOC 320.

    401 Sociology Senior Thesis (3 s.h.) (M)
    Students work with their thesis advisor to complete and defend their senior thesis. *Prerequisite: SOC 320.

    Note: Directed inquiries, teaching assistantships, and internships in sociology can be arranged on an individual basis.