2014-15 Undergraduate Catalog

Sociology

Program Mission

The Sociology Department challenges students to think critically and analytically about diverse human societies and their institutions.

Specialized areas within the major allow students to study specific social topics based on career interests and goals for continuing education.  Sociology tracks are available in General Sociology, Society & Inequality, and Applied Sociology.  Another feature of the program is that students have the option of selecting from two senior-level capstone courses that are intended to integrate, extend, critique and apply knowledge gained throughout their educational experience at MSU. During their capstone experience students may elect to assist faculty in conducting research activities.  They may also complete internship within a community setting where they can apply sociological principles to areas such as domestic violence, women’s studies, adult learning, drug and alcohol abuse, child care, business, or politics.

 

Goal Outcome
To develop a solid knowledge base constructed upon a review of diverse sociological concepts, principles, paradigms, theories and research.Students are expected to successfully complete an Introduction to Sociology exam measuring knowledge of concepts, principals, paradigms, theories and research.
To acquire an understanding and sense of chronology of the historical development of classical and contemporary sociological theory.Students are required to successfully complete all reading and writing requirements for an upper level theory class.
To review and critically assess the advancement of sociological theory and research in the diverse range of knowledge contained within the sociological literature.During the senior capstone, students are required to successfully complete a senior readings, research project or internship project implementing theoretical and research principles from sociology.
To learn the importance of applying qualitative and quantitative sociological research methods and statistics to presentations, papers and scholarly publications.Students are required to develop research paper in upper-level classes that implement qualitative and quantitative methods and statistics. Faculty encourages majors to submit papers for presentation and publication.
To become aware of and responsive to contemporary social conditions, issues and problems such as racism, ethnocentrism, sexism, ageism and classism.Students will successfully complete papers, debates, oral presentations or persuasive argumentative proejcts addressing contemporary social conditions, issues and problems.
To critically evaluate the interaction of multiple social institutions within a variety of diverse cultures, societies and environments in advanced and developing nations.Students will successfully integrate issues of cultural diversity and globalization in writing assignments and capstone projects.
To demonstrate knowledge of advanced critical, analytical and writing skills necessary for success in graduate school and/or occupations requiring rigor and excellenceThe senior capstone class will provide students with an opportunity for self-reflection and self-evaluation. Students within the class will successfully complete a variety of writing assignments intended to analytically evaluate the synthesis of sociological knowledge. Within the capstone, students will show evidence of working with peers in a collegial environment that simulates graduate school and/or professional career settings.

Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Sociology

General Education
General Education courses40
Required Core
SOC 110Introduction to Sociology3
SOC 210Introduction to Anthropology3
PSY 241Introduction to Statistics4
or MATH 210 Elementary Statistics
SOC 278Social Research Methods3
SOC 476Theory Construction & App3
SOC 477Sociological Theory3
Required Courses in Track
Select One Track 18
Track One: General
Social Processes and Social Change
Select two of the following:
Changing American Family
Cultural Studies
Social Change and Development
Social Psychology
Drugs & Society
Issues in Equality and Social Control
Select two of the following:
Social Problems
Criminology
Culture and Sexuality
Sociology of Gender
Studies in Deviance
Social Institutions and Social Structure
Select two of the following:
Contemporary Community Issues
Sociology of Religion
Comparative Ethnic Studies
Political Sociology
Track Two: Society and Inequality
Criminology
Comparative Ethnic Studies
Sociology of Gender
Studies in Deviance
Select two of the following:
Culture and Sexuality
Drugs & Society
American Indian History
Native American Art
History of American Women
Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in America
3cr from CJ 300-400 level
Track Three: Applied Sociology
Social Movement & Human Right
Environmental Sociology
Social Change and Development
Political Sociology
Select two of the following:
Social Psychology
Cultural Studies
American Government
State and Local Government
Political Philosophy
Required Capstone
Select one of the following:
Senior Readings
Research/Practicum/Internship
Required Electives
200-400 level6-7
Second Major or Minor and/or Concentration(s)33-36
Total Hours116-120

Sociology Minor (Non-Teaching)

Required Core (9 cr)

SOC 110Introduction to Sociology3
SOC 278Social Research Methods3
SOC 476Theory Construction & App3
or SOC 477 Sociological Theory
Social Processes and Social Change
Select one of the following: 3
Changing American Family
Cultural Studies
Social Change and Development
Social Psychology
Social Psychology
Issues in Equality and Social Control
Select one of the following: 3
Criminology
Comparative Ethnic Studies
Sociology of Gender
Studies in Deviance
Social Institutions and Social Structure
Select one of the following: 3
Sociology of Religion
Political Sociology
Sociology Electives
(200-400 level) 3
Total Hours21


 

Sociology Minor (Teaching)

Required Core (15 cr)

SOC 110Introduction to Sociology3
SOC 210Introduction to Anthropology3
SOC 278Social Research Methods3
SS 391Secondary History/Social Science Teaching Methods3
SOC 477Sociological Theory3
Social Processes and Social Change
Select one of the following: 3
Changing American Family
Cultural Studies
Social Change and Development
Social Psychology
Social Psychology
Issues in Equality and Social Control
Select one of the following: 3
Criminology
Comparative Ethnic Studies
Sociology of Gender
Studies in Deviance
Social Institutions and Social Structure
Select one of the following: 3
Sociology of Religion
Political Sociology
Total Hours24

Sociology Concentration

SOC 110Introduction to Sociology3
SOC electives (200-400 level) 9
Total Hours12

Courses

SOC 110. Introduction to Sociology. 3 Hours.

An introduction to the basic insight, concepts, theories and methods of the discipline. The course encourages students to think critically, to apply sociological knowledge, and to develop a global perspective. Topics for discussion include culture, social interaction, deviance, sexuality, stratification, race relations, gender, family, economics, politics, technology, and social change. SOC 101 is a prerequisite for all 300 and 400 level SOC courses.

SOC 113. Introduction to Eco-Sociolgy. 3 Hours.

Eco-Sociolgy focuses on the relationship between ecology and sociology which essentially is the way in which an environment acts upon a community, a group or an individual. Human ecology is the way in which an environment is adapted by a culture or society. Cultural ecology is then the area of study that investigates the dynamics of the ecological system: how it adapts or how it collapses.

SOC 200H. Idea of Society. 3 Hours.

The idea of society is perhaps one of the most difficult abstractions in our repertoire. This course introduces the student to various perspectives that seek to explain both the historical and contemporary meaning of society. Honors Program admission or 3.30 cumulative GPA and permission of the instructor is required.

SOC 201. Social Problems. 3 Hours.

A sociological analysis of major social problems.

SOC 210. Introduction to Anthropology. 3 Hours.

Examination of customs, institutions, and social organization of preliterate societies. Brief consideration of physical and biological aspects of human development.

SOC 241. Basic Social Statistics. 3 Hours.

Exploration of fundamental statistical concepts in measurements, scaling, binominal and normal distribution, sampling, survey, and descriptive and inferential techniques as well as hypothesis testing. Sociological application of the concepts just outlined with special emphasis on t-test, chi-square, correlation, and regression. The course has both demonstration and lab components.

SOC 252. Criminology. 3 Hours.

Study of criminal behavior, including the nature and causes of crime, and of official responses to criminal law violations. Prerequisite: SOC 101.

SOC 255. Changing American Family. 3 Hours.

An introduction to diverse family issues and concerns in American society. The course examines the changing functions, patterns and structures of the family as a major socail institution. Topics include changing patterns of dating, mate selection, cohabitation, marriage, dual career families, adoption, divorce, and remarriage.

SOC 269. Culture and Sexuality. 3 Hours.

This course will examine ethical, cultural, psychological, social, and political issues related to sexual relationships and sexual behavior. Specific issues covered include sexual consent and sexual responsibility; harassment and freedom of speech; privacy; censorship and pornography; impact of media on sexual relationships; and university and governmental regulation of intimate relationships, such as interracial relationships and student-professor relationship. Prerequisite(s): SOC 110 or SOC 200H.

SOC 275. Contemporary Community Issues. 3 Hours.

This course is designed to develop your understanding of the different communities you are a member of and the issues facing them in the 21st century. Drawing on theories and concepts from various disciplines, we will expand on how communities and the issues associated with them are defined, constructed and addressed at multiple levels of society. Specifically, we will examine various political and social issues facing our communities including but not limited to: crime, ecology, inequalities, health care and the family. We will also set those issues in their larger state, national and global context, address the impact of that context and the proposed possible outcomes for the future.

SOC 278. Social Research Methods. 3 Hours.

Study of the basic methods of empirical social science research. Topics include techniques and theory of research design, formulating and testing hypotheses, measurements, sampling, modes of observation, data management, and elementary data analysis.

SOC 280. Social Movement & Human Right. 3 Hours.

This course examines the complex relationship between social movements and human rights. Primary emphasis will be given to how grassroot movements/mobilizations have both shaped and contested our modern conceptions and practices of human rights in the US and globally. Prerequisite(s): SOC 110 or SOC 200H.

SOC 299. Special Topics in Sociology. 1-8 Hour.

This is a flexible course that may be taught depending on student needs. The design of the course is to present the student an opportunity to concentrate on various topics.

SOC 325. Environmental Sociology. 3 Hours.

This course examines the interrelationship between our community, culture, society and the global environment. Students will become engaged in diverse environmental projects, discussions and debates on eco-feminism, bio-diversity, bio-piracy, environmental degradation and future sustainability. Students will complete a final project that provides suggestions, recommendations and solutions to environmental preservation in the future.

