Sociology Program Courses


For an official and updated listing of courses, please refer to the current academic catalog.

SOC 101-Introduction to Sociology (3)

This course introduces beginning students to the scholarly discipline of sociology. The course provides students with knowledge of the primary orientations in sociology. The course will evaluate how human behavior is shaped by the groups to which we belong and by the social interaction that takes place within those groups. Three major themes will be covered: (1) how self and society are constructed and sustained through the course of life; (2) the symbolic and ritual nature of self and society; and (3) social inequalities with emphasis on issues of power, class, race/ethnicity, and gender. Attention will be given to the importance of Christian involvement in sociology and how this relates to the three major areas of the discipline: social interaction; social concerns; and social institutions.


SOC 204-Introduction to Criminal Justice (3)

This course introduces students to an understanding of the criminal justice system. It focuses on law enforcement, the administration of justice and punishment, and the treatment of criminals. Topics include: functions of the police, crime prevention programs, the prosecutorial and defense functions, judicial administration and decision-making, institutional and community-based corrections, probation, and parole. The course examines the effects of race, ethnicity, social class, and gender differences within the criminal justice system.


SOC 240-Social Theory (3)

This course examines sociology from the points of view of 19th and early 20th century social theorists. Students read original sources by Tocqueville, Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Simmel, Mead, Parsons, and members of the Chicago School. The course focuses on the intellectual, social and political influences on their work, their concepts and systematic frameworks, and the

development of their thought. The courses will examine the relationship of these “classical” theories and empirical works to contemporary theoretical efforts and programs of research.


SOC 241-Marriage and Family (3)

This course examines marriage and family from a sociological perspective. The course will expose students to the many forms that marriages and families have taken in the past and are taking in the present. The course will examine how cultural values, historical context, economic and political changes, and structured relationships of race, class, gender, and age interact and affect marriage relationships. We will also examine the major changes affecting today's families: the changing global economy; the economic wellbeing of families; health, addictions; transracial and international adoptions; racism, gangs, terrorism, war, death and dying. The course will attempt to provide a Christian perspective on the various topics discussed.


SOC 243-Sociology of Adolescence (3)

This course examines from a sociological theory and research perspective the phenomenon of adolescence. Rational choice theory, social learning theory, and attachment theory serve as a basis for understanding current sociological research regarding adolescents.


SOC 250-Sociology of the City (3)

The history and development of American urbanization and its impact on the American social system. Special consideration of New York City with field trips.


SOC 280-The Asian American Experience (3)

This survey highlights past and contemporary experiences of Asian Americas. Based on research on Asians in America, students will use a sociological "eye" to view the historical, socioeconomic, political and cultural contexts that shape Asian America, examining issues including: immigration, community development, political empowerment, labor market status, gender relations, and civil rights.


SOC 310-The Psychology and Sociology of Religion (3)

This course introduces the student to various sociological and psychological approaches to the study of religion, as well as the effects that religion has upon these aspects of human existence. Such topics as the phenomenon of civil religion, attraction to cults, and the psychological aspects of the process of religious conversion will be examined in detail.


SOC 315 – Criminology (3)

This course focuses on the sociological aspects of crime and the sociology of criminal law. Special attention will be paid to the definition, nature, and scope of crime, and delinquency in the United States. The course will include an examination of the nature of criminal law, the variety of theoretical explanations for criminal behavior, the measurement of crime, patterns of crime and the mechanisms for control of criminal behavior.


SOC 316-Social Welfare Institutions (3)

Course provides an analysis of major public and private bureaucratic organizations that provide services to urban citizens. Selected systems (e.g., medical, welfare, legal, and educational) and the political, social, and economic consequences for client populations and professionals are examined.


SOC 317-Crime and Deviance (3)

Historical and current theories of the causes of deviance and crime will be examined. The focus of the course is on the offender, and the factors, circumstances or conditions that influence law-violating behavior. Emphasis will be placed on the ways social structures generate and label deviance. Particular attention will be paid to various social institutions, including the church.


SOC 328-Women in Society (3)

This course explores the changing position of women as a social group, focusing on the contemporary United States. The sexual division of labor in the paid labor market and in the household, the relationship of women to family change and family crisis, the changing role of women in politics, and the changing social construction of female sexuality will be studied.


