Sociology & Criminal Justice Courses

Sociology Courses

SOCI 105 Introduction to Sociology (3 credits) What is sociology? How do sociologists go about their work? Sociology as a distinctive perspective on human behavior. The links between personal experience and wider social forces are explored while covering the main fields of the discipline.

SOCI 111 Controversial Social Issues (3 credits) Sociologists suggest that the origins and causes of social problems lie outside of individuals, even though the effects of such problems influence the behavior of individuals. This course examines a variety of contemporary social problems, such as health and health care, addictions, poverty, unemployment, crime, violence, family issues, racism and ageism. After examining social issues, their causes and consequences, we will discuss possible interventions that could alleviate each problem.

SOCI 150 Topics in Sociology (3 credits) Special topics of current interest will be considered in depth, examples include experiences of children, introductions to social psychology.

SOCI 155 Children’s Lives (4 credits) Course analyzes public policy regarding children at local, national, and global levels. It is a goal of this course to raise consciousness about the state of the world’s children and to empower us to work effectively, cooperatively, and justly with one another and with children and organizations in our communities. Topics include structural violence, impact of war on children; intersection of race, class, gender impact on children; social construction of gender; child labor; poverty in the U.S. and Global South; children’s human rights; social justice and public policy. Substantial community-based service learning is required. (EL)

SOCI 205 Deviance and Social Control (also CRMJ 210) (3 credits) This course will introduce you to the central sociological concepts of deviance, self-control, power, identity construction, and identity management. We will use the topic of deviance to explore how groups of people have the power to shape the social definitions of other people’s actions and behaviors. We also will examine the consequence, identity formation, and meaning in everyday life for those who are defined as “deviant.” Although the primary theoretical orientation of the class is social constructionist, we will examine the other important theoretical contributions of the broader field to the study and understanding of why people deviate or are identified as deviant. Prerequisite: SOCI 105 or 155 or permission of instructor. (ILS)

SOCI 211 Teens and Families (4 credits) Course examines the diversity of families, trends in family change, youth and communities, race, class gender intersection impact on youth; adolescent identity; public policy and youth. Substantial community-based service learning with teens is required. Prerequisite: SOCI 105 or FYS SOCI 155. (EL)

SOCI 225 Human Rights (3 credits) The class is designed to examine human rights theories and practices. Course content will focus on the dramatic post-cold-war transformation of human rights as a focus of social struggle. In addition to studying human rights historically, we will examine the contradictions between contemporary human rights standards the U.S. demands of other countries and evaluate its own practices at home and abroad. Prerequisite: SOCI 105 or 155.

SOCI 238 Irish Culture and Society I (3 credits) This course is a dialectic between modern Irish society and Irish history, each examined from the sociological perspective. Early Irish History – This first part sets the context for the course by looking at how history has uniquely shaped modern Irish society. During this section we will explore Ireland up through and including the reformation and Cromwellian invasion. Sociology in Ireland – Next we introduce the discipline of sociology and start to examine Irish society from a sociological perspective. We will spend a significant amount of time examining the specific development of Irish culture. Modern Irish Society – In order to understand modern Irish society we need to look at social institutions and social indices. Irish Culture – The values and beliefs of the Irish are reflected in their culture. For this section we need to return to some history to examine such issues as the Diaspora, the famine, and the revolutionary movements. Modern Irish society – It is here where we look more closely at the puzzle of Northern Ireland as well as the impact of the so-called Celtic Tiger on the Republic. It is also here where we need to examine the modern dimensions of race, class and gender in Ireland.

SOCI 240 Women and Social Change (4 credits) This course investigates how societies structure gender and how race, class, and gender intersect. It analyzes gender from interpersonal, interactional, institutional, historical, and cross-cultural points of view. The goal of the course is to formulate a theoretical and practical understanding of gender and gender inequality as it exists today and to develop strategies to create more egalitarian systems. Community organizing/ group work component. Specific topics include: feminist theory, women of color, political struggles, reproductive justice, economic justice, body politics. Substantial community-based work is required Prerequisite: SOCI 105 or 155. (EL)

SOCI 250 Topics in Sociology (3 or 4 credits) See description for SOC 150. Examples of recent 250 topics courses include, social psychology, sociology of the family, gerontology, and Irish culture and society. More than one topic may be taken for credit. Prerequisite: SOCI 105 or as specified.

