As a discipline, sociology is the study of social structure and social interaction and the factors for making change in both. This includes the study of people, groups, organizations, spaces, and institutions. Sociology stands as an essential social science, applying a multitude of methodologies to complex questions in an ever-evolving human environment. Sociology at HWS is change oriented. Students typically study social behavior in modern industrial societies, especially the United States. The sociology program has a strong ethical dimension; not only does our faculty seek to convey an understanding of society, but its members often have a keen interest in social problems, social inequalities, and social justice. All faculty are involved in research and teaching and have a variety of subfields and specializations. We bring this expertise to bear in our classrooms, our study abroad programs, and learning experiences outside the classroom. We assert that sociology should be more than a merely academic exercise.
We aim to share this understanding with our students so that they not only learn about the social world but also criticize and work actively to change it. Our majors often put their course work into action while they are still at HWS through independent research, participation in community service and service learning, honors projects, academic conference participation, and internships. Graduates use their sociological education in countless ways, including graduate school, working for non-profit organizations, doing social work, and in business management.
Goals and Aspirations for Sociology Majors
We expect that our majors will develop a sophisticated understanding of the major categories of sociological analysis, recognize and evaluate the major theoretical concepts and schools of thought in sociology, understand how social forces operate on structural, cultural, and interactional levels, master a refined grasp of the research techniques and methodologies sociologists use to further our understanding of society, and put what they have learned into practice. We expect that our majors will have these interpretive, methodological, and qualitative and quantitative skills by the time they have completed their major. With these skills, they are equipped to proceed comfortably to graduate work in the discipline of their choice.
The Sociology Department offers a major in Sociology, a minor in Sociology, and a combined Anthropology/Sociology major in conjunction with the Department of Anthropology. All courses to be credited toward any major or minor in the department must be passed with a grade of C- or better.
Sociology Policy on Courses Transferred In to the Major/Minor:
- Students can take SOC 100 elsewhere.
- Sociology majors/minors must take the required core courses (SOC 211, 212, and 300) at HWS. Exception: they have taken the course here at least once but have not achieved the minimum grade of C- or better. Students must get the approval of the department chair and the faculty member(s) teaching the course at HWS before transferring in a substitute core course taken elsewhere.
- Sociology majors must take SOC 464/5 (senior seminar) and the 300-level seminar at HWS. No exceptions.
- Students must petition for permission to count 200-level sociology electives taken elsewhere. The petition should include a full course syllabus as well as information about the instructor's credentials (i.e., the field in which they hold a Ph.D.). The department's usual practice is not to count courses that are taught by faculty without a sociology degree. The department chair will circulate the student's petition to the department faculty for consideration.
REQUIREMENTS for the SOCIOLOGY MAJOR (B.A.)
SOC 100; SOC 211; SOC 212; SOC 300; SOC 465; and six additional sociology courses at the 200-level or higher, at least one of which must be a 300-level seminar. One 200-level or higher anthropology course can substitute for a 200-level sociology elective course. SOC 450 or SOC 499 arrangements can be counted for a maximum of two courses toward the major. All courses must be passed with a grade of C- or higher. No more than one course with a CR grade may be counted towards the major.
REQUIREMENTS for the SOCIOLOGY MINOR
SOC 100; either SOC 211, SOC 212 or 300; and four additional sociology courses. SOC 450 or SOC 499 arrangements can be counted for a maximum of one course toward the minor. All courses must be passed with a grade of C- or higher. No more than one course with a CR grade may be counted toward the minor.
REQUIREMENTS for the ANTHROPOLOGY/SOCIOLOGY MAJOR (B.A.)
ANTH 110; SOC 100; any four of the five courses from department core offerings (ANTH 273, ANTH 306, SOC 211, SOC 212, SOC 300); a 400-level seminar in either anthropology or sociology; two electives in anthropology and two electives in sociology that together form a cluster, to be chosen in consultation with the adviser. All courses must be passed with a grade of C- or higher. No more than one course with a CR grade may be counted toward the major.
