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Sociology and Criminal Justice Course Offerings

A listing of offered courses follows with prerequisites.  Please note that some courses do have additional fees associated with them.  The credit value of each course is represented by the number in brackets.

SOC 100, 200, 300, 400 Cooperative Education Program [variable]

Work experience in a public or private organizational setting under the supervision of the co-op faculty coordinator. It is required that the objectives and evaluation criteria be set by a learning contract. Prerequisites: SOC 110, sophomore standing, GPA of 2.5, and approval of co-op coordinator. These prerequisites and SOC 170 for criminal justice majors.

SOC 110 Introduction to Sociology [3]

Surveys main theoretical approaches and problems in the study of social life. Topics include social origins of the self, the basic processes of social interaction, class and stratification, political power, education, organization, and family. Emphasizes continuing interaction between theory and methods in sociology. Required for sociology majors and most advanced sociology courses. Open to juniors and seniors only through permission of instructor.

SOC 113 Contemporary Social Issues [3]

Sociological perspective on the tensions, conflicts, and issues that come to be defined as contemporary social problems presents an analysis of historical, cultural, political background of social conflicts. Several specific issues will be discussed in detail along with a critical evaluation of the social policy formulated to solve our most significant social problems.

SOC 115 Introduction to Social Welfare [3]

This course provides a sociological analysis of the current trends in social welfare. The implementation of health, housing, poverty, and aging policies by federal, state, and local agencies will be analyzed. Careers in social work and applied sociology will be explored.

SOC 130 Cultural Anthropology [3]

Introduction to culture and social institutions through comparative study of non-literate peoples, early civilizations, and modern societies, with illustrations of the applications of the tools of anthropological analysis to various social structures.

SOC 170 Introduction to Criminal Justice [3]

A survey of the social responses to crime and the major social institutions created to control crime. The course introduces the ideologies of crime and crime control; the determination of rates of crime; the structure, operation, and effectiveness of the major criminal justice agencies; and contemporary issues in crime control. The focus of the course is on the United States, but students will be exposed to issues of crime and crime control in other societies.

SOC 205/HIS 205/ JS 205/REL 205 Israel: History and Society [3]

This course examines some of the key issues in the development of Israeli history, culture, society, and the arts. In seeking to create a radical new society, Israelis have created a unique culture that blends traditional Jewish culture in its Middle Eastern, Western European, and Eastern European forms. We study major themes in Zionist and Israeli history and the development of Israeli culture through a focus on the central questions that have both unified and divided Israeli society.

SOC 225/GS 225 Women’s and Gay Rights Social Movements [3]

This course provides a detailed examination of the social struggles for women’s and gay rights in the United States and in various countries across the globe. The main focus of the course is on the specific social conditions and events that precipitated battles for change in various social arenas. The outcomes of specific struggles and the impact they had on the social position of women and gay and lesbian people are analyzed. Prerequisite: GS 100 or SOC 110, or permission of instructor.

SOC 234 Evolution and Human Variation [3]

A study of human evolution from our vertebrate antecedents to the emergence of modern humans. Special attention is given to the foundation of the specific biological features that culminate in humans and create the foundation for culture. Interpretations of the fossil record, relevant to the development of human evolutionary and variability theory, are examined. Emphasis on the interplay of cultural and biological factors in modern humans. Prerequisite: SOC 130 or permission of instructor.

SOC 242 Methods of Social Research [4]

Introduction to widely used quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis in social research. Topics include the issues of sampling, the problems of measurement, the logic of survey design and analysis, secondary data analysis, observational techniques. This course satisfies a writing-intensive requirement when listed as SOC 242W. Required for majors. Prerequisite: SOC 110 or SOC 170.

SOC 254/GS 254 The Sociology of the Family [3]

Comparative study of family institutions, with emphasis on the changing patterns of family relations in the United States. Prerequisite: SOC 110 or GS 100.

