MU ALERT ISSUED

Course Descriptions

SOC 131 Principles of Sociology

A study of the fundamental principles of social interaction. The course analyzes social relationships (family, peer, group, school, organization); culture; deviant behavior; and political institutions. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: GP, SS-1. (3)

SOC 200 Law and Society in Global Perspective

This course offers an introduction to the field known as “law and society” and explores the relationship between law and inequality.  The sociological perspective on law is unique in that it calls upon us to critically examine the contexts in which it is practiced and developed. By taking a global perspective, we will compare how various social, cultural, political and economic forces shape how laws are formed, practiced, and changed in countries around the world.  The course is framed around the following central questions: What are the major themes and debates that comprise this field of law and society? How does this perspective contrast with popular understandings of the law and its place in society? Can legal practice serve as an advocacy tool for social justice and social change or does the law simply serve to reproduce existing social inequalities? How does globalization influence the development and practice of law, globally as well as locally? Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-1. (3)

SOC 203 The Global Village

Globalization refers to the increasing connectedness of people around the world and has resulted from economic, political, and cultural exchanges that transcend national boundaries. Corporate growth, modern transportation, and technological innovation facilitate this connectivity. In this course, a sociological perspective will be used to examine how this increasing global interdependence impacts daily life. The degree to which social life still takes place within national borders will be analyzed and the meaning of citizenship in the new global village will be discussed. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: GP, SS-1. (3)

SOC 204 Cultural Diversity

The process of globalization increases our exposure to diverse cultures and ethnic traditions that characterize the peoples of the world. This rich diversity can form the foundation for addressing the global challenges we collectively face or can be viewed as a polarizing force that generates conflict. This course focuses on the key concepts and skills of intercultural communication and develops analytical tools from the social sciences for understanding how social identity shapes living and working in the global community. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: GP, SS-1, WI. (3)

SOC 251 Working for Justice, Working for Change

So you want to make a difference? But where to begin? This course examines a range of organized efforts to promote social justice and social welfare in contemporary society.  The course identifies and surveys the major approaches to social change work, including direct service provision, policy advocacy, and popular organizing and mobilization. Sociology provides us the tools to better understand and compare these various models of social change. Developing a deeper understanding of these efforts and their theoretical foundations, will help assure that our attempts to “make a difference” are done in informed and thoughtful ways. In this course, you will have the opportunity to volunteer and make site visits to non-profit and governmental service providers, public policy and advocacy organizations, and social movement organizations, as well as hear from guest speakers. This course is designed for social science majors or others who are interested in working in local organizations to make a difference.   Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-1, DSINQ. (3)

SOC 261 Through the Sociological Lens I

Through the Sociological Lens I explores culture, diversity & community. This introductory level course uses visual research tools during study abroad. The purpose of this course is to broaden social insights, foster critical thinking, and train students in methods of gathering and analyzing data. Students will be introduced to basic qualitative sociological inquiry. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: GP, SS-1, WI  - Optional. (3)

SOC 306 Social Inequality in Arlington

This course examines how social class influences day to day life, and how structural barriers can limit a person’s life chances by focusing on those who live in the local community. Social class and inequality are central concepts in sociology that challenge the commonly held assumption that people who live in poverty are doing so because they make poor decisions or are unwilling to work hard. In studying social class, inequality and stratification, students will gain an appreciation for the insights that come from systematic sociological research. Prerequisite: SOC 131 or SOC 203. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-2. (3)

SOC 322 Racial and Ethnic Diversity

An examination of the various systems, structures, and processes that surround majority-minority relationships in various societies. Topics addressed include the social and cultural meanings of race and ethnicity and the social outcomes of contact, stability, and change. Prerequisite: SOC 131 or SOC 203. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-2. (3)

SOC 350 Social Justice

This upper-division seminar presents a social science analysis of social justice using a series of case studies. Specific ethical dilemmas faced in contemporary society are investigated, with an emphasis on the key players and conflicting interests involved as well as the social, economic, and political institutions that gave rise to these dilemmas. Contemporary and historical case studies focus discussion on the social context of issues such as the human rights of women, children, and refugees; economic justice associated with the international debt; and environmental protection. Prerequisite: SOC 131, SOC 203, or SOC 251. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-2. (3)
 

SOC 351 Addressing Injustice: Research Methods

This course is an introduction to the methods that social scientists use to advance social change in an unjust world. Social science methods, which include things like interviews, observation, and focus groups can serve as tools for identifying unequal social patterns, raising awareness about unfair treatment, evaluating policies or programs, or informing strategies we use to take action.  The methods we will discuss in this class are those that involve working with human participants and are the most commonly used in the work of nonprofit or government research studies. Prerequisite: SOC 131, SOC 203, or SOC 251. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-2, DSINQ. (3)