SOC 100 Introduction Sociology An introduction to the fundamental concepts of sociology, this course focuses on such central issues as the social nature of personality; the effects of social class, race, and gender on social life; the interactional basis of society; and the place of beliefs and values in social structure and social action. A fundamental concern is to analyze the reciprocal nature of social existence - to understand how society influences us and how we, in turn, construct it. Typically, the course applies the sociological perspective to an analysis of American society and other social systems. Note: All upper level sociology courses require SOC 100 as a prerequisite. (Freeman, Harris, Kosta, Monson, Perkins, Sutton, offered every semester)
SOC 205 Men and Masculinity Masculinities profoundly shape the experiences of men, women, and children, yet the role of gender in men's lives is often taken for granted. Masculinities interact with statuses such as ethnicities, sexualities, disabilities, and social class, making it impossible to study men as a single group. Accordingly, this course examines how diverse forms of masculinity are constructed, reinforced, and reproduced within broader systems of social stratification. This course will provide a better understanding of how gender ideals and practices shape men's lives, and it will critically assess the privileges and problems that masculinities create in the lives of men and others in society. Substantive topics that will be examined include boyhood socialization, masculinities and emotions, men's violence against women, male sexualities, men's health, and men's friendships and intimate relationships. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Harris, Sutton, offered alternate years)
SOC 206 Kids and Contention This class tackles the contentious history of childhood and youth in the U.S. context from a sociological perspective. We'll explore the history of childhood and youth, paying close attention to the ways in which young people are able to impact their social environment. Childhood is a social category that has historically been constructed by policies that fulfill the needs of adults. This course will provide us with a context to understand and interpret those policies and also investigate how children respond. We'll also examine how policy and other institutions inform particular norms, values, and stereotypes of young people, sometimes regardless of data or input from the young people themselves. Throughout the semester, we'll evaluate the role(s) of children in the various institutions, including schools, families, courts, neighborhoods, peer groups, and as consumers. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Freeman, offered annually)
SOC 207 Imagining the Future The course will examine how imaginations of the future have informed collective politics, social movements, and cultural genres of utopia and dystopia. Similarly, we will also analyze how imaginations of the future (through notions of progress, social change, and evolution) have influenced the discipline of sociology both historically and in the present. Throughout the course, we will also consider how imaginations of the future lend insight into social conditions in the present. Some topics addressed include: the role of science and technology in imaginations of the future; manifestos and revolutions; Afrofuturism; the cryonic movement; time capsules; futures and other financial derivatives; climate change and disaster preparedness. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Harris, offered occasionally)
SOC 210 Gentrification A term coined in 1964, gentrification refers to the return of the creative/professional middle classes to central city locations, where their quest for homes of interesting architectural provenance, cheap real estate and low rents, and proximity to cultural amenities often results in increasing rents and neighborhood upscaling that displaces existing working class residents. Despite its inability to challenge ongoing suburbanization in absolute terms, gentrification has nonetheless occupied a disproportionate amount of attention form sociologists, urban studies scholars' policymakers, as well as increasingly the mass media and the public interested in issues in urban decay and regeneration. This course will introduce students to the already voluminous literature on gentrification, focusing on earlier debates of the 'classical' era, such as production vs consumption explanations, to more recent theoretical developments that include planetary gentrification, commercial/retail gentrification, advanced or super gentrification, rural gentrification, etc. The course will make constant references to urban changes visible in downtown Geneva as well as more regional cities such as Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse. Students who have passed SOC 100, ANTH 110, POL 110, or ECON 160 with a minimum grade of C-, or permission of instructor, will be able to register for this course, Kosta, offered occasionally.
SOC 211 Research Methods This course is an introduction to the basic issues and fundamental trends of social research. The logic of inquiry, research design, sampling, validity, reliability of indicators in social data, and logistical and ethical problems in the collection and analysis of data form the central problems for consideration. Techniques of data collection, such as, participant observation, content analysis, experimental design, unobtrusive measures, and survey research are discussed. The course is intended to prepare students for original research efforts and also to help them become more sophisticated consumers of the literature of the social sciences today. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Monson, Sutton, offered every spring semester)
SOC 212 Data Analysis This course provides an introduction to the organization and analysis of data in the process of social research. Presentation of data in tabular and graphic forms, the use of elementary descriptive and inferential statistics, and the use of bivariate and multivariate analytic procedures in the analysis of data are examined. This course includes a laboratory experience in the use of computing software to display data and test hypotheses. The course is ultimately intended to prepare students for original research efforts and to help them become more sophisticated consumers of the literature of the social sciences today. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Perkins, Freeman, offered every fall semester)
SOC 214 Urban Ethnography Rapid urbanization in the 19th century provided a crucial impetus to the development of sociology, as scholars wondered how 'the city' transformed traditional forms of identity and community. Urban ethnography 'the systematic observation of social life in the city' became one of the most important methods that defined the Chicago School of Sociology. This course will introduce students to the body of knowledge amassed over a century of urban ethnography, focusing on urban ethnographies both theoretically and methodologically. We will cover topics of sustained importance to ethnographers, such as poverty, crime and violence, race, social class, public space, work, immigration, consumption, housing and homelessness, and the informal economy. We will cover important debates within ethnography, including issues of ethics, representation, and the politics of doing an ethnography. Throughout the semester, we will ask what is specifically urban about any given ethnography, as well as what is specifically ethnographic about what's being studied in the readings we consider. Students might be expected to conduct their own ethnographies. The course will make references to urban changes visible in Geneva, as well as more regional cities such as Rochester, Syracuse, and Buffalo. Students who have passed SOC 100, SOC/URST 210, ANTH 110, or BIDS 207 with a minimum grade of C- (C minus), or have obtained permission of instructor, will be able to register for this course. (Kosta, offered occasionally)
SOC 220 Social Psychology Social psychology fundamentally examines how and why individuals' interact with each other in various ways determined by personality and socio-cultural settings. In this seminar course, major theoretical perspectives and classic empirical studies are introduced that emphasize a variety of viewpoints in the literature. Theoretical orientations, such as learning theory, exchange theory, role theory, symbolic interaction, attribution theory, and cognitive balance models are surveyed during the term. Furthermore, studies in substantive areas, such as social norms, behavioral conformity, risk taking, attitude change, interpersonal attraction, commitment in relationships, group dynamics, conflict and cooperation, forgiveness, and leadership are examined in light of these major perspectives. The course gives special attention to the congruencies and disparities among psychological and sociological perspectives within the interdisciplinary field of social psychology. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Perkins, offered alternate years)
SOC 221 Race & Ethnic Relations What is race? What is ethnicity? Has race always existed? Why should the history of people of color matter to contemporary policy and social relationships? In this course, students analyze minority group relations including inter-group and intragroupdynamics, sources of prejudice and discrimination, social processes of conflict, segregation, assimilation, andaccommodation. Minority-majority relations are viewed as a source of hierarchy, contention, and change, and the history and current context of our multigroup society are analyzed. Emphasis is placed on racial and ethnic groups in the United States. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Freeman, offered annually)
SOC 223 Inequalities Inequality is a fundamental aspect of social structure but we, as individuals, frequently find it simple to justify without investigating its history. Despite the adoption of the rhetoric of equal rights and democratic values, inequality thrives in the United States. Our placement in Geneva, NY allows us, as sociologists, a unique opportunity to observe these systems of inequality within our city and relate them to broader patterns in the nation as a whole. This course is designed to give students a foundational knowledge in sociological theory of inequality stemming from Marx, Weber, and DuBois and continuing through contemporary theories of intersectionality. These perspectives will then be used to understand inequality in social class, race, gender, sexualities, and in the global arena. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Freeman, offered annually)
SOC 224 Social Deviance This course will critically examine power relationships that are inherent in deviance and social control, and it will additionally provide in-depth looks into how "deviants" experience deviance on a personal level. We will examine deviant identities, deviant subcultures, the stigmatization of deviant behavior, trajectories of deviance throughout the life course, and other features of deviance as lived experience. Our approach will draw heavily from social constructionism, symbolic interactionism, and qualitative research methods, and we will routinely suspend our judgments in order to better ascertain what deviance and social control mean to those who experience them firsthand. Given that this is the only course at Hobart and William Smith Colleges that specifically addresses social deviance, our emphases will include evaluating the main theories of deviance and contemplating the issues involved when doing research on deviant behavior. A sample of substantive topics we will study includes Total Institutions, Moral Panics, White Collar Deviance, Men's Violence Against Women, Drug Epidemics, Sex Work, Gangs, and White Supremacists. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Sutton, offered annually)
SOC 225 Working Families What is a "working family?" What work is done by families? When do families work well, and who or what makes these judgments? The family is analyzed as a social institution embedded in particular historical contexts, one which reflects broad economic change, cultural shifts, and political movements. Particular attention is paid to how various axes of social inequality (gender, class, race, and sexuality) shape the experience of family life at the individual level, and the evaluation of various family forms at the societal level. The questions we consider include: How are families affected by the institution of paid work, and how do workplaces respond (or not) to shifting family configurations? Are two-parent, single-parent, or extended families more common historically and cross-culturally? What social forces contribute to divorce rates? What are the causes and consequences of male-breadwinner and dual- earner families? How have cultural norms concerning motherhood and fatherhood changed over time? Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Monson, offered annually)
SOC 226 Sex and Gender What is the connection between biological sex and our gendered identities? How is the variation over time and across cultures in gendered behavior explained? What are the sources and consequences of gendered differences? How are these differences linked to inequalities of race and class as well as gender? What social forces will alter gender relations in the future? This course provides an introduction to sociological perspectives on gender relations as a social structure. Several theoretical frameworks for understanding the sources and persistence of gender differences and inequality are considered. Students examine a range of social institutions and ideological constructs shaping the social structure of gender, such as the state, family, employment, sexuality, and reproduction. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Monson, offered alternate years)
SOC 238 Immigrant America Ethnicity and race are constantly evolving social constructions, yet they remain among the most persistent forms of structured social inequality. Focusing on the United States, but with reference to other multi-ethnic societies, this course will consider the immigration histories to examine why and how the salience of ethnic identity increases and decreases at particular historical moments, how the categories of race and ethnicity inform each other, and how they are inexorably related to the continuous remaking of the American mainstream. This course will pay particular attention to the immigration patterns of the turn-of the-twentieth-century (Ellis Island) groups, and the Chicago-school tradition of urban ethnographies that documented the lives of those groups during the 20th and 21st centuries. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Kosta, offered alternate years)
SOC 241 Sociology of Sport This course explores the relationships between sport, culture, and society. It begins with an overview of sport as both a cultural product and a social institution. It draws on historical and cross-cultural examples to illuminate continuities and variations in the meanings, structures and variations in the meanings, structures, and functions of sport across time and place. Turning the focus to contemporary American society, students then examine the relationship between sport and inequality. Specifically, they explore the dynamics of class, race, and gender inequality in the sporting arena and examine the role of sport in the maintenance or the alleviation of these inequalities. They will also discuss subcultures and their significance in relation to dominant culture norms. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Staff, offered occassionally)
SOC 242 Sociology of Business & Management This course provides an "applied" sociological analysis of the major trends shaping business in the United States and worldwide. Students explore the nature of business organization and management, at the micro level in its institutional forms and the business and management environment, at the macro level as it operates within economic and cultural systems, and within global contexts. The issues of demographic effects, ethical concerns, technological innovation, the role of producers and consumers, and the changing role of government are considered. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Harris, offered alternate years)
SOC 244 Religion in American Society This course focuses upon religion in American society from the post World War II era to the present, using sociological theory and empirical research to form the basic analytical perspective. A survey of the major religious traditions is provided along with an introduction to contemporary cults, sects, and new religious movements. Topics such as civil religion, processes of secularization and revival, social and demographic influences on belief and practice, organizational structures, church and state relations, and political activism of religious groups are examined. Discussion concerning the theological, ethical, and political implications of sociological claims about religion is also encouraged. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Perkins, offered alternate years)
SOC 245 Sociology of Work The study of capitalist and pre-capitalist forms of human labor, and the changes in social organization that accompany changes in the mode of production are covered in this class. Students consider non-wage as well as wage labor in contemporary industrial America. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Staff, offered occasionally)
SOC 249 Technology and Society This course is designed to explore the impact that technologies have on human beings and their societies. It examines the history of technological development, and particularly the industrial revolution and the current cybernetic revolution. A broad range of topics are covered, including such issues as family relations, work patterns, energy and the environment, domestic and international social stratification, and social organization. The course also concentrates on the empirical effects that such inventions as moveable type, compasses, steam engines, automobiles, washers and dryers, telephones, radio, television, rockets, transformers, and computers (to name several) have had on human beings. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Harris, offered occasionally)
SOC 251 Sociology of the City More than 80 percent of Americans and 50 percent of the world's peoples now live in urban areas. Such figures show that the city has become one of the most important and powerful social phenomena of modern times. As a result, it is imperative that we understand the city's influence on our lives. This course provides a basic introduction to urban life and culture by examining the development of the city in Western history. Classic and modern theories are examined in an attempt to grasp what the city is and what it could be. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Kosta, offered alternate years)
SOC 256 Power and Powerlessness This course develops an analysis of power and subordination within civil society: whether or not such power is institutionalized in state structures, whether it confirms state institutions or contradicts them. The distribution of power in society tends to be taken for granted by political scientists, politicians, and state officials, even activists. This course is to develop a theory of power in civil society and to understand how it relates to state rule. Of particular interest are the imperatives of government and what happens to social movements when they achieve state power. Examples are drawn from fragile new democracies in Eastern Europe, Latin America, and South Africa, as well as the United States. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Staff, offered occasionally)
SOC 258 Social Problems The focus of this course is the examination of fundamental social problems confronting contemporary American society. How social problems have emerged or have been perpetuated in recent years, and how social problems are defined and perceived by particular social groups are important issues for this course, as is the analysis of possible solutions to these problems. Poverty, racism, care of the aged, alcohol and substance abuse, the AIDS epidemic, pornography, juvenile delinquency, prostitution, family violence, abortion, children's rights, church and state conflicts, gun control, and capital punishment are some examples of topics for this course. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Staff, offered occasionally)
SOC 259 Social Movements Many features of today's society that we take for granted - for example, voting rights for all - have their origins in the struggles of social movement participants in the past. Social movements, typically conceptualized as non-institutional political activity, are an important source of social, cultural, economic and political change in society. The study of social movements is central to the sociological study of social change. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the causes, characteristics, and consequences of social movements. In answering several questions about social movements, we will look at a broad range of cases, including the U.S. civil rights movement, the women's liberation movement, the environmental movement, and the anti-globalization movement. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Staff, offered occasionally)
SOC 261 Sociology of Education The goal of this course is to understand the relationship between education, society, and social inequality. We will use a sociological lens to explore the history and current state of education in the United States.Â We will then examine student agency, including what voice students have in their educational systems and what role schools play in the formation of identity. We will spend a large part of the semester exploring the nature of "Achievement Gap" and explanations that sociologists offer for its continued existence. Throughout the course we will draw from the various frameworks with which sociologists approach the institution of education, and we will investigate and debate many of the recent educational reforms in the United States from sociological viewpoints. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Freeman, offered annually)
SOC 263 Juvenile Delinquency This course outlines the history of juvenile delinquency in the United States and highlights current trends and patterns of delinquent behavior. A number of explanations have been proposed for why young people engage in deviance and crime, and a range of responses have been developed to identify, rehabilitate, and at times punish juveniles who do not behave appropriately. This course provides an in-depth look into these explanations and responses, and it critically examines how social power, inequalities, gender, poverty, and other sociological themes are intertwined with juvenile offending and the social control of juvenile delinquents. A sample of substantive topics focused on in this course includes gangs, juvenile sex offenders, substance abuse, violence, and the juvenile justice system. (Sutton, offered annually)
SOC 266 Sociology of Police and Policing This course focuses on police and policing from a sociological perspective. It provides an overview of the key historical developments that have led up to the practices, trends, challenges, and controversies that characterize contemporary policing. The primary focus is on urban municipal police and policing in the United States, though attention will also be devoted to federal law enforcement, private police, and policing in rural areas. Foundational themes that will be examined include the idea of police, routine policing, police socialization, police misconduct, and police organizations. We will additionally focus on a number of substantive topics, including but not limited to policing paradigms, women and policing, police accountability and reform, police ethics, police subcultures, the lives and perceptions of police officers, police (mis)use of force, and contemporary social movements that protest (e.g. Black Lives Matter) and support (e.g. Back the Blue) modern police and policing. A recurring theme that we will see is that discretion is inevitable when policing. Accordingly, we will explore systematic forms of police discretion that reflect and reinforce disparities pertaining to race, class, gender, and other dimensions of social stratification (offered annually, Sutton).
SOC 271 Sociology of Environment This course examines the development and future implications of environmental issues from a sociological perspective. Topics of discussion include: technological fix and social value definitions of environmental issues; how occupational and residence patterns are involved with the perception of and response
to environmental issues; urban policies as aspects of environmental issues (e.g., zoning, public transport, etc.); stress involved with current life styles and occupations; and the personal, group, and social responses to resolve environmental problems. Topics of interest to students are discussed as they develop during the course. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Staff, offered annually)
SOC 290 Sociology of Community This course first examines the use of the concept of community as it has been applied to kinship groups, neighborhoods, and rural and urban settlements. It seeks to sharpen analytic and conceptual abilities and then focuses investigation on historical and contemporary utopian and intentional communities. Students take several field trips, meet with guest lecturers, and participate in a group project toward creating community. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Harris, offered alternate years)
SOC 291 Ghettos and Ethnic Enclaves This class navigates the roles of neighborhoods and communities in contemporary urban life in an era of globalization by focusing on ghettos and enclaves in U.S. cities. Early Chicago School scholars understood both ghettos and immigrant colonies as poor inner-city spaces that isolated immigrants and people of color. However, today immigrants/ethnic enclaves are considered to be temporary platforms for assimilation based on ethnic solidarity, while ghettos are seen as inner-city neighborhoods where minorities get trapped in a cycle of poverty. Why are some minority neighborhoods viewed positively, while others are not? This course discusses both micro interactions between people in these spaces and macro structural forces such as migration, race, and ethnicity, gender, and trans-nationalism and globalization that shape them, and students will seek answers for why these neighborhoods become stigmatized or celebrated. Topics throughout the semester include the past and present development of ghettos and enclaves, immigrants and their communities, barrios, social inequality, racial segregation, public housing and urban politics, transnational communities, new ethnic communities, and gentrification. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Staff, offered occasionally)
SOC 295 Alcohol Use and Abuse Alcoholic beverages are consumed by most adults in contemporary American society in a wide variety of social contexts. On the one hand, attractions, pleasures, and possible benefits of alcohol consumption can be identified as motivations for widespread use. On the other hand, the potentially debilitating
pharmacological effect of alcohol as a drug and the costs of heavy drinking and alcoholism on the health of individuals, families, and society in general are enormous. This course examines the causes and consequences of alcohol use and misuse both in terms of its social construction in various cultural contexts as well as biochemical influences. Specifically, we explore the effect of family, peers, ethnicity, and gender, religion and national identity on drinking behavior along with the genetic and physiological effects of alcohol on the human body. Discussion of controversial issues concerning alcohol consumption will include concepts of abuse, theories of addiction, effective treatment approaches, blood alcohol limits for driving, minimum drinking age limits, treatment and punishment of DWI offenders, alcohol testing in work and sports contexts, and restrictions on advertising. The course has been recognized nationally as a model for courses about substance use and abuse by the U.S. Department of Education. Prerequisite: SOC 100 or permission of the instructor (Perkins, offered alternate years)
SOC 299 Vietnam: Conflict & Change This course explores the social world of Vietnam. Students study Vietnamese history, culture, and social relations. Through this study of their institutions (religion, economy, politics), arts, and artifacts, students find themselves immersed in the life of Vietnam, and are likely to achieve a fuller appreciation of the modes and meanings of what it means to be Vietnamese, as well as what it means to be American. The course examines the many forces that impinge on Vietnamese social life, and explores how the Vietnamese are seeking to reconcile and resolve the contradictions of socialist and capitalist theory and practice, as they seek to improve the lives of their people and position themselves as a significant Southeast Asian political and economic force. Prerequisites: SOC 100 or an introductory course in anthropology, political science, history, Asian studies, or religious studies. (Harris, offered alternate years)
SOC 300 Classical Sociological Theory The founders of sociology were deeply concerned about problems that continue to be of vitalimportance for contemporary sociological inquiry. Questions such as the nature of society and its relationship to individuals, the relation between sociological theory and social practice, whether sociology is a science and, if not, what it is, and so on, are all absolutely central to the sociological enterprise, and yet often become lost. This course returns to the classics in an effort to uncover the questions sociologists need constantly to ask themselves if they wish to reflect cogently upon their role in the contemporary world. Required of all sociology majors. Prerequisite: SOC