SOC 256/AFS 226 The Black Family in American Society [3]

An examination of the black family in American society. This course deals with the black family within the social class structure. Emphasis is placed on the similarities and differences within the various social classes as to family relationships; lifestyles (socialization and childrearing practices); cutting across areas of education, employment, religion, recreation, politics, housing; and attitudes toward prejudice and discrimination. Prerequisite: SOC 110.

SOC 258/AFS 258 The Caribbean American Family [3]

This course examines the diversity of the Caribbean American culture, the impact of colonization and slavery on the family structure, the pattern of migration, culture shock, and other adjustment issues for families; and the implications of these factors for education, politics, and social relations within the Caribbean American communities and their interaction with the host society. Prerequisite: SOC 110 or AFS 110 or 111.

SOC 271 Deviance [3]

This course analyzes the social processes and structural factors that form deviance in society. The course includes the study of how behaviors and attributes come to be defined as deviant as well as how patterns of deviance come to be organized. These topics are linked to the reaction to deviance to outline the relationship between deviance and social order. This course satisfies a writing-intensive requirement when listed as SOC 271W. Prerequisite: SOC 110 or SOC 170.

SOC 273 International Organized Crime [3]

This course examines the development of American and international organized crime syndicates since the 19th century. Emphasis is given to issues and trends in organized crime and law enforcement from 1980 to the present. Prerequisites: SOC 170 and sophomore standing.

SOC 274 Sociological Analysis of Prisons and Corrections [3]

This course is an overview of the U.S. correctional system. It examines the history and current state of corrections. Topics include parole and probation, jails and prisons, and various intermediate sanctioning options. In addition, current critical issues in the field of corrections will be explored, including the current crisis in overcrowding, AIDS in prison, prisoner rights, and the question of what to do with juvenile offenders. Prerequisite: SOC 170.

SOC 277 Policing Society [3]

This course is an overview of the history, function, and organization of police systems in the United States and other countries. Special emphasis is placed on contemporary issues in policing, police organization, and policing strategies, such as women and minorities in policing, community-oriented policing, and the uses of advanced technology in crime control. Prerequisite: SOC 170 or SOC 110.

SOC 278 Drugs and Society [3]

An examination of the social context of drug use. A broad range of drugs, from prescription drugs to tobacco and alcohol to narcotics, is discussed. The course focuses on the history, cross-cultural differences, causal factors, and social consequences of the use of various drugs.

SOC 281/GS 281 Women in Society [3]

An examination of the relationship between women’s roles and status. Issues include integration of women into various institutional sectors, theoretical explanations of sex discrimination and inequality, the female and male sex roles in other cultures, and changing social and structural patterns in contemporary America.

SOC 288/REL 261 Death and Dying [3]

An examination of the phenomenon of death in modern society. Issues include the meaning of death, sociological aspects of death, and institutions that deal with death and dying persons. Prerequisite: SOC 110.

SOC 292 Special Topics in Sociology [3]

Topic varies in accordance with timeliness, needs of the department, and interests of the faculty. Prerequisites vary by topic.

SOC 306/HIS 306/JS 306/POL 376 Archaeology of the Land of Israel [3]

This course provides students with an overview of the chronological and cultural structure of the archaeological periods from the third millennium through the Byzantine period, with emphasis on the Roman and Byzantine eras. The course includes fieldwork in Israel, lectures, workshops on material culture, museum tours, and field trips. Daily field-school instruction is from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. (total: 15 days of excavation). Lectures and workshops take place each afternoon. Beyond these required activities, a primary objective of the course is a research paper to be completed during the spring or summer following the return to the United States. This course is linked to an integrated companion course, Archaeological Field Methods and Material Culture. All students will complete field- and class work for both courses.

SOC 307/HIS 307/JS 307/POL 377 Archaeological Field Methods and Material Culture [3]

This course is an introduction to excavation techniques and material culture. It includes principles of excavation and recording, material culture identification/processing, and field-study tours. Early synagogues and church architecture serve as foci for analysis. This course contains a full introduction to the methodology of Near Eastern archaeology from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age, practical instruction in ceramic typology and Semitic inscriptions, and a survey of Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine society. Daily field-school instruction is from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. (total: 15 days of excavation). Lectures and workshops take place each afternoon. This course is linked to an integrated companion course, Archaeology of the Land of Israel. All students will complete field- and class work for both courses.

