The Department of Sociology and Anthropology embraces a range of disciplines and their related subfields: anthropology, gerontology and sociology. Our graduates are represented in careers such as social work, teaching, healthcare, politics, law, nonprofits, public administration and social policy. In addition to course content, students who choose one of these majors or minors acquire a valuable set of skills useful in their future professions or in graduate education, including:

Diversity Awareness. Students go outside their comfort zone to not only witness but identify with and appreciate the perspective of diverse groups.

Social Scientific Literacy. Students learn the logic of research methodology and are able to understand and critique the results of scientific research generated by scholars in the discipline.

Critical Thinking. Students apply disciplinary theories and concepts to interpret various social phenomena and scholarship from multiple perspectives through clear oral and written articulation.

Sociological Understanding of Society. Students discuss the theories, critical concepts and ideas that form the basis of disciplinary knowledge and understand how social structure affects the distribution of cultural and material resources across social groups.

The department offers majors in Sociology and Gerontology. More information about the different options is available on the Majors tab. Coursework in the department provides students with skills that make them invaluable as workers, as community leaders and as citizens of a diverse, interconnected nation and world. Our majors graduate with the ability to appreciate diversity, to facilitate discussions across diverse viewpoints, to gather and assess evidence, and to evaluate programs and then “think outside the box” to act as leaders of innovation and change in the workplace.

The core of the Sociology and Gerontology majors is our internship program. As one of the first departments at Quinnipiac to have centered our majors around an applied internship, we have 35 years of experience in helping students translate their classroom knowledge into real-world, in-demand job skills. In addition to rigorous academic preparation, the department stresses the applicability and usefulness of this training through an upper-division experience in any number of internships at professional settings.

Anthropology, Gerontology and Sociology are united by a core set of classes designed to cultivate an appreciation for social and cultural diversity as well as to give students applied data analysis skills relevant to a career in any field. Students are taught to observe the ways that social and cultural forces shape both groups and individuals, and are provided with the skills of scientific inquiry that will enable them to be critical thinkers who can analyze the causes and consequences of social interaction in a wide range of settings.

Majors in the Department

Sociology

Sociology is the discipline of understanding society and social groups. Quinnipiac University offers a sociology degree, in which students can choose all their elective coursework from courses within the program, or students may choose a concentration in social services or in medicine and health to focus their course of study. Through their study, students learn how groups interact and the social reasons for individual and group behaviors. Coursework is enriched by a required internship. Internships let students apply their classroom experiences in professional settings. Our internship program is unique as we meet with each student to assess their professional interests before recommending appropriate internship sites. In addition to 120 hours at the internship site, students participate in a weekly seminar to connect skills they take from the internship to their coursework and to form a community among their peers. Sociology majors also have the option to complete two different internships that teach them about working in diverse settings. Our major equips students with the applied skills, capabilities and work experience to enable them to begin careers immediately upon graduation or to pursue graduate education in related areas. As such, sociology is applicable to a wide range of fields for which understanding groups, social interactions and diversity are essential: social work, teaching, healthcare, politics, law, nonprofits, public administration and social policy among others. Our program requirements incorporate the skills needed for the 21st-century workforce: diversity awareness, critical thinking, quantitative social scientific reasoning and a sociological understanding of society.

Gerontology

Older Americans comprise the fastest growing age group in the country and careers in aging are growing right along with the elderly population. Our state-licensed interdisciplinary program in gerontology focuses on the diverse needs and characteristics of America’s rapidly growing senior population. This program builds the foundation for you to enter a rewarding profession in a field with incredible demand—among the highest of all occupational fields. Our program is intentionally designed to blend the academic and the professional from your first year through your senior year. You will build your knowledge of aging and older people with diverse topical courses in gerontology, sociology, psychology and biology. You’ll also develop skills with courses on research methods and statistics, which provide valuable tools for any career. During your junior year and under the direction of our dedicated internship coordinator, you’ll continue to incorporate professional skills, build ties to the community, and connect with potential employers in our required year-long internship. In your senior year, you will have the opportunity to synthesize your knowledge and skills by writing a grant proposal in our senior seminar. This course integrates content, skills, and professional connections in the community to prepare you for excellence in any career you may choose in the field of gerontology. 

Anthropology (AN)

AN 101. Local Cultures, Global Issues.3 Credits.

This introductory course provides a broad overview of cultural anthropology, giving students the tools to understand, speak and write about human diversities and similarities cross-culturally. Course materials emphasize issues of race, ethnicity, class and gender, making visible for students the inequalities and power dimensions embedded in societies throughout the globe.

Offered: Every year, All
UC: Social Sciences, Intercultural Understand

AN 103. Dirt, Artifacts and Ideas.3 Credits.

This course introduces students to the social science of archaeology, one of the four subdisciplines within anthropology. Students explore the history and methodology of archaeology, human evolution and adaptation. They learn to interpret archaeological data and study the relationship between humans and the natural environment. The ethics of doing archaeological fieldwork and the contemporary debates within the discipline also are discussed.

Offered: Every year, All
UC: Social Sciences, Intercultural Understand

AN 104. Bones, Genes and Everything In Between.3 Credits.

