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.
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.
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. Students enrolled in SO 316 will read more extensively, assume responsibility for teaching topics, complete a research paper, and make presentations. Group: II.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 101 Introduction to Sociology
SO 225 Sociology of Sport