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Sociology
 

Associate Professor Barty Thompson, Chair
Associate Professors:
Charles Brown, Ph. D.,and Kennon Rice, Ph.D.
Assistant Professors: Brent Harger, Ph.D, and Brian Jennings, Ph.D.
Instructor: Carla Abodalo, M.A.
Lecturers: Scott Lash, J.D., Adrienne Lodge, M.S., Brandy Neider, M.P.A. and Alice Sewell, Ph.D.


Courses

SOC 101
Introduction to Sociology

A general study, emphasizing the concepts and methodologies through which the sociologist investigates the nature of the social structure and the social processes related to individual behavior. Satisfies general studies social science requirement.

SOC 201
Social Problems

An introduction to the sociology of social problems. This course concentrates on the sociological analysis of significant problems as they relate to the social institutions in contemporary American society and their global counterparts. It provides an introduction to the sociological research and literature concerning major social problems such as health care, public education, poverty, racism, sexism, etc.

SOC 202
The Criminal Justice System

This class allows students to examine a broad array of topics related to the criminal justice system in America. A number of guest speakers who are working in various positions in the system will be invited to describe and discuss their work and areas of expertise. Students are encouraged to think critically about public safety questions and focus on issues, complexities, and policies of the criminal justice system, while demonstrating the inter-relationships of the system's components. Students will also be expected to complete a research paper on one area of interest. Sophomores & Freshmen Only

SOC 203
Human Services for Families and Children
The development and evolution of legislation, programs and services for families and children are analyzed. This course focuses on the social problems of poverty, drug addiction, domestic violence, sexual abuse and limited health services as experienced by children through their family structures and organization. Students are exposed to the range of private and public human services through examining program goals and the operation of these parts of the human services network.
Prerequisite: SOC 101

SOC 210
Research Methods
An exploration of the application of the basic tenets of scientific research to social science topics. Topics investigated include the formalization of research topics, the isolation and operationalization of theoretical concepts, the construction of hypotheses, sampling theory and alternative means for selection, study design selection and evaluation, data collection techniques, the organization of empirical data for hypothesis testing.

SOC 211
Statistics

An introduction to the theory and practice of basic statistical analysis. Topics considered include the organization and tabulation of raw and grouped data, graphical presentation of univariate and multivariate distributions, central tendency and variability measures, elementary probability theory with binomial applications, the theory of sampling and the central limit theorem, one and two sample tests of hypotheses concerning means and proportions, the analysis of variance and regression. Satisfies general studies quantitative reasoning requirement.

SOC 213
Development of Social Theory

An exploration of the evolution of social thought leading to the systematic and scientific basis of modern sociology.

SOC 230
Cultural Sociology

What is culture and how and why should we study it from a sociological perspective? How do we conceive culture in relation to other concepts such as power, identity, social structure and society? These are a few of the questions that will be addressed in this course as we explore several traditions of cultural theory and examine current debates in sociology over how to analyze culture.
Prerequisite: SOC 101

SOC 231
Cults and New Religious Movements

This course provides an opportunity for students to develop a general sociological understanding and perspective with which to evaluate, interpret, and understand new religious movements, also known as "cults." Topics investigated include the historical emergence of new religious movements, recruitment strategies, and the use of violence. Several case studies are used throughout the course including: The People's Temple, The Branch Davidians, Aum Shinrikyo, Montana Freemen, Solar Temple, Heaven's Gate and Chen Tao.

SOC 251
Crime and Deviance

An introduction to the sociology of deviance as it relates to criminal behavior. An analysis of crime and delinquency, as well as the cultural implications of conformity and deviance in society, are the major topics of the course. Sociocultural definitions of deviance and conformity are investigated as they relate to their causes, prevalence and sanctioning.

