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Sociology

Introduction to Sociology
Sociology 100 Oyogoa
3 credits
This course is an introduction to sociology as a way of understanding the world. Sociology is a field of study that explains social, political, and economic phenomena in terms of social structures, social forces, and group relations. Students will be introduced to the field by focusing on several important sociological topics, including socialization, culture, the social construction of knowledge, class and gender inequality, race and ethnic relations, poverty, and political sociology. Students will leave this course with: An understanding of the three main sociological perspectives; an understanding of several important sociological theories; the ability to apply these perspectives and theories to contemporary social problems; insight into the critical link between social structures, social forces and individual circumstances; and insight into how you shape society and how society shapes you. Additional topics covered in the course include (but are not limited to) sociological research methods, the mass media, deviance and social control, the family and intimate relationships, religion, education, the economy and work, health and medicine, urbanization, the environment, globalization, and social change. No prerequisites.
This course is generally offered once a year.
Race, Ethnicity, Class, and Gender
Sociology 115 CP Oyogoa
3 credits
This course examines the “socially-constructed” nature of race, ethnicity, and gender by focusing on historical and contemporary articulations of race, ethnicity, class, and gender as they relate to social outcomes. Students will explore the evolution of these categories, namely how and why they were created, and how they have changed over time. Also, students will learn about racial and ethnic discrimination in housing, employment, banking, the criminal justice system, and other institutions. Students will also examine the history of gender inequality in American society. Contemporary articulations of gender inequality will be examined in the labor market, unpaid labor in the home, U.S. childcare policy, popular culture, and in interpersonal relationships. Additionally, this course also examines the structural causes of class inequality. Students will be exposed to the various competing theoretical perspectives regarding why we have poverty in the U.S. and explore how changes in the structure of the nation’s political economy have increased class inequality while creating the “middle class squeeze.” The class will also discuss the “financial elite” and their role in shaping policies that exacerbate class inequality. No prerequisites.
Last taught S11.
Sociology of the Family
Sociology 226 Oyogoa
3 credits
This course examines the institution of family in the United States from a sociological perspective. The sociological perspective does not assume that there is an “ideal” family structure. Rather, sociologists focus on the ways in which the family is a socially constructed institution that varies across time and place. We will explore how larger social forces shape how we define, organize, and experience family. We begin by discussing the sociological conceptualization of family and examining the historical and contemporary meaning of family in the U.S. We will then turn our attention to a historical overview of the diverse family structures that existed prior to the Industrial Revolution. Next, we examine how large scale social and historical forces spurred significant changes to the norms surrounding contemporary family structures. The next section of the course focuses on the diversity of the contemporary family. We will examine issues including choosing a mate, parenting, marriage/partnership, tensions between paid labor and family life, the impact of social policy on families, and divorce. During the semester we will discuss similarities that exist across families. However, we will pay special attention to how race, gender, sexuality, and class shape how we experience family. Prerequisite: 100- level Social Science or African American Studies course.
Last taught S12.
Sociology Tutorial
Sociology 300/400 Staff
4 credits
Under these course numbers, juniors and seniors design tutorials to meet their particular interests and programmatic needs. A student should see the prospective tutor to define an area of mutual interest to pursue either individually or in a small group. A student may register for no more than one tutorial in any semester.