Preliminary syllabi can be found by clicking on the title of the course. An asterisk (*) Indicates the course is still in the approval process.
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Sociology 2010 – Understanding Racial Inequality in the Contemporary U.S.: The Roots of Ferguson
TT 1:00 – 2:30, Professor Jake Rosenfeld
Overview of sociