Sociology Course Offerings
Introduction to Sociology (SOC 105): 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 inequailty, and social roles, groups, and institutions.
Sociology of the Family (SOC 253): This course explores the modern American family, examining the traditions, roles, functions, representations, changes, and controversies surrounding the social institution of the family.
Special Topics in Sociology and May Term Classes (SOC 300): The exploration of issues, problems, and innovations in sociology the provides individual and group experience.
Social Problems (SOC 305): 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 within the United States and other parts of the world.
Social Theory (SOC 313): 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.
Sociology of Popular Culture (SOC 320): This course explores the social implicatoins of popular culture. Focusing on film, television, music, fashion, books, magazines, the Internet, and other forms of entertainment and critically examines how popular culture is produced, disseminated, consumed, interpreted, and experienced in the United States.
Sports and Society (SOC 330): 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, perceived, and critiqued in the United States.
Sociology of the Life Course (SOC 342): 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.
Sociology of Sexuality (SOC 345): This course examines sociology from an historical, social, and interpersonal perspective. Students will study the history of sexuality reearch 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.
Gender in Society (SOC 350): 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 in 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.
Sociology of Inequality (SOC 355): 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.
Sociology of Migration (SOC 360): 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.
Social Movements (SOC 365): This coruse 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.
Social Work (SOC 370): 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.
Race, Ethnicity, and Class (SOC 372): 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 prograsm in the United States.
Social Welfare Policy (SOC 375): 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 prograsm in the United States.
Social Research Methods (SOC 390): This course provides a comprehensive introduction to research methods including research design, data collection techniques, and methods of analysis. Focusing on both quantitative and quailtative research methods, students will develop the ability to critically evaluate different types of research, as well as to conceptualize and design their own research project. Prerequisite: MATH 150.
Applied Sociology (SOC 395): This course uses sociological theory and research methods to explore real-world social applicaitons. 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.
Seminar in Sociology (SOC 400): An informal group experience for advanced students to explore issues, problems, and innovations in sociology and the social sciences field. Prerequisite: senior standing or instructor consent.
Directed Studies (SOC 401): 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.
Internships (SOC 440): An opportunity to integrate classroom knowledge with practical experience in a community internship. 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 the the program director and Career Center internship coordinator.
Senior Thesis: SOC (470): All sociology majors will produce a senior thesis that examines a sociological event 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 will critically share their thesis work with their fellow students and/or thesis advisor. Prerequisites: SOC 300, senior standing, sociology major declaration, and instructor consent.