Undergraduate Course Descriptions
This is a foundational course in the social sciences which explores the effect of globalization on everyday life in the United States and elsewhere, using the basic perspectives and methodologies of sociology.
This course is an opportunity to examine major issues facing society. In addition to analyzing the roots of social problems, the course addresses social policy concerns and explores solutions.
This course examines the development of cultural, society, and self-understanding by exploring the social construction of race in the United States. The course explores how social constructions of race affect interpersonal relations, laws, policies, and practices in various racial and ethnic communities.
This course examines the connections between the media of mass communication and multiple forms of popular art and culture. Topics considered include the social, political and cultural organization of mass communication and its impact on values, expectations, and life styles of contemporary society.
This course explores the development of Chicago metropolitan region from the 1830's to the present day. Students will explore the urban area not only through texts, but also through fieldwork. metropolitan region.
This course helps students who participate in the domestic "Alternative Break Immersion" or other service trips to better understand the communities and issues they will encounter. It emphasizes the analysis of "social solutions" to social problems as well as personal reflection and action.
This course examines how religion and society interact.
This course explores the social organization of sex and gender.
This course examines classical and contemporary sociological theories and uses them as frameworks for understanding modern society. Such social theories attempt to explain and understand the world, as well as inspire further research and theory.
The course is an introduction to the basic research methodologies of sociology. A variety of methods used in sociological analysis and data generation will be considered. Students learn how to select and use methodologies appropriate for various research projects.
This course looks at the nature of work through the lens of gender. It considers how male and female labor force participation has changed over time. It examines the ways working families are transformed when women combine employment with domestic responsibilities and child care, or when men's jobs no longer provide a family wage.
Students are taught to examine the relevance of criminological theories to patterns of criminal activity, to efforts to control criminals, and to prevent crime.
This course trains students to examine the law as a sociological concept and to look at the relationship between the legal system and society. A critical concern is whether changes in the legal system reflect societal change or do changes in the legal system stimulate change in society.
The threat of violence is a significant concern for individuals in many societies. In this course, violence will be studied as a social phenomenon. Topics of particular concern include: family violence, gang violence and terrorism.
Life course studies emerged in response to the sociological need to understand how social change intersects with the aging process. Social and cultural contexts, individual experience and agency, and historical time and place are elements in the construction of a life and the social relationships that make it up.
In this course, students learn to think critically about the character, causes and responses to poverty in American society, using both historical and contemporary evidence.
This course examines the sociology of health care with particular attention to: social and psychological factors; health care professionals; inter-personal relations in health care; the organization and use of health services; and the relationship between aging and health.
This course serves as a broad introduction to the social study and analysis of science and technology in society. It examines how scientific knowledge and technologies are created and constructed and how they influence and are influenced by society.
A sociological inquiry into the historical and contemporary experience of African-Americans. Social movements and social change, urban and institutional processes, social values and collective behavior, and African-Americans and public policy are among the topics explored.
This course examines the relationships between the self as a social product and the larger society in which that self is socialized, develops and expresses itself. Various theories of selfhood are explored.
This course looks at the social construction of childhood, the impact of parents, the media, peer groups, and educational institutions as well as changing social attitudes about the place of children in society.
Study of the historical emergence of cities, focusing on the ecological, demographic, and organizational processes involved in the continuing growth and change of metropolitan areas and in the relationship of a metropolitan area to the surrounding region.
This course examines communities sociologically, both as a concept and as they exist in society. The course covers urban, racial/ethnic, religious, territorial, utopian, ideological and web-based communities, and their strengths and limitations in a rapidly changing global world.
This course introduces the study of demography by examining trends of fertility, work, marriage, migration and mortality.
Work involving high levels of expertise--medical, legal, technical, and much else- is a critical component of modern society. This course examines how professional work is structured, the way professionals are trained and organized, the privileges and responsibilities of professional work, and the role of conflicts over expertise in modern society.
Contemporary family structures encompass a variety of living arrangements and social relationships. This course considers differences and similarities among the various family types and explores the social, cultural and economic forces structuring family life.
This course is a rigorous introduction into the scholarly traditions and contemporary research developments in the sociology of education. Topics include: educational stratification and inequality, how educational institutions function and with what policy implications, and social psychology/human development.
