Fall 2020 Undergraduate Courses

Course Descriptions

SOC 1010 – Introductory Sociology (3)

Mullins, 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 12:00pm - 12:50pm

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 2052 – Sociology of the Family (3)

Zeno, enrl 35, TR 8:00am - 9:15am

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

No Discussion Required.

SOC 2056 – The Sociology of Culture (3)

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

Examines the role of meaning in social life, with a focus on how different theories of culture allow analysis of the relationship of culture to exchange, authority, solidarity, and domination. Analysis of key cultural artefacts (movies, texts, monuments, etc.) is combined with the study of theories of social performance, fields of cultural production, and semiosis. The role of culture in social transformation is also considered.

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 2280 – Medical Sociology (3)

Aviles, enrl 60, MW 3:00pm - 3:50pm

This course examines how the medical system is shaped by cultural and societal forces, analyzing unique dimensions of medicine from varying perspectives prominent in the discipline of Sociology. Topics will focus upon the interaction of social categories (e.g., socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, gender/sexuality) upon the distribution of diseases, experiences of illness, and relationships between patients and medical professionals

Discussion Required.

SOC 2320 – Gender & Society (3)

Bair, enrl 120, MW 2:00pm - 2:50pm

This course emphasizes gender in the United States in today’s world. We begin with how gender role socialization, education, language and the media teach us our places as female and male. Then we go on to examine how the genders fare in the major social institutions of our society: the family, the economic sector, the polity, the military, the criminal justice sector, the religious sphere and the health/sports sector. We examine how we got to where we are and how we compare with other women and men in other ages and other places. We conclude by assessing where the genders are heading in the 21st Century.

Discussion Required.

SOC 2442 – Systems of Inequality (3)

TBD, enrl 35, TR 12:30pm – 1:45pm

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.

SOC 2559 – New Course in Sociology – Topic: Introduction to Demography (3)

Sullivan, enrl 30, MWF 10:00am – 10:50am

Demography is the scientific study of human populations. We will emphasize fertility, mortality, and migration, and the social and economic factors that affect them.

SOC 2595 - Immigration and Society (3)

Vickerman, enrl 60, MW 11:00am – 11:50am

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 2900 – Economy and Society (3)

Wang, enrl 35, TR 2:00pm – 3:15pm

Markets, firms, and money are part of everyday experience. Economists insist that they should work similarly independently of their social context. The central idea of economic sociology is that economic institutions are 'embedded' in social relations. We will study what embeddeness means, and what it implies. We look at how institutions constitute markets; how rationality varies; and how money interacts with social relations in unexpected ways.

SOC 3020 – Introduction to Social Theory (3)

Polillo, enrl 60, MW 1:00pm - 1:50pm

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 3120 – Sociology Research Workshop (4)

Gorman, enrl 72, MW 2:00pm - 2:50pm

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, MW 2:00pm – 3:15pm

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 3290 - Sociology of Childhood (3)

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

The class introduces the “new social studies of childhood” and the idea that the experience of childhood is a social construction, not a string of biological facts.  Topics include: how caring for children varies across time & space, and considering childhood in the context of Western cultural trends - increasing inequality, unequal distribution of overwork, poverty, war, liberty, decreasing privacy, consumerism, sexualization, networked society.

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 60, MW 1:00pm – 1:50pm

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.

Discussion Required.

SOC 3490 – Cities and Cultures (3)

Makarova, enrl 35, TR 11:00am – 12:15pm

Explores the ways in which physical environments shape and are shaped by social life. Examines the relationship between urban space and culture in different historical and social settings, though there is a particular focus on the rise and development of modernity as expressed through the experience of particular cities.

SOC 3559 – Environment, Globalization and Development (3)

Wilks, enrl 35, TR 9:30am – 10:45am

This course provides a sociological overview of Earth’s changing environment, starting with the impact of past disasters that affected climate and living beings. Then it considers growing evidence of accelerating climate change and its impact on environment, humans and other species, while also considering initiatives to combat it. It combines relevant sociological and other literature with student searches of major newspapers and periodicals.

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 35, MWF 12:00pm - 12:50pm

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.

SOC 3820 – Social Movements (3)

Slez, enrl 35, MW 2:00pm – 3:15pm

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 4054 – Political Sociology (3)

Mullins, enrl 20, TR 9:30am – 10:45am

Prerequisites: Six credits of sociology or permission of instructor

This course studies the relationship between social structure and political institutions. Competing theories about such topics as power structures, political participation, ideology, party affiliation, voting behavior, and social movements are discussed in the context of recent research on national and local politics in the U.S.

SOC 4055 – Sociology of Law (3)

Gorman, enrl 20, MW 3:30pm – 4:45pm

Prerequisites: Six credits of sociology or permission of instructor

After a brief history of legal sociology during the past century, the course introduces and elaborates a sociological theory of legal behavior. The primary focus is the case, a specific legal conflict. The theory explains the handling of each case with its social structure, such as the social closeness and social elevation of the parties. Although the course is primarily scientific in emphasis, the practical relevance of the theory is addressed.

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 4559-001 – New Course in Sociology – Hate Groups (3)

Vickerman, enrl 20, MW 2:00pm – 3:15pm

Prerequisites: Six credits of sociology or permission of instructor.

Hate groups are defined by their extreme antipathy towards minority groups of all types, especially racial groups. Typically, they are particularly active when dominant groups feel threatened because minority groups gain power. Hate groups exist to reassert this dominance through fear and terror. This course analyzes the origins, manifestations, and behavior of hate groups from a theoretical, historical, and sociological point of view, underlining the role of minority-led social movements and immigration in generating such groups.

SOC 4559-002 – New Course in Sociology – The 2020 Census (3)

Sullivan, enrl 20, MW 2:00pm – 3:15pm

Prerequisites: Six credits of sociology or permission of instructor.

This course examines the relationship of the census to democracy. We will examine data collection and uses, the impact of an undercount and other errors, and the issues of data privacy and security.

SOC 4750 – Racism (3)

Buckelew, enrl 20, TR 12:30pm – 1;45 pm

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)

Guterbock, 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.

Fall 2020 Undergraduate Courses


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.