The mission of the Sociology Department is to provide students with opportunities to gain the knowledge and skills required to study groups, organizations, subcultures, cultures and societies. Our students study the dynamics of social interactions, identities, inequalities and social change by investigating social structures, norms and values which shape our lives, our institutions and our societies.
The primary goals of the Sociology Department are as follows:
1. Develop a sociological imagination in our students. The sociological imagination is defined as the ability to grasp the relationship between the individual and society in order to understand how larger social patterns influence the lives of individuals and, conversely, how individuals can exercise agency to effect change in society. Key to the development of a sociological imagination is fostering the growth of students’ creative and critical thinking skills.
2. Provide a strong disciplinary foundation. The foundation of the discipline of sociology rests upon two fields: research methods and social theory. Two required courses in research methods, on in quantitative methods and one in qualitative methods, provide the knowledge and skills necessary to design ethical and rigorous studies that involve the collection and analysis of empirical evidence. Two required courses, one in classical sociological theories and one in contemporary social theories, provide sociological perspectives that inform the selection of research methods for a particular project and guide the analysis of collected data. Together, these courses provide students with the abilities to produce theoretically driven and empirically grounded scholarship.
3. Encourage growth in each student’s ethical judgment and understanding of identity. We emphasize the development of ethical judgment in the production of and use of sociological knowledge because sociological knowledge has applied value when fostering intellectual growth and emotional maturity in students. In addition, we encourage students to examine diverse, complex, and situated identities, while increasing their awareness and understanding of the sources of social power which shape their own and others’ experiences.
4. Prepare students to live meaningful and productive lives. The sociology department is committed to helping student live meaningful lives that are filled with an ever-present critical awareness of social dynamics and with a commitment to bring about positive social change. In addition, the sociology department offers courses which develop a broad base of knowledge and skills applicable to a variety of occupational fields and various areas of graduate study.
Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
34-36 credits minimum, 27-28 credits upper division.
|Choose one from the following: (3-4 units)||3-4|
|Introduction to Sociology|
|Contemporary Global Issues|
|SOC 407||Classical Sociological Theory||4|
|SOC 420||Contemporary Social Theory||4|
|SOC 430||Quantitative Methods||4|
|SOC 440||Ethnographic Methods - Capstone||4|
|Sociology Electives (at least 11-12 must be Upper Division) 1||15-16|
One elective may be taken from other departments as long as the course is pre-approved by the Sociology Chair as having significant sociological content.
Minor in Sociology
18-20 credits minimum, 11-12 credits upper division.
|Choose one from the following:||3-4|
|Introduction to Sociology|
|Contemporary Global Issues|
|Sociology Elective Credits (15-16 units, at least 11-12 must be Upper Division)||15-16|
SOC 101. Introduction to Sociology. (4).
Provides the foundational concepts and theories
used by sociologists to understand social life.
The student will be introduced to the power of
social forces to affect human behavior - culture,
socialization, social structure, inequality,
social institutions such as family, religion,
education and the effects of social change.
SOC 103. Contemporary Global Issues. (4).
A critical review and assessment will be
undertaken of the origin and present condition of
the major global issues and problems and how
these are being addressed by the local and
international organizations. We will also explore
ideas and concepts of human trafficking, human
rights, coexistence among peoples of different
cultures and other critical global issues such as
poverty eradication, environmental degradation,
health crisis and family/gender issues.
(cross-listed with GLST 103).
SOC 200. Sexuality and Society. (4).
This course, a lower division version of SOC 300,
is geared towards those who are not completing a
major or minor in sociology. Primarily focusing
on the United States, this course examines
sexuality through a sociological lens. We will
explore how sexual attitudes and behaviors have
changed over time, looking at which sexual
attitudes and behaviors are considered "normal"
vs. "deviant," and "moral" vs. "immoral" in
mainstream society and different subcultures. At
both the interpersonal and societal levels, the
course will examine how these beliefs influence
societal responses to current social problems
related to sexuality: adolescent sexuality, teen
pregnancy, contraception, STDs, sex education,
sexualized violence, prostitution, pornography,
sexual orientation, changing gender roles, and
portrayals of sex in popular culture. (Taking
this course for credit disallows taking SOC 300
SOC 210. Introduction to Women's Studies. (4).