SOC 253
Criminal Investigation

This course is designed to provide students with the basic theoretical and philosophical understanding of the investigatory process. The course covers the fundamentals of criminal investigation and teaches the skills and knowledge necessary to conduct thorough preliminary investigations of crime. Crime scene search and recording, collection and preservation of physical evidence and scientific aids are studied. Analysis of problems encountered in interviewing, interrogating, evidence collection, and admissibility are examined. Sources of information, follow-up and case presentation are addressed. Application of investigative theories to the administration of justice is also examined.
Prerequisite: SOC 101, SOC 251

SOC 254
Advanced Criminal Investigation

This course is designed to provide students with a detailed understanding of the scientific methods and instrumentation used in processing crime scenes and physical evidence collected during a criminal investigation. Topics include: fingerprints, cast and mold development, blood and other body fluids, hair, fibers, tool marks, paint, glass and plastic fragments, ballistics and specialized instrumentation. Practical exercises will supplement lecture to provide students with a better understanding of the techniques discussed in class.
Prerequisite: SOC 101, SOC 253

SOC 261
The Family

An analysis of the marriage-family institution in society in a historical and sociocultural frame of reference. The institution of the family is examined in its variety of forms and functions within world cultures. These functions are explored in relation to other social systems and institutions. Aspects of social and cultural change are studied within the context of the family system as they relate to both society and individuals.

SOC 262
Social Stratification and Structured Inequality

This course provides an opportunity for students to develop a general sociological understanding and perspective with which to evaluate, interpret, and understand social stratification in America. Topics investigated include racial, ethnic, gender, and cultural stratification as well as inequality in the American educational, criminal justice, economic and political systems.

SOC 265
Global Families
This course examines global family diversity from a sociological perspective with an emphasis on the ways that social, economic, and political conditions affect family roles, values, norms, and problems.  The result is a better understanding of U.S. family experiences within this global context.   
Prerequisite: SOC 101

SOC 291
Environmental Sociology
This course will focus on the interconnections between social systems and ecosystems. Cultural, economic, social and environmental paradigms will be examined as to their effect on a wide range of ecosystem scales.  By using a sociological focus to examine complex environmental issues, students will gain a deeper understanding of how these issues can be resolved in a fair and equitable way.  Specific topics covered will include consumption, global warming, environmental movements, international and domestic development, food and agriculture, etc.  All topics covered in the course will maintain a specific focus on their effects on the environment and the role that social systems play within them.

   
SOC 302
Juvenile Delinquency

Patterns of juvenile delinquency are examined within the framework of the social definition of the adolescent years in American society and the response of the criminal justice system to behavior which society has deemed deviant. Within this framework the course focuses on the conflicting expectations and opportunities available to youth in American society; the operation of the juvenile justice system including the formal and informal processing of those whose age specific behavior is defined as "delinquent"; the patterns and trends in delinquent behavior; the major theoretical perspectives used to account for and explain juvenile delinquency; and the range of options society has to control, punish, reward or treat those who exhibit delinquent behavior.
Prerequisite: SOC 101, sophomore standing or above

SOC 305
Terrorism

This course examines the concept of terrorism through a comprehensive overview of the many disciplines the subject crosses. Various positions on issues of controversy, fear, and prevention are examined. Illustrations of cultural, historical, tactical factors, and social causes of some of the major forms of terrorism are addressed. An integrated approach to the subject includes domestic and international issues as well as the importance of security techniques and intelligence gathering. Case studies of terrorist groups and their activities are presented.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above

SOC 307
Organized Crime

This course examines criminal activities carried out through criminal organizations and focuses on organized crime as it related to cultural history, assimilation processes and the characteristics of American society, which have fostered its growth and success. Trends in organized crime in terms of ethnicity, structure and activities are investigated. Law enforcement strategies and tactics used to control organized crime are also examined. (Cross-listed as LAS 307).
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above

SOC 309
Criminal Corrections
This course focuses on the alternatives available to provide sanctions to those convicted of criminal deviance. Taught by a sitting criminal court judge, the course looks at criminal sanctions in terms of the Constitution, efficacy, and judicial discretion. Particular attention is paid to the purpose of criminal corrections within the context of individual rights and society's desire for punishment, protection and rehabilitation.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above

SOC 311
Domestic Violence
The definition, characteristics, and nature of domestic violence are explored, with particular emphasis on the various forms of violence that take place within the familial context such as abuse of spouses, children and the elderly. The perspective of both the victims and those who batter them are addressed through case studies. Prevention strategies, treatment techniques, and the role of law enforcement are also explored.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above

SOC 331
Sociology of Mass Media and Popular Culture
This course provides an opportunity for students to develop a general sociological understanding and perspective with which to evaluate, interpret and understand popular culture. Topics investigated include: how and when the academic study of popular culture began; what theories have been instrumental in the field; the sociological analysis of the meaning of popular culture; the organization of popular cultural production; and the relationship between popular culture and social change. The lectures, readings, and discussions use examples from several of the popular arts including music, movies, publishing and advertising.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above

