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2004-2005 CLA Catalog


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Willamette University

900 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301

503-370-6300 voice

Course Listings

Sociology

SOC 114 (US) Race and Ethnic Relations (1)

[Crosslisted with AES 114]

The nature of majority–minority relations in society are explored with a focus on the causes and consequences of prejudice, discrimination and racism, with special attention on the increasing importance of institutionalized racism in contemporary American society. Attention is also paid to how race relations have changed over time and the differences in the experiences of immigrant and racial minorities. Studies on race relations are explored from a variety of theoretical perspectives. Freshmen and Sophomores only.

Mode of Inquiry: Understanding Society

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Hey, Drew

SOC 119 Medical Sociology (1)

Study of the social causes and consequences of health and illness. Consideration will be given to topics such as epidemiology, social demography of health, illness as deviance, social effects of acute and chronic illnesses, socialization of health care providers, social policy and health care, and bioethics.

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Heuser

SOC 121 (W) Gender Roles in Society (1)

This course considers the impact of social institutions on gender roles, such as the family and the economy, and social processes such as stratification and interpersonal interaction. Studies how people learn gender roles and how these roles are changing. Freshmen and Sophomores only.

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Doolittle

SOC 131 (US) Sociological Inquiry (1)

This course introduces students to the nature of sociological inquiry through the exploration of a specifically defined topic. Emphasis will be given to how sociologists methodologically and theoretically study and derive meaning from the world around us. Topics of critical investigation may include, but are not limited to, art worlds, globalization today, our aging society, technology and the future, childhood and adolescence, religion and spirituality.

Mode of Inquiry: Understanding Society

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Staff

SOC 132 (W) Sport and Society (1)

The world of sport touches all of us in one way or another. We participate in sports. We watch sports. We read about sports. Why are sports so important to us? What are their benefits socially and individually? In this course, we are interested in examining the sociological significance of sport as it relates to topics such as culture, social organizations, socialization, social stratification, race, gender, economics, and the mass media. Attention will be paid to the national and international influence of sport among individuals, groups, and societies. Freshmen and Sophomores only or consent of instructor.

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Heuser

SOC 134 (US) Crime, Delinquency and the Criminal Justice System (1)

This course examines the nature of crime and delinquency, the persons and social situations involved in crime and delinquency, law enforcement agencies and the traditional and current methods of managing offenders. Freshmen and Sophomores only.

Mode of Inquiry: Understanding Society

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Staff

SOC 141 (W; US) Chicago Sociology (1)

This course will focus on Chicago during two transitional periods: the early states of the industrial and post-industrial ages. The class will investigate the economic, social and historical forces that were operative in each of the periods and how the "Chicago School," using the methods and theories of sociology, attempted to describe and explain these forces, and the social problems caused by them. Freshmen and Sophomores only or consent of instructor.

Mode of Inquiry: Understanding Society; Chicago cluster.

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Hey

SOC 201 Navigating Social Worlds (1)

This course, designed as a gateway into the broader study of sociology, will address three primary foci of sociological analysis: Social Systems, Social Institutions, and Human Agency. Within each of these sections, we will focus on how sociologists employ theories and appropriate research methods to examine central concepts in sociology such as power, inequality, and/or social change. Depending on the designation of the course, these investigations may focus on specific topics. In order to give students the best grounding in these endeavors, readings will come from primary sources.

  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

SOC 301 (QA*) Social Statistics (1)

This course is an introduction to descriptive and inferential statistics. The following topics will be examined: scales of measurement; frequency distributions; graphing data; measures of central tendency, dispersion, and skewness; sampling distributions; confidence intervals and interval estimation; hypothesis testing; t-tests; analysis of variance, chi-square; measures of association; and regression analysis.

Prerequisite: SOC 201 or any 100-level Sociology course.

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Quantitative and Analytical Reasoning (*)

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Heuser, Strawn

SOC 302 Methods of Social Research (1)

The aim of this course is to introduce students to qualitative and quantitative research methods. Topics to be covered include research design, conceptualization and measurement, methods of gathering information, sampling, ethics, and data analysis. The relationship between theory and research will also be considered. Students will be involved in exercises and projects intended to familiarize them with the different methods of conducting research.

Prerequisite: Any 100-level Sociology course or SOC 201 and SOC 301 or MATH 138 or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Heuser, Strawn

SOC 303 (W) Sociological Theory (1)

We will look at the foundational statements and recent applications of the four major traditions of sociological thought: Functionalism, Marxism, Verstehen, and Symbolic Interactionism. In focusing on one tradition at a time, students will learn the principles upon which each tradition is based. The goal is to learn how to think like a theorist.

Prerequisite: Any 100-level Sociology course or SOC 201

Graduation Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Vail

SOC 312 Individual in Society: Social Psychology (1)

In this course, we will uncover the ways people make sense of the world, how they figure out ways of getting along, and how they deal with conflict and differences in power. Since this course is a seminar, most of the time will be devoted to discussing readings, but we may also see a few films. Topics will include the nature of reality, the importance of language, and the process of defining situations.

Prerequisite: SOC 201 or any 100-level Sociology course

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Vail

SOC 315 Social Change (1)

The course investigates origins of social change such as revolution, reform, and evolution. Classical and contemporary theories of social change, and major social trends (e.g., industrialization, cybernation, urbanization, secularization) are also considered. 

Prerequisite: SOC 201 or any 100-level Sociology course, or consent of instructor.

