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Sociology

Sociology Website

Professor LIVESAY; Associate Professors GIUFFRE, MURPHY-GEISS (associate chair), POPKIN, W. ROBERTS (chair), WONG; Assistant Professor MUNOZ; Visiting Instructor SMITH

Download the information sheet on sociology at Colorado College

Major Requirements

To major in sociology at Colorado College you need at least 11 units of course work in sociology. A good way to start is to take our introductory First Year Experience course, Family and Social Change (FE137). Other introductory courses include Thinking Sociologically (SO100), Inequality (SO107), Gender Inequality (SO112), Racial Inequality (SO113), Global Inequality (SO116), Deviant Behavior (SO118), and Environmental Sociology (SO130).

In our 200-level courses, we delve more deeply into one the subfields of our sociology curriculum:

  • Self and Society — Processes by which people shape and are shaped by their social contexts;
  • Inequality — Processes by which societies define and distribute what is valuable to individuals and groups;
  • Associations and Institutions — Process by which social life is organized and reproduced over time;
  • Social Change — Processes by which social life is transformed.

Our 300-level courses provide opportunities for the close reading of texts or research under a faculty member's supervision. All of these courses, as well as the required courses that are the core of the major (Sociological Research Design [SO229], either Qualitative Research Methods [SO302] or Quantitative Research Methods [SO301], and Social Theory [SO334]), culminate in a senior thesis, a piece of original research or theorizing of the student's own choosing and design.

A recent sociology graduate, when asked what he would do with a sociology major, said, "I can do anything with my sociology major." Our graduates have become documentary filmmakers and physicians, community organizers and CEOs, lawyers and market researchers, psychotherapists and college professors. Many of our graduates go to graduate school, either a professional program or in one of the social sciences, and many work in the nonprofit sector. See our alumni news to see where recent graduates are today.

For more information on the major, contact Professor Wade Roberts.

Courses

Sociology

SO100 Thinking Sociologically

An introduction to sociological perspectives through investigation of the social sources of the self; the unequal distribution of power, privilege, and prestige; the social construction of institutions and their impact on human activities; and processes of social change.

1 unit — Giuffre, Murphy-GeissMurphy-Geiss

SO105 Art and Society

Examines the influence of art on society and of society on art, including the use of art as propaganda and social protest, the social sources of creativity, the relation between artists and audiences, the roles of patrons and critics, and the workings or arts organization.

Also listed as Film and New Media Studies 103.

1 unit — Giuffre

SO107 Inequality

The causes of inequalities of wealth, income, power, and prestige. The effects of economic deprivation on personal life. The reproduction of inequality from generation to generation. The possibilities of the elimination of gross social inequalities. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement.

1 unit — Livesay

SO109 Social Psychology

(Not offered 2014-15).

1 unit

SO112 Gender Inequality

How sex roles shape our experiences. Sources and consequences of the differences between males and females. Biological differences, cross-cultural patterns, socialization processes, participation in the economy and the family. Possibilities for and consequences of changing sex roles. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Diverse Cultures and Critiques requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement.

Also listed as Feminist & Gender Studies 112.

1 unit — Munoz

SO113 Racial Inequality

The study of race as a dimension of inequality in the United States, Western Europe, Africa and Latin America. Individual and institutional forms of racism and discrimination. Historical, comparative and theoretical perspectives. (No credit if taken after SO/CS233). Meets the Critical Perspectives: Diverse Cultures and Critiques requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2014-15).

1 unit

SO115 Creativity: Theory and Practice

Examines creativity from both a theoretical and a practical standpoint. The course is divided into three sections. The first explores theoretical material on creativity as an individual process and practical exercises on generating creative material. The second examines creativity as a product of social groups, especially as this relates to the issue of 'craft'. The third focuses on creativity as it is tied to particular times and places and practical issues of making creative products public. (Not offered 2014-15).

1 unit

SO116 Global Inequality

This course introduces the global roots and dimensions of recent social change emphasizing development as a transnational project designed to integrate the world. Economic and political globalization and the powerful counter-movements responding to rising inequality in the global south are explored during the course. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Diverse Cultures and Critiques requirement. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement.

