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Past Course Descriptions

Course Listings - Spring 2003

 
Sociology Department
Course Descriptions
Spring 2003

SOCI 101S 01
Introduction to Sociology
(4 Credits)
Doubt, Keith

Introduction to Sociology introduces and studies various sociological principles on the nature of social interaction and the problem of social order. The course demonstrates how different sociological perspectives help us understand and articulate the compelling character of social life. The course is divided into three parts, and the leading, theoretical approaches within sociology--Symbolic Interaction, Social Conflict, Functionalism--are studied one at a time in each part of the course. The course also explores different methodologies for conducting sociological research, in particular, statistical analysis and discourse analysis. In general, the course will encourage you to enjoy, recognize, and actively engage in the practice of social inquiry. During the course two distinct methodologies for conducting sociological inquiry will be compared and dramatized in this class, one being quantitative or statistical analysis and the other being qualitative or semiology. The purpose of the course is to introduce you to both the theoretical and the methodological diversity of the discipline.

SOCI 101S 02 & 03
Introduction to Sociology
(4 Credits)
Pankhurst, Jerry

This course serves as an introduction to the cultural and structural patterns of human behavior as seen through the sociological perspective. Course content, as presented through readings, lectures, exercises, films, and discussions, focuses upon norms, social interaction, social organization, and social change. We will explore socio-cultural differences in life styles through an analytical approach which views social behavior as the result of a complex integration of institutional affiliations (e.g., religious, family, educational, political, and economic). The course also introduces students to the discipline of sociology and to sociology as a profession. This section of Sociology 101 will have a lecture and discussion format. Grades are based on three examinations and several exercises.

SOCI 110 C/S 1W
Cultural Anthropology
(4 credits)
Smith, Stephen

This course is an introduction to the perspective of cultural anthropology. The course pays particular attention to the concept of culture and to the tremendous diversity of cultural patterns around the world. Topics include fieldwork as method and experience, institutions of society, and symbol and meaning. Students will read descriptions of societies from several different ethnographic areas, including the United States. We will end the term with a consideration of the role of anthropology and anthropologists in the world today. Writing intensive.

SOCI 201 S 1W
Sociological Perspectives in Education
(4 Credits)
McEvoy, Alan

This course examines the foundations and outcomes of education from a sociological perspective. The roles of students, parents, teachers, administrators, and other stakeholders in public education will be considered. In addition, issues of class, race, ethnicity, and gender will be examined as they affect school practices. How institutions and individuals are responsive or resistant to school reform is examined as well. Readings in the course will revolve around studies on the profession of teaching, school violence, social mobility, and equal opportunity. The course will also include a field experience component. Students completing either Education 103 or Sociology 201 will fulfill one requirement for teacher licensure. Students seeking licensure through the teacher education program are required to take either this course or Educ. 104. Fulfills General Education requirement for social institutions, processes, and behavior. No prerequisite.

SOCI 245 S 1W & 2W
Gender and Society
(4 Credits)
Plante, Rebecca

Gender is perhaps the most important variable in social life. When babies are born, the first thing we learn about them is sex/gender ("It's a boy!"). In this course, we will examine 'sex' vs. 'gender', the social construction of gender, gender within major social institutions, and the consequences of the gendering process. Writing assignments will progressively build skills, enabling students to refine critical reading, writing, and analysis. This course will also include a lot of media critique. (This is cross-listed with Women's Studies.)

SOCIOLOGY 250 S 01 & 02
Sociology of Deviance
(4 Credits)
McEvoy, Alan

Sex, violence, insanity, fear and loathing! This course focuses on public perceptions and responses to behavior that is considered a violation of societal rules. Sociological theory, research, and case examples will be employed to help the student understand the causes and consequences of a variety of behaviors labeled as deviant. The emphasis will be on examining the patterns of interaction within which deviant behavior emerges, the impact of certain types of deviance on others, as well as attempts to prevent or reduce these behaviors by agents of social control. Of paramount concern will be our effort to understand the meaning of deviant behavior from the perspective of both the deviant actors and the audience that expresses disapproval. (Sociology 101 or 110 or permission of the instructor as a prerequisite.)

SOCI 270 S 01 & 02
Sociology of Minority Groups
(4 credits)
Nibert, David

Since humanity developed the capacity to produce an economic surplus, countless masses of earthlings have been oppressed, and many have had their labor appropriated, by relatively small groups of privileged humans. This course will examine the historical and contemporary causes for the continued oppression of entire groups, including various ethnic groups, women, the impoverished and other species of animals. Special attention will be given to the roots of oppression with an in depth look at the entanglement of oppression of humans and other animals. This analysis will be woven into an examination of the treatment of devalued humans in the United States. The course will include class discussions, videotape presentations, and assignments outside of class. Students are expected to respond actively to assigned readings by discussing key ideas and by using examples to support or question these ideas.

SOCI 301 S 1W
Advocacy and Theory: African American Social Thought
(4 Credits)
Doubt, Keith

This course will survey the tradition of African American social thought and the establishment of this tradition as a decisive and critical force in modern social thought. We will focus on key social theorists such as W. E. B. DuBois, Martin Luther King, Audre Lorde, bell hooks, and Cornel West who have made substantial contributions toward defining the limits and character of the relation between advocacy and theory. We will examine the contributions of Black feminism and compare and contrast the contributions of different authors. The course will require intensive readings of challenging but rewarding texts. The course will also require clearly written and analytically astute papers. Two to three hours of outside preparation - involving reading, journal writing, and library research - are required for each class.

SOCI 307M 01 Z & W
Research Methods
(5 Credits)
Plante, Rebecca
(Course is limited to 16)

This course will introduce sociology majors to issues in research methodology (required for majors). Topics to be covered include the logic of the social scientific approach, research design, measurement techniques, and qualitative and quantitative data analysis. Students will learn how to think about research, how to ask questions, and how to develop answers. The course includes both classroom and laboratory segments; Methods is writing intensive, computing/mathematical-reasoning intensive, and 'critical thinking' intensive. Students will also undertake work to prepare them for sociology senior thesis.

SOCI 310 C/S
Culture, Health and Sickness
(4 credits)
Smith, Stephen

Examination of the sociocultural dynamics of health and sickness. Key concepts include cultural definitions of sickness, the patient role, treatment decision-making, and the health care delivery system. Will be taught from an anthropological perspective. Prerequisite: One sociology course of at least three semester hours. Offered every third year.

SOCI 340 R 1W
Sociology of Religion
(4 credits)
Pankhurst, Jerry

Religion exists in two realms, the spiritual (or supernatural) and the human (or mundane). As social scientists, we do not presume to analyze the supernatural realm, but we try to apply our methods and perspectives to understanding the human, social side of religion. Investigation of the social side of religion involves examining the organization of religious groups, their cultural settings, their political and economic correlates, and their capabilities as agents of social change. In general, we examine the interrelations between religion and other institutions of society. The social scientific study of religion focuses attention upon the mechanisms by which particular religious groups seek to stimulate and sustain the religious impulse and to channel it into the favored mode of expression. In addition, sociologists of religion are interested in how religion contributes to the values of culture and assists in their creation, invigoration, alteration, and demise. We ask, then, both: how does religion influence society?, and how does society influence religion? Course requirements include field visits to local religious institutions, oral presentations, several short papers and three examinations. This course is writing intensive. One prior course in Sociology is a prerequisite.

SOCI 376 S 01
Law and Society
(4 credits)
Nibert, David

This course is designed to develop and expand students' awareness and understanding of the social construction of the state and how law functions as a social institution; special attention will be given to the role of the state and law as instruments of social control and oppression. While a brief survey of historical uses of state power will be undertaken, the preponderance of assigned readings will be given to an analysis of oppressive uses of state power and law in the 20th and 21st centuries in the United States and the use of U.S. power in the Third World.

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