Roanoke College

Course Descriptions

Back

101 Introduction to Sociology
An introduction to the field of sociology with an emphasis on the study of social groups and how they influence human behavior and society. (1) Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.

201 Social Inequality
This course will introduce students to the basic concepts, theoretical frameworks, and research methods employed in a sociological approach to the study of social inequality.  We will explore the many facets and forms of social inequality, as well as think about how social inequalities are perpetuated by political, economic, cultural, and other social and structural forces.  This course places special emphasis on the development of students' critical thinking skills and ability to apply core concepts and theoretical frameworks to understand contemporary forms of social inequality in both local and global contexts.  (1)  Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.

215 Social Movements
Study of the social and political context of social movements. Topics include conditions hindering or facilitating movements, organization, participation and recruitment, framing, tactics and strategies, influence of the state and other movements, and social change. (1) Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.

221 Wealth and Poverty: Economic Stratification in U.S. and Global Context
An analysis of economic inequality and the related unequal distribution of power and prestige in the United States, and in and between other societies.  Topics include systems of stratification such as class, estate, and caste; social classes; individual and social outcomes of economic stratification; poverty in the United States; global poverty. (1) Lecture: 3 hrs/wk

223 Ethics and Medicine
An examination of ethical issues in medicine and the moral principles that might be employed to resolve ethical dilemmas. (1) Lecture: 3 hrs/wk. (Cross-listed with Philosophy 223.)

224 Race and Ethnicity
A study of racial, religious, and nationality minority groups in the United States. Topics include prejudice, racism, and discrimination; immigration and assimilation; and current public policy issues. (1) Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.

226 Intimate, Marital, and Family Relationships
An analysis of intimate, marital, and family interaction patterns in contemporary American society, with a focus on the social institutions and structure that shape them. Topics include courtship and dating, cohabitation, selection of long-term partners and issues related to marital and parent-child relationships. Multiple family structures such as nuclear families, egalitarian marriages, gay and lesbian relationships, single parenting, and stepfamilies are examined. (1) Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.

229 Sociology of Sex and Gender
An introduction to a critical approach to examining the social construction of sex, gender, and sexuality. Topics of study include classical and current perspectives on sex, gender, and sexuality; significant emphasis on the social construction of gender inequality; and the role of social institutions such as family, work, economy, and media in shaping multiple experiences of gender and gender relations in society. Attention is also given to heterosexism and other systems of inequality dealing with sexuality. (1) Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.

235 Social Psychology
A study of the influence of people on each other's behavior, including attitude change and social interaction. (1) Lecture: 3 hrs/wk. Topics include the development of the self, socialization processes especially as they apply to attitude formation, and how social psychological processes contribute to the construction of inequalities.

236 Popular Culture
An analysis of popular culture as a reflection of society, a factor in socialization, and an economic institution. Topics include popular music, television and films, comics and cartoons, and sports and games. (1) Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.

237 Deviant Behavior
An examination of the concept of deviance and the various sociological perspectives on deviant behavior. Sociological, biological, and psychological theories of causation are used to study behaviors such as drug addiction and alcoholism, deviant sexual behavior, and mental illness. (1) Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.

238 Juvenile Delinquency
An analysis of the nature and types of juvenile offenses, sociological theories of delinquency and causation, and an examination of the juvenile justice system. (1) Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.

241 Introduction to Social Welfare
Analysis of the historical development, structure, and functions of contemporary social welfare agencies. Observation of local agencies. (1) Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.

251 Research Methods
An examination of the research techniques used by sociologists. Attention is given to research design, survey research, sampling, field research, experimental research, and the ethics of research. Understanding the basics of research and mastery of research skills are both emphasized. (1) Lecture: 3 hrs/wk. (Not offered after Spring 2015)

252 Data Analysis
An examination of the basic skills involved in the descriptive and inferential analysis of social research data, including an introduction to analysis using computer software. (1) Lecture: 3 hrs/wk. (Not offered after Spring 2015)

260, 261 Selected Topics in Sociology
An examination of special topics in sociology, with topics selected on the basis of faculty and student interest. ( 1 / 2 , 1) Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.

315 Political Sociology
An analysis of power, politics, the state, and international activities from a sociological perspective. Topics include power and authority, political & economic systems, inequality, political parties, social movements, nation-states and globalization. (1) Lecture: 3hrs/wk.

320 Education and Society
An exploration of social issues related to education in the United States from a sociological perspective focusing on the social context of educational settings, key social-structural forces, and how social inequality affects opportunities and experiences in schools. Specific topics include interaction patterns among teachers and students, academic cheating, harassment and violence, and the influence of family, community, culture and politics on schools. (1) Lecture: 3hrs/wk.

323 Health, Illness and Healing
An analysis of the social context of health, illness, and healing including the influence of the social environment on disease and illness patterns, interaction among health care providers and patients, and types of health care systems. Special focus is given to social inequalities in the American health care system. (1) Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.

326 Comparative Corrections
An exploration of philosophies, rationales, and models of adult corrections. Historical and existing correctional systems in select countries, e.g., the U.S., Canada, England, France, Japan, Mexico, Sweden, and the former U.S.S.R. will be examined. (1) Lecture: 3 hrs/wk. (Cross-listed with Criminal Justice 326)

327 Religion and Culture
An examination of the relationship between religion and society.Topics include definitions and theories of religion; analysis of historical and contemporary religious groups; the influence of religion on attitudes and behaviors; and the role of religion in social change. (1) Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.

329 Global Perspectives on Family
Family is often defined as a cultural universal; that is, it is an institution found in almost all societies, yet the forms it takes, its impact on the individual and society, and its relationships with other social institutions vary.  This course takes comparative and transnational approaches to understand the diversity in family patterns and practices and how these are gendered around the world. (1) Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.

334 Criminology

An analysis of the social causes of crime and criminal behavior with a focus on drug, property, white collar and violent crime. Theoretical explanations of criminal behavior and a critique of selected aspects of the American criminal justice system are discussed. Programs for crime prevention and rehabilitation are examines.
(1) Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.

335 Global Population Problems
An analysis of population structure and dynamics as influenced by cultural, political, economic, and environmental factors. This course focuses attention to the social determinants of population problems, while exploring their consequences and policy implications for individuals, their societies, and the world. (1) Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.

337 Environmental Sociology
An examination of the interrelationships between societies and their environments, and an analysis of sociological aspects of environmental problems. This course will focus on the population and organizational aspects of environmental problems as well as elements of social change involved with environmental social action. (1) Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.

338 Women's Lives Around the World
In this course, we will examine similarities as well as divergences in the experiences of various groups of women, especially in countries that are part of the "developing" world. The course will begin with an analysis of the notion of global sisterhood and its criticisms. We will then move on to specific issues such as work, family and household, representations in media, and violence. We will end the semester with an evaluation of the possibilities of and opportunities for transnational movements for gender equality. (1) Lecture: 3 hrs/wk. 

340 Crowds, Panics, and Disasters

An analysis of emergent, comparatively unstructured, and spontaneous collectivities and social processes within societies. The course gives special attention to social behavior during normative breakdowns, crisis situations, and periods of dissent. Group behavior during riots and disasters is examined, along with the dynamics of panics and rumor. (1) Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.

350 Social Theory
An examination of enduring influences of social theorist - notably Durkheim, Marx, and Weber - on the development of sociological knowledge and practice. (1) Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.  (Formerly SOCI 353)

351 Qualitative Methods and Analysis
This course will address the social scientific research process including an examination of research ethics, theory, and research design.  Methods addressed include and are not limited to field methods, (e.g. ethnography and participant observation), intensive interviewing, focus groups, and unobtrusive research methods.  (1)  Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.  

352  Quantitative Methods and Analysis
This course will address the social scientific research process including an examination of research design, sampling and data analysis.  Methods addressed include but are not limited to survey research and secondary data analysis.  This course includes an introduction to descriptive and inferential analysis of data, including analysis using statistical computer software programs.  (1)  Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.

360, 361 Selected Topics in Sociology
An examination of special topics in sociology, with topics selected on the basis of faculty and student interest. ( 1 / 2, 1) Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.

365 The Information Society
An examination of theory, research, and debate concerning the nature of and change in information in contemporary society. Topics covered will include traditional and critical theory, information theory, theories of mass communication and mass society, innovation and diffusion as well as postindustrial and post modern perspectives. Media ethics, privacy controversies, and policy implications are also considered. (1) Lecture: 3 hrs/wk.

375 Field Research & Organization Analysis

This experiential learning course is designed to provide students with field research and work experience in a community setting such as a social service agency, correctional facility, hospital or health-related organization, market research firm, or some other community setting relevant to the application of sociological concepts and theoretical perspectives.  Students learn about the structure, responsibilities, and routines of the organization as well as the work performed by the staff and the needs of the clients or consumers served by the organization.  Research and reflection assignments are required and the seminar format provides the opportunity to process observations and collaborate with other students in analyzing and applying sociological concepts to practice.  (1)  Lecture: 1.5 hrs/wk. and 100 field research hours in organization.

395, 396 Henry H. Fowler Public Policy Seminar
A seminar taught with a scholar-statesperson that deals with a policy issue of public significance. (Made possible by the Henry H. Fowler Endowment. Open to selected students with department permission.) (1, 1 / 2 )

405, 406, 407 Independent Study and Research
A supervised research project or extensive literature review. ( 1 / 2 , 1, 1 / 2 )

416 Community Internship
Practical experience in a social service agency, correctional facility, health institution, business, or other community setting in which sociology is applied. Students present fill their findings to a college audience. May not be used to fulfill the 300-level or above requirement for the major or minor. (1)

454 Senior Seminar
A capstone course for the sociology major that includes an in-depth review and analysis of major themes within sociology. Requires completion of a qualitative and/or quantitative research project. (1)

495, 496, 497 Honors Project
A program of independent study culminating in a paper, artistic creation, or performance. Prerequisites: To qualify for consideration to receive honors in the major, a student must be in his/her senior year or in the Summer prior to the senior year and must work under the guidance of his/her committee. A written proposal and application must be approved by the committee and department. A minimum GPA of 3.4 in the major is required. 495 Honors Project is prerequisite for 497 Honors Project. ( 1 / 2 , 1, 1 / 2 )