Department of Behavioral Sciences

Sociology Course Descriptions

100 Level Courses:
SOCI 101: Introduction to Sociology

200 Level Courses:
SOCI 201: Sociology of the Family
SOCI 202: Global Social Problems

300 Level Courses:
SOCI 302: Poverty and Inequality
SOCI 303: Animals and Society
SOCI 306: Social Movements
SOCI 316: Minority Groups
SOCI 320: Drugs and Society
SOCI 325: Political Sociology
SOCI 330: Society and Culture in the Andes
SOCI 336: Development of Sociological Theory
SOCI 341: Homosexuality and Civil Liberties
SOCI 347: Medical Sociology
SOCI 355: Islam and Women
SOCI 360: Community Studies
SOCI 362: Sociology of Religion

400 Level Courses:
SOCI 400: Social Stratification

Selected Topics, Research and Internship Courses:
SOCI 390, 490: Selected Topics
SOCI 391, 392, 491, 492: Research

SOCI 101: Introduction to Sociology. 3 hours.

An analysis of factors that are significant in the development of people as social beings. Consideration is given to the social group and culture as factors in this process. 

SOCI 201: Sociology of the Family. 3 hours.

The study of the family as a dynamic social institution. Students will examine family structures and socialization processes within multicultural and socio-historical contexts, including patterns of role behaviors, division of labor, decision making and the life cycle.

SOCI 202: Global Social Problems. 3 hours.

This course examines major global social problems and applies the sociological perspectives in understanding the contemporary global social problems such as race and ethnic conflict, war, public health, poverty, population and environmental issues. 

SOCI 302: Poverty and Inequality

This course explores the causes and consequences of institutionalized inequality and how life chances, including life, health and death differ by race, socioeconomic status, and gender. Special emphasis will be given to how these social statuses affect health outcomes in the community.

SOCI 303: Animals and Society. 3 hours.

This course will give students the opportunity to think critically about controversial issues regarding the relationships between humans and other animals.  Central to the course will be an exploration of the social construction of animals in American culture including various subcultures and the way in which these constructed social meanings shape human identity.  

SOCI 306: Social Movements. 3 hours.

An examination of historical and contemporary collective protest movements that seek change in or preservation of the social and political structure of society.  Course will survey theory and research on social change featuring case studies that include the United States labor movement, civil rights, feminism, gay/lesbian rights, environmentalism, animal rights and the new right conservatism movement. 

SOCI 316: Minority Groups. 3 hours.

Examines the process of adjustment of various ethnic and cultural groups to life in the United States. Some consideration to world ethnic situations. 

SOCI 320: Drugs and Society. 3 hours.

This course introduces students to the social realities of drug use and drug users. Drawing from sociological and criminological perspectives, the course focuses on the historical significance and social construction of drug use, users, abuse and addiction; the relationship between drug use and racism/class conflict; medicalization in contemporary societies; and social movements aiming to effect attitude and policy change. 

SOCI 325: Political Sociology. 3 hours.

This course is an in-depth study of the social basis of power and politics. Political, economic and cultural forces of conflict and change are examined. 

SOCI 330: Society and Culture in the Andes. 3 hours.

This course examines the histories, political economies, societies and cultures of Andean South America, spanning pre-Inca, Inca, Spanish colonial, nationalist and contemporary global periods of Andean history.  Relying primarily on qualitative and ethnographic studies, the course encourages students to appreciate how everyday cultural life has been organized in this mountainous region across time and space. 

SOCI 336: Development of Sociological Theory. 3 hours.

Prerequisite:  SOCI 101.
An analysis of the evolution of major sociological perspectives that seek to explain the nature of social order. Emphasis is placed on social processes of consensus, conflict and social change. 

SOCI 341: Homosexuality and Civil Liberties. 3 hours.

Examination of the rise of the gay and lesbian movement and the challenges of achieving civil liberties and civil rights in dominantly heterosexual Western and non-Western societies. 

SOCI 347: Medical Sociology. 3 hours.

This course is concerned with the social causes and consequences of health and illness.  Major areas of investigation include the social facets of health and disease, the social behavior of healthcare personnel and people who utilize healthcare, and the social functions of health organizations and healthcare delivery systems.  

SOCI 355: Islam and Women. 3 hours.

This course provides an in-depth sociological understanding of the relationship between religion and gender roles in Islam.  The course helps students to understand the cultural practices of Islamic society in regards to gender roles. 

SOCI 360: Community Studies. 3 hours.

Study of how people arrange themselves socially within cities and surrounding sociocultural environments. Particular attention is given to the processes of urbanism, the urban experience, the community and the concept of place. 

SOCI 362: Sociology of Religion. 3 hours.

This course will explore the character of religious practice and religious consciousness from a sociological perspective. Religion will be examined both as an experience that aids the individual in understanding his or her life and as a social institution. 

SOCI 400: Social Stratification. 3 hours.

This course examines the competing social scientific theories of social stratification and inequality. The policy implications and ideological orientations of these theories are evaluated. 

SOCI 390, 490: Selected Topics

SOCI 391, 392, 491, 492: Research