SOC 357. Sociology of Religion. 3 Hours.

A sociological analysis of religious belief, behavior, organization, and the relation between religion as an institution and the larger society of which it is a part. Prerequisite: SOC 101.

SOC 361. Comparative Ethnic Studies. 3 Hours.

Examination of the social, political, legal, and economic development of ethnic inequality in our American society. Topics include prejudice and discrimination, majority and minority relations, institutionalized racism, intergroup contacts, migration, immigration, affirmative action and equal opportunity programs. Prerequisite: SOC 101.

SOC 363. Sociology of Gender. 3 Hours.

This course focuses on the social, political, legal, and economic dimensions of contemporary women's issues. Topics include the feminization of poverty, reproductive technology, single parenthood, childcare policies, aggression against women, and institutionalized sexism. Prerequsite: SOC 101.

SOC 369. Studies in Deviance. 3 Hours.

This course examines how so-called deviant identities, communities, desires, and practices are socially, historically, and culturally constructed. Particular emphasis is placed on non-traditional forms of deviancy. Discussion topics include transgender issues, queer theory, body modification, religious fanaticism, and militia groups. Prerequisite: SOC 101.

SOC 374. Cultural Studies. 3 Hours.

This course provides students with a basic understanding of the dynamics of culture and its impact on global change. Areas covered include: institutional structures of culture, cultural history and legacies, production and distribution of culture, effects of culture on meaning and social action. Prerequisite: SOC 101.

SOC 375. Social Change and Development. 3 Hours.

Designed to familiarize students woth the theories, methods, adn analytical frameworks for understanding social change and development in a global context. Topics covered include gender and race/ethnicity issues, social movements, and collective behavior, economic development, and globalization. Prerequisites: SOC 101 and three credits of Sociology.

SOC 376. Social Psychology. 3 Hours.

Study of the social sources and patterns of the aging perception, attribution, socialization, and interpersonal interaction. Prerequisite: SOC 101.

SOC 378. Hist Of Social Thought. 3 Hours.

3/94 Dropped Q For Prereq Purposes.

SOC 394. Independent Study General Soc. 1-4 Hour.

SOC 399. Senior Readings. 1-6 Hour.

Intended for students close to completing their major/minor sociology requirements. This course provides a forum for students to test the knowledge and skills they have acquired throughout their course of study by re-examining specific issues pertinent to sociology. Topics to be discussed range from civic, political, and religious participation through race, ethnicity, and gender issues. Prerequisites: SOC 101, three credits of sociology, and consent of instructor.

SOC 401. Research/Practicum/Internship. 1-6 Hour.

The course allows students the option of developing a major paper involving a literature review or empirical research or placement in applied setting for practical experience. Community and/or campus settings are available.

SOC 420. Drugs & Society. 3 Hours.

An examination of public policy and the social construction of drugs and drug use. Includes the history of drug legislation, the interactional experiences of drug users, harm reduction and rehabilitation vs. criminalization, social effects, drug culture, and legalization debates. Prerequisite(s): SOC 110 or SOC 200H.

SOC 451. Political Sociology. 3 Hours.

Political sociology broadly conceived is the study of power and domination in social relationships to include the relationship between state and society. The course draws upon comparative history to analyze socio-political trends and thereby includes the analysis of the family, the mass media, universities, trade unions, etc. A typical research question might, for example, be: what factors explain why so few American citizens choose to vote.

SOC 476. Theory Construction & App. 3 Hours.

Course is based on a basic understanding of the properties, limitations, and applications of theory is important not only to producers of sociological knowledge but also as consumers of that knowledge. The goal of the class is develop an understanding of sociological theory by exploring some of the basic theoretical orientations sociologists use in studying social phenomena and some of the specific theories based on these orientations. By considering criteria appropriate for evaluating these orientations and the theories developed from them. And exploring the different ways that a sociological theory may and may not be used in resolving social problems. Prerequisite(s): SOC 110 or SOC 200H.

SOC 477. Sociological Theory. 3 Hours.

This course introduces students to the major nineteenth and twentieth century thinkers who shaped the development of sociological thought. In exploring the theoretical heritage of sociology, the course seeks to develop an appreciation of what theory is and how necessary and useful it is for examining and understanding the social world. A major assumption of the course is that sociological theory has an eminently practical function for understanding ourselves and the world we live in. Prerequisite(s): SOC 110 or SOC 200H and SOC 476.

SOC 494. Independent Study Honors Soc. 1-8 Hour.

SOC 499. Special Topics in Sociology. 1-8 Hour.

This is a flexible course that may be taught depending on student needs. The design of the course is to present the student an opportunity to concentrate on various topics.

Faculty

Program Coordinator

Harry Hoffman

Matthew E. Eddy

Jynette Larshus-Thompson