Spring 2023 Course Listing  Spring 2023 Course Booklet Course Info on SIS Archives

Course Descriptions

The list below includes descriptions of all undergraduate courses offered by the Department of Sociology, though some courses may be taught more often than others.

Visit the undergraduate page for course requirements for specific programs. For up-to-date information on course offerings, schedules, room locations and registration, please visit the Student Information System (SIS).

SOC 0001 Introduction to Sociology. Basic concepts for the systematic study of human interaction and social structure. Social groups, categories, and modern complex social systems. Deviance, social change, and system maintenance. Values, norms, socialization, roles, stratification, and institutions. Sociological analysis of selected areas of social life, such as the family, religion, large-scale organizations, minority relations, mass communications, and crime.

SOC 0010 American Society. Sociological perspectives and social policy implications of current issues, such as poverty, education, mental health, crime, environmental pollution, and corporations. Analysis of selected social, political, economic, and legal institutions. Recent trends in American society

SOC 0011 Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. (Cross-listed as AFR 11) Sociological perspectives on the history, structure and culture of race and racial stratification in the U.S. Exploration of the relationship between European colonization, slavery, racial capitalism and present day inequality. Patterns of immigrant incorporation into existing black-white colorline, social mobility and its implications for democracy are covered. Special focus on opposition to white racial domination such as the Civil Rights, Black-Power and Black Lives Matter Movements, and recent public policy debates and enactments.

SOC 0020 Family And Intimate Relationships. Understanding the contemporary American family, defined broadly as those with whom one shares resources and values and to whom one has a long-term commitment. Topics include historical and cross-cultural variations, dating and romantic love, cohabitation and marriage, parenting, family roles of men and women, divorce and family stability, and the future of the family.

SOC 0023 Self And Society. Introduction to sociological contributions to social psychology, especially how social structure and culture shape personality. Topics include human nature and socialization, interaction and identity, attitudes and public opinion, social conflict and power, social perception, patterns of social bonds, sex differences, structure and dynamics of small groups, networks and organizations, collective behavior. Lectures emphasize recent empirical studies.

SOC 0030 Sex and Gender in Society. (Cross-listed w/WGSS 40 and CVS 30) Differences and inequalities between women's and men's social positions and personal experiences in the contemporary United States. Intersections of gender, race, and class. Gender relations in the labor force, families, the state, and in sexual and emotional life. Violence and sexual harassment. Men's and women's efforts toward personal and social change in gender relations.

SOC 0040 Media And Society. (Cross-listed with FMS 0053) Social and economic organization of the mass media of communication. Effects on content. Themes of mass culture. Social composition of the audience. Effects of the media on the audience. Topics such as television, films, the press, books, magazines, and advertising.

SOC 0043 Sociology Of Religion. Religion as a cultural universal. Diversity in manifestation, organizational form, myth and ritual. Relationship between worldviews and socioeconomic conditions of religious communities. Social functions of religion. Organization, mission, and political agendas of religious groups in the United States.  Cross-listed as REL 143

SOC 0050 Globalization. Review of progress and social problems associated with the development of globalization. Alternative interpretations of the core features of the world system. Exploration of specific issues including distribution of economic and political power, role of multinational businesses, movement of peoples, cultural flows, intersection of global and local, the negative features of globalization, global cities, "anti-global" social movements, and different models for reform.

SOC 0060 Social Inequalities/Social Justice. (Cross listed as PJS 130) Inequalities of class, race, and gender and intersections among them. Mainly U.S. with attention to global context. Unequal distribution of income, wealth, power, and status. Social mobility. Public policy and other efforts to address inequalities and seek social justice.

SOC 0070 Immigration, Race, and American Society. (Cross-listed w/AMER 30 and AFR 70) The United States as a lens for understanding the movement of people across nation-state boundaries and their settlement in various receiving societies. Why people migrate across international borders; ability of the nation-state to control migration flows; assimilation and incorporation of foreign ¿outsiders¿ into American social life; ways that migrants build and sustain lives across international borders; and challenges to two traditional types of membership: race and ethnicity, and citizenship and national belonging.

SOC 0072 Sociology of Latinxs. Overview of the diverse social, economic, political, and cultural histories of individuals who are now commonly identified as “Hispanics/Latinos” in the United States. Exposure to the political and historical development of the Hispanic/Latino panethnic category and group in the late 20th century, including tension between racialized and immigrant histories. Attention to the range of variables  (such as nationality, nativity, generation, class, skin tone, gender) that create diversity within the group. Analysis of Latinxs' experiences across key social institutions – particularly schools, neighborhoods, the labor market, media, the immigration and criminal justice systems, and the American racial hierarchy. Look forward to ways that Hispanic/Latino category may now be moving outside the U.S.

SOC 0075 Sociology of Violence. (Cross-listed with CVS 22) Causes and consequences of different types of violence and hate, from individual acts of aggression to large-scale episodes of inter-group conflict. Topics may include serial and mass murder, gendered violence, workplace violence, hate crimes and prejudice, juvenile violence, gun violence, and school violence.

SOC 0080 (Mis)Information and Democracy. Examination of the troubled information landscape in the US. Role of political polarization, proliferation of media sources, and new communication technologies that increase the speed and scale of misinformation. Interactive course that combines academic research, related writings from NGOs and think tanks, major newspapers, and students’ own curated information to analyze the sources and targets of misinformation. Examination of the social contexts in which misinformation thrives, its consequences, and questions of responsibility and regulation. Role of individuals and institutions in the goal of revitalizing our political culture.

SOC 0085 Deviant Behavior. Foundational theories and methods in the study of deviance. Social construction of deviant categories. Role of social power and social order. Consequences of the deviant label and deviance of the powerful. Development of deviant identity and stigma management. Efforts to contest and transform deviant categories.

SOC 094 Special Topics. No description at this time.

SOC 099 Internship. Opportunity for students to apply a body of sociological knowledge in a practical setting, including community-based, profit or nonprofit, governmental, or other sites. Individual faculty sponsor internships in their areas of expertise. Students must have an on-site supervisor, and complete a piece of meaningful scholarly work related to the internship area. Please see departmental website for specific details.

Recommendations:  SOC 1 or 10, plus one additional course in sociology related to internship area. To be arranged by individual members of the department.

SOC 0100 Research Design and Interpretation. Sociological research process:  introduction to common methods, crafting sociological questions and designing research to answer them. Methods include surveys, experiments, field work, in-depth interviewing, and secondary analysis of existing data. Applying evolving knowledge base to the interpretation and critical assessment of recent journal articles to become skilled consumers of sociological research.  Recommendation: Sophomore standing.

SOC 0101 Quantitative Research Methods. Data analysis and statistics for the social sciences. Sampling, describing data, and logic of inference, especially with surveys. Introduction to microcomputer tools for analysis and graphic display. Answering research questions through individual or group projects.

Recommendations:  One introductory social science course.

SOC 0102 Qualitative Research Methods. Epistemological foundations of qualitative methods and related ethical issues. Research project, including formulation of a researchable sociological question, review of sociological literature, identification of a research site, conduct of systematic observations, taking and coding of field notes, qualitative interviews, analysis of data, drawing of conclusions, and development of a sociological argument. Recommendations: Two Sociology courses.

SOC 0103 Sociological Theory. (Cross-listed with CVS 112) Introduction to major classical and contemporary theories of society and human behavior.

SOC 104 Sociology of Education. (Cross-listed with ED 171) Core ideas in the sociology of education. Focus on the role of education in reducing or exacerbating social inequality. Topics include persistence of racial and ethnic inequality in education, the role of education in social change, the cultural role of schools in shaping world view, and the influence of youth cultures and identities on student behaviors and achievement. Consideration of reform movements in education and their contribution to broader social change.

SOC 0105 Sociology of Culture. Social role of culture in the shaping of individual behavior. Controversies surrounding the definition and impact of cultural explanations of social outcomes ranging from Asian Americans’ academic achievement to the dearth of women in leadership positions. Theories and critiques of “the culture of poverty.” Examination of particular subcultures. Contrasts between cultural and institutional explanations for racial discrimination and other forms of inequality. Prerequisite: One introductory level course in Sociology from among Soc 1, Soc 10-85, or Soc 94

SOC 106 Political Sociology. (Cross-listed w/ CVS 180) Sociological theories of distribution of power in the United States. Sources of institutionalized power, especially economic, military, organizational, and cultural. Relationship between state and society, influence of popular forces such as social movements, the emergence of the surveillance society, and impact of inequality on the overall distribution of power. Role of gender, the influence of emotions on political life, and examination of the body as a site of power.

SOC 108 Epidemics: Plagues, Peoples, and Politics. (Cross-listed as CH 108 and STS 108) Origins and evolution of epidemics, rooted in biology, social organization, culture, and political economy. Societies' efforts to contain diseases with a global reach, their effects on world history, their record in literature and art. Cases from early plagues (syphilis, smallpox, bubonic plague), the recurrent threats of influenza, malaria, and tuberculosis, 19th century famines and cholera, to AIDS, emergent diseases like SARS, Ebola and the "epidemics" of globalization spawned by changes in work, living conditions, and the environment.

SOC 0110 Latin American Society. Examines how sociological dynamics related to race, class, gender, and sexuality impact the lived experiences of people across contemporary Latin America. Considers themes within the broader historical, economic, and political situation. Explores the impact of colonial legacies in current social issues; uneven powers relations produced by race, class, gender and sexuality; forms of resistance employed by marginalized populations to survive or subvert forces of domination, as well as other topics.

Prerequisites: Sophomore standing and one social science course or permission of instructor. Recommendations: One sociology course.

SOC 0111 Making Social Change Happen. (Cross-listed as PJS 111).   Social change and social justice work often begins at the local level. Historic struggles of workers, racial-ethnic groups, women, immigrants, low income people, and others started in local communities. This course focuses on theories and practices of community-based activism and local grassroots organizing. Why and how do people organize? What are the limits and potential of grassroots organizing? How do grassroots efforts connect to larger social change and to politics?

SOC 0112 Criminology. Sociological findings and perspectives on crime and the processing of criminal offenders. Problems of definition and statistical assessment, public reaction to crime, theories of causation, penal institutions, and treatment programs. Examination of white-collar crime, organized crime, and professional theft. Recommendations: Sophomore standing or one Sociology course

SOC 0113 Urban Sociology. Sociology Cities as global phenomena, studied with classic texts on U.S. urban social life and transnational comparisons. Analysis of economic globalization, redevelopment, and landscape formation in cities.  Case studies of local politics and planning, socioeconomic inequality, urban cultural change, and citizenship struggles.

Recommendations:  SOC 1 or 10 or consent.

SOC 0114 Environmental Sociology. Analysis of environmental problems from a sociological perspective. Theories of the relationship between human societies and their natural environments. Topics may include the social origins and effects of environmental decline and destabilization; environmental justice and inequalities; environmental movements, culture, and politics; and the relationship between environmental expertise and public attitudes. Critical evaluation of proposals to address climate change and related environmental crises.

Recommendations: one sociology course, or ENV1, or sophomore standing.

SOC 120 Sociology of War and Peace. (Cross-listed as PJS 120 and CVS 127) Dynamics of war and peace. Theoretical perspectives on the cold war and the nature of post-cold war armed conflicts. The process of constructing enemy images. Recovery and reconciliation following violence. Feminist perspectives on war, military training, and peace. Impact of peace movements, especially at the end of the cold war. Movements to ban land mines and abolish nuclear weapons. Debate over the meaning of national and global security.

