Fall 2019 Undergraduate Courses

Course Descriptions

SOC 1010 – Introductory Sociology (3)

Buckelew, enrl 240, MW 10:00am - 10:50am

The fundamental concepts and principles of sociology with special attention to sociological theory and research methods. Survey of the diverse substantive fields in the discipline with a primary emphasis on the institutions in contemporary American society.

Discussion Required.

SOC 2052 – Sociology of the Family (3)

Wilcox, enrl 180, MW 11:00am - 11:50am

Comparison of family organizations in relation to other social institutions in various societies; an introduction to the theory of kinship and marriage systems.

Discussion Required.

SOC 2220 – Social Problems (3)

TBD, enrl 120, MW 1:00pm - 1:50pm

An analysis of the causes and consequences of current social problems in the United States: Race and Ethnic relations, poverty, crime and delinquency, the environment, drugs, and problems of educational institutions.

Discussion Required.

SOC 2230 – Criminology (3)

Buckelew, enrl 180, MW 9:00pm - 9:50pm

Socio-cultural conditions affecting the definition, recording, and treatment of delinquency and crime. Examination of Theories of deviant behavior, the role of the police, judicial and corrective systems and the victim in criminal behavior.

Discussion Required.

SOC 2442 – Systems of Inequality (3)

TBD, enrl 60, MW 2:00pm  - 2:50pm

This course will examine various types of inequality (race, class, gender) in the US and abroad. We will discuss sociological theories covering various dimensions of inequality, considering key research findings and their implications. We will examine to what extent ascriptive characteristics impact a person's life chances, how social structures are produced and reproduced, and how individuals are able or unable to negotiate these structures.

Discussion Required.

SOC 2595 - Immigration and Society (3)

Vickerman, enrl 60, MW 12:00pm - 12:50pm

Immigration is a deceptively simple process, involving, at the simplest level, merely the movement of people across international borders.  But why they move, how they move, and how the process is sustained over time are difficult questions to answer. This course examines these key questions and others from a global and historical perspective, with the goal of deepening our understanding of theoretical and policy issues related to immigration.

Discussion Required.

SOC 3020 – Introduction to Social Theory (3)

Polillo, enrl 60, TR 2:00pm - 2:50pm

An introduction to the major theoretical issues and traditions in sociology, especially as developed in the writings of Marx, Weber, and Durkheim, Sociology majors are expected to take this course in their third year.

Discussion Required
Required core course for SOC major.

SOC 3056 - Culture and Power (3)

TBD, enrl 35, TR 9:30am - 10:45am

This course pursues the question of the ways in which classical social theory is rooted in, and indebted to, philosophy and metaphysics. This will be shown through four cases: Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason,” Hegel’s “Phenomenology of Spirit,” Nietzsche’s “Will to Power,” Heidegger’s “Being and Time.” Problems central to all sciences and  modes of cognition, such as knowledge & truth, theory & ideology, and agency vs. causality will be covered.

SOC 3120 – Sociology Research Workshop (4)

Guterbock, enrl 72, MW 12:00pm - 12:50pm

An introduction to data analysis and data processing, as well as the conceptualization of sociological problems.  Emphasis on individual student projects.

Discussion Required.
Required core course for SOC major.

SOC 3180 – Sociology of Emotions (3)

Polillo, enrl 35, TR 11:00am - 12:15pm

This course explores the role of emotions in social interaction as well as how societies and cultures shape emotional expression.  The objective is to decode the subtle rules of emotional display implicit in many social interactions and excavate the cultural histories of particular emotions such as love, sympathy, shame, anxiety, and sadness.  Readings include theoretical and empirical work from both sociologists and social psychologists.

SOC 3310 – Sociology of Self (3)

Skubby, enrl 35, MW 3:30pm - 4:45pm

What is the difference between individual and self? Do we carry a fixed, unchangeable self inside, or do we have as many selves as the situations in which we commonly find ourselves? Can we go as far as saying that the self comes from the outside, and if so, when do we internalize it? At birth, once and for all? Or repeatedly and in everyday life? We will explore these questions and more as we venture into an exciting field-sociology of the self.

SOC 3410 – Race & Ethnic Relations (3)

Buckelew, enrl 35, TR 9:30am - 10:45am

Introduces the study of race and ethnic relations, including the social and economic conditions promoting prejudice, racism, discrimination, and segregation. Examines contemporary American conditions, and historical and international materials.

SOC 3440 - Chinese Society (3)

Wang, enrl 35, TR 12:30pm - 1:45pm

This seminar provides a survey of Chinese society and social changes in the reform-era (1979 to the present). It uses sociological analysis to comprehensively examine various aspects of contemporary Chinese society including: economic development, social inequality, governance, political reform, nationalism, religion, ethnicity, and popular culture.  Meets Non-Western Studies Requirement.

SOC 3470 - Sociology of Development (3)

Blumberg, enrl 35, TR 12:30pm - 1:45pm

This study of the development of human societies explores the five major 'techo-economic bases' that have characterized our species' history (hunting-gathering, horticultural, agrarian, industrial and information/biotech) and examines how contemporary macro level trends affect our lives at the micro level.

SOC 3480 – Sociology of Globalization (3)

Wang, enrl 35, TR 9:30am - 10:45am

This course will explore the determinants, nature, and effects of the increase in cross-border flows of goods, services, capital and people that  we have come  to associate with the term “globalization.”   We will investigate how globalization affects domestic & world inequality, the role of institutions, and  world & local cultures. The course will include readings from economics, history, world-system theory, and cultural analysis.

