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Sociology

Applicable for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Sociology Website

Professor GIUFFRE; Associate Professors MURPHY-GEISS (associate chair), POPKIN (chair), W. ROBERTS, WONG; Assistant Professors DANTZLER, MUNOZ; Visiting Instructors HANNSCOTT, SCHNEIDER

Welcome to the Department of Sociology. We seek to understand the actions of individuals by situating them within the social contexts in which they take place. Sociologists are interested in discovering the underlying regularities of social life, how these patterns of people's behavior have come to be, and how they differ across both time and space. We analyze both how these structures shape and how they are reproduced and transformed by our actions. The scope of sociology is quite broad, ranging from the study of fleeting encounters in public to the analysis of global social processes. The purpose of our curriculum is to familiarize students with the basic approach and findings of sociology, its methods of gathering and evaluating evidence, its major theoretical approaches, and the ways in which sociological knowledge can both enrich our self-understandings and enhance our capacities for democratic citizenship.

Sociology prepares students for a wide variety of careers. Our students have gone on to careers in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Many of our alumni pursue graduate degrees in sociology, law, education, medicine, public health, and related fields.

Major Requirements

To see more information about the sociology major — defining elements of the discipline, career paths of majors, methodological skills developed through our curriculum, and requirements — download the sociology major information sheet.

Sociology Major (11 credits total)

A good way to enter the major is through our First-Year Experience courses, Thinking Sociologically (FE137) and Law & Society (SO240). Alternatively, students may enter through any of our 100-level courses, including Thinking Sociologically (SO100), Inequality in the U.S. (SO101), Art and Society (SO105), Creativity: Theory and Practice (SO115), Global Inequality (SO116), Deviance and Social Control (SO118), Environmental Sociology (SO130), or any of our topics courses (SO190). Any one of these courses will satisfy the prerequisite for 200-level courses in the curriculum.

Required courses (5 credits) [recommended timeline indicated in brackets]

  • SO228 Development of Sociological Thought [2nd year; no later than 3rd year]
  • SO229 Sociological Research Design [2nd year; no later than 3rd year]
  • Either SO301 Quantitative Research Methods or SO302 Qualitative Research Methods [3rd or 4th year]
  • SO450 Senior Thesis (2 credits) [4th year]

Electives (6 credits)

  • No more than three 100-level electives may count toward the major
  • At least one 300-level elective must be completed prior to undertaking senior thesis (SO450)
  • SO451 Senior Seminar does not count toward the major
  • Study abroad programs that include a sociological element may contribute 1 elective (at the 100-level) toward the major

For more information on the major, contact the Associate Chair, Professor Gail Murphy-Geiss.

Courses

Sociology

SO100 Thinking Sociologically

An introduction to sociological perspectives through investigation of the social sources of the self; the unequal distribution of power, privilege, and prestige; the social construction of institutions and their impact on human activities; and processes of social change.

1 unit — Murphy-Geiss, Schneider

SO101 Inequality in the U.S.

Examines various forms of social inequality in the U.S. from a sociological perspective, including systems of inequality based primarily on race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, as well as their intersections. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement.

1 unit — Dantzler II, Murphy-Geiss

SO105 Art and Society

Examines the influence of art on society and of society on art, including the use of art as propaganda and social protest, the social sources of creativity, the relation between artists and audiences, the roles of patrons and critics, and the workings or arts organization. (Not offered 2017-18).

1 unit

SO107 Inequality

The causes of inequalities of wealth, income, power, and prestige. The effects of economic deprivation on personal life. The reproduction of inequality from generation to generation. The possibilities of the elimination of gross social inequalities. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2017-18).

1 unit

SO109 Social Psychology

(Not offered 2017-18).

1 unit

SO112 Gender Inequality

How sex roles shape our experiences. Sources and consequences of the differences between males and females. Biological differences, cross-cultural patterns, socialization processes, participation in the economy and the family. Possibilities for and consequences of changing sex roles. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2017-18).

1 unit

SO113 Racial Inequality

The study of race as a dimension of inequality in the United States, Western Europe, Africa and Latin America. Individual and institutional forms of racism and discrimination. Historical, comparative and theoretical perspectives. (No credit if taken after SO/CS233). Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2017-18).

