A smiling female student drips a chemical into a vial.A smiling female student drips a chemical into a vial.


SOC100 - Prin of Sociology

This survey course permits students to explore the rich variety of topics studied by sociologists. Central to all the topics are the structures and processes of human interaction. Emphasis is placed on the relationship of natural and social factors in human behavior. Attention also is given to topics such as the meaning and function of culture; the origin, function and characteristics of social institutions; and the genesis and nature of social pathology. Sociologists investigate groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts. It is an expanding field whose potential is increasingly tapped by those who craft policies and create and evaluate programs. Sociology is an active science: The concepts, theories, and research methods of sociology can be used in practical, concrete ways to create a better world, or simply a better corner of the world. (3 crs.)

SOC205 - Contemp Soc Prob

This course encourages students to think critically and scientifically about a broad array of social problems that affect people throughout the world. These social problems, to name only a few, include those that concern inequality, conflict, and environmental issues. As we study these problems (e.g., assessing how extensive they are, what causes them, possible solutions and their implementation) we must go further than mere description and opinion-based analysis and reach a point where we understand them scientifically and can communicate this understanding to others. Our sociological understanding of social problems will be enhanced by our ability to apply the discipline’s theoretical perspectives to them. Social issues of popular concern in America today, such as poverty, ecology, violence and homosexual rights, are discussed and analyzed from a sociological perspective. Attention is not only given to the content of the issues, but also to the place of statistics in data reporting and analysis; the objective data used in support of interest group claims; and the use of various theoretical schemes in providing alternative explanations for each issue being a social problem. (3 crs.)

SOC210 - Social Stratification

Students examine three dimensions of social inequality: social class, social status and power. Students will also examine the implications of the distribution of class, status and power in American society. Prerequisite: SOC 100.or permission of the instructor. (3 crs.)

SOC211 - Collective Behavior

This course is a descriptive and analytical inquiry into the relatively unstructured social responses to social change. War resistance movements, militia movements, stock market panics, popular fads and crazes are among the topics considered. Attention is given to the processes, emergent structures and theoretical explanations associated with various types of collective behavior. Prerequisite: SOC 100 or permission of the instructor. (3 crs.)

SOC225 - Sociology Of Aging

Theoretical and research methodological issues in the sociological study of human aging are considered. Special emphasis is placed upon the interaction of pertinent biological and sociological variables as they relate to a variety of topics, including work, retirement, leisure, institutionalization and death. Prerequisite: SOC 100 or permission of the instructor (3 crs.)

SOC240 - Social Institutions

Designed as a descriptive study of the basic institutions of society (particularly family, religion, economic, government and education), the course uses a cross-cultural and comparative perspective. American institutions form the core of the comparative analysis. Prerequisite: SOC 100 or permission of the instructor. (3 crs.)

SOC290 - Gender And Work

This course examines the gendered nature of paid and unpaid work from a socio-historical and comparative perspective. Students will explore the forms and varieties of gendered work in the developed and developing countries with an emphasis on how concepts of masculinity and femininity influence the organizational structure, occupational categories and job tasks associated with formal and informal work arrangements. (3 crs.)

SOC300 - Sociology of Deviance

This course discusses the various forms of deviant behavior, public responses to such behavior and the causes of such behavior. Particular attention is given to the interactive processes that result in behavior being labeled as deviant. How the criminal justice system copes with deviant behavior also is considered. (3 crs.)

SOC309 - Sociology Of Sport

This course is an examination of sport as a social institution in America. Students will address controversies and issues regarding the development of sport at all levels of formality and organization. Sport as a social institution will be analyzed from the primary theoretical orientations of the discipline, namely the functionalist, interactionist and conflict approaches. (3 crs.)

SOC311 - Sociology Of Crime

This course is designed to give the student a brief overview of crime and criminality and to enable the student to understand the relationship between administrative structure of the criminal justice system and crime causation. Included in this course is a description and analysis of various types of criminal behavior, the epidemiology of crime in the United States, the social basis of law and major etiological forces responsible for law breaking. (3 crs.)