SOC 3640 - Human Society in History (3)

Kumar, enrl 35, TR 2:00pm - 3:15pm

Human societies exist in time. This course will examine the historical development of a variety of societies from earliest times to the present. Its focus will be on the relation of the West to the rest of the world. The course is particularly intended for social scientists, to make them aware of the historical dimension to human society; but it is open to all.  Meets Historical Studies requirement.

SOC 3700 – Health & Society (3)

Skubby, enrl 60, TR 12:00pm - 12:50 pm

This course explores the social dimensions of health and illness, focusing especially on the social experience of illness, the social determinants of disease, and the role and meaning of medicine and public health in modern U.S. society. The class examines how we define health problems and their solutions, and it considers the ways in which race, gender, class, age, and sexuality matter for understanding health- related experiences and discourses.

Discussion Required.

SOC 3820 – Social Movements (3)

Slez, enrl 35, MW 3:30pm - 4:45pm

Social movements are an historical and global phenomenon of great complexity and variety.  Because the topic can be so broad, the course is organized around case studies of civil rights, the industrial workers’ movement, environmentalism, religious fundamentalism, and the counter movements to globalization.  These cases will be used to illustrate variety of themes and principles, and you will learn about specific events, personalities, organizations, and dynamics that shaped these movements.  By this method, you will gain specific knowledge about important social movements, as well as an overview and general orientation to the sociology of this dynamic area of social life.

SOC 4070 - Sociology of Art (3)

Greenland, enrl 20, TR 11:00am - 12:15pm

Prerequisites: Six credits of sociology or permission of instructor

This class is designed as a seminar on the sociology of art.  Students are expected to be familiar with general sociological concepts and theory.  In this class we will cover material from a wide range of perspectives in an attempt to understand the social context of are. The course is structured as a seminar, which makes class attendance and preparation essential.

SOC 4140 - Sociology of Consumption (3)

Makarova, enrl 20, TR 2:00pm - 3:15

Prerequisites: Six credits of sociology or permission of instructor

This course considers the nature and effects of consumer society; it explores the theories, practices, and politics of modern consumption. Topics include the historical development of consumer society; the role of consumption in creating personal and political identities; the cultural and social meanings of seemingly impersonal objects like money; the commodification of social life; the effects of globalization on the practices of consumption.

SOC 4230 – Deviance and Social Control (3)

Buckelew, enrl 20, TR 12:30pm - 1:45pm

Prerequisites: Six credits of sociology or permission of instructor.

An examination of a variety of deviant behaviors in American society and the sociological theories that explain societal reactions and attempts at social control.  Focus on enduring conditions such as drug addiction, alcoholism, and mental illness.

SOC 4350 - Comparative Gender Stratification (3)

Blumberg, enrl 20, TR 9:30am - 10:45am

Prerequisites: Six credits of sociology or permission of instructor

The course examines (1) theories of gender stratification, (2) the extent of, and changes in , gender stratification in the U.S. and (3) a cross-cultural look at the extent of gender stratification from our hunting-and-gathering ancestors to today’s information/biotech society.  The course will also (4) look at contemporary examples of both local level gender equality/near equality and extreme gender inequality (e.g., in Taliban Afghanistan).

SOC 4559 – New Course in Sociology – Unequal Families (3)

Wilcox, enrl 20, MW 3:30pm - 4:45pm

Prerequisites: Six credits of sociology or permission of instructor.

Family inequality is an enduring feature of American family life--both within and between families in the US.  This seminar will focus on the ways in which class, race, and gender structure inequality within and between families--and the effects of that inequality on the social, emotional and financial well-being of men, women and children.  We will explore the causes and consequences of growing class-based inequality in marriage.

SOC 4750 – Racism (3)

Vickerman, enrl 20, MW TR 2:00pm - 3:15pm

Prerequisites: Six credits of sociology or permission of instructor.

Racism, the disparagement and victimization of individuals and groups because of a belief that their ancestry renders them intrinsically different and inferior, is a problem in many societies.  In this course we will examine the problem of racism by investigating the workings of these sociological processes theoretically, historically, and contemporaneously.

SOC 4980 – Distinguished Majors Thesis Research (3)

Pugh, enrl 12

Prerequisites: Admission to the Distinguished Majors Program in Sociology.

Independent research, under the supervision of a DM faculty adviser, for the DMP thesis.


For more course information please visit the University Registrar, SIS Schedule of Classes or the Summer Session / JTerm Offices.

J-term and Study Abroad courses do not automatically count toward the Sociology major or minor; a student must obtain pre-approval from Professor Thomas Guterbock, Director of Undergraduate Studies. See Sociology Major Handbook for more information.

*If a student neither contacts the instructor in advance nor appears at the first class meeting, the Sociology Department and/or instructor reserves the right to cancel the student's enrollment.

**Additionally, if upon being given ad hoc enrollment permission, a student is told by the instructor to enroll in a specific dependent section, and the student does not enroll in that specified section, the Sociology Department and/or instructor reserves the right to cancel the student's enrollment.

***Undergraduate students may enroll in Graduate Sociology courses at the 5000 level only with instructor permission, and if they have a minimum GPA of 3.4 and fourth year status.