Department Chair

Course Descriptions

Sociology Courses

There are no prerequisites for SOCI—101 through SOCI—190.

SOCI—101. The Sociological Perspective (theme varies) 3 credits

An introduction to the basic principles and perspectives of sociology through examination of a social theme selected by the instructor. Themes reflect a particular intellectual interest or focus of research of the faculty member. Examples of potential themes include but are not limited to: global warming, business and corporate social responsibility, race and racism, sex and gender, hate groups, the 1960s, social problems, state and democracy, civic engagement, health and illness, and so forth. (ATTR: ARTS, CAS, CDS)


SOCI—120. Global Social Problems  3 credits

The study of those socially constructed institutions, beliefs, and conditions that result in differential outcomes within various populations in countries around the world. The course employs appropriate sociological theories and methodologies as it addresses not only the cause of social problems, but also their interrelationship with other problems as well as possible solutions. (ATTR: AMSB, ARTS, FSSY, LSRG, CDS)


SOCI—130. The Family  3 credits

This course will introduce students to the sociological concepts and issues within contemporary family sociology.  The intersections between the family and other social institutions will be a central component of this course.  Diversity of families will be another central foundation for this course.  Issues of privilege and inequality will be explored, as well as social justice as it pertains to families. (ATTR: AMSB, ARTS, LSRG, CDS, WSTU)


SOCI—140. Cultural Anthropology  3 credits

A study of humankind, its primate background, evolution, and earliest appearance. The meaning of culture, its growth and development with a cross-cultural investigation of family type, kinship organization, life cycle,

subsistence pattern, human ecology, and cultural change will be pursued. (ATTR: ARTS, CAS, GLST, LSRG, MCCP, CDS)


SOCI—150. American Indians  3 credits

A study of the impact of European intrusion on the history and culture of the American Indians. Consideration will be given to the relationship between the Indian peoples and the United States government and the consequences of its policies as well as the Indians’ efforts to maintain their cultural identity. (ATTR: ARTS, AMSB, LSRG, MULT)


SOCI—160. Environment and Society  3 credits

An introduction to the social aspects of environmental problems and solutions. It examines the ways in which social institutions and lifestyles lead to

environmental deterioration. It also looks at the consequences of environmental decay for human health and well-being. It examines efforts to preserve the natural environment through the Environmental Movement, drives to save particular ecosystems, and changes in thinking about environmental issues. Same as ENVA—140. (ATTR: ARTS, GLST, LSRG)

SOCI—170. Popular Cultures  3 credits

The course examines the political economy of popular culture, studying the workings of domination and transgression in popular culture and everyday life.  The sociological study of popular culture includes the deconstruction of youth sub-cultures, fashion, music, mass media, amusement parks, advertising, entertainment, and leisure.  Students explore not only image and representation but popular culture as everyday social practices.  Central to sociology’s study of popular culture are social movements, deviance, and social deconstruction.  Curriculum and assignments examine both cultural production and consumption.  (ATTR: ARTS, LSRG)

SOCI—180. Area Studies  3 credits

This course surveys the cultures and societies of a specified region of the world (Asia, South Asia, Africa, the Middle East, South American, the Caribbean, Australia, etc.).  It covers the major institutional sectors (such as family, education, religion, politics, etc.) and social processes (such as urbanization and economic development).  It also examines internal and external forces of social change in these societies.  May be taken more than once with different content. (ATTR: ARTS, ISP, LSRG, MULT)


SOCI—190. Crime and Justice  3 credits

This course will examine various components of the Criminal Justice System:  law enforcement, courts, and corrections.  Students will adopt a critical approach to the understanding of crime and justice in America by looking at the intersection between race, class, and gender. (ATTR: ARTS, LSRG) .


SOCI—210. Race and Ethnic Relations  3 credits

A critical examination of the relations of racial, ethnic, and religious groups in modern societies. This course will explore the implications of these relationships in regards to wealth, power, and social status. It also will cover problem areas such as prejudice, discrimination, and racism. (ATTR: AMSB, ARTS, MCCP)


SOCI—220. People, Protest, Social Movements  3 credits

A sociological approach of contemporary social movements with particular emphasis on grass-roots civic movements and their role in social change.  An examination of current empirical and theoretical issues in the study of social movements and the political, organizational, cultural, economic, and other factors that shape emergence, development, and participation in social movements.(ATTR: ARTS, FSSY)


SOCI—230. Gender, Power, and Society  3 credits

Critical analysis of the social construction of gender and its intersections with other relations of power, such as race, class, and sexuality.  Examining issues of gender and power in a transnational context.(ATTR: ARTS, WSTU)


SOCI—240. Growing Older in a Global Environment  3 credits

Using the aging process in the United States as a beginning point, this course transcends national borders to explore aging in a variety of nations, delineated primarily by their economic level of development.  Aging populations in these countries are examined on a multiplicity of levels that include demographic changes, health characteristics, family relationships as well as the economic and political implications of this process on the larger society.(ATTR: ARTS, GLST, HSMR, SYUR, SGLB)


SOCI—260. Deviance  3 credits

An examination of the nature of deviance, the dominant theories for explaining deviant behavior, and the implications of these theories for its control. Several examples of deviance will be discussed, with emphasis on the social factors related to their occurrence and the utility of various theories in their explanation.. (ATTR: ARTS, LSRG)

SOCI—280. Childhood 3 credits

A study of the status of the child, from the beginning of life to the twelfth year inclusive. The interaction of children with social institutions such as family, school, religion, economics, etc. will be investigated, as well as certain problems of childhood in contemporary America, with cross-cultural comparisons. (ATTR: ARTS)


SOCI—290 Visual Sociology and Anthropology 3 credits

This course is about what is seen and how we see by focusing on the power of visual representation.  The course examines the production, circulation, and interpretation of the visual to reveal aspects of society operating on both the individual, social group/organizational, societal, and global scales.  Substantive questions are explored through individual and group projects engaged in social documentation (photography, video, and multimedia online).  The course may visit the New York State Museum, examine urban spaces, advertisement, and watch ethnographic film.  (ATTR:  ARTS)


SOCI—300. Political Sociology  3 credits

The course will examine the theoretical and ideological debates related to power, state, civil society, nationalism, democratization, and globalization. Students will also examine social identities like class, race, gender, sexuality, and religion and their intersection with various political institutions.

Prerequisite: SOCI-101 or SOCI-120 or SOCI-130. (ATTR: ARTS, SGLB, SYUR).


SOCI—304. Research Methods I  3 credits

An introduction to the processes and techniques of social research, including instruction in hypothesis formation, measurement, questionnaire construction, sampling, survey research and participant observation. A proposal which demonstrates a student’s ability to construct a research design is required.  SOCI—101 or SOCI—120 or SOCI—130. (ATTR: ARTS)

SOCI—306. Research Methods II  3 credits

This course will examine basic techniques for collecting, interpreting, and analyzing qualitative data.  Research strategies like ethnography, narrative analysis, text or discourse analysis, visual analysis, case study, grounded theory, oral/life history, focus groups, etc. will be examined.  Students will be required to do a project that will be based on qualitative methodology.  Students will also address issues of ethical responsibility while conducting qualitative research.  Prerequisite: SOCI—101 or SOCI—120 or SOCI—130  and SOCI—304.



SOCI—310. Theories of Criminology  3 credits

This course traces the historical development of major schools of thought in criminology (Classical Theory to more recent theories in feminist criminology and postmodern criminology).  Emphasis will be placed on student’s ability to critically analyze these theories and their underlying assumptions. 

Prerequisite: SOCI—101 or SOCI—120 or SOCI—130. (ATTR: ARTS)


SOCI—320. Global Cities  3 credits

Examination of the sociological character of cities, approaches to studying cities and urbanization, and social problems unique to cities.  Analysis of urban growth/decline, global social/political/economic forces on cities,

and the variety of urban social environments.  Examination of social organization, culture, power, planning and governance, and the future of the global city.

Prerequisite: SOCI—101 or SOCI—120 or SOCI—130. (ATTR: ARTS, SYUR, SGLB)


SOCI—330. Sociology of Organizations and Work  3 credits

The study of formal organizations in a comparative framework. The course will examine the social causes of the development of formal organizations, analyze the internal structure of some types of formal organizations such as corporations, government agencies, hospitals, and universities, and look at the impact of that structure on the achievement of individual, organizational, and societal goals. Prerequisite: SOCI—101 or SOCI—120 or SOCI— 130. (ATTR: ARTS, SYUR)


SOCI—350. Wealth and Power in Contemporary Society 3 credits

This course examines the social mechanisms through which power, wealth, and prestige are distributed in contemporary societies with special attention to such major determinants as race, sex, property, and occupation. Some time will be spent on the consequences of the class structure for lifestyle. The course also examines rates and patterns of social mobility in modern societies. Prerequisite: SOCI—101 or SOCI—120 or SOCI—130. (ATTR: ARTS, FSSY, SYUR)


SOCI—360. The Social Impact of the Mass Media  3 credits

This course is a sociological examination of media communication, production, and text/content.  Media institutions and uses are important aspects of the social experience and ways of knowing our histories and social positions in society.  This course combines theory and practice.  In this course we integrate critical approaches on media as culture and industries with student projects that take on media production in audio, visual, and digital communications technologies.  The course examines the often unequal social relations embedded in how

we access media, negotiate the meaning behind media messages, interact with media, use media, and dispose of toxic technological hardware.