In this course, students explore human origins and modern human diversity from a holistic, biocultural evolutionary perspective. Participants begin with the processes of evolution and natural selection, along with the mechanisms of genetic inheritance at the molecular level and its role in modern human diversity. Next they focus on our closest living relatives, the non-human primates, and then discuss the evidence for primate and human evolution found in the fossil record. The course concludes by exploring the origins of modern humans and their dispersal across the globe.

Corequisites: Take AN 104L.
Offered: Every year, Fall
UC: Natural Sciences

AN 104L. Bones, Genes and Everything In Between.1 Credit.

Lab to accompany AN 104.

Corequisites: Take AN 104.
Offered: Every year, Fall
UC: Natural Sciences

AN 200. Special Topics.3 Credits.

Subject varies each semester according to student and faculty interest.

Offered: As needed, All

AN 210. Gender/Sex/Sexuality (WGS 211).3 Credits.

This course introduces students to the social and cultural constructions of gender, sex and sexuality around the world. Students discover the way anthropologists approach these topics. They explore the constructions as they relate to notions of biology, family, households, work, migration, inequality/inequity, economics and class status, violence, and race and ethnicity. Discussions focus on what gender, sex and sexuality are, what they mean and how they theoretically and practically matter as categories.

Offered: Every other year
UC: Social Sciences, Intercultural Understand

AN 215. Introduction to Language Studies.3 Credits.

Human language involves much more than vocabulary and grammar. It is a dynamic, complex system for conveying meaning via sound, images/text, and gestures. In this interdisciplinary course, students will explore the structural components of language, including sound patterns, word formation, syntax, and semantics, and understand how these phenomena evolve over time. Regional, social, and cultural impact on language development will also be covered. Based on this foundation, students will pursue individual projects on linguistic topics of their choice, such as language acquisition, neurolinguistics, computational linguistics, or forensic linguistics. This course assumes no prior study of linguistics or foreign languages. All reading and discussion will be in English. This course does not fulfill a foreign language requirement.

Prerequisites: Take FYS 101
Offered: As needed

AN 227. Rites of Passage.3 Credits.

In this course, students examine the study abroad experience as a life turning point, looking through the lens of traditional Rites of Passage Theory, as put forth by anthropologist Arnold van Gennep. They connect each of the traditional Rites of Passage phases to the study abroad experience (i.e., separation, liminality and reincorporation) and begin to develop an understanding of why rites of passage were/are formulated, and how to apply the concepts and elements presented in traditional Rites of Passage Theory not only to the study abroad experience, but also to personal, academic and professional turning points throughout one's life.

Offered: Every year, All
UC: Breadth Elective, University Curriculum Ele

AN 230. Sustainable Development (ENV 230).3 Credits.

This course introduces students to the concept and practice of "development" from an anthropological perspective. Students learn how to assess and critique the ideological threads in development discourses, and are able to identify how anthropological approaches to development differ from other social sciences and allied disciplines. Students also learn how classical social theory continues to influence policy makers and international aid bureaucrats.

Offered: As needed
UC: Social Sciences, Intercultural Understand

AN 233. Practicing Archaeology.3 Credits.

Archaeology is an exciting multidisciplinary field that combines approaches from the social and natural sciences to reconstruct human behavior. In this course, students explore the theories and methods that guide archaeological inquiry through lectures, class discussions and interactive laboratory and field exercises. Guest lectures will highlight various specializations and applications in the field, including geographic information systems, archaeological chemistry, bioarchaeology, museum curation, public archaeology and cultural resource management. Archaeological case studies will focus on the Indigenous history and prehistory of southern New England including the Quinnipiac land and people.

Offered: Every year, Fall
UC: Social Sciences

AN 237. Health and Medicine Around the World.3 Credits.

This course takes a comparative study approach by looking at the diverse ways in which societies throughout the world both define and respond to disease and illness. Special attention is paid to how differently people understand the body and its relation to illness, and the importance of cross-cultural understanding for treating and curing illness in pluralistic societies.

Offered: Every other year
UC: Social Sciences, Intercultural Understand

AN 240. Ethnography: Learning from Others.3 Credits.

This course introduces students to ethnographic theory, method, practice and application within the discipline of anthropology. The goals are: 1) to provide students with a background of the history of ethnography; 2) to introduce students to the range of ethnographic writings in the contemporary era; 3) to encourage students to think about what ethnographic writings teach us and why they matter; 4) to compare ethnography to other forms of academic and popular writings; and 5) to consider the ethical dimensions and dilemmas of conducting ethnographic research.

Offered: As needed
UC: Social Sciences

AN 242. Anthropology of Cannabis.3 Credits.

The Anthropology of Cannabis explores the archaeological, cross-cultural, and contemporary political, symbolic, linguistic, and sociobehavioral influence of cannabis on human existence. In this class students will explore the long history of the cannabis plant and other "drugs" in human life; the war on drugs; the racialized and gendered implication of criminalization; and what the legalization of cannabis in multiple states in the US and around the world means for the plant's future.

Offered: As needed
UC: Social Sciences

AN 243. Ancient Food For Thought (ENV 243).3 Credits.

In this course, students explore the origins (and consequences) of food production and consumption from an anthropological perspective. Participants examine evidence for ancient diets in a variety of different societies (hunter-gatherer, pastoral and agricultural). They analyze the relationship between our diet and other aspects of culture and explore how these types of societies have changed over the past several thousand years. Students then review contemporary environmental and health problems related to food production and consumption and draw from the past to understand and potentially address these issues.