This interdisciplinary course uses a social
constructionist perspective to explore some major
issues in contemporary women's studies: cultural
constructions of femininity; women's roles in and
perspectives on education, religion, politics,
law, economics, and health care; women and the
arts; feminist theories and philosophies.
(cross-listed with WOMS 210).
SOC 221. Popular Culture. (4).
An introduction to important readings on popular
culture from the perspectives of sociology and
communication studies. The study of popular
culture takes the forms, content, values and
norms of popular culture products as data for
analysis and critique. Students will focus on
mass communication forms of popular culture such
as movies, advertisements, television shows,
magazines, music and music videos. This course
will focus on the period from 1945 to the
present. (cross-listed with COMM 221).
SOC 230. Introduction to World Cultures. (4).
People from different continents who speak
different languages and possess different values
and religions find themselves living closer and
closer together in a new global village. To all
members of this new community, cultural
anthropology offers a unique invitation to
examine, explain and critique human diversity.
This course will introduce the student to the
concepts, theories and methods used by
anthropologists to analyze cultural systems
particularly those from non-Western societies.
SOC 282. Selected Topic. (1-4).
SOC 285. Travel Course: Exploring Japanese Society and Culture. (2).
Japan has been one of the most economically
advanced countries since the rise of
globalization, yet unlike Europe and the U.S., it
is a country of no Western origin. While
globalization has accelerated the process of
Americanization, Japan still retains uniquely
Japanese customs, values/beliefs and social
institutions. The course will meet during the
spring semester and examine Japanese
society/culture and the impact of globalization
through documentary films, academic articles,
popular magazines and Internet sources. Right
after the semester, the students will visit Japan
for approximately two weeks to directly observe
interactions of Japanese people and experience
Japanese life style. Back in the U.S., the
students are required to write a reflection paper
on their experiences in Japan. Minimum Sophomore
SOC 300. Sexuality and Society. (4).
Primarily focusing on the United States, this
course examines sexuality through a sociological
lens. We will explore how sexual attitudes and
behaviors have changed over time, looking at
which sexual attitudes and behaviors are
considered "normal" vs. "deviant," and "moral"
vs. "immoral" in mainstream society and different
subcultures. At both the interpersonal and
societal levels, the course will examine how
these beliefs influence societal responses to
current social problems related to sexuality:
adolescent sexuality, teen pregnancy,
contraception, STDs, sex education, sexualized
violence, prostitution, pornography, sexual
orientation, changing gender roles, and
portrayals of sex in popular culture. Minimum
SOC 318. Immigration in the Global Age. (4).
International immigration is an integral part of
the globalization processes. This course explores
the key current theoretical and empirical debates
in the study of this global phenomenon. The
course covers transnational networks, the
formation and implementation of labor recruitment
(including human trafficking), migration
policies, political conflict, economic and social
adaptation, the development of socio-cultural
traditions (ethnic identities) and the
transformation of gender relations. Minimum
Sophomore standing. (cross-listed with GLST 318).
SOC 320. Religion and Culture. (4).
Investigates the relationship between religion
and various forms of culture in contemporary
American society, including literature, art,
television, film, and popular music. Special
emphasis will be given to the culture wars, to
the sacred in everyday life, and to the
production and reception of religious culture.
SOC 321. Medical Sociology. (4).
An introduction to the examination of health,
illness, and healing from a sociological
perspective. The course will address relevant
sociological theories and research methods. The
field of medical sociology operates independently
from the medical profession and takes the
perspective, values, norms, and practices of
medicine as data for analysis and critique. This
course will primarily focus on issues of health,
illness, and healing in the U.S. Minimum
SOC 322. Gender and Society. (4).
This course will examine the significance of
gender in structuring experiences and social
institutions. Emphasis upon the experiences,
perspectives, and contributions of gendered
social groups and upon the intersection of gender
with other social categories, such as race,
class, and sexuality. Minimum Sophomore standing.
SOC 330. Death and Dying. (4).