1 unit — Popkin

SO118 Deviance and Social Control

An examination of rule and norm-breaking behavior and theories about why individuals and groups engage in such behaviors. This course focuses on how a sociological understanding of deviance is distinct from biological and psychological explanations. The topics to be considered include the origins and functions of deviance, the institutional production and categorization of deviance, the impact of deviance on personal and social identity, deviant careers and the relationship between deviance and social change. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement.

1 unit — Munoz

SO120 Contemporary French Society

An introduction to contemporary French society through the sociological analysis of structures, culture(s), and everyday life, especially as compared to the United States. Topics include: religion/secularism, taxation and welfare, education, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, immigration, commerce, politics, the environment, families, work, health, leisure, food, and time. Taught in France; conducted in English. (Not offered 2014-15).

Prerequisite: consent of instructor (taught in France).

1 unit

SO130 Environmental Sociology

The relationship between human societies and their natural and built environments. Topics may include the social construction of nature; the relationships between capitalism, materialism, and environmental degradation at local and global levels; urban development and growth; environmental racism; environmental justice and activism; the politics of environmental regulation and resource management; and the prospects for environmental sustainability. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Diverse Cultures and Critiques requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement.

Also listed as Environmental Science 161.

1 unit — Roberts

SO152 Engaging the Global: Health, Development and Citizenship

This quarter-unit adjunct course surveys multiple aspects of global engagement, including global health, sustainable development, and global citizenship. Introduces students to relevant academic debates about each of these domains of global practice and the broader moral and ethical context of global engagement, focusing on issues of responsibility, accountability, and community participation. Meets weekly over the course of a semester (Not offered 2014-15).

.25 unit

SO157 Beyond Development: Andean Social Movements and Their

Meets the Critical Perspectives: Diverse Cultures and Critiques requirement. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2014-15).

1.5 units

SO190 Topics in Sociology

Examination of a variety of sociological issues and problems. Topics will vary from year to year depending on the interests and expertise of the faculty.

1 unit — SmithSmith

SO214 Sociology of Religion

The study of the social organization and function of religion with emphasis on its interaction with other ideas, social structures, and processes. Consideration of major theorists (Durkheim, Weber, Troeltsch) will be integrated with contemporary socio-religious issues such as secularization, fundamentalism, televangelism, new religious movements, globalization, and the relations between religion and race, class, and gender. (No credit if taken after SO114.) (Not offered 2014-15).

Prerequisite: Any 100-level SO course or consent of instructor.

1 to 2 units

SO229 Sociological Research Design

Survey of the variety of methods of sociological research, both quantitative and qualitative, focusing particularly on survey and interview, field research, content analysis, secondary analysis, experimentation, and historical-comparative methods. Labs will cover the basics of quantitative analysis and computer training in SPSS and N6. Includes the examination of exemplars from the sociological literature, as well as practice of hands-on research skills and sociological writing. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement.

Prerequisite: Any 100 level sociology course or consent of instructor.

1 unit — Murphy-GeissMurphy-Geiss

SO230 The Media

Examination of the media as an American institution with emphasis on newspapers, movies, and television. How organizational routines affect what is produced, the issues of the construction of reality, hegemony and socialization. The media as a mobilizing force and expression of community voices. The transformation of the media in the age of zines and the Internet. (Not offered 2014-15).

Prerequisite: Any 100-level SO course or consent of instructor.

1 unit

SO233 Spatial Analysis of Social Issues

Examines the relevance of place in social life and the role of spatial thinking and analysis in understanding social issues and promoting social change. Topics ranging from poverty to segregation, community development, public health, environment, crime, and demographic change may be addressed. Unequal access to community amenities or exposure to disamenities will be a common theme throughout. Emphasis on applied sociology and the application of mapping (GIS) and statistics in support of social justice advocacy, social awareness, and community-based research. Some prior experience with basic social statistics is required. No prior experience with GIS is required.

Prerequisite: Sociology 229 or consent of instructor.

