Course Descriptions

A list of all Undergraduate courses in Sociology.
Prerequisite Grade

A minimum acceptable grade of C– is required for coursework to count toward a minor or the major.

Lower Division

2 Introduction to Sociology
Sociological theory, methods and the sociological perspective are studied. This perspective enables students to see how the self, human behavior and attitudes are shaped by social structures and institutions, e.g., social class, popular culture, and the family. The social world is re-examined (social rules, deviance, gender, inequality, the economy, etc.). This course satisfies the Social, Historical, and Cultural Understanding requirement and the American Diversity requirement of the Core Curriculum.

4 Social Problems
An overview of the causes, characteristics, and responses to social problems in the United States. Topics such as crime, substance abuse, racism, ageism, and family instability are studied through the sociological framework. This course satisfies the Social, Historical, and Cultural Understanding requirement; the American Diversity requirement; and the Common Good requirement of the Core Curriculum.

All upper-division courses have a prerequisite of Sociology 2, or Sociology 4, or the consent of the instructor.

101 The Sociological Imagination
This course will reinforce and expand upon many of the concepts you have been introduced to in Introduction to Sociology and Social Problems. In this course we will explore the basic theoretical perspectives within sociology, the use of theory in sociological research, the logic of sociological research and an introduction to a variety of methodological approaches used by sociologists. This course will provide students with a solid base of knowledge which will serve them well in other upper division sociology courses - the Sociological Theory and Sociological Research Methods courses in particular. It is suggested that students have sophomore standing to take this course. This course satisfies the Social, Historical, and Cultural Understanding requirement and the Writing in the Disciplines requirement of the Core Curriculum.

107 Whiteness
There is an underlying assumption to society's understanding of race and race relations that only minorities or people of color have a racial identity; and that whites are the "norm", the referent, the 4 majority, and the mainstream, not members of a racial group. In this course, we will investigate the sociohistorical and cultural constructions of race through an exploration of whiteness. We will examine whiteness in relation to race, class, ethnicity and gender. Is "white" a "race"? How did "white" become a racial category? What is whiteness? What is white privilege? Prerequisites: Sociology 02, 04, or ES 01, or consent of the instructor.

111 Sociology of Families
Families are one of our most basic social institutions. They provide the primary social and physical contexts within which we become fully human. This course begins by exploring the idea of "the traditional family" and continues by examining historical trends and empirical data about American family life over the past century; including divorce patterns, fertility rates, women entering the workforce, and marriage. The class focuses on diversity and change, particularly the ways that social trends and social categories influence family structures. This course satisfies the American Diversity requirement of the Core Curriculum.

112 Race and Ethnicity
This course presents sociology’s key concepts and theories in the study of race and ethnicity. Focusing primarily on the U.S., this course looks at the cultural and social constructions of race and ethnicity.

114 Urban Studies
Traces the development of modern communities, ranging from suburbs to the megalopolis. Studies the benefits and problems of contemporary urban life and projects future trends based on sociological models.

115 Wealth and Poverty
This course offers an in-depth study of wealth, poverty, and the economic system in which they are grounded in the United States. Toward this end, students will apply various theoretical frameworks on economic inequality to current social problems in order to evaluate each framework's explanatory power. Further, students will critique past and current programs for lessening the impacts of poverty and use this knowledge to imagine and critique possible future policies.

116 Global Migration
Addresses the dynamics of contemporary migration and the way it is changing cultures, societies, politics, and families. The course introduces theories of assimilation, transnationalism, and multiculturalism and examines contemporary patterns of international migration flows. Among the topics covered are feminization of migration, labor migration, citizenship, human trafficking, refugee crises, and politics of asylum. This course satisfies the Global Perspectives requirement of the Core Curriculum.

118 Health and Illness
Presents social and cultural factors influencing health and illness. Looks at the roles of health care professionals, patients, and medical settings in our society. Discusses the relationships between the current health care system and the political and economic system.

119 Global Sociology
This course examines the global nature of contemporary social, economic, political, and cultural change. It reviews the multidisciplinary theoretical approaches that analyze the origins, dynamics, and consequences of globalization. The course also provides students with an understanding of an array of issues that stem from global changes, including global inequality, third-world poverty, labor rights violations, natural resource constraints, and environmental problems. This course satisfies the Global Perspectives requirement of the Core Curriculum.