1 unit

SO115 Creativity: Theory and Practice

Examines creativity from both a theoretical and a practical standpoint. The course is divided into three sections. The first explores theoretical material on creativity as an individual process and practical exercises on generating creative material. The second examines creativity as a product of social groups, especially as this relates to the issue of 'craft'. The third focuses on creativity as it is tied to particular times and places and practical issues of making creative products public. (Not offered 2017-18).

1 unit

SO116 Global Inequality

This course introduces the global roots and dimensions of recent social change emphasizing development as a transnational project designed to integrate the world. Economic and political globalization and the powerful counter-movements responding to rising inequality in the global south are explored during the course. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement.

1 unit — Popkin

SO118 Deviance and Social Control

An examination of rule and norm-breaking behavior and theories about why individuals and groups engage in such behaviors. This course focuses on how a sociological understanding of deviance is distinct from biological and psychological explanations. The topics to be considered include the origins and functions of deviance, the institutional production and categorization of deviance, the impact of deviance on personal and social identity, deviant careers and the relationship between deviance and social change.

1 unit — Hannscott

SO130 Environmental Sociology

The relationship between human societies and their natural and built environments. Topics may include the social construction of nature; the relationships between capitalism, materialism, and environmental degradation at local and global levels; urban development and growth; environmental racism; environmental justice and activism; the politics of environmental regulation and resource management; and the prospects for environmental sustainability. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2017-18).

1 unit

SO152 Engaging the Global: Health, Development and Citizenship

This quarter-unit adjunct course surveys multiple aspects of global engagement, including global health, sustainable development, and global citizenship. Introduces students to relevant academic debates about each of these domains of global practice and the broader moral and ethical context of global engagement, focusing on issues of responsibility, accountability, and community participation. Meets weekly over the course of a semester (Not offered 2017-18).

.25 unit

SO190 Topics in Sociology

Examination of a variety of sociological issues and problems. Topics will vary from year to year depending on the interests and expertise of the faculty. (Not offered 2017-18).

1 to 2 units

SO214 Sociology of Religion

The study of the social organization and function of religion with emphasis on its interaction with other ideas, social structures, and processes. Consideration of major theorists (Durkheim, Weber, Troeltsch) will be integrated with contemporary socio-religious issues such as secularization, fundamentalism, televangelism, new religious movements, globalization, and the relations between religion and race, class, and gender. (No credit if taken after SO114. (Not offered 2017-18).

Prerequisite: Any 100-level Sociology or Religion course or consent of instructor.

1 to 2 units

SO228 Development of Sociological Thought:

Introduction to the foundations of sociological theory from the 18th through the 21st centuries. Explores individual theorists and schools of thought and their interrelations. Emphasis on connections between theory and substantive areas of sociological research.

Prerequisite: Any two sociology courses or consent of instructor.

1 unit — Dantzler II

SO229 Sociological Research Design

Survey of the variety of methods of sociological research, both quantitative and qualitative, focusing particularly on survey and interview, field research, content analysis, secondary analysis, experimentation, and historical-comparative methods. Labs will cover the basics of quantitative analysis and computer training in SPSS and N6. Includes the examination of exemplars from the sociological literature, as well as practice of hands-on research skills and sociological writing. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement.

Prerequisite: Any 100 level sociology course or consent of instructor.

1 unit — Murphy-Geiss

SO233 Spatial Analysis of Social Issues

Examines the relevance of place in social life and the role of spatial thinking and analysis in understanding social issues and promoting social change. Topics ranging from poverty to segregation, community development, public health, environment, crime, and demographic change may be addressed. Unequal access to community amenities or exposure to disamenities will be a common theme throughout. Emphasis on applied sociology and the application of mapping (GIS) and statistics in support of social justice advocacy, social awareness, and community-based research. Some prior experience with basic social statistics is required. No prior experience with GIS is required. (Not offered 2017-18).

Prerequisite: Sociology 229 or consent of instructor.

1 unit

SO235 Sociology of Family

An exploration of the social history of the American family, from its extended kinship form through the development of the nuclear family ideal, to the more varied forms existing in contemporary society. Emphasis is placed on how gender and race structure relationships within the family as well as the family forms themselves. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2017-18).