SOC 330-Work and Family (3)

This course examines the social and demographic changes that have put work and family on the policy agenda, the different strategies used to balance work and family, and the impact of those strategies on women, men, and children. The course will discuss social theories about employment decisions, social change, social norms, and issues of gender and socioeconomic equality.  We conclude with a broad overview of the responses of employers and government to current work-family issues, followed by an in-depth examination of parental leave debates.


SOC 334-International Relief and Development (3)

This course will examine current approaches to international relief and development work. The focus will be on the socio-cultural dimensions of development that shape the process. The course will also examine the role of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in their quest to ease human suffering and improve the quality of life for the world’s poor. The course will review current debates and policy issues in international development. Topics will include: sustainable development, refugees, poverty reduction, foreign aid, disaster relief, rural development, project design and management.


SOC 337-Statistics for Social Science (3)

The basic concepts underlying and calculations used in statistical procedures for analyzing the results of research in the social sciences will be presented. Prerequisite: Any Math course.


SOC 342-Punishment and Corrections (3)

The theoretical approaches to punishment, deterrence, rehabilitation, and treatment within the U.S. correctional system. The course will also cover the administrative and operational components of the corrections system, including jails, prisons, probation, parole, boot camps, and community-based correction programs. Special attention is given to the impact of religious movements historically and currently on the prison movement, and to the ethical, legal, and social issues that must be confronted when the system is expected to bring about social justice to offenders, victims, and society.


SOC 343-Police and Society (3)

An overview of the roles of the police as agents of formal social control. The course will survey the functions and responsibilities of the police at the local, state, and federal level. The course examines the philosophy, history, character, structure, and function of the police role in a democratic society. Topics include; police values and culture, police responsibilities, police organization and structure, police community relations, and crime control.


SOC 345-American Youth Cultures (3)

A study of youth attitudes, beliefs, and lifestyles of the various sub-cultures of young people. Demographic and stratification studies will be done. Significant movements like the culture of the 60’s will be noted.


SOC 346-Social Psychology (3)

This course presents studies of the individual in social and cultural context, with attention given to attitude formation and change; interpersonal influence; person perception; and group dynamics.


SOC 347-Multicultural America (3)

This course deals with the outcome of the long history of cultural diversity in the United States. The various ethnic groups are considered with an emphasis on African-Americans, Asians-Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans, along with various European-American groups. Personal identity and group identity issues will be considered, along with the “stages” of individual development. The complex processes of exclusion and incorporation that have taken place and are now taking place in America will be analyzed. Ordinarily taken by Juniors and Seniors. Check with the department head for exceptions.


SOC 349-Asian Families in America (3)

This course offers an analysis of the diversity of family forms in Asian families. The course will examine Asian family patterns around the following themes: (1) historical influences on the nature of family organization, (2) the influence of socio-economic factors on the family processes, (3) contemporary trends in family structure, and (4) issues facing Asian families in the United States of America.


SOC 352-Political Sociology (3)

The course explores the nature of political power and its distribution in society. The course will examine the dynamic relationship between society and politics and the effects of politics on society. The course will trace the history of the modern nation-state and ordinary recent global trends; explain the growth and changes in citizenship, nationalism, ideology, political culture, elite-mass parties, power, corporatism, and class-status politics; examine political behavior, political psychology, and generational politics. Alternative approaches to changing and transforming power structures will be examined.


SOC 353-Latinos in the United States (3)

A comprehensive study of the social, political, and economic processes affecting Latino groups in the United States. Discussion will focus on the variable adaptations made by Puerto Ricans, Chicanos, Dominicans, Cubans, Colombians, and other Latinos in their migration and settlement within American society.


SOC 354-The African-American Family (3)

An examination of the African-American family from slavery to the present. Discussion of family structures arising from the social organization of slavery and current characteristics of the African-American family.


SOC 355-Social Stratification (3)

Introduction to stratification analysis, theories of class structure and membership, class behavior and mobility.


SOC 356-Economic Sociology (3)

This course introduces students to major themes in economic sociology. The course will examine the economic theories of Marx, Weber, Simmel, Veblen, Pareto, Polanyi, Parsons, Smelser, and Schumpeter. Other topics will include: institutional prerequisites of markets, the nature and limits of rational choice, the social construction of economic behavior, and the role of trust as the basis for exchange.


