Sociology Course Descriptions


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Course Descriptions for
Sociology Courses

Lower Division Courses

SOC 101 Social Problems  (4)

Methods that social institutions and interest
groups use to define “social problems” including poverty, substance
abuse, delinquency, racism, sexism, crises in education and health
care, and urban/environmental issues; policy implications.

SOC 120 Intimate Relationships in our
Diverse Society

Principles of interaction in intimate
relationships in our diverse society.  Understanding/valuing diversity
and similarity (gender, ethnicity, class, etc.) in achieving
intimacy.  Developing knowledge/skills for dealing with relationship

SOC 201 Principles of Sociology 

Social institutions and group behavior; social
order and change.  Issues include hegemony, pluralism, distribution of
privilege and power, sources of cooperation and conflict, deviance and
social control.      

SOC 202 Society and Individual

Service Learning Course
Social, psychological and physiological processes affecting
individual development throughout the life span. Identity issues
family, socialization, and social institutions, as interconnected with
gender, age, ethnicity/race, economics, and diverse populations.     

SOC 209 Microcomputer Applications in

Use of microcomputers in sociology. Use of word
processing, spreadsheet, database, and other software in preparing
reports, charts, graphs, mass mailing, data processing, and managing

SOC 210AB Elementary Statistics  (3,

Recommended prerequisite: Basic college
mathematics course.  Basic social statistics, covering descriptive
statistics, tables, charts, summary measures, regression and
correlation, and statistical inference, sampling, predictive models,
analysis of variance, non parametric and parametric tests, and simple
multivariate analysis.  Lecture 2 hours, laboratory 2 hours.

SOC 263 Asian-American Experience 

Comparative experiences of the Chinese, Japanese,
Korean, Filipino, Pacific Islander, Southeast Asian refugee and other
Asian groups in the United States.  Immigration, adaptation,
discrimination, identity, alienation, stratification, and other
contemporary issues.    

Upper Division Courses

SOC 201 normally is prerequisite to all upper
division courses in sociology and may be waived only with instructor

SOC 300 Cultural Emotions (4)  

Prerequisites: Completion of Basic Subjects (Block
A) and one course from Block D.  Human emotions as organized within
social relationships and institutions of family, religion, education,
government, and economy; cultural norms and vocabulary; ethnic, sex,
and social class diversity in feeling and expression.    

SOC 301 Writing for Sociology  (4)

Prerequisite:  ENGL 102, satisfactory completion
of Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR).  Reasoning and
writing skills for comprehending and communicating information in

SOC 322 Socialization: Childhood and

Social-psychological approaches to socialization,
from early childhood to adolescence.  Emphasis on basic issues of
social control and change. Topics are correlated with the California
standards for the Multiple Subject Credential.

SOC 323 Socialization: Maturity and Aging

Prerequisites: Completion of Basic Subjects (Block
A) and one course from Block D.  Social-psychological approaches to
socialization, comparing stages of development during adulthood and
aging; emphasis on changes in family relationships, work, retirement;
issues of social control and change; ethnic and cross-cultural

SOC 325 Social Issues in Wellness 

Prerequisite:  Completion of lower division GE
Block D requirement before enrollment.  Changing social definitions of
wellness; social expectations; role of society and culture in
wellness-related decision making. No credit toward sociology majors
and minors.

SOC 330 Social Issues in the Urban

Prerequisites: Completion of Basic Subjects (Block
A) and one course from Block D.  Social issues in urban setting;
ethnic, cultural and class diversity; cross-cultural comparisons;
population and environmental concerns; and social planning. 
No credit toward sociology majors

SOC 331 The Dynamics of Poverty (4)

Service Learning Course

Extent and characteristics of poverty in the United
States.  Analysis of social construction of poverty, including
theoretical background and myths.  Social structural responses, change
models and community action are discussed.  This course requires
service learning.

Student placements arranged through instructor with
community agencies are part of the course requirements. Volunteer
service learning serves as part of the homework and a portion of

SOC 341 Sociology of Gender Roles (4)

Prerequisites: Completion of Basic Subjects (Block
A) and one course from Block D.  Examination of: Research on changing
roles of men and women across social institutions; social movements
for equality; theories of gender role differentiation; historical,
cross-cultural, and racial/ethnic/class variations.  No credit
toward sociology majors

SOC 348 Class, Race/Ethnicity, and Gender

Prerequisites: Completion of Basic Subjects (Block
A) and one course from Block D.  Examination of the major inequalities
in the modern world, social class, sex/gender, ethnicity/race;
processes by which inequalities are maintained; variations in social
conflict; (in) justice, (in) equality, (un) fairness, and (in)

SOC 383 Violence in American Society 

Prerequisites: Completion of Basic Subjects (Block
A) and one course from Block D.  Forms of violence in American
Society  (e.g., criminal, domestic, revolutionary, official, sexual)
examined through a critical review of social scientific literature;
assessment of causes, consequences, and possibilities for control.   

SOC 390 Methods of Social Research 

Prerequisite:  SOC 210AB.  Application of
scientific method to sociological data; research design, data
collection, elementary analysis procedures; survey and experimental
designs, measurement, scale, and index construction, and prediction
models.  With instructor consent, one unit of SOC 499
may be taken concurrently.

SOC 398 Cooperative Education (1-4) 

Prerequisites: Courses appropriate to the work
experience: approval by major department Cooperative Education
coordinator. Integration of work experience with academic program,
individually planned through coordinator. Minimum of 10 hours per week
required for each unit. May be repeated to maximum of 8 units for the
major; combined units of 398 and 499 may not exceed 8. Graded CR/NC.

SOC 410 Advanced Statistics  (4)

Prerequisite:  SOC 210AB
Specialized treatment of probability and sampling, prediction and
correlation, analysis of variance and covariance, experimental design
and probability model construction.  Recommended for Sociology majors
planning graduate study.

SOC 412 Classical Sociological Theory 

Historical development of sociological theory with
special reference to its European origins; e.g., Comte, Saint-Simon,
Marx, Spencer, Durkheim, Simmel, and Weber.

SOC 414 Contemporary Sociological Theory 

Functionalism, conflict sociology, interactionism,
critical-radical sociologies, systems analysis, and phenomenological

SOC 415 Political Sociology  (4) 

Prerequisite:  POLS 150 or
SOC 201
.  Social factors underlying democracy and totalitarianism,
social movements and revolutions, conflict and conflict resolution,
voting behavior, and political socialization.

SOC 416 Feminist Theories and
Contemporary Society

Examination of the various feminist theories, all
of which focus on some aspect of gender inequality. Implications of
each theory and their applications to contemporary society are also

SOC 418 Crowd Behavior and Social

Analysis of crowd types, formation, and dynamics,
including mobs, riots, panics, mass hysteria, rumors, fads, and
fashion.  Development, tactics, ideologies, and effects of social
movements, cults, and rebellions.

SOC 420 Small Groups  (4)

Small group processes in industry, the family,
schools, peer and colleague groups; reference-group behavior, relation
to larger social systems, group structure and communication,
development of research techniques.

SOC 421 Social Sources of Human Sexuality 

Effects of social environment on emergence,
justification, and maintenance of sexual attitudes and behavior;
social factors influencing sexual behavior; changing sociosexual mores
and behavioral patterns, and emerging sexual life styles.

SOC 422 Social Psychology  (4)

Inquiry into social-psychological dimensions of
group behavior, emphasizing interactive processes involved in
communication, group behavior, perception, attitude formation,
motivation, socialization, and evolvement of self-concept.

SOC 423 Political Sociology of
Globalization and Resistance

Political and sociological analysis of
globalization as a contested process; emergence of global societies
and movements; social forces advancing global neo-liberalism;
resistance by workers', indigenous, women's, and environmental
transnational movements.

SOC 424 Mass Communications and Public

Sociological analysis of print and electronic mass
media of communications; examination of their functions, sociocultural
evolution, organizational/occupational bases, cultural content,
audiences; consideration of individual, collective effects on public

SOC 425 Medical Sociology  (4)

Role of the hospital and socialization process on
professional development of personnel in the healing professions;
social epidemiology of physical and mental disorders.

SOC 426 Deviant Behavior  (4)

Basic theoretical orientations to social and
personal disorganization resulting from role conflict, social
conflict, normlessness, or alienation; individual and social deviance
related to group processes and structures.

SOC 427 Society and Mental Illness 

Lay and professional ideas about mental illness in
historical and crosscultural perspective; organizational treatment of
the mentally ill;  identity, stigma, and adaptations.

SOC 428 Self and Identity (4)

Service Learning Course

The development and maintenance of the sense of
self or identity among children and adults, particularly emphasizing
how understanding theories of the self contributes to community
service. Service learning required.

SOC 430 Urban Sociology  (4)

Urban community and urbanization as contemporary
social process; consideration of urban areas, institutions, values,
and problems; social and demographic characteristics, urban and
suburban change and planning.