Prerequisite: Any 100-level SO course or consent of instructor.

1 unit

SO237 Latino Immigration and Social Change

Since the early 1980s, both legal and undocumented immigration to the United States have reached historic highs. This course examines contemporary migration from Latin America and how it has transformed urban and rural areas in the U. S. and prompted new questions about racial and ethnic diversity and immigrant rights. After considering the historical linkages between Latin America and the U. S. and the conditions that have generated high levels of migration, the course assesses urban economic restructuring and the ethnic and gendered divisions of labor, the role of immigrant networks in international migratory processes and immigrant organizing initiatives. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2017-18).

Prerequisite: Any 100-level SO course or consent of instructor.

1 unit

SO240 Law and Society

An examination of law as a ubiquitous and ongoing process in society. This course will consider broad interdisciplinary perspectives and models in law and society studies with special attention to social contexts, specific readings and case studies related to major law and society themes, and contemporary debates related to legal issues. Visits to El Paso County courts will include data collection on behalf of local court watch organizations Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement.

Prerequisite: Any 100-level Sociology course or consent of instructor.

1 unit — Murphy-Geiss

SO241 The Nonprofit Sector

An exploration of the history, structure, and functions of the nonprofit sector especially in the United States. Topics will include philanthropy and voluntarism, the mixed (public-nonprofit) economy, the roles of the nonprofit sector in filling gaps left by the market and the state and in producing social capital, the rise of international nongovernmental organizations, and the emergence of new hybrid social enterprises with double - and triple-bottom lines. (Not offered 2017-18).

Prerequisite: Any 100 level SO class or consent of instructor.

1 unit

SO243 Social Movements

An examination of the conditions that facilitate social movement activism and the strategic choices activists face as their movements develop. Analysis of the changing grievances and goals of social movements in late modern societies. Examples from recent social movements of the left and right, such as the civil rights, student, women's, environmental, anti-tax, and anti-abortion movements. (Not offered 2017-18).

Prerequisite: Any 100-level SO course or consent of instructor.

1 unit

SO246 Sociology of Health and Medicine

Presents a sociological alternative and complement to the bio-medical paradigm and critically examines public health, the healthcare system, and medicine in their larger social, economic, and political milieus. Topics may address the social determinants of health; domestic and global health-related inequities; policy; and health work as a profession. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement.

Prerequisite: Any 100 level sociology class or consent of instructor.

1 unit — Roberts

SO247 Development and Social Change in the Global South

This course is an introduction to the sociology of 'third world' development and provides and overview of the causes and consequences of economic growth and social development in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. After reviewing the historical creation of the 'global south' and the theoretical explanations of development and underdevelopment, the course focuses on emerging trends associated with the current era of globalization including the changing international division of labor, the dominance of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and associated neoliberal economic policies, economic integration in the Western hemisphere, international migration, and both grassroots and state development initiatives. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement.

Prerequisite: Any 100-level SO course or consent of instructor.

1 unit — Popkin

SO257 Globalization and Immigration on the U.S.-Mexico Border

This course will examine changing patterns of U.S. immigration policy in the U.S.-Mexican border region, with an emphasis on the criminalization of U.S. immigration policy, and assess this policy in the context of a broader review of immigration theory. Other issues that will be explored include: the conditions within Mexico and Central America that have generated emigration to the U.S., the nature/challenges of the migrant journey to the U.S., and the role that Latino labor plays in the U.S. economy. The class typically includes a field component along the U.S.-Mexico border. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement.

Prerequisite: Any 100-level SO course, Sophomore standing. Spanish language skills recommended and consent of instructor.

1 unit — Popkin

SO265 Immigrant Communities in Colorado

The changing demographics of front range communities in Colorado and the socio-economic conditions that generate poverty will be examined as a case study of immigration theory. The increasing diversity of Colorado Springs, Denver, and Pueblo, due in part to high levels of immigration particularly from Latin America, creates new challenges for the city including the provision of adequate housing and social services and racial and ethnic integration in public schools and other institutions. This community based learning course offers students the opportunity to volunteer with a local organization serving immigrants. Particular emphasis will be placed on student teaching of English as a Second Language classes to recently arrived immigrants. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2017-18).

