Sociology Courses

SO 101
Introduction to Sociology
This course introduces the concepts of sociology that enable students to analyze society. Students gain an understanding of the sociological perspective and learn to see sociology as systematic discipline of inquiry into the world. They will be able to explain and interpret social phenomenon by employing various theoretical perspectives. Students gain knowledge of core sociological ideas such as culture and society; socialization processes and pressures; social stratification and social mobility; major social institutions and the exercise of power. No prerequisites.

SO 103
Introduction to Criminal Justice
This survey course takes a sociological approach to the exploration of the historical, current operation, and future trends of criminal justice. Emphasis will be given to studying the goals, structures, and effectiveness of the police, court systems, and corrections. While the focus of the content will be practices in the United States, we will also look at other cultures and their systems of justice. Offered selectively.   Group: II.

SO 201
Social Problems
Focuses on the processes and consequences of societal reaction to conditions considered to be social problems. Topics include: welfare and poverty, drug use and abuse, healthcare, crime, mental illness, urban and environmental problems, prejudice and discrimination, and domestic violence.  Group: II.

SO 216
Making Morality: The Social Construction of Conformity and Deviance
Examines the social origins of and responses to “normal” and “deviant” behavior. Explores sociological explanations for why some individuals and groups are defined as being outside of the moral boundaries of a society, as well as the consequences of such definitions for those labeling and being labeled as deviant. Investigates the temporal and cross-cultural variation in definitions of “normal” and “deviant” behavior. Applies theoretical and conceptual insights to a variety of contemporary examples.  Group: II.

SO 240
Work, Leisure, and Society
Examines changes that have taken place in the way Americans work and live, and considers whether these have been entirely beneficial. Topics include: the impact of new technologies, the decline of the professions, and changes in patterns of production and consumption. Offered Selectively.  Prerequisite: One of the following: SPS 101, SO 201, or permission. Group: II.

SO 250
The Nature of Prejudice and Discrimination: Intergroup Relations
Addresses cultural, institutional, and psychological sources of prejudice; basic theories of prejudice; and attitude change and the response of minorities, as illustrated by an analysis of racism, anti-Semitism, ethnic prejudice, gender bias, and homophobia in a cross-cultural perspective. Fall, alternate years. Prerequisite: SPS 101, SO 201 or permission. Group: II.

SO 252
Crime and Delinquency
Overview of the perspectives of criminality and delinquency, concentrating on the theories of causation; the origins of and the differences between the adult criminal and juvenile justice systems; creation, implementation, and enforcement of criminal laws; and controversial issues relating to both adult and juvenile offenders. Fall, alternate years. Prerequisite: One of the following: SPS 101, SO 201 or permission. Group: II.

SO 255
Rethinking Justice: Restorative & Rehabilitative Practicesy
How do we as a society define justice? Does our current criminal justice system adequately administer justice for all involved parties? This course introduces students to alternative systems of justice including the principles and practices of restorative justice programs, community corrections, and problem-solving courts. We will explore the needs and roles of stakeholders (victims, offenders, and communities) as we examine and challenge assumptions on the larger scaled themes of crime, justice and punishment. Particular focus will be placed on learning how to apply restorative justice principles to current problems within both the adult and juvenile criminal justice systems.
Prerequisite: SO 103, Intro to Criminal Justice, or permission of instructor. Group: II.  Social Systems Thematic Signature Course (for Students entering Fall 2016 and later).

SO 310
Family in Society
Examines the family through the family’s life cycle. Focuses on contemporary family structures in America. Also uses cross-cultural studies. Spring, alternate years. Prerequisite: SPS 101, SO 201 or permission. Group: II.

SO 320
Health, Medicine, and Society
Health, illness, and their management are treated as problems in the understanding of sociological theory, society, and the medical professions. The course concentrates on the American healthcare “system,” with comparative material from other countries and cultures. Spring, alternate years. Prerequisite: SO 201, or SPS 101, or permission. Group: II.

SO 330
Power and Privilege
A comparative study of social stratification traces the development of rank and stratification in human society through an evolutionary sequence beginning with prehistory and ending with an analysis of the place of the US among contemporary societies. Fall, alternate years. Prerequisite: SPS 101, SO 201 or permission. Group: II.

SO 391
Sociological Theory
Examines classical and contemporary social theories, including modern critical and feminist thinking. Offered Selectively. Prerequisite: SPS 101 or permission. Group: II.

Courses offered selectively:
SO 225 Sociology of Sport