1 unit — Roberts

SO234 Sociology of Women from a Global Perspective

Economic agreements, existence of multinational corporations, information technology, and dissemination of popular culture all remind us that globalism is real, diminishing national boundaries and changing people's lives. This course will cover issues women encounter globally. Utilizing comparative historical perspective we will study the role of religion, nationalism, and secularism in shaping women's roles. We will also examine issues such as women's role in political parties and governments, education, health and the effect of international agreements on women's status. (Also listed as WS 234.) (Not offered 2014-15).

Prerequisite: One 100 level SO course.

1 unit

SO235 Sociology of Family

An exploration of the social history of the American family, from its extended kinship form through the development of the nuclear family ideal, to the more varied forms existing in contemporary society. Emphasis is placed on how gender and race structure relationships within the family as well as the family forms themselves. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Diverse Cultures and Critiques requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement.

Prerequisite: Any 100-level SO course or consent of instructor.

Also listed as Feminist & Gender Studies 235.

1 unit — Munoz, Murphy-GeissMurphy-Geiss

SO237 Latino Immigration and Social Change

Since the early 1980s, both legal and undocumented immigration to the United States have reached historic highs. This course examines contemporary migration from Latin America and how it has transformed urban and rural areas in the U. S. and prompted new questions about racial and ethnic diversity and immigrant rights. After considering the historical linkages between Latin America and the U. S. and the conditions that have generated high levels of migration, the course assesses urban economic restructuring and the ethnic and gendered divisions of labor, the role of immigrant networks in international migratory processes and immigrant organizing initiatives. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Diverse Cultures and Critiques requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2014-15).

Prerequisite: Any 100-level SO course or consent of instructor.

1 unit

SO241 The Nonprofit Sector

An exploration of the history, structure, and functions of the nonprofit sector especially in the United States. Topics will include philanthropy and voluntarism, the mixed (public-nonprofit) economy, the roles of the nonprofit sector in filling gaps left by the market and the state and in producing social capital, the rise of international nongovernmental organizations, and the emergence of new hybrid social enterprises with double - and triple-bottom lines.

Prerequisite: Any 100 level SO class or consent of instructor.

1 unit — Livesay

SO243 Social Movements

An examination of the conditions that facilitate social movement activism and the strategic choices activists face as their movements develop. Analysis of the changing grievances and goals of social movements in late modern societies. Examples from recent social movements of the left and right, such as the civil rights, student, women's, environmental, anti-tax, and anti-abortion movements. (Not offered 2014-15).

Prerequisite: Any 100-level SO course or consent of instructor.

1 unit

SO246 Sociology of Health and Medicine

Presents a sociological alternative and complement to the bio-medical paradigm and critically examines public health, the healthcare system, and medicine in their larger social, economic, and political milieus. Topics may address the social determinants of health; domestic and global health-related inequities; policy; and health work as a profession.

Prerequisite: Any 100 level sociology class or consent of instructor.

1 unit — Roberts

SO247 Sociology of Developing Countries

This course is an introduction to the sociology of 'third world' development and provides and overview of the causes and consequences of economic growth and social development in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. After reviewing the historical creation of the 'global south' and the theoretical explanations of development and underdevelopment, the course focuses on emerging trends associated with the current era of globalization including the changing international division of labor, the dominance of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and associated neoliberal economic policies, economic integration in the Western hemisphere, international migration, and both grassroots and state development initiatives. (Meets the AP:B requirement.) Meets the Critical Perspectives: Diverse Cultures and Critiques requirement. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2014-15).

Prerequisite: Any 100-level SO course or consent of instructor.

1 unit

SO257 Globalization and Immigration on the U.S.-Mexico Border

The current era of globalization has generated the apparent contradiction between the free flow of capital across borders and restrictive immigration policy. This course will examine these trends as they apply to the U. S. -Mexican border region and will consider issues such as the following: the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the multifaceted nature of integration between U. S. and Mexican economies, the increase in low wage jobs in the U. S. economy requiring higher levels of Latino immigration, economic development in Mexico that has generated emigration to the US, and US and Mexican immigration policies including the militarization of the US-Mexican border. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Diverse Cultures and Critiques requirement. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2014-15).