SOC 332
Sociology of Sport & Leisure

This course provides an analysis of the social aspects of sport, with emphasis on interrelationship of sport and society. The course focuses on topics such as social values, education, sport roles, religion, socialization, mass media, sexism, and racism, and is oriented to students with an interest in sports.
Prerequisite: SOC101, sophomore standing or above

SOC 333
Sociology of Religion
This course provides an opportunity for students to develop a general sociological understanding and perspective with which to evaluate, interpret, and understand religion and religious institutions. Topics investigated include: the role of belief, values, and symbols; religious recruitment; how religious organizations are formed and maintained; the link between religion and social inequality; how religion has changed and adapted in American culture; and various contemporary expressions of religion in the U.S. including cults, civil religion, fundamentalism and the commercialization of religion.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above

SOC 334
Religion & Popular Culture
How do popular culture and the mass media affect religion? Conversely, how does religion affect our popular culture and mass media? What are we to think of Christian forms of commercial entertainment like "religious rock music,""Christian hip-hop," and "Christian romance novels" or motion pictures? Several critics have pointed out that the industry that produces these things is nothing more than an attempt to make money off of religion. Others, however, feel that this industry provides an important role in maintaining and reinforcing religion by giving people what they want: religious commercial entertainment. This course provides an opportunity for students to explore the role religion plays in creating and maintaining culture through popular cultural expressions such as music, television, motion pictures, sports and fashion. Students analyze how popular culture affects religion and how religion, in turn, affects popular culture and society.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above

SOC360
Crime and the Media
From CSI, to Law and Order, to Chucky and the evening news Americans are saturated with images of crime and deviance.  This course explores the causes and consequences of our fascination with this genre.  With foundations in both sociology and communication studies this course addresses such questions as:  Why are people fascinated with images of crime?  Does exposure to such media affect propensity to commit crime and if so what kind of depictions are the most influential?  Can influences result from material that isn’t even explicitly crime related (e.g. cartoons or sexualized material)?  Since most people experience “virtual crime” daily but rarely if ever experience serious crime first hand, how might the media shape or distort our perception of crime and how might this in turn shape our civil society?  Finally, how do media effects shape the criminal justice system itself?  In addition to traditional study this discussion based course will ask students to view and analyze samples of contemporary crime based media.  Students should come prepared to be exposed to some graphic violent or sexually themed material for the purposes of academic study.  Multiple forms of media will be addressed including print, dramas, cartoons, movies, news, and web based communications.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above

SOC 382
Internship
An off-campus placement in a human service, community, criminal justice, health care or business setting for students in the Sociology and Anthropology Department. Students are under supervision of both a faculty member and an employee of the sponsoring organization. Students must complete at least 150 hours of study during one semester of the academic year and complete a project related to the sponsoring organization.
Prerequisites: Junior standing and permission of the department

SOC 385
Violence and Victims
This course focuses on the socio-cultural basis for violence in American society and for others throughout the world. Using a global perspective, this course addresses a variety of types of violence, its causes and its consequences. Topics addressed include street violence, gang warfare, hate crimes, serial murder and gender specific crimes. The theoretical basis of the causes of violence are also examined. The consequences of violence for both individual victims and society as a whole are explored.
Prerequisite: SOC 101, sophomore standing or above

SOC 410
Sociology of Education
This course explores education from a sociological perspective by looking at the structures, practices, content, and outcomes of schooling in relation to the broader society in which schools are situated. This perspective allows students to challenge common assumptions about schools and to understand why they are organized the way they are, how they sort people into their adult roles, and how current reforms are changing the structure of education in our society.Prerequisite: Junior standing or above, SOC 261, all other core courses below the 400 level (SOC 101, SOC 210, SOC 211, SOC 213), and one additional 300 level SOC or ANT course.

SOC 415
Childhood and Adolescence
This course is an opportunity to examine the experiences of children and adolescents from a sociological perspective. Because these experiences typically occur within the confines of the family, this course considers the sometimes competing influences of family, peers, schools, and media on the lives of young people. Topics discussed include childhood socialization, stratification, peer status systems, cultural consumption, and sexuality.   
Prerequisite: Junior standing or above, SOC261, all other core courses below the 400 level (SOC 101, SOC 210, SOC 211, SOC 213), and one additional 300 level SOC or ANT course.

SOC 430
Collective Behavior and Social Movements
This course provides an opportunity for students to develop a general sociological understanding and perspective with which to evaluate, interpret, and understand social movements and collective behavior. Topics investigated include behavior in crowds, moral panics, fads, riots, and organized movements intended to create major social changes.
Prerequisite: Junior standing or above, all other core courses below the 400 level (SOC 101, SOC 210, SOC 211, SOC 213), and one additional 300 level SOC or ANT course.

SOC 440
Ethnographies in Crime and Deviance
Ethnography is a type of research by which an investigator, overtly or covertly, participates in the lives of their research subjects over an extended period of time. This participation is accompanied by the use of a trained scholar's skills to observe what happens, listen to what is said, and, occasionally, pose questions or conduct interviews. Quality ethnography makes a reader feel as if he/she personally knows the people and places described. Students in this course are asked to complete their own small ethnographic projects, but the bulk of this seminar-style course is devoted to the study of significant works in ethnographies of criminal or deviant populations. Hence, students will read and discuss studies in which researchers live with, interview, and otherwise share their lives with such individuals as drug dealers, muggers, crack addicts, rapists, prison guards, and their respective families and acquaintances. Through intimate exposure to the personal thoughts and lives of deviants and law enforcement personnel, an understanding is gained that goes beyond the abstractions of theory or remoteness of statistical analyses.
Prerequisite: Junior standing or above, SOC 251, all other core courses below the 400 level (SOC 101, SOC 210, SOC 211, SOC 213), and one additional 300 level SOC or ANT course.

SOC 450
White Collar Crime/Elite Deviance

Elite Deviance constitutes a major social problem for American society, and much of the world as well. This course introduces students to the concept of elite deviance and the variety of cultural, political and social situations that foment it. The course focuses on the global nature of elite deviance, and examines its corporate, political, and occupational dimensions. Both policy and regulatory issues in government and business are also examined relative to major theoretical positions.
Prerequisite: Junior standing or above, SOC 251, all other core courses below the 400 level (SOC 101, SOC 210, SOC 211, SOC 213), and one additional 300 level SOC or ANT course.

SOC 460
Serial Murder/Criminal Profiling
 This course is designed to be a scholarly, comprehensive, empirical examination of the phenomenon known as serial murder. Content will include, but is not limited to: psychological, sociological, biological and familial influences, and individual case studies. Serial murder will be distinguished from other forms of multiple homicides. The many problems associated with addressing serial murder will be considered. Other topics that will be covered include serial murder and its relation to race and gender, the many myths associated with serial murder, and the role of the media and law enforcement officials. Particular emphasis will be placed upon the difficulties in apprehension of serial killers. A major course component is an applied exercise where students in small groups, create, investigate and apply profiling techniques relating to this phenomenon.
Prerequisite: Junior standing or above, SOC 251, all other core courses below the 400 level (SOC 101, SOC 210, SOC 211, SOC 213), and one additional 300 level SOC or ANT course.

SOC 482
Internship
An off-campus placement in a human service, community, criminal justice, health care or business setting for students in the Sociology and Anthropology Department. Students are under supervision of both a faculty member and an employee of the sponsoring organization. Students must complete at least 150 hours of study during one semester of the academic year and complete a project related to the sponsoring organization.
Prerequisites: Senior standing and permission of the department

SOC 490
Senior Seminar in Sociology
An advanced research seminar that focuses on conducting a hypothesis-testing empirical research project on a topic of interest to the student. Building on the content of SOC 210 Research Methods, this course concentrates on the collection and analysis of social science data and culminates in the writing of the senior thesis.
Prerequisite: Senior standing, all other core courses (SOC 101, SOC 210, SOC 211, SOC 213), and at one additional 300 level SOC or ANT course.


Anthropology Courses
ANT 101
Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Anthropology is an inherently interdisciplinary exploration of the study of humanity in all its glory and problems. This course examines humans holistically. It covers such diverse topics as human evolution to religion. Cross-cultural comparisons of a variety of human behaviors provide insights to the question of what it means to be human. Satisfies general studies social science requirement.