SOC312 - Sociology of Organizations

Sociologists have long documented that social life involves interaction with both informal and formal institutions. As such, human interaction with organizations forms the basis for this course study. Examples of these organizations include: churches, workplaces, universities, governments and communities in addition to primary group interaction. Throughout the semester, students will develop an understanding of organizational structure, influence, and empowerment. Activities and assignments during the semester will provide structured opportunities for the student to explore the sociological literature on organizations in contemporary society and to apply that knowledge critically. Specifically, the course material will engage the student with the concepts and tools necessary to analyze the physical and social structures of organizations, technology in organizations, organizational environments and cultural influence on organizations. Cultural focus will explain concepts of power, control, and conflict within organizations while enabling the student to become proficient in organizational competency as it relates to the group process. A variety of theoretical frameworks will be investigated in order to investigate multiple perspectives on any given issue. (3 crs.)

SOC315 - Social Minorities

Students will analyze the dynamics of social minority status specific to ethnicity, racial classification, gender, disability, and sexual orientation, and how minority status is socially constructed. Students will also examine societal responses to minority status and attempts to change this status. Finally, students will select one minority group in another country and compare it to one in the United States. Historically, every group of immigrants to the U.S. that did not come from England has experienced some degree of exclusion, discrimination, or racism that temporarily (or permanently) transformed them into “minorities.” This course examines the racial and ethnic experiences of those groups (and various other minority groups that are based in sex and gender, social class, sexual orientation, and disability) to see how their experiences have shaped and changed U.S. society. We will start by examining how we construct these categories of difference, then go on to how difference is experienced, what difference means, and finally how we might bridge these differences. Interspersed throughout these academic readings, we will read an urban ethnography that examines race relations in Philadelphia in order to practice applying our sociological concepts to a real-world setting. Students who take this course should gain a much better understanding of why various minority groups act as they do, allowing them to live and work effectively in different multicultural environments. (3 crs.)

SOC316 - Urban Sociology

This course is an introduction to urban sociology with a focus on urban social problems. Topics covered include classic urban sociological theories, post-industrial urban economies, urban social networks, suburbanization, segregation, poverty, crime, subcultures, schooling, and public policy. Classes will be mostly discussion with occasional short lectures. The course will focus on U.S. cities with selected comparisons to Western Europe. (3 crs.)

SOC317 - Substance Use and Abuse

This course is about the sociology of substance use and abuse, as well as the approaches for treatment. Special emphasis is given to alcohol and the more commonly abused drugs (e.g., nicotine, marijuana, cocaine). The course focuses on the social processes that influence substance abuse and the societal costs and consequences. (3 crs.)

SOC320 - Trans Ntl Women Movement

In this discussion-centered examination of women’s movements throughout the world, students will analyze contemporary movements utilizing a case study approach. The course begins with an analysis of the contemporary movement in the United States and then follows selected movements in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America. (3 crs.)

SOC325 - Sociology Of The Family

This course explores the family in the United States from both theoretical and personal perspectives. Multiple sociological theoretical perspectives on the family will be examined. Students will explore primary issues most families encounter, such as choices about partnering, having children, stresses and crises, multigenerational/multi-identity perspective, aging, work and family, limitations of public policy, and many more. A multicultural/multi-identity perspective is used for analysis in the course. (3 crs.)

SOC330 - Religion as a Social Phenomenon

The course is a descriptive and analytical scientific study of religious phenomena. Although the course focuses on religion in American society, it uses a comparative approach to understand the nature, forms and functions of religion in society. Prerequisite: SOC 100 or permission of the instructor. (3 crs.)

SOC377 - Modern Freedom Movements

This course surveys selected freedom movements of the 20th century from the perspective of social movement theory. Each freedom movement is evaluated in terms of its goals, leaders, strategies, and success or failure in bringing about social change. Each movement is also evaluated in terms of what it contributes to social movement theory. (3 crs.)

SOC378 - Charismatic Leaders

This course examines the nature of the relationship between charismatic leaders and their followers. Charismatic leaders are selected from a wide variety of religious, social, economic and political contexts for study. Each leader is evaluated in terms of his/her charismatic qualities and success or failure in bringing about stated goals. Each leader is also evaluated in terms of his/her contribution to the concepts and theories of charismatic leadership. (3 crs.)

SOC379 - Special Problems in Sociology

This course is offered when a topic germane to society arises and is discussed and agreed upon by the sociology faculty. (Variable crs.)

SOC395 - Soc Elite Deviance

This course examines the concept of elite deviance from various sociological perspectives and isolates the structural aspects of political and economic systems as they relate to deviant behavior. Multiple examples of elite deviance will be identified including: political corruption, environmental pollution, organized crime, trafficking, insider trading, and other criminal acts which are by nature relegated to those in positions of power. (3 crs.)

SOC410 - Sociological Theory

This course considers the historical development of sociological theory as well as how theories are constructed and used to explain social phenomena. Special attention is given to understanding and analysis of classical and contemporary theorists including: Comte, Durkheim, Marx, Weber, Simmel, and the Chicago School Theorists. The student will illustrate proficiency in the critical analysis of theories by comparing and contrasting them to various social conditions and problems. Prerequisites: SOC 100 and ENG 101. (3 crs.)

SOC411 - Symbolic Interaction

This course offers an in-depth study of one of the three major theoretical perspectives in sociology. We will examine the breadth and depth of this perspective, its major theorists and concepts. Students will keep personal journals with observations and analyses of everyday life, review and assess relevant academic literature, and evaluate the new directions this perspective is taking. We will apply the symbolic interactionist perspective to popular films and will also consider symbolic interactionism’s relationship with social psychology. Students will compose a research design for an applied sociological study that integrates the symbolic interactionist approach and has the potential to lead to positive social change. (3 crs.)

SOC415 - Social Science Research Methods

This course is designed to develop the technical and analytical skills necessary for conducting social science research. Upon completion of this course, students will develop the fundamental skills necessary to develop a research project using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Students will apply skills in framing research questions and appropriate methodology and will also differentiate between various types of statistical analyses intended to assess and evaluate research data. As such, students will justify the reliability and validity of their research and support that in comprehensive research projects. Prerequisites: SOC 100 and ENG 101. (3 crs.)

SOC417 - Field Research Methods

This is an advanced research methods course that emphasizes the process of gathering ethnographic data and writing an ethnographic report. Ethnography is an approach to research that enables researchers to look at the social world through the eyes of their informants and requires students to use inductive thinking and reasoning skills. The primary methods used are field interviewing and participant observation: the basic field methodologies of qualitative researchers in anthropology and sociology. Students study a micro-culture of their own choosing throughout the semester then prepare a written report and deliver an oral report on the major findings. (3 crs.)

SOC420 - Applied Sociology

This course focuses on the applied aspects of sociology and is intended for sociology majors in the applied concentration. Students will learn to apply the concepts, theories and methods of sociology to better the human condition. Problem-solving techniques, research applications and conflict resolution strategies will be used to examine issues in nongovernmental organizations, businesses, government, social-service and social-movement organizations. (3 crs.)

SOC425 - Evaluation Research

This course is designed for students who have selected the applied program in sociology. The course provides an overview of program evaluation research, i.e., needs assessment, formative evaluations, process evaluations and outcome evaluations. Students will carry out a mock program evaluation as part of their course requirements. (3 crs.)

SOC429 - Sociology Internship

This Special Experience Course provides students with opportunities to demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills developed through both the discipline of Sociology and the General Education Program. This course is characterized by reflective thinking and the ability to synthesize information and ideas, to integrate knowledge, and to express ideas acquired throughout the college experience. This course emphasizes the overall general education experience by emphasizing ethics, values and norms, and multicultural awareness as broadly defined. Designed to supplement the classroom studies of sociology majors with practical field experience, internships provide students not only with additional knowledge and skills, but with the opportunity to apply what was learned previously to onsite situations. Internships are intended to develop the major’s professional competencies in observational, analytical and research skills. Prerequisites: SOC 100. (3 crs.)

SOC495 - Seminar in Sociology

The capstone course for sociology majors, this seminar will center around a current theme in sociology. Students will be expected to demonstrate the use of major concepts, methods and theories in analyzing the theme. Prerequisite: Sociology major with junior or senior status. (3 crs.)