SOCI 251 Race and Ethnicity (3 credits) This course examines racial and ethnic relations in American society. What structural factors allowed for the relative success of some groups while denying the success of others? What roles have racism, prejudice and discrimination played in the American experience? Current issues in U.S. race/ethnic relations also are explored. Prerequisite: SOCI 105 or 155.

SOCI 260 Food and Social Justice (4 credits) Course investigates food in ecological, community, ideological, social, economic, philosophical, and political terms. Our attention will focus on the right to food as a human right; global and national control of food production and trade, and emerging alternative food movements including the Fair Trade Movement, Community-Supported Agriculture-Local Foods Movement, Green Belt Movement (Kenya), and Seed Savers-Navdayna (India). Our work takes us into the Oneonta community and across the county to understand local food security issues. Videos and readings are comparative and allow us to travel to India, Kenya, and Chiapas, Mexico. Substantial community-based service learning in local food pantries is required. Prerequisite: SOCI 105 or SOCI 155.

SOCI 265 Global Feminisms (4 credits) Course reviews global womanist initiatives and movements in Africa, Latin America, India, and the U.S. rooted in the drive for social justice. Key movement philosophies, strategies, and tactics are reviewed. A goal is to glean strategic insights and apply them to our organizing work. Substantial community- based service learning is required. Prerequisite: SOCI 105 or SOCI 155

SOCI 310 Classical Social Theory (3 credits) This course is intended to introduce students to the works of early western social theorists. Classical social theory provides the foundation for current sociological thinking and is fundamental to the understanding of ongoing discussions within the discipline. This course will primarily emphasize the works of the Founding Three: Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Emile Durkheim. We will also explore other nineteenth and twentieth century theorists including Charlotte Perkins Gilman, W.E.B. DuBois, George Herbert Mead and others, as the semester allows. In tackling the (primarily) 19th and early 20th century writings, we will analyze the theoretical concepts of these sociological thinkers in relation to current social problems and dilemmas. Our ongoing conversation of these various theorists will include continual application of their theories to “real life‟ examples found in our 21st century world. Prerequisite: SOCI 105.

SOCI 321 Introduction to Social Work (4 credits) This course provides an introduction to the knowledge, skills, and values necessary for generalist social work in contemporary society. Designed to give students an overview of the profession of social work, this course offers the opportunity to engage in service learning through a local community social services agency. Social welfare services, policies, and their historical origins will be presented along with the unique experiences of diverse and at-risk populations affected by various social problems. This course also explores current social issues such as poverty, violence, alcohol and other drug use, mental illness, crime, health care issues and discrimination. To enhance this understanding, this course examines underlying cultural assumptions as well as personal values. Throughout this course students will examine the roles of social workers in addressing these social problems. Prerequisite: SOCI 105 and permission of instructor. (EL)

SOCI 322 Population and Ecology (3 credits) A study of the social, cultural and environmental forces that affect population trends: the size, growth, composition, distribution, fertility, mortality and migration of human populations. Current historical and cross-cultural problems in population, food, health and environment will be explored. In particular the impact of post-colonialism is examined in a cultural context. Prerequisite: SOCI 105.

SOCI 331 Sociology of the Media (3 credits) The course explores the historical origins that gave rise to differences between “high, “mass,” and “popular” culture. The course investigates sociologically significant topics such as the production of mass media and popular culture and the interpretation of culture. The effects of media and popular culture on contemporary understandings of race, class, and gender as well as contentious politics, including social movements and electoral campaigns are also studied. Prerequisite: SOCI 105 or SOCI 155.

