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Course Descriptions

SOC 121 Principles of Sociology

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the discipline of sociology. Students examine the sociological perspective, observe inequality, and explore the importance of culture, social institutions, and social construction. By developing these sociological insights, students gain a stronger appreciation for diversity and sharpen their critical thinking skills. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-1. (3)

SOC 131 Principles of Sociology in Global Perspective

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the discipline of sociology by exploring the impact of social forces on everyday life. Students consider how the sociological perspective yields insights about inequality, the importance of culture, the nature of social institutions, and the impact of social construction. By applying these sociological insights, students gain a stronger appreciation for diversity, local-to-global connections, and sharpen their critical thinking skills. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: GP, SS-1. (3)

SOC 200 Law and Society in Global Perspective

How does the academic field of law and society contrast with popular conceptions of the law? This course explores the relationship between law and inequality by taking a sociological perspective that critically examines law in context. Applying a global perspective we compare how various social forces shape the way laws are formed, practiced, and changed in countries around the world. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-1. NOTE: This course is not a prerequisite for upper-division sociology courses. (3)

SOC 203 The Global Village

Does social life still take place within national borders? Globalization refers to the increasing connectedness of people around the world. Corporate growth, modern transportation, and technological innovation facilitate this connectivity. In this course, a sociological perspective is used to examine how this increasing global interdependence impacts daily life and the meaning of citizenship in the new global village. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: GP, SS-1. (3)

SOC 204 Cultural Diversity

What are the benefits and challenges that occur as our communities become increasingly diverse? 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 sociological concepts, skills of intergroup dialogue and analytical tools from the social sciences. Prerequisite: EN 102. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-1, WI. (3)

SOC 222 Race and Ethnic Diversity

What does it mean to say that race is a social construction? In this course we begin with the assumption that the study of race requires us to take a critical look at ourselves, and to consider how notions of race have shaped our opinions, attitudes, and modes of engagement with those who are ‘different’ from us. We examine sociological concepts like racial formation and intersectionality through critical engagement with academic research as well as creative sources to gain the broadest possible understanding of the dynamics of race and ethnicity in everyday life. Take one of the following prerequisites: SOC 121, SOC 131, SOC 203, SOC 204, or permission of the instructor. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-2. (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. Sociology provides us the tools to assure that our attempts to 'make a difference' are done in informed and thoughtful ways. This experiential learning 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

Do you see what I see? In this course students are introduced to the basics of visual sociology, using photography to document their observations of local, national and global contexts. Students create a visual narrative documenting a selected course theme such as culture and community, local to global connections, or boundaries of belonging. Prerequisite: EN 102 or permission of the instructor. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: GP, SS-1, WI. (3)

SOC 306 Poverty, Wealth, and Inequality

Are there two Americas? How do structural barriers limit a person's life chances? Sociological research on social class and inequality challenge commonly held assumptions that people who live in poverty are doing so because they make poor decisions or are unwilling to work hard. By studying the impact of social class, inequality, and poverty on everyday life, students gain an appreciation for the insights that come from systematic sociological research on contemporary issues such as gentrification, hunger and wealth concentration. Take one of the following prerequisites: SOC 121, SOC 131, SOC 203, or SOC 204. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-2. (3)

SOC 350 Social Justice

How are views of social justice shaped by assumptions about how society works? This course examines sociological theory and its connection to social justice. We review competing visions of social justice, from the founding fathers of our discipline to those who are traditionally excluded from it, exploring how sociology can both explain social issues and contribute to social change. Take one of the following prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in SOC 121, SOC 131, SOC 203, SOC 204, or SOC 251; or permission of the instructor. 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 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. Take one of the following prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in SOC 121, SOC 131, SOC 203, SOC 204, or SOC 251. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-2, DSINQ. (3)

SOC 352 Addressing Injustice: Quantitative Research Methods

This course focuses on quantitative methods, procedures, and techniques that are appropriate to challenging social injustice. Emphasis will be on selecting appropriate methods for understanding how statistical results can be applied to solving global problems. Take one of the following prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in SOC 121, SOC 131, SOC 203, SOC 204, or SOC 251. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-2, DSINQ. (3)

SOC 361 Through the Sociological Lens II

When is seeing believing? In this advanced course students apply visual research methods to explore how community life is shaped by local, national and global connections. Students create a visual narrative using their own research topic. Prerequisite: EN 102 and one of the following (SOC 121, SOC 131, SOC 203, SOC 204, SOC 261, or permission of the instructor). Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-2, GP, WI. (3)

SOC 365 Gender Inequality in Global Perspective

How do the categories of gender shape our life choices and economic opportunities? This course addresses gender in a global context to appreciate how people's lives differ depending on gender relative to class, and cultural and racial heritage. Emphasis is placed on using social science research to address gender inequality in both global and local communities. Prerequisites: EN 102, and one of the following: (SOC 121, SOC 131, SOC 203 or SOC 204). Recommended: IS 200. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-2, DSINQ, GP, WI. (3)

SOC 375 Topics in Human Rights

If human rights are universal, why don’t all countries recognize and respect them? Although a Universal Declaration of Human Rights was introduced in 1948, this was neither the beginning nor the end of the global dialogue surrounding the rights associated with being human. This course applies a sociological lens to understand the social context of these universality claims by focusing on specific human rights topics such as human slavery, migration and citizenship, or food sovereignty. Take one of the following prerequisites: SOC 121, SOC 131, SOC 203, SOC 204, or permission of the instructor. 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? The course explores how global inequality is conceptualized, where it comes from, and what consequences it has for peoples and places around the world. Students are introduced to contemporary community development initiatives and the impacts of these attempts to improve the living conditions for the world's least powerful. Take one of the following prerequisites: SOC 121, SOC 131, SOC 203, SOC 204, or permission of the instructor. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-2, GP. (3)

SOC 400 Internship

Senior students apply their sociological skills in a supervised field experience in a community-based organization that is intended to help students make connections between the local and global, as well as gain an appreciation for how to make a difference. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: EXP. (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

Students conduct collaborative research (scholarly work leading to new knowledge) under the direction of a faculty member. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. 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 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: Minimum grade of C- in SOC 251, SOC 350, and SOC 351; and permission of the instructor. 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. 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. This course is a required course for the Sociology major and open to Sociology minors. Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in SOC 251, SOC 350, and SOC 351; and permission of instructor. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: EXP, DSINQ. (3)

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