Offered: Every year, Spring
UC: Social Sciences, Intercultural Understand

AN 250. Forensic Anthropology.3 Credits.

This course provides a general introduction to forensic anthropology, an applied subfield of biological anthropology, wherein human remains of medico-legal significance are analyzed. Students review the history of the field, basic skeletal anatomy and human biological variation, recovery of human remains and how time since death can be established. The course also covers the identification of trauma and disease in both modern and prehistoric skeletons, as well as markers of individualization that may lead to positive identification.

Offered: Every other year
UC: Breadth Elective, University Curriculum Ele

AN 252. The Science of Human Diversity (WGS 252).3 Credits.

This course surveys human phenotypic variation through an evolutionary and biocultural perspective. The role of genetics and environment (including culture) is discussed in relation to the heritability of human differences. Participants also consider how culture and society shape an understanding of human biology. Topics as diverse as environmental adaptations, "race," sex differences, aging, growth, nutrition, demography and genetic disorders are addressed from this biocultural perspective.

Offered: As needed
UC: Breadth Elective, University Curriculum Ele, Intercultural Understand

AN 272. Sh t Happens: a Natural History of Human Waste (ENV 282).3 Credits.

This course explores the natural history of human excrement. Human waste is something that we are all intimately familiar with, yet rarely discuss (or at least, we rarely admit to discussing it). But, it tells an incredible story about our lives and our interactions with the environment. We study ancient feces to learn about diet and health in the past; we look at cross-cultural studies to understand different types of contemporary waste disposal and cultural understanding of human waste; we learn about the gut microbiome, which may influence our emotions; we study our closest living relatives and their relationship with bodily waste.

Offered: Every year, Spring
UC: Breadth Elective

AN 299. Independent Study.1-6 Credits.

Pursuit in depth of a specific topic. The topic and credit are to be arranged with an instructor.

Offered: As needed, All

AN 300. Special Topics.3 Credits.

Subject varies each semester according to student and faculty interest.

Offered: As needed, All

Gerontology (GT)

GT 200. Biology of Aging (BMS 200).3 Credits.

The aim of the course is to study the specific and primary changes in physiological mechanisms that result in the process of aging. See description for BMS 200.

Prerequisites: Take BIO 101 BIO 102 or BIO 150 BIO 151 or BMS 117 BMS 162.
Offered: Every year, All

GT 202. Gender and Aging (SO/WGS 202).3 Credits.

The purpose of this advanced seminar is to study older women's and men's experiences with aging. The focus is on the complex interplay between age and gender as we examine the social, economic and policy issues surrounding the needs of older women and men.

Offered: As needed, Summer

GT 205. From College to Career (SO/CJ 205).1 Credit.

This course introduces sociology, gerontology and criminal justice majors to the preprofessional skills and knowledge they need to practice prior to obtaining their internship. Students also are introduced to practical skills that will benefit them throughout their professional careers ranging from self-reflection to resume writing and email etiquette. Students meet regularly to discuss the breadth of potential careers in sociology, criminal justice and gerontology through interaction with departmental faculty and practitioners in the field. For gerontology majors only. This course is graded on a pass/fail basis.

Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring

GT 211. Introduction to Social Work (SO 211).3 Credits.

This course provides students with an introduction to social work profession, including its historical roots, its fundamental principles and its areas of practice. The course provides an overview of social work methods, skills, values, ethics and the social service delivery system. Students develop an introductory understanding of how psychological and social theories influence social work practice with individuals, groups and communities.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244
Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring

GT 220. Special Topics in Gerontology.3 Credits.

Offered: As needed

GT 234. Adult Developmental Psychology (PS 234).3 Credits.

This course considers facts, theory and speculation about adult development and aging. Focus is on physical, cognitive and social development as well as family and career patterns for periods of young, middle and late adulthood.

Prerequisites: Take PS 101.
Offered: Every other year
UC: Social Sciences

GT 263. Aging in Society Aging (SO 263).3 Credits.

This introduction to gerontology focuses on the myths and realities of aging explored through historic, demographic and sociological analyses of the conditions of elderly people in our society. Students critically examine the diversity of aging experiences in the U.S. The ways in which social and cultural factors enter into the aging process are also considered.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 or SO 101H.
Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring
UC: Social Sciences, Intercultural Understand

GT 270. Community Program Development (SO 270).3 Credits.

This course addresses the creation of community-based programs and services especially within the nonprofit and public sectors. Topics covered include: approaches to leadership, community engagement, needs identification, problem analysis, models of intervention, and elements of grant proposal writing.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 OR SO 244
Offered: As needed

GT 290. Research Methods (SO 290).3 Credits.

This course introduces students to social science research methods. Students examine how qualitative and quantitative research methods apply to social science research. The course places particular emphasis on the importance of scientific methods in reaching informed conclusions. Students examine a number of methods commonly used in social science disciplines and learn how to interpret the results of research conducted using these methods. Understanding how social scientists investigate social phenomena allows students to accurately interpret and apply findings from social science research. Students should complete the course by the end of their sophomore year or second year in the major.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 OR SO 244
Offered: Every year, All

GT 300. Special Topics in Gerontology.3 Credits.

Offered: As needed

GT 305. Sociology of Death and Dying (SO 305).3 Credits.

Death is studied from the perspective of social interaction between the dying person, professional caregivers and family members and loved ones. Attitudes and values about death, cultural components of grief, and the function of bereavement are examined. Particular attention is paid to the social organization of "death work" and dying in bureaucratic settings, such as hospitals and nursing homes, as opposed to the non-bureaucratic structure of hospice care.

Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring

GT 315. Case Management (SO 315).3 Credits.

Case management is a process used widely throughout health and social services as a means of assessing, planning, coordinating, monitoring and evaluating the services needed to respond to an individual's health and/or service needs to attain the dual goals of quality and cost effective care. Students in gerontology, sociology, psychology, and criminal justice are likely to encounter the various roles or models of case management practice as they pursue careers in human services. This course provides a foundation for case management practice in various social service settings.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 OR SO 244
Offered: As needed

GT 365. Aging and Social Problems (SO 365).3 Credits.

This course considers the social policies associated with aging, particularly in the areas of health, housing, financing and family life and the governmental policies, past, present and future, that deal with these problems.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 or SO 101H.
Offered: Every year, Summer
UC: Breadth Elective, Intercultural Understand

GT 382. Studying Social Issues with Statistics (SO 382).3 Credits.

In this course, students learn basic introductory-level statistics and quantitative reasoning skills necessary for careers in gerontology. Through hands-on application, students learn research design, basic statistical data collection and data analysis. For gerontology majors only, junior or above.

Prerequisites: Take GT 290.
Offered: Every year, Spring

GT 392. Internship in the Community (SO 392).3 Credits.

For gerontology majors in their junior or senior year only. Students each complete 120 hours of supervised fieldwork in an agency that serves the elderly, along with one hour per week in a seminar. Coursework and seminar content include written and oral reflection focusing on the student's experience. Professional issues, along with academic concepts and theory, are explored in relation to the agency and the community it serves. Successful completion of the course requires adherence to a high standard of professionalism. Students are required to meet with the internship coordinator one semester prior to beginning the placement process.

Prerequisites: Take GT 205, GT 263.
Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring

GT 394. Advanced Internship in the Community.3 Credits.

This is a required second internship for gerontology majors in their junior or senior year only. Students complete 135 hours of supervised fieldwork in a community agency that serves the elderly along with one hour per week in the advanced internship class. Students build upon the knowledge gained from their first internship experience to deepen their understanding of concepts and theory through extended written and oral reflection. Students also assess their interpersonal strengths and weaknesses in preparation for graduate school and/or future employment. Successful completion of the course requires adherence to a high standard of professionalism. Students are required to meet with the internship coordinator one semester prior to begin the placement process.

Prerequisites: Take GT 392.
Offered: Every year, Spring

GT 400. Senior Seminar (SO 400).3 Credits.

This senior seminar is designed as the capstone course for students majoring in sociology and gerontology. Students research a sociological or aging-related topic of their choosing and write a thesis based on their work. All senior theses represent a culmination of majors' academic experiences in the department. For gerontology majors only in the senior year.

Prerequisites: Take GT 290.
Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring

Sociology (SO)

SO 101. Introduction to Sociology.3 Credits.

Our society and culture influence who we are, how we feel about ourselves, and how we interact with others. This course investigates the ways in which our social institutions such as the family, the government, politics, religion, health care and others shape our experience. Students also look at the ways in which gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity and social class affect their life. The differences that characterize a stratified society in opportunity, reward, achievement and social class are discussed.

Offered: Every year, All
UC: Social Sciences

SO 101H. Honors Introduction to Sociology.3 Credits.

Our society and culture influence who we are, how we feel about ourselves, and how we interact with others. This course investigates the ways in which our social institutions such as the family, the government, politics, religion, health care and others shape our experience. Students also look at the ways in which gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity and social class affect their life. The differences that characterize a stratified society in opportunity, reward, achievement and social class are discussed.

Offered: As needed
UC: Social Sciences

SO 200. Special Topics.3 Credits.

A variety of special topics courses are offered every year.

Offered: As needed

SO 201. Sociological Theory.3 Credits.

This course helps students develop a working knowledge of theory and understand its relevance in other sociological courses they take. In part, it examines Freud's depiction of the human condition as an epic battle between our individual selfish drives and society's overbearing shame, Marx's claim that revolution is inevitable, Weber's belief that we have sacrificed the human spirit at the altar of efficiency, Mills' claim that we have become cheerful robots in a machine-like society, and Baudrillard's thesis that truth has been murdered in the perfect crime.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 or SO 101H or SO 225 or SO 244;
Offered: As needed
UC: Social Sciences

SO 202. Gender and Aging (GT/WGS 202).3 Credits.

The purpose of this advanced seminar is to study older women's and men's experiences with aging. The focus is on the complex interplay between age and gender as we examine the social, economic and policy issues surrounding the needs of older women and men.

Offered: As needed, Summer

SO 203. How to Get Rich:Sociology in Action.3 Credits.

Designed for the general student interested in how to increase their likelihood of getting rich after college, this course teaches the basic skills needed to achieve financial success: budgeting, investing, and debt management. Most importantly, you will also learn how you can make money work for you, rather than you working for money. These basic lessons will be approached through sociological literature that will teach you the ways that advertisements, culture, your socialization with money and your positionality impact your ability to financially excel in the world outside of college. By learning the tricks of what can keep you down, you also learn invaluable skills that will help you potentially save money to invest for your future.