100. (Harris, Kosta, offered annually)
SOC 301 Modern Sociological Theory This course examines the nature of theory and the problems of theory construction. The course surveys current theories representative of major intellectual orientations. These varieties of contemporary sociological theory are analyzed and the problems encountered within each explored. Theoretical orientations examined include social behaviorism, structural functionalism, conflict theory, symbolic interactionism, and the psychoanalytic. Prerequisite: SOC 100 and either SOC 211, SOC 212, or SOC 300, or permission of the instructor. (Harris, offered alternate years)
SOC 314 Social Statistics with R: Building Skills for Successful Sociologists Statistics with R offers students the opportunity to learn how to apply their sociological imaginations within the context of quantitative data analysis. Throughout the course of the semester, we will learn elementary programming skills, how to select and clean data sources, how to analyze data sources with a particular computer language, and how to present those results in a professional and convincing way. Students will complete an independent secondary data analysis project in addition to learning to program in R.Students will practice the elementary data analysis techniques learned in Soc 212 and further their knowledge of regression, its assumptions, and uses. (Offered occasionally, Freeman)
SOC/URST 353 Global Cities Everywhere, in numbers unheard of before, people are flocking to the world's cities, in many cases, regardless of the fact that when they arrive there, they find living conditions awful or even worse. Why? What do people want from cities? This course seeks to answer these questions by exploring the overarching concept of "the global city" developed in the aftermath of the restructuring of the world economy since the mid-1970s. It will examine the historical emergence of global cities (ne "world cities"), and critically assess this conceptualization as a paradigm, theory, and research agenda within urban studies. We start with an overview of urbanization processes in the US from the 19th century onwards, introduce the central body of theoretical literature on global cities, and continue exploring thematic topics such as new forms of inequality, labor relationships, neighborhood dynamics, and forms of fragmentation and segregation, through a comparative focus of urban processes around the world. A central feature of this course is the exploration of 21st century urbanism in the non-Western world. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Kosta, offered alternate years)
SOC 357 Race and Education This course provides an in-depth analysis of the ways in which education in the United States, at times challenges and at times reproduces racial hierarchy. Using a combination of macro and micro level sociological theories (e.g., structural functionalism, social reproduction, intersectionality, interactional), we'll explore the socialization, organization, and assessment practices of schooling in the United States with a lens toward racial inequality.Education is often touted as the key to equality, particularly in the US context. This course explores how education, despite this idealized view, has reproduced, and in some cases, exacerbated existing social inequalities. Using both micro and macro sociological frameworks, we will engage several key works that establish how schools create a social order that is not egalitarian and, how, in fact, schools were never intended to promote equality across demographic groups. We will also explore reforms and alternatives to promote racial equality through schooling. Discussions of primary texts will not only engage sociological theory but will also analyze methodological choice and relevance for questions of educational equality. Prerequisite: SOC 100 and either SOC 211, SOC 212, or SOC 300, or permission of the instructor. (Freeman, offered occasionally)
SOC 362 Criminology This course provides a comprehensive overview of criminological theory and its applications. The major theories of crime and criminal behavior are presented, crime trends and patterns are investigated, and the main sources of crime data are critically assessed. Substantive crime topics such as fear of crime, victimization, drug use, murder, burglary, white-collar deviance, and sexual assault are also examined. Although interdisciplinary approaches to understanding crime will be explored given that the field of criminology in inherently interdisciplinary, this course is ultimately grounded in broader sociological principles and concepts, including but not limited to race, gender, class, power, social inequality, socialization, and social interaction. Discussions of course topics will be theoretical and empirical, with special attention given to the roles that data and research play in the evaluation of theory and the development of evidence based practices for responding to crime. Prerequisite: SOC 100 and either SOC 211, SOC 212, or SOC 300, or permission of the instructor. (Sutton, offered alternate years)