SOC 315/GS 315 Sociology of Gender and Sexuality [3]

This course examines gender and sexuality and important social categories. We investigate the ways in which categories of gender and sexuality structure people’s lives and shape people’s identities. Through these examinations, we explore the interconnectedness of people’s experiences of gender and sexuality. We focus on the ways in which gender and sexuality are socially constructed by society. We examine how what we are taught about gender and sexuality affects our identity, relationships with others, and our social status. Prerequisites: GS 100 and SOC 110, or permission of instructor.

SOC 318, 319 Internships [3, 3]

These courses provide the opportunity for qualified junior and senior students to explore their career interests and skills as an integral part of their educational process. Students volunteer eight or 16 hours each week in a chosen agency or organization. Under faculty supervision students complete a reading assignment and a writing project to integrate the practical experiences into their educational program. Placements can be arranged in a variety of public and private organizations. The Department of Sociology maintains a directory of approved placements. Prerequisites: Junior or senior status, GPA of 2.5 for non-majors, and written approval of advisor.

SOC 326/GS 326 Sexuality and Social Conflict [3]

This course examines a variety of ways in which sexuality becomes a focus of social conflict. We explore the questions of why and how some aspects of sexuality are brought into the public sphere. We analyze the social construction of sexuality as a personal and private matter but also as a subject for public concern and social regulation, thereby exploring the connections of gender, race, and class to the conflicts surrounding sexuality. Prerequisites: GS 100 and SOC 110, or permission of instructor.

SOC 327/HIS 368 America in the 1960s [3]

An examination of the social and political developments in the United States from 1960 to 1974, including the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, the civil rights movement, the war on poverty, the origins of the counter-culture, the revolution in the arts, the Vietnam War, the 1968 election and the crisis of liberalism, the Nixon administration, and Watergate. Prerequisite: HIS 100 or HIS 131, or permission of instructor.

SOC 328 Society and the Individual [3]

This course is a sociological analysis of the interrelationships between society, culture, and the individual. It explores in detail several approaches to the impact of social structure and social change on the individual. Prerequisite: SOC 110.

SOC 330/LAH 330 The Law and Forensic Evidence [3]

This course examines how the laws of evidence affect the use of forensic evidence, the role of the judge and jury in evaluating expert forensic testimony, the role of police investigation work in generating forensic evidence, how to ensure that forensic testimony is both reliable and trustworthy, and inconsistencies in the judicial approach to different branches of forensic evidence. Prerequisite: LAH 201 or SOC 110 or SOC 170, or permission of instructor.

SOC 338 Archaeology [3]

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the approaches that anthropologists use to gain knowledge about both the prehistoric and historic past. It is not a course about the prehistory of America but will use examples drawn from the past of both America and Europe to show current archaeological theory and methods. The course considers such topics as methods of survey and excavation, paleoecological analysis of prehistoric and historic settlements. Fieldwork experience usually is incorporated whenever the course is offered during a summer session.

SOC 340 Sociological Theory [3]

This course is organized around a set of issues that is crucial to understanding the role of sociological theory in research. These issues include the cultural context in which ideas develop (sociology of knowledge), the nature and limits of scientific knowledge (epistemology), and the themes of social order and social change implied by the different perspectives. The theories and perspectives examined in this context include structural functionalism, conflict theory, critical theory, symbolic interactionism, phenomenology, ethnomethodology, and some of the new directions and developments in sociological theory. Prerequisite: SOC 110.

SOC 341 Social Research Workshop [4]

An introduction to the use of computers as a vehicle for analyzing data in social research. Students are acquainted with various library programs in the computer services, write their own programs, and use the computer in the analysis of actual research data from the General Social Survey series. Emphasis is placed on moving from ideas to research data and back, and on the writing of reports. The course assumes basic knowledge of research methodology and statistics. The statistical packages MINITAB, SPSS, and BMDP are used extensively throughout the course; hence, some knowledge of the computer and the VAX operating system is required. Prerequisites: CS 110 or CS 114, SOC 242, and SOC 343.

