Loyola University Chicago

University Core

Societal and Cultural Knowledge and Inquiry

Area Goal: This Core Area of Inquiry will invite students to explore the study of society, culture, and people and the distinct disciplinary approaches within the social sciences. 

Area Objectives: Through these courses, students will learn about various political, economic, and social systems across the globe and their interconnections, as well as the beliefs, rituals, structures, and values that constitute societies and cultures. In addition, students will learn about the experiences of underrepresented communities (e.g., related to socioeconomic status, ability, gender, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, or religion) within a particular cultural and societal context, and how people shape and are shaped by society. Students will explore concepts such as power, privilege, oppression, inequality, and social justice, critical to fashioning a humane and just world. 

Area Learning Outcomes: After completing the two courses in this Area, students will be able to: 

  • describe and analyze the key processes and components of cultural, economic, political, or social forces across time or place.
  • summarize the various ways that people, groups, or communities shape and are shaped by cultural or social forces.
  • analyze the various ways in which identities are formed through a complex interaction of biographical, societal, or cultural contexts.
  • describe the experiences of underrepresented, marginalized, or oppressed communities within various contexts, including inequality in outcomes and resistance to systems of oppression.
  • analyze how systems of power, privilege, and oppression (e.g., racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism) operate to create and maintain inequality as well as how resistance to these systems is enacted.
  • apply concepts from above to analyze contemporary or historical issues of inequality and justice.


Foundational Course: Tier I (1 course required)

 ANTH 100: Globalization and Local Cultures (D)
 This course is a study of cultural diversity on a global scale and investigates humans as cultural and social beings.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the historic and contemporary relationships between cultures and societies, and to understand how cultures change over time.
PLSC 102: International Relations in an Age of Globalization (D)
This course examines the interrelationships among nations, groups and peoples in the contemporary global system.

Outcome: Students will be able to to demonstrate an understanding of the main ways of studying international politics; to compare and contrast major competing approaches to the field; to examine individual regions and countries from the perspective of these approaches; and to achieve an understanding of such major substantive issues as interstate war, terrorism, arms control, international political economy and sustainable development.
 PSYC 100: Psychological Perspectives on the Experience of Globalization (D)
This course will explore globalization from a psychological perspective,  applying core psychological concepts, research and theory to cross-cultural issues of behavior and development. Topics may include human rights of children, human trafficking, immigration, moral issues of international trade, parenting across cultures.

Outcomes: Students will learn basic concepts and theories and apply them to real-world globalization problems.
SOCL 101: Society in a Global Age (D)
This course is an introduction to the distinctively sociological perspective of analyzing people, societies and their structures and cultures.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of themselves as human beings and how different forces and ideas affect their own society and culture.
WSGS 101: Introduction to Women's Studies and Gender Studies: A Global Perspective (D)  
This is an introduction to the interdisciplinary fields of both Women's Studies and Gender Studies which explore the ways that sex and gender manifest themselves in social, cultural, and political arenas. It draws upon scholarship in women's studies, masculinities studies, and queer studies which themselves draw upon a variety of intellectual perspectives, including historical, psychological, rhetorical, sociological, literary, and biological.

Outcome: students will demonstrate an understanding of historical developments, key concepts, theories and themes in women's studies and gender studies, the impact that gender can have on social, cultural, political and economic material conditions.

Tier II Courses: (1 course required)

Requirement for all Tier II Courses:   ANTH 100, PLSC 102, PSYC 100, SOCL 101 or WSGS 101.

Please check requirements for declared majors/minors for exceptions.

ANTH 102: Culture, Society and Diversity (D)
This course studies how many factors (beliefs, rituals, social structure, economic structure, political structure) integrate to define culture in the broad sense and how they vary in the context of different cultures (or societies) in a more narrow sense.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate the skills necessary for the study of culture, including the completion of an ethnography.
ANTH 203: Violence, Social Suffering and Justice (D) (Beginning Fall 2020)
This class investigates violence, suffering and justice through an ethnographic and cross-cultural perspective. It asks, how are overt forms of violence related to larger social structures which produce less visible forms of suffering?  How are violence and suffering related to other socio-cultural phenomena such as race, gender, sexuality and identity?

Outcome: Students will understand: the ethnographic analysis of violence and social suffering; political and economic contexts of violence, including colonialism, globalization, racism, and poverty; movements for justice and safety.
ANTH 208: Language & Identity (Beginning Fall 2020)
This course will examine how language both reflects and helps constitute identity in social and linguistic interaction, and explore the ways in which attitudes and ideologies about language shape everyday social, cultural, and linguistic practice. This course will address complex and intersecting relationships between language and gender, race, class, place, age, and social practice, using case studies from around the world. 