SOC 432 Science, Technology, and Social

Effects of scientific and technological
development upon social life and culture, especially family, work and
leisure, modes of thinking and feeling.  Differences among social
classes, ethnic groups women and men.

SOC 433 Bioethics and Sociology  (4)

Sociological analysis of ethical and legal issues
concerning health, including dilemmas in health care delivery,
reproduction, the beginning and end of life, institutional ethics
committees, genetic testing, and new medical technologies.

SOC 434 Social Aspects of Population

Population facts, changes, problems, and policies;
population dynamics, especially births, deaths, and migration;
national action programs; world coverage, with emphasis on the U.S.

SOC 435 Asian Societies  (4)

Comparative analysis of Asian societies;
population, social thought, institutions, stratification, education,
industrialization, and urbanization in Asia focusing on China, Japan,
Korea, and southeast Asia.

SOC 440 Marriage and the Family  (4)

The family as a social institution; historical and
crosscultural perspectives, social change as it affects marriage and
family life.  Analysis of American courtship and marriage patterns,
psychodynamics of family life.

SOC 441 Theory and Research on Sex Roles 

Advanced sociological analysis of sex role
differences; implications of differential socialization of sexes;
access to educational and occupational opportunities; differences in
legal status; movements for equality.

SOC 442 Social Change  (4)

Classical and contemporary theories of sources and
consequences of social change; revolutions and alternative routes to
modern world; issues in historical sociology; change and social
contexts of creative achievements in arts and sciences.

SOC 443 Diversity in Alternative Families

Cross-cultural examination of family diversity:
Inter-racial/ethnic relationships; minority and love-income
single-parent households; same-sex and step-families;
international/ethnic adoption; socio-legal implications of
reproductive technologies.

SOC 444 Sociology of Popular Culture

Art, film, literature, music and television are
examined in terms of social roles, social processes, context and the
construction of meaning. Popular culture is studied as reflecting,
reinforcing or challenging norms.

SOC 445 Sociology of Religion  (4)

Social bases of religion, religious institutions,
and their modern organizational life; comparative analysis and
theories of religious behavior;  religious institutions, their
representatives, religious conflict, and public law.

SOC 446 Sociology of Business

The sociological understanding of control in
different technical, structural and commercial settings. Corporate
culture, work subcultures, role constructions, and network processes
are emphasized. Case studies are used.

SOC 447 Work and the Workplace  (4)

Analysis of the social world of work: occupational
trends and mobility, education and skills, meaningful work, alienation
and stress, inequality and discrimination, globalization; study of
selected occupations, professions and workplaces.

SOC 448 Social Class and Inequality 

Examination of sociological theory and research
bearing on social stratification;  social differentiation:  class
position, class interests, correlates of social class;  trends in
occupational mobility, comparison of stratification systems.

SOC 449 Professionals in Society (4)

Lawyers, doctors, and other professionals and
their relationships with clients, managers, and unions; professional
ethics, white-collar crime, and whistle blowing; stratification by
class, race, and gender; technology and professional control.

SOC 450 Sociology of Aging  (4)

Aging as a social process; emphasis on
sociological theories of aging and social problems of the aged; 
nature of aging process, work, retirement, family relationships,
housing, income maintenance; societal response to aged.

SOC 452 Life Span Transitions: The
Retirement Years 

Critical evaluation of issues involved in planning
for retirement; changing place of work and retirement in value
system;  anticipatory behavior, patterns and modes of adjustment,
maladjustment;  proposals and issues.

SOC 453 Social Aspects of Death and

Concepts and theories of dying; meaning of death
and its implications for dying persons, survivors, and professionals
who attend them.

SOC 454 Selected Topics in Sociology 

Current topics of special interest in sociology,
as announced in Schedule of Classes.  May be repeated for

SOC 460 Race and Ethnic Relations 

Structure and change of minorities in society;
theories and research: historical, contemporary, and comparative; 
processes of adjustment:  patterns of immigration, prejudice,
discrimination, assimilation, pluralism, conflict, and social

SOC 480 Criminology  (4)

Criminal law, crime, and deviance.  Social and
psychological factors in criminal behavior, criminal law, and criminal
justice; prevention and control; trends in theory and correctional

SOC 481 Policing America (4)

Social role of American police. Historical,
political and social contexts of policing. Selected issues; the
controversial police mandate, use-of-force/accountability, community
policing, the future of policing in America.

SOC 482 Juvenile Delinquency  (4)

Extent and distribution of delinquency, with
emphasis on the local area; meaning, implications, and treatment of
delinquent behavior; personal and environmental conditioning factors;
delinquency and the rights of children.

SOC 484 Corrections  (4)

Survey of procedures used in processing the
offender, from arrest, through trial, to prison and probation;
contemporary theories of criminality and rehabilitation applied to the
social evaluation of these procedures.

SOC 485 Conflict and Domestic Violence 

Sociological aspects of domestic violence in
families (e.g., child, spouse, and elder abuse) examined in relation
to ethnic, social, cultural, historical, economic, and political
factors that affect individual behavior.

SOC 486 Probation and Parole  (4) 

Prerequisite:  SOC 480 or
482.  History, philosophy, legal bases, and
procedures governing investigation, treatment, and supervision of
adjudged juvenile offenders and adult violators placed on probation
and parole.

SOC 487 Environmental Policy, Law, and

Sociological aspects of environmental policy and
law; relationship between societies and environmental problems
regarding air and water quality, endangered species, toxic chemicals,
energy, and natural resources; policy tools and analysis.

SOC 488 Sociology of Law (4)

Sociological perspectives on the relationship
between law, culture, politics, the economy, and community; creation
of law and its impact on class, race, and gender relationships; impact
of globalization on law.

SOC 489 Sociological Considerations for
Jury Consultants

Social determinants of juror decision-making; social influences on
jurors' responses to communications during trial; optimum presentation
of witnesses and evidence; using juror questionnaires, focus groups
and mock juries.

SOC 490 Quantitative Research Methods in

Prerequisites:  SOC 390,
410.  Advanced research techniques in sociology,
including design of experiments, sample surveys and panel studies,
scaling, multivariate and computer data analysis procedures. 
Individual projects; laboratory.  With instructor consent, one unit of
SOC 499 may be taken concurrently.

SOC 491 Qualitative Research Methods in

Prerequisite:  SOC 390
Qualitative research techniques in sociological research:  research in
field settings;  problems of participant observation and
interviewing;  document analysis;  typology construction;  qualitative
data interpretation and presentation.

SOC 496 Law and Society Honors Thesis

Prerequisites: senior standing and admission to
Law and Society Option Honors Program. Independent sociological
research in law and society; regular consultations with faculty
research adviser and written thesis required. Graded CR/NC. May be
repeated once for credit.

SOC 497 Proseminar: Introduction to
Graduate Studies, the Discipline, and the Profession

Prerequisite: Admission to MA program or consent
of instructor; strongly recommended before enrollment in graduate
seminars. Survey of institutional history of sociology; current state
of the field; careers, professional associations; competing
conceptions of sociology.

SOC 498 Cooperative Education  (1-4)

Prerequisites: Completion of senior level courses
appropriate to experience; approval by major department Cooperative
Education coordinator. Participation in work experience integrated
with academic program; assignments arranged individually in advance
through coordinator. Minimum of 10 hours per week required for each
unit. Students in departments with graduate Cooperative Education
programs may apply maximum of 4 units toward graduate degree program.
Graded CR/NC

SOC 499 Undergraduate Directed Study 

Prerequisites:  Senior standing, 2.75 overall
grade point average, consent of a faculty sponsor, approval of
proposed project prior to registration, and ability to assume
responsibility for independent research and analysis.  Regular
discussion of progress with sponsor before presentation of final
written report.  May be repeated for credit.

Graduate Level Courses

SOC 512 Seminar: History of Sociological

Historical dimensions, European and American, of
development of systematic sociological theory and method; continuity
and critique of major contributions to theories of society and the
social processes. 

SOC 514 Seminar: Contemporary
Sociological Theory 

Exploration and critique of problems, methods, and
theories characteristic of contemporary sociological inquiry; their
relationship and contribution to advancement of sociological theory
and application to selected social problems. 

SOC 521 Seminar: Sociology of Knowledge 

Relationships of scientific, artistic, legal, and
intellectual activities to social structure, institutions, and
historical change. 

SOC 522 Seminar: Social Psychology 

Analysis and critique of current approaches and
investigations of the social processes that bind individuals and

SOC 526 Seminar: Sociology of Deviant

Prerequisites:  SOC 426,
instructor consent.  Analysis of major theoretical approaches and
empirical studies in deviance; selected topics and current issues in
study of social deviance. 

SOC 530 Seminar: Urban Social Systems 

Prerequisite:  Instructor consent.  Growth and
nature of urban social systems in selected cities and metropolitan
areas, theories of urban structure and problems, improving quality of
urban life, comparisons of cities in various countries. 

SOC 534 Seminar: Population  (4)

Prerequisite:  SOC 434.Problems
of population growth;  social and psychological factors in population
dynamics; population planning and policy. 