Offered: As needed

SO 205. From College to Career (CJ/GT 205).1 Credit.

This course introduces sociology, gerontology and criminal justice majors to the preprofessional skills and knowledge they need to practice prior to obtaining their internship. Students also are introduced to practical skills that benefit them throughout their professional careers ranging from self-reflection to resume writing and email etiquette. Students meet regularly to discuss the breadth of potential careers in sociology, criminal justice and gerontology through interaction with departmental faculty and practitioners in the field. For sociology majors only. This course is graded on a pass/fail basis.

Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring

SO 211. Introduction to Social Work (GT 211).3 Credits.

This course provides students with an introduction to social work profession, including its historical roots, its fundamental principles and its areas of practice. The course provides an overview of social work methods, skills, values, ethics and the social service delivery system. Students develop an introductory understanding of how psychological and social theories influence social work practice with individuals, groups and communities.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244
Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring

SO 225. Social Problems.3 Credits.

What is a social problem? How does something become defined and recognized as a social problem? In this course, students examine the social systems, relationships, benefits and duties that shape our lives, both locally and globally. What are the major problems facing society today? What are their consequences? How can we effectively address social problems? Students explore these questions and more through examining topics such as racism, economic inequality, sexualities, families, immigration and the environment. In discussing these and other issues, students develop their sociological imaginations, learning how to see their individual lives as connected to patterns and systems in the larger social world.

Offered: As needed
UC: Social Sciences

SO 232. Women in the Criminal Justice System (CJ/WGS 232).3 Credits.

This course examines the changing patterns of women's criminality, the experiences of women who are processed as crime victims, and the evolution of women's role in law, law enforcement and corrections.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244;
Offered: Every year, Spring
UC: Social Sciences

SO 235. American Culture and Society.3 Credits.

The course examines what it means to be an American. Students explore the structure of American culture and discuss more specific American cultural manifestations in areas such as love, consumerism, childrearing and sport. These topics are covered via an assessment of the health versus pathology of American culture. Course material is rooted in sociological literature within the field of culture and personality.

Offered: As needed

SO 238. Sociology Through Film.3 Credits.

This course is an examination of American society through film viewing, academic reading and discussion. Historically, film has been used to depict American culture as distinct from other cultures, socialize American children, represent the individual in American family life, religion and education, and to create cultural representations of gender and race. Each of these themes is examined, and the course concludes with an analysis of the concepts of social class and corporate power and as conveyed through film.

Offered: As needed

SO 241. Sociology of Race and Ethnicity.3 Credits.

The impact of ethnic and racial identity in the United States is examined with particular consideration of the processes of prejudice and discrimination, social class identity and mobility, and the distribution and exercise of social, economic and political power.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244;
Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring
UC: Social Sciences, Intercultural Understand

SO 241H. Honors Sociology of Race and Ethnicity.3 Credits.

The impact of ethnic and racial identity in the United States is examined with particular consideration of the processes of prejudice and discrimination, social class identity and mobility, and the distribution and exercise of social, economic and political power.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244;
Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring
UC: Social Sciences

SO 244. Social Inequalities.3 Credits.

This course examines systems of inequality and how they grow out of, and are reinforced by, both structural and cultural factors. Topics include: social class, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, the interrelationships of all of these as forces of stratification, and how they are manifested in societal institutions such as the economy, the educational system and the criminal justice system.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 or SO 101H.
Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring
UC: Social Sciences, Intercultural Understand

SO 244H. Honors the Invisible Ladder: Social Inequalities Inequalities.3 Credits.

This course examines systems of inequality and how they grow out of, and are reinforced by, both structural and cultural factors. Topics include: social class, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, the interrelationships of all of these as forces of stratification, and how they are manifested in societal institutions such as the economy, the educational system and the criminal justice system.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 or SO 101H.
Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring
UC: Social Sciences, Intercultural Understand

SO 250. Youth Crime (CJ 250).3 Credits.

This course deals with youth crime as distinct from adult offending. Students examine the development of the juvenile delinquency concept and justification for classifying juvenile offenders as separate from adults. Factors contributing to the onset of juvenile delinquency and relevant research also are examined. The course considers development and current functions of the juvenile justice system, paying particular attention to the challenges justice officials face daily. A range of widely used treatment strategies for dealing with juvenile offenders is examined.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244;
Offered: Every year, Fall
UC: Social Sciences, Intercultural Understand

SO 255. Sociology of Families (WGS 255).3 Credits.

In this introductory course, students critically examine families in the U.S., both historically and in the current day. Topics include the ways in which families have evolved over time and the effect of economic and social factors (such as race, class and gender) on family life. Students learn about the diversity of families in other cultures and current issues facing families.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244;
Offered: Every year, Spring
UC: Social Sciences

SO 260. Social Control and Deviance.3 Credits.

This course covers classical and contemporary sociological theories of deviance as well as a discussion on the ways in which sociologists define the concepts of deviance and stigma. Course material covers a variety of social issues, which are situated within the intersection of deviance and race, social class, sexuality and religion. Topics include: privileged/underprivileged deviance, substance abuse and physical violence. Participants also look at the ways in which social behavior is formally and informally controlled through various sanctions and the implementation of public policies.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244;
Offered: Every other year
UC: Social Sciences, Intercultural Understand

SO 263. Aging in Society of Aging (GT 263).3 Credits.

