Nicholas R. Ellig, chair
Matthew L. Lindholm
The sociology program provides learning experiences that prepare students to:
- understand the basic assumptions, guiding questions, concepts, theories and methods of sociology
- apply the sociological imagination to questions about society and one’s self
- grasp the complexity and diversity found in human societies
An introduction to sociology as a disciplined way of studying social and cultural aspects of human behavior. Students will be introduced to and apply the concepts, theories and methods of sociology that are used to analyze social structure and social processes.
An introduction to research methods and theories of sociology used to analyze and address major social problems in the United States. Some comparisons are made to problems and mitigation efforts of other countries. Public and private efforts to address social problems are evaluated and new approaches considered. Recent topics have included inequality, education, race, sexuality, crime, alcohol and drugs.
An exploration and comparison of cultural variations associated with the geographic and historic specifics of human societies. A study of species/culture development, emphasizing linguistic, technological, ideological and institutional systems. This course can also count toward the global studies program.
An introduction to beginning-level statistical and research skills in sociology and social work. Students will design and implement a research project that involves hypothesis formation, data collection, and computer-assisted data analysis. Prerequisite: high school higher algebra or consent of instructor. This course can also count toward the global studies program.
An examination of families from a sociological perspective, which includes an appreciation of families as an institution in society. We will explore how families have changed throughout U.S. history and how families are shaped by gender, race, and social class. The topics of sexuality, marriage, cohabitation, parenting, domestic violence, and divorce are also examined within the context of families.
London was central in the formation of modern global networks 500 years ago and is central to global political, economic, and cultural processes today. Students explore these processes first-hand with native Londoners, government officials, community organizations, and business people; a trip to Paris provides a comparison. With faculty guidance students develop projects using qualitative or quantitative methods on social processes specific to global cities.
Students are introduced to the social scientific approaches used to understand how demographic, institutional, cultural, economic and ecological factors influence, and are influenced by, societal development. Comparative case studies enable students to understand the structure and dynamics (e.g., population change) of human populations as they relate to socioeconomic development. This course can also count towards the global studies program and the environmental and sustainability studies Program.
An introduction to the sociological study of the organization of power and authority in three primary spheres: corporations, the state, and civil society. Particular attention is given to how competing group contend for the use of natural resources and the environment. Topics include protest and political participation, social movements, elections, lobbying, and institutions of elite power. This course can also count toward the environmental and sustainability studies program.
An examination of the social, historical and psychological aspects of gender and human behavior. The course explores how gender has influenced our lives since industrialization. Research on socialization, moral and intellectual development, intimate relationships, sexuality, family life, and education will be examined. This course can also count toward the women's studies program.
A sociological study of crime and deviance. This includes the social and legal processes involved in defining crime and deviance, characteristics of crime types, sociological theories of crime and deviance, and an introduction to the criminal justice system.
An examination of the distribution of social, political and economic power in society. The perspectives used to analyze inequality are also discussed and used to examine various types and outcomes of inequality, including racial and ethnic inequality, prejudice and discrimination. This course can also count toward the global studies program.
The course examines the origin of sexual values and practices in various cultures. The primary focus is on sexual attitudes and behavior in the American culture. Human sexuality is discussed relative to the human life cycle, changing gender roles, mass media, the economic system, laws and other areas. This course can also count toward the women's studies program.
This examination of the general relationships between religion and society will center on how religion molds society and, in turn, how society molds religion.
This course is organized around the following questions. What is unique about the experience of living in cities? How do cities grow and change and with what consequences? Why do patterns of inequality persist in cities, limiting opportunities for some while enhancing life chances for others? How do urban communities differ in the extent to which they value sustainability and justice? This course can also count toward the global studies program and the environmental studies program.
An examination of the sociological, psychological and biological aspects of human aging. Students will be introduced to theories of aging and current research on aging in human societies.
This course explores the theory and practice of social change drawing on classical and contemporary sociological theories. What are the basic dynamics of social change and power in today's world? Who effects change and how do they do it? Topics typically include conflict, authority, globalization, gender, race, sexuality, and social construction. Students develop case studies to inquire into dynamics of social change. Examples may include global environmentalism, religious and political movements (e.g. GLBT+ Pride and global Islam).
Courses covering various topics of interest in this particular discipline are offered regularly. Contact department or program chair for more information.
This course provides an opportunity for individual students to conduct in-depth study of a particular topic under the supervision of a faculty member. Contact the department or program chair for more information.
This course provides an opportunity for individual students to conduct research in a specific area of study, completed under the direction of a faculty mentor. Specific expectations of the research experience to be determined by the faculty. Repeatable for credit. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
A course involving the student in some applied endeavor. Offered only by special arrangement and permission of the department.