SOC 357-Social Science Research Methods (3)

The purpose of this course is to develop a student’s ability to use and engage in both qualitative and quantitative research. This course introduces students to the basic principles, logic, and techniques social scientists employ to collect, process, analyze, and critically assess information about human social systems. Key research topics include ethnography, participant observation, survey, experimental design, and the integration of research and practice. The course will examine concepts such as problem formulation, research design, data collection, data analysis, and report preparation. The course also examines ethical issues in the conduct of social research; including informed consent, anonymity, confidentiality, and culturally sensitive research methods.


SOC 359-Working with La Familia: The Latino Family (3)

This course studies the nature of the Latino family as a social institution. We will study the importance, values, and functions of the Latino family. Particular emphasis will be placed on learning effective strategies for working with Latino families.


SOC 360-At-Risk Youth and Gangs (3)

A study of youth attitudes, beliefs, and lifestyles of the various sub-cultures of young people. Demographic and stratification studies will be done. Significant movements like the culture of the 60’s will be noted.


SOC 366-Faith, Politics, and Society (3)

The course will profile and probe the role of religious institutions as a focal point around issues of social and economic justice. The course will analyze the opportunities and dangers involved in the intersection of faith and politics, the relationship between morally based movements and the process of social change. The course will explore the appropriate role of faith and the involvement of faith-based organizations in the public arena. Course content will be examined from socio-political, cultural, and faith perspectives.


SOC 438-Asian Political Economy (3)

The course uses a cross-national approach to analyze alternative interpretations of Asian economic development. The course examines the social, economic, and political institutions in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, China, and India. The course will also examine issues concerning identity, history, culture and prospects for regional integration. Lastly, we will review the relationships between the various states and the role of Asia in the broader international system.


SOC 459-International Relations and Political Economy (3)

This course explores the political, diplomatic and economic problems facing developed, developing and transitional societies by 1) creating an understanding of relations between 3rd world, transitional societies and western countries, 2) examining the resolution of

conflicts arising from globalization of trade and impacts on international business issues & operations, and 3) global trade agreements such as GATT and its international business implications. Prerequisites: BUS 331, BUS 333, BUS 315.


SOC 460-Practicum in Community Development (3)

This course provides students the opportunity to use the methods and ideas of sociology in designing solutions to practical problems faced by communities. Students will be placed with community organizations and agencies where they carry out projects or conduct research on topics of concern to those organizations and agencies. This program allows students to gain community development experience under the direction of an on-site supervisor and participate in seminars on urban studies, research methods, and value perspectives. Class sessions will be devoted to the collective discussion of students’ field notes, journal entries, project summaries,

and field experiences. The instructor, department chairperson, and faculty adviser must approve all proposals. Prerequisites: two sociology courses numbered 200 and above.


SOC 470- Sociology Integrative Seminar (3)

The senior seminar provides students with the opportunity to consolidate the theoretical and substantive knowledge and research skills acquired in many sociology courses. To accomplish this goal, the course revisits the basic principles and practices of sociology, this time in a more holistic and integrative way. It is expected that this seminar will help to sharpen students’ sense of the sociological perspective and the enterprise of doing social research. Students are challenged to synthesize, integrate, and assess what they have learned in sociology and to reflect on the role and contributions of the discipline in understanding current social

issues in a global context. Prerequisites: SOC 344.


SOC 480-Independent Study (1-3)

Independent study in an approved topic in Sociology. Permission of the Department Head and Dean is required.


SOC 490-Sociology Internship (3)

Students are placed in an internship setting related to an area of sociological practice or research. Students also meet regularly in class to discuss their internship experiences and integrate theory with sociological practice. Internship experiences will assist students in integrating previously acquired sociological knowledge and research skills. Class discussions and assignments focus on

relating the internship experiences to a sociological perspective. Applied settings include organizations in the fields of criminal justice, family service, gerontology, social services, and urban planning. Each student will author a project that communicates learning through the internship. The instructor, department chair, the work site supervisor, and the student’s academic adviser must approve internship contracts. Seniors only.