Sociology

The goal of the sociology major is to develop students’ sociocultural imaginations to understand how, and to what extent, individuals’ behavior is influenced by others in their society and those who share their culture. The objective is to have students apply the many theories in this paradigm to various social phenomena, such as conformity, deviance, family, stratification, prehistory, evolution, social welfare, cultures other than their own, and their own culture.

Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate with a major in sociology will:

  1. Develop their sociocultural imaginations, that is, the ability to conceive the connections between individuals' behavior and the larger group(s) to which they belong;
  2. Develop their sociocultural eye, that is, the ability to perceive and measure the connections between individuals' behavior and the larger group(s) to which they belong;
  3. Understand the metatheoretical assumptions of the broad range of social science paradigms and develop the ability to perform an analysis of these theories;
  4. Recognize the variety of social and cultural traditions in our world.

Major in Sociology

A minimum of 30 semester hours is required, including:
SOC 324: Sociocultural Theory
SOC 408: Introduction to Social Research
SOC 409: Practicing Social Research
SOC 477: Sociocultural Analysis of Subcultures: Cults/Sects

Choose one of the following:
SOC 101: Introduction to Sociology

Choose one of the following:
SOC 321: Criminology
SOC 353: Introduction to Social Work

Twelve credits in elective courses are also required.

Minor in Sociology

A minimum of 18 semester hours is required, with at least nine at the upper-division level, or six semester hours at the upper-division level if SOC 324: Sociocultural Theory is completed.

SOC 101 - Introduction to Sociology
Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 3
Students examine the nature of the sociological perspective, macro- and micro-sociological theory, and sociological methodology and research. Society's social organization, social structure, social interaction, socialization, social institutions, deviance and social control, social stratification, ethnic and racial minorities, gender, the family, education, religion, and other topics from a sociological perspective are also explored.
SOC 201 - Social Psychology
Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 3
Students study the behavior of individuals as it is controlled, influenced, or limited by the sociocultural environment, social interaction, and basic interrelations of the individual, society, and culture. This course is designed to enable students to see themselves as both shaping and being shaped by their culture. Attention is also focused on inclusion and diversity. This course is cross listed with PSY 201.
Prerequisite: PSY 101
SOC 225 - Sociology of Public Health
Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 3
This course considers public health from a sociological perspective, situating the historical and present health management challenges facing the United States population in context. It will consider the emergence of ‘public health’ as an area of popular and political interest, the reasons for health disparities across the population, and the rise and fall of various health concerns. It will address the main public health problems of the present moment, including HIV/AIDS, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer, and communicable diseases. It will also focus on the sociological impetuses for various public health movements, such as the anti-vaccination trend that the U.S. is currently experiencing. Overall, the course will expose students to the complex relationship between health, healthcare, and social forces.
SOC 262 - Life and Death Decisions
Semester: Fall; Alternate years
Semester hours: 3
This course addresses the ethical dilemmas at the heart of beginning and ending life from a social perspective, considering the importance of social worth in assessing the value of life.
Prerequisite: SOC 101 or permission of instructor
SOC 299 - Independent Study
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 1-3
This course allows a superior student to devise and pursue independent study in an area agreed upon in consultation with, and supervised by, a faculty member. Students should be either a major or minor and have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or greater.
SOC 310 - Social Stratification
Semester: Fall; Alternate years
Semester hours: 3
Students examine the causes and consequences of the differential distribution of power, property, and prestige within social groups. Consideration is given to conservative as well as radical sociological perspectives on social stratification.
Prerequisite: SOC 101 or SOC 242 or permission of the instructor
SOC 321 - Criminology
Semester: Spring; Alternate years
Semester hours: 3
This course focuses on the nature and extent of crime and delinquency, including a historical survey of explanatory theories focusing on the economic, social, and psychological causes of criminal behavior and current methods of treatment, policy, and prevention.
Prerequisite: SOC 101
SOC 324 - Sociocultural Theory
Semester: Fall; Alternate years
Semester hours: 3
A study of the historical development of the fields of anthropology and sociology with an emphasis on the contributions of both classical and modern social theorists in the development of key concepts in the study of social and cultural behavior.
Prerequisite: SOC 101 or SOC 242 or permission of the instructor
SOC 342 - Deviance
Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 3
This course investigates deviant (normative and statistical) social behavior. A variety of psychological, economic, sociological, and anthropological theories are used to analyze the causes, consequences, and social responses to behaviors such as sexual violence, suicide, mental illness, illegal drug use, homosexuality, and heterosexual deviance.
Prerequisite: SOC 101 and SOC 242 or permission of the instructor
SOC 343 - Punishment and Society
Semester: Fall; Alternate years
Semester hours: 3
This course examines the complexities of punishment in the United States from colonial times to the present. It considers the types of behavior we punish, why we punish, how we punish, and whom we punish. Through a detailed analysis of the criminal justice system, the course evaluates the approaches of the United States to crime prevention, incarceration, and dealing with terrorism. We look at the history of punishment, study the birth of the modern prison, and consider various theories of criminology and the social nature of explanations of punishment. We then explore the massive growth of the prison population in the U.S. at the end of the twentieth century.
Prerequisite: SOC 101 or permission of the instructor
SOC 353 - Introduction to Social Work
Semester: Spring; Alternate years
Semester hours: 3
This course will provide the student with a general understanding of the professional field of social work and social work practice. The roles and functions of the professional social worker, as well as intervention strategies, will be addressed. The course will also acquaint students with important historical developments in, and the evolution of, social work as a profession. Students will learn from a variety of social workers from many different fields of social work.
SOC 365 - Sociology of Gender and the Family
Semester: Fall; Alternate years
Semester hours: 3
This course considers the family as a social institution in American society, paying particular attention to the relationship between the construction of gender and family formation. It will consider the family in historical perspective as well as modern incarnations of the family once seen as deviant. Particular attention will be paid to the relationship between family and health outcomes.
Prerequisite: SOC 101 or permission of the instructor
SOC 408 - Introduction to Social Research
Semester: Fall; Alternate years
Semester hours: 3
Students will complete the tasks necessary for conducting sociological research prior to the collection of data. Students will write a research proposal to include the development of a research question (hypothesis), a literature review of existing research on this topic, identification of a population for study, choice of two research methodologies for data collection, choice of analytical tools, and a statement of expected results. After successful completion of this course students will be prepared for SOC 409: Practicing Social Research.
Prerequisite: SOC 324
SOC 450 - Internship
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 1-12
This course is a guided work experience in an already established place of business. The student must arrange the internship in agreement with the instructor and the Office of Career Services. The internship should relate to the student’s major or minor area of study. Contract is required.
Prerequisite: junior or senior standing
SOC 477 - Sociocultural Analysis of Subcultures: Cults/Sects
Semester: Spring; Alternate years
Semester hours: 3
This course uses sociology to examine a variety of historical and contemporary nontraditional groups in American society, such as the Oneida, People’s Temple, Heaven’s Gate, and Scientology. Students are expected to write a research paper using social science principles to examine a group or subculture not covered in class.
Prerequisite: one lower-division and one upper-division course in a related social science field: psychology, economics, or political science, or permission of the instructor; SOC 324 is recommended
SOC 490 - Seminar
Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 3
This course enables an in-depth analysis of sociological concepts to majors. Students will engage in a large-scale research paper incorporating the application of research methods studied in Introduction to Social Research.
Prerequisite: SOC 324 or permission of the instructor
SOC 499 - Independent Study
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 1-3
This course allows a superior student to devise and pursue independent study in an area agreed upon in consultation with, and supervised by, a faculty member. Students should be either a major or minor and have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or greater.
Prerequisite: junior or senior standing
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