SOCI 338 Irish Culture and Society II (4 credits) The Republic of Ireland is a land of many contrasts resulting from both its isolation from the European continent and a millennium of colonial rule. Recently it has gone through hurried social change resulting from rapid economic growth in a phenomenon called the Celtic Tiger and subsequently the world-wide recession. This course will explore Irish cultural and social institutions and how they have been shaped by Ireland’s unique history. Prerequisite: SOCI 238.

SOCI 340 Socio-Political Movements (3 credits) The course will provide an introduction to theory and research on one form of social movement mobilization: national-level movements organized for political change. Our focus will emphasize how political, organizational, and cultural factors shape social movement emergence and development. We will focus on current activism, including case studies of the American civil rights movement, the student movement of the late 1960s, the feminist movement, the abortion movement (pro-life and pro-choice) gay/lesbian mobilization and the recent emergence of transnational activism. Prerequisite: SOCI 105 or SOCI 155.

SOCI 350 Topics in Sociology (3 or 4 credits) For description see SOCI 150. Recent examples include: introduction to counseling skills and domestic violence seminar. Prerequisite: SOCI 105 or other as required.

SOCI 380 Labor and Society (3 credits) This course explores work in the context of sociological, cultural, historical and international forces. Specific topics include: gender-race-class systems and labor, paid/unpaid work, international division of labor, government policy, African-American labor history, work and family issues, cross-cultural labor contexts. Prerequisite: SOCI 105.

SOCI 381 Sociology of Health and Medicine (3 credits) Explores the social structural conditions of health. Topics covered are: the social distribution of wellness and illness, the cultural determinants of health and healing, alternative models of medicine, the impact of social structure and social policy on health and on the delivery of health services. Prerequisite: SOCI 105. (ILS)

SOCI 383 Quantitative Analysis (4 credits) This course introduces the central issues and strategies involved in the collection and analysis of quantitative data with an emphasis on survey research, experimental designs, and statistical analysis using SPSS. The course is concerned with demonstrating the logic and meaning of statistical procedures and the conditions under which they are meaningful. This course is the “quantitative” half of the department’s two-term requirement in sociological analysis. Both halves give central importance to identifying and developing meaningful research questions, recognizing crucial theory-method linkages, developing research plans, evaluating the credibility of research findings and presenting the results of one’s research. Prerequisite: SOCI 105. (QFR, EL)

SOCI 385 Qualitative Analysis (4 credits) This course introduces methods used in the collection and analysis of qualitative data including participant observation, field notes, interviews, discourse analysis, media analysis, ethnography, and community-based research. The rationale and theoretical underpinnings of qualitative analysis are examined together with the ethical issues associated with the use of qualitative methodologies. This course is the “qualitative” half of the department’s two-term requirement in methods. Both halves give central importance to identifying and developing meaningful research questions, recognizing crucial theory-method linkages, developing research plans, evaluating the credibility of research findings, presenting the results of one’s research, and ethics. Substantial community-based service learning fieldwork is required. Prerequisite: SOCI 105. (EL)

SOCI 389 Advanced Methods (3 credits) Advanced statistical techniques such as regression, path analysis and factor analysis are employed in analyzing such secondary data as the U.S. Census and the General Social Survey. The focus is on development and testing of sociological models. This course is valuable for students planning on entering graduate programs which include research components. Prerequisites: SOCI 105, SOCI 383 and SOCI 385.

SOCI 395 Internship (3 credits) See course catalog on internships. Internships in sociology include but are not limited to placements with local community action, social work, criminal justice, law enforcement, human right and youth advocacy programs or organizations. Prerequisite: SOCI 105, 383, or 385. (EL)

SOCI 396 Supervised Field Placement (3 credits) The student will work in a supervised field placement. This course’s objective is to enhance the student’s knowledge and critical understanding of social services delivery systems and of the people involved with them. Prerequisite: SOCI 321.

