Academic Course Catalogs

Drop Shadow

Sociology

Michelle Madsen Camacho, PhD, CHAIR
Adina Batnitzky, PhD
Julia Miller Cantzler, PhD
Erik D. Fritsvold, PhD
Judith Liu, PhD
Lisa Nunn, PhD
Thomas E. Reifer, PhD
John Joe Schlichtman, PhD

The Sociology Major

The degree program in sociology provides students with the analytical tools to help them understand the links between individual experiences and the larger society. In examining social life and social change, the department focuses on questions of power, culture, and inequality in the U.S. and at the global level, combining a comparative-historical perspective with the scientific and humanistic vantage points of the social sciences. All students are exposed to classical and contemporary sociological theories and learn to apply both quantitative and qualitative approaches to sociological research.

The complexity of the field of sociology is reflected in the wide range of courses offered in the department and in the varied interests and backgrounds of the faculty. Professors in the USD Sociology Department specialize in global perspectives on power and inequality; stratification and poverty; immigration; racial, ethnic, and national diversity; spatial segregation; community activism and leadership; gender and sexuality; public health; global expansion of capitalism and democracy; crime, law, citizenship and social justice; environmental inequalities; social movements; and social change.

Careers in Sociology include work in non-profit sectors, education, counseling, research, administration, public service, criminology/criminal justice policy, urban planning, public health, public relations, IT services, social services, management, sales, and marketing.

We share in USD’s mission to work towards peace and social justice, with a special emphasis on the Catholic intellectual and social tradition. Strong community service-learning components and field experience placements in community agencies provide an opportunity for students to link abstract sociological concepts to concrete social issues in the search for solutions to pressing societal problems.

Major Requirements (36 units)

Students majoring in sociology must satisfy the core curriculum requirements as set forth in this course catalog and complete all major requirements as presented in the following schedule:

Lower-Division Preparation for the Major – 15 units

SOCI 101D Introduction to Sociology (3)
And two of the following three lower-division courses (six units):
SOCI 216D Contemporary Social Issues: Power and Inequality in Global Perspective (3)
SOCI 217D Contemporary Social Issues: Crime, Justice, Law and Society (3)
SOCI 218D Contemporary Social Issues: Community, Urbanization, and Culture (3)
plus:
SOC 225 Quantitative Methods (3)
and
SOC 226 Qualitative Methods (3)

Students should plan their upper-division courses in consultation with their major advisor. The courses will include:

Upper-Division – 21 units including

SOCI 322 Sociological Theories (3) (required)
And 18 additional Upper-Division Units. At least 15 of the 21 Upper-Division Units must be taken at USD. No more than 6 non-USD units taken abroad will be accepted for credit toward the sociology major.

Recommended Sequence for Majoring in Sociology

Freshman Year
Introduction to Sociology

Sophomore Year
2 sections of Contemporary Social Issues
Quantitative Research Methods
Qualitative Research Methods

Junior Year
Social Theory
Three Upper-Division Electives
One-Semester Study Abroad (optional)

Senior Year
Three Upper-Division Electives
Internship/Field Experience (optional)

The Sociology Minor

Minor Requirements (18 units)

Lower Division – nine units
SOCI 101D Introduction to Sociology (3)
And at least two courses in the Contemporary Social Issues series: SOCI 216D, 217D, or 218D (6 units)

Upper Division – nine units minimum
Students must have taken SOCI 101D and either SOCI 216D, 217D, or 218D (and have completed 45 undergraduate units) before enrolling in any upper division sociology course. (Prerequisites may occasionally be waived with consent of the instructor.)

Area Concentrations

Community, Urbanization, and Culture

With an emphasis on social change and social justice, this concentration examines community structures, processes, and problems, with a focus on urban environments in a globalizing world. Issues of immigration, racial, ethnic, and national diversity, inequality, spatial segregation, community activism and leadership, and schooling and public education are all addressed, along with the impact of popular culture. Students will learn to develop creative strategies to address the issues facing urban centers and communities today as global forces increasingly challenge our traditional notions of city and community. The concentration will be of particular interest to those students considering careers in city planning, human services/relations, or social welfare, as well as those contemplating graduate work or professional training in urban planning, public health, urban sociology, geography, and related fields.

