This course introduces students to the major concepts and methods of sociology. Emphasis will be on the components of culture, the structure and institutions of society, the elements of social organization and differentiation, and sociological approaches to the analysis of groups.
This course involves the study of contemporary social problems in the United States, with an opportunity to explore how other countries are addressing similar social problems. Topics covered in this course include inequality, racism and oppression; poverty and homelessness; crime and violence; climate change; immigration; healthcare; and education.
This course investigates the structure and function of the family as a social system. Emphasis is placed on the interrelationship between the family and other social institutions utilizing cross-cultural and historical perspectives. Discussions of marriage, family structure, family functioning, and family disorganization are included.
This course explores various forms of domestic violence and abuse including neglect and physical, sexual, and emotional abuse among intimate partners and children. Issues pertaining to culture, sexual orientation, family dynamics, abuse of elders and the disabled, and the cycle of abuse are reviewed. Key issues related to treatment and community resources are addressed. Students will also investigate the etiology of abuse.
Race, class, and gender are axes of stratification, identity, and experience. This course will address the multiple and intersecting ways these concepts shape society, individual life-changes, and daily social interactions. Students will explore the socially-constructed nature of race, class, and gender, and the meanings and values attached to them. Using comparative and historical perspectives on group formation, students will examine how these issues present in work, families, media, education, and social policies. In addition, solutions to social inequality and strategies for social change will be evaluated.
This course examines the state of youth in the United States through sociological, media and political perspectives. Students will learn how to critically analyze public opinion and perceptions about youth, including youth culture, narcissism, pathology, and political engagement. In-depth ethnographies will be used to examine the socially fragmented experiences of youth and the transition to adulthood, providing useful information to guide how society and policy makers can successfully support youth today.
Social media, and other forms of cyber-communication, have profound effects on our attitudes, behavior, and relationships and can contribute enormously to the socialization process. This course will explore the connections among media, technology and society. Students will use blogs, Facebook, wikis, etc., to explore the impact of social media in areas such as self-identity, family, work, and leisure. Students will also observe and analyze their own technology habits and those of others. This course is offered online.