Loyola University Chicago

Department of Sociology

Graduate Courses

Graduate Courses - General Offerings


403, 404 Sociological Perspectives I and II

This is a two-course sequence that provides a general examination of major sociological issues, concepts, and perspectives. A range of major substantive fields/topics in sociology will be examined with an emphasis on the linkages and interactions between these. Important theoretical and methodological concerns will be emphasized with particular attention focused on how these concerns affect substantive areas in sociology. The course sequence is required for all students during their first academic year of graduate study in the department. (Kniss, Langman, Whalley)

405 History of Sociological Theory

This is an in-depth analysis of selected major classical theorists in sociology, with special attention to the intellectual roots and the convergence or divergence of concepts and theoretical orientations. Emphasis will be placed on the critical analysis of primary sources and on major trends in the interpretation of these sources; attention will center on selected theorists in Europe and the United States during the 19th and 20th centuries. (Langman, Whalley)

406 Modern Sociological Theory

Detailed examination and analysis of selected modern theorists in sociology, with special attention to major works, centers of influence, and current trends in theory are conducted. Emphasis will be placed on critical analysis of primary sources and on interpretation of the major developments in sociology since World War II. The course assumes a developed understanding of the history of classical sociological theory and a ready familiarity with the authors and works treated in 405. (Langman, Whalley, Wittner)

410 Logic of Sociological Inquiry

This course will explore the structure of sociological research, analyses, and explanations. Special attention will be placed on the nature and formulation of sociological problems, the relationship between problem formulation and forms of data collection, measurement, and analysis. Several major types of data collection will be examined and evaluated with special emphasis on the actual process of data collection, problems encountered, and the way in which arguments and explanations can be developed from each. Students who are not familiar with basic computer skills will be required to complete a computer workshop through Academic Computing Services before enrollment. (Block, Figert)

412 Qualitative Methods in Social Research

This course is an introduction to the major qualitative methods of social inquiry. Participant observation, interviewing, historical analysis, and content analysis, as well as ethical issues of field research, are studied. Research settings studied range from informal groups and communities to formal organizations. (Wittner)

413 Sociological Practicum

Upon examination of theoretical issues and past research pertaining to a particular social topic, the class designs and completes a research project. The topic varies from semester to semester, depending on the interests of the faculty member teaching the course. Examples of topics are: racial discrimination, crime patterns, unemployment, neighborhood organizations, population shifts, treatment of the aged, quality of health care, labor force recruitment, modification of the structure of professions, and changes in family structure. (Staff)

414 Statistical Methods of Analysis I

Prerequisites: familiarity with undergraduate statistics and methods courses; 410 or equivalent. This course is devoted to the study of intermediate statistical techniques widely used in the social sciences. After a review of bivariate regression and cross tabular analysis, the course proceeds to an extended treatment of the general linear model. Topics considered include model construction, interpretation of results, partitioning of variance, tests of statistical significance and interactions. Other statistical techniques including analysis of variance and covariance will be considered within the common framework of the general linear model. Attention will focus on the application of these techniques to research problems in sociology and to their utility in applied research. (Johnson. Krogh)

415 Statistical Methods of Analysis II

The course is designed to introduce a number of intermediate level statistical techniques useful to sociologists. The primary topics include path analysis, logistic regression, and factor analysis which are presented in the context of the general linear model. Although the mathematical basis of the techniques will be considered, the emphasis in the course will be on the students' acquisition of an operational knowledge of the techniques which will allow them to apply the techniques in their own research. The goals of the course are: (1) to ensure that each student understands the techniques with enough clarity to recognize when they are appropriate research tools; (2) to provide the student with sufficient expertise to apply the techniques to moderately complex research problems; and (3) to provide sufficient background on each technique to allow for a review of the relevant literature to determine which variation of the technique is most appropriate to the research problem at hand. (Block, Johnson, Krogh)

418 Demography

Demographic data are widely used in decision-making in business, social service agencies, and at all levels of government. This course is designed to examine the basic techniques used to assemble, analyze, and present demographic information. Also included will be a detailed review of the sources limitations, and advantages of various types of demographic data such as the U.S. Census of Population and Housing. (Johnson)

421 Theories of Social Change

Critical appraisal and comparison of major theories of social change are conducted: evolutionary theories, conflict theories, systems theory, etc. Special attention will be given to the work of Weber, Marx, Durkheim, and contemporary writers such as Skocpol as well as to different methodologies for studying social change on both the macro- and micro-sociological levels. The final section of the course will be devoted to projections of future social trends. (Kniss, Nyden, Whalley, Wittner, Wright)

423 Social Movements

Social Movements are important modes of social action in the contemporary world, and studying them provides insights into two of sociology's "big questions" -- understanding social change and understanding the relationship between social structure and individual action. This course will address these larger questions by focusing on case studies of contemporary social movements. The major theoretical perspectives will be examined in light of a variety of empirical case studies, with special attention being paid to how empirical research has led to changes in theory. Case studies for the course will include the civil rights movement, the New Left movements of the 1960s, the women's movement, the gay and lesbian movement, and the environmental movement. (Kniss, Wittner, Wright)

425 Inequality and Society

This is an empirical and theoretical inquiry into the causes, consequences, and dynamics of structured social inequality in modern societies. Attention will be given to the various theoretical and empirical attempts to explain the distribution of economic, political, and social resources in society; the processes of class formation; the role of race and gender; and potential changes in such structures.(Whalley, Wittner, Wright)

426 Sociology of Gender

This course surveys sociological and related scholarship on women and gender relations. The course begins by tracing the emergence of gender analysis in the feminist movement and in the critique of conventional sociology. The focus is on selected texts which take up central and emerging themes, issues, and debates. These may include the social construction of gender identity and sexuality; cultural aspects of gender relations; women's paid and unpaid work and the gendered division of labor; the family, reproduction, and parenthood; race, class, and feminism; gender and poverty; the sociology of masculinity; and sexual violence. (Figert, Wittner)

427 Political Sociology

Consideration of major sociological theories is given to the changing bases of order and cohesion in modern societies and local communities. Attention is given to the roles played by formal organizations, political parties and interest groups, social movements, ethnic groups and social classes, and individual leadership. Examination of the nature of public opinion and ideology, political socialization and identification, and political activity. (Nyden, Wittner)

428 Poverty and Social Welfare

This course will explore a number of specific issues related to poverty and social welfare in the United States. Special attention will be given to explanations of poverty and perceptions of the poor; the extent and character of social welfare efforts in historical and contemporary perspectives; the structure of the American welfare system (public and private); an examination of the functions of poverty and social welfare systems in the U.S. and other industrial societies; economic, political, and other limits to the further development of the welfare state. (Krogh)

431 Social Structure and Personality

This course examines the relationship of the individual to the society, how and why societies foster certain types of personality among their members, and conversely, how different personalities affect society in general and economic and political institutions in particular. The course will examine various theories and empirical studies on the relation of the individual to social variables, psychological foundations of society, socialization, the life cycle, national characters, and psychosocial aspects of occupations and life styles. (Langman, Wittner)

432 Socialization Through the Life Cycle

Beginning with childhood, the course traces the process by which persons are socialized into sexual, racial, religious, occupational, marital, and parental social roles, and to the identities and patterns of interaction individuals have with significant others and social groups at various points in the life cycle. Attention will also be given to the direct and indirect techniques by which persons socialize with others at different stages in the life cycle, including the impact on individuals and groups of particular agencies of socialization (e.g., school, church, local community, etc.). (Langman)

435 Adult Development and Aging

The older adult population and adult development is examined from social and cultural perspectives. Gerontological theories and research which pertain to the family, the community, political life, the economy, work and retirement, religious life, and other social institutions are studied.

438 The Family

Investigation is conducted of the family system and its changing relationships to contemporary society, in terms of structure value orientations and personality patterns, role and status interrelationships of family members, and impact of crisis and change in the total society on the family as an institution. (Wittner)

439 Community and Community Change

Contemporary communities are examined from a sociological perspective. A wide variety of communities, e.g., urban, ethnic, and religious, are studied. Particular emphasis is placed on how past and present research can be used to facilitate social change in community settings. Attention is given to the functions of community organizations, the contemporary neighborhood movement, the impact of social policies on community. (Nyden, Wright)

440 Organizations and Organizational Change

Organizations are examined from a sociological perspective. Particular emphasis is placed on how past and present research can be used to facilitate social change in organizations, e.g., business, social service, and religious organizations. Among the subjects studied: the impact of the social environment; bureaucracy and alternative structure; and effect of structure on administrators, workers, and clients. (Kniss, Nyden)

441 Sociology of Religion

This course surveys the subfield of the sociology of religion by addressing the problems of defining and explaining religious phenomena as distinctly social phenomena. It considers how social processes shape the form and content of religious life and how religious institutions and individual beliefs and practices in turn shape the social world. Intellectually rooted in the classical tradition, this course addresses such topics as religion and moral order, secularization, church/state relations, plausibility structures, and religion and social change. (Kniss)

