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Course Descriptions

SOC 131 Principles of Sociology
A study of the fundamental principles of social interaction. The course analyzes social relationships (family, peer, group, school, organization); culture; deviant behavior; and political institutions. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: GP, SS-1. (3)

SOC 203 The Global Village
Globalization refers to the increasing connectedness of people around the world and has resulted from economic, political, and cultural exchanges that transcend national boundaries. Corporate growth, modern transportation, and technological innovation facilitate this connectivity. In this course, a sociological perspective will be used to examine how this increasing global interdependence impacts daily life. The degree to which social life still takes place within national borders will be analyzed and the meaning of citizenship in the new global village will be discussed. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: GP, SS-1. (3)

SOC 204 Engaging Diversity
The process of globalization increases our exposure to diverse cultures and ethnic traditions that characterize the peoples of the world. This rich diversity can form the foundation for addressing the global challenges we collectively face or can be viewed as a polarizing force that generates conflict. This course focuses on the key concepts and skills of intercultural communication and develops analytical tools from the social sciences for understanding how social identity shapes living and working in the global community. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: WI, GP, SS-1. (3)

SOC 261 Through the Sociological Lens I
Through the Sociological Lens I explores culture, diversity & community. This introductory level course uses visual research tools during study abroad. The purpose of this course is to broaden social insights, foster critical thinking, and train students in methods of gathering and analyzing data. Students will be introduced to basic qualitative sociological inquiry. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: GP, SS-1, WI. (3)

SOC 306 Social Class in Arlington
This course examines how social class influences day to day life, and how structural barriers can limit a person’s life chances by focusing on those who live in the local community. Social class and inequality are central concepts in sociology that challenge the commonly held assumption that people who live in poverty are doing so because they make poor decisions or are unwilling to work hard. In studying social class, inequality and stratification, students will gain an appreciation for the insights that come from systematic sociological research. Prerequisite: SOC 131 or SOC 203. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: ETH, SS-2. (3)

SOC 322 Racial and Ethnic Diversity
An examination of the various systems, structures, and processes that surround majority-minority relationships in various societies. Topics addressed include the social and cultural meanings of race and ethnicity and the social outcomes of contact, stability, and change. Prerequisite: SOC 131 or SOC 203. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-2. (3)

SOC 350 Social Justice
This upper-division interdisciplinary seminar presents a social science analysis of social justice using a series of case studies. Specific ethical dilemmas faced in contemporary society are investigated, with an emphasis on the key players and conflicting interests involved as well as the social, economic, and political institutions that gave rise to these dilemmas. Contemporary and historical case studies focus discussion on the social context of issues such as the human rights of women, children, and refugees; economic justice associated with the international debt; and environmental protection. Prerequisite: SOC 131 or SOC 203. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: ETH, SS-2. (3)

SOC 351 Addressing Injustice: Qualitative Research Methods
This upper-division seminar examines how others have addressed social injustice through activism and advocacy. The most effective social action is based on a foundation of research. Qualitative techniques are particularly suited to supporting social change because these tools often provide us with an understanding of the structural dynamics that generate social injustice. Students will examine one social entrepreneurship effort. Prerequisite: SOC 131 or SOC 203. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: ETH, SS-2, DSINQ. (3)

SOC 352 Addressing Injustice: Quantitative methods
This course introduces the basic design of sociological research with a focus on the quantitative methods, procedures and techniques appropriate to researching issues of social justice. Empirical data are fundamental to evaluating claims and challenging injustice. Our emphasis will be on choosing appropriate methods of for analyzing data and using those methods to understand how statistical results can be applied to solving global problems. Students will share their research results using effective report writing skills. A primary goal of the course is to learn how to critically analyze sociological research. A secondary goal is to demonstrate how statistical data and quantitative methods can be powerful tools for addressing injustice as well as a marketable skill for the sociology major. Prerequisite: SOC 131 or SOC 203. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-2, INQ. (3)

SOC 360 Britain Today: Myth and Reality
In order to explore the various social dimensions of contemporary British life, this course provides students in the London Program with a comparison of British and American histories and cultures. Current issues and major social institutions, such as government, the monarchy, legal systems, family, education, media, and religion, are carefully examined and discussed. (3)