SOC 370 Religion, Politics, & Lifestyle Sociological theory has long debated the role of religious belief and practice in the maintenance and transformation of society. Does what is sacred essentially maintain the social patterns and power structure of society or do various forms of belief and spirituality make a crucial contribution to movements producing social change? Has religion become a less important element of society in the modern world through growing secularization or is it continually transformed with renewed social influence in society? These questions about the effects and prevalence of sacred beliefs and institutions are examined through the views of both classic and contemporary sociologists. This advanced seminar course examines variation in the social significance of religion by looking at how alternative movements as well as dominant beliefs and practices in modern Western societies have remained influential, faded to marginality, or reemerged in political and social life. Three debates will be highlighted: the problem of pluralism spawning religious conflict, the question of the inevitability of secularization, and the possibility of imposing a separation between religion and the modern political state. Prerequisite: SOC 100 and either SOC 211, SOC 212, or SOC 300, or permission of the instructor. (Perkins, offered occasionally)
SOC 375 Social Policy This course focuses on U.S. income support policies designed to address poverty due to old age, unemployment, and single parenthood, using case studies of other Western welfare states for comparative purposes. The course traces the historical development and restructuring of the U.S. welfare state, from the "poor laws" in the colonial era, through the New Deal of the 1930s, the War on Poverty in the 1960s and 1970s, and the "end of welfare" at the turn of the 21st century. Central questions considered include how families, labor markets, and states intersect, and whether welfare states' policies ameliorate or reinforce inequalities of gender, race, and class. Prerequisite: SOC 100 and either SOC 211, SOC 212, or SOC 300, or permission of the instructor. (Monson, offered alternate years)
SOC 401 Pro Present This class equips students with a toolkit to finalize independent research and present it professionally at an academic conference. Seniors who are pursuing honors projects, advanced independent studies, or furthering research projects initiated in Research Methods are invited to apply to the instructor for admission. Students will learn how to critique sociological work, strengthen their own arguments, build a professional verbal and visual presentation, field questions from those outside of their area of expertise, and present their work confidently and coherently. This course culminates in a required professional poster presentation at the Eastern Sociological Society annual meeting (or a comparable professional sociological conference) in spring of the same year. Thus, while the course is 1/2 credit, all contact hours occur during the first seven weeks of the semester. (Monson, Sutton, offered annually)
SOC 450 Independent Study Permission of the instructor required. (Offered annually)
SOC 465 Sr Seminar: Research Practicum Prerequisite: Students must have passed with a C- or better two of the three core courses: SOC 211, SOC 212, SOC 300. (Harris, Perkins, offered every spring semester)
SOC 495 Honors Permission of the instructor required. (Offered annually)
SOC 499 Internship in Sociology A minimum of 150 hours of work or practice under the supervision of a sociology faculty adviser. Students are expected to keep a reflective journal and to produce a paper that relates their experience to more general issues in sociology. The length and scope of the paper shall be determined in consultation with the internship faculty adviser. Internship adviser permission is required to take this course, and prior departmental approval is required for any students who wish to repeat SOC 499. Permission of instructor.
Sociology Courses Taught Occasionally
SOC 201 Sociology of International Development
SOC 222 Social Change and the Individual
SOC 228 Social Conflict
SOC 230 The Sociology of Everyday Life
SOC 231 Sociology of Art and Culture
SOC 233 Women and Political Mobilization in the Third World
SOC 240 Gender and Development
SOC 241 Sociology of Sport
SOC 243 Religion, State, and Society in Modern Britain
SOC 248 Medical Sociology
SOC 250 Population Crisis in the Third World
SOC 256 Power and Powerlessness
SOC 257 Political Sociology
SOC 259 Social Movements
SOC 260 The Sociology of Human Nature
SOC 295 Alcohol Use and Abuse
SOC 298 Sociology of Mass Communications
SOC 312 Advanced Quantitative Methods
SOC 325 Moral Sociology and the Good Society
SOC 330 Symbolic Interaction
SOC 331 Sociology of Art and Culture
SOC 340 Feminist Social Theory
SOC 350 Sociology of Knowledge
SOC 380 Totalitarian Society
Note: A number of regularly offered bidisciplinary courses and interdisciplinary program courses carry credit for the Sociology major. Examples include BIDS 214 The Politics of Reproduction, BIDS 229 Two Cities: New York and Toronto, BIDS 245 Men and Masculinity, BIDS 288 White Mythologies, and BIDS 295 Alcohol Use and Abuse. Students are encouraged to see the Bidisciplinary Program offerings and to check with department faculty about such offerings.