This introduction to gerontology focuses on the myths and realities of aging explored through historic, demographic and sociological analyses of the conditions of elderly people in our society. Students critically examine the diversity of aging experiences in the U.S. The ways in which social and cultural factors enter into the aging process are also considered.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 or SO 101H.
Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring
UC: Social Sciences, Intercultural Understand

SO 265. Work and Occupations (WGS 265).3 Credits.

This course considers the meaning and experiences of work and occupations in the U.S. States during the 20th and 21st centuries. Students examine how work gives meaning to and shapes our lives in profound ways. Topics explored are trends in the current labor market-the types of occupations and jobs that are available, what those occupations and jobs are like, and what these characteristics mean for the lives of the people who hold them. Also considered is how work and social inequality are related and how work shapes and is shaped by our social identities.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244;
Offered: As needed
UC: Social Sciences

SO 266. Population and Society.3 Credits.

This course is designed to provide a basic understanding of demographic structures and processes of different types of societies. Students learn about the basic components used in demographic inquiry -population growth, mortality (deaths), fertility (births), and migration (population movement) - and gain knowledge necessary to use those concepts to evaluate societal issues such as marriage trends, jobs, lifestyles, and choices about having children. Students learn the importance of demographic factors in their personal lives and their social world.

Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring
UC: Social Sciences, Intercultural Understand

SO 270. Community Program Development (GT 270).3 Credits.

This course addresses the creation of community-based programs and services especially within the nonprofit and public sectors. Topics covered include: approaches to leadership, community engagement, needs identification, problem analysis, models of intervention, and elements of grant proposal writing.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244;
Offered: As needed

SO 271. Public Order Crimes (CJ 271).3 Credits.

Approximately two-thirds of the inmates in U.S. correctional institutions have been found guilty of public order crimes, "moral crimes," or crimes not likely to have a self-identified victim. This course concentrates on crimes associated with such activities as illegitimate gambling, consensual sex, and the criminal use and sale of both legal and illegal substances.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244;
Offered: As needed

SO 272. Education and Society.3 Credits.

Schools from kindergarten to the university as they relate to the community and the economic and political systems are considered. Also explored are the historical development of education; values imparted through education; the social process in the classroom; contemporary conflicts centering in the schools.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244;
Offered: As needed
UC: Social Sciences, Intercultural Understand

SO 280. Sociology of Health and Illness.3 Credits.

This course explores the social model to studying health and illness. Meaning(s) and experience(s) of health and illness are socially produced, and are shaped by the interaction of external social environments in which people live (culture and community), and the internal environment (human body). Experiences of health and illness are also influenced by socio-demographic variables (race, class, gender, age, etc.), highlighting disparities in health and health care delivery. The course examines a number of topics of interest to medical sociologists and health care professionals in the field, such as the medicalization of society, determinants of health, social construction of illness, and the social organization of health care.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244;
Offered: Every year, Fall
UC: Social Sciences, Intercultural Understand

SO 284. LGBTQ Identities and Communities (PS/WGS 284).3 Credits.

This course explores the social, socioeconomic, historical, psychological and political factors that have contributed to our understanding of what it means to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ). Psychological research on identity development, the social construction of identity, and the psychological, social, and political benefits associated with "identifying" as LGBTQ, are discussed. The course explores historical events that led to the development of LGBTQ communities and the benefits of being involved in these communities, including the positive impact of allies. Finally, the course explores the positive and negative effects of the LGBTQ community becoming more mainstream.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244;
Offered: As needed

SO 285. Protest and Social Change (WGS 285).3 Credits.

This course explores past and present social movements and other forms of resistance in the U.S. and around the world, focusing on the factors that influence their emergence, the shapes they take, and their outcomes. The course also includes discussion of how to organize one's own community to create social change. Students examine movements such as the Black Lives Matter movement, the #MeToo movement, the LGBTQ+ rights movement, the anti-war movement, and the climate justice movement.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244;
Offered: As needed
UC: Social Sciences, Intercultural Understand

SO 290. Research Methods (GT 290).3 Credits.

This course introduces students to social science research methods. Students examine how qualitative and quantitative research methods apply to social science research. The course places particular emphasis on the importance of scientific methods in reaching informed conclusions. Students examine a number of methods commonly used in social science disciplines and learn how to interpret the results of research conducted using these methods. Understanding how social scientists investigate social phenomena allows students to accurately interpret and apply findings from social science research. Students should complete the course by the end of their sophomore year or second year in the major.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244;
Offered: Every year, Fall

SO 302. Sociology of Sexualities (WGS 302).3 Credits.

This course explores the social construction and social control of sexualities with a particular focus on the intersection of sexualities, gender, race, and class. We examine the socially constructed meanings of sexual practices and sexual identities. Specifically, we begin by looking at the ways in which sexuality is historically and socially positioned, and we discuss how sexuality is regulated (formally and informally). We also examine cultural expectations, understandings, and expressions of sexualities.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244;
Offered: Every year

SO 303. Popular Culture and the Media (WGS 303).3 Credits.