Prerequisite: SOCI—101 or SOCI—120 or SOCI—130. (ATTR: ARTS, SGLB)

SOCI—370. Health and Illness  3 credits

This course provides the intellectual foundation upon which the social characteristics and implications of health and health care are understood in the United States and other industrialized nations.  This foundation is based

on an analysis of key social factors and actors including health and illness behavior, the sick role, mental illness, physicians, nurses, alternative practitioners and practices as well as the role of the hospital and medical

terminology. Prerequisite: SOCI—101 or SOCI—120 or SOCI—130. (ATTR: ARTS, GLST, HSMR, SYUR)


SOCI- 375  Health Care in the Developed World 

This course examines health care systems, their policies and outcomes throughout the developed world. The delivery of care, organizational structure, the impact of political and economic characteristics as well as health

outcomes within populations provide the framework within which health systems are analyzed. In addition, the impact of health care policies on the larger society as well as emerging trends and problems are explored. (ATTR: ARTS, GLST).

SOCI—376. Health Care in the Developing World  3 credits

Beginning with the two developing countries (China and India) that together represent forty percent of the world’s population, this course takes students beyond the confines of allopathic medicine and into a world where traditional medicine and its practitioners provide health care to the general population.  A significant component of the course explores the increasing interface between traditional forms of health care and allopathic medicine and the wide-ranging economic, political, and social realities that fragment populations and

the impact of these realities on health and health outcomes. Prereq: SOCI-101 or 120 or 130. (ATTR: ARTS, GLST, SGLB). 


SOCI—380. Population Problems  3 credits

A study of population trends across the world. The course will be organized around three basic variables: fertility, mortality, and migration. Prerequisite: SOCI—101 or SOCI—120 or SOCI—130. (ATTR: ARTS, GLST, SYUR, SGLB)


SOCI—385. Topics in Sociology  3 credits

This course concentrates on one area of sociological research or theory not covered in regular course offerings.  May be taken more than once with different content.  Consult Fall and Spring schedules for specific topics. 

Prerequisites: SOCI—101 or SOCI—120 or SOCI—130 (ATTR:  ARTS, SGLB)


SOCI—390. Social Theory Seminar  3 credits

An analysis of sociological thought with an emphasis on those theorists and concepts that have had great impact on modern sociological theory and research. (ATTR: ARTS)


SOCI—400 (new number 390) through SOCI—499 require junior or senior status and nine credits from SOCI—201 (new number 304) through SOCI— 385, or consent of the instructor.


The senior thesis is a part of the 1-year capstone sequence. Students will write a research paper, 25-30 pages in length, addressing an area of special interest to the students. The paper will be based on original scholarly work, data collection, or an internship field study. Students should have their thesis topic selected during the fall semester of their senior year in SOCI 490 (Senior Capstone Seminar). 

Prerequisites:  Senior standing (90 hours)

SOCI 101/ SOCI 120/SOCI 130/ SOCI 140 and SOCI 304, SOCI 306, SOCI 390, SOCI 490.


***SOCI—470. Practicum in Sociological Research  3 credits

This course is designed to give the student experience in doing research by working in a professional research project being carried out by the instructor. Depending on the particular project, the student may acquire skills in

sampling research design, data collection and measurement, data analysis, and research report writing. (ATTR: ARTS)


SOCI—480. Internship in Sociology  3 credits

This course provides field experience in community service agencies, research organizations, advocacy groups and business firms. The student will work for at least ten hours per week under the direction of a professional supervisor in the sponsoring organization. In addition, the student will meet periodically with a member of the Sociology Department faculty and will prepare a written report at the end of the internship. Only seniors and juniors with a grade point average of at least 2.75 will be eligible. No student can enroll for more than two

internships during his or her college career. Prerequisites: 12 credits in Sociology and permission of the supervising faculty member. (ATTR: ARTS, INT)

Internship application may be found in Appendix B.


SOCI—490. Seminar in Sociology  3 credits

A special topic will be selected for intensive study and discussion. Consult fall and spring schedules for specific information. May be taken more than once with different content.  (ATTR: ARTS)


SOCI—495.  Senior Capstone Thesis  3 credits

The senior thesis is a part of the 1-year capstone sequence. Students will write a research paper, 25-30 pages in length, addressing an area of special interest to the students. The paper will be based on original scholarly work, data collection, or an internship field study. Students should have their thesis topic selected during the fall semester of their senior year in SOCI 490 (senior capstone seminar).  Prerequisites:  Senior standing (90 hours)

SOCI 101, SOCI 120, SOCI 130, SOCI 140 and SOCI 304, SOCI 306, SOCI 390, SOCI 490. (ATTR: ARTS) 


SOCI—499. Independent Study  1 - 3 credits


Qualified students are encouraged to undertake an independent study project in their junior or senior year. Such a project requires the approval of the faculty member supervising the project and the department head. The student qualifies for his or her grade and credits by the submission of a satisfactory written report. When appropriate, an examination may be required. Students are limited to no more than one independent study project in any academic year. (ATTR: ARTS)