Sociology Course Descriptions

Information for Undergraduates
  Undergraduate Program
Information for Graduate Students
  Graduate Program
  MA Theses
Departmental Resources
  What's New
  Schedule of Classes
Sociology Course Descriptions
  Career Options
People in the Department
  Office Info. / Staff
Sociology Associations
  American Sociological Association
  Alpha Kappa Delta
University Links
  General Catalog
  Admission Application
  Campus Map
Course Descriptions for Sociology Courses
Lower Division Courses

SOC 101 Social Problems  (4)

Methods that social institutions and interest groups use to define “social problems” including poverty, substance abuse, delinquency, racism, sexism, crises in education and health care, and urban/environmental issues; policy implications.

SOC 120 Intimate Relationships in our Diverse Society (4) 

Principles of interaction in intimate relationships in our diverse society.  Understanding/valuing diversity and similarity (gender, ethnicity, class, etc.) in achieving intimacy.  Developing knowledge/skills for dealing with relationship issues.    

SOC 201 Principles of Sociology  (4) 

Social institutions and group behavior; social order and change.  Issues include hegemony, pluralism, distribution of privilege and power, sources of cooperation and conflict, deviance and social control.      

SOC 202 Society and Individual Development  (4)

Service Learning Course
Social, psychological and physiological processes affecting individual development throughout the life span. Identity issues family, socialization, and social institutions, as interconnected with gender, age, ethnicity/race, economics, and diverse populations.     

SOC 209 Microcomputer Applications in Sociology  (4)

Use of microcomputers in sociology. Use of word processing, spreadsheet, database, and other software in preparing reports, charts, graphs, mass mailing, data processing, and managing information.

SOC 210AB Elementary Statistics  (3, 3)

Recommended prerequisite: Basic college mathematics course.  Basic social statistics, covering descriptive statistics, tables, charts, summary measures, regression and correlation, and statistical inference, sampling, predictive models, analysis of variance, non parametric and parametric tests, and simple multivariate analysis.  Lecture 2 hours, laboratory 2 hours.

SOC 263 Asian-American Experience  (4)

Comparative experiences of the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Pacific Islander, Southeast Asian refugee and other Asian groups in the United States.  Immigration, adaptation, discrimination, identity, alienation, stratification, and other contemporary issues.    

Upper Division Courses

SOC 201 normally is prerequisite to all upper division courses in sociology and may be waived only with instructor consent.

SOC 300 Cultural Emotions (4)  

Prerequisites: Completion of Basic Subjects (Block A) and one course from Block D.  Human emotions as organized within social relationships and institutions of family, religion, education, government, and economy; cultural norms and vocabulary; ethnic, sex, and social class diversity in feeling and expression.    

SOC 301 Writing for Sociology  (4)

Prerequisite:  ENGL 102, satisfactory completion of Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR).  Reasoning and writing skills for comprehending and communicating information in sociology.

SOC 322 Socialization: Childhood and Adolescence  (4)

Social-psychological approaches to socialization, from early childhood to adolescence.  Emphasis on basic issues of social control and change. Topics are correlated with the California standards for the Multiple Subject Credential.

SOC 323 Socialization: Maturity and Aging (4)

Prerequisites: Completion of Basic Subjects (Block A) and one course from Block D.  Social-psychological approaches to socialization, comparing stages of development during adulthood and aging; emphasis on changes in family relationships, work, retirement; issues of social control and change; ethnic and cross-cultural comparisons.     

SOC 325 Social Issues in Wellness  (4)

Prerequisite:  Completion of lower division GE Block D requirement before enrollment.  Changing social definitions of wellness; social expectations; role of society and culture in wellness-related decision making. No credit toward sociology majors and minors.

SOC 330 Social Issues in the Urban Setting (4)

Prerequisites: Completion of Basic Subjects (Block A) and one course from Block D.  Social issues in urban setting; ethnic, cultural and class diversity; cross-cultural comparisons; population and environmental concerns; and social planning.  No credit toward sociology majors.

SOC 331 The Dynamics of Poverty (4)

Service Learning Course

Extent and characteristics of poverty in the United States.  Analysis of social construction of poverty, including theoretical background and myths.  Social structural responses, change models and community action are discussed.  This course requires service learning.

Student placements arranged through instructor with community agencies are part of the course requirements. Volunteer service learning serves as part of the homework and a portion of "class-time".

SOC 341 Sociology of Gender Roles (4)

Prerequisites: Completion of Basic Subjects (Block A) and one course from Block D.  Examination of: Research on changing roles of men and women across social institutions; social movements for equality; theories of gender role differentiation; historical, cross-cultural, and racial/ethnic/class variations.  No credit toward sociology majors.

SOC 348 Class, Race/Ethnicity, and Gender (4)

Prerequisites: Completion of Basic Subjects (Block A) and one course from Block D.  Examination of the major inequalities in the modern world, social class, sex/gender, ethnicity/race; processes by which inequalities are maintained; variations in social conflict; (in) justice, (in) equality, (un) fairness, and (in) dignity. 

SOC 383 Violence in American Society  (4)

Prerequisites: Completion of Basic Subjects (Block A) and one course from Block D.  Forms of violence in American Society  (e.g., criminal, domestic, revolutionary, official, sexual) examined through a critical review of social scientific literature; assessment of causes, consequences, and possibilities for control.   

SOC 390 Methods of Social Research  (4)

Prerequisite:  SOC 210AB.  Application of scientific method to sociological data; research design, data collection, elementary analysis procedures; survey and experimental designs, measurement, scale, and index construction, and prediction models.  With instructor consent, one unit of SOC 499 may be taken concurrently.

SOC 398 Cooperative Education (1-4) 

Prerequisites: Courses appropriate to the work experience: approval by major department Cooperative Education coordinator. Integration of work experience with academic program, individually planned through coordinator. Minimum of 10 hours per week required for each unit. May be repeated to maximum of 8 units for the major; combined units of 398 and 499 may not exceed 8. Graded CR/NC.

SOC 410 Advanced Statistics  (4)

Prerequisite:  SOC 210AB.  Specialized treatment of probability and sampling, prediction and correlation, analysis of variance and covariance, experimental design and probability model construction.  Recommended for Sociology majors planning graduate study.

SOC 412 Classical Sociological Theory  (4)

Historical development of sociological theory with special reference to its European origins; e.g., Comte, Saint-Simon, Marx, Spencer, Durkheim, Simmel, and Weber.

SOC 414 Contemporary Sociological Theory  (4)

Functionalism, conflict sociology, interactionism, critical-radical sociologies, systems analysis, and phenomenological perspective.

SOC 415 Political Sociology  (4) 

Prerequisite:  POLS 150 or SOC 201.  Social factors underlying democracy and totalitarianism, social movements and revolutions, conflict and conflict resolution, voting behavior, and political socialization.

SOC 416 Feminist Theories and Contemporary Society (4)

Examination of the various feminist theories, all of which focus on some aspect of gender inequality. Implications of each theory and their applications to contemporary society are also discussed.

SOC 418 Crowd Behavior and Social Movements  (4)

Analysis of crowd types, formation, and dynamics, including mobs, riots, panics, mass hysteria, rumors, fads, and fashion.  Development, tactics, ideologies, and effects of social movements, cults, and rebellions.

SOC 420 Small Groups  (4)

Small group processes in industry, the family, schools, peer and colleague groups; reference-group behavior, relation to larger social systems, group structure and communication, development of research techniques.

SOC 421 Social Sources of Human Sexuality  (4)

Effects of social environment on emergence, justification, and maintenance of sexual attitudes and behavior; social factors influencing sexual behavior; changing sociosexual mores and behavioral patterns, and emerging sexual life styles.

SOC 422 Social Psychology  (4)

Inquiry into social-psychological dimensions of group behavior, emphasizing interactive processes involved in communication, group behavior, perception, attitude formation, motivation, socialization, and evolvement of self-concept.

SOC 423 Political Sociology of Globalization and Resistance (4)

Political and sociological analysis of globalization as a contested process; emergence of global societies and movements; social forces advancing global neo-liberalism; resistance by workers', indigenous, women's, and environmental transnational movements.

SOC 424 Mass Communications and Public Opinion  (4)

Sociological analysis of print and electronic mass media of communications; examination of their functions, sociocultural evolution, organizational/occupational bases, cultural content, audiences; consideration of individual, collective effects on public opinion.

SOC 425 Medical Sociology  (4)

Role of the hospital and socialization process on professional development of personnel in the healing professions; social epidemiology of physical and mental disorders.

SOC 426 Deviant Behavior  (4)

Basic theoretical orientations to social and personal disorganization resulting from role conflict, social conflict, normlessness, or alienation; individual and social deviance related to group processes and structures.

SOC 427 Society and Mental Illness  (4)

Lay and professional ideas about mental illness in historical and crosscultural perspective; organizational treatment of the mentally ill;  identity, stigma, and adaptations.

SOC 428 Self and Identity (4)

Service Learning Course

The development and maintenance of the sense of self or identity among children and adults, particularly emphasizing how understanding theories of the self contributes to community service. Service learning required.

SOC 430 Urban Sociology  (4)

Urban community and urbanization as contemporary social process; consideration of urban areas, institutions, values, and problems; social and demographic characteristics, urban and suburban change and planning.

SOC 432 Science, Technology, and Social Character  (4)

Effects of scientific and technological development upon social life and culture, especially family, work and leisure, modes of thinking and feeling.  Differences among social classes, ethnic groups women and men.

SOC 433 Bioethics and Sociology  (4)

Sociological analysis of ethical and legal issues concerning health, including dilemmas in health care delivery, reproduction, the beginning and end of life, institutional ethics committees, genetic testing, and new medical technologies.

SOC 434 Social Aspects of Population Trends  (4)

Population facts, changes, problems, and policies; population dynamics, especially births, deaths, and migration; national action programs; world coverage, with emphasis on the U.S.

SOC 435 Asian Societies  (4)

Comparative analysis of Asian societies; population, social thought, institutions, stratification, education, industrialization, and urbanization in Asia focusing on China, Japan, Korea, and southeast Asia.

SOC 440 Marriage and the Family  (4)

The family as a social institution; historical and crosscultural perspectives, social change as it affects marriage and family life.  Analysis of American courtship and marriage patterns, psychodynamics of family life.

SOC 441 Theory and Research on Sex Roles  (4)

Advanced sociological analysis of sex role differences; implications of differential socialization of sexes; access to educational and occupational opportunities; differences in legal status; movements for equality.

SOC 442 Social Change  (4)

Classical and contemporary theories of sources and consequences of social change; revolutions and alternative routes to modern world; issues in historical sociology; change and social contexts of creative achievements in arts and sciences.

SOC 443 Diversity in Alternative Families (4)

Cross-cultural examination of family diversity: Inter-racial/ethnic relationships; minority and love-income single-parent households; same-sex and step-families; international/ethnic adoption; socio-legal implications of reproductive technologies.

SOC 444 Sociology of Popular Culture (4)

Art, film, literature, music and television are examined in terms of social roles, social processes, context and the construction of meaning. Popular culture is studied as reflecting, reinforcing or challenging norms.

SOC 445 Sociology of Religion  (4)

Social bases of religion, religious institutions, and their modern organizational life; comparative analysis and theories of religious behavior;  religious institutions, their representatives, religious conflict, and public law.

SOC 446 Sociology of Business Organizations (4)

The sociological understanding of control in different technical, structural and commercial settings. Corporate culture, work subcultures, role constructions, and network processes are emphasized. Case studies are used.

SOC 447 Work and the Workplace  (4)

Analysis of the social world of work: occupational trends and mobility, education and skills, meaningful work, alienation and stress, inequality and discrimination, globalization; study of selected occupations, professions and workplaces.

SOC 448 Social Class and Inequality  (4)

Examination of sociological theory and research bearing on social stratification;  social differentiation:  class position, class interests, correlates of social class;  trends in occupational mobility, comparison of stratification systems.

SOC 449 Professionals in Society (4)

Lawyers, doctors, and other professionals and their relationships with clients, managers, and unions; professional ethics, white-collar crime, and whistle blowing; stratification by class, race, and gender; technology and professional control.

SOC 450 Sociology of Aging  (4)

Aging as a social process; emphasis on sociological theories of aging and social problems of the aged;  nature of aging process, work, retirement, family relationships, housing, income maintenance; societal response to aged.

SOC 452 Life Span Transitions: The Retirement Years  (4)

Critical evaluation of issues involved in planning for retirement; changing place of work and retirement in value system;  anticipatory behavior, patterns and modes of adjustment, maladjustment;  proposals and issues.

SOC 453 Social Aspects of Death and Bereavement  (4)

Concepts and theories of dying; meaning of death and its implications for dying persons, survivors, and professionals who attend them.

SOC 454 Selected Topics in Sociology  (1–6)

Current topics of special interest in sociology, as announced in Schedule of Classes.  May be repeated for credit.

SOC 460 Race and Ethnic Relations  (4)

Structure and change of minorities in society; theories and research: historical, contemporary, and comparative;  processes of adjustment:  patterns of immigration, prejudice, discrimination, assimilation, pluralism, conflict, and social movements.

SOC 480 Criminology  (4)

Criminal law, crime, and deviance.  Social and psychological factors in criminal behavior, criminal law, and criminal justice; prevention and control; trends in theory and correctional procedures.

SOC 481 Policing America (4)

Social role of American police. Historical, political and social contexts of policing. Selected issues; the controversial police mandate, use-of-force/accountability, community policing, the future of policing in America.

SOC 482 Juvenile Delinquency  (4)

Extent and distribution of delinquency, with emphasis on the local area; meaning, implications, and treatment of delinquent behavior; personal and environmental conditioning factors; delinquency and the rights of children.

SOC 484 Corrections  (4)

Survey of procedures used in processing the offender, from arrest, through trial, to prison and probation; contemporary theories of criminality and rehabilitation applied to the social evaluation of these procedures.

SOC 485 Conflict and Domestic Violence  (4)

Sociological aspects of domestic violence in families (e.g., child, spouse, and elder abuse) examined in relation to ethnic, social, cultural, historical, economic, and political factors that affect individual behavior.

SOC 486 Probation and Parole  (4) 

Prerequisite:  SOC 480 or 482.  History, philosophy, legal bases, and procedures governing investigation, treatment, and supervision of adjudged juvenile offenders and adult violators placed on probation and parole.

SOC 487 Environmental Policy, Law, and Society (4)

Sociological aspects of environmental policy and law; relationship between societies and environmental problems regarding air and water quality, endangered species, toxic chemicals, energy, and natural resources; policy tools and analysis.

SOC 488 Sociology of Law (4)

Sociological perspectives on the relationship between law, culture, politics, the economy, and community; creation of law and its impact on class, race, and gender relationships; impact of globalization on law.

SOC 489 Sociological Considerations for Jury Consultants  (4)

Social determinants of juror decision-making; social influences on jurors' responses to communications during trial; optimum presentation of witnesses and evidence; using juror questionnaires, focus groups and mock juries.

SOC 490 Quantitative Research Methods in Sociology  (4)

Prerequisites:  SOC 390, 410.  Advanced research techniques in sociology, including design of experiments, sample surveys and panel studies, scaling, multivariate and computer data analysis procedures.  Individual projects; laboratory.  With instructor consent, one unit of SOC 499 may be taken concurrently.

SOC 491 Qualitative Research Methods in Sociology  (4)

Prerequisite:  SOC 390.  Qualitative research techniques in sociological research:  research in field settings;  problems of participant observation and interviewing;  document analysis;  typology construction;  qualitative data interpretation and presentation.

SOC 496 Law and Society Honors Thesis (4)

Prerequisites: senior standing and admission to Law and Society Option Honors Program. Independent sociological research in law and society; regular consultations with faculty research adviser and written thesis required. Graded CR/NC. May be repeated once for credit.

SOC 497 Proseminar: Introduction to Graduate Studies, the Discipline, and the Profession  (4)

Prerequisite: Admission to MA program or consent of instructor; strongly recommended before enrollment in graduate seminars. Survey of institutional history of sociology; current state of the field; careers, professional associations; competing conceptions of sociology.

SOC 498 Cooperative Education  (1-4)

Prerequisites: Completion of senior level courses appropriate to experience; approval by major department Cooperative Education coordinator. Participation in work experience integrated with academic program; assignments arranged individually in advance through coordinator. Minimum of 10 hours per week required for each unit. Students in departments with graduate Cooperative Education programs may apply maximum of 4 units toward graduate degree program. Graded CR/NC

SOC 499 Undergraduate Directed Study  (1–4)

Prerequisites:  Senior standing, 2.75 overall grade point average, consent of a faculty sponsor, approval of proposed project prior to registration, and ability to assume responsibility for independent research and analysis.  Regular discussion of progress with sponsor before presentation of final written report.  May be repeated for credit.

Graduate Level Courses

SOC 512 Seminar: History of Sociological Theory  (4)

Historical dimensions, European and American, of development of systematic sociological theory and method; continuity and critique of major contributions to theories of society and the social processes. 

SOC 514 Seminar: Contemporary Sociological Theory  (4)

Exploration and critique of problems, methods, and theories characteristic of contemporary sociological inquiry; their relationship and contribution to advancement of sociological theory and application to selected social problems. 

SOC 521 Seminar: Sociology of Knowledge  (4)

Relationships of scientific, artistic, legal, and intellectual activities to social structure, institutions, and historical change. 

SOC 522 Seminar: Social Psychology  (4)

Analysis and critique of current approaches and investigations of the social processes that bind individuals and groups.

SOC 526 Seminar: Sociology of Deviant Behavior  (4)

Prerequisites:  SOC 426, instructor consent.  Analysis of major theoretical approaches and empirical studies in deviance; selected topics and current issues in study of social deviance. 

SOC 530 Seminar: Urban Social Systems  (4) 

Prerequisite:  Instructor consent.  Growth and nature of urban social systems in selected cities and metropolitan areas, theories of urban structure and problems, improving quality of urban life, comparisons of cities in various countries. 

SOC 534 Seminar: Population  (4)

Prerequisite:  SOC 434.Problems of population growth;  social and psychological factors in population dynamics; population planning and policy. 

SOC 540 Seminar: Marriage and the Family  (4)

Advanced study of sociopsychodynamics of marriage and the family; emphasis on recent research on family change, parent-child relationships, and family instability; successful family life.

SOC 541 Seminar: Gender and Labor (4)

Advanced study of the sources and consequences of gender differentiation and inequality. Particular attention paid to occupations, earnings, household work, interactions between gender and race, and feminist perspectives.

SOC 544 Seminar: Social Organization and Institutions  (4)

Advanced consideration of selected macrosocial structures and their related processes and functions: total societies, institutional subsystems, complex organizations, ethnic subsocieties, professions; emphasis varies. 

SOC 560 Seminar: Racial and Ethnic Minorities  (4)

Prerequisite:  SOC 460 Recommended.  Examination in depth of critical problems and trends affecting American minority groups; emphasis on analysis of change in strategies, tactics, ideologies, theories, and consequences of minority group relations. 

SOC 580 Seminar: Criminology  (4)

Prerequisite:  SOC 480.  Advanced study of criminal behavior, social deviance, and social structure; comparative studies of contemporary criminality, criminal justice, and criminal codes; legal, medical, and psychiatric interpretation of criminal behavior. 

SOC 584 Seminar: Corrections  (4)

Advanced study of sociological aspects of treatment of offender from arrest to release process; discussion of cross-cultural practices and current theories. 

SOC 590 Seminar: Sociological Research  (4)

Prerequisite:  SOC 490 or 491; recommended corequisite:  SOC 597.  Advanced study in behavioral research methodology; qualitative methods; survey design; experimental design, analysis; problems of interpretation, scaling techniques, models, simulation, computer data analysis, supervised application of methods. 

SOC 591 Sociology Methods Application  (1)

Prerequisites: SOC 590, 410 and SOC 490 or 491, with grades of B or better. Focused faculty and peer input on methodological issues related either to preparation for the thesis or comprehensive examination. May be repeated to a maximum of 2 units. Graded CR/NC

SOC 592 Content Analysis  (1)

Prerequisite: SOC 490 or 491 with grades of B or better. Focused instruction from design through analysis. Students complete individually designed projects based on any appropriate content-analysis medium (historical or contemporary documents, speeches/narratives, arts, media, cyberspace, etc.). ABC/NC.

SOC 593 Teaching Sociology at the College Level   (3)

Prerequisite: Advancement to Candidacy. May be taken alone or concurrently with SOC 594. Higher educational pedagogy training in sociology instruction. Includes: standard lecture, multi-modal teaching and learning styles; syllabus design; preparing lessons, class materials, and exams; grading practices; course and student outcomes assessment. ABC/NC.

SOC 594 Teaching Sociology Internship  (3)

Prerequisite: Advancement to Candidacy. May be taken alone or concurrently with SOC 593. Instructor provides pedagogical training and discussion while students intern with a mentor professor in the classroom based internship. Mentor professors determine internship role (running discussion groups, guest lecturing). Prerequisite: Advancement to candidacy with a Graduate Program GPA of 3.1 or above. Non-traditional grading system CR/NC.

SOC 595 Critical Issues and Problems in Sociology  (4)

Prerequisite:  Instructor consent.  Critical areas of social inquiry and special problems of sociology as a social science and as a profession.  Content varies;  see Schedule of Classes for specific topic.  May be repeated once for credit.

SOC 596 Comprehensive Examination  (0)

The comprehensive examination is a written examination in three fields of concentration: theory, methods, and one other field selected by the candidate and approved by the adviser.  Students should expect to take the comprehensive examination the quarter they complete all course work on their program and must comply with college and department requirements.  Students are allowed a maximum of two attempts to complete the comprehensive examination successfully.

SOC 597 Graduate Research  (1–3)

Prerequisite:  Consent of faculty sponsor.  Proposed study must be approved prior to registration.  Directed empirical research on a problem in sociology from conception through design; data gathering, analysis, and final written report.  May be repeated for credit.  Graded CR/NC

SOC 598 Graduate Directed Study  (1–4)

Prerequisite:  Consent of faculty sponsor.  Proposed study must be approved prior to registration.  Directed reading and critical analysis of a problem in sociology; written reports and conferences.  May be repeated for credit. 

SOC 599 Thesis  (1–3)

Prerequisites:  Advancement to candidacy, instructor consent to act as sponsor department approval of topic prior to registration.  Independent research resulting in a thesis. Must be repeated to maximum of 6 units.  Oral defense of the thesis is required.  Graded CR/NC.




Cal State LA| |College of Natural & Social Sciences||Office Information||Undergraduate Program||Graduate Program||Minors| |MA Theses| |Faculty| |Staff| |Sociology Club||Internship| |Scholarship| |Career Options| |Newsletter| |Publications| |American Sociological Association||Alpha Kappa Detal||Alumni| |What's New|
Sociology homepage linkSchool of Natural and Social Sciences linkCal State L.A. link