Prerequisite: Any 100-level SO course, Soph standing, Spanish language skills recommended and consent of instructor.

1 unit

SO258 Contested Masculinities

This course draws on feminist theory, institutional analysis and sociohistorical study to consider masculinity's meanings and practices. Male power, male pain and group-based differences among men are examined. A specific topic (sports, war/the military, social change movements, individual violence, religion) is covered in depth to assess how men sustain, resist and recreate available forms of masculinity. Requirements include an original research project. Our goal is to understand masculinity's power in shaping society and our power to reshape masculinity. (Also listed as Women's Studies 258.) (Not offered 2014-15).

Prerequisite: Any 100 level SO course or consent of instructor.

1 unit

SO260 Symbolic Interaction

An examination of the major principles and arguments of symbolic interactionism, an approach to the social world that privileges micro-level phenomena. Particular attention to interactional accomplishments of self and identity, the nature, structure, and norms of social interaction, processes of perception and categorization; and interactional regulation of bodies and emotions. (Not offered 2014-15).

Prerequisite: Any 100-level SO course or consent of instructor.

1 unit

SO265 Immigrant Communities in Colorado

The changing demographics of front range communities in Colorado and the socio-economic conditions that generate poverty will be examined as a case study of immigration theory. The increasing diversity of Colorado Springs, Denver, and Pueblo, due in part to high levels of immigration particularly from Latin America, creates new challenges for the city including the provision of adequate housing and social services and racial and ethnic integration in public schools and other institutions. This community based learning course offers students the opportunity to volunteer with a local organization serving immigrants. Particular emphasis will be placed on student teaching of English as a Second Language classes to recently arrived immigrants. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Diverse Cultures and Critiques requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2014-15).

Prerequisite: Any 100-level SO course or consent of instructor Spanish language skills recommended. Must complete 1/2 block & extended format to receive credit.

1 unit

SO280 Sociology of Education

Functions of the school in modern society. The school as a social system and as a formal organization. Development and allocation of resources to public education. Impact of social and technological change on the school. The school as an agent of social control and of innovation and change. Problems of education in the urban setting, including the desegregation issue. (No credit if taken after SO380.) (Not offered 2014-15).

Prerequisite: Any 100-level SO course or consent of instructor.

1 unit

SO290 Advanced Topics in Sociology:

A more specialized examination of a variety of sociological issues and problems. Topics will vary from year to year depending on the interests and expertise of the faculty.

Prerequisite: Any 100 level SO class or consent of instructor.

1 unit — Livesay, Munoz, Munoz, SmithSmith

SO301 Quantitative Research Methods

Fundamental issues in quantitative research design, data collection, and analysis. It focuses on more advanced analytical techniques, including spatial and regression analysis, making use of core software programs such as Stata, SPSS and GIS. Emphasis on the practical application of statistical methods to analyze sociological data, as well as the interpretation and presentation of results. Required of majors who do not take SO 302-Qualitative Research Methods.

Prerequisite: Sociology 229 or consent of instructor.

1 unit — Roberts

SO302 Qualitative Research Methods

Prepares students to conceptualize, design, and conduct research and to analyze and interpret data obtained through qualitative methods such as field research, participant observation, in depth interviewing, narrative analysis and action research. Required of majors who do not take SO 301-Quantitative Research Methods.

Prerequisite: Sociology 229 or consent of instructor.

1 unit — Munoz

SO303 Sociology of Sexuality

An advanced examination of the ways in which sexual identities, desires and practices are socially constructed and, as such, how they vary historically and culturally. Addresses a range of theoretical and methodological approaches that have contributed to the sociological study of sexuality, including psychoanalytic theory, survey research, social constructionism, feminist theory, critical race theory and queer theory. Specific topics include the political economy of sex; the construction of sexual identities; intersections of sexuality, gender, race and class; social movements; sexuality and institutions; families; marriage 'moral panics.' Offered in some years as a field research and writing course. (Not offered 2014-15).

Prerequisite: Any 200-level Sociology course and Consent of Instructor.