SOC 540 Seminar: Marriage and the Family 

Advanced study of sociopsychodynamics of marriage
and the family; emphasis on recent research on family change,
parent-child relationships, and family instability; successful family

SOC 541 Seminar: Gender and Labor (4)

Advanced study of the sources and consequences of
gender differentiation and inequality. Particular attention paid to
occupations, earnings, household work, interactions between gender and
race, and feminist perspectives.

SOC 544 Seminar: Social Organization and

Advanced consideration of selected macrosocial
structures and their related processes and functions: total societies,
institutional subsystems, complex organizations, ethnic subsocieties,
professions; emphasis varies. 

SOC 560 Seminar: Racial and Ethnic

Prerequisite:  SOC 460
Recommended.  Examination in depth of critical problems and trends
affecting American minority groups; emphasis on analysis of change in
strategies, tactics, ideologies, theories, and consequences of
minority group relations. 

SOC 580 Seminar: Criminology  (4)

Prerequisite:  SOC 480
Advanced study of criminal behavior, social deviance, and social
structure; comparative studies of contemporary criminality, criminal
justice, and criminal codes; legal, medical, and psychiatric
interpretation of criminal behavior. 

SOC 584 Seminar: Corrections  (4)

Advanced study of sociological aspects of
treatment of offender from arrest to release process; discussion of
cross-cultural practices and current theories. 

SOC 590 Seminar: Sociological Research 

Prerequisite:  SOC 490 or
491; recommended corequisite:  SOC
.  Advanced study in behavioral research methodology;
qualitative methods; survey design; experimental design, analysis;
problems of interpretation, scaling techniques, models, simulation,
computer data analysis, supervised application of methods. 

SOC 591 Sociology Methods Application 

Prerequisites: SOC 590,
410 and SOC 490 or
491, with grades of B or better. Focused faculty
and peer input on methodological issues related either to preparation
for the thesis or comprehensive examination. May be repeated to a
maximum of 2 units. Graded CR/NC

SOC 592 Content Analysis  (1)

Prerequisite: SOC 490 or
491 with grades of B or better. Focused instruction
from design through analysis. Students complete individually designed
projects based on any appropriate content-analysis medium (historical
or contemporary documents, speeches/narratives, arts, media,
cyberspace, etc.). ABC/NC.

SOC 593 Teaching Sociology at the College

Prerequisite: Advancement to Candidacy. May be
taken alone or concurrently with SOC 594. Higher
educational pedagogy training in sociology instruction. Includes:
standard lecture, multi-modal teaching and learning styles; syllabus
design; preparing lessons, class materials, and exams; grading
practices; course and student outcomes assessment. ABC/NC.

SOC 594 Teaching Sociology Internship 

Prerequisite: Advancement to Candidacy. May be
taken alone or concurrently with SOC 593.
Instructor provides pedagogical training and discussion while students
intern with a mentor professor in the classroom based internship.
Mentor professors determine internship role (running discussion
groups, guest lecturing). Prerequisite: Advancement to candidacy with
a Graduate Program GPA of 3.1 or above. Non-traditional grading system

SOC 595 Critical Issues and Problems in

Prerequisite:  Instructor consent.  Critical areas
of social inquiry and special problems of sociology as a social
science and as a profession.  Content varies;  see Schedule of
for specific topic.  May be repeated once for credit.

SOC 596 Comprehensive Examination 

The comprehensive examination is a written
examination in three fields of concentration: theory, methods, and one
other field selected by the candidate and approved by the adviser. 
Students should expect to take the comprehensive examination the
quarter they complete all course work on their program and must comply
with college and department requirements.  Students are allowed a
maximum of two attempts to complete the comprehensive examination

SOC 597 Graduate Research  (1–3)

Prerequisite:  Consent of faculty sponsor. 
Proposed study must be approved prior to registration.  Directed
empirical research on a problem in sociology from conception through
design; data gathering, analysis, and final written report.  May be
repeated for credit.  Graded CR/NC

SOC 598 Graduate Directed Study 

Prerequisite:  Consent of faculty sponsor. 
Proposed study must be approved prior to registration.  Directed
reading and critical analysis of a problem in sociology; written
reports and conferences.  May be repeated for credit. 

SOC 599 Thesis  (1–3)

Prerequisites:  Advancement to candidacy,
instructor consent to act as sponsor department approval of topic
prior to registration.  Independent research resulting in a thesis.
Must be repeated to maximum of 6 units.  Oral defense of the thesis is
required.  Graded CR/NC.




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