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Courses | B.A. in Sociology

Below are some of the courses you’ll have an opportunity to take as a student in this program. Take a look at the list below to get an idea of the types of available courses. Also, be sure to review core curriculum requirements and the official program requirements in the Biola University catalog.

Note: This list is intended to give you a quick glimpse into the program’s academic offerings, and should not be used as a guide for course selection or academic advising.

Major Courses

Sociological concepts with emphasis on group life, culture, socialization, social institutions, social processes and change. Theoretical as well as practical application of interaction and its effect on individuals in groups. Notes: Approved for Core Curriculum Behavioral Science credit. Grade Mode: A.

This course is designed to teach students the methods by which social researchers collect and analyze information. Qualitative studies enrich our understanding of social interaction and social psychology. Rather than having you memorize concepts, regurgitate them on an exam and then forget them immediately, this course will allow you to complete social research projects of your own, based on ethnography and in-depth interviews. Activities and lectures will be oriented toward helping you design and complete your project.

The course covers the most common quantitative analyses and culminates with students completing a final methods paper that incorporates the findings from the semester. Students will examine an inequality related topic of interest using a public dataset. As each course topic is introduced, students would apply that analytic technique to their specific data, thus demonstrating competency and accumulating evidence for their final papers. This course is offered every semester.

Statistical data analysis are used quite frequently in our 'information society': political polls, opinion polls, market research, demographic studies, as well as sociological research rely on these techniques. This lab course is designed to train students in statistical techniques attractive to many employers in non-profit, social service, criminal justice, and business professions as well as graduate school.

An examination of the development of social theory beginning with theorists such as Marx, Durkheim, and Weber, and continuing through the subsequent development of 20th century social theory. Major issues include the relation between the individual and society, the sources of conflict and change in society, the role of ideas and beliefs in shaping human behavior, and the importance of social theory for the thinking, critically active Christian. Grade Mode: A.

This course will synthesize the theories, methods, and knowledge that have been learned in the course of the student's sociology degree program. Students will have the opportunity to connect sociological theory and application in preparation for entry into a career. They will also be expected to express the ways in which sociological theory and concepts connect with biblical concepts of peace and justice.


Major Courses

Select one Inequality course from the following list of courses. You must also select 18 credits of upper-division Sociology courses, if not choosing a concentration (detailed below).

Examines gender as an organizing principle in societies at all levels. The course explores the key theoretical approaches to sociology of gender and explains how historical, economic, and political trends impact gender and gender identity, as well as the impact of gender on various social institutions such as the family, government, the workplace, education, and the criminal justice system. Grade Mode: A.
Race, and companion factors such as ethnicity, social economic class, gender and age are critical factors in the administration of criminal justice in the United States. This course critically examines race, class and gender within the United States criminal justice system. Grade Mode: A.
Analysis of the social processes of politics and government. Issues and influences on political processes in the United States will be stressed, as well as power, authority, and voting behavior of social groups. Grade Mode: A.
Analysis of ethnic, racial and cultural minorities in the U.S. and selected world cultures and societies through use of basic concepts of race, racism, prejudice, discrimination, stereotypes; theoretical as well as practical application of concepts and effects on selected minority-majority relationships and racial, ethnic, and cultural groups. Grade Mode: A.
Examination of the basic dimensions of inequality in contemporary American society, how inequality is patterned by race, class and gender, and the effects of inequality on life chances and lifestyles. International comparisons of systems of inequality also examined. Grade Mode: A.
This course explores the causes and consequences of current levels of economic inequality in society both in the US and around the globe. Most of the time will be spent addressing economic inequality in the US--how wealth is produced, what leads to poverty, and how cycles of wealth are reproduced across generations. Students will also explore the consequences of poverty and wealth and how they are experienced in daily life. Both scripture and social science will be examined to explain poverty and to imagine the possibilities for creating a more just and equal world. Grade Mode: A.

This course will examine the experience of disability sociologically, with special attention toward the barriers to full equality and acceptance that people with disabilities face. We will also explore Christian views of disability and explore a theology of suffering and disability.