120 Social Movements 
The course addresses the social, political, cultural and economic factors that bring about social movements with an emphasis on transnational activism. Surveys topics including how and why social movements occur, who joins and supports social movements, why some movements succeed and others fail, how social movement actors communicate with their intended audiences using slogans, art, and music, and how movements spread across borders in a globalized world.

122 Education and Society
This course examines the many roles that schools play in society. In particular, we examine the ways in which schooling either reproduces social inequalities or provides resources for upward social mobility. We examine the ways schools are organized, the connection between schools and other institutions such as families and workplaces, and the ways race, class, and gender are experienced in the classroom.

123 Ethnic Groups in the United States
Each course in this series looks at one of the following American ethnic groups: Latinos, Asian Americans, African Americans. While emphasizing the contemporary period, each course focuses on the social, cultural and historical experiences of each group. Areas covered are assimilation and resistance, distribution in the social and power structure, family systems and cultural values, labor and migration, role of religion, status of women, etc. May be repeated for credit as content varies.

124 Justice and Community
Addresses the use of state power in the carrying out of crime control, retribution and the over-all protection of the community. The course has three main parts: a theoretical look at how we have ended up with the justice system that we have today; the practice of justice through field studies on police, courts, and prisons; and an in-depth investigation into an area of criminal justice of current relevance (such as “three strikes,” the expansion of prisons, or race and justice).

125 Gender and Society
While sex differences are biological, gender encompasses the traits that society assigns to and inculcates in males and females. This course studies the latter: the interplay between gender and society. It takes an inclusive perspective, with a focus on men and women in different cultural contexts defined by ethnic group membership, sexuality and socioeconomic status.

126 Field Experience
Opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience conducting sociological analysis in the field. Supervised work in community agencies, government bureaus, museums, and political or industrial organizations.

128 Crime and Delinquency
The course addresses different theoretical and sociological approaches to crime, follows changes in these approaches over time and looks at how these changes reflect broader shifts in our comprehension of human nature and behavior. Students gain insights not only to changes in the understanding of crime but also to changes in our fundamental view of human behavior.

130 Sociological Theory
Analysis of the works of major theorists who have influenced sociology. Emphasis on explaining what is essential about particular theoretical frameworks, how they can be used, and why they should be studied. Students must have completed Sociology 2 Introduction to Sociology and Sociology 101 The Sociological Imagination. It is suggested that students have junior standing to take this course. 

132 Sociological Research Methods
This course will teach you the logic of social science research, teach you some specific methodological tools used by sociologists, and have you use these tools to collect data to answer a sociological research question. Students must have completed Sociology 2 Introduction to Sociology and Sociology 101 The Sociological Imagination. It is suggested that this course be taken in the last semester of the junior year.

133 Senior Thesis
Continuation of Research Methods course where honor students undertake individual research, culminating in the senior project. This should be taken in the senior year. A faculty sponsor is required. 

135 Special Topics
Special topics in sociology include such issues as international race relations, criminology and emotion, sociology of disaster, sociology of film, and other topics. May be repeated for credit as content varies.

140 Senior Research Seminar
In this course you will take all that you have learned in sociology and weave it into an original research project of your own choosing. Using what you have learned of sociological methods you will design and conduct a research project. You will analyze the data and use sociological theory to explain it. You will also conduct a literature review in the relevant content area and integrate all of this in the final paper. The final paper will be written in the format of a sociological journal article.

195 Special Study Internship
This course is usually taken by an upper division student who wishes to complete his/her education with related work experience and is maintaining at least a C average. In addition to work experience (6-8 hours per week), outside research and a term project are usually required. Sponsorship by a sociology faculty member and approval of the department chair is required.

197 Independent Study
This course entails independent study or research for students whose needs are not met by courses available in the regular offerings of the department. The course usually requires the writing of a term project. Sponsorship by a sociology faculty member and approval of the department chair is required.

199 Special Study - Honors
This course is only available to upper-division majors with a B average or higher and entails independent study or research under the supervision of a sociology faculty member. Approval of the department chair is required.