SOCI 311
SOCI 315
SOCI 320
SOCI 331D
SOCI 348
SOCI 350
SOCI 352
SOCI 353
SOCI 357
SOCI 363
SOCI 364
SOCI 370
SOCI 385
SOCI 400
SOCI 455
SOCI 464
SOCI 494
Popular Culture
Environmental Inequality and Justice
U.S. Society
Race and Ethnic Relations
Juvenile Delinquency
Social Institutions
Sexuality and Borders
Sociology of Families
Inequality and Stratification
Urban Sociology
Work and Labor
Sociology of Education
Health and Society
Urban Planning
Cities in a Global Context
Community, Consensus, and Commitment
Special Topics (approval of department chair required)


Power and Inequality in Global Perspective

In this globally interconnected age of increasing diversity and widening disparities, power, difference, and inequality are at the heart of sociological inquiry. Focusing on the interweaving of structure and agency in comparative historical and global perspective, power and inequality are analyzed from a variety of theoretical vantage points, including that of historical political economy, with an emphasis on race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality. Topics addressed include the global expansion of European capitalism and worldwide responses to this, as well as democracy, law, citizenship, and the role of organizations and social movements in social change. Transnational corporations and social movements, urbanization, sustainable development, the environment, and issues of war and peace are also addressed, with a particular emphasis on the Catholic social and intellectual tradition. This concentration will be of interest to those students interested in careers in social change, in the labor movement, public policy, human services/resources, or business, as well as for students interested in pursuing graduate work or careers in law, teaching, and related professional fields.

SOCI 315
SOCI 320
SOCI 331D
SOCI 350
SOCI 351
SOCI 353
SOCI 357
SOCI 358
SOCI 359D
SOCI 362
SOCI 364
SOCI 369D
SOCI 380
SOCI 385
SOCI 460
SOCI 473
SOCI 494
Environmental Inequality and Justice
U.S. Society
Race and Ethnic Relations
Social Institutions
China in the 21st Century
Sociology of Families
Inequality and Stratification
Political Sociology
Gender Through the Prism of Difference
Social Change: Global Perspectives
Work and Labor
Sexualities
Social Movements
Health and Society
Immigration
Rights, Justice, Law and Inequality
Special Topics (approval of department chair required)


Crime, Justice, Law and Society

This concentration is for students who want to develop theoretical and empirical understandings of crime, the criminal justice system, and law. Through a sociological lens, courses in the concentration focus on the manifestations, causes, and consequences of criminal behavior and the mechanisms of justice, from street-level to white-collar crime. Courses also examine how society shapes our understanding of crime, the way individuals and society respond to crime, and changes in the context of globalization. This concentration will be of particular interest to those students considering careers in law, government, criminal justice, law enforcement, or social service, as well as those contemplating graduate work or professional training in related fields.

Note: All CJLS concentrating students must take two of the following upper division elective courses, as they are foundational to this concentration: 331D Race and Ethnic Relations; 347 Criminology; 349 Race and the Criminal Justice System; 355 Corrections; 357 Inequality and Stratification; 368 Social Deviance; 472 Law & Society; 473 Rights, Justice, Law & Inequality.

SOCI 315
SOCI 331D
SOCI 347
SOCI 348
SOCI 349
SOCI 352
SOCI 354
SOCI 355
SOCI 357
SOCI 358
SOCI 368
SOCI 472
SOCI 473
SOCI 494
Environmental Inequality and Justice
Race and Ethnic Relations
Criminology
Juvenile Delinquency
Race and the Criminal Justice System (formerly called SOCI 349 Social Control)
Sexuality and Borders
Drugs and U.S. Society
Corrections
Inequality and Stratification
Political Sociology
Social Deviance
Law and Society
Rights, Justice, Law and Inequality
Special Topics (approval of department chair required)


POLI 321 or 322D (only one of these two courses may be applied to the major and the course will not apply to any concentration other than Crime, Justice, Law and Society)

Sociology Courses (SOCI)

SOCI 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.

SOCI 216D CONTEMPORARY SOCIAL ISSUES: POWER AND INEQUALITY IN GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE (3)
This course 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. This course is open to both majors and non-majors for fulfillment of the core curriculum requirements.

SOCI 217D CONTEMPORARY SOCIAL ISSUES: CRIME, JUSTICE, LAW AND SOCIETY (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. For sociology majors, it also serves as an introductory pathway to the Crime, Justice, Law and Society concentration.

SOCI 218D CONTEMPORARY SOCIAL ISSUES: COMMUNITY, URBANIZATION, AND CULTURE (3)
This course considers the contemporary social issues that every city is facing. It will examine the political, economic, and socio-cultural nuances of major issues such as poverty, development, housing, education, immigration and crime. Students will reflect on the role of community and how it both influences and is influenced by these issues. Finally, students will analyze different policies that have been used to address these issues. This course is open to both majors and non-majors for fulfillment of the core curriculum requirements.

SOCI 225 QUANTITATIVE METHODS (3)
This course is required for 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.

SOCI 226 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.

SOCI 294 SPECIAL TOPICS IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIOLOGY (LOWER DIVISION) (3)
An overview and analysis of selected contemporary topics in sociology, with specific content to be determined by particular interest of instructor and students. May be repeated for credit with different course content.

SOCI 311 POPULAR CULTURE (3)
An examination of the material and other cultural artifacts of everyday life in our society. Included for analysis are: popular literature, films, television, and other mass media forms; popular icons such as toys and automobiles as reflections of underlying cultural values and beliefs; and the promotion of “the good life” through popular advertising.

SOCI 315 ENVIRONMENTAL INEQUALITY AND JUSTICE (3)
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.

SOCI 320 U.S. SOCIETY (3)
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.

SOCI 322 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.

SOCI 331D 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.

SOCI 347 CRIMINOLOGY (3)
An examination of crime and society, with special emphasis on theories of criminality, types and trends in crime, and current controversies in criminology.

SOCI 348 JUVENILE DELINQUENCY (3)
This course provides an empirical description and socio-historical 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.

SOCI 349 RACE AND THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM (FORMERLY CALLED SOCIAL CONTROL) (3)
An examination and analysis of structures of inequality as they relate to processes of social control. Emphasis on strategies 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.

SOCI 350 SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS (3)
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.

SOCI 351 CHINA IN THE 21ST CENTURY (3)
This course analyzes the historical and social development of the People’s Republic of China from 1949 to the present. Topics explored include: the problems of post-revolutionary institutionalization, the role of ideology, the tension between city and countryside, Maoism, major social movements, socialist education, the urban work force, and the status of women.

SOCI 352 SEXUALITY AND BORDERS (3)
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 passage across national borders for purposes such as marriage immigration, sex tourism, and human trafficking for the sex trade.

SOCI 353 SOCIOLOGY OF FAMILIES (3)
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.

SOCI 354 DRUGS AND U.S. SOCIETY (3)
This course provides a socio-historical 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.”

SOCI 355 CORRECTIONS (3)
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.

SOCI 357 INEQUALITY AND STRATIFICATION (3)
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.

SOCI 358 POLITICAL SOCIOLOGY (3)
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.

SOCI 359D GENDER THROUGH THE PRISM OF DIFFERENCE (3)
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.

SOCI 362 SOCIAL CHANGE: GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES (3)
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 non-judgmental way. Topics covered include the technological bases of social organization, sex and gender stratification, demography, nationalism, religion, and civil society.

SOCI 363 URBAN SOCIOLOGY (3)
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. It is strongly recommended that students complete SOCI 218D CSI: Community, Urbanization, and Culture, before enrolling in this course.

SOCI 364 WORK AND LABOR (3)
Examination of work, the labor force, and labor markets is integral to sociological theory and research. This course examines how labor and work affect 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.

SOCI 368 SOCIAL DEVIANCE (3)
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.

SOCI 369D SEXUALITIES (3)
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.

SOCI 370 SOCIOLOGY OF EDUCATION (3)
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.

SOCI 380 SOCIAL MOVEMENTS (3)
An examination of the short-lived, and often extraordinary, non-institutionalized behavioral phenomena of crowds, mobs, riots, panics, and crazes that periodically seem to disturb the orderly flow of human societal life. The processes will also be examined by which these “social aberrations” may become institutionalized as social movements or as part of a new and emerging socio-cultural order.

SOCI 385 HEALTH AND SOCIETY (3)
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.

SOCI 400 URBAN PLANNING (3)
An examination of the theories and practices of urban planning. Topics include approaches in urban planning as a technical profession, a visionary field, and a political and governmental function.

SOCI 455 CITIES IN A GLOBAL CONTEXT (3)
In this course, we will develop an understanding of cities as critical nodes within a world that is growing ever more socially, politically, and economically connected. We will investigate the causes and effects of this interconnectedness as well as the methods utilized to measure it. We will explore how the global context shapes urban issues, examining the urban networks across which capital, labor, and ideas flow.

SOCI 460 IMMIGRATION (3)
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.

SOCI 464 COMMUNITY, CONSENSUS, AND COMMITMENT (3)
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.

SOCI 472D LAW AND SOCIETY (3)
This course examines the relationship between formal law and other social institutions. It begins with an examination of legal theory and theories of law creation. It then explores the role of law in both fostering and remedying social inequality, law as a vehicle for social change, and the many other roles of law in modern U.S. society. The underlying premise is simple: law is a social construct. No matter how it is defined, law is not an objective system; rather, it is shaped by history, social conditions, and particular groups in society.

SOCI 473 RIGHTS, JUSTICE, LAW AND INEQUALITY (3)
The study of rights, justice, and law as social institutions. After being introduced to the socio-legal 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, of how the meaning of justice has changed over the course of U.S. history, and of 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.

SOCI 493 FIELD EXPERIENCE IN SOCIOLOGY (1-3)
Practical experience in a field setting under professional and faculty supervision. May be taken for one to three units per semester. Each student will complete 40-120 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. 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.

SOCI 494 SPECIAL TOPICS IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIOLOGY (3)
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.

SOCI 498 INTERNSHIP IN SOCIOLOGY (3)
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.

SOCI 499 INDEPENDENT STUDY (1-3)
Individual study and written research working in close collaboration with a faculty advisor. Prerequisite: consent of instructor and of the department chair.