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: All
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.
Offered: Every year, Fall
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.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 or SO 101H.
Offered: Every other year, Spring

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, 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.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 or SO 101H.
Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring
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 or SO 101H.
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: Every year, Summer

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.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 or SO 101H.
Offered: Every year, Fall

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

SO 244. 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 or SO 101H.
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 or SO 101H.
Offered: Every other year
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 or SO 101H.
Offered: Every other year
UC: Social Sciences, Intercultural Understand

SO 263. Sociology 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 264. Power and Social Institutions.3 Credits.

The interplay between economics, politics and the American value system is explored as well as the conflict between market determinism and social protection and regulation. Students evaluate the historical and contemporary tensions between conservative and progressive/liberal positions, values and beliefs in regard to what contributes to the well-being of American citizens as well as the role of the state. Sources of power determining our policies in regard to topics such as health, mutual safety, inequality, environment, the elderly and corporate welfare are considered.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 or SO 101H.
Offered: Every year, Spring
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 or SO 101H.
Offered: Every other year, Fall

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 or SO 101H.
Offered: Every year, Spring

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 or SO 101H.
Offered: Every year, Fall
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 or SO 101H.
Offered: Every other 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 or SO 101H.
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 or SO 101H.
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 or SO 101H.
Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring

SO 302. 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 WGS 101 or WGS 101H;
Offered: Every other 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 WGS 101 or WGS 101H.
Offered: Every year, January and Summer

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 or SO 101H.
Offered: Every Third Year
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 or SO 101H.
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 or SO 101H.
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 or SO 101H.
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 or SO 101H.
Offered: Every year, Fall

SO 311. Introduction to Social Work (GT 311).3 Credits.

This course provides students with an introduction to the field of social work, including its historical roots, its fundamental principles and its fields of practice. The course emphasizes an integrated overview of social work methods, skills, values, ethics and the social service delivery system. Key social work concepts and service delivery systems are illuminated from micro, mezzo and macro perspectives that reflect past and present relevant issues. Students develop an introductory understanding of how psychological and social theories influence social work practice with individuals, groups and communities.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101 or SO 101H.
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 or SO 101H.
Offered: Every year, Spring

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 or SO 101H.
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 or SO 101H.
Offered: Every year
UC: Breadth Elective, University Curriculum Ele, Intercultural Understand

SO 325. Counseling Older Clients (GT 325).3 Credits.

Students are introduced to theories and models of effective communication with select members of an elderly population. Topics include practical aspects of communication of social service workers with older clients, older parents, older patients and the terminally ill; interview and counseling techniques; and the role of social service workers, past and present.

Prerequisites: Take SO 101;
Offered: Every other year

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 or SO 101H.
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 or SO 101H.
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 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 or SO 101H.
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 or SO 101H.
Offered: Every year, Summer
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 or SO 101H.
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: Every year, Spring
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 or SO 101H; and SO 205.
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: Every year, Spring

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.
Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring