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Course Descriptions


NOTE: Many changes were made to the Sociology Course Offerings listed in the 2014-2016 Undergraduate Bulletin. To assist you with all these changes a complete listing of the new course designations, as well as the old course numbering, is available in pdf form at this link: New Courses/Old Numbering OR ReverseLookup--OldCourses/NewNumbers

SJ = Social Justice
LCJ = Law, Crime, Justice

SOCI 101D Introduction to Sociology
SOCI 201 Quantitative Methods
SOCI 202 Qualitative Methods
SOCI 210D Social Justice

SOCI 240D Crime and Inequality
SOCI 270 Law and Social Justice
SOCI 294 Special Topics

SOCI 301 Sociological Theories
SOCI 310 U.S. Society
SOCI 311 Sociology of Families
SOCI 312D Gender through the Prism of Difference
SOCI 313D Sexualities
SOCI 314 Sociology of Education
SOCI 315 Health and Society
SOCI 340 Urban Sociology
SOCI 341 Criminology
SOCI 342 Juvenile Delinquency

SOCI 343 Corrections
SOCI 344 Social Deviance
SOCI 345 Theories of Crime
SOCI 346 Rights, Justice, Law and Social Change
SOCI 370D Race and Ethnic Relations

SOCI 371 Inequality and Social Change
SOCI 372 Politics and Society
SOCI 373 Social Institutions
SOCI 374 Social Movements
SOCI 410 Social Change: Global Perspective
SOCI 411 Work and Labor
SOCI 412 Community, Consensus, and Commitment
SOCI 440 Race and the Criminal Justice System
SOCI 441 Drugs and U.S. Society
SOCI 470 Sexuality and Borders
SOCI 471 Environmental Inequality and Justice
SOCI 472 Criminalizing Immigration
SOCI 493 Field Experience in Sociology
SOCI 494 Special Topics in Contemporary Sociology
SOCI 498 Internship in Sociology
SOCI 499 Independent Study


101D Introduction to Sociology (3)
This course is required for the Sociology major and introduces students to basic concepts of sociology: groups, race and ethnicity, class, gender, nation, citizenship, status, role, society, behavior patterns, and social institutions. The approach is broadly comparative, historical, and global in orientation and focus, with an emphasis on the U.S. Particular attention is paid to issues of power, inequality, war, peace, social change, and social justice. Offered every semester.

201 Quantitative Methods (3)
This course is required for completion of the Sociology major and provides an introduction to the use of quantitative methods with an emphasis on descriptive statistics. Students learn concepts including quantitative research design, sampling methods, components of survey research, measurement and analysis of variables, and standards of ethical practice. Statistical procedures include central tendency and variability measures, the normal curve, probability, correlation, and regression. Students will also develop basic fluency in SPSS, a statistical software package, to analyze empirical data.

202 Qualitative Methods (3)
This course is required for completion of the Sociology major and provides an introduction to the use of qualitative methods such as ethnographic research, field research, individual and focus group interviewing, historical comparative research, and qualitative survey research. Students learn concepts of research design including conceptualization, operationalization, sampling methods, and data analysis. These tools are integral to the execution of qualitative sociological research.

210D Social Justice (3)
This is a social problems course that critically examines issues of power, difference and inequality, utilizing comparative, historical, global and other critical perspectives. In an age of widening social polarization, the intersections of power, structure and agency are at the heart of sociological inquiry. Topics covered include stratification, social change, and struggles for peace and justice as they relate to issues of class, race, gender, sexuality and citizenship. The course will consider these issues in local, regional and global contexts, with an orientation towards social justice. This course is open to both majors and non-majors for fulfillment of the Core Curriculum requirements.

240D Crime and Inequality (3)
This introductory-level course critically examines contemporary social issues in Crime, Justice, Law and Society. It will analyze the historic and contemporary responses of the law-enforcement community to various types of criminal and deviant behavior. The actions of formal agents of social control will be investigated both empirically and theoretically. Topics of the course include: theories of punishment, the criminal justice system, and the enduring tensions between social control and individual freedoms. This course is open to both majors and non-majors for fulfillment of the Core Curriculum requirements.

270 Law and Social Justice (3)
This course provides a dynamic, broad introduction to the study of law as a social institution, in the context of larger questions of inequality and social justice.

294 Special Topics (3)
An overview and analysis of selected contemporary topics in sociology, this course discusses specific content to be determined by particular interest of instructor and students. May be repeated for credit with different course content. (Offered on demand).

301 Sociological Theories (3)
This course is required for completion of the Sociology major and provides an examination of classical and contemporary sociological theories as part of the development of the structures of knowledge, drawing on a wide range of theorists and perspectives, including micro and macro perspectives, consensus and conflict theories, structural functionalist modernization theory, world-systems analysis, critical race and feminist theory, and related questions of structure, agency, and social change. Emphasis is on critical engagement with theorists and perspectives, and their respective strengths and weaknesses.

310D U.S. Society (3)
Counts towards: SJ
An introduction to U.S. society within historical and social perspectives. Transitions and transformations in U.S. culture and values are considered in a social context. Topics explored include industrialization, capitalism, social stratification, and the interplay of freedom, democracy, individualism, and volunteerism with the U.S.’s social structure, political institutions, and cultural framework.

311 Sociology of Families (3)
Counts towards: SJ
Analysis of the family as a social institution and as a social group, with emphasis on the impact of industrialization on traditional family functions, courtship, role expectations, child rearing, and family stability. The course will examine changes in work patterns, marriage, divorce, and cohabitation over time. Race, ethnicity, and gender differences will also be addressed.

312D Gender through the Prism of Difference (3)
Counts towards: SJ
This course explores how gender organizes our society. It focuses on how specific institutions affect individual agency; for example, how do the media, corporate industries, and professional organizations differently influence the social construction of femininity and masculinity? What processes of social activism and resistance do individuals engage to challenge such pressures? Analyses also focus on how conceptions of biological determinism affect behavior. Finally, the intersections of race, class, and sexual diversity among men and women are investigated as they relate to social phenomena such as production, reproduction, identity, and social change.

313D Sexualities (3)
Counts towards: SJ
An analysis of the phenomenon of human sexuality from a sociological perspective. An understanding of the diversity of sexuality, development of sex roles, sexual orientation, historical and cross-cultural views of sexuality, and trends in sexual behavior and attitudes. Topics will include such issues as sexual identity, socialization, social change, and social movements.

314 Sociology of Education (3)
Counts towards: SJ
An introduction to education as a social process and a social institution. Topics include: the social functions of education; the school as a formal organization and social system; social factors affecting the educational process; and an examination of change and innovation in education.

315 Health and Society (3)
Counts towards: SJ
This course will provide students with an understanding of how social signifiers, such as race, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and age contribute to disparities in health across different places. Through case studies, students will be encouraged to examine the changing sociologies of health and illness in both a global and local context. Topics will include health care systems, HIV/AIDS, cancer, women’s health, obesity, disability, mental health, and alcohol and tobacco. Throughout the course, special attention will be given to the role of medicalization in the transformation of certain human conditions into categories of health and illness.

340 Urban Sociology (3)
Counts towards: LCJ
The goal of this course is to expose students to the array of topics that occupy the attention of contemporary urban scholars: political, economic, and cultural issues related to urban transformation, urban inequalities, urban design, urban consumption, urban sustainability, and urban security.

341 Criminology (3)
Counts towards: LCJ
An examination of crime and society, with special emphasis on theories of criminality, types and trends in crime, and current controversies in criminology.

342 Juvenile Delinquency (3)
Counts towards: LCJ
This course provides an empirical description and sociohistorical analysis of the complex social problem of juvenile delinquency. Toward this goal, the course examines the historical circumstances and legal heritage out of which the social construction of juvenile delinquency has emerged. The emphasis of the course is on the process through which juvenile behavior becomes juvenile delinquency and the process through which juveniles become juvenile delinquents. This course also explores theoretical explanations for deviance and law-violating behavior committed by juveniles.

343 Corrections (3)
Counts towards: LCJ
This course is a critical evaluation of America's historic and contemporary use of the correctional system as the primary response to crime and many social problems. This seminar is more about ideology than structure, of paramount interest are the social, political and economic contexts of prisons and the "tough on crime" movement that have produced the largest prison system in the world.

344 Social Deviance (3)
Counts towards: LCJ
An analysis of conceptions of deviant behavior, the nature and prevalence of such behavior, and the theories developed to explain deviance. Emphasis is upon the relationship of such behavior to social structure and social processes.

345 Theories of Crime (3)
Counts towards: LCJ
This course uses the theoretical and methodological tools of criminology to examine the origins of deviant and criminal behavior. We will explore the major theoretical perspectives on criminality that have shaped the discipline over time and apply these theories to historical and contemporary case studies of actual criminal behavior. In combination, these theoretical paradigms and case studies should provide insight into a very complicated question—why do people do crime?

346 Rights, Justice, Law and Social Change (3)
Counts towards: LCJ
The study of rights, justice, and law as social institutions. After being introduced to the sociolegal foundations of U.S. society and the scope of contemporary law, students will be expected to closely and critically examine the role law plays in the establishment and taking away of individual rights and liberties. Students will also be expected to develop an understanding of justice, how the meaning of justice has changed over the course of U.S. history, and the social forces that have played a role in molding new interpretations of justice. This course places special emphasis on the law’s role in both producing and remedying social inequality. Particular attention is given to the subjects of race, gender, class, civil rights, and privacy rights.

370D Race and Ethnic Relations (3)
An introduction to theory and research relative to minority group relations in the United States, with particular emphasis upon patterns, problems, and consequences of social interaction and cultural diversity among different racial, national, religious, and socioeconomic groups.

371 Inequality and social Change (3)
Counts towards: SJ. LCJ
An analysis of the structures and dynamics of social inequality, focusing upon competing theoretical explanations and empirical investigations of different arrangements by which wealth, power, and prestige are distributed in human societies.

372 Politics and Society (3)
Counts towards: SJ, LCJ
An introduction to the sociological analysis of the theory and practice of power in contemporary societies. Emphasis will be placed upon such topics as the nature of political power, social and cultural foundations of political institutions, sources and patterns of political involvement, and the social consequences of various types of power structures.

373 Social Institutions (3)
Counts towards: SJ, LCJ
A comparative analysis of the basic structuring of human societies, utilizing the perspective of social systems theory. Topics for discussion will include such fundamental institutionalized processes as social allocation and social power, as well as the development of total societies from simple to complex forms of organization.

374 Social Movements (3)
Counts towards: SJ, LCJ
An examination of the short-lived, and often extraordinary, non institutionalized behavioral phenomena of crowds, mobs, riots, panics, and crazes that seem periodically to disturb the orderly flow of human societal life. Also examined will be the processes by which these “social aberrations” may become institutionalized as social movements or as part of a new and emerging sociocultural order.

410 Social Change: Global Perspective (3)
Counts towards: SJ
Using sociological perspectives on the roles of cultural beliefs and social practices in shaping people’s lives, this course offers an overview of the organizing principles of society that resulted in the transition of pre-industrial societies to modern industrial states. The goals of the course are to make students aware of the power that social and cultural structures hold over them, of the fact that different societies will necessarily hold disparate views on how societies should be organized, and of the means to assess social/cultural differences in a nonjudgmental way. Topics covered include the technological bases of social organization, sex and gender stratification, demography, nationalism, religion, and civil society.

411 Work and Labor (3)
Counts towards: SJ
Examination of work, the labor force, and labor markets are integral to sociological theory and research. This course examines how labor and work impact and structure daily life, social structures, and the political economy. In addition, this course examines the relationship between politics and policy and the labor force in the United States.

412 Community, Consensus, and Commitment (3)
Counts towards: SJ
This interdisciplinary course will be useful for students who seek to understand contemporary social issues in a purposeful and strategic manner. The course utilizes theory and practice in order for students to learn the various dimensions of what constitutes community, and how to apply the tools of community organizing, consensus-building, and sustaining commitment in addressing social issues.

440 Race and the Criminal Justice System (3)
Counts towards: LCJ
An examination and analysis of the various structures of inequality as they relate to processes of social control. Emphasis on strategies and techniques utilized to label and combat deviant and criminal behavior. Attention will be focused on the organization and operation of the U.S. criminal justice system.

441 Drugs and U.S. Society (3)
This course provides a sociohistorical analysis of the cultural, economic, and political forces that have driven anti-drug movements throughout U.S. history. Toward this goal, the course examines the historical circumstances and legal heritage that have contributed to the rise and fall of drug panics and the current disease model of addiction. The implications of the medicalization of deviance are explored, as are the influences of past drug policies and the casualties of the current “war on drugs.”

470 Sexuality and Borders (3)
Counts towards: SJ, LCJ
This course critically examines sexuality as a set of social and political statuses ascribed to individuals. The course interrogates the ways that laws seek to govern rights and privileges of the citizenry according to these statuses of sexuality, in addition to the ways norms and informal policies prohibit and prescribe individuals' self-expression. The course focuses on issues of crossing borders, both symbolic boundaries, such as norms of families and reproduction within the U.S., as well as passage across national borders for purposes such as marriage immigration, sex tourism, and human trafficking for the sex trade.

471 Environmental Inequality and Justice (3)
Counts towards: SJ, LCJ
Using a sociological perspective, this course explores how social power dynamics along racial, economic, and cultural lines are pertinent to understanding people¿s disproportionate access to clean, safe, and productive environments, on the one hand, and their unequal exposure to environmental harms, on the other. Through the critical examination of contemporary case studies, students in this course will gain a greater appreciation of the social causes and consequences of environmental racism and inequality, as well as the efforts that are being taken by social groups engaged in political struggles for environmental justice.

472 Criminalizing Immigration (3)
Counts towards: SJ, LCJ
This course provides an overview of sociological research in the field of international migration and focuses on topics including: migration flows into gateway cities such as San Diego, New York, Los Angeles, and Miami; transnationalism; immigration law and policy; immigrant families, activism, citizenship, and work.

493 Field Experience in Sociology (1-3)
Counts towards: SJ, LCJ as Elective only
Practical experience in a field setting under professional and faculty supervision. Each student will complete 40 to 120 hours of training and service (40 hours per unit of credit) in an assigned field setting. Students may be required to attend an orientation program prior to their placement. Regularly scheduled meetings with the faculty supervisor are required from each student. May be taken for one to three units per semester. Field experience courses may not be applied toward fulfillment of requirements for the Sociology Major. Consent of faculty supervisor is required prior to registration. Pass/fail option only.

494 Special Topics in Contemporary Sociology (3)
Counts towards: SJ, LCJ
An in-depth analysis of selected contemporary topics in sociology, with specific content to be determined by particular interest of professor. May be repeated for credit with different course content.

498 Internship in Sociology (3)
Counts towards: SJ, LCJ
A practicum course involving a minimum of 120 hours per semester with various community, social service, and criminal justice agencies throughout San Diego County. Students may be required to attend an orientation program prior to their placement. Fieldwork is under the supervision of agency personnel and the faculty supervisor. Regularly scheduled meetings with the faculty supervisor, a learning journal of experiences, and a research paper are required from each student. A maximum of 6 units of credit from internship courses may be applied toward fulfillment of requirements for the Sociology Major. Junior or senior standing and consent of the faculty supervisor are required prior to registration.

499 Independent Study (1-3)
Counts towards: SJ, LCJ
Individual study and written research working in close collaboration with a faculty advisor. Consent of instructor and of the department chair are required for registration.

*Disclaimer: If there are any inconsistencies between what is posted on our web page and the language and text in the official 2014-2016 Undergraduate Bulletin, the bulletin will always prevail.