This course examines the social production, consumption, and use of culture and cultural objects, especially in the fields of literature, art, music, mass media and religion.
This course examines the manner in which contemporary society is divided by race, ethnicity, class, sexuality and gender, and the impact of social institutions on these divisions. An emphasis will be placed on income/wealth differences, status differences, class conflict and social conflict over time.
This course examines inequality on a global scale, focusing on the impact of globalization processes on race, class and gender inequalities here and abroad
This course is a socio-historical look at definitions of deviant behavior and individuals, an examination of techniques of social control, and an analysis of specific forms of deviant behavior such as crime and mental illness.
Who are homeless people in the United States and beyond? Why are they homeless? What is being done to address the issues of homelessness? This course addresses these questions from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. As an "engaged learning" course, students will also learn by assisting at various agencies.
This course focuses on sociological theories and case studies of power, authority, and social change. It explores the ways in which power relations perpetuate social inequality and the ways in which social conflicts and power struggles transforms society.
This course examines the dynamics of collective behavior and movements promoting social change.
This course examines the nature of contemporary globalization and considers how it influences communities, nations and the world. The course examines the positive and negative consequences of globalization and the global justice movements that have emerged seeking more equality, tolerance and environmental stewardship.
This course examines science as a distinctive form of knowledge and social organization.
This course examines the distinctively social aspect of the relationship of people to their environments, both built and natural.
Outcome: Students will recognize the role that both social and physical factors play in the environmental problems facing the world. Students will also develop critical thinking skills needed to evaluate statements and policy proposal to improve environmental quality.
This course examines the profound ways society and individuals have been transformed by the abundance of consumer goods and mass media that encourage buying these good.
Outcome: Student will gain a deeper understanding of the nature and origins of contemporary consumer society and the ways in which consumerism impacts society and individuals.
Explores the impact of globalized economic, political, and social relationships through the prism of food. Considers the cultural and ideological dimensions of food, the structure of food production and consumption, and responses to the global food system.
Outcome: Students wil gain awareness of themselves as consumers of food and food products.
This course addresses the underlying social, economic, political, and cultural mechanisms driving some of the leading issues in global health today; including the rise of non-communicable diseases in low and middle income countries, neglected infectious diseases, human resources for health, and access to global pharmaceuticals.
The course examines selected contemporary sociological issues. Topics addressed represent specialized or newly developing areas of sociological inquiry. Topics will vary from semester to semester.
Outcome: Students gain insights into contemporary social issues and learn how to use the concepts, theory and methods of sociology to examine them.
This class is an opportunity to examine selected reform and innovation movements facing health professional education and training. Sophomore standing or above is required.
Outcome: Students will demonstrate critical analysis of selected reforms and innovations in health professional education and training.
Prerequisites: Sophomore Standing or Above/Instructor Permission
The course is a comprehensive introduction to statistical analysis in social research. Topics include: univariate, bivariate, and multivariate analysis, computer statistical applications and interpretation of results.
Outcome: Students will demonstrate understanding of statistical thinking and data analysis techniques and be able to use them to evaluate existing research and conduct original research.
Prerequisite: SOCL 206
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.
Students explore how cities work through texts, field trips, and guest speakers, and help find solutions to pressing urban issues. They fulfill civic engagement core value requirement.
Outcome: Students will understand and address inequities in urban communities, and identify avenues of leadership and civic engagement in contemporary cities.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing.
In this capstone course, each student designs and conducts an empirical research project resulting in a senior research paper.
Outcome: Student demonstrate mastery of sociological theory and methods by writing a research paper bringing a full complement of sociological skills to bear on an issue of substantial theoretical and/or practical importance.
Prerequisites: SOCL 205, 206, 301, and senior standing, or permission of instructor or chair.
Using a seminar format, the course undertakes an in-depth study of selected contemporary sociological issues in depth. Topics addressed represent specialized or newly emerging areas of sociological inquiry and will vary from semester to semester.
Outcome: Students have opportunity to examine contemporary social issues in a seminar environment and learn how to use the concepts, theory and methods of sociology to examine them.
Supervised field experience for students working in a selected community organization, government agency, social agency, or business.
Outcome: Students have opportunity to apply the skills and analysis of sociology to a concrete situation.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor or chair.