Recommendations:  One sociology course, or PJS 1, or junior standing.

SOC 0121 Sociology Of Law. Law as an agency of social control and its relation to other social institutions. Legal enactments and decisions seen in sociological perspective. Social functions of courts, judges, and the legal profession. The potential contribution of social research to understanding, formulating, and implementing law.

Recommendations:  Sophomore standing or permission of instructor.

SOC 0122 Race and the Criminal Justice System. Foundational concepts in the study of race, crime, and justice. Social construction and measurement of race and crime. Historical evolution of institutions of racial social control and rise of mass incarceration. Current practices in policing, courts, and punishment. Efforts to reform and transform the criminal justice system.

Prerequisites: Sophomore standing and one sociology course, or permission of instructor

SOC 0125 Social Organization Of Sexual Behavior. No description at this time.

Recommendations:  Junior standing and two sociology or psychology courses.

SOC 135 Social Movements. This course will study various social movements (from Abolitionists to Occupy Wall Street) and the elements that combine to spark such movements. We will also discuss what constitutes a movement: is it a protest, rally or riot, or a series of all? What motivates people to organize into action? How are movements buoyed or repressed? Do social movements actually work, or are they all for naught? How is (or isn’t) the movement of the group controlled? How do you measure a movement’s success and its effect on society as a whole?

SOC 0141 Medical Sociology. Sociopolitical context within which health, illness, and medical care are defined. Training and role delineation of health workers. Benefits and liabilities of becoming a patient. Social control implications of increasing medical intervention. Analysis of medical transactions in the examining room. Economic and organizational structure of the health-care delivery system.

Recommendations: Sophomore standing.

SOC 0145 Social Policy In America. Introduction to social policy in the United States as a "top-down" agent of social change in the realms of class, race, gender, and immigration. How social policy is created and implemented, and its effects on poverty and racial inequality; the well-being of families and children; and immigration and citizenship. Consideration of the relationships among academic research, politics, and the policymaking process.

SOC 0149 Selected Topics In Sociology. Social organization of selected institutions and/or analysis of current issues. Please see Department website for detailed information.

SOC 0180 Seminar on Intimate Violence. (Cross-listed as CVS 160) Examines intimate violence as a product of and contributor to broader structures of inequality. Focuses on causes, forms, and costs of abuse committed in the context of intimate relationships in the US and globally. Considers the influence of the media, economics, segregation, politics, gender, race, nationality, and history on intimate violence. Prerequisites: Junior standing and declared major in sociology or permission of instructor.

SOC 0181 Seminar On War, Peace, State, And Society. (Cross-listed with CVS 128) Advanced exploration of war and peace as social processes. Research into specific areas of student interest including role of gender, public opinion, Pentagon politics, peace movements, civil military relations, changing nature of war, nonviolent alternatives, media coverage, debate over the meaning of security , reconciliation and other forms of recovery from organized violence. Comparisons between the U.S. and other countries. Presumes prior introduction to relevant topics.

Recommendations:  SOC/PJS 120 or permission of instructor

SOC 0182 Seminar: Comparative Social Inequality. Examines the existing research about the production and reproduction of social inequality in a variety of contexts. Roles of macro-level processes (e.g. political economy and the welfare state) and meso-level (e.g. economic organizations) in explaining social inequality in comparative perspective. Manifestations of social inequality, including employment discrimination on the basis of race, gender, parental status, immigrant status/nativity, and employment histories; the links between globalization and inequality; the role of social origins; and the role of neighborhood contexts in limiting economic opportunities.

Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing.

SOC 0185 Seminar In Mass Media Studies. (Cross-listed w/ FMS 161) Exploration of contemporary perspectives and critical issues in mass media studies. Specific topics covered will vary each semester but may include media organization; audience reception; news reporting; gender and race in media; history of mass media; and studies on film, television, music, print, radio, and new technologies. Emphasis on group discussion and student participation.

Recommendations:  Junior standing, SOC 40, and permission of instructor.

SOC 0186 Seminar: International Health Policy. (Cross-listed as CH 186.) Health-related dilemmas faced by nations in a global era. How political economy, social structure, international organizations, and cultural practices regarding health, disease and illness affect policy responses. Focus on health threats perceived to cross borders in products (eg. beef and blood) and bodies (migrants and travelers).

SOC 0187 Seminar: Immigrant Children. Seminar on parents in host countries as labor migrants, migrant workers, refugees, sojourners and settlers accompanied or joined by children. Children born in host countries to immigrant parents.  Incorporation of documented and undocumented immigrants and acculturation of immigrant children into receiving societies. Migration theories, policy and law.  Racial and ethnic identity formation. Immigrant children and health, education, and language issues. Fieldwork and projects.

Recommendations:  Junior standing.

SOC 0188 Seminar In Current Sociology. (See specific course description in departmental booklet each semester.) Contemporary problems in selected areas of sociology. Topics will be determined by the instructor in consultation with student members of the seminar. Emphasis on group discussion and student reports. Please see departmental website for specific details.

Recommendations:  Junior standing, at least two previous courses in sociology, and permission of instructor

SOC 0189 Seminar In Social Policy. Macrosociological analysis of social policy formation and the organization and delivery of services in the United States. Comparative analysis of other industrial societies. Examination of the implications for research of theories about social policy. Students will specialize in one area of social policy. Please see departmental website for specific details.

SOC 0190 Seminar Immigration: Public Opinion, Politics, And Media. (Cross-list w/ AMER175 and AFR 190) American public opinion on immigration and its relationship to the political process.  Role of traditional media (newspapers, magazines, network TV), new media (cable TV, internet), and ethnic media in reflecting and shaping public opinion on immigration. Methodological approaches (surveys of public opinion, content analyses of media portrayals) to controversies surrounding immigrant assimilation and integration and the impact of immigration on the American economy, culture, and security.

Recommendations: Two Sociology or Political Science courses, or consent of instructor.

SOC 0192 Seminar: AIDS: Social Origins, Global Consequences. (Cross-listed as CH 192). Explores the emergence, meaning, and effects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic at different moments in continents and nations.  Topics may include: how/whether scientific and epidemiological information is factored into policy decisions; how the disease and people living with it acquire varying identities in different cultures.  Uses the formidable challenges the pandemic poses to global health initiatives, to security and to economic survival in many regions to study societies' capacities to mobilize collective resources and protect human rights.

SOC 0193 Special Topics. No description at this time.

SOC 0194 Special Topics. Social organization of selected institutions and/or analysis of current issues. 

SOC 0195 Seminar: Politics, Policies, and Risk in Science and Technology. (Cross-listed w/ STS 195) How do democratic governments cope with risks? How does science find its way into policymaking? Dilemmas of decision-making in realms such as: climate change, financial regulation, nuclear power, biotechnology, and pandemics, where trade-offs entail putting some groups at risk in order to reduce the risks faced by others. Examines how the relevant science is produced and how policy-makers evaluate it. Traces ideas about the appropriate roles of government, experts, and citizens in policy-making. Explores the interdependence and efforts of local, national, and international knowledge communities at global governance.

SOC 0197 Independent Study. No description at this time.

SOC 0198 Directed Research in Sociology. Open to properly qualified advanced students through consultation with a member of the faculty. Please see departmental website for specific details.

SOC 0199 Senior Honors Thesis A. Senior Honors Thesis. Please see departmental website for specific details.
This is a yearlong course. Each semester counts as 4 credits towards a student’s credit load. Students will earn 8 credits at the end of the second semester.

SOC 0199B Senior Honors Thesis. Senior Honors Thesis. Please see departmental website for specific details.
This is a yearlong course. Each semester counts as 4 credits towards a student’s credit load. Students will earn 8 credits at the end of the second semester

SOC 0213 Seminar: Research Methods. No description at this time.