King's College - Sociology

Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

CORE 157 — Introduction to Sociology (3)

The course introduces sociology’s basic concepts, theories, research methods, and subfields, covering such topics as socialization, deviance and crime, family, economic inequality, cul­ture, gender, religion, and social movements. Students will come to understand the many ways in which people’s lives, including their own, are shaped by the social world, and the many ways in which human behavior and interaction serve to reinforce or challenge and reshape or social world. This course was previously listed as SOC 201.

SOC 212 — Social Problems (3)

The course examines major problems and issues in today’s world. Though perspectives and specific problems may vary, this course will examine such problems as drug abuse, domestic violence, environmental degradation, war, population problems, mental illness, suicide, health care, crime and delinquency, as well as the causes of social problems and the ways in which the U.S. and other societies have responded to them.

SOC 225 — Individual in Society

This course will study social psychology from a sociological perspective as it addresses the nature and causes of human social behavior. Core concerns for this study includes: the impact that one individual has on another; the impact that a group has on its members; the impact that one group has on another group. Further discussion will center on current events and the impact of contemporary culture on the individual.

SOC 253 — Minority Group Relations

This course examines the significance of racial, ethnic and other minority group statuses in society. Topics include patterns of group relations such as assimilation and segregation; social sources of prejudice; sources and areas of discrimination, such as within education, employment, housing, and the criminal justice system; contemporary issues such as hate groups’ use of the Internet; and social responses to inequalities, such as the civil rights movement in the United States.

SOC 255 — Principles of Social Work (3)

A survey of Social Work that considers the religious, philosophical and historical foun­dations of the social welfare institution in American society. There is a special focus on the role of government in social work as well as the development of the profession. The course is designed to develop in students a commitment to social responsibility, as well as an enhanced awareness of the personal and professional values critical to a career in the field. An important part of this course involves service learning through volunteer work at a social work agency.

SOC 296 — Applied Human Services Interventions (3)

Offers variable credit options through four individual training elements. (May not be taken for Sociology credit.)

SOC 310 — Cultural Anthropology (3)

A comparative look across the cultures of the world, past and present, from very simple, subsistence level societies to the modern post-industrial societies of the 20th century. The origins and evolutionary courses of social institutions, such as marriage, kinship ties, war, religion, and government, will be considered.

SOC 312 — Dynamics of Population (3)

This course examines modern demography, also known as population studies, which studies population growth and change under a variety of conditions, including the causes and consequences of changes in birth rates, death rates, and migration patterns. Specific topics include the relationship between population trends and crime rates, economic development, and AIDS; the negative consequences of urban sprawl; issues of popula­tion control, food production, and use of natural resources; and policies and programs designed to address these issues. Cross-listed as ENST 312.

SOC 314 — Environmental Sociology

Human societies vary tremendously in how they interact with the natural environment, including how they define, use, and allocate natural resources, how social systems have been shaped by climate, space, and the presence of other species, how society’s members have viewed their role in local ecosystems, and the manner in which human activity has altered their habitat over time, both intentionally and unintentionally. In this course, we will explore the relationship between humans and the environment throughout history and across the globe, with particular attention to environmental justice issues, the emergence of environmental consciousness and cultures, and the interaction between environmental, economic, and social components of “sustainability.” Cross-listed as ENST 314.

SOC 333 — Criminology (3)

The origin, causes, and history of crime; sociological and social psychological theories dealing with crime prevention; programs for special treatment of crime; and study of institutions and rehabilitation. Cross-listed as CJ 333.

SOC 350 — Social Welfare Policy (3)

An examination of social welfare programs in various fields of practice, such as child welfare, mental health, juvenile corrections, income maintenance, and others. The politi­cal and economic factors that influence social policy and the provision of social services are studied, as are specific social problems and the services intended to address them. The course emphasizes the legitimate role and responsibility of government in providing efficient and humane ways of meeting human needs. An important part of this course involves service learning through volunteer work at a social work agency.

SOC 351 — Sociology of the Family (3)

This course examines families, marriages, and intimate relationships from a sociological point of view. It emphasizes how “family” has changed over time, how family forms vary across cultures, and ways in which families are affected by the inequalities of gender, race/ ethnicity, and class. Topics include dating and intimacy; parenting and child-care; divi­sions of power and labor in families; current issues such as sexual orientation, divorce, stepfamilies, teen childbirth, and family violence; and policies and programs that respond to these issues. Cross-listed as WMST 351.

SOC 354 — City Life and Problems (3)

An exploration of the modern city its history, growth, design and regional integration through lecture, research and discussion, and visits to city planning agencies. The chang­ing profile of urban needs and challenge to urban planning will be explored. The human values implicit in our present urban way of life and the recent trend in urban ethnic diversity will also be examined.

SOC 355 — Sociology of Mental Health (3)

A survey of mental health issues, including the history of mental illness treatment (with special emphasis on precedents for today), its various diagnostic classifications, the types of interventions, and relevant agencies. There will be a special focus on government-supported agencies, including the role of community mental health centers. An important part of this course involves service learning through volunteer work at a social work agency.

SOC 360 — Child Welfare Services (3)

A survey of the child welfare system, including foster care, adoptions, child abuse and neglect, school social services, institutional care, and juvenile probation. To help focus the course on current issues, each student will investigate a child welfare agency and give an oral presentation. There will also be news analyses of current events related to child welfare. An important part of this course involves service learning through volunteer work at a social work agency.

SOC 367 — Sociology of Aging (3)

Exploration of aging as a biological, psychological, and sociological event. Emphasis on aging as a social problem and examination of problematic conditions such as health, finances, the transition into retirement, individual adaptation to aging, and the society’s current inconsistent responses to aging, including public and private maintenance pro­grams. Cross-listed as GERO 267.

SOC 370 — Gender and Work

This course examines the relationship between gender and work in the modern world. Topics include patterns of gender difference, patterns of gender inequality such as in pay and promotion, and the segregation of women and men into “female-typed” and “male­typed” occupations; causes of inequalities such as socialization and discrimination; and sources of change such as women’s movements, laws, and family strains. Students will critically analyze the relationship between gender and work under a variety of conditions, and may examine their own work experiences and plans in relation to topics covered in the course. Cross-listed as WMST 370.

SOC 371 — Work and the Corporation (3)

The social history of labor, including the local unions and the Mollie Maguires. A history of labor theories from conservatism to liberalism and the development of collective bar­gaining. Questions of good management and bureaucracy will be investigated along with the quality of work, the improvement of work conditions, and questions of what is leisure.

SOC 372 — Religion and Society (3)

A study of religion from the perspective of the Sociology of Religion – the meanings, sources, variations, and conflicts of religion. The relationship of Sociology of Religion to Theology, Psychology, Anthropology, etc. Religion and economic realities, Church and State Issues, and religions in the U.S. in the past, present, and future.

SOC 373 — Juvenile Delinquency (3)

The sociological and social psychological factors involved in delinquent behavior. The material is considered within the framework of definition, extent, causation and account­ability and the reaction to the problem of juvenile delinquency. Cross-listed as CJ 373.

SOC 380 — Current Social Movements (3)

Social movements are sources of tension which may signal unseen characteristics and possibilities within a social order. Crime prevention through neighborhood organizing and victims movements, the environmental movement, the civil rights movement, and the labor movement. Social movement theory, collective behavior (crowds, panics, mobs, contagion). The emergence, maintenance, and failure of social movements. Consideration of the skills needed for a successful movement.

SOC 403 — Urban and Community Studies (3)

A study of the content research, analysis, and implications in all stages of urban and community development. A historical survey will be presented as a means of examining the present sociological, political, and economic state of American communities. Special emphasis will be placed on the challenges confronting American cities, the growth and significance of the suburbs; and the role of small towns. Direct student participation in selected scholarly projects will be included. Cross-listed with HIST 403.

SOC 415 — Sociology of Media and Popular Culture (3)

This course examines various perspectives on the production and consumption of culture from a sociological perspective, with an emphasis on cultural objects and practices dis­seminated through the mass media. The first half of the class looks at cultural production: who are the people and institutions involved in the production of culture? How do the relationships between artists and other social actors influence media content? What are some of the structural features of media and culture industries? In the second half of the semester, we’ll turn our attention to the consumption of culture: who consumes what, and why? How do people interpret cultural objects and practices? How do people use culture to delineate boundaries between social groups, craft individual and group identities, and perpetuate (or subvert) social inequalities? How does the media shape social action? Cross-listed with COMM 391.

SOC 425 — Sociological Theory (3)

Marx, Durkheim, Weber, and Simmel. The rise of American sociological theory. Philoso­phy of science and research programs. Major contemporary theories: structural-functional conflict, neo-Marxian, symbolic interactionism, phenomenology and ethnomethodology, exchange and behavioral sociology, feminist and structural theories. Recent developments toward multicultural views and integration of theories.

SOC 430 — Social Inequality (3)

The examination of social inequality, or social stratification, is a central theme of sociol­ogy. This course explores patterns and aspects of inequality such as the rich-poor gap and inequalities in health care and education; theories regarding the origins and maintenance of stratification; and responses and challenges to stratification such as labor movements and government programs. The course examines ways in which economic inequality intertwines with inequalities of race/ethnicity and gender, and it compares stratification in the U.S. with that in other countries as well as with global stratification.

SOC 450 — Counseling Modalities in Justice Settings (3)

The course examines various counseling modalities and associated techniques in social justice settings. Topics include a description of practice environments in the fields of criminal justice, adult social services, child welfare, and juvenile justice, particularly with respect to the emergent community and restorative justice models.

SOC 470 — Deviant Behavior (3)

An analysis of the social creation of the deviant behavior as examined through the social processes of rule making, rule breaking, and social control. Particular emphasis is placed on the role of conventional values and the effects of societal labeling in the deviance process. Alternate lifestyles are objectively examined. Cross-listed as CJ 470.

SOC 489-492/494-496 — Special Topics in Sociology (3)

Offered on demand. An in-depth consideration of current topics in sociology not other­wise covered by other course offerings in the department.

SOC 497-498 — Supervised Individual Study (3)

The study of a contemporary topic or issue in the Sociology field under the direct super­vision of a faculty member. The student wishing to enroll in this course must submit a brief written proposal outlining the purpose of the study, endorsed by a faculty sponsor and by the Chairperson of the Department.

SOC 499 — Sociology Internship (3)

A full semester field experience designed to give the exceptional student the opportunity to acquire a knowledge of sociology in action. Placements can be in urban planning agencies, social service agencies, or research bureaus. Coupled with frequent field work, supervisory sessions and topical meetings will be arranged.

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