The course explores popular culture with the purpose of learning about current American life in the context of change. It focuses on the relationship between popular culture, the media, and the broader social, economic and political environment. Popular media, leisure pursuits, news, sports, entertainment, and material consumption are considered. Attention is paid to the accumulated research from a wide variety of sources and visions.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 SO 244;
Offered: Every year, January Term

SO 304. Sociology of Gender (WGS 304).3 Credits.

This course focuses on how society constructs notions/images of femininity and masculinity and how these influence our lives. Participants look at cultural views of language, body and the media, as well as theoretical approaches to understanding the complexities of gender distinctions in our society.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 SO 244;
Offered: Every year, Spring
UC: Breadth Elective, University Curriculum Ele

SO 305. Sociology of Death and Dying (GT 305).3 Credits.

Death is studied from the perspective of social interaction between the dying person, professional caregivers and family members and loved ones. Attitudes and values about death, cultural components of grief, and the function of bereavement are examined. Particular attention is paid to the social organization of "death work" and dying in bureaucratic settings, such as hospitals and nursing homes, as opposed to the non-bureaucratic structure of hospice care.

Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring

SO 306. Masculinities (WGS 306).3 Credits.

In this course, students examine the organization, maintenance and understandings of popular and historical conceptions of masculinities within the United States. The class explores the norms, values and beliefs that circulate within the realm of masculinities. Additional topics include media, boyhood, work, health, relationships, sexualities, bodies, families and violence. Students develop an understanding of the ways in which gender is a relational concept that takes on meaning through personal relationships and societal constructs.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244;
Offered: Every other year
UC: Breadth Elective, University Curriculum Ele

SO 307. Sociology of Sport (SPS 307).3 Credits.

This course includes the analysis of sport as a social and cultural institution and the interrelations between sport and societal subsystems. Students explore selected sociocultural aspects of sport and exercise, and analyze contemporary problems associated with sport, including race relations, the tradition and emergent role of females, leisure behaviors, aggression and violence, as well as political and economic concerns.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244;
Offered: Every year, All

SO 308. The Immigrant Experience.3 Credits.

For much of its history, people have come to the U.S. from other countries seeking economic opportunities, family reunification, or asylum While many Americans welcome immigrants and the strengths they bring, others fear immigrants' influence on society and want to restrict migration. In this course, students explore questions such as: Why do people migrate? How has immigration shaped the U.S. throughout its history? How does immigration impact the American economy and culture? How has immigration policy changed over time, and what role has racism played in immigration policies? Why is immigration such a divisive issue, and what role do politicians and the media play in sowing that division? Using a sociological perspective, students learn about the decisions and experiences of immigrants as well as the impact of immigration on society.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244;
Offered: Every year, Fall
UC: Breadth Elective, University Curriculum Ele

SO 310. Sociology of Childhood.3 Credits.

This course presents an overview of the social, economic and political factors that have influenced the historical and contemporary experiences of children and the child rearing process. Students examine the intersection of childhood with things like the changing shape of families, educational institutions, peer groups and the media. The diversity of the childhood experience is considered as well as the impact of experiences like poverty, divorce, community violence, and the juvenile justice system on the lives of children, both inside and outside of the U.S.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244;
Offered: Every year, Fall

SO 315. Case Management (GT 315).3 Credits.

Case management is a process used widely throughout health and social services as a means of assessing, planning, coordinating, monitoring and evaluating the services needed to respond to an individual's health and/or service needs to attain the dual goals of quality and cost effective care. Students in gerontology, sociology, psychology, and criminal justice are likely to encounter the various roles or models of case management practice as they pursue careers in human services. This course provides a foundation for case management practice in various social service settings.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244;
Offered: As needed

SO 317. Religion and Society.3 Credits.

This course begins with an introduction to Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism. The remainder of the course examines the relationship between religion and society. Students explore questions such as: Are young Americans becoming less religious? What role does religion play in politics, and why? What is religious inequality, and how does it produce religious discrimination? How does religion intersect with other social positions like race, gender, and sexuality? Does religion cause violence, or is it merely used by violent groups to justify their actions? Can religion be a source for protest and social change? Using a sociological perspective, students learn about why religion continues to have a strong influence on social life in the modern world.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244;
Offered: Every other year
UC: Breadth Elective, University Curriculum Ele

SO 320. Sociology of Hip-Hop Culture.3 Credits.

This course examines the formation, growth and current state of hip-hop culture through a sociological lens. Through a rigorous analysis of hip-hop, students are challenged to think critically and sociologically about the culture and its place in society and develop a clearer understanding of the history and social significance of the culture. Participants cover topics such as race, capitalism, misogyny, cultural appropriation, urban policy and feminism. This course serves as a space for students to analyze the societal structures and forces that influence the culture, as well as how hip-hop influences the world.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244;
Offered: As needed
UC: Breadth Elective, University Curriculum Ele, Intercultural Understand

SO 330. Perspectives on Violence (CJ 330).3 Credits.

This course explores the many ways that violence is viewed in our society. Topics include types of violence, empirical evidence of incidence, characteristics of violent crimes, offender motivation, victim profiles, and sociological and theoretical explanations.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244;
Offered: Every year, Fall

SO 333. Drugs, Alcohol and Society (CJ 333).3 Credits.