Prerequisite: Any 100-level SO course or consent of instructor Spanish language skills recommended. Must complete 1/2 block & extended format to receive credit.

1 unit

SO267 Development and Grassroots Resistance in Latin America: Theory into Practice

This course reviews the prevalent theories within the field of sociology of development leading to specific examination of neoliberal and post neoliberal development policy in Latin America. Following this inquiry, the course explores the emergence of grassroots resistance in the region in the context of an assessment of new social movement theory. The course includes a substantial field component in Latin America.

Prerequisite: Any 100-level SO course; consent of instructor.

1 unit — Popkin

SO280 Sociology of Education

Functions of the school in modern society. The school as a social system and as a formal organization. Development and allocation of resources to public education. Impact of social and technological change on the school. The school as an agent of social control and of innovation and change. Problems of education in the urban setting, including the desegregation issue. (No credit if taken after SO380.)

Prerequisite: Any 100-level SO course or consent of instructor.

1 unit — Hannscott

SO290 Advanced Topics in Sociology:

A more specialized examination of a variety of sociological issues and problems. Topics will vary from year to year depending on the interests and expertise of the faculty. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement.

Prerequisite: Any 100 level SO class or consent of instructor.

1 unit — Figueroa, Golightly, Muñoz, Popkin

SO301 Quantitative Research Methods

Fundamental issues in quantitative research design, data collection, and analysis. It focuses on more advanced analytical techniques, including spatial and regression analysis, making use of core software programs such as Stata, SPSS and GIS. Emphasis on the practical application of statistical methods to analyze sociological data, as well as the interpretation and presentation of results. Required of majors who do not take SO 302-Qualitative Research Methods.

Prerequisite: Sociology 228 and Sociology 229 or consent of instructor.

1 unit — Roberts

SO302 Qualitative Research Methods

Prepares students to conceptualize, design, and conduct research and to analyze and interpret data obtained through qualitative methods such as field research, participant observation, in depth interviewing, narrative analysis and action research. Required of majors who do not take SO 301-Quantitative Research Methods.

Prerequisite: Sociology 228 and Sociology 229; or consent of instructor.

1 unit — Schneider

SO303 Sociology of Sexuality

An advanced examination of the ways in which sexual identities, desires and practices are socially constructed and, as such, how they vary historically and culturally. Addresses a range of theoretical and methodological approaches that have contributed to the sociological study of sexuality, including psychoanalytic theory, survey research, social constructionism, feminist theory, critical race theory and queer theory. Specific topics include the political economy of sex; the construction of sexual identities; intersections of sexuality, gender, race and class; social movements; sexuality and institutions; families; marriage 'moral panics.' Offered in some years as a field research and writing course. (Not offered 2017-18).

Prerequisite: Sociology 228 and Sociology 229; or consent of instructor.

1 unit

SO303 Sociology of Sexuality

An advanced examination of the ways in which sexual identities, desires and practices are socially constructed and, as such, how they vary historically and culturally. Addresses a range of theoretical and methodological approaches that have contributed to the sociological study of sexuality, including psychoanalytic theory, survey research, social constructionism, feminist theory, critical race theory and queer theory. Specific topics include the political economy of sex; the construction of sexual identities; intersections of sexuality, gender, race and class; social movements; sexuality and institutions; families; marriage 'moral panics.' Offered in some years as a field research and writing course. (Not offered 2017-18).

Prerequisite: Sociology 228 and Sociology 229; or consent of instructor.

1 unit

SO310 Internship in Social Organization

Course designed for the student to intern in an organization which is closely related to the work of one or more standard sociology courses. Students will test a body of classroom theory or description against 'reality. ' Students will examine and describe the structure and workings of the organization and be of assistance to the organization. Must be arranged at least one block in advance. May be taken as a block course(s) for 1 or 2 units, as a yearlong course for 1 unit, as a half block course for .5 unit, or over 4 blocks for .5 unit.

Prerequisite: Sociology 228 and Sociology 229; or consent of instructor.

.5 to 2 units

SO312 Communities & Networks

How different types of community structures allow for different types of individual and group actions - deviance and conformity, successful and unsuccessful challenges to outside authority, the emergence of spectacular subcultures. Both historical and more contemporary case studies. Emphasis on network theory and its applications, using computer programs to analyze relations among actors. No prior programming experience is necessary. (Not offered 2017-18).