SOC 361 Through the Sociological Lens II
Through the Sociological Lens II explores culture, diversity & community. This advanced sociology class uses visual research methods to gain a comparative perspective during study abroad. The purpose of this course is to enable students to gain practical experience using of the discipline by comparing the impact of social forces on everyday life. Students will engage in qualitative sociological inquiry by applying visual research tools. One of the following – SOC 131, SOC 203, SOC 261 or permission of the instructor. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-2, GP, WI. (3)

SOC 365 Gender Inequality in Global Perspective
What does it mean to be “male” or “female” in different countries around the world? How does being a man or a woman affect our life choices and economic opportunities? This course will address gender in a global context to appreciate how people’s lives differ depending on gender, relative to class, cultural and racial heritage. Emphasis will be placed on using social science research to work for justice, addressing gender inequality in both global and local communities. (Prerequisite: SOC 131 or SOC 203, & recommended IS 200 Gender & Society). Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-2, GP, INQ, WI. (3)

SOC 375 Topics in Human Rights
Although a Universal Declaration of Human Rights was introduced by the United Nations in 1948, this was neither the beginning nor the end of the global dialogue surrounding the rights associated with being human. This course provides a background on the social context from which this Declaration emerged including some of the controversies associated with a claim of “universality” and focuses on one specific human rights topic such as human slavery, migration & citizenship, or food security. Existing social science scholarship will be applied to the analysis of a case study, with a focus on evaluation of global to local connections. Prerequisites: SOC 131 or SOC 203, and SOC 204. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-2, GP, ETH. (3)

SOC 400 Internship
During the senior year students are placed with community based organizations to apply sociological skills to social justice issues. This community-based learning experience is intended to help students make connections between local & global as well as gain an appreciation for how to make a difference by working for justice and working for peace. The internship is a required course for the Sociology major and the internship can lead to employment upon graduation. Each student must complete a minimum of a three-credit internship in order to fulfill his or her academic requirements. WI. (3)

SOC 495 Senior Practicum
The Senior Practicum provides students with an opportunity to learn how to conduct sociological research. Research teams of faculty, students, and staff members from community organizations use their academic and professional skills to address a research need related to the central theme of “Working for justice, Working for peace.” Students are placed in these organizations during the first semester (SOC 400 Internship) and then conduct independent research at the request of the organization during the student’s second semester senior year. The Senior Practicum is designed to build on students’ knowledge and skills acquired in program coursework, but is also open to students who successfully complete the inquiry sequence of courses for the sociology major. Successful completion of all assignments is required to pass the course. Prerequisites: SOC 350, 351, 352, & 400. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: INQ, WI. (3)

SOC 433 Research
A student in this course will conduct collaborative research (scholarly work leading to new knowledge) under the direction of a faculty member. Prerequisite: application and approval of department chair. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: EXP. (1-6)


Sociology courses in Criminal Justice

SOC 205 Crime, Media, and Culture
Provides an overview of the relationships of mass media, crime, criminal justice, and culture. In particular, the course will address the social construction of crime, crime and justice in the mass media, the media’s effects on attitudes toward crime and criminal justice, the media as a cause of crime, the media’s influence on the judicial system, etc. Such topics will be addressed using a sociological perspective, thus necessitating the analysis of the media’s relationship to sociological and criminological theories. (3)

SOC 250 Deviant Behavior
Current theories of the genesis and distribution of deviant behavior and implications for a general theory of deviance. Definitions of deviance, social control, labeling theory, and secondary deviance are explored. Prerequisite: SOC 131 or SOC 203. (3)

SOC 305 Criminology
Examines crime in the United States through the lens of sociology, based on the assumption that one cannot understand crime without viewing it in its social and cultural contexts. Prerequisite: SOC 131,or SOC 203. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-2. (3)

SOC 307 Juvenile Justice
A systematic study of the history and purpose of the juvenile justice system that includes examination of the role of the U.S. Supreme Court. The course also evaluates the extent and nature of juvenile delinquency and addresses the physical, emotional, and societal problems faced by juveniles today. Other topics covered are the treatment and punishment of juvenile offenders, modern juvenile subcultures, and controversial issues in juvenile justice. Prerequisite: CJ 209 (also listed as CJ 307). (3)