2015-2016 Sociology Courses

SOC 105 Introduction to Sociology, LE (4)
This course provides a comprehensive introduction to sociology by examining the cultural, organizational, and social forces that shape people’s perceptions, actions, and opportunities. Areas of emphasis include the sociological perspective; social inequality; and social roles, groups, and institutions.
SOC 200/300 Special Topics in Sociology (1–4)
The exploration of issues, problems, and innovations in sociology. Provides individual and group experience.
SOC 253 Sociology of the Family, LE (4)
This course explores the modern American family—examining the traditions, roles, functions, representations, changes, and controversies surrounding the social institution of the family.
SOC 305 Social Problems (4)
Focusing on various social problems such as poverty, unemployment, crime, substance abuse,  racism, discrimination, gender inequality, sexual inequality, and global inequality, this course utilizes sociological analysis to examine how social problems are defined and dealt with in the United States and other parts of the world.
SOC 313 Social Theory (4)
This course provides a comprehensive overview of social theory – exploring, contrasting, and critiquing major sociological theorists and theoretical perspectives from their initial introduction in the 19th century through their subsequent developments in the 20th century to their continued relevance in the 21st century. Prerequisite: SOC 105.
SOC 320 Sociology of Popular Culture (4)
This course explores the social implications of popular culture. Focusing on film, television, music, fashion, books, magazines, the Internet, and other forms of entertainment, the course critically examines how popular culture is produced, disseminated, consumed, interpreted, and experienced in the United States.
SOC 330 Sports and Society (4)
This course explores sports as a significant cultural, political, and economic force in American society. Focusing on both established and alternative sports, the course incorporates a sociological perspective to critically examine how sports are organized, played, experienced, observed, perceived, and critiqued in the United States.
SOC 342 Sociology of the Life Course (4)
This course examines the life course using a sociological perspective. We will examine the social processes associated with the life course, connecting experiences of cohort, generation, and aging to larger social and historical processes.
SOC 345 Sociology of Sexuality (4)
This course examines sexuality from an historical, social, and interpersonal perspective. Students will study the history of sexuality research in the United States along with the major sexual revolutions. The sociological perspective will be used to understand contemporary issues around sexuality, including transgender rights, sexual orientations, modern-day sexual scripts, the sexual double standard, and the medicalization of sexuality.
SOC 350 Gender in Society (4)
This course examines gender from institutional, interactional, and individual level perspectives. We will cover a brief history of the women’s movement and its implications within the United States. A sociological perspective will be used to understand contemporary gender issues, including the social construction of gender, the intersection of work and family, the social construction of masculinity and femininity, and gendered relationships.
SOC 355 Sociology of Inequality                               (4)
Exploring the economic, cultural, political, and social contexts that contribute to social inequality, this course examines the causes and consequences of social inequality from multiple sociological perspectives, as well as the social actions, theories, policies, and practices that serve to question, challenge, and combat social inequality.
SOC 360 Sociology of Migration                             (4)
Focusing on the causes, consequences, and controversies associated with migration and immigration, this course examines the cultural, social, economic, global, political, and historical implications of large movements of people across and within national borders; the development and implementation of public policies and services meant to address these large movements of people; and the individual and collective experiences, contributions, struggles, and accomplishments of immigrants and refugees in new lands, settings, and cultures.
SOC 365 Social Movements                                     (4)
This course explores the social conditions that give rise to social movements, looking at how these movements are organized, maintained, challenged, altered, and/or co-opted. Examples of past social movements that led to reformative or transformative social change will be examined including, among others, the Civil Rights Movement, Women’s Movement, Gay Rights Movement, and Environmental Movement, along with more recent, contemporary social movements such as the Tea Party Movement and the Occupy Wall Street Movement.
SOC 370 Social Work (4)
This course is designed for students who are interested in learning about or pursuing a career in social work. Providing a comprehensive overview of the profession, the course will introduce students to social work theories, goals, values, ethics, skills, practices, services, and challenges.
SOC 372 Race, Ethnicity, and Class (4)
This course explores race, ethnicity, and social class from a sociological perspective. Many people believe that American society is “color-blind” and equal opportunities exist for all. Challenging this assumption by focusing on the continuing significance of race, ethnicity, and class in America, this course examines how historical discrimination has led to large gaps in income, wealth, educational opportunities, and health outcomes, as well as how these disparities continue to be re-created and reproduced in everyday life.
SOC 375 Social Welfare Policy (4)
This course examines the United States’ response to the needs of the poor, disenfranchised, discriminated, and/or oppressed people of this country. Students will explore the cultural values and attitudes, as well as the economic and political dynamics that shape social welfare policies and programs in the United States.
SOC 390 Social Research Methods (4)
This course provides a comprehensive introduction to research methods including research design, data collection techniques, and methods of analysis. Focusing on both quantitative and qualitative research methods, students will develop the ability to critically evaluate different types of social research, as well as to conceptualize and design their own research project. Prerequisites: MATH 150.
SOC 395 Applied Sociology (4)
This course uses sociological theory and research methods to explore real-world social applications. Students will work with a community organization on a particular social issue with some practical outcome in mind. This course will allow students to gain a greater understanding of how sociological concepts, theory, methods, and findings are used in practice.
SOC 400 Seminar in Sociology (4)
Informal group experience for advanced students to explore issues, problems, and innovations in sociology. Prerequisite: senior standing or consent of instructor.
SOC 401 Directed Studies (1–4)
A tutorial-based course used only for student-initiated proposals for intensive individual study of topics not otherwise offered in the Sociology Program. Prerequisite: consent of instructor and school dean.
SOC 440 Internship (1–4)
Offers students the opportunity to integrate classroom knowledge with practical experience. Prerequisites: junior or senior standing (for transfer students, at least 15 hours completed at Westminster or permission of instructor), minimum 2.5 GPA, and consent of program director and Career Center internship coordinator.
SOC 470 Senior Thesis (4)
All sociology majors will produce a senior thesis that examines a sociological topic and/or phenomenon through original research, secondary analysis, and/or theoretical exploration. As part of their senior thesis, all sociology majors will participate in a senior thesis seminar (or a senior thesis directed study) in which they critically share their thesis work with their fellow students and/or thesis advisor. All majors signing up for the thesis must have completed SOC 390 (after having first completed MATH 150 as a prerequisite). To take the thesis, all students must have senior standing, a declared major in sociology, and consent of the instructor.
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