Course Descriptions - College of Mount Saint Vincent

Department of Sociology

Department of Sociology

Course Descriptions

SOC 101 INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY (C)*
This course is an introduction to the nature and scope of the science of sociology. Emphasis on societies, social structure and institutions, social groups, and on various social processes associated with social organization, socialization, and social change (3 credits).

SOC 202 INTRODUCTION TO CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY
This course is an introduction to basic concepts, aims and methods of social anthropology. A comparative examination of human cultures, past and present (3 credits).

SOC 203 SOCIAL DIVERSITY (C)* (WE)*
Living in a community and a society of differences makes our lives challenging, This course will provide a sociological opportunity to explore how we think about, make inquiries, and seek to answer questions about diversity in modern day life in America and beyond. Are the poor socially isolated? Are criminals different from everyone else? Does being male or female really matter? Are family problems really about differences? What experiences does racial diversity offer? (3 credits)

SOC 205 CULTURE (C)*
During this course, students will explore the mainstream and multi-cultural models of Culture in national and global contexts, cultural significance of age, race, ethnicity, social media, food, fashion, and entertainment. Case studies will be used to develop awareness and understanding of cultural identity (3 credits).

SOC 206 THE SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION (C)*
During this course, students will cultivate a habit of seeing the world that is known as the sociological imagination. This perspective illuminates the many ways that the social environment shapes our individual lives, from the broad outlines of our life chances to the most intricate details of face-to-face interaction.

In addition to understanding how large, impersonal social forces affect people’s lives, you will come to see the way that society itself is constantly made and re-made by the activity of people in groups. Developing this sociological insight allows you to better know your own potential power, and to develop a richer level of engagement with the social world you inhabit (3 credits).

SOC 210 INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL WORK
The foundation of social work as a profession, its historical and philosophical development, its social purpose, value assumptions and theoretical base. A review of the current methodologies for social work practice. Case studies, analyses of programs, policies and issues (3 credits).

SOC 301 SOCIAL PROBLEMS
This course focuses on the critical analysis of causes and impact of social problems using major theoretical approaches developed in sociology. Topics include poverty, the environment, corporate power, war, racism, and health care (3 credits).

SOC 302 RACE AND ETHNICITY
This course focuses on the history of racial and ethnic relations in the United States analyzed in terms of sociological theories, concepts, and research findings. The course is a critical study of patterns of intergroup relations including conflicts, discrimination, and ethnic and racial identity formation (3 credits).

SOC 304 GLOBALIZATION AND INEQUALITY
Despite greater levels of absolute wealth, social inequality in both the United States and throughout the world is more severe than it was 40 years ago. This course explores patterns of inequality in America, patterns of inequality among nations of the globe, and also examines how processes of globalization are tied to inequality in America and the world (3 credits).

SOC 305 URBAN SOCIOLOGY
For the first time in human history, most people are now living in urban areas. However, the nature of cities, and the degree of urbanization still varies within the United States and throughout the world. This course explores how cities influence the structures, cultures, and well-being of societies around the globe. Additionally, it will consider how contemporary cities act as linchpins for processes of globalization.

New York City will be used as a prominent example of both an American and global city, and consideration will be given to cities around America and the world. Field trips may be included in the course. Students will learn all the tools of direct observation of public spaces research methods. Students will work through different assignments and exercises to master the urban methods of researching on parks in New York City (4 credits).

SOC 306 THE FAMILY
This course focuses on the nature and structure of the family as a group and a social institution. The course also centers around cross-cultural, historical and contemporary variations in family structure and interaction. Additionally, the course includes patterns in mate selection, marriage, parenthood and divorce, and their correlations to such variables as income, ethnicity, religion and education (3 credits).

SOC 307 SOCIAL RESEARCH METHODS
This course will examine the scientific method both in terms of its abstract structure and the technical details required to carry out research. Special emphasis is placed on survey research design as well as the development of a research design to actually be applied in the SOC 416, Senior Seminar. Additionally, the class will be a survey class that also provides a comprehensive background of methodological knowledge (3 credits).
Prerequisite for SOC 416.

SOC 308 JUVENILE DELINQUENCY
This course focuses on the sociological perspectives on the nature, causes, and treatment of delinquency (3 credits).

SOC 309 CRIMINOLOGY (WE)*
This course is a sociological examination and analysis of crime and theories of crime causation. Topics also include the extent of crime, types of crimes, indices of crime, and societal responses to crime (3 credits).

SOC 310 SOCIOLOGY OF DEVIANCE
Use sociological theory and research to understand deviance—its causes and its consequences—and the institutions of social control that attempt to keep it in check. Special focus on deviant subcultures, countercultures, and the relationship of rule-breaking to social movements (3 credits).