SOC 352 Addressing Injustice: Quantitative Research Methods

This course introduces the basic design of sociological research with a focus on the quantitative methods, procedures and techniques appropriate to researching issues of social justice. Empirical data are fundamental to evaluating claims and challenging injustice. Our emphasis will be on choosing appropriate methods of for analyzing data and using those methods to understand how statistical results can be applied to solving global problems. Students will share their research results using effective report writing skills. A primary goal of the course is to learn how to critically analyze sociological research. A secondary goal is to demonstrate how statistical data and quantitative methods can be powerful tools for addressing injustice as well as a marketable skill for the sociology major. Prerequisite: SOC 131 or SOC 203. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-2, INQ. (3)

SOC 361 Through the Sociological Lens II

Through the Sociological Lens II explores culture, diversity & community. This advanced sociology class uses visual research methods to gain a comparative perspective during study abroad. The purpose of this course is to enable students to gain practical experience using of the discipline by comparing the impact of social forces on everyday life. Students will engage in qualitative sociological inquiry by applying visual research tools. One of the following – SOC 131, SOC 203, SOC 261 or permission of the instructor. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-2, GP, WI - optional. (3)

SOC 365 Gender Inequality in Global Perspective

What does it mean to be “male” or “female” in different countries around the world? How does being a man or a woman affect our life choices and economic opportunities? This course will address gender in a global context to appreciate how people’s lives differ depending on gender, relative to class, cultural and racial heritage. Emphasis will be placed on using social science research to work for justice, addressing gender inequality in both global and local communities. (Prerequisite: SOC 131 or SOC 203, & recommended IS 200 Gender & Society). Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-2, GP, INQ, WI. (3)

SOC 375 Topics in Human Rights

Although a Universal Declaration of Human Rights was introduced by the United Nations in 1948, this was neither the beginning nor the end of the global dialogue surrounding the rights associated with being human. This course provides a background on the social context from which this Declaration emerged including some of the controversies associated with a claim of “universality” and focuses on one specific human rights topic such as human slavery, migration & citizenship, or food security. Existing social science scholarship will be applied to the analysis of a case study, with a focus on evaluation of global to local connections. Prerequisites: SOC 131, SOC 203, or SOC 204. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-2, GP. (3)

Soc 385 Global Inequality and Community Development

Why is inequality so severe in the world today and what can we do about it?  This advanced sociology seminar critically examines these issues.  The course begins by exploring how global inequality is conceptualized, where it comes from, and what consequences it has for peoples and places around the world.  The course also looks at efforts by ordinary people, NGOs, and official development agencies to undermine global inequality and ameliorate its harshest effects.  Students will be introduced to various examples of contemporary community development initiatives and the (positive and negative) impacts of these attempts to improve the living conditions for the world’s least powerful.  Students will identify promising ways to address global inequality and to act as responsible global citizens in the world today.  Prerequisite:  SOC 131, SOC 203 or SOC 204.  Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: GP, SS-2. (3)

SOC 400 Internship

During the senior year students are placed with community based organizations to apply sociological skills to social justice issues. This community-based learning experience is intended to help students make connections between local & global as well as gain an appreciation for how to make a difference by working for justice and working for peace. The internship is a required course for the Sociology major and the internship can lead to employment upon graduation. Each student must complete a minimum of a three-credit internship in order to fulfill his or her academic requirements. WI. (3)

SOC 421 Project

Research of an original topic in sociology in collaboration with or under the direction of a faculty advisor. The project is intended to demonstrate ability to conduct and report independent research. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. (1-3)

SOC 433 Research

A student in this course will conduct collaborative research (scholarly work leading to new knowledge) under the direction of a faculty member. Prerequisite: application and approval of department chair. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: EXP. (1-6)

SOC 495 Senior Practicum

This capstone course provides students with an opportunity to engage in conversations and apply their sociological imagination to current events. In addition, students will practice academic and professional skills when working on a community based research question or topic.  The Senior Practicum is designed to build on prior coursework but this course is also open to sociology minors who successfully complete the prerequisites. Successful completion of all assignments is required to pass the course.  Prerequisites: SOC 251, SOC 350, and SOC 351. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: DSINQ, WI. (3)

SOC 497 Community Engagement Experience

This senior level seminar is an opportunity to learn by “doing sociology.” Students apply the sociological skills developed in previous courses to contemporary issues. Making connections between the local and global and appreciating diverse perspectives for achieving social justice become important analytical skills needed when working in community engagement settings. With guidance from an academic advisor, students select the path that best meets their career goals: an internship placement, a research experience, or a teaching apprenticeship. Class sessions are spent sharing experiences and discussing sociological insights in a seminar format. This course is a required course for the Sociology major and open to Sociology minors. Prerequisites: SOC 251, SOC 350, and SOC 351. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: EXP, DSINQ. (3)

x