Students will learn to analyze and critically evaluate ideas, arguments, and points of view and understand their own values and ethics. Specifically, students will analyze the relationship between cultural representations of race and gender to constructions of the self through an examination of the experiences of artists and celebrities in contemporary popular media such as film/television, music, and performance. Through weekly reading assignments, media presentations, and original research projects, students will develop theoretical, analytical, and research skills to better understand the complex and dynamic relationship between popular culture and the social self. Students are also welcome to share current media content relevant to the course subject. Grade Mode: A.

Concentrations

Social Work

This concentration is organized as a broad preparation for students who desire to enter the helping professions. Select one of the following courses: SOCI 302, SOCI 320, SOCI 453. Additionally, you must select 9 credits of upper-division Sociology courses.

This course is designed to familiarize students with the basics of generalist social work practice from a systems perspective; an overview of social work function and roles in response to the needs of at risk populations will be provided. Instruction in the helping interventions of assessment, problem solving, counseling and resource coordination through a variety of techniques, including class lecture, case study and role play; current systems of service and the ability of the social worker to positively impact both individual and communities will also be explored. Grade Mode: A.
Examines gender as an organizing principle in societies at all levels. The course explores the key theoretical approaches to sociology of gender and explains how historical, economic, and political trends impact gender and gender identity, as well as the impact of gender on various social institutions such as the family, government, the workplace, education, and the criminal justice system. Grade Mode: A.
Christian and sociological perspectives on marriage, dating, sexuality and child rearing. Analysis of the family as a social institution as well as practical strategies for building a Christian family. Grade Mode: A.
This course will provide each student with supervised professional experience in a community agency of their choice. Students will treat their internships as 'field sites', taking weekly observation notes. Weekly notes will be coded and analyzed resulting in a final research paper. Students will also be responsible for a total of 90 hours at their internship site. All internship students will meet together with a department internship instructor once a week throughout the semester at the assigned class time. This course is mandatory for social work and criminology concentrations and open to all sociology majors. Grade Mode: A.
Using the sociological lens, this course will focus on how human sexuality reflects the society in which we live. Although it is often assumed that sexual attitudes and behaviors are exclusively biologically based, they are strongly shapes by society. Through lecture, media, readings and discussion this course will: distinguish sex from gender, focus on sociological theories of sexuality, examine a history of sexuality in Western society, link sexuality to 'micro' and 'macro' levels of social relations, visit societal debates on sexuality, note the historical acquisition of sexuality by normative groups, gain information about alternative forms of sexuality, understand sexuality as an intersecting concept, and generally underscore sexuality as a social concept. Grade Mode: A.

Criminology

This course concentration provides students an opportunity to study crime and related issues from a social scientific perspective, infusing themes of social justice, Christian ethics, and recognizing social inequalities present within the criminal justice system. Students in the Criminology concentration must take SOCI 336 as their Inequality course listed under the Program Courses. POSC 410 is a suggested support course. Additionally, you must select 9 credits of upper-division Sociology courses.

The course covers three main and overarching goals: to serve as an introduction to the study of crime causation (why people commit crime), to distinguish between the different types (and categories) of crime, and to introduce students to the criminal justice system. The following topics will be discussed: criminological theories of crime causation, crime typologies, and the criminal justice system (including a glimpse into criminal justice professions). Grade Mode: A.
Character, extent and cause of juvenile delinquency; both personal and environmental. Past and current theories of youth crime; modern methods of incarceration, control and treatment. Changing response of the laws, police, courts and the public. Grade Mode: A.
This course will provide each student with supervised professional experience in a community agency of their choice. Students will treat their internships as 'field sites', taking weekly observation notes. Weekly notes will be coded and analyzed resulting in a final research paper. Students will also be responsible for a total of 90 hours at their internship site. All internship students will meet together with a department internship instructor once a week throughout the semester at the assigned class time. This course is mandatory for social work and criminology concentrations and open to all sociology majors. Grade Mode: A.

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