Prerequisite: Sociology 228 and Sociology 229; or consent of instructor.

1 unit

SO314 Sociology of Culture

Examines the social base for cultural institutions, for constructing cultural meanings and for producing both high and popular culture. Cultural institutions as seats of both power and conflict. The impact of cultures and subcultures on identity formation. The response of cultural institutions to the rise of postmodernity. (Not offered 2017-18).

Prerequisite: Any 200-level SO course or consent of instructor.

1 unit

SO316 Development and Underdevelopment in Africa

Explores the social organization of development and underdevelopment in Africa. Issues covered may include: the role of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in failed and weak state contexts; obstacles to political development and institution building; inequality and structures of global economic integration; the politics and impact of international aid; the critical status of women and their place in development; the impact of and organizational response to AIDS; the origins, impact, and resolution of civil conflict. Field study component entails extra expenses for students and requires an enrollment limit of 10 students (expandable depending on field site logistics). (Not offered 2017-18).

Prerequisite: Sociology 228 and Sociology 229; or consent of instructor.

1 unit

SO318 Politics, Inequality, and Social Policy

Examines ways in which sociology offers critical insight into social inequalities and how such insight can inform social policy and political efforts for social change.

Prerequisite: Sociology 228 and Sociology 229; or consent of instructor.

1 unit — Roberts

SO320 Contemporary French Society

An examination of contemporary French society through the sociological analysis of structures, culture(s), and everyday life, especially as compared to the United States. Topics include: religion/secularism, taxation and welfare, education, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, immigration, commerce, politics, the environment, families, work, health, leisure, food, and time. Taught in France; conducted in English, limited to 12 (Not offered 2017-18).

Prerequisite: Sociology 228 and Sociology 229; consent of instructor (taught in France).

1 unit

SO322 Symbolic Interactionism

An examination of the major principles and arguments of symbolic interactionist theory and its applications. Symbolic interactionism is an approach to studying the social world that privileges micro-level phenomena. Particular attention is paid to interactional accomplishments of self and identity, the nature, structure, and norms of social interaction, and interactional regulation of bodies and emotions (Not offered 2017-18).

Prerequisite: Sociology 228 and Sociology 229; or consent of instructor.

1 unit

SO324 Urban Sociology

This course centers on ideas of space, place, and community and relates them to major theoretical approaches in sociology. It explores the history of urbanization and urbanism, how people are socially and spatially organized, how urban life affects social interaction, and the stratification of neighborhoods as it relates to inequality more broadly. Particular attention is paid to place-related topics such as housing, education, employment, crime, development, politics, and gentrification.

Prerequisite: Sociology 228 and Sociology 229; or consent of instructor.

1 unit — Dantzler II

SO343 Independent Study:

Library or primary research or a combination thereof in an area of sociology in which the student has a personal interest, curiosity, or concern.

Prerequisite: Sociology 228 and Sociology 229; or consent of instructor.

1 unit — Dantzler II, Schneider

SO344 Independent Study:

Library or primary research or a combination thereof in an area of sociology or social psychology in which the student has a personal interest, curiosity, or concern.

Prerequisite: Sociology 228 and Sociology 229; or consent of instructor.

1 unit — Dantzler II

SO345 Research Topics in Sociology:

Prerequisite: Sociology 228 and Sociology 229; or consent of instructor.

1 unit

SO390 Advanced Topics in Sociology:

A more specialized examination of a variety of sociological issues and problems. Topics will vary from year to year depending on the interests and expertise of the faculty. (Not offered 2017-18).

Prerequisite: Sociology 228 and Sociology 229 or consent of instructor.

1 unit

SO450 Senior Thesis

An independent project on a topic of the student's choice. The project might entail a position paper, empirical research designed to test a hypothesis or describe some phenomena, a theoretical piece dealing with an important sociological problem, or a combination of the above.

Prerequisite: Sociology 301 or Sociology 302; any one 300-level sociology elective.

1 unit — Murphy-Geiss, Muñoz, Popkin

SO451 Senior Seminar

Advanced study of a topic of sociological significance.

Prerequisite: Sociology 450.

1 unit — Dantzler II