Department of Sociology

Professors: Marilyn Fernandez, Alma M. Garcia, Charles H. Powers, Enrique S. Pumar (Department Chair and Fay Boyle Professor)

Associate Professors: Laura Nichols, Laura Robinson

Assistant Professor: Patrick Lopez-Aguado

Lecturer: Cara Chiaraluce

The Department of Sociology offers a degree leading to a bachelor of science in sociology. A solid undergraduate foundation in sociology secures the analytical skills needed to undertake professional degree programs in sociology, business, law, and social services or to embark on a number of careers from management to research. A minor in sociology is available. Honors thesis options also are offered to qualified majors.

Requirements for the Major

In addition to fulfilling Undergraduate Core Curriculum requirements for the bachelor of science degree, students majoring in sociology must complete the following departmental requirements:

  • SOCI 1

  • ANTH 3

  • SOCI 33, 35, 118, 119, 120, 198

  • SOCI 121 or 122

  • Five upper-division sociology electives (excluding SOCI 194)

  • One upper-division elective from outside the Department of Sociology to be selected from an approved list; the list is available in the departmental office

Requirements for the Minor

Students must fulfill the following requirements for a minor in sociology:

  • SOCI 1, 33, 35, 117

  • Three other approved upper-division sociology courses excluding SOCI 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 194, 195, 198, and 199

Lower-Division Courses

1. Principles of Sociology

Introduces students to the field of sociology. Emphasis on the major sociological perspectives and the basic elements of sociological analysis. Introductory exposure to research methodology. (4 units)

11A. and 12A. Cultures & Ideas I and II

This two-course sequence focuses on a major theme in human experience and culture over a significant period of time. Courses emphasize either broad global interconnections or the construction of Western culture in its global context. Course one will cover disruption of global cultures in the context of social and economic history, and course two will cover emerging global cultures in the age of the Internet. Successful completion of C&I I (SOCI 11A) is a prerequisite for C&I II (SOCI 12A). (4 units each quarter)

30. Self, Community, and Society

Explores a specific topic related to the self, community, and society. Use of sociological theories, research, community-based learning, and civic engagement activities to help students analyze and explore the role of the individual in influencing community and society as well as how the individual is shaped by these entities. (4 units)

33. Social Problems in the United States

Provides an overview of contemporary social problems in the United States from a sociological perspective, with a major emphasis on the ways race, class, and gender shape the development of specific social problems and the public policies offered to address them. Topics may include the economy, poverty, homelessness, and social inequality. (4 units)

35. Introduction to Research Design and Methods

Introduces students to the logic and basic methods of sociological research. The focus is on three research methods used regularly by sociologists: participant observation, interviewing, and surveys/statistical analysis. Through a combination of readings and exercises, students will be exposed to a few of sociology's best practices lessons using each of these methods, and making appropriate sampling decisions based on the nature of a project. We will reflect on research ethics and on opportunities for integrating quantitative and qualitative methods throughout the course. Prerequisite: SOCI 1. (4 units)

49. Computers, the Internet, and Society

Examines the impact new media and computer technologies have had on society as well as the role of individuals, groups, and societies on the development of this technology. Looks at the transforming or potentially transforming effects of communication technology on civic engagement. Prerequisite: Completion of social science requirement in the Core. (4 units)

60. Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship---Leading Change

This interdisciplinary course examines social entrepreneurship and innovation in the context of global and local social issues. Critical skills such as creativity, critical and ethical thinking, reflection, transformative communication, leadership, empathy, and teamwork, are enhanced. Students participate in a human-centered design thinking skills training, innovate a solution to a social or environmental problem, and create a business model canvas and case study of the innovation for the final project. (4 units)

65. Crime and Delinquency

Broadly surveys major issues surrounding the causes and nature of, and solutions to, the problem of crime and delinquency in the United States. (4 units)