1 unit

SO310 Internship in Social Organization

Course designed for the student to intern in an organization which is closely related to the work of one or more standard sociology courses. Students will test a body of classroom theory or description against 'reality. ' Students will examine and describe the structure and workings of the organization and be of assistance to the organization. Must be arranged at least one block in advance. May be taken as a block course(s) for 1 or 2 units, as a yearlong course for 1 unit, as a half block course for .5 unit, or over 4 blocks for .5 unit.

.5 to 2 units

SO312 Communities & Networks

How different types of community structures allow for different types of individual and group actions - deviance and conformity, successful and unsuccessful challenges to outside authority, the emergence of spectacular subcultures. Both historical and more contemporary case studies. Emphasis on network theory and its applications, using computer programs to analyze relations among actors. No prior programming experience is necessary.

Prerequisite: Any 200-level SO course or consent of instructor.

1 unit — Giuffre

SO314 Sociology of Culture

Examines the social base for cultural institutions, for constructing cultural meanings and for producing both high and popular culture. Cultural institutions as seats of both power and conflict. The impact of cultures and subcultures on identity formation. The response of cultural institutions to the rise of postmodernity.

Prerequisite: Any 200-level SO course or consent of instructor.

1 unit

SO316 Development and Underdevelopment in Africa

Explores the social organization of development and underdevelopment in Africa. Issues covered may include: the role of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in failed and weak state contexts; obstacles to political development and institution building; inequality and structures of global economic integration; the politics and impact of international aid; the critical status of women and their place in development; the impact of and organizational response to AIDS; the origins, impact, and resolution of civil conflict. Field study component entails extra expenses for students and requires an enrollment limit of 10 students (expandable depending on field site logistics). (Not offered 2014-15).

Prerequisite: Any 100-level SO course or consent of instructor.

1 unit

SO318 Politics, Inequality, and Social Policy

Examines ways in which sociology offers critical insight into social inequalities and how such insight can inform social policy and political efforts for social change. (Not offered 2014-15).

Prerequisite: Any 200 level SO course or consent of instructor.

1 unit

SO334 Social Theory

An overview of the efforts - from the Enlightenment to postmodernism - to identify patterns of social organization and trends of societal development, to understand how people produce and reproduce shared meanings, and to develop ways to criticize domination. Introductions to Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Simmel, Freud, Mead, Parsons, Habermas, feminist theories, Foucault, and Giddens.

Prerequisite: 2 SO courses & jr standing or consent of instructor.

2 units — Livesay

SO343 Independent Study:

Library or primary research or a combination thereof in an area of sociology in which the student has a personal interest, curiosity, or concern.

Prerequisite: consent of instructor & at least 1 200-level SO course. Must be taken as a block course or yearlong for 1 unit, or over 4 blocks for 1/2 unit.

.5 to 2 units

SO344 Independent Study:

Library or primary research or a combination thereof in an area of sociology or social psychology in which the student has a personal interest, curiosity, or concern.

Prerequisite: consent of instructor & at least 1 200-level SO course. Must be taken as a block course or yearlong course for 1 unit, or over 4 blocks for 1/2 unit.

.5 to 1 unit

SO345 Research Topics in Sociology:

1 unit

SO370 Modernity & Postmodernity

Examination of modern world views and forms of social organization. Consideration of whether current processes of socio-cultural and political-economic change signify a transition to a new postmodern epoch. The revolution in information technology, the increasing centrality of consumerism, globalization and the decline of the nation-state, the politics of identity, and the rediscovery of civil society. (Not offered 2014-15).

Prerequisite: Any 200-level SO course or consent of instructor.

1 unit

SO450 Senior Thesis

An independent project on a topic of the student's choice. The project might entail a position paper, empirical research designed to test a hypothesis or describe some phenomena, a theoretical piece dealing with an important sociological problem, or a combination of the above.

Prerequisite: consent of instructor & Major & Sociology 301 or 302. May be arranged any 2 blocks 1-7.

2 units

SO451 Senior Seminar

Advanced study of a topic of sociological significance.

Prerequisite: Sociology 450.

1 unit — Murphy-GeissMurphy-Geiss