  • Offering: Alternate Springs
  • Instructor: Strawn

SOC 322 The Environment and Society (1)

This course will explore sociological aspects of environmental issues such as the rise of the environmental movement, the social mobilization of interest groups, food and population, energy, forest harvesting, pollution and sustainable development. Includes application of sociological concepts to risk assessment and environmental impact statements.

Mode of Inquiry: Environmental Cluster

Prerequisite: Any 100-level Sociology course or SOC 201

  • Offering: Alternate Falls
  • Instructor: Doolittle

SOC 324 Gender and Development (1)

This course uses theories of gender and development and of globalization to consider the effects of development and globalization on women, men, indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities. After identifying relevant international and national actors and forces, the course examines changes in national and local social systems, institutions, and interaction patterns related to development and addressing gender and/or ethnicity. Topics discussed in this context may include agriculture, natural resources, environment, urban development, manufacturing, population, religion, education, and human rights.

Prerequisite: SOC 201 or any 100-level Sociology course

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Doolittle

SOC 330 World Population Problems (1)

This course examines population problems in various societies of the world and reviews theories of population growth. It explores critical variables such as fertility, mortality and migration and relates the population problem to factors that indicate the interdependent nature of the modern world.

Prerequisite: SOC 201 or any 100-level Sociology course

  • Offering: Alternate falls
  • Instructor: Hey

SOC 332 Urban Sociology (1)

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the major theories, concepts and issues of urban sociology and to explore the patterns and processes of urban life. Additional attention will be paid to selected social, economic and political problems confronting major urban centers throughout the world.

Prerequisite: SOC 201 or any 100-level Sociology course

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Hey, Drew

SOC 334 Inequality in Society (1)

The aim of this course is to provide students with a strong background in the basic concepts and theories of social stratification. It examines structured social inequality in modern society and is primarily concerned with three basic issues: how inequality is structured, how such structures are maintained and the consequences that result from structured social inequality. Each of these issues is explored cross-culturally as well as from the American perspective.

Prerequisite: SOC 201 or any 100-level Sociology course

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Hey, Drew

SOC 339 Deviance and Social Control (1)

In this course, we will focus on how sociologists explain behaviors that many of us see as dangerous, distasteful or unpleasant. The assignments will focus on theories of deviance, some discussion of the preferred methods used in studying deviance, and several topical sections focusing on deviant behaviors such as sex work, drug use, crime, and mental disorders. Rather than condemning deviance and deviants, the course seeks to explain people's behavior and society's responses to them.

Prerequisite: SOC 201 or any 100-level Sociology course

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Vail

SOC 340 (US) Social Aspects of Dying, Death and Bereavement (1)

Death represents one of the great mysteries of life. In this course, we undertake an evaluation of the sociological theories and research pertaining to dying, death and bereavement. Cultural variations in these social processes are also considered. Topics include: definitions and images of death; demography and death; the dying and grieving processes; caregiving; and funeral practices. Opportunities to volunteer in the community will be available.

Mode of Inquiry: Understanding Society; Death Cluster

Prerequisite: SOC 201 or any 100-level Sociology course

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Heuser

SOC 358 Special Topics in Sociology (.5 or 1)

This course offers timely exposure to a variety of relevant topics in sociology. Topics might include the study of homelessness, poverty, death and dying, or cultural diversity.

Prerequisite: SOC 201 or any 100-level Sociology course

  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

SOC 430 Families (1)

This course explores changing aspects of marriage and family structures and relationships, including family life cycles, alternative forms of marriage, aging, divorce, remarriage and reconstituted families.

Prerequisite: SOC 302 and SOC 303

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Doolittle

SOC 435 (W) Group Dynamics and Organizational Culture (1)

In this course, we will focus on how people figure out, establish, and maintain the rules that make interactions in a variety of settings predictable. We will also spend considerable time on the methods sociologists employ in studying different settings. The readings cover the dramaturgical perspective espoused by Goffman and others, structural arguments and ethnomethodological explanations of how we make sense of the many social worlds we inhabit.

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered

Prerequisite: SOC 302 and SOC 303

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Vail

SOC 490 Research and Independent Study (.5 or 1)

This course is intended only for the qualified advanced student with a solid preparation in the theory and methods of sociology who wishes to do an intensive research analysis or advanced independent study in an area not covered by an existing course in the department.

Prerequisite: SOC 302 and SOC 303

  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

SOC 495 (W) Internship in Sociology (1)

This course provides an opportunity for students to work in selected social service and other organizations supervised by on-site professionals. Opportunity to observe the operation of agencies and develop some skills in working with people. Students spend 12 to 15 hours a week interning and attend a weekly seminar.

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered

Prerequisite: Senior majors who have completed SOC 302 and SOC 303

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Heuser

SOC 497 (W) Senior Thesis (1)

Open to majors in Sociology Honors Program, the senior thesis involves a comprehensive study of a topic chosen by the student and approved by her/his thesis advisor/s. As an original, quantitative and/or qualitative investigation undertaken as an independent study, the thesis includes the collection and analysis of primary or secondary data grounded in relevant theoretical and empirical literatures. A written thesis and oral presentation of the study's findings are required. Satisfactory completion of this course fulfills the Senior Year Experience requirement for Sociology majors.

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-Centered

Prerequisite: Senior majors who have completed SOC 302 and SOC 303 and who qualify for Honors

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Staff

SOC 499 Senior Seminar in Sociology (1)

Theory and research in sociology as it applies to general and specific areas of study. Particular emphasis is given to contemporary applications.

Prerequisite: Senior majors who have completed SOC 302 and SOC 303

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Staff