91. Lower-Division Seminar in Sociology

Seminar for first-year students and sophomores on selected issues in sociology. May be repeated once for credit if topic changes. Prerequisites: By permission of the instructor and sociology chair only. (4 units)

Upper-Division Courses: Theory, Methods, and Capstone

117. Sociology's Analytical Frameworks and Conceptual Approaches

Considers sociology as an integrated and coherent discipline by reviewing the development of different analytical frameworks which, when considered together, convey much of the conceptual power and rich history of the discipline. Required of all sociology minors. Does not fulfill the SOCI 119 requirement for the major. (5 units)

118. Qualitative Methods

Provides students with an understanding of qualitative methods for social research by focusing on (1) classical and contemporary sociological works employing qualitative methods, and (2) a selection of qualitative methods and techniques in sociology. Students gain hands-on experience by producing a series of qualitative research projects. Prerequisites: SOCI 119 and 120. (5 units)

119. Sociological Theory

Provides an overview of sociological theory stressing the role of theory in the scientific method. Required of all majors. Does not fulfill the SOCI 117 requirement for the minor. Prerequisites: SOCI 1 and concurrent enrollment in SOCI 120. Must be taken in winter quarter. (5 units)

120. Survey Research and Statistical Analysis

Applies quantitative research designs and statistics to examine sociologically relevant research questions empirically, with attention to the scientific reasoning behind quantitative methodology. Statistical analyses conducted using a statistical package such as SPSS. Prerequisites: SOCI 1 and concurrent enrollment in SOCI 119. Must be taken in winter quarter. (5 units)

121. Research Capstone

Consists of a collaborative research project conducted under the direction of a faculty member. Sociology majors only. Prerequisites: SOCI 118, 119, and 120. (5 units)

122. Applied Capstone

Demonstrates the application of sociological research and insights to the challenges of modern business, human service, and public sector organizations. Practice components bring students into contact with people who are incorporating sociology to improve the functioning of their organizations and to inform policymaking. Sociology majors only. Prerequisites: SOCI 118, 119, and 120. (5 units)

Upper-Division Courses: Professional Development in Sociology

195. Silicon Valley Notebook

Provides sociology seniors, who have successfully completed SOCI 121, the opportunity to improve the professional quality of their research capstone papers for possible inclusion in the department's journal and conference presentations. Prerequisites: SOCI 121 and recommendation of SOCI 121 faculty. (5 units)

198. Internship

Presents an opportunity for students with senior standing to reflect on their sociological insights gained in human service/community, government, or business organizations. Prior to enrolling in this course, students must have completed an internship placement approved by the faculty internship coordinator and requiring a minimum of 40 hours of work. Students working 40-60 hours enroll for 2 units, those working 61--100 hours enroll for 4 units, and those working more than 100 hours enroll for 5 units. Prerequisites: SOCI 119, 120, and senior class standing. (2, 4, or 5 units)

Upper-Division Electives

125. Honors Thesis

Ordinarily requires an overall GPA of 3.3, a GPA of 3.5 in the major, completion of SOCI 121, and approval of a thesis proposal defining a topic, outlining a theoretically driven research design, and having a timetable for conducting various stages of the research. May be taken only with special permission of the sociology chair. (5 units)

127. Group Dynamics

Explores the structure and social processes that occur in small and large groups. Concepts such as power and prestige, leadership, communication networks, collaboration and conflict, game theory, and distributive justice are examined. (5 units)

130. Social Entrepreneurship: Leading Change

This interdisciplinary course examines social entrepreneurship and innovation in the context of global and local social issues. Essential skills, such as creativity, critical and ethical thinking, reflection, transformative communication, leadership, empathy, and teamwork, are enhanced. Students participate in a human-centered design thinking skills training, innovate a solution to a social or environmental problem, and create a business model canvas and case study of the innovation for the final project. (5 units)

132. Social Stratification

Explores analysis of the principal lines of social cleavage within the United States and society. Emphasizes the racial, sexual, ethnic, occupational, and class divisions prevalent in the contemporary world and current policy responses. (5 units)

133. Politics and Society in Developing Societies

Explores social and political change in the Third World. Content includes relationship between economic and social development and the emergence of democratic, authoritarian, or revolutionary regimes in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Emphasis is on ways in which the international system influences development through investigation of theories of interdependence, dependency, and neoimperialism. (5 units)

134. Globalization and Inequality

Encompasses overview of globalization as a long-term historical process. Focus on the impact in the developing world; on people moving from the developing to the developed world; the displacement of some and new opportunities for others during different periods of globalization; and the long-term implications of privilege and marginality that globalization has produced. Examination of case material based on Latin American, African, and Asian historical experiences; exploration of theoretical models of high rates of poverty in the developing world; and practical steps to reduce marginalization on a global scale. (5 units)

135. Women and Social Change in Latin America

Examines the relationship between gender and the process of national and international factors related to social change in Latin America. Emphasis on selected case studies such as Mexico, Guatemala, Bolivia, and El Salvador. Also listed as WGST 128. (5 units)

137. Social Change

Examines significant trends and issues in contemporary United States society and in the world with an emphasis on social change as it relates to migration. Introduces utility of sociological concepts, principles, theories, and applications for understanding social change. (5 units)

138. Populations of India, China, and the United States

Using India, China, and the United States as case studies, students will understand the historical and current trends in global population growth, as well as the critical social, cultural, economic, and environmental factors that impact and are impacted by population change. They will also critically learn about the methods used to derive demographic data that are available to educate and aid in the process of informed decision making. (5 units)

140. Urban Society and Social Conflict

Involves critical inquiry into urban sociology and theoretical and practical exposure to urban issues. Explores unresolved paradox in how we understand urban life; role of structural and cultural conditions in creating or adding to urban problems; and issues such as poverty, immigration, housing, and the political economy of urban America. (5 units)

148. Stakeholder Diversity in Contemporary American Organizations

Offers a serious exploration of both the ethical and practical challenges posed by the diversity of stakeholder interests in organizations. Critical reflection on the implications of client-centered approaches to organizational activity for people working in organizations, and also for structure, culture, communication, and process in those organizations. Requires a community-based learning placement working alongside and/or in the service of persons who are marginalized in the local community. (5 units)

149. Business, Technology, and Society

Examines the impact business and society have had on the development of science/technology and the transforming or potentially transforming effects of changing science/technology on business and society. (5 units)

150. Immigrant Businesses in the United States

Immigrant businesses represent a growing sector within the United States economy and contribute to social, political, and cultural changes in the United States. Examines the development and significance of immigrant business owners and the communities within which their businesses are located. Also listed as ETHN 170. (5 units)

152. Women and Men in the Workplace

Examines the status and roles of men and women in the labor force. How gender differences are developed through socialization and some of the consequences of these differences: tokenism, sexual harassment, the "glass ceiling," and the dual-career family. Includes strategies to address gender inequality in the workplace. Also listed as WGST 181. (5 units)

153. Race, Class, and Gender in the United States

Examines the sociological nature of the intersectionality of race/ethnicity, social class, and gender by focusing on the interrelationships among social institutions, power relationships, and cultural patterns. May also focus on the impact of popular culture on the social construction of social identities. Also listed as ETHN 151 and WGST 115. (5 units)

157. Sociology of Family

Examines how family forms have changed over time in the United States, including the macro causes and consequences of different family structures and role expectations. Patterns and dynamics of dating, family formation, child-rearing, divorce, and extended family support systems are also covered. Also listed as WGST 182. (5 units)

158. Sociology of Deviance

Examines noncriminal violation of social norms from a variety of sociological perspectives. Topics typically include eating disorders, relationship abuse, child abuse, sexual harassment, substance abuse, and homosexuality. Theoretical emphasis on classical and contemporary critical theory, including feminist, critical race, and queer perspectives. (5 units)

159. Sociology of Crime

Examines criminal behavior on the aggregate level, and its effects in the United States and other societies. Topics typically include sexual assault and domestic violence, homicide, global terrorism, corporate, and political crime. Theoretical emphasis on classical and contemporary critical and social justice perspectives. (5 units)

160. Sociology of Law

Surveys classical and contemporary sociological theories of law and society. Topics typically include the social construction of law; law and capitalism; law and social solidarity; gender, race, and class inequality and the law; and private/public divisions and the law. (5 units)

161. Sociology of Criminal Justice Systems

Examines criminal justice systems in the United States and other countries from a comparative perspective. Topics typically include law enforcement, the courts, corrections (prisons and probation), and juvenile criminal justice systems. Theoretical emphasis on classical and contemporary critical and social justice perspectives. (5 units)

162. Gender and Justice

Includes topics relevant to gender and justice related to criminology and criminal justice systems, with a particular emphasis on the experiences of women and justice. Also listed as WGST 188. (5 units)

163. Sociology of Work and Occupation

Examines ideological and institutional characteristics of modern industrial society and some of its basic problems, such as alienation, affluence and work motivation models, primary group influences, and leadership behavior. (5 units)

164. Collective Behavior

Involves analytical study of collective behavior principles: typology of crowds, mass behavior, and the characteristics of publics. Includes an introduction to social movements. (5 units)

165. Human Services

Provides an introduction to the field of human services. Topics include the connections between societal understanding of social problems, programs, and policies; work and management issues in public and nonprofit human service agencies; human services in a multicultural context; and opportunities to learn through community-based placements serving marginalized communities and from human service professionals. (5 units)

168. Political Sociology

Involves analysis of power relations in the United States and examination of different dimensions of power. Particular emphasis is on the development of social protest movements. (5 units)

172. Management of Health Care Organizations

Explores the sociological and practical issues of operations, financing, and management in organizations providing services for people with health problems (organizations such as nursing homes and hospitals) or people with infirmities (organizations such as senior care centers and assisted living facilities). Also listed as PHSC 172. (5 units)

175. Race and Inequality

Examines the racial/ethnic inequality that African, Asian, Hispanic, and Native Americans and other groups experience in contemporary United States society. This course covers theories of race and ethnicity, examines empirical research on a range of topics (poverty, social class, assimilation, identity, segregation, stereotyping), and explores the meaning and consequences for racial/ethnic inequality in the future. Also listed as ETHN 167. (5 units)

176. Elder Law

A survey of public policy issues particularly affecting the elderly. Includes consideration of the legal aspects of death and dying, involuntary commitment, guardianship and conservatorship, age discrimination, public benefit programs, and nursing homes. (5 units)

180. Immigrant Communities

Explores the impact of immigration to the United States, particularly the effect of the immigration reform law of 1965 that resulted in large increases in immigration to the United States, particularly from Latin America and Asia. This wave of immigrants and their U.S.-born children has significantly changed the fabric of American society. Examines case studies of immigrants and the second generation from Cuba, Mexico, Nicaragua, Vietnam, and Haiti using a comparative sociological perspective. Also listed as ETHN 171. (5 units)

190. Advanced Seminars in Sociology

Seminars for juniors and seniors on selected issues in sociology or current problems of social relevance. May be repeated once for credit if topic changes. (5 units)

194. Peer Educators

Peer educators in sociology work closely with a faculty member to help students in a course understand course material, think more deeply about course material, benefit from collaborative learning, feel less anxious about testing situations, and/or to help students enjoy learning. Enrollment is by permission of the instructor. (1 or 2 units)

199. Directed Reading/Directed Research

Involves intensive reading in areas not emphasized by the department. Independent research on specific topics not fully covered in departmental courses. May be repeated once for credit, under certain circumstances and with the approval of the sociology chair. Written departmental approval necessary in the quarter prior to registration. (5 units)

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