442 Religious Conflict and Change in Contemporary Society

This course will use case studies of religious conflict and innovation to explore the complex reciprocal relationship between religion and historical processes of social change. Much of the course will focus on American religion, but it will also look at movements of religious conflict and change in other parts of the world (e.g., Islamic fundamentalism, Protestant/Catholic tensions in Northern Ireland, liberation theology in Latin America). (Kniss)

446 Sociology of Knowledge, Power and Expertise

This course focuses on the relationship between knowledge, expertise and power. What the producers of knowledge do, and which groups claim authoritative possession of knowledge, have consequences for the structure of knowledge and the organization of society. Understanding these issues involves examining a wide range of topics including the professions, religion, scientific knowledge, and other forms of symbolic expression and social interaction. The course will examine both theoretical debates and empirical studies. The goal is to provide the student with the tools to develop a sociological understanding of the construction of knowledge and the organization of authority and expertise in modern society. (Figert, Whalley, Wittner)

447 Sociology of Culture

This course will examine the relationship between social structure and cultural expressions, and the various ways sociologists have conceived of those relationships. We will look at theoretical treatments, empirical analyses, and methodological concerns related to a sociological understanding of culture. The substantive focus will be on cultural fields such as literature, art, music, and/or religion in their diversity of forms and social contexts. The diversity of cultural expressions may include everything from a Michelangelo painting to subway graffiti, from rap music to a Bach chorale -- both so-called "popular," "folk," or "ethnic" culture and what is often called "high" culture. In addition to examining the social organization of their production and consumption, we will also pay special attention to how cultural objects and symbolic expressions are used in social action and political struggles. (Kniss, Langman, Whalley, Wright)

448 Sociology of Technology and Material Culture

This course will serve as an introduction to the sociology of things, most notably the sociology of technology, design and the built environment. While technological determinism underlines many theories of social change the usual sociological stance has been to treat the material world as a blank book on which social meaning is written. In consequence there seemed to be no real need to take things seriously. In a world of rapid technological change, environmental degradation and rampant consumerism, such an approach to the material world is inadequate. Recent work in the sociology of technology and the sociology of culture has begun to suggest ways out of the inadequacies of traditional approaches and suggest ways for sociologists to take things seriously; to understand both the technologies of the workplace, home and the environment, and material cultural artifacts. We will examine constructivist and political-economic approaches to the construction of technology and artifacts, and delve into a variety of theoretical approaches to the study of their impact and audience-response. (Figert, Whalley)

452 Complex Organizations

Formal organizations treated comparatively and systematically as major components of modern social organization are featured. Treatment will include a survey and critique of leading theoretical traditions (European bureaucratic, American managerial, current attempts at synthesis), historical and cross-national variation, organization-environment relations, and selected internal processes (e.g., specialization and technological developments, goal attainment, authority and control, cohesion and conflict, socialization and motivation). (Nyden)

453 Occupations and Professions

This courses focuses on the structure of paid work in modern society, and its relationship to unpaid work and to self-employment. Attention is paid both to macro factors structuring work--capitalism, industrialism, structures of gender and race inequality, globalization--and to micro factors such as workplace interaction and culture. Special attention is given to the role of skills and knowledge in the structuring of work. (Figert, Whalley)

461 Race and Ethnicity in American Society

This is an exploration of processes and theories of migration, immigration, and assimilation; an analysis of prejudice, discrimination, and inter-group conflict; a focus on social movements and social change; and a special emphasis on relationships between social class and race or ethnicity. (Embrick, Nyden)

462 The Urban Metropolis

This course examines urbanization and its consequences through social theory and empirical studies of cities across the Global North and Global South and the social theorists who examined them; ecological and political economy perspectives on the growth of suburbs and the metropolitan region; changing regional patterns of development; urban social movements; and urban planning, and policies for the future. (Johnson, Krogh, Nyden, Wright)

463 Sociology and the Natural Environment

This course examines the relationship between social life and the natural environment, considering how the natural world shapes the social world as well as human impact on the environment. The course reviews important sociological work but also examines writing from a variety of fields (e.g., ethics, biology, geography, international studies) that carry a sociological thrust. Readings consider the economic, political, organizational, and cultural dimensions of environmental issues. While the course addresses a wide range of theoretical concerns, the goal is to develop a clear agenda for empirical research in this emergent field. (Whalley)

471 Sociology of Deviance and Control

This explores the relationship between the criminal and criminal processing, methods to analyze this relationship, and evaluation of programs to change the relationship; examination of the sociological traditions in criminology, modern theories of criminology and deviance, and consideration of the implications of these theories for social control, with the special emphasis on current work in criminology theory, social planning, and evaluation research. (Block)

473 Criminology: Theory, Research and Application

The main emphasis of this course will be on the convergence of theory, research, and policy in the study of criminal behavior and victimization. The course will examine the two main theoretical emphases of criminology--crime as rational behavior, and crime as a result of some identifiable difference between criminals and non-criminals. These will be studied using both consensus and conflict models of society. As the student's understanding of theory grows, the emphasis of the course will shift to research and policy applications, and on the convergency of criminal behavior and victimization. (Block)

481 Medical Sociology

This studies the social components of illness and of health. Consideration of the social context of health and disease, and the social response to illness as deviant behavior. Also covered are perspectives on health and illness; the sick role, illness definitions, and differing societal approaches to health and illness; medicine and bureaucracy; social structures in the network of hospital relations; factors affecting mortality and morbidity; the organization and use of health sciences and agencies; community public health; cross cultural studies of health services; and the strategy and conduct of sociomedical research. (Figert, Fredericks)

490 Workshop in Applied Sociology (1 credit hour)

This focuses on special issues for methods used by applied sociologists, and topics vary from semester to semester. Topics have included survey research, evaluation research, use of micro-computers in social research, use of population data in policy making, and developing community leadership. Most workshops involve presentations by faculty or applied sociologists from outside the university. (Staff, Special Resource Persons)

491 Sociological Discourse

The course examines the nature of sociological argumentation in the literature. Particular attention is paid to the assumptions, units of analysis, concepts and relation- ships which are implicit or explicit in sociological analysis. While the major emphasis of the course involves analytical and critical examination of sociological literature, considerable emphasis will be placed on developing students' ability to formulate and present sociological arguments in both oral and (especially) written forms. (Staff)

494 Sociology Internship

The internship provides the student with the opportunity to apply sociological methods and theoretical perspectives to understanding and ameliorating social problems. Placements are typically in non-academic settings, e.g., government agencies, community organizations, businesses, or labor organizations. Internships are supervised by a faculty committee. Students are expected to work a minimum of 300 hours and write an internship report. Three hours of this course may be counted toward M.A. course work and six hours toward Ph.D. course work. Further information on internship procedures is available from the sociology department. (Staff)

497 Independent Study Workshop

Students who are registered for independent study will meet as a workshop, under the guidance of a faculty member, at least three times per semester. Meeting times will be arranged based on student schedules. Students will discuss their projects with each other and also discuss more general issues regarding the joys and problems of independent research. The workshop is intended to develop the skills and dispositions necessary to be successful and productive in independent work. These skills are important for expeditious completion of proposals, theses, and dissertations. Further, the mutual support students provide each other will enhance the quality of the individual projects. (Staff)

498 Independent Research

499 Directed Study

500 Seminar in Applied Sociology and Social Policy

This examines the use of sociology in determining and selecting alternative social policies. Special attention is given to the use of social science research in developing policy, the effect of social policy on social research, and the implementation of social policy. Among the topics discussed are the roles that applied sociologists play in society; the relationship between sociologists and clients or organizations; the social research process and how it affects the research product; and ethical considerations of applied sociologists. (Block, Nyden)

505 Controversies in Current Sociological Thought

This is a seminar in which students and faculty will examine in detail particular controversies that are emerging in theoretical approaches to sociology. Topics will vary. (Langman, Whalley, Wittner, Wright)

510 Research Methods for Special Areas (Staff)

520 Topics in Contemporary Society 

In the (post-)secular west, "public religion/secular democracy" falls into a regular pattern; an expected relationship. But that is not the only shape into which these themes can be arranged. In this course, we will investigate how that picture got painted and whether it might be reworked.

525 Seminar in Comparative Studies

The seminar will expose participants to comparative approaches in defining issues, topics or institutions, researched by cultural anthropologists and comparative sociologists. Through an investigation of comparative literature, students will be exposed to the utility of comparative approaches to cultural and social structures in developing greater definition and clarity, and a deeper understanding of a given topic. Specific topics for consideration will vary. (Block, Kniss, Whalley)

530 Issues in Social Psychology (Langman, Wittner)

540 Issues in Sociology of Religion (Kniss)

550 Issues in Complex Organizations (Kniss, Nyden)

555 Issues in Work, Occupations, and Professions (Figert, Nyden, Whalley)

560 Issues in Urban Sociology and Community (Johnson, Nyden, Wright)

570 Issues in Deviance and Criminology (Block)

580 Issues in Medical Sociology (Figert, Frederick)

595 Thesis Supervision

600 Dissertation Supervision