SOC 343/CMM 393 Statistical Analysis [4]

An introductory course in statistics for students in the social and behavioral sciences and the humanities. The course deals primarily with descriptive and associational statistics. Probability and statistical inference are presented but not pursued in depth. This is not a mathematics course but is designed to prepare the student to deal with basic statistical concepts and procedures in relation to social data. Prerequisites: A course in algebra and SOC 242, or permission of instructor.

SOC 351 Sociology of Health and Illness [3]

The relation of illness, both physical and mental, to social organization and social change; differences in seeking treatment and in response to it; the structure and functions of medical services, including the hospital. Prerequisite: SOC 110.

SOC 363 Sociology of the City [3]

Overview of the different approaches to the sociology of cities and urban society. Topics include the origin and evolution of cities, the functions of cities, the problems cities experience, planning strategies, and the future of cities. Prerequisite: SOC 110.

SOC 364 Collective Behavior and Social Movements [3]

Both collective behavior and social movements are examined. The examination of collective behavior focuses on such phenomena as crowds, riots, disasters, and panics. The examination of social movements focuses on the emergence, social significance, membership, ideology, and leadership of historical and contemporary movements. Specific case studies are chosen based on the interests of the class and instructor. Prerequisite: SOC 110.

SOC 366 Work and Leisure [3]

The organization of work (and industry) and leisure in comparative, sociological perspective. Industrialization, mechanization, and automation are examined in relation to social structures, to the human problems of workers and managers, and to the manner in which workers use leisure time. Problems of morale and alienation under alternative social conditions and systems are assessed. The growth and importance of leisure-time activities are emphasized, especially the effect this growth has had on work-related values and the scheduling of work. Prerequisite: SOC 110.

SOC 372/GS 372 Women and Crime [3]

This course examines the social construction of female criminality, historic and contemporary trends in female crime, the place of women in the social organization of crime control, and a sociological analysis of the changing nature and consequences of female criminality in contemporary societies. The course serves as an introduction to a feminist reading of criminological theory. Prerequisites: SOC 170 or SOC 110, and junior or senior standing; or permission of instructor.

SOC 375 Social Control [3]

This course examines the theory and practice of punishment and rehabilitation and the different forms of social organization related to them. It analyzes historical and contemporary forms of social control, ranging from capital punishment and incarceration in total institutions to community supervision and electronic monitoring. The course examines the impact of these efforts on the problems in question and compares them with alternative modes of control. Prerequisite: SOC 110 or SOC 170.

SOC 376 Juvenile Delinquency [3]

Sociocultural analysis of delinquency, with emphasis on behavior patterns, self-conceptions, and societal types. Prerequisite: SOC 110 or SOC 170.

SOC 377 Contemporary Studies in Sociology [3]

Contemporary studies in the areas of social change, social inequality, and social organization. Since the subject matter varies from semester to semester, the course may be taken for credit more than once. Prerequisite: SOC 110.

SOC 378 Studies in Criminal Behavior [3]

Examination of selected issues in the study of criminal behavior, depending on the interests of faculty and students. Since the subject matter varies from semester to semester, the course may be taken for credit more than one time. Prerequisites: SOC 170 and SOC 271.

SOC 379 Studies in Crime Control [3]

Examination of selected issues in the study of crime control, depending on the interests of faculty and students. Since the subject matter varies from semester to semester, the course may be taken for credit more than one time. Prerequisites: SOC 170 and at least sophomore standing.

SOC 382/AFS 352 Race and Ethnic Relations [3]

A sociohistorical analysis of the impact of race and ethnicity on the distribution of power, opportunity, and privilege in a social structure. Major theoretical perspectives on racial and ethnic prejudice and discrimination will be examined along with the diverse patterns of interracial and interethnic contact, which develop in different societies. The course will also focus on the politics of minority status, studying the growth and development of social movements that have challenged the legitimacy of racial and ethnic stratification. Prerequisite: SOC 110 or permission of instructor.

