Spring, 2021 classes
In addition to the core* courses, Sociology will offer a variety of electives during Spring, 2021.
We hope to see you in a sociology course soon!
SOC 301 Social Statistics (section 02 on MW 4-5:15 hybrid)
This section of the course covers the basic concepts of inferential and descriptive statistics, including levels of measurement and research methods, concepts like the mean and variance, hypothesis testing, and sampling distributions. Major statistical tests, including the z-test, t-test, analysis of variance, correlation, and regression, are presented. In light of COVID, the class is designed to be taught as a hybrid with in-class attendance available, however, it is also possible to complete the entire course online. (For more information, contact Dr. Jim Beggan.)
SOC 303 Research Methods (sections 01 and 50, both online)
In this course, students will become acquainted with the primary quantitative and qualitative research methods used in the field of sociology. Qualitative methods use study participants' own words (via interviews, narratives, documents) to understand their social experiences. Researchers who use quantitative methods tend to conduct larger studies and produce quantitative summaries/ analyses of their data. (Note: This course does NOT require knowledge of statistics.) Students will read textbook descriptions of how these research methods should be used and accounts (published articles) of studies that use these methods. Course assignments primarily include a mixture of online quizzes, short (1-5 page) written assignments, and Discussion Board posts. While gaining knowledge about research methods is valuable for those interested in pursuing a career in the social (or biological) sciences, the skills students develop in this course also can help them become better educated consumers of information. This is a WR and a DE course (with no synchronous class sessions). (For more information, contact Dr. Debbie Potter.)
SOC 325 Human Sexuality (section 01 on MW 2-3:15)
The sociology of human sexuality is examined from a variety of theoretical perspectives. Topics covered in the course include the social and psychological nature of human sexual response, atypical sexual practices including bondage and transvestite fetishism, sexual dysfunction, sexual orientation and sexual identity, and the business of sex including pornography, prostitution, and strip clubs. The course also considers sexual response as part of romantic relationships and examines dating, marriage, divorce, and polyamory and other non-traditional forms of relationships. In light of COVID, the class is designed to be taught as a hybrid with in-class attendance available, however, it is also possible to complete the entire course online. (For more information, contact Dr. Jim Beggan.)
SOC 327 Sociology of Gender (crosslisted with WGST 313) (both hybrid TR 2:30-3:45 and online)
Are you interested in how your gender affects your family relations, educational prospects—like what you study—and job prospects—like the types of jobs you are likely to get and how much you are paid? This course will prepare you to be an informed decision maker in multiple areas of your life and an active member of the larger community. (For more information, contact Dr. Gul Marshall.)
SOC 340 Mental Health & Illness (remote TR 11-12:15 and online)
This course is an overview of sociological approaches to understanding mental health and illness. How do sociologists understand mental illness? What distinguishes sociological approaches from other approaches (biomedical, psychological, etc.)? We also will explore how mental health and illness are affected by a range of social factors. Who is most likely to become “ill” and with what illnesses? What social factors affect the experiences that people have with mental health and wellness? Historically, how have people been treated, socially and psychiatrically, when they are diagnosed with a mental health problem? Are people with mental illness more likely to be violent than other people? What is the relationship between crime and mental illness? How do the media portray those with mental illness? Globally, outside of the U.S., how is mental health and illness experienced? (For more information, contact Dr. Debbie Potter.)
SOC 342 Medical Sociology (online)
This course aims to provide an in-depth overview of the major theories and conceptual frameworks of medical sociology. At its core, medical sociology emphasizes the importance of moving beyond biological and medical understandings of health and illness by highlighting key social factors that influences individuals’ health experiences. This course will cover the interplay of biological, medical and sociological perspectives in addressing inequalities in health and illness by sex/gender/sexuality, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and other demographic characteristics. In doing so, we will cover a wide span of the health and illness experience, from examining how the meaning of illness is defined and redefined over time, to assessing how individuals’ interactions with various actors within healthcare systems impact health outcomes. Sample topics we will discuss this semester include: Why are some health-related behaviors labeled as “deviant” while others are not? In what ways can different types of stressors “get under the skin” and make you sick? How are technological innovations affecting the doctor-patient relationship? By the end of the course, students should be able to a) understand key classic and contemporary frameworks in medical sociology, b) to assess how factors such as gender, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status impact health inequalities across the life course, and c) understand the manner in which an individuals’ health and illness experience is shaped by their interactions with social and healthcare systems. (For more information, contact Dr. Latrica Best.)
SOC 350 Sex in the Age of Corona(hybrid TR 2:30-3:45 PM)
The purpose of this class is to examine the way that COVID-19 has affected how people socialize, try to establish romantic connections, and engage in sexual behavior. Because COVID-19 is transmitted through the air, it hinders all stages of the relationship, not just sexual activity. This course considers the effects COVID-19 has had on psychological well-being. Proposed solutions to the problems created by COVID-19 are examined. The current pandemic is placed in historical context with other events including the AIDS crisis and the Pandemic of 1918. In light of COVID, the class is designed to be taught as a hybrid with in-class attendance available, however, it is also possible to complete the entire course online. (For more information, contact Dr. Jim Beggan.)
SOC 415 Sociology of Death & Dying (online)
Death and dying are generally not welcome topics, and many people do not want to consider–let alone discuss–their own death or how they will live through the dying process. As Woody Allen said in Without Feathers (1976), “It’s not that I’m afraid to die. I just don’t want to be there when it happens!” However, many of us want – and need – to discuss death and dying. When people do confront and either accept or deny death and dying – and handle bereavement, each does so as member of a group(s) and as a member of a society. How we cope with death and dying is, therefore, impacted by our group memberships (gender, religious or cultural beliefs, etc.) and social norms. This course, then, will examine thanatology (the study of death, dying, and bereavement) from a sociological perspective, exploring how we socially construct death, dying, and bereavement in the United States - and will include how death and dying have been impacted by the pandemic. (For more information, contact Dr. Jonetta Weber.)
SOC 425 Sociology of Leisure (online)
The importance of leisure is underscored by estimates that we devote nearly as much time to leisure as work activities over our lifespan. Since at least as far back as Classical Greece, social thinkers have debated the role of leisure in society, whether it be a means to recharge the enervated body and mind for more productive work; strengthen an individual’s character, skills, sense of balance, and self-concept; or to pass time via simple amusement. One persistent theme hinges on whether leisure should “add value” to the individual and “lift up” society. Indeed, the study of leisure suggests that what is considered “proper” leisure has varied widely from place to place and changed dramatically over time, i.e., judgments of leisure are culturally constructed. Leisure is generally regarded as a key social institution that helps to socialize individuals and shape society - and there has been increased interest in it during the pandemic. (For more information, contact Dr. Bob Carini.)
* core includes SOC 201 Introduction to Sociology, SOC 202 Social Problems, SOC 210 Race in the U.S., SOC 301 Social Statistics, SOC 303 Research Methods, SOC 320 Social Theory, SOC 323 Diversity & Inequality.