It is in thinking about death that we begin to
understand the meaning of life. Using
sociological, psychological and spiritual
perspectives, this course will examine such
topics as American cultural influences on the
meaning of death, how we die in a technological
age, euthanasia and legal issues, the funeral and
other death rituals, suicide, life after death,
children and death, the grief process and
cross-cultural perspectives on death and dying.
The course will use active-learning methods such
as journaling, field trips, guest speakers,
interviewing and participant observation. Minimum
SOC 334. Sociology of Education. (4).
This course provides an overview of sociological
theories of education and current research about
education in the United States. Analysis will
include the school as a social institution
comprised of specific roles, values, and norms.
In so doing we will examine the role of schooling
in both reproducing and redressing social
inequalities with an emphasis on how social
class, race, gender, ethnicity, immigration, and
sexual orientation impact the organization of
school, the development of curricula, and the
experiences of students. Minimum Sophomore
SOC 340. Family and Intimate Relationships. (4).
The course examines the peculiarity of the
"modern" Western family system in historical and
cross cultural perspectives. The course will
explore transformative effects of globalization
and post-industrial economy on family practices,
structures and intimate relationships. In
addition, the course will address the
intersections between family life and social
structures, such as race/ethnicity, social class
and sexuality. Minimum Sophomore standing.
SOC 360. Racial and Ethnic Relations. (4).
The course examines the historical, political,
economic, and cultural dimensions of racial and
ethnic relations in the United States from the
mid 1800s to the present, with an emphasis on
racism. Includes an investigation of the link
between residential segregation and opportunity
for African Americans, a critical interrogation
of whiteness and white privilege, and an
exploration of racism in California, particularly
for California Indians. Minimum Sophomore
SOC 370. Deviance in U.S. Society. (4).
Introduces students to sociological concepts of
deviance, social control, social power, and
identity construction/management. Focusing on the
topic of deviance, an exploration of how groups
of people have the power to shape and apply
social definitions of "normalcy" and "morality"
will provide an analytical lens through which to
look at the consequences for those labeled as
"deviant." Minimum junior standing. (cross-listed
with CRIM 370).
SOC 407. Classical Sociological Theory. (4).
A survey of the most significant developments in
classical sociological theory, emphasizing the
critical reading of primary source materials. The
characteristics and origins of major sociological
paradigms are explored, including the works of
Marx, Weber, and Durkheim. Prerequisite:
SOC 101; Minimum Junior standing.
SOC 420. Contemporary Social Theory. (4).
This course is a critical examination of
significant developments in contemporary social
theory, such as symbolic interactionism,
postmodernism, poststructuralism, critical
theory, feminist theory, and queer theory.
Prerequisites: SOC 407; Minimum Junior
SOC 430. Quantitative Methods. (4).
This class will prepare students to critically
analyze and conduct quantitative sociological
research. Emphasis is on the use of surveys, the
primary quantitative method used in social
research. Students will learn the principles of
study design and deductive logic for the purpose
of carrying out quantitative data analysis.
Pre-requisite: SOC 101, Minimum Sophomore
SOC 440. Ethnographic Methods - Capstone. (4).
Skill development prepares students to conduct
qualitative sociological research. Emphasizes
ethnographic techniques including: intensive
interviewing, direct observation, coding,
participant observation, and report writing.
Students conceive and execute a field research
project with data collection, analysis, and a
report. Minimum Junior standing. Pre-requisite:
SOC 101 or equivalent.
SOC 482. Selected Topics. (1-4).
SOC 485. Seminar. (2-4).
SOC 490. Independent Study. (1-4).
SOC 492. Internship. (1-4).
(graded P/NC only).
|Dr. Adina Nack||Professor, Sociology Department; Director, Center for Equality and Justice (2003)||Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Colorado, Boulder|
|Dr. Akiko Yasuike||Associate Professor, Sociology Department and Global Studies Program (2006)||Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Southern California|
|Dr. Jonathan Cordero||Assistant Professor, Sociology Department; Interim Department Chair of Sociology (2005)||Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara|
|Dr. Molly George||Assistant Professor, Sociology Department and Criminal Justice Department (2010)||Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara|