Courses in Sociology

SOC 110. Introduction to Sociology. An introduction to the sociological perspective with a focus on how individual behavior is shaped by the social context. The nature and characteristics of human societies and social life are examined from a perspective known as the "sociological imagination". Topics range from the influence of culture on human behavior, the development of the self, group dynamics, deviance, population, and social inequality.  Fulfills general education requirement: Liberal Studies Area 2 (Social Science). 3 credits.

SOC 120. Introduction to Anthropology. Introduction to both physical and cultural anthropology including human evolution, human variation, and cross-cultural analysis and comparison.  Fulfills general education requirement: Liberal Studies Area 2 (Social Science). 3 credits.

SOC 210. Social Problems. Contemporary social problems are examined from a constructionist perspective. Topics selected for study vary according to societal trends, but typically include an examination of social change, poverty, globalization, environmental degradation, deviance, and health.  Fulfills general education requirement: Liberal Studies Area 2 (Social Science). Prerequisite: SOC 110. 3 credits.

SOC 220. Forensic Evidence. This course involves the application of scientific methods to solving crimes. The course will explore the many ways in which an offender leaves evidence behind at a crime scene and carries evidence away from that crime scene. A range of topics will be covered including, but not limited to: ballistics, DNA, fingerprints, tire prints, odontology and entomology.  Prerequisite: SOC 110. 3 credits.

SOC 221. Crime Scene Investigation. For evidence to be used in court, it must be identified, collected, preserved and properly evaluated. This course will be a detailed description of the techniques, equipment and strategies for effective evidence collection and crime scene processing. We will also explore the difference between how Hollywood has portrayed crime scene "experts" and how it works in the real world.  Prerequisite: SOC 110 and 245. 3 credits.

SOC 224. Native American Experience. A review of the development of Native American society, culture, politics and economy from prehistory to the present with special emphasis on the relationships between Native Americans and other immigrants to North America.  Fulfills general education requirement: American Social Diversity. 3 credits.

SOC 226. Women and Gender Issues. An examination of women's contributions to the world, their roles in social institutions, and issues arising from their uniqueness and social situations. Topics will include images of women and their writings; biology and health; issues of sexuality and gender identity; and women's roles in the family, religion, education, and in the worlds of work and politics.  Fulfills general education requirement: American Social Diversity. Prerequisite: SOC 110. 3 credits.

SOC 230. Sociology of Marriage and the Family. An overview of family focusing on family structure and interaction. Diverse topics range from sexuality and love, mate selection and dating, parenting, dysfunctional families, and divorce. A historical and cross-cultural approach is employed in addition to a sociological approach.  Fulfills general education requirement: Liberal Studies Area 2 (Social Science). Prerequisite: SOC 110. 3 credits.

SOC 240. Diversity and Intercultural Communication. The major objective of this course is to help students become aware of the degree to which behavior (including one's own) is culturally determined. As we continue to move toward a global society with increasingly frequent intercultural contacts, we need more than simple factual knowledge about cultural differences; we need a framework for understanding inter-cultural communication and cross-cultural human relations. Through lecture, discussion, simulations, case- studies, role-plays and games, students will learn the inter-cultural communication framework and the skills necessary to make them feel comfortable and communicate effectively with people of any culture and in any situation involving a group of diverse backgrounds.  Fulfills general education requirement: American Social Diversity. Prerequisite: SOC 110. 3 credits.

SOC 245. Crime and Criminals. An examination of different types of crime including a broad range of violent crimes and property crimes. Profiling and criminal typologies will be explored. Specific crimes such as arson, kidnapping, stalking, and homicide will be studied. Case studies of prototypical offenders will be included.  Prerequisite: SOC 110. 3 credits.

SOC 261. Perspectives on Aging. Introduction to the study of aging from a multidisciplinary perspective. Topics include the biology of aging, demographic trends in aging, and aging impacts on social institutions and society. Policies on aging are reviewed.  Fulfills general education requirement: Liberal Studies Area 2 (Social Science). Prerequisite: SOC 110. 3 credits.

SOC 262. Race, Minorities and Discrimination. An examination of the patterns of structured inequality in American society, including a variety of minority, racial, and ethnic groups.  Fulfills general education requirement: American Social Diversity. Prerequisite: SOC 110. 3 credits.

SOC 270. Forensic Psychology. This course will focus on three critical areas that fall under the umbrella of forensic psychology. First, students will be introduced to the area of legal psychology, including applied empirical research on issues important to the legal system such as eyewitness accuracy, police selection, jury decision making, and legal assumptions about human behavior relevant to the rights of defendants, victims, children, and consumers of mental health services. Second, the area of psychological jurisprudence will be explored by studying efforts to develop a philosophy of law and justice based on ¬≠psychological values. Third, students will be introduced to the concepts generally thought of as forensic psychology, such as criminal profiling, insanity defense, competence to stand trial, and child custody decisions.  Prerequisites: SOC 110, PSY 111 or PSY 112. 3 credits. [This course is cross-listed with PSY 270]

SOC 271. Child Abuse. The study and analysis of child abuse in its various expressions with additional focus on physical and sexual abuse. Emphasis will be on models and theories of causation, dynamics, treatment and research.  Prerequisite: SOC 110. 3 credits.

SOC 272. Substance Abuse. An examination of the problems associated with substance abuse including a study of the prevalent myths concerning substance abuse, and exploration of the causes of substance abuse and an exploration of how it affects the individual, the family and society as a whole. In addition, the course will examine current methods of intervention and treatment.  Prerequisite: SOC 110. 3 credits.

SOC 278. Juvenile Justice. An examination of the causes and effects of juvenile delinquency, the juvenile justice system and treatment programs for the juvenile offender.  Prerequisite: SOC 110. 3 credits.

SOC 280. Genders and Sexualities. Study of human sexuality from psychosocial and cultural perspectives. The course will include an examination of such topics as developmental sexuality, gender roles, sexual communication, sexual orientation, coercive sex, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, and religious and ethical perspectives on sexuality.  Prerequisite: SOC 110. 3 credits.

SOC 281. Police and Society. This course is an overview of the process of policing, police behavior, organization, operations and historical perspectives. The relationship between the police and the public is examined as are contemporary issues in the field of law enforcement.  Prerequisites: SOC 110 and SOC 245. 3 credits.

SOC 290. Special Topics in Sociology. Topic announced at the time of registration.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. 3 credits.

SOC 291. Special Topics in Criminal Justice. Topic announced at the time of registration.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. Prerequisites: SOC 110 and SOC 245. 3 credits.

SOC 292. Special Topics in Family Studies. Topic announced at the time of registration.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. 3 credits.

SOC 310. Research Tools for the Social Sciences. This laboratory course builds skills in basic data management, statistical analysis, and interpretation of statistical information. The course reviews how to interpret both descriptive and inferential statistical analysis. The skills acquired in this lab are employed in research methods to aide students in the design, analysis, and presentation of their research project.  Prerequisite: SOC 110; plus 9 credits of Sociology at the 200-level or above; or permission. 1 credit.

SOC 311. Research Methods in Sociology. Experiential-based course covering fundamental concepts and problems in social science research. Topics include ethics or research on human behavior, design, measurement, sampling, and interviewing and questionnaire construction. There is an emphasis on four research methods: available data, survey research, experiments, and field research.  Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Prerequisite: SOC 110; plus 9 credits of Sociolgy at the 200-level or above; or permission. 3 credits.

SOC 321. Social Theory. This course covers a critical examination of selected classical and contemporary theorists, including Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Parsons, Foucault, Bourdieu and Giddens. Classical, modern, post-modern and globalization theories will be covered. A meta-analytical approach will be used, looking at the social construction of theory.  Prerequisite: SOC 110 and 6 credits in sociology at the 200-level or above, or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

SOC 324. Medical Sociology. An examination of the societal bases of health, illness and health care. The course will include an examination of the three components of medicine: the patient, the medical professional and the health care organization. Specific topics will include: the role of the patient; doctor-patient relationships; the socialization of medical professionals; the hospital as a complex organization, cross-cultural comparisons of health care and current topics of concern such as the AIDS epidemic, new technologies and social response to the terminally ill patient.  Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Prerequisites: SOC 110 plus 9 credits of sociology at the 200-level or above and junior standing, or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

SOC 325. Urban Sociology. The city provides a setting for cultural events, commerce, innovative services, and the arts. The city is also associated with crime, poverty, and environmental problems. Throughout the course a variety of approaches to urban life and change will be considered by combining theories of the urban world, empirical study, and urban field experience. Topics include city growth and decline, urban life-styles, and the impact of city life on individuals, families, neighborhoods, and government.  Prerequisite: SOC 110, plus 9 credits of 200-level or above of Sociology, or permission. 3 credits.

SOC 331. Criminology. An examination of the causes of crime. The question of whether or not victimless crimes such as pornography, prostitution and drug use should be considered crimes is explored. This is primarily a theory course for criminal justice majors.  Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Prerequisite: SOC 110 and SOC 245, plus 6 credits of 200 level or above of Sociology, and junior standing, or permission. 3 credits.

SOC 333. Criminal Justice. A sociological, historical, and philosophical examination of punishment and the criminal justice system. Rights of the accused, victimology, prisons, and the death penalty are studied.  Prerequisite: SOC 110, 245; plus 6 credits of Sociology at the 200-level or above of sociology; or permission. 3 credits.

SOC 335. Probation and Parole. This course will provide students with a brief overview of the criminological theories and their applications by those who are employed within the probation and parole system. Most importantly, the course explores how offenders live in the community, who they are and what is done within the probation and parole system to protect society.  Prerequisite: SOC 110 and 245. 3 credits.

SOC 370. Adoption. This course will focus on populations involved in adoption, including birth parents, adoptees, foster and adoptive families and agencies, in both domestic and transnational adoptions. Special consideration will be given to recent policies and vehicles that have been put into place to facilitate the permanency placement of children. A consideration of ethics in adoption will be a central theme of the course. An examination of cultural, economic and policy factors in countries involved in transnational adoption will be included. The health (both physical and psychological) and cultural issues of adoptees and services that address these will be addressed.  Prerequisites: SOC 110 and 9 credits in sociology at the 200 level or above, or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

SOC 375. Sociology of Work. Employing sociological perspectives, this course examines the topic of work. While work occupies a central role in our lives, its social significance extends beyond our personal identities and daily activities. It is closely intertwined with other social institutions, social structures, and social processes, especially social inequality. Work is perhaps the most important way in which society impacts our social experiences and life chances. Topics include the relationship between the evolution of society and the organization of work, especially the impacts of the Industrial Revolution and the evolution of the Post-Industrial/Service society and the emergence of a global economy, work- family issues, unemployment, job satisfaction and occupations, to name a few. A focus is on understanding how sociologists and other social scientists study work. Students will also be required to examine the skills and knowledge requirements of sociological and criminal justice careers and develop a strategy for professional development.  SOC 110, plus 6 credits of 200-level or above of Sociology or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

SOC 390. Special Topics in Sociology. Topic announced at the time of registration.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. 3 credits.

SOC 391. Special Topics in Criminal Justice. Topic announced at the time of registration.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. Prerequisite: SOC 110, SOC 245 and two additional courses in Sociology. 3 credits.

SOC 392. Special Topics in Family Studies. Topic announced at the time of registration.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. Prerequisite: SOC 110 and SOC 230. 3 credits.

SOC 400. Internship. Field experience for sociology or criminal justice majors.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. Prerequisites for Criminal Justice majors: SOC 245, 331, and 333. Prerequisites for Sociology majors: SOC 110, SOC 311; 321 or 331. Seniors only or permission. 1-12 credits.

SOC 499. Senior Seminar. A critical analysis of selected themes and issues in contemporary sociology. Topics may vary. This course is conducted as a seminar requiring extensive student participation.  Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Prerequisite: SOC 110 plus SOC 311, 321, or 331 and 9 additional credits in sociology. This course is for senior Sociology majors and Criminal Justice majors only (or permission). 3 credits.