Sociology Courses

2014-15 Undergraduate Academic Catalog

SOC 111. INTRODUCTORY SOCIOLOGY 4 sh
This course provides an introduction to basic theoretical principles and research methods of modern sociology, including such issues as the relationship between culture, personality and society; the fundamental forms of social structure; social institutions such as religion and the family; and social processes such as deviance and social change. As part of the course, students will be introduced to the ways in which sociology is used to gain a deeper understanding of both current and time-worn social issues as well as helping students to understand the ways in which their lives and identities have been influenced and shaped by social and cultural factors and also gives consideration to issues pertaining to social responsibility. The course provides a strong foundation, both in terms of practical learning skills and content, for upper level Core Curriculum, as well as upper level sociology courses. Offered fall and spring.  

SOC 131. SOCIOLOGY THROUGH FILM 4 sh
This course explores sociological principles, concepts, theories, ideas, themes and issues as they may be illustrated in cinema, television and commercials. Relevant sociological readings are assigned to accompany the specific sociological content being illustrated in each session. Themes for each section will vary and be determined by each professor. Offered winter. 

SOC 215. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS 4 sh
This course examines the ways qualitative analyses (non-numerical data) help social scientists explore questions of meaning within specific social and cultural contexts, and historical moments. Specific topics include: participant observation, focus groups, open-ended interviewing, thematic coding, archival research and data analysis with a qualitative computer software program. The complementary relationship between qualitative and quantitative research methods will be considered, with a sustained focus on the particular strengths and weaknesses of qualitative research design. Prerequisite: SOC 111 or ANT 112. Cross-listed with ANT 215.

SOC 216. QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS 4 sh
This course examines the ways quantitative analyses (numerical data) help social scientists investigate issues, problems, and relationships within social and cultural contexts. Specific c topics include: discussion of the scientific method, survey methodology, sampling techniques, hypothesis testing, aggregate level analyses, and issues of reliability, validity and generalizability, as well as data analysis with SPSS. The complementary relationship between quantitative and qualitative research designs will be considered, with a focus on the strengths and weaknesses of quantitative research design. Prerequisite: SOC 111 or ANT 112. Offered spring semester. Cross-listed with ANT 216.

SOC 220. SOCIAL ISSUES AND PROBLEMS IN THE LOCAL COMMUNITY 4 sh
Students investigate social issues and problems in our local community (i.e. the Elon/Burlington area, Alamance County and even North Carolina as a whole) and use an interdisciplinary framework heavily grounded in sociological theory and analysis, to discover the interconnections between local, national and global problems. Study focuses on causes, consequences and policies concerning such problems as poverty and racism and issues pertaining to institutions such as family, economy, government, medicine, religion and other. The course is a service learning course. This is the entry course for the Civic Engagement Scholars program, and is also open to other interested students as well. 

SOC 243. SOCIOLOGY OF EDUCATION 4 sh
Throughout the world, education has become a vast and complex social institution that prepares citizens for the roles demanded by other social institutions, such as the family, government and the economy. Through the different theoretical perspectives, education is analyzed as a key social institution that influences and is influenced by the larger society. This course is designed for students to explore topics such as learning and social class, teacher and parental expectations, learning and gender, ethnicity, the role of education in the acculturation and assimilation process, and the relation between learning and family rearing practices. Therefore, the sociological and cultural aspects relating to public schools will be emphasized. In addition, students will experience firsthand some of the materials covered in class through a required field experience. This is a service learning course that includes 15 hours at a community agency and 15 hours at a local school. Offered fall and spring.

SOC 245. NONVIOLENCE OF THE BRAVE: FROM GANDHI TO KING 4 sh
Students are exposed to the ideas and personalities of political philosophers and leaders who have influenced major nonviolent social and political movements in the 20th century. Common themes appearing in the philosophies and action plans of Thoreau, Gandhi, King and others are explored and compared to the philosophies and action plans of leaders such as Mao Tse-tung, Malcolm X and others. The course includes readings, feature films and documentaries.

