2011 - 2012 Sociology Courses

SOC 105 Introduction to Sociology, LE (4)
This course provides a comprehensive introduction to sociology by examining the cultural, organizational, and social forces that shape people's perceptions, actions, and opportunities. Areas of emphasis include the sociological perspective; social inequality; and social roles, groups, and institutions.
SOC 200/300 Special Topics in Sociology (1-4)
The exploration of issues, problems, and innovations in sociology. Provides individual and group experience.
SOC 253 Sociology of the Family, LE (4)
This course explores the modern American family--examining the traditions, roles, functions, representations, changes, and controversies surrounding the social institution of the family.
SOC 305 Contemporary Issues (4)
This course explores contemporary issues from a social problems perspective. Focusing on various current issues such as poverty, unemployment, crime, substance abuse, terrorism, racism, discrimination, and sexual inequality, the course utilizes sociological analysis to examine how contemporary issues are defined--and dealt with--in American society.
SOC 313 Social Theory (4)
This course examines the major social theories and theorists, focusing on their contributions to understanding modern social behavior and problems. Students critically analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each of these major social theories and theorists, as well as how to apply them to contemporary issues. Prerequisite: SOC 105.
SOC 320 Sociology of Popular Culture (4)
This course explores the social implications of popular culture. Focusing on film, television, music, fashion, books, magazines, the Internet, and other forms of entertainment, the course critically examines how popular culture is produced, disseminated, consumed, interpreted, and experienced in the United States.
SOC 330 Sports and Society (4)
This course explores sports as a significant cultural, political, and economic force in American society. Focusing on both established and alternative sports, the course incorporates a sociological perspective to critically examine how sports are organized, played, experienced, observed, perceived, and critiqued in the United States.
SOC 345 Human Sexuality (4)
Students explore issues of maleness and femaleness. Emphasis is placed on identifying and evaluating value systems related to sexuality. The impact of cultural definitions on individual behavior is also examined. Attention is directed toward societal ramifications of shifting roles with the intention of evaluating new alternatives open to men and women. A final emphasis is placed on understanding sexual functioning and different means of sexual expression.
SOC 350 Gender in Society (4)
Examines the sociocultural construction of gender in the United States with some cross-cultural comparisons. It makes generalizations about how the experiences of men and women differ in this society and also looks at different experiences based on region, class, religion, and ethnicity. Comparisons are then made about gender based experiences in other societies and how they are related to the wider culture.
SOC 370 Social Work (4)
This course is designed for students who are interested in learning about or pursuing a career in social work. Providing a comprehensive overview of the profession, the course will introduce students to social work theories, goals, values, ethics, skills, practices, services, and challenges.
SOC 372 Race, Ethnicity and Class (4)
Covers the varied historical and present-day experiences of different ethnic groups in the United States. Discusses human variation and the social consequences of the cultural construction of racial categories. Studies prejudice and discrimination including the economic, political and social reasons for changes in immigration policy.
SOC 390 Social Research Methods (4)
This course provides a comprehensive introduction to research methods including research design, data collection techniques, and methods of analysis. Focusing on both quantitative and qualitative research methods, students will develop the ability to critically evaluate different types of social research, as well as to conceptualize and design their own research project. Prerequisites: MATH 150.
SOC 400 Seminar in Social Science (4)
Informal group experience for advanced students to explore issues, problems, and innovations in the social sciences field. Prerequisite: senior standing or consent of instructor.
SOC 401 Directed Studies (1-3)
A tutorial-based course used only for student-initiated proposals for intensive individual study of topics not otherwise offered in the Sociology Program. Prerequisite: consent of instructor and school dean.
SOC 440 Internship (1-4)
Offers students the opportunity to integrate classroom knowledge with practical experience. Prerequisites: junior or senior standing (for transfer students, at least 15 hours completed at Westminster or permission of instructor), minimum 2.5 GPA, completion of the Career Resource Center internship workshop, and consent of program director and Career Center internship coordinator.
SOC 470 Senior Thesis (4)
All sociology majors will produce a senior thesis that examines a sociological topic and/or phenomenon through original research, secondary analysis, and/or theoretical exploration. As part of their senior thesis, all sociology majors will participate in a senior thesis seminar (or a senior thesis directed study) in which they critically share their thesis work with their fellow students and/or thesis advisor. All majors signing up for the thesis must have completed SOC 390 (after having first completed MATH 150 as a prerequisite). To take the thesis, all students must have senior standing, a declared major in sociology, and consent of the instructor.