Sociology (SOC)

This is an archived copy of the 2017-2018 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit


Course numbers with the # symbol included (e.g. #400) have not been taught in the last 3 years.

SOC 815 - Criminological Theory

Credits: 4

Introduces graduate students and advanced undergraduates to the major theoretical literature in crime and delinquency. Covers both classical and contemporary theory, with empirical assessments of theories, including marco- and micro-level control, strain, and learning theories as well as recent developments in biosocial, deterrence, labeling, and critical/feminist theories.

SOC 820 - Sociology of Drug Use

Credits: 4

Examines licit and illicit drug use from a sociological perspective. Draws primarily from the sociology of mental health and criminology to explore a variety of drug-related topics including: historical and current U.S. drug trends, dominant theoretical approaches about the initiation into, and continued use of drugs, drug-related crime, therapeutic use of drugs, prevention and treatment of drug problems, and drug-related policies.

SOC 825 - Social Demography

Credits: 4

Social demography examines the linkages between changes in the size, composition and distribution of the population and changes in social, environmental, economic and political factors. The course examines demographic methods and the materials and the analytical techniques used by demographers to analyze population redistribution, fertility, work, marriage, migration and mortality. The policy implications of demographic change will be examined with attention to the United States as well as the developed and developing world.

SOC 830 - Communities and the Environment

Credits: 4

People and the natural environments in which they live fundamentally structure communities around the globe. Economic change, expanding development , and human migration are transforming social and environmental conditions in both rural and urban settings, altering the identities of many communities as well as their relationships with the natural world. The importance of these emerging social and environmental issues has made them a focus for social science inquiry. This course exposes students to a range of sociological concepts, theories, and research approaches related to the study of communities and environmental issues. Some of the substaintive themses that are covered include: population dynamnics and environmental change; social capital and social networks; political economy and comunity development; collective action and social movements; science, technology, and environmental risks; and environmental racism and justice. The principal assignment for the course will be a research project where students investigate a community or environmental issue of their own interest.

SOC 833 - Gender-Based Violence: US and International Perspectives

Credits: 4

Students examine the spectrum of gender-based violence occurring in the United States and Europe. Four main areas are examined: (1) Theoretical and methodological issues inherent in researching gender-based violence. (2) Different types of gender-based violence including sexual and relationship violence, harassment, pornography, and human trafficking. (3) The historical economic, and cultural contexts that facilitate gender-based violence. (4) Prevention and intervention efforts to reduce gender-based violence.

SOC 835 - Sociology of Community

Credits: 4

This course analyzes "community" from a sociological perspective. Community is one of the fundamental concepts in the sociological literature; this course covers those aspects of the concept that are concerned with geographic communities: neighborhoods, communities, cities, etc. It considers how American communities have changed over time and what the current characteristics are, and how these characteristics are related to the "quality of life" in the communities. Students study theoretical and empirical approaches to studying communities, particularly but not exclusively American communities. Among specific areas of community research covered are: spatial inequality and concentrated poverty; what housing research shows about the importance of community to outcomes for families and children; the impact of community on health; and community development as a strategy for community change.

SOC 840 - Sociology of Mental Health

Credits: 4

Introduces students to different sociological approaches for studying and understanding mental health and illness. Students examine the social distribution of mental illness in the United State and the social-structural factors that help to explain mental health variations. Also addresses issues surrounding mental health treatment, systems, and policies for the mentally ill.

SOC 842 - Sociology and Social Policy

Credits: 4

Social policy and public policy defined: description of the policy making process. The political sociology of the policy-making process; who makes policy and who influences policy, under what conditions, and with what effect. Definition of social policy research and the various roles social scientist can adopt for policy-relevant work. Students are responsible for critiquing the readings and for preparing a substantial research paper.

SOC 845 - Race, Ethnicity, and Inequality

Credits: 4

Sociological perspectives on race and ethnic relations for graduate and advanced undergraduate students. Topics include the creation of racial and ethnic identities; the nature and extent of segregation; education, employment, and wealth inequalities; and the effects of state policy. Course emphasizes both theoretical and empirical assessments.

SOC 873 - Childhood and Social Policy

Credits: 4

This course will expose students to a variety of sociological perspectives on childhood in American society. Focus will be on the analysis of how social institutions, like the modern American family, school, economic system, justice system and communications media affect children. Assumes a prior understanding of important sociological concepts, critical thinking skills and social science writing ability.

SOC 876 - Family Violence Research Seminar

Credits: 4

Analysis of abusive relationships within the family, especially physical and sexual abuse of children and spouses. Each student designs and conducts and empirical study to test a theory purporting to explain intra-family violence, the consequences of violence for families and society, or a study of what might prevent family violence. Permission required.

SOC 880 - Social Conflict

Credits: 4

Analysis of the social conditions associated with the major forms of conflict management in human societies: discipline, rebellion, vengeance, negotiation, mediation, law, therapy, supernaturalism, and avoidance.