SOC 311 INDIVIDUAL IN SOCIETY
This course focuses on the influence of social structure, social processes and social change on individual attitudes and behavior. Topics include socialization and the development of self, attitude, organization and change, social influence processes and social power, group structure and processes, and the effects of variables such as ethnicity, class, and religion on personality behavior (3 credits).

SOC 312 SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE
Students will be introduced to the theories used in social work practice. Issues such as helping people in crisis will also be discussed. The focus will be on generalist practice and the different roles and methods social workers use in working with groups and communities (3 credits).

SOC 313 QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS (WE)*
Students will explore how Sociology uses qualitative research to document and critically analyze complex social issues and practices. The course will emphasize the practical skills necessary to conduct a small fieldwork project. Some of the methods taught will include direct observation, ethnography, interviews, and focus groups. Students will also learn to analyze qualitative data such as field notes, interview transcripts, journals, letters, and photographs (3 credits).

SOC 315, 316 SPECIAL TOPICS IN SOCIOLOGY/ANTHROPOLOGY
New course offerings in any area of sociology. Topics will be listed in the pre-registration booklets. Course outlines will be posted in the department before pre-registration period (3 credits).

SOC 321 SOCIAL POLICY
The course introduces students to some of the major policy initiatives and programs in the U.S. and beyond and encourages them think about major conflicts and debates in social welfare today in 21st century priority practice areas like disability, welfare, hunger, healthcare, education, employment, services for children and elders, mental health, and substance abuse through the lenses of diversity in practice, human rights, and justice. There is a strong focus in the class on antipoverty policy (3 credits).

SOC 324 SOCIOLOGICAL THEORIES (WE)*
This course is a survey and critical analysis of the most influential classical and contemporary sociological theories. Class readings include the work of Durkheim, Marx, Weber, Freud, and Simmel, as well as that of key figures within the theoretical perspectives of Symbolic Interactionism, Feminism, Critical Theory, and Postmodernism (3 credits).

SOC 327 POWER AND CONFLICT
This course examines the nature of political power and the dynamics of change in the United States and around the world. It will examine theories of distribution of political power, devices used by different groups to influence social change, and alternative modes for the distribution of political power. Special emphasis will be given to the role of social movements in political and social structures (3 credits).

SOC 328 SOCIETIES AND CULTURES OF LATIN AMERICA
This course is a study of the native and contemporary cultures of Latin American societies from an anthropological perspective. The course also involves the analysis of the processes of socio-cultural change and the external forces affecting Latin American cultures (3 credits).

SOC 331 WORK AND ORGANIZATIONS
Many spheres of human activity are dominated by organizational life. This course surveys complex organizations. Among the topics discussed are: organizational structure and types of organizations; organizations and technological change; organizational culture; informal processes within organizations; and how organizations interact with their environment (3 credits).

SOC 335 CULTURE, HEALTH, AND ILLNESS (WE)*
This course is an application of anthropological and sociological methods and theory in the comparative analysis of illness, medical practices and health systems (3 credits).

SOC 338 SCHOOLS AND SOCIETY
This course is an examination of how schools in the United States and abroad are organized and operate, why there are class, race, and sex differences in how much education people get, why better-educated people get the best jobs, and what must be done to reform our schools (3 credits).

SOC 340 SACRED IN THE CITY
This course reflects the way in which the city interacts with the sacred in all its many guises, with religion, and with the human search for meaning in life. As the process of urbanization of society is accelerating thus giving an increasing importance to cities and the ‘metropolis,’ it is relevant to investigate the social or cultural cohesion that these urban agglomerations manifest. Religion is keenly observed as witnessing a growth, crucially impacting cultural and political dynamics, as well as determining the emergence of new sacred symbols and their inscription in urban spaces worldwide.

The sacred has become an important category of a new interpretation of social and cultural transformation processes. From a unique broader perspective, the course focuses on the relationship between the city and the sacred. This course teaches students to construct research projects that reflect an ability to read critically, question evidence, make relevant connections, develop ideas, and present your own ideas in coherent, compelling presentations. Students will learn all the tools of direct observation of public spaces research methods (4 credits).

SOC 344 NATION OF IMMIGRANTS
This course will explore the social life of immigrants to the United States from colonial times to the present within their historical and sociological contexts, with a special emphasis on New York as an immigrant destination. Focus will be placed on such topics as: historic and economic circumstances which prompted immigration, immigrant struggles for integration and equality, the reaction of native-born Americans to successive waves of immigration, global developments contributing to shifting patterns of immigration, as well as discriminatory backlashes, legal barriers and the recent criminalization of immigrants (3 credits).

