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Advanced Research Methods

Number: SOC-490

The course advances students' understanding of research methods introduced in SOC 300, SOC 302 and SOC 323. Students will receive advanced training on how to collect and analyze data in the social sciences. The class includes an emphasis on how to write for an academic or public audience in preparation for the senior thesis. Prerequisite: SOC 323. Course offered annually in the fall. 4 credits.

Consumer Society

Number: SOC-342

This course will explore consumption as a locus of social reproduction and source of meaning in people's lives. Consumer culture plays an increasingly important part in defining who we are, how we live, and how we participate in society. Our daily consumer choices shape our sense of identity and our relationship to the larger society. We will explore some of the far-reaching consequences of a consumer society by looking at education, leisure, bodies and sexuality, homes, community, and the environment. Prerequisite: SOC 101, SOC 102, ANTH 101, or ANTH 140. 4 credits.


Number: SOC-304

This course is a general introduction to the social science known as criminology. This discipline, largely a composite of anthropology, psychology, and sociology, places particular focus on the phenomenon of crime in society. Examples of questions criminologists ask are: What defines crime? Who are the ones that commit crime and for what reasons? What are some of the established patterns of criminal behavior we see over time? And, what are some mechanisms society uses to regulate, punish or control crime? Because this course is taught from a sociological angle, particular emphasis will be placed upon viewing crime as a societal phenomenon, that is, one that can be analyzed within a broader social context. Prerequisite: SOC 101, SOC 102, SOC 110, SOC 120, SOC 130, or SOC 150. 4 credits.

Critical Persp on Identity & Soc Systems

Number: EDUC-606

Through the lenses of historical, cultural, social, philosophical, financial, legal, and ethical perspectives, this course uses systems theory to examine issues of schooling. Students explore social identity markers such as race, ability, gender, socioeconomic class, special education status, sexual orientation, language, and immigration, and develop awareness of how their own backgrounds and positionalities influence who they are as teachers. Through developing awareness of positionality and social context, the course calls attention to the teacher's responsibility to understand difference in order to engage in equitable teaching practices and pedagogy. Critical questions addressed in this course: How do I understand myself in relation to society and the needs of others within the context of a learning community? How can I use my position as a teacher to become an advocate for all students? How does my understanding of equity affect my choices and those that schools make for meeting the needs of all students? 3 credits.

Critical Race Theory

Number: SOC-360

This course focuses on the Critical Race Theory (CRT), which is a multidisciplinary approach to the study of race and ethnic relations. One of the main goals of CRT is to question the dominant paradigm/ideology about race and reconstruct our perceptions of race through counternarratives told by marginalized and oppressed groups. Therefore, this course will expose students to counternarratives that marginalized and oppressed groups tell through class discussions, guest speakers, and course readings. Another important tenet of CRT is to examine the institution and structure of racism through a perspective that stresses intersectionality, and, therefore, the course will not only examine racial issues, but will also examine how these issues affect and are affected by other forms of oppressions, such as sexism, heterosexism, elitism, etc.Upon completing the course students should have a keen awareness of how oppressions (racism, sexism, eltism, heterosexism, etc.) intersect in societal structures. Prerequisite: SOC 101, SOC 102, SOC 110, SOC 120, SOC 130, or SOC-150. Counts toward core requirement: Civic Engagement and Diverse Perspectives. 4 credits.


Number: SOC-366

Focuses on the way society affects and is affected by what we call 'deviant behavior,' that is, behavior which is understood to be outside the confines of cultural convention. Topics in this class include the ways in which deviance is socially constructed through processes of identity and conformity, as well as the ways in which society establishes mechanisms for dealing with deviance, such as prisons and other institutions. A relevant line of sociological questioning towards the phenomenon of deviance asks why a behavior is conceived to be deviant, rather than whether or not a deviant act or career is inherently abnormal. Prerequisite: SOC 101, SOC 102, SOC 110, SOC 120, SOC 130, or SOC 150. Offered Biennially. 4 credits.

Directed Research in Sociology

Number: SOC-450

Directed Research in Sociology allows students of advanced standing to participate in a research project with an sociology faculty member in order to gain practical experience in the conduct of ongoing professional-level sociological research. Prerequisite: Junior standing or above (60 or more completed credits). Instructor's consent required. May be repeated for credit, up to 6 credits total. 1-4 credits.

Drugs and Society

Number: SOC-334

This course is a comprehensive overview of the phenomenon of psychoactive drug taking in the United States. Using a sociological perspective, we will cover a variety of topics concerning the use of legal and illegal drugs, their history, their impact on the greater culture, and the multitude of ways that society adjusts to their presence. Within this framework we will discuss the narrative of addiction, the prevalence of certain forms of drug use, the connection between drug use and criminality, and the effects of drug taking upon self-concept. Prerequisite: SOC 101, SOC 102, SOC 120, SOC 130, PH 101, or ANTH 101. 4 credits.


