Sociology is the scientific study of human behavior in groups and the social forces that influence that behavior. The Sociology program offers a diverse curriculum in an effort to provide students with the tools necessary to comprehend their social world, using sociological theory and methodology to focus on the building blocks of the social structure and culture. The program includes courses that explore how social institutions play integral roles in our society, how class, race, ethnicity, and gender interact with these fundamental social institutions, the inequalities that exist in society, the importance of norms and values, the deviations therein, and the origins of social problems, their potential solutions, and the challenge to the status quo. Upon completion of a sociology course, the student will have a greater understanding of her/his part in the social world, enhancing interpersonal relationships and relationships to the social structure.
This course examines human social behavior in groups in relation to the wider social forces which influence that behavior, such as: socioeconomic status, gender, race/ethnicity, and age. Theoretical perspectives as well as scientific methodology are utilized to explore culture, social interaction, social organizations, socialization, social institutions, population dynamics and social change.
This course introduces students to the basic aims and processes of service learning as they relate to Sociology. Topics will include the importance of community participation, oral and written communication skills, teamwork, leadership, and diversity awareness. Emphasis is also placed on critical reflection of the role of the student as an active citizen in his or her community.
This course will examine current American social problems, such as health care; crime; substance abuse; domestic violence; AIDS; the environment; and the inequalities of race, sex, age, education, and social class. Analysis of factors leading to their emergence and consequences, and proposals for solving these problems, will be discussed. Students will be offered the opportunity to do volunteer work with public and private agencies working in the covered problem areas.
This course introduces students to the basic aims and processes of service learning as they relate to social problems. Topics will include the importance of community participation, oral and written communication skills, teamwork, leadership, and diversity awareness. Emphasis is also placed on critical reflection of the role of the student as an active citizen in his or her community.
This course analyzes the patterns of prejudice and discrimination in the United States including their nature, sources, and consequences, and reviews strategies for their reduction. Majority/minority relations among the major social and cultural groups will be given specific examination.
This course offers an examination of gender role socialization throughout the entire lifespan. Various theories will be utilized in an effort to explain the influence of the major agents of socialization (parents, peers, education and the media) on the formation of gender roles. The effect gender has in the family, education and the work environment will be examined through both a multicultural and global perspective.
This course will explore the ways in which we choose relationships, make commitments, and form families. The evolution of the family will be covered from extended to alternative family patterns. Sociological theories and methodology will be utilized to analyze both the functions and dysfunctions of relationships: mate selection, love, intimacy, communication, gender roles, sexuality, marriage, and parenting. The challenges facing intimate relationships, such as power differentials, domestic violence, divorce, remarriage, single-parenting, and step-families will be covered. Cross-cultural examination of ethnic/racial/religious group patterns of relationships and families will be explored for both the U.S. and other countries.
This course offers an overview of how sociologists make systematic observations of the social world. The methods used in conducting social science research, from hypothesis development to analysis of collected data, will be presented. Students will actively participate in conducting studies that focus on current social issues.
This course will introduce students to sociological concepts of deviance and social control. Theories of structural conditions contributing to conformity and non-conformity will be explored, as well as the effect deviance and society have on each other. The course will examine topics such as alcohol and drug use, prostitution, physical violence, property crime, white-collar crime and organized crime.
This course will examine various theoretical perspectives from a sociological framework in relation to the Chicano community. Race, class gender and culture in the historical development of Chicano people will be explored as we discuss culture, ethnic identity, the institutions of education, economics, family and government. It will include an overview of past and current social movements (i.e. the Chicano, Chicana Feminism, labor movements, and other topics). Students will analyze prevailing myths and stereotypes and investigate the ways Chicanos have contributed to and participated in social and political change. Specific instances of Chicano structural resistance to Anglo encroachment and domination will be discussed. Particular attention will also be given to language development among Chicanos and the historical role of youth.
This course considers individual human behavior in relation to the social environment. The power of the situation, other individuals, the social group, and the individual's psychological processes will be examined. Emphasized topics include aggression, prejudice and stereotypes, interpersonal attraction, attitudes and attitude change, conformity, group phenomena, gender roles, cultural norms, person perception, and social cognition.
This course offers specialized study opportunities for students who wish to pursue projects not included in the regular curriculum. Students are accepted only by a written project proposal approved by the discipline prior to enrollment.