SOC 253. INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIA 4 sh
Students experience western Australia through anthropological and sociological perspectives. The influence of Aboriginal, European and Pacific migrants on Australian culture is examined. A predominant focus of the course is an exploration of Aboriginal peoples in relation to Euro-Australian interests. Students are exposed to a rich cultural milieu through orientation prior to departure, participant-observation, focused observations, field trips, lectures and directed self learning. Offered winter.

SOC 261. SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY 4 sh
In sociological theory, students explore conceptualization and model-building in modern sociology and consider the emergence of sociological traditions or perspectives. Topics include underlying assumptions, historical and intellectual background and the logical consequences of these positions. This course is a writing intensive course, meaning at least 70 percent of the grade comes from writing assignments during the course. Prerequisite: SOC 111.

SOC 311. SOCIOLOGY OF FAMILIES 4 sh
This course provides an investigation of the family as an institution in societies, focusing on the development and current patterns of the American family. Specific topics include social class differences, racial and ethnic variations, premarital patterns, marital interaction, family problems and the future prospects for the family. Prerequisite: SOC 111.

SOC 314. SOCIOLOGY OF SPORT 4 sh
This course focuses on sport as a major social institution in American society. Topics include the social organization of sport, the relationship of sport to other aspects of American life such as politics and education, the experiences of African-Americans, women and youth in sport, and the effects of sport on culture, personality and society. Prerequisite: SOC 111.

SOC 315. DRUGS AND SOCIETY 4 sh
The objective of this course is to provide a comprehensive survey of the development of sociological theories and analyses of drug use, focusing on images of drug use and the drug user as social constructs rather than as an intrinsically pathological behavior or identity. An additional objective of this course is to survey the current information and research on selected categories of drugs and the socially constructed reality that surrounds their use in contemporary society. Offered spring of alternate years.

SOC 316. SOCIOLOGY OF RELIGION 4 sh
The goal of this course is to examine the critical importance and functions of religion in human societies. Also, it explores the social characteristics of world religions and religious organizations. In addition, this course will investigate religious behaviors such as beliefs, rituals and experiences.

SOC 331. THE SELF AND SOCIETY 4 sh
Self and society involves the ways individuals are influenced by social interaction with others, with attention to the interaction processes of socialization, developing an identity and individual identities affecting interactions. Other topics include the impact of social change, increased technological developments in everyday life and postmodernism on the self, and the sociological perspectives of symbolic interactionism and dramaturgy. Prerequisite: SOC 111.

SOC 333. SOCIAL STRATIFICATION 4 sh
This study of societal patterns of inequality includes consideration of differences in
wealth, power, prestige and knowledge. Students examine the access levels groups have to
these resources and the subsequent effects of their access level on educational opportunity,
housing, health care, justice before the law, self-esteem and life satisfaction. The stratification systems of the different societies are studied, but the primary focus is on institutionalized inequality in the U.S. Prerequisite: SOC 111.

SOC 334. ENVIRONMENTAL SOCIOLOGY 4 sh
This course examines how social systems interact with ecosystems. Within this examination, the course will explore how environmental sociologists describe and explain the patterns that emerge from this interaction; explore what has led to the social disruption of ecosystems; explore the consequences of environmental disruption; and examine ways society has responded to human-induced environmental disruption.

SOC 341. ETHNIC AND RACE RELATIONS 4 sh
Students examine the meaning of minority group status in terms of the general patterns and problems confronting all minorities as well as the specific issues facing individual minority groups such as African-Americans, Jews, European-Americans and Asian-Americans. Discussion emphasizes the nature of prejudice and discrimination, the structure of minority-majority relations and strategies toward social equality. Prerequisite: SOC 111.

SOC 342. SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION DEVIANCE 4 sh
This course considers deviance and social control in societal context. Emphasis is placed on the ways in which deviance is defined cross-culturally and on the different ways in which deviants are labeled and treated. The course focuses on sociocultural explanations of deviance within such areas as mental and physical health, drug use, sexual expression,
aggression and personal identity. The relationship between deviance and social stratification is examined.

SOC 343. SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CHANGE 4 sh
Concern for the nature and direction of modernization provides a foundation in this course
as students analyze patterns of social and cultural change (especially in technologically
advanced societies such as the U.S.). Topics include innovation, diffusion, evolution, revolution, collective behavior and social movements with emphasis on the causes of patterns and their effects on individual and public life. Prerequisite: SOC 111.

SOC 345. SOCIOCULTURAL PERSPECTIVES ON GENDER 4 sh
Students use sociological and anthropological perspectives, theories and concepts to analyze the meaning of being female and male in American society. Discussion emphasizes the inequities based upon gender, particularly the problems faced by women. Prerequisite: SOC 111 or ANT 112.

SOC 351. SOCIOLOGY OF POPULAR CULTURE 4 sh
This course studies the nature and significance of culture as this is presented to the public through movies, magazines, newspapers, television, music, radio, popular fiction, spectator events and mass-produced consumer goods. The course will focus on patterns of production, distribution and consumption of popular culture, thematic issues and effects on behavior. A special concern will be the relationship of popular culture images to “visions of the good life” in the modern U.S. Prerequisite: SOC 111.
 

SOC 355. CRIMINOLOGY 4 sh
This course provides a sociological explanation of crime with a focus on the relationship between social structure and criminal behavior. Included in this approach are studies of individual criminal behavior. Both classic and contemporary theories of crime are explored; emphasis is placed upon the American context.

SOC 370-379. SPECIAL TOPICS IN SOCIOLOGY 2-4 sh
This series of courses reflecting new contributions in sociology or sociological issues. Prerequisite: to be determined by instructor.

SOC 461. SENIOR SEMINAR IN SOCIOLOGY 4 sh
This capstone course reviews major areas of sociology and provides further opportunity to share research on these topics. Students conduct research ranging from how sociological knowledge can be applied occupationally and politically to more basic, academic topics. Students compile a senior intellectual portfolio that includes examples of their academic achievements across their years of sociological study; therefore, students should be mindful of this requirement and retain electronic copies of work that they may want to include in this portfolio. Prerequisites: senior sociology major, SOC 215, 216 and either SOC 261 or 262.

SOC 471. SEMINAR: SPECIAL TOPICS 2-4 sh

SOC 481. INTERNSHIP IN SOCIOLOGY 1-4 sh
Teaching, research, service and occupational internships are offered. Limited to four semester hours credit applicable to sociology major or minor. Prerequisites: department permission and at least sophomore standing.

SOC 489. TEACHING AND LEARNING APPRENTICESHIP 1-4 sh
Teaching and Learning Apprentices work with a faculty mentor on a particular course. This experience is intended for exceptional students who wish to deepen their knowledge of the discipline, gain a better understanding of the professional academic life, engage in a meaningful mentoring relationship with a faculty mentor around issues related to teaching, enhance their interpersonal and communication skills and develop their leadership skills. The experience may be of particular value to students who wish to pursue a career in higher education or teaching in general. Requires satisfactory completion of all requirements listed on the registration form and by permission of the instructor and department chair only.
  • Faculty members invite students to consider a 489 experience;
  • The TLA (teaching and learning apprentice) must have a) completed the course for which she/he will be a TLA with a grade of at least an A-, b) completed higher level relevant course work that prepares the student to be a TLA with a minimum grade of B+, or c) by permission of the department chair;
  • The TLA must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher;
  • The TLA must have junior or senior standing;
  • A registration form must be completed and submitted prior to the first day of class for which the student will serve as a TLA. The form will require a syllabus and the signatures of the TLA, faculty mentor, the TLA's faculty advisor and the department chair/program director or coordinator. 
SOC 491. INDEPENDENT STUDY 1-4 sh
 
SOC 499. INDEPENDENT RESEARCH IN SOCIOLOGY 1-4 sh
The student develops an individual project of original research under the guidance of a professor within the department. Prerequisites: At least sophomore standing, Sociology major or minor; satisfactory completion of SOC 215 or SCO 216 and permission of the sponsoring professor. Students are also required to complete the department's independent research form, a process that includes a description of the proposed research and a student-professor plan for completing the course. 
 

This page was updated July 2, 2014.