Summer Courses

In addition to their core* courses, Sociology will offer several new and some recurring electives during Summer and Fall, 2020.

All summer UofL courses will be online.  If you have never taken an online course - all sociology summer courses are taught by faculty and adjunct faculty who have extensive online teaching experience, and you are welcome to contact any of them about their course.  We hope to see you in a sociology course soon!


SUMMER, 2020

SOC 327 Sociology of Gender (online Term II)
This course examines gender in major social institutions such as education, family, and the media.  It explores the structural foundations and theoretical explanations of gender inequality. It examines the intersectionality of gender and other social locations and identities, such as race, social class, sexual orientation, and age. By studying multiple concepts, points of view, as well as assumptions with their implications and interpretations, we will develop an informed critical understanding of gender.  (For more information, contact .)

SOC 340 Mental Health and Illness (online Term II)
How do sociologists understand mental illness?  What distinguishes sociological approaches from other approaches (biomedical, psychological, etc.)?  As we answer these questions, in this course 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 characteristics (e.g. gender identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, SES, etc.) 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 mental health problems?   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 .)

SOC 350 Racialized Medicine (online Term I)
This course is designed to introduce students to sociological and other interdisciplinary approaches to how race and ethnicity are utilized in health-related research. Initially, we will explore how race and ethnicity has been defined, and redefined, within social and biomedical arenas. Next, we will explore key theoretical perspectives related to race- and ethnic-based health inequalities. We will spend the majority of the semester investigating how shifts, and subsequent ambiguity, in the meaning of race and ethnicity in biomedical research not only impact health outcomes but also perpetuate health inequities at every stage of life. Sample topics that will be discussed in this course include: What role does personalized medicine play in perpetuating health disparities? How do individuals’ relationships with formal institutional structures (e.g. welfare systems, prisons) impact the health care they receive? How has the increasing focus on understanding genetic contributions of various health conditions reinforce enduring narratives of race and the disease process? By the end of the course, students should be able to a) understand how race and ethnicity are defined and utilized in health-related research, b) be able to apply major sociological and interdisciplinary theories to explain race/ethnic inequalities in health, and c) articulate ways in which race and racism becomes embodied in the health experience.  (For more information, contact .)

SOC 380 Animals & Society (online Term II)
The relationship between humans and animals dates back many millennia, as animals have long served as sources of food, clothing, transportation, service, and even fascination. However, this relationship has been inconsistent across time and cultures, and, in recent years, greater attention has focused on how animals factor into the lives of humans in light of ecological and agricultural concerns; changing patterns of family and community; increasing use of animals in not only service but also sport and entertainment; and debate regarding the hierarchical and ethical nature of these relationships.

Today, social scientists are examining the complex and changing social, ethical, and ecological consequences of human-animal interaction. Although animals continue to be used for food, clothing, and transportation, they also are: employed in service; substituted as humans in scientific experiments and medical testing; domesticated as pets and incorporated into family life; included in leisure and recreation; hunted for sport; displayed as art/decor; worn as status symbols; viewed as pests; worshiped, sacrificed, and vilified in religion; figured/characterized in language, art, literature, and music; used as symbols in advertising; exhibited in zoos and museums; employed as athletes and entertainers; and factored into economic, legal, and political discussions on animal rights and welfare, conservation, climate change – all topics discussed in this class.  (For more information, contact )

SOC 450 Sociology of Food-CUE (online Term I)
Food plays a critical role in our lives, affecting us not just physiologically, but also socially, and what we eat and the way we eat it offers insight into who we are (e.g., our social identities as members of social classes, ethnic groups, gender groups, religions, etc.).  This course examines food as part of our social life and how food consumption and interests in particular foods shape – and are shaped by – social institutions and organizations, e.g., our families, the media, religion, education, etc.  Food can also play con play controversial and even confusing roles in our lives.  Join us as we explore these and other topics related to the social significance of food and how food is socially constructed.  (For more information, contact )


FALL, 2020

SOC 342 Medical Sociology (both on-campus MW 3-4:15, and 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 .)

SOC 343/WGST 343 Sociology of Women's Health (both on-campus TR 2:30-3:45, and online)
This course draws upon a variety of theories (including feminist and critical theories) and examines the intersections of gender identity, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, and power to understand the ways in which women experience health and illness and, how women’s health care is structured in the U.S.  Although organized around specific biological conditions/ illness, the focus of the class is on gendered dimensions of key sociological concepts including the doctor-patient relationship, help-seeking behavior, the socialization of health care providers, and the cultural and structural dimensions of the health care system.  Drawing upon a broader context, recent policy responses related to U.S. women’s and LGBTQ health also are addressed.  (For more information, contact .)

SOC 435 Sociology of Health & Illness (Tuesdays/Thursdays 11-12:15)
This course examines how groups of people experience health and illness. We will consider the ways in which social class, race/ethnicity, gender, and neighborhood are intertwined in the lived (micro-level) experiences of health and illness using key micro-level sociological concepts (e.g. the sick role, the doctor-patient relationship, help-seeking behavior, and more). As part of the course, we will discuss: How has the routinization of chronic conditions changed our sense of self and experience of illness? In what ways has "medicalization" influenced our understandings of illness and social control?  How have physicians been socialized into their professional roles? How has the increased emphasis on prescription medications affected our experience of illness?  How have patients organized to change physical and mental health care?  (For more information, contact .)


* 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.