SOC 108 WORLD POPULATION ISSUES
Lecture and open discussion of population problems throughout the world today. Topics will include statistical processes, world food production and standards, medical assistance, economic issues, and physical/human responses to population pressures and changes. Same as GEO 108.
SOC 121 PRINCIPLES OF SOCIOLOGY
This course consists of an introduction to the study of human society. The student will become acquainted with the approaches, methods, and findings of contemporary sociology and the ongoing process of understanding social interaction, groups, problems, and sociocultural systems. Topics covered may include socialization, social inequality, deviance, the corporation and occupational roles, the community, interrelationships, change of institutions, and other related subjects. This course counts in the Core Curriculum requirements as a social science.
Cares, Farough, Gendron, Kaufman/Three credits
SOC 122 SOCIAL PROBLEMS
This course is an introduction to the discipline of sociology, the study of social interaction and institutions as it relates to contemporary American social problems. The course will focus on several sociological perspectives that are used to analyze such problems as poverty, homelessness, racism, sexism, addiction, crime, delinquency, ageism, and health care. This course counts in the Core Curriculum requirements as a social science.
CRM/SOC 130 INTRODUCTION TO THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
This survey level course introduces students to the purpose, structure, and function of the criminal justice system, which represents the government’s official response to crime. Students will learn about the role of the various aspects of the criminal justice system (i.e., law enforcement, courts, and corrections) in responding to and controlling crime. A significant focus of the class will be on critical analysis of criminal justice policy and programs, such as mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, New York City’s stop and frisk campaign, sex offender residency restrictions, mandatory arrest laws for domestic violence, day reporting centers for probationers and parolees, and victimless prosecution of domestic violence cases. The course will also force students to consider the challenges facing the criminal justice system, including an aging prison population, the impact of incarceration on families and communities, the pressure to efficiently process high caseloads, and protecting personal liberties while keeping citizens safe.
Kaufman /Three credits
SOC 206 THE SOCIOLOGY OF URBAN LIFE
This course examines the patterns, causes, and consequences of urbanization and suburbanization. While the major focus will be on the development of cities, metropolitan areas, and megalopolitan regions within the United States, a major goal of the course is to understand the increasingly critical role that economic globalization plays in creating uneven development and decline within and among cities and metropolitan regions throughout the world. Specific topics to be investigated include: urban renewal and redevelopment; residential segregation; gentrification; conflicts over land use; urban planning; and the problems of concentrated poverty and crime in central cities.
SOC 216 RACIAL AND ETHNIC RELATIONS
This course explores how race and ethnicity structure social relations and identities in the United States. Students will become familiar with the history of race and ethnicity in the U.S. and why it continues to be a central aspect of social life. The course will also focus on a variety of debates regarding the persistence of institutionalized racism and white privilege in the post-Civil Rights era. The process of how class, gender, and sexuality structure various racial and ethnic groups will be explored as well. Current issues on race and ethnicity addressed in this class include: racial profiling, immigration, increasing diversity in the U.S., affirmative action, Ebonics, reverse discrimination, post-September 11th forms of discrimination, and unequal access to employment, housing, and mortgages by race. Farough/Three credits
SOC 218 SOCIAL MOVEMENTS
The course will analyze the internal dynamics and external environments of social movements as mechanisms of social change. It will examine several case studies of American social movements, focusing on their rise and fall and their impact on institutions.
SOC 223 THE FAMILY IN SOCIETY
A study of the institution of the family from historical and cross-cultural perspectives that focuses on the relationship between other social developments and changes in family structure. A comparative view will be conjoined with a problems approach in order to examine contemporary family patterns and their alternatives.
SOC 224 GENDER ISSUES IN SOCIETY
This course addresses gender inequalities, practices, and identities from a sociological perspective. This means that gender differences and inequalities are socially produced and vary across history and cultures. In this course, students will become familiar with more recent sociological research that argues gender is a central institution in social life, organizing “men” and “women” into specific social practices and positions within the social structure. This course will also explore how gender inequality and differences interact with race, class, and sexuality. Specific areas of study include the changing roles of masculinity and femininity in work, family, sexuality, health, religion, education, and marriage. Farough/Three credits
SOC 225 LITERATURE OF SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: COMMUNITY SERVICE LEARNING
An interdisciplinary course that offers students a combination of academic classroom learning and experiential learning in the community. Students will read contemporary American fiction and sociological monographs and cultural analyses, using these ideas to think critically about political, economic, and social issues in the community. Same as ENG 225.
Land, Gendron/Three credits
SOC 232 SOCIAL INEQUALITY IN SOCIETY
The purpose of this course is to focus on social inequality in the United States. Topics to be covered include the dimensions of stratification, theories of social stratification, social class, social mobility, occupational prestige, status attainment, poverty, wealth, and racial and sexual inequality in the United States.
SOC 234 SOCIAL POLICY
This course examines the nature, purposes, and effectiveness of social policy in America. It looks at the relationship of society and politics, as well as the processes of creation and implementation of social reforms. The role of government, the corporate sector, social science, the media, and the public in shaping social policy is examined. The course presents an assessment of the successes and failures of American social programs having to do with children and their families, income support, the elderly, health care, education, energy, and the environment. Required for the concentration in Social Policy. Biggert/Three credits
SOC 236 SOCIAL JUSTICE IN A GLOBAL COMMUNITY
This course connects Assumption College to the Worcester community and to the global community. The content challenges students to see social issues in a wider context, to see how world-wide phenomena and policies have an international impact. Issues the course covers include: global economics and inequality, diversity and multi-culturalism, ethnicity and migration patterns, and international social problems such as AIDs, genocide, and slavery. Through examination of these issues students learn to apply sociological theories and concepts. Same as ANT 236.
CRM/SOC 242 CRIMINOLOGY
The course examines the patterns, causes, and consequences of crime, and the ways in which the criminal justice system attempts to deal with the crime problem in the United States. Specific substantive topics will include analyses of how laws are created; theories of crime causation; penology; the relationship between crime/criminal justice and social class, race/ethnicity and gender; fear of crime; the social construction of crime in the media; the growth of the prison system; and an assessment of the efficacy of alternative “crime-fighting” strategies, such as community policing. Required for the Criminology Concentration.
Cares, Gendron/Three credits
CRM/SOC 243 JUVENILE DELINQUENCY
This course examines the history of “juvenile delinquency” as a societal category and as a social problem. While the main focus is on competing theories of delinquent behavior and the relative effectiveness of various policy responses to juvenile crime, the course will also focus extensively on media portrayals of juvenile criminals and the broader topic of the social construction of the juvenile crime problem. Specific topics include: decriminalization; deinstitutionalization; court diversion; radical nonintervention; community arbitration; and community-based corrections.
Gendron/Three credits SOC
255 SELECTED TOPICS IN SOCIOLOGY
This course will permit the study of a selected topic within Sociology. The topic may change each time the course is offered.
CRM/SOC 272 DEVIANT BEHAVIOR
This course examines how particular acts, beliefs, and conditions come to be defined as deviant; who confers the label of “deviant” upon whom; and how a deviant identity is managed by those persons successfully labeled “deviant.” The main theoretical approach employed in this course, social constructionism, argues that deviant behavior cannot be understood in isolation from differentials in social power that permit some groups in society to define their lifestyles, beliefs, and status as superior and preferred. Specific topics to be covered include crime and delinquency; mental illness; drug and alcohol addiction; “alternative” lifestyles; the social organization of deviant subcultures; and elite deviance (white collar crime). Required for the Criminology Concentration.
Cares, Gendron/Three credits
CRM/SOC 275 SOCIOLOGY OF LAW
This course examines the interrelationship between law and society by focusing on the “law in action” versus the law “on the books.” It will offer a broad introduction to the law as a social institution, and it will analyze how the law shapes the form and function of other key social institutions such as the family, the economy, and the state (politics). Specific substantive topics to be covered include: theories of legal creation; types of legal systems; theories of social control and punishment; how laws are used to effect social change (the controversy over “judicial activism”); how racial and class inequalities in society affect the creation and administration of law; and how the work of key theorists in the discipline of sociology (primarily Marx, Weber, and Durkheim) have contributed to the field. There will be less emphasis on the content of law (i.e., legal doctrine and case law) than on the study of how laws represent and shape core societal values.
SOC 285 WOMEN’S STUDIES I: IMAGES
This course is an introduction to the study of women. The course will develop a coherent, integrated view of women and their roles; emphasize the full range of contributions of, and the limited opportunities for, women; examine and appraise the experiences of women; and critically examine the thinking about women at various times and from various perspectives. The basic approach is interdisciplinary and the concentration of the course is on women in North America from the 19th Century to the present. (Same as HIS and PSY 285.) Required for concentration in Women’s Studies. The course counts as a social science in the Core Curriculum requirements.
Choquette, Edmonds, Farough, Guerrero-Watanabe, Kercher, Kisatsky, Leone, Keyes, McNett, Vadum/Three credits
SOC 295 MASCULINITIES
This course explores the lives of men in the United States from a broader social and historical context. It also examines the extent to which masculinity is rooted in biology and culture. Masculinities will also survey contemporary issues facing men such as the relationship between masculinity and the Great Recession; the significant change of gender roles in family and work; the influences of class, race and sexuality on masculinity; the development of social movements centered on men’s issues; the relationship between masculinity and major social institutions such as education, government, and military; the interdependent connection between masculinities and femininities; the question of power, privilege and masculinity; and violence against women and bullying.
SOC/CRM 300 STATISTICS
An introduction to the logic and techniques of statistical analysis in sociology. The focus of the course is on exploratory analysis, including measures of central tendency, dispersion, and hypothesis testing using linear regression including both bivariate and multivariate. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) will be used. This course counts as a second Mathematics course in the Core Curriculum. Biggert/Three credits (Fall only)
CRM/SOC 325 VICTIMOLOGY
This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the complexity of criminal victimization from multiple perspectives: the victim’s, society’s, and the criminal justice and other response systems. The course begins by exploring the nature and extent of the problem. Then, it moves on to explore theoretical frameworks used to explain criminal victimization. Next, it examines the consequences of victimization for victims, their loved ones, and society at large. The course concludes with a selection of special topics.
SOC 350 SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY
This course will examine the works of the three major classical theorists in sociology (i.e., Durkheim, Marx, and Weber), the theoretical contributions of symbolic interactionists such as Goffman and Geertz, and several major contemporary social theories, including post-structuralism and feminism. Same as ANT 350. Prerequisite: SOC 121 and one other Sociology or Anthropology course.
Farough, Gazin-Schwartz/Three credits. (Fall only)
CRM/SOC 365–366 INTERNSHIP SEMINAR I AND II: CRIMINOLOGISTS AND ANTHROPOLOGISTS AT WORK This seminar provides interns with the opportunity to examine the internship experience along with other student interns. Students also examine related issues: social policy development; program planning, evaluation, and research; the social scientist’s responsibilities for the use of her or his research; the political role of the social scientist; the “value-free” debate among social scientists; applied versus pure sociology; the role of the social scientist within private and public organizations; management of human service agencies; and career options for social scientists. Criminology major requires CRM/SOC 365 and CRM 366. Same as ANT 365/366.
Cares, Gendron /Three credits each semester. SOC 366 is designed primarily for students with a concentration in Criminology.
SOC 385 INDEPENDENT STUDY
Individually supervised study of a sociologically relevant topic. Offered only to Senior Sociology majors who have demonstrated an ability for independent research.
SOC 450 PRACTICUM IN THE TEACHING OF SOCIOLOGY
An opportunity for upper-level students in Sociology to develop teaching and communicative skills as they deepen their general knowledge of the discipline of Sociology. Students will serve as discussion group leaders for the introductory course and will be given the opportunity to present some material researched and prepared under the direction of the faculty in charge. The students will meet weekly with the staff and will ordinarily attend, as an observer, a number of classes in the introductory course. Permission of the Department required.
SOC/CRM 465 SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH METHODS
This course is designed to introduce students to the analysis of sociological and anthropological data using the three main methods in the discipline: qualitative, comparative historical, and quantitative. Specific topics will include: how to select research methods appropriate to the problem under investigation; the relationship between theory and research; how to conduct a literature review; ethical issues involved in conducting social research. Students will gets “hand-on” experience using each of the three main research methods by designing and conducting small-scale research projects. Same as ANT 465. Prerequisite: SOC 121.
Biggert, Cares, Farough, Gendron/Three credits (Spring only)
SOC 475 SENIOR SEMINAR
In this seminar, students will work closely with the instructor—and with each other—to review and synthesize the content of their previous sociology courses to create a senior thesis. This course is a capstone for and required for sociology majors who do not have a concentration in Criminology. The senior seminar course will also prepare students who aspire to graduate study in sociology (or in any of the social sciences) by giving them an opportunity to craft a major paper that can serve as a writing sample for a graduate school application portfolio. Same as ANT 475. Prerequisites: ANT 131, SOC 121, SOC/ANT 350, and SOC/ANT 465. Farough/Three credits (Fall only)
There are other Sociology and Criminology electives available through Assumption College’s participation in the Colleges of Worcester Consortium. Assumption students can cross register for courses at 11 other institutions in the Worcester region.