Sociology Courses

Course offerings reflect the 2019-2020 Elmhurst College Catalog. One unit of credit equals four semester hours.

*Prerequisites: The department will waive SOC 211 as a prerequisite for upper-level courses in sociology if the student has passed the CLEP exam in introductory sociology or if, in the opinion of the instructor, the student’s prior education or experience provides the conceptual foundation necessary to take the course.

A scientific study of society and social interaction and their effects on individual behavior. An introduction to the concepts, theories and methods used by sociologists to study social life. Special attention is given to how the sociological perspective can enhance our ability to understand society and to function more effectively in it.

A study of the meaning and influence of culture and its societal variations. The course focuses on culture as the way people live and adapt to their environments and emphasizes the diversity of cultural patterns around the world.

.50 or 1.00 credit

Provides sociology students with supervised and monitored on-the-job experience with businesses or human service agencies and institutions. May be taken during the regular term with part-time placement of seven to 13 hours a week for .50 credit or 14 to 17 hours weekly for 1.00 credit. Summer Term and January Term field experiences may also be possible (hours per week will be adjusted accordingly). The student will complete self-assessments, set goals and learning objectives, provide regular written feedback, attend meetings and complete a final reflection paper of at least four to six pages. Students will need to meet with both a member of the sociology faculty and the coordinator of career development in the Russell G. Weigand Center for Professional Excellence to apply.

Repeatable for credit. Pass/No Pass grading. Does not count toward a sociology major or minor. Pre- or corequisites: one sociology course and approval of a member of the sociology faculty.

An examination of common social problems using theoretical and conceptual frameworks. Students investigate individual deviance, patterns of social injustice, specific problems affecting major U.S. institutions, and international issues, along with various mechanisms and resources for solving and preventing social problems.

Prerequisite: SOC 211 or equivalent or junior/senior standing.

A basic study of social work practice, which is relevant to the social work, business, medical, or legal professions. Social work knowledge, values and skills are taught and applied to specific cases.

Prerequisite: SOC 211 or equivalent.

A study of the basic concepts and theories of race and ethnicity in the United States. Historical and contemporary societal reactions to racial and ethnic groups are examined. Special attention is given to issues of social justice.

Prerequisite: SOC 211 or equivalent or junior/senior standing.

A study of gender roles and sex inequality—their forms, causes, effects on behavior and life chances and patterns of change. An examination of the significance of gender roles and sex inequality for understanding both social behavior and social institutions.

Prerequisite: SOC 211 or equivalent.

An overview of child welfare practice and social services for children and adolescents. Topics will include regulation of child care facilities, trends in welfare planning for children and adolescents, and the role of the juvenile justice system. Other topics are those related to substance abuse, suicide, eating disorders, gangs, teen pregnancy, learning disabilities and programs created to address these problems. Emphasis is on the developmental stages of children and teens.

Prerequisite: SOC 303 or equivalent.

A study of the structure and processes of social inequality in societies. Primary emphasis is on socioeconomic inequality with secondary emphasis on racial and sexual inequality. An examination of aspects of social inequality, including its causes, historical trends, contemporary patterns, effects on social behavior, efforts to reduce inequality and future possibilities.

Prerequisite: SOC 211 or equivalent.

A study of the structure and function of health care as a societal institution. Topics include socio-cultural and structural factors that influence health care professionals’ roles, families’ health practices and the interactions of clients and providers. Students will also examine critiques of the U.S. health care system and proposed reforms.

Prerequisite: SOC 211 or equivalent.

A historical and intercultural analysis of the family as a social institution in contemporary American society. Topics include dating, mate selection and marital adjustment, as well as problems of the family in modern Western culture.

Prerequisite: SOC 211 or equivalent.

An analysis and in-depth study of how multiple institutions within the social environment of contemporary U.S. society influence juvenile offenders. Special attention is given to issues and dilemmas in arresting, processing, charging, interrogating, prosecuting, sentencing/punishing and incarcerating juvenile offenders.

Prerequisite: CJ 200 or SOC 211 or equivalent.

An introduction to the logic and procedures for conducting social research. An examination of the foundations of social research, research design, methods of observation, data analysis and ethical issues in research.

Prerequisite: PSY 355 or MTH 345 or MTH 346.

Gender and Crime focuses on explanations of the criminality of women, men and transgender people in the U.S. and the prison cultures associated with different genders. The course examines how dominant cultural norms and values reflect differential power relations between individuals in U.S. society and how these power inequalities act as root causes of crime. It explores how crime is used by individuals to appeal to, reject or change societal norms and relationships as well as how social control of such individuals is used to shore up support for existing societal norms and relationships.

Prerequisite: CJ 200 or SOC 211 or equivalent.

An in-depth study of social casework theory and practice. A variety of theories, techniques, case illustrations and role playing are introduced to develop basic interviewing and counseling skills and the ability to establish a professional helping relationship.

Prerequisite: SOC 303 or consent of the instructor.

Group theory and process taught from theoretical, empirical and experiential perspectives. Students will develop their skills in a group and will concentrate on a particular group population and setting.

Prerequisite: SOC 303 or consent of the instructor.

An examination of early and modern theories of criminality from the 18th century to the present. Emphasis on sociological explanations, including social disorganization, subcultural theories, strain and self-control. Associations among theory, research and policy will be highlighted.

Prerequisites: CJ 200 or SOC 211 or equivalent and junior or senior standing.

An introduction to several theoretical perspectives used to explain social phenomena: the intellectual roots of these perspectives, their major concepts, their explanatory structures, their contributions and weaknesses and their uses in research.

Prerequisites: two courses in sociology or equivalent.

A focus on a specific theorist, sociological school, problem area or application of sociology using a seminar format. Topics vary upon student and faculty interest.

May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: consent of the instructor. Upon request.

.50, .75 or 1.00 credit

Independent, guided field work in sociology or social work. Field work in sociology involves work in an agency, organization or community setting using sociology to analyze and solve problems. Field work in social work involves supervised work in an accredited social service or welfare setting. A minimum of 140 hours on site is required during the term for 1.00 credit.

Repeatable for credit. Prerequisites:

  • Field work in sociology: two courses in sociology and consent of instructor.
  • Field work in social work: SOC 303, location of a suitable field site and consent of instructor.

Upon request.

.50, .75 or 1.00 credit

A course in independent, guided research. Practical experience is acquired in the stages of designing and conducting a research project in sociology.

Repeatable for credit. Prerequisites: consent of the instructor and either SOC/CJ 323 or three courses in sociology. Upon request.

.50, .75 or 1.00 credit

An independent and concentrated reading course focusing on a specific problem area, field of specialization or the thought of a major social thinker in sociology.

Repeatable for credit. Prerequisites: consent of instructor and two courses in sociology. Upon request.

.50 credit

This course gives Honors Program students the opportunity to design and implement a significant research project in the field of sociology, culminating in an appropriate public dissemination of research methods and findings. This research must build upon previous coursework taken within the major or minor, facilitating faculty supervision and guidance.

Repeatable for credit. Permission of the faculty supervisor and the director of the Honors Program required prior to registration.

.50 credit

A seminar course required of all sociology majors and designed to facilitate the transition of sociology majors from the undergraduate degree program to employment or graduate school. The course will enable students to answer four questions: What can I do with a major in sociology? What do I know (knowledge)? What can I do (skills)? How can I use the knowledge and skills that I have acquired to achieve my professional goals? Students will explore applications of sociology and opportunities for sociology-related careers and post-graduate education; apply sociological knowledge, methods and theory in a service-learning experience; and create an electronic portfolio and other material in preparation for application for employment or graduate school. Students should enroll in SOC 496 in the fall term closest to their graduation.

Prerequisite: senior standing.

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