SOC 888 - Advanced Medical Sociology

Credits: 4

This course is intended to provide an in-depth introduction to the major theoretical frameworks of medical sociology and empirical research examining social factors that influence individual’s health and illness. We will take a critical approach in our examination of: the distribution of health and illness (by socioeconomic status, sex/gender, and race/ethnicity); medicalization and social control; and the social construction of health and illness. Most of the learning in this course will take place through shared facilitation of class discussions based on the reading.

SOC 894 - Evaluation Research

Credits: 4

This course is designed to cover major methodological and practical issues in the field of evaluation research, including the definition and meaning of evaluation; the purposes of evaluation; the design and conduct of evaluation studies; evidence-based policy writing; and the uses of evaluation results. This is an advanced undergraduate-level and graduate-level course. The prerequisite for the course is successful coursework in methods of research and statistical analysis.

SOC 897 - Special Topics

Credits: 4

Occasional or experimental offerings. May be repeated for different topics.

SOC 899 - Master's Thesis

Credits: 1-10

Usually 6 credits but up to 10 credits when the problem warrants. Cr/F.

SOC 900 - Pro-seminar

Credits: 2

An introduction to the discipline of sociology and to the graduate program. Topics include writing for professional audiences, publishing, applying for support, TA workshop, writing a thesis or dissertation. Meetings with faculty members throughout the semester. Cr/F.

SOC 901 - Sociological Methods I: Intermediate Social Statistics

Credits: 4

Application of statistical methods to the analysis of social data, with particular emphasis on multiple regression and related topics.

SOC 902 - Sociological Methods II: Research Design

Credits: 4

Systematic investigation of each step in the design and implementation of sociological research. Selected techniques of data collection and analyses are pursued. Prereq: methods of social research; social statistics;/or their equivalents or permission.

SOC 903 - Sociological Methods III: Advanced Social Statistics

Credits: 4

Multivariate statistical methods for the analysis of social data. Topics include problem-solving with multiple regression, categorical-variable models, dynamic models, and others.

SOC 904 - Sociological Methods IV: Qualitative and Historical Research Methods

Credits: 4

An introduction to qualitative and historical methods of data gathering and analysis in the social sciences. The seminar is intended as an intensive workshop training in such techniques as participant observation, in-depth interviewing, content analysis, and archival exploration. Students conduct qualitative and/or historical research and are responsible for designing an individual project, collecting and analyzing appropriate data, and writing a research paper.

SOC 911 - Sociological Theory I

Credits: 4

The content, presuppositions, and implications of the body of classical sociological theory, exemplifying the full range of sociological inquiry.

SOC 912 - Sociological Theory II

Credits: 4

The content, presuppositions, and implications of contemporary sociological theory. Students engage in theory construction and analysis and in this endeavor are encouraged to develop their particular interests in substantive areas. Prereq: SOC 911.

SOC 921 - Crime and Conflict

Credits: 4

Serves as the core course for the Crime and Conflict concentration. Theories and patterns of crime; the social origins of violent and nonviolent conflict; the role of social factors in the justice system; alternative forms of crime control and conflict management.

SOC 975 - Sociology of the Family

Credits: 4

Major approaches in the sociological study of families. Individuals in families, family relationships, and families as groups and the interrelationships among these levels. Interactional and systemic properties of marriage, parent-child relations, and extended family relations.

SOC 980 - Social Stratification

Credits: 4

Introduces students to the core of theoretical, methodological, and substantive issues in social stratification. Readings include classical and contemporary theories of stratification and work exploring the sources and consequences of stratification. Inequalities based on class, race, and gender examined.

SOC #988 - Medical Sociology: Health, Healing, and Society

Credits: 4

Social context of wellness, illness, and healing; stratification and health; mortality and morbidity in relation to class, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and age; social control functions of medicine: medicalization and de-medicalization; interaction of physicians and patients; medical occupations; mental health and mental illness; stress and illness; medical care systems in various countries.

SOC 990 - Teaching Sociology Seminar

Credits: 4

Helps graduate students explore teaching techniques and improve their teaching skills. Topics include: setting course goals, designing lectures, evaluating student course work, leading discussion, and experimenting with innovative teaching techniques. (Also offered as GRAD 974.)

SOC 995 - Reading and Research

Credits: 2-8

A student prepared by training and experience to do the independent work under the guidance of an instructor may register. Prereq: 16 graduate hours of sociology and permission. Hours and credit to be arranged. May be repeated for different topics.

SOC 996 - Reading and Research

Credits: 2-8

A student prepared by training and experience to do the independent work under the guidance of an instructor may register. Prereq: 16 graduate hours of sociology and permission. Hours and credit to be arranged. May be repeated for different topics.

SOC 997 - Advanced Special Topics

Credits: 2 or 4

Occasional or experimental offerings.

SOC 999 - Doctoral Research

Credits: 0