ANT 206
Food and Culture

The focus of this course is on what humans eat and why. We explore both the biological and cultural reasons for human food choice. As omnivores we evolved into a species that is not only capable of but also needs to eat a wide variety of foods. Culturally, we have developed certain desires for particular foods over others and have identified ourselves based on the foods we eat; this has even produced differences in food choices based on social status. Finally, new food production and processing capabilities of the modern industrial world have thrown open the floodgates and have allowed us to both overeat and overspecialize in certain food types. This course examines the extremely complex interplay of all these forces on the foods we eat and the resulting health and ecological effects. (Cross-listed as IDS 206).

ANT 265
Ecological Psychology

The objectives of this course are: to understand the psychological origin and scope of current environmental problems and how they relate to our values, attitudes and behaviors; to study human experiences and behavior in its environmental, political and spiritual context; to question the human institutions and values that lead to environmental problems; and to explore the role of humans within the larger ecosystem. (Crosslisted as IDS 265 and PSY 265)

ANT 270
People of the World

This course examines the way people live from around the world. This is accomplished through ethnographies and films. All forces which may have combined to produce a particular way of life are incorporated in the analysis. These include ecology, history, politics, economics, etc. The groups selected for analysis are predominantly of non-western origins. Students should emerge with a broader and more sophisticated understanding of humans and the their cultural diversity and universality. (Cross-listed as LAS 270).

ANT 280
Martinique Studies

This interim course introduces students to the people and lands of the French speaking, Caribbean island of Martinique through an intensive and structured visit to the island. After reading and assessing a series of preparatory articles in early January the class will fly to Martinique where they will be guided by accompanying faculty to a series of activities that will enlighten them to many aspects of Martinique life. These undertakings include lectures at the university, field trips to various parts of the island and a variety of directed events, which will encourage students to participate in many facets of Martinique culture. (Cross-listed as EVS 280, IDS 280 and LAS 280)

ANT 285
The Human Animal

What are humans and how did we get to be the way we are? How do we live? What makes us act the way we do? Are we moral? How do we effect other species and the world around us? These are the questions we shall investigate in this course, and to answer them we will take an interdisciplinary approach drawing on the disciplines from both the natural (biology, ecology) and social (anthropology, sociology) sciences to provide insights into the heart and soul of the human species. After examining the process of natural selection we will explore how it forged modern Homo sapiens over the last five million years. We will then look at the finished product both in terms of our mental and physical characteristics. We will complete this investigation by examining how we (humans) tend to interact with other species and our surrounding environment. It is hoped that many of the complexities and confusion about who we are will become more clear as we develop an understanding of both our capabilities as well as our limitations. Overall, students should gain a more complete comprehension of who they are as a member of the human species. (Cross-listed as IDS 285).

ANT 310
Crime, Culture and Conflict Resolution

This course introduces students to the "law ways" of different societies, in particular nonindustrialized societies. The goal is to explore the extent to which different societies employ coercion, punishment and consensus in order to maintain order and resolve conflicts. Topics include rules and crime: the cultural basis of right and wrong, informal and ritualized disputing, conflict theory and conflict resolution (avoidance, community action, ritual reconciliation, negotiation and mediation), oaths, ordeals, and punishment, adjudication and codified law, feuding, raiding and warfare (internal and external).

ANT 320
Sex, Gender and Culture

This course introduces students to the diversity of roles that men and women occupy in a wide variety of societies. The course covers topics such as the biological basis of sex differences, primate studies as windows into human sexuality and social life, feminist perspectives on evolution, gender complementarity, the cultural construction of gender differences, religious ideas about women as both polluting and powerful, notions of masculinity (vis-à-vis femininity), and the impact and spread of capitalism on the position of men and woman.

ANT 342
Human Evolution

How humans came to be what they are today is one of the most intriguing and interesting topics that can be examined. We can gain powerful and enlightening insights into the mystery of the human animal: how did we come to be; what is our evolutionary legacy; why do we act the way we do; what might we expect in the future. This course explores human origins starting with the evolution of primates. It focuses on hominids commencing with their split from chimpanzees and traces their transitions to modern Homo sapiens. Students examine how we got to be the way we are both physically and mentally, and they will examine both the variety and similarity in humans around the world, population genetics and evolved psychology.

ANT 482
Internship

An off-campus placement in a human service, community, criminal justice, health care or business setting for students in the Sociology and Anthropology Department. Students are under supervision of both a faculty member and an employee of the sponsoring organization. Students must complete at least 150 hours of study during one semester of the academic year and complete a project related to the sponsoring organization.
Prerequisites: Senior standing and permission of the department


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