This analytical discussion-based course explores the use of drugs and alcohol in U.S. society. The emphasis is on drug and alcohol use and abuse as a social phenomenon. Students explore issues such as the relationship of drug use to particular groups in society (age, sex, race/ethnicity); patterns of drug use and abuse; the promotion of drugs by the media; and drug and alcohol abuse in historical perspective. Students also learn about drug categories, drug education, prevention and treatment and about drug laws.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244;
Offered: Every year, Summer
UC: Breadth Elective, Intercultural Understand

SO 355. Crime and Media (CJ 355).3 Credits.

Despite little direct contact with offenders or the criminal justice system, people typically hold strong opinions about crime-related issues. The goal of this course is to understand how media sources shape our attitudes and beliefs about crime and how we "should" respond to it. To this end, participants examine media involvement in constructing the reality of crime and justice and its implications for the justice process.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244 or CJ 101;
Offered: Every year, Spring
UC: Breadth Elective, University Curriculum Ele, Intercultural Understand

SO 360. Sociology of Mental Health.3 Credits.

This course explores the social model to studying mental health and illness. Meaning(s) and experience(s) of mental health and illness are socially produced. Experiences of mental health and illness are also influenced by socio-demographic variables (race, class, gender, age, etc.), highlighting disparities in mental health and mental health care delivery. The course examines core areas of the sociological study of mental health & illness, including theory, methods, and policy. The course also explores a variety of topical areas of interest to sociologists and mental health care professionals in the field, such as social stress, stigmatization, medicalization of mental illness, social construction of mental illness, and the social organization of mental health care.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244;
Offered: Every year, Spring

SO 365. Aging and Social Problems (GT 365).3 Credits.

This course considers social policies associated with aging, particularly in the areas of health, housing, financing and family life and the governmental policies past, present and future that deal with these problems.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244;
Offered: Every year, January Term
UC: Breadth Elective, University Curriculum Ele, Intercultural Understand

SO 370. Adoption and Society.3 Credits.

This course provides an overview of adoption, past and present, including the major changes in adoption practice and public perception of adoption over the years. Course material includes issues pertaining to the adoption of children born in the U.S. and those born overseas, children adopted as newborn infants and those adopted past infancy from the foster care system. Discussion and readings address unplanned pregnancy considerations, trans-racial and transcultural adoption, children with special medical and emotional needs, open adoption and birth-family contact search and reunion, and adoption-related issues across the lifecycle.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244;
Offered: Every year, Spring

SO 375. Sociology of the Everyday.3 Credits.

The course examines how everyday interactions both create and shape social reality. Through an examination of humor, embarrassment, street behavior, family behavior and work behavior, as well as interaction between acquaintances, friends and intimate partners, the course examines how we make up everyday reality as we go. Emphasis is placed on micro-level theoretical perspectives drawing from social psychology and symbolic interactionism.

Offered: As needed
UC: Breadth Elective, University Curriculum Ele

SO 382. Studying Social Issues with Statistics (GT 382).3 Credits.

In this course, students learn basic introductory-level statistics and quantitative reasoning skills necessary for careers in sociology, including social services and health-related fields. Through hands-on application, students learn research design, basic statistical data collection and data analysis. For sociology majors only, junior or above.

Prerequisites: Take SO 290.
Offered: Every year, Spring

SO 392. Internship in the Community (CJ 392/GT 392).3 Credits.

For sociology or social services majors in their junior or senior year only. Students each complete 120 hours of supervised fieldwork in a community organization along with one hour per week in a seminar. Coursework and seminar content include written and oral reflection focusing on the student's experience. Professional issues, along with academic concepts and theory, are explored in relation to the organization and the community it serves. Successful completion of the course requires adherence to a high standard of professionalism. Students are required to meet with the internship coordinator at least one semester prior to begin the placement process.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 SO 101H SO 225 or SO 244;
Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring

SO 394. Advanced Internship in the Community (CJ/GT 394).3 Credits.

A second internship for sociology majors in their junior or senior year only. Students complete 135 hours of supervised fieldwork in a community agency along with one hour per week in the advanced internship seminar. Students build upon the knowledge gained from their first internship experience to deepen their understanding of concepts and theory through extended written and oral reflection. Students also assess their interpersonal strengths and weaknesses in preparation for graduate school and/or future employment. Successful completion of the course requires adherence to a high standard of professionalism. Students are required to meet with the internship coordinator one semester prior to begin the placement process.

Prerequisites: Take SO 392.
Offered: As needed

SO 400. Senior Seminar (GT 400).3 Credits.

This senior seminar is designed as the capstone course for students majoring in sociology and gerontology. Students research a sociological or aging-related topic of their choosing and write a thesis based on their work. All senior theses represent a culmination of majors' academic experiences in the department. For gerontology majors only in the senior year.

Prerequisites: Take GT 290 or SO 290
Offered: Every year

SO 500. Social Science Research Methods.3 Credits.

In this course, students not only learn about what social scientists know, but also focus on how they know what they know. Students learn about the ways social scientists gather information in the study of our social world, how to do sociological research and how to evaluate the research of others. This is an active learning class in which participants learn by doing. In the beginning of the course, students focus on the fundamentals of research including the scientific method, the complexity of social research, ethics in research, value-free research and research design. This course is restricted to medical students only.

Offered: As needed