Number: SOC-309

The primary emphasis is on the relationship between the familial institution and the society in which it is being studied. Attention is given to trans-historical and cross-cultural data and how social change impacts the institution. Additional areas of investigation include definitions of the family, socialization, cohabitation, courtship, marriage, divorce, gender and sex roles, sexuality, socio-economic forces, family violence, alternative forms, and the future of the family. Also listed as GSS 309. Prerequisite: SOC 101, SOC 102, SOC 110, SOC 120, SOC 130, or SOC 150. 4 credits.

Gender & Sexuality

Number: SOC-316

An introduction to the theories and methods used by sociologists to study gender and sexuality as social performances and historical constructions. Topics include masculinities, intersectionality, sexual culture, pornography, and gender inequality in the workplace. Also listed as GSS 316. Prerequisite: SOC 110, SOC 120, SOC 130, or SOC 150. Must be 18 years of age. Counts toward core requirement: Diverse Perspectives. Course offered biennially. 4 credits.

Global Cap Neo-Colonial Inequalities

Number: SOC-347

This course explores how global dimensions of capitalism intersect with local cultural identities and practices. Students will learn how transnational markets, global lending institutions, and transnational governments both shape and are shaped by questions of national identity, gender norms, racial categories, environmental policies and sexual practices. This course introduces students to perspectives on the meaning and scope of 'globalization' from early industrialization to the current post-industrial economy. We will explore the typography of economic inequality on the global scale and examine specific examples of how it is maintained and resisted. The course includes post-colonial critiques that draw attention to how race, nationalism, gender and sexuality are central to the process of constructing, maintaining and resisting imperial domination. Prerequisite: SOC 101, SOC 102, SOC 110, SOC 120, SOC 130, or SOC-150. Counts toward core requirement: International Perspectives. 4 credits. Counts toward core requirement: International Perspectives. 4 credits.

Ideas in Action: Pol Phil & Modern Soc

Number: POLS-209

Applying the insights of classical and contemporary political philosophers to the ideologies and political controversies of contemporary America. Topics covered may include environmental ethics, economic inequality and justice, the role of the state in the economy, affirmative action and multiculturalism with attention paid to modern ideologies from the far right to the far left. Philosophers may include Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Rousseau, Marx, and Mill as well as a variety of contemporary political philosophers. Offered every other year. 4 credits.

Images, Society, and Identity

Number: SOC-120

Will introduce students to some of the conceptual foundations in sociology through the analysis of various visual media found in historical and contemporary society. Throughout the semester, we will focus upon the various ways that such media impact individuals and social institutions. Virtually no aspect of visual culture is off-limits to this analysis. To this aim, we will analyze various visual media as a way of elucidating the key social variables of race, class, and gender, and a whole host of important intersectionalities. The course will begin with an introduction to foundational sociological concepts, and use these concepts throughout the semester to understand the prevalence, impact, and staying power of visual culture. 4 credits.

Independent Study

Number: SOC-295

See department for details. Independent study contract required. 1-6 credits.

Independent Study

Number: SOC-395

See department for details. Independent study contract required.

Instructional Methods Across Soc Studies

Number: EDUC-554

Guides aspiring teachers of early childhood and elementary age learners in developing the skills necessary to create a classroom climate conducive to learning content from the social sciences. Emphasizes the exploration of general instructional methods, identifying appropriate social studies themes, relating curriculum to national and state content standards, finding and analyzing sources, assessment methods, and classroom management systems. 2 credits.


Number: SOC-275

See department for details. Internship contract required. 1-4 credits.


Number: SOC-475

See department for details. Internship contract required.

Junior Seminar

Number: SOC-323

Students will prepare proposals for their own independent research projects. Attention will be given to a well-contextualized research question and clear set of objectives, literature review, methodology/ethics section, and feasibility review. Prerequisites: Junior standing or above (60 or more completed credits) and declared Sociology major. Pass/No Pass. Course offered annually in the spring. 2 credits.

Pop Culture: Cultural Studies

Number: SOC-317

Using theories drawn from the school of Cultural Studies as well as what has come to be known as 'critical theory', this course takes an intensive analysis of the many artifacts of popular culture. A central goal of the course is to understand how the artifacts we analyze reflect, respond to, shape, and are shaped by the broader social/cultural forces around them. Also listed as ANTH 317. Prerequisite: ANTH 101, SOC 101, SOC 102, SOC 110, SOC 120, or SOC 130. Offered annually. 4 credits.