SOCI 397 Contemporary Theory (3 credits) The task of this course is to critically examine modern social theory and analyze some of the work of contemporary social theorists such as Parsons, Wallerstein, Goffman, Dorothy Smith, Bourdieu, Foucault, Dean, Bauman, Butler and others. The following questions will be addressed: What assumptions does the theorist make about society? What are the practical and political consequences and implications of such views and claims? How do social contexts shape theories? The course focuses on analysis, critique, evaluation, synthesis, and application. Prerequisite: SOCI 105, 310, or permission of instructor.

SOCI 441 Research Projects (4 credits) Individual and collaborative research in sociology. Prerequisites: SOCI 105 and permission of instructor. SOCI 105 and 383, 384, or 385.
(QFR)

SOCI 485 Senior Seminar (3 credits) Course utilizes studies of exemplary sociological research and individual research to model the integration of theory and methods. Involves applied research project including ethical issue, literature review, research design and analysis, and written and oral presentation of proposals and/or results. Prerequisites: SOCI 310, 383, 385, 397.


Criminal Justice Courses

CRMJ 110 Introduction to Criminal Justice (Also SOCI285) (3 credits) This course is designed to introduce students to the American criminal justice system and the role of the police, the courts, and correctional facilities within that system. It focuses on the history and the primary duties of our justice system in America while briefly introducing conceptions of justice as well as definitions of, measurements of, and causes of crime. Within the detailed discussions of the police, the courts, and corrections, particular attention is paid to current debates within each of these criminal justice agencies.

CRMJ 150 Topics in Criminal Justice (3 credits) Special topics of current interest will be considered in depth.

CRMJ 210 Deviance and Social Control (Also SOCI205) (3 credits) This course will introduce you to the central sociological concepts of deviance, self-control, power, identity construction, and identity management. We will use the topic of deviance to explore how groups of people have the power to shape the social definitions of other people’s actions and behaviors. We also will examine the consequences, identity formation, and meaning in everyday life for those who are defined as “deviant.” Although the primary theoretical orientation of the class is social constructionist, we will examine the other important theoretical contributions of the broader field to the study and understanding of why people deviate or are identified as deviant. Prerequisite: Prerequisite: SOCI 105 and CRMJ110 (SOCI 285) (ILS)

CRMJ 245 Introduction to the Law (3 credits) The course examines the history and principles of civil and criminal law and will prepare students for further study of the legal system. Students are introduced to judicial decisions, legal analysis and the case method of study. The course will integrate the analysis of case law, statutes and social science empirical research. It includes comprehensive coverage of three areas of law ―1. Substantive law, 2. Constitutional issues evoking tensions between governmental authority and individual liberties, and 3. Constitutional procedure, including the incorporation of Bill of Rights protections to the States and trial by jury. The course explores such topics as abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, freedom of expression, rights of intimate association, and equal protection issues. Students will read legal scholars and court researchers including classical and theoretical studies of the court system as well as more applied policy studies which include a focus on the American jury, judges and the courtroom workgroup. The course focuses on the role and purposes of the law, the sources of law, the various types of law, and the state and federal court system structure and operations. The course will also examine the responsibilities of legal system decision-makers, legislators, state representatives, victim advocates, and jurors, and issues like disparity and discrimination in the court system. Issues raised will include the element of wide discretion exercised by decision makers and the issues of race and gender. Prerequisite: SOCI 105 and CRMJ110 (SOCI 285)

CRMJ 250 Topics in Criminal Justice (3 credits) Special topics of current interest will be considered in depth.