SOC 388 Aging and Society [3]

This course will be an analysis of the structural and institutional aspects of society that affect older persons. Issues such as ageism, organizational support systems, and power will be studied. Focus will be on values as they are manifested toward aging and the elderly, both domestically and cross-culturally. Prerequisite: SOC 110.

SOC 418W Senior Practicum [4]

This course represents the capstone course for sociology majors. Under faculty supervision, students are required to work eight hours a week in a chosen agency or organization in the local community. In a weekly seminar, students are encouraged to apply theories and concepts previously learned in the major to their observations in the field and to produce a final sociological writing project. Prerequisites: Senior sociology major and SOC 242. (Writing intensive course)

SOC 419 Applied Research Internship [3]

This course provides the opportunity for qualified students in the Certificate in Applied Social Research program to explore their career interests and skills as an integral part of their educational process. Students volunteer eight hours each week in a community research agency or organization, or the Center for Social Research. Under faculty supervision, students complete a reading assignment and writing project to integrate the practical experiences into their education program. This internship is reserved for students enrolled in the Applied Research program. Prerequisites: SOC 242 and SOC 343, or their equivalents, and one Foundation course; or permission of instructor.

SOC 420 Social Relations [3]

The focus is on the relationship between the individual and the social world. Various social psychological theories are discussed with an emphasis on sociological concepts and their relevance to individual behavior. Prerequisite: SOC 110 and one Foundation level course, or permission of the instructor.

SOC 424/POL 474 Political Sociology [3]

A sociological examination of power and politics. Particular emphasis is placed on the relationships between the state, economy, and civil society. Topics include the development of the modern state, the impact of globalization on welfare state policies, civic and political participation, and ethnic and racial politics. Prerequisites: SOC 110 or POL 100 or POL 200W, and at least junior-level status.

SOC 425/CMM 425 Popular Culture [3]

The course introduces students to the diverse elements of popular culture as a valuable source of data about the social norms, values, and conflicts of mass societies. Crazes, fads, fashions, and trends are examined in terms of collective behavior and the processes of mass communication to understand their origins, development, and impact on society. Specific case studies of contemporary issues, such as pornography, television and violence, trends in popular music, and sport and leisure, are discussed. Prerequisites: SOC 110 and CMM 110, or CMM 240.

SOC 444 Social Research and Social Policy [3]

This course explores the relationship of social research to society, specifically the emergence of social research as a factor in social policy. There is an examination of policy research as a guide to action in education, welfare, health, and crime. Attention is given to the role of values and ethics in the analysis of data in social policy research. Prerequisites: SOC 242 and SOC 343, or their equivalents; and one Foundation level course; or permission of instructor.

SOC 445 Applied Research Methods [3]

This course guides students through all stages necessary to conduct applied research. The various aspects of design and analysis include sampling, instrument design, initial data preparation, refining data sets, data processing and analysis, as well as an exploration of the ethical issues involved in the research process. The course includes the development, design, and execution of a research study. Basic knowledge of research methods and statistics are assumed. Various statistical packages are used throughout the course; hence, some knowledge of the computer and the VAX operating system is required. Prerequisites: SOC 242 and SOC 343, and one Foundation level course; or their equivalents; or permission of instructor.

SOC 446 Readings in Sociology [1–4]

Student-initiated independent study under the supervision of a faculty member. This course addresses two purposes: the in-depth study of a topic that is not represented in the department’s course offerings, or the completion of a major requirement that cannot be satisfied due to scheduling conflicts. Students must prepare a proposal project, a schedule of meetings with the faculty member, the specific assignments to be completed and a suggested mode of evaluation. This proposal must be approved by the faculty supervisor. Prerequisites: SOC 110 and junior or senior standing.

SOC 456 Social Welfare [3]

An in-depth understanding of social welfare policy. This course includes an analysis of the historical development of the U.S. welfare system, cross-national comparisons with European welfare systems, and the extensive analysis of the current social welfare system in the United States. Prerequisite: SOC 110 and one Foundation level course, or permission of instructor. SOC 460 Social Inequality [3] Social inequalities in wealth, power, and status have been increasing over the last half-century within the United States and in the world as a whole. This course examines the dynamics behind these changes, their consequences for individuals and society, and the degree and causes of social mobility in the United States. Studies of the social inequality in other countries and the globalization process provide an international context for understanding changes within the United States. Prerequisites: SOC 110 and one Foundation level course, or permission of instructor.

SOC 461 Formal Organization and Bureaucracy [3]

This course analyzes large-scale, deliberately established organizations of all kinds from a sociological perspective (e.g., businesses, governmental agencies, universities, prisons, hospitals). Among the topics are theories of bureaucratic organization, patterns of organizational leadership, the effect of organizational structure on members and clients, interorganizational relationships, and informal organizations within bureaucracies. Prerequisite: SOC 242, its equivalent, or permission of instructor.

SOC 463 Social Change [3]

Social change occurs more rapidly each year, but we can cope with it better if we understand its causes. This course focuses on changes over the last 50 years in the United States and the world, then examines future possibilities. Lectures, readings, and videos cover key social trends, social movements and revolutions, globalization, and theories of these change processes and the interconnected contributions of politics, technology, ideas, and the environment. Some practical guidelines for producing social change are included. This course satisfies a writing-intensive requirement when listed as SOC 463W. Prerequisites: SOC 110 and one Foundation level course, or permission of instructor.

SOC 470 Criminology [3]

This course is an in-depth analysis of the sociological factors associated with crime and criminality. The course examines definitions of criminal activity, measures of crime and the organization of criminal behaviors. Major emphasis is on evaluating and refining theories of crime based on research on patterns of violence, business crime, organized crime and theft. The course devotes special attention to changing patterns in crime, such as computer-related offenses. Prerequisites: SOC 170 and SOC 271.

SOC 471 Readings in Criminal Justice [1–4]

Student-initiated independent study under the supervision of a faculty member. This course addresses two purposes: the in-depth study of a topic that is not represented in the department’s course offerings, or the completion of a major requirement that cannot be satisfied due to scheduling conflicts. Students must prepare a proposal project, a schedule of meetings with the faculty member, the specific assignments to be completed and a suggested mode of evaluation. This proposal must be approved by the faculty supervisor. Prerequisites: SOC 170 and junior or senior standing.

SOC 473W Crime, Law, and Administration of Justice [3]

This writing intensive interdisciplinary seminar focuses on major issues of current interest in criminal justice. It examines selected topics from administrative, governmental, and sociological points of view. The course relates theory and research to the practical problems of applying knowledge in criminal justice. Prerequisites: Senior standing and 9 credit hours of criminal justice required courses, or permission of the instructor.

SOC 475 Race, Ethnicity, and Crime [3]

This course examines the role of minorities in the criminal justice system. In particular, the course will examine minorities as victims, offenders, defendants, and prisoners. Students will get an overview of various issues in the criminal justice system as they relate to race. Both historical and contemporary issues will be addressed. Theoretical frameworks will be introduced to help students better understand minority status and its effects on various aspects of the criminal justice system. Prerequisites: SOC 110 or SOC 170, or 9 credits of criminal justice courses, or permission of the instructor

SOC 476 Street Gangs [3]

This course examines street gangs from a sociological, criminological and public safety perspective. The course is designed for students with some familiarity with criminological theory and the focus of the course is on gangs as elements of deindustrialization, alienation and resistance to cultural and economic domination. Prerequisites: SOC 271 or permission of instructor.

SOC 477 Advanced Studies in Sociology [3]

Advanced studies in the areas of social change, social inequality, and social organization. Since the subject matter varies from semester to semester, the course may be taken for credit more than once. Prerequisite: SOC 110 and one Foundation level course, or permission of instructor.

SOC 494, 497, 498, 499 Special Topics in Sociology [1–4]

An exploration in depth of a timely topic of sociological importance by a staff member or visiting sociologist.

Course Catalogs