Sociology Courses

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS (SOCI AND ANTH)
(Textbook Information)

*Denotes required course

*SOCI 1000 Introduction to Sociology.

(3) Fall and Spring
A study of the fundamental concepts and principles of the discipline, with emphasis on socialization, social institutions, social interaction, social stratification and inequality, as well as mechanisms of social control. Familiarization with the distinction between macro- and micro-level sociological processes will be emphasized.

SOCI 2200 Social Work: Introduction to Theory and Practice.
(3) as needed
Social Work introduces the perspective social worker to underlying theories associated with the field and to provide an overview of the history and practice of social work.

SOCI 2250 Introduction to Gerontology.
(3) Fall (as scheduled)
Introduction to Gerontology explores the sociological aspects of aging including how the elderly affect society and how society affects the elderly. We examine the interaction of the elderly with society and with many of our social institutions such as religion, healthcare, government, and the economy. We look at the issues associated with our aging population and how those issues affect people of all ages as well as examining several current controversies associated with our changing population structure. Current theories, policies, and practices in gerontology are introduced and provide exploration of the field as a possible career choice.

SOCI 2300 Sociology of Sports.
(3) As needed
Sports have made an enduring impact on the social world in which we all live and represents an important aspect of our everyday lives and our leisure time. The organization of sports is a reflection of the organization of society. By critically studying the relationship between sports and society we will gain a greater understanding of society as a whole. The goal of this course is to apply a sociological lens to the world of sports and athletics (a distinction that will be examined) through the incorporation of academic writing, popular media, and personal experiences. Using these tools, the student will explore the ways in which sports are entangled in social, cultural, political, and economic forces operating at many different levels (local and global).

SOCI 2350 Death and Dying.
(3) Fall (as scheduled)
Everything that is alive eventually dies, thus death is a part of life. Understanding death can help us to understand and experience life more fully, and it can help us to make appropriate, compassionate responses to death and dying. The question of death, with or without religious guidance, is essentially ethical – what to do in recognition of the fact that we, everyone we love, and everyone who loves us, is going to die. In order to better understand ourselves and others, and the diversity of loss experiences, this course examines how social, cultural, and historical factors influence individuals’ coping responses during loss and the last stage of life. Difficult and controversial health care, end of life, caregiving needs, and after life issues are also be explored.

SOCI 2500 Kinship and Families.
(3) as needed 
This course offers a multi-disciplinary perspective on contemporary marriages, families, and other intimate relationships. Students will become familiarized with competing models and theories on family relationships. In addition, the course explores cross-cultural variation in family systems as well as diversity and change within the American population. Topics to be covered include: mate selection, sexuality, marital structure, marital happiness, divorce, parenting, and alternative family forms.

SOCI 3200 Social Responsibility and Civil Society.
(3) as needed
Students will examine past social justice movements as well as the meaning of civil society. In addition, students will examine the 21st century idea of social entrepreneurship. Combining these approaches,students will determine the meaning of a civil society and its implications for social responsibility and policy.

SOCI 3250 Cinema and Society.
(3) As needed
Film is often a reflection of current culture and used to comment of social structures. Many views are accurate portrayals of society but on occasion, film is used to reinforce and maintain the structural status quo of a society. Film is also used to enlighten a public on social issues or the stimulation of critical thought. Since the late 1800s and especially in the 20
th century, film has been a prime socializer of the individual. This course examines various social issues reflected in film.

SOCI 3307 Criminology.
(3) Spring (as scheduled)
Criminology examines the nature and impact of crime in the United States. We will focus on the following topics: 1) historical foundations of crime; 2) theoretical perspectives of criminology; 3) characteristics of victims and offenders; 4) different types of crime; and 5) an analysis of policies concerning crime and control.

SOCI 3350 Culture and Music.
(3) as needed
Music represents one of George Murdock's "cultural universals" or a phenomenon found in all cultures. We pay for it, steal it, spend hours of the day listening to it, and argue about it. This course is an historical, theoretical, and ultimately, sociological exploration of music. Students will be invited to explore the socio-cultural aspects reflected in and affected by popular music including race, class, and gender relationships as well as some of the ways that institutions help to reinforce and shape musical genres. Students will also examine the role of music in initiating and reflecting social change. The sociology of music has a long history. Its initial development benefited from the work of scholars who played central roles in the sociological discipline, including Max Weber and Theodor Adorno. Along the way, we address a number of important questions, which include the following: How do people use music in their everyday lives? What types of environments foster innovative music and musical diversity? Why some types of music such as the works of Mozart are deemed as “high culture” while other types such as jazz are classified as “popular culture?”

SOCI 3360 Globalization in the 21st Century.
(3) as needed
Globalization in the 21st Century focuses on the social structure, economics, politics, and culture of the United States in a global context. It examines many of the common assumptions about American society, especially global influence and relationships. It also examines the effects of the globe on U.S society and culture. In addition, the course considers issues of global sustainability and how they have shaped America’s past and present and will continue to shape its future. An overview of current and past theory is examined at an interdisciplinary level. Students interact with community leaders, members, and activists in order to understand local implications of the global experience.

SOCI 3400 Deviance & Criminology.
(3) Spring (as scheduled)
A multi-disciplinary examination of criminal behavior and corrections, with an emphasis on competing theories regarding the origins and incidence of criminality. The course will explore the history of laws and the criminal justice system, as well as various categories of crime. Special attention will be given to the social forces underlying criminal and deviant behavior.
Prerequisite: SOCI 1000

SOCI 3450 Social Policy and Aging.
(3) Fall (as scheduled)
Social Policy and Aging examines aging-related social policy topics in more depth than Introduction to Gerontology. We begin the class by looking at some of the important contexts in which aging policy occurs - social, economic, and political. We also look at the relationship between policy and diversity of the older population both as domestic and global issues. We then turn to specific policy areas, including employment, retirement, housing, health care and long-term community and family care. We also study the debate about generational equity - are older people benefitting at the expense of the young?

SOCI 3500 Race/Ethnicity and Gender in Society.
(3) as needed
Students will become aware of the impacts of race, ethnicity and gender in a global society. The norms, values, and patterns of communication associated with each category and how these affect personal life choices and social status will be examined. Specifically, students will become aware of how our basic social institutions, such as the economy, the family, education, religion, and the political system are biased institutions with differing ideals and expectations for women and men as well as different race and ethnic groups.
Prerequisite: SOCI 1000

SOCI 3550 Drugs and Society.
(3) Fall (as scheduled)
Drugs and Society focuses on drug use and abuse as a social phenomenon. This course will examine the following: 1) The history behind drug laws; 2) The relationship between drugs and race/gender/class; 3) Use patterns related to specific drugs; 4) Drug policy, legislation, and enforcement; and 5) Drug use subcultures.

SOCI 3800 Special Topics in Sociology.
(3) On demand
This course will involve in-depth exploration into a unique topic in Sociology. The course content will rotate from year to year. Students may repeat the course for credit so long as the topic changes and with departmental approval.
Prerequisite: SOCI 1000

SOCI 3850 Corrections and Society.
(3) Fall (as scheduled)
Corrections and Society examines the history and background of the American corrections system. Specific attention will be placed on law, policies, issues, and controversies, as well as an examination of how race, class, and gender intersect within the criminal justice system. Alternatives to incarceration, capital punishment, and community based treatment plans will be discussed.

*SOCI 3900 Methods I: Introduction to Methodology.
(3) Fall
Methods I is a study of basic social science research methodology. Topics considered include: research design and data collection, writing a literature review, measurement and causality, fitting models to data with various methods, graphic analysis, and the use of statistical software. An emphasis is placed on designing a research project. Prerequisite: SOCI 1000 

*SOCI 3950 Methods II: Understanding Data Analysis.
(3) Spring
Methods II expands on the concepts, techniques, and interpretation of quantitative methods. Includes, but not limited to: measurement, hypothesis testing, bivariate and multivariate techniques, and application with SPSS.
Prerequisite SOCI 3900

*SOCI 4000 Theory I.
(3) Fall
Theory I is an introduction to the development of sociological theory. It focuses on the most influential figures in the development of sociological theory and their legacy in contemporary sociology. Major schools of social thought are covered.
Prerequisites: SOCI 1000; junior status preferred

SOCI 4100 Visual Sociology.
(3) as needed
Visual sociology involves the study of visual artifacts of a society and employs photographs, film, and documentary. The course is a reflection of the interest and knowledge of the instructor, the time available in a semester, and the fact that images have reflected the culture in which they are created. Students will employ both sociological theory and methodology to interpret and analyze visual artifacts as well as examine the current social conditions that influence the creation, distribution, and interpretation of various media. We will examine still images (photographs), sequential images (comics) and moving images (films and television).

SOCI 4200 Social Inequality & Stratification.
(3) as needed
This course will examine social inequality, a topic which is at the core of sociological analysis and research. The classical perspectives on inequality will be examined, as well as the contemporary extensions of these approaches. Particular attention will be paid to class, race, and gender as separate and as intersecting axes of inequality.
Prerequisite: SOCI 1000

*SOCI 4475 Theory II.
(3) Fall (junior status preferred)
Theory II is an introduction to classical, 20
th century, and current social theorists. It focuses on the most influential figures in the development of sociological theory and their legacy in contemporary sociology.

SOCI 4500 Sociology Internship.
(3-6) On demand
This course requires 120 hours of supervised experience (per 3 credit hours) in a local agency or office, selected readings, as well as an oral presentation given in one of the SOCI courses. Applications for internships must be submitted to the department chair in the term or semester prior to placement. Students may select a graded or Pass/No Credit option. Course may be repeated twice (for 3 hours credit) for a maximum of 6 hours credit. 
Prerequisites: Completion of SOCI 1000 with a grade of "C" or higher, as well as two other SOCI courses with grades of "C" or higher.

SOCI 4950 Senior Seminar.
(3) Spring
The Senior Seminar is designed to access the student's mastery of the discipline and to determine their ability to use Mills' sociological imagination. Students are required to complete a research project and make a public presentation.

*Denotes required course