Courses | Sociology, B.A.

Summary

Below are some of the courses you’ll have an opportunity to take as a student in this program. 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. For official program requirements see catalog for details.

Major Courses

Basic statistics for psychological research. Descriptive statistics, correlation/regression and inferential statistics including hypothesis testing, type I and II errors, t-tests, analysis of variance, and several non-parametric tests including chi-square. Not for general education math/science requirement.

Use of Excel and the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) to obtain descriptive and inferential statistics covered in 211. Experience in developing surveys, analyzing survey data and writing research reports.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

This course examines the ways in which social researchers collect and analyze information. Experimental research designs, field research, survey techniques, and 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 course is designed to give students a better understanding of these techniques so they can critically evaluate these types of social research. It is also designed to give students practical skills in conducting research which will be helpful no matter what profession they enter.

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.


Concentrations

Social Work

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.

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.

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.

Opportunity to integrate classroom learning with actual on-the-job training in a social work agency. Variety of available agency settings with placement based upon interest and academic background.

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.

Criminology

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).

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.

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.

In this course, students will work at a 10-hour per week, 15 week internship with a criminal justice related organization. At the end, a paper relating their experiences to theories in the discipline of sociology and criminology will be required.