CRMJ 310 Criminology (Also SOCI301) (3 credits) This course examines criminal behavior and the measures intended to control it. Major emphasis is placed upon social factors that contribute to such behavior, and criminal justice system efforts to combat criminal behavior. Attention is also given to current trends in criminal behavior and criminal justice policy, and the evaluation of these from the perspective of different sociological theories. Prerequisite: SOCI 105 and CRMJ110 (SOCI 285). (ILS)

CRMJ 320 Juvenile Delinquency (Also SOCI 311) (3 credits) This course offers an introductory survey of the study of juvenile delinquency and the Juvenile Justice system in the U.S. Crucial to this examination is a framework based upon the understanding of two central issues: the social definition of adolescent years in American society, and how the justice system treats behavior which society views as unacceptable or deviant. To this end, this course focuses on: the social status of juveniles of different status positions and the often conflicting expectations and opportunities for those adolescents in contemporary American society, the operation of the juvenile justice system in the formal and informal decision making and processing of that form of juvenile behavior broadly defined as “delinquency”, current dimensions and trends, differing major theoretical perspectives which have been developed to explain juvenile delinquency, and the range of options society has available to help prevent, treat, and/or punish “delinquent” behavior. Prerequisite: SOCI 105 and CRMJ110 (SOCI 285). (ILS)

CRMJ 330 Policing in a Democratic Society (3 credits) This course is designed to provide students with an in depth look at policing in America including the origins and history and an examination of policing and the rule of law in a democracy. It also focuses on the role of both research and practice in implementing different models of modern day policing such as Community Policing, Problem Oriented Policing, Broken Windows, Zero Tolerance, Hot Spots, Targeted Interventions, and Compstat. Policing is seen from three perspectives: the police -officer-citizen interaction, the agency-community relationship, and the legal and ethical questions of policing in a democratic society. The course analyzes the current role of police in today’s criminal justice system, and issues regarding police recruitment, diversity, misconduct, stop and frisk, racial profiling and use of force. The course is designed to appeal to anyone who desires a greater understanding of the criminal justice system and the role played by police officers as well as offering guidance to students who wish to pursue careers in law enforcement. Prerequisite: SOCI 105 and CRMJ110 (SOCI 285).

CRMJ 340 Punishment and Corrections (3 credits) This course is designed to provide students with an in depth look at the current correctional systems in America, the problems faced within these systems, and community alternatives to imprisonment. The course will begin with the utilitarian and retributive theories of why and how we punish: Retribution, Deterrence, Incapacitation and Rehabilitation. It will review the history of prisons. It will focus on America’s populist punitive policies of mass incarceration embodied in the persistent felon three strikes laws and mandatory drug sentences. It will analyze current bipartisan efforts to scale back on policies which have caused the overcrowding of prisons and which disproportionately burden African, Latino and disadvantaged families and communities with disenfranchisement and social disorganization. The course will examine probation, community corrections, parole, reentry, the administration of prisons and jails, prison riots and gangs, diversity of personnel and management, prisoner rights, the “New Jim Crow phenomena,” and the death penalty controversy. The course is designed to appeal to anyone who desires a greater understanding of the criminal justice system, as well as offering guidance to students who wish to pursue careers in corrections. Prerequisite: SOCI 105 and CRMJ 110 (SOCI 285).

CRMJ 350 Topics in Criminal Justice (3 credits) Special topics of current interest will be considered in depth.

CRMJ 390 Quantitative Analysis in Criminal Justice (Also SOCI384) (4 credits) Similar to SOCI 383 this course is designed to introduce students to the central issues and strategies involved in the collection and analysis of quantitative data but with an emphasis on survey research, experimental designs, and statistical analysis using SPSS as they pertain to the study of criminology and criminal justice. The course is concerned with demonstrating the logic and meaning of statistical procedures and the conditions under which they are meaningful. This course will qualify as the “quantitative” half of the sociology department’s two-term requirement in sociological analysis. Both halves give central importance to identifying and developing meaningful research questions, recognizing crucial theory-method linkages, developing research plans, evaluating the credibility of research findings and presenting the results of one’s research. Prerequisite: SOCI 105 and/or CRMJ110 (SOCI 285) as well as CRMJ310 (SOCI 301) or permission of instructor. (QFR, EL)

CRMJ 490 Senior Seminar (3 credits) This course utilizes studies of exemplary criminological research and individual research to model the integration of theory and methods. Involves applied research project including ethical issue, literature review, research design and analysis, and written and oral presentation of proposals and/or results. Prerequisites: All required courses of the major.

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