Outcome: Students will better understand how language is central to the expression and interpretation of social and cultural identities, and understand the ways that identity and difference are socially constructed. 
CJC 345: Social Justice and Crime (D) (Beginning Fall 2019)
This course examines the social injustices in the criminal justice system's naming and sanctioning of harmful behaviors as crimes. Discussions will unpack the values, ethics, and ideologies underlying the current retributive system of sanctioning compared to social justice responses to crime.

Outcome: Articulate the meaning of social justice; Discuss restorative and retributive justice
CJC 370: Women in the Criminal Justice System (D) (Beginning Fall 2019)
This course examines four areas relative to women in the criminal justice system: the historical view of female criminality; women as defendants in criminal cases and women in prison; women as victims of domestic violence and sexual assault; and women as professionals in the criminal justice system.

Outcome:  Students will be able to describe the extent, nature, and theories of female criminality and victimization and how this is consistent with and different from male criminality and victimization
CJC 372: Race, Ethnicity and Criminal Justice (D) (Beginning Fall 2019)
This course examines current research and theoretical perspectives related to race and ethnicity in crime and in criminal justice processing. It will cover such issues as racial profiling, the effects of drug laws on people of color, minority disenfranchisement from the criminal justice system, and crime and immigration.

Students will demonstrate an understanding of contemporary issues relating to, and current research and theory about, race and ethnicity and their relationship to crime and criminal case processing.
ECON 201: Principles of Microeconomics
This course studies the economic environment's impact on the individual and on the firm.

Outcome: Students will be able to model the different economic orders of the society and how individuals are impacted by them and be able to demonstrate an understanding of global and international perspectives on trade, immigration, and capital flows.
ECON 202: Principles of Macroeconomics
This course studies the economic environment of the nation and measures growth, unemployment, inflation, fiscal and monetary policies of the government to ultimately understand economic stability and the welfare of the individual citizen.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the numerous variables that lead to economic stability and the welfare of the individual citizen.
PLSC 101: American Politics
American national government and politics, including institutions, group and electoral processes, and public policy.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the American political system, the patterns of political participation and behavior of diverse individuals and groups in American society, and evaluate the roles and processes of U.S. political institutions.
PSYC 101: General Psychology
This course explores the scientific study of the brain, mental events, and behavior.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the foundation, methodology, theory, and phenomena of the fields of physiological, perceptual, cognitive, social, clinical, and developmental psychology.
PSYC 238: Gender and Sex Differences and Similarities (D)
This course focuses on the development of cultural, societal, and self-understanding (societal and cultural knowledge) by exploring the complexity of culture-specific social constructions of gender and how these constructions influence our ideas about what it means to be a man or woman in contemporary society.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of how historical context influences science, and how context-specific political forces shape what is thought of as "scientific knowledge."
PSYC 275: Social Psychology (D)
This course is an introduction to the field of social psychology, which seeks to understand human behavior by viewing it within its social and cultural context.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of cultural and social group differences, which is critical to the development of intercultural understanding and the reduction of inter-group (or inter-cultural) conflict.
SOCL 121: Social Problems (D)
This course is an opportunity to examine major issues facing society.

Outcome: Students will be able to critically examine the impact of a social problem and its possible solutions, to integrate knowledge gleaned from a variety of disciplines, to find and utilize relevant data and research in defining issues and solutions, and to view social problems from macro and micro perspectives as a means of applying workable solutions for the issues facing society.
SOCL 122: Race and Ethnic Relations (D)
This course examines the development of cultural, society, and self-understanding by exploring the social construction of race in the United States of America, and how these ideas of race affect interpersonal relations and most importantly, influence laws, policies, and practices which differently affect racial and ethnic communities.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the conditions which have, historically, worsened racial tensions as well as when and how social movements have been successful at eradicating racially oppressive laws and working towards a just society.
SOCL 123: Mass Media and Popular Culture
This course examines the connections between the media of mass communication and multiple forms of popular art and culture.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the social relationships between mass media and the general population.
SOCL 125: Chicago: Growth of a Metropolis (D)
This course explores the development of the Chicago region from the 1830s to the present day.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the geography, history and people of Chicago.
SOCL 145: Religion and Society (D)
This course examines how religion and society interact.

Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of how individual behavior, organizations, and society as a whole are affected by religious ideas and institutions, and how religion is itself changed by its encounter with changing social circumstances.
SOCL 171: Sociology of Sex and Gender (D)
This course explores the social organization of sex and gender.

Outcome: Students will be able to situate their pre-conceived experiences of the naturalness of gender in a particular historical and cultural context.
WSGS 201: Contemporary Issues in Women's Studies and Gender Studies (D)
This course is an introduction to women's studies, exploring the nature, function and scope of the field.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the ideas that gender is a social construction, that gender is necessarily a critical factor in personal identity, human relationships, and social power, the historical subordination of women, the intersection of gender, race, and class, and the praxis of this knowledge and a commitment to social justice.

+Course titles followed by (D) have been approved for the Values Area of Diversity.