Sociology

Department of Sociology

The sociology department strives to help its students develop insights about the workings of the social world and the influence of social structure. Its goal involves not just understanding the world, but working to change it. The departmental curriculum aims to help students uncover root causes of social problems and refine their personal understanding of social responsibility and economic justice. The sociology department embraces the goals of personal, community, and global citizenship. Ultimately, the department strives to provide guidance and teaching designed to help students live better lives in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

As a department engaged in public sociology, faculty strive to teach in ways that stress critical thinking joined with action, to advise and mentor students to prepare for lifelong learning and meaningful careers, to encourage students and faculty to collaborate with peers and partners in the community and contribute to the field, and to engage in service to prepare sociology majors to act in complex settings at home and at work, in their communities and the world. The department encourages majors and minors to participate in study away/study abroad activities.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Sociology major is based on maintaining acceptable grades in the general foundation requirements and interest in the field of sociology. Interested persons may contact the Chair of the Sociology Department for further information. Upon admission, each major is assigned an advisor and receives an orientation in sociology.

Faculty

Alex Briesacher, Assistant Professor (2015), B.S., Illinois State University; M.A., Southern Illinois University Edwardsville; Ph.D., Kent State University

Sonya Conner, Assistant Professor (2011), B.S. University of Louisiana, Lafayette; M.A., Ph.D. University of Oklahoma

Michelle Corbin, Associate Professor (2011), B.S. Western Michigan University; M.S. Eastern Michigan University; Ph.D. University of Maryland

Aldo V. Garcia Guevara, Department Chair/Sociology, Associate Professor (2006), B.A. University of North Carolina, Asheville; M.A., Ph.D. University of Texas, Austin

Matthew Johnsen, Associate Professor (2007), A.B. Dartmouth College; M.S. New Hampshire College; Ph.D. North Carolina State University

Francisco Vivoni, Assistant Professor (2013), B.A. Universidad Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras; Ph.D. University of Illinois, Urbana

SO-100 Introduction to Sociology

LASC Categories: HBS, ICW

The nature of group behavior and social interaction viewed through analysis of the structure, norms, and values of human groups.

Fall and Spring and every year. 3 Credits

SO-110 Cultural Anthropology

Cross-cultural analysis of the human capacity for adaptation and technological and ideological development. Significant field studies will be examined.

Fall and Spring and every year. 3 Credits

SO-190 Sport and Society

LASC Categories: HBS, USW, DAC

Analysis of sport as a social system. The implication of sport within interrelational contexts of other social systems.

Fall and Spring and every year. 3 Credits

SO-193 First Year Seminar Sociology

LASC Categories: FYS

Introductory level course covering topics of special interest to first year students. Offered only as a First Year Seminar.

Every year. 3 Credits

SO-199 Special Topics in Sociology

Foundations in a selected sub-field of sociology ; announcement made at pre-registration time.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

SO-200 Contemporary Social Problems

LASC Categories: HBS

Analysis of social, political, urban, and industrial changes which have introduced specific problems into contemporary society.

Fall and Spring and every year. 3 Credits

SO-205 Issues in American Society

Prerequisites: SO-100

Identification and analysis of current social issues facing contemporary American society, and critique of policies and programs designed to resolve these issues.

Fall and Spring and every year. 3 Credits

SO-215 Medical Sociology

LASC Categories: HBS, ICW

Prerequisites: SO-100

The structure of health care delivery systems and role interaction between levels of health care personnel, patients, and families of patients.

Fall and Spring and other or on demand. 3 Credits

SO-220 Sociology of the Family

LASC Categories: HBS

Prerequisites: SO-100

A comparative approach to the study of the structure of family systems with emphasis on changing patterns of family life.

Fall and Spring and other or on demand. 3 Credits

SO-228 Latina-Latino Experiences in the U.S. and the World

LASC Categories: TLC, USW, DAC

This course surveys current theoretical approaches used to explain Latina/o experiences and provides an empirical overview of how social institutions affect the daily lives of Latinas and Latinos in the U.S. and the world.

Spring only and every year. 3 Credits

SO-230 Political Sociology

Prerequisites: SO-100

Foundations of social movements in political phenomena, social conditions, and emerging political institutions; the structural basis of social change and politics.

Other or on demand. 3 Credits

SO-235 Music and Social Change

LASC Categories: CA, HBS

Using case studies, social theory and historical materials, this course explores the role of music in social change.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

SO-240 Sociology of Education

Prerequisites: SO-100

Study of modern educational systems, emphasizing the social, political and economic factors that influence its organization and its functions.

Other or on demand. 3 Credits

SO-250 Sociology of Religion

LASC Categories: HBS, ICW, DAC

Prerequisites: SO-100

A cross-cultural comparative study of the nature of religious institutions as systems of socially determined and socially relevant beliefs and practices.

Other or on demand. 3 Credits

SO-255 Sociology of Disability

LASC Categories: HBS, ICW, DAC

Using theory and practical application, this course explores the impact of impairment and disability within a societal context.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

SO-270 Social Theory I

LASC Categories: TLC, GP

Prerequisites: SO-100

Fundamental concepts and intellectual traditions, especially the contributions of Comte, Spencer, Marx, Toennes, Durkheim, and Simmel.

Other or on demand. 3 Credits

SO-275 Social and Behavioral Statistics

LASC Categories: QAC

Prerequisites: SO-100 and any 200 Sociology course. SO 280 recommended

Data tabulation; graphing; measurement of central tendency, variability, and correlation; hypothesis testing applied to psychological and sociological data. Hand and computer analysis. Prerequisite: SO 100 and any 200 Sociology course.

Fall and Spring and every year. 3 Credits

SO-280 Research Methods of Sociology

Prerequisites: SO-100

An analysis of the research function in sociology; the conduct of research appropriate to undergraduate students; the formal presentation of research papers.

Every year. 3 Credits

SO-285 Race, Class and Gender

LASC Categories: HBS, DAC

An introduction to dominant-minority group relations through the investigation of the patterns and dynamics of differentiation, inequality and discrimination.

3 Credits

SO-295 Sociology of Death & Dying

LASC Categories: DAC, HBS, ICW

Prerequisites: SO-100

The course explores the sociological concepts and perspectives as they relate to death and dying and how American society deals with illness, dying, death and bereavement.

3 Credits

SO-299 Special Topics: Sociology Concepts, Realities and Representations

Prerequisites: SO-100.

Intermediate level topics.

3 Credits

SO-300 Social Change

Prerequisites: 2 Sociology courses at 200 level, EN-102.

A study of the conditions, patterns, and consequences of social transformation with emphasis on institutional and individual patterns of adjustment and adaptation. Prerequisite: Two sociology courses at 200-level.

Spring only and other or on demand. 3 Credits

SO-305 Applied Sociology and Community Research

Prerequisites: SO-100 SO-280

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

SO-310 Formal Organizations

Prerequisites: two Sociology courses at the 200 level

The structure and function of, and communications systems within, formal and complex organizations; primary focus on theoretical aspects of organizations. Prerequisite: Two Sociology courses at 200-level.

Other or on demand. 3 Credits

SO-315 Social Movements

Prerequisites: two Sociology courses at the 200 level

Processes by which new norms and forms of social organization emerge from group behavior, aggregate behavior, and social movements. Prerequisite: Two Sociology courses at 200-level.

Other or on demand. 3 Credits

SO-330 Criminology

Prerequisites: 2 SO courses at 200-level or above.

Theoretical perspective on crime, criminals, and the social aspects of interrelationships within, and between, the components of the criminal justice system. Prerequisites: Two Sociology courses at 200-level.

Other or on demand. 3 Credits

SO-335 Juvenile Delinquency

Prerequisites: two Sociology courses at the 200 level

Social and legal phenomena surrounding youthful offenses and offenders, considered in the context of community response to the problem.

Other or on demand. 3 Credits

SO-340 Social Psychology

Prerequisites: two Sociology courses at the 200 level

Dynamics of small group involvement and other environmental influences on the shaping of an individual's personality. Prerequisites: Two Sociology courses at 200-level.

Other or on demand. 3 Credits

SO-345 Sociology of Deviance

Prerequisites: 2 SO courses at 200-level or above.

The study of the social consequences and apparent causes of deviant behavior through the analysis of the processes of socialization, intra- and inter-group relations, and the social contexts within which deviation is defined. Prerequisites: Two Sociology courses at 200-level.

Spring only and other or on demand. 3 Credits

SO-350 Social Stratification

LASC Categories: HBS, WAC, DAC

Prerequisites: EN 102 and two Sociology courses at the 200-level or above.

Investigation of the recurrent patterns of social differentiation, social ranking, and the unequal distribution of rewards.

Every year. 3 Credits

SO-355 Gender and Sexuality

LASC Categories: HBS, ICW, DAC

This course introduces the sociologist study of gender and sexuality. This course examines how social institutions and cultural norms construct particular gender roles and sexual identities within society.

Every year. 3 Credits

SO-360 Urban Sociology

Prerequisites: 2 SO courses 200-level or above.

A cross-cultural study of urban social systems and the phenomena and problems connected with the planning process. Prerequisites: Two Sociology courses at 200-level.

Other or on demand. 3 Credits

SO-370 Social Theory II

The development of conflict theory and the behavioristic schools theory.

Other or on demand. 3 Credits

SO-375 Contemporary Social Theory

Prerequisites: SO-270

Analytical devices, conceptual schemes, and models used by contemporary theorists with emphasis on structural sociology.

Other or on demand. 3 Credits

SO-390 Sociology of Mental Health

The social definition of mental illness which contributes to social disorder, and its treatment and prevention.

Spring only and other or on demand. 3 Credits

SO-400 Independent Study: Sociology

For advanced sociology majors only; topic to be approved by an independent study advisor. (Requires eight prior courses in sociology.)

Fall and Spring and every year. 1-6 Credits

SO-408 Directed Study: Sociology

Directed study offers students, who because of unusual circumstances may be unable to register for a course when offered, the opportunity to complete an existing course with an established syllabus under the direction and with agreement from a faculty member.

1-3 Credits

SO-410 Field Work

Data collection based on participant observation within a social service organization; assignment approval by field-work advisor. (Requires eight prior courses in Sociology.)

Fall and Spring and every year. 1-6 Credits

SO-420 Seminar in Sociology

Prerequisites: 9 credits From Department SO; Or permission from instructor.

Advanced study topics in selected areas of Sociology.

Fall and Spring and other or on demand. 1-3 Credits

SO-425 Global Development

LASC Categories: HBS, GP, WAC

Prerequisites: EN-102

This course gives an overview of the field of development and processes of development and underdevelopment in developing countries.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

SO-435 Introduction to Social Enterprise

LASC Categories: HBS, ICW, WAC

Prerequisites: EN-102 and complete at least 60 undergraduate credits.

This course examines social entrepreneurship and social enterprise in a global context.

3 Credits

SO-499 Sociology Capstone

LASC Categories: CAP

Prerequisites: SO-270 SO-275 SO-280 EN-102

This course is an overview of the discipline of sociology, emphasizing the mastery of the discipline at an undergraduate level.

Every year. 4 Credits