SOC 345 NEW YORK CITY ETHNIC COMMUNITIES
New York City will serve as a model for studying ethnic communities. Central sociological themes, such as population, ethnic transition, assimilation, community structure, etc., will be studied through field visits, readings, and reports. Students will learn to conduct interviews and research within a community and to build case studies from an ethnic neighborhood in New York City. Through a progression of exercises and assignments, students will acquire the skills of the qualitative methods of interviewing. Students will construct research projects that reflect an ability to read critically, question evidence, make relevant connections, develop ideas, and present their own ideas in coherent, compelling presentations (4 credits).

SOC 347 URBAN PLANNING
This course introduces students to the principles and techniques of urban planning, the practical application of knowledge from many disciplines in forming physical design for urban spaces, and consideration of demographic, political, economic, and legal factors in the planning process. Students will learn how to research an area of a city, design maps, and enact participatory citizenship through various exercises. Students will construct research projects that reflect an ability to read critically, question evidence, make relevant connections, develop ideas, and present your own ideas in coherent, compelling presentations (4 credits).

SOC 361 FOUNDATIONS OF JUSTICE
An analysis of the organizational and human dimensions of agencies in the administration of justice, with emphasis on the nature of law enforcement, the court system and its processes, as well as prisons and rehabilitation agencies (3 credits).

SOC 362 ORGANIZED CRIME (WE)*
This course is an analysis of the origin, organization, control, and consequences of organized crime in the United States. Emphasis on conflicting theories and current research, and the global face of this crime phenomenon (3 credits).

SOC 364 LAW AND SOCIETY
This course is an exploration of the development of legal systems in different societies. Criminal law in the United States will be discussed within the context of social and political influences on its making, administration and enforcement. An underlying question to be examined: “Is law an effective form of social control?” (3 credits).

SOC 365 POLICE AND SOCIETY
This course is a socio-historical and comparative analysis of the structure, functions and organization of contemporary police departments. This course will address the patrol, investigative and specialized operations in policing; police discretion and decision-making; police culture and personality; police misconduct and current issues (3 credits).

SOC 366 WHITE COLLAR CRIME
Street crimes command the attention of politicians and the mass media. But white collar crimes cost our society far more in lives hurt and lost, and property damaged. These white collar crimes take such diverse forms as professional misconduct, deliberate industrial pollution, and governmental repression of political opponents. The course examines the content, causes, and means of controlling these various white collar crimes (3 credits).

SOC 369 CURRENT CONTROVERSIES IN CRIME AND JUSTICE
Current and controversial issues in crime and justice will be explored and analyzed in this course. The topics will be debated in a classroom setting that will combine traditional lectures with student presentations and full class discussions (3 credits).

SOC 375, 475 INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
Students work in agencies related to their prospective careers (e.g., legal services, urban planning, polling bureaus, corrections, probation offices, counseling centers, social work agencies, etc.). Students should obtain the permission of their advisor before registering for an internship and then register through the Career Services/Internships office. Six credits of internship are permitted: three credits will count for sociology major credit (SOC 375) and the other three for elective credit (SOC 475) (3 credits).

SOC 380 LEISURE AND AMERICAN SOCIETY
Entertainment media, sports, and other forms of leisure have distinctive characteristics in American society. Topic in the course will include: the cultural evolution of leisure activities in America; the leisure class; how forms of entertainment contribute to the social debate on a number of issues; and how subcultures can form around different types of activities (3 credits).

SOC 399 GENDER AND SOCIETY (WE)*
This course will include wide variety of topics and teach students to understand gender from a sociological perspective. A considerable portion of the course will be oriented toward understanding gender conceptually and theoretically. Additionally, focus will be directed to current issues of both gender in American and the international context of gender. As part of the requirement for this course, students will select their own sub-area of interest and develop further expertise through individualized course work. This course spends approximately 50% of its content on international issues (3 credits).

SOC 416 SENIOR SEMINAR (WE)*
The focus of this course is on a student’s development of a research paper that permits application of theoretical and methodological principles, and a presentation of their research to department majors  (3 credits).
Prerequisite: SOC 307 and SOC 324

SOC 460 INDEPENDENT STUDY
This is a course of study designed for students with particular research interests not covered in the department’s curriculum. Topics and methods of research are carefully worked out by the student in consultation with the supervising professor. Before registration, topics and objectives must be approved by the supervising professor and the department Chairperson (1 to 3 credits).

SOC 465 RESEARCH IN SOCIOLOGY
Participation in current research projects in the department. Permission of Chairperson and supervising professor required before registration (3 credits).
Prerequisite: SOC 307

(C)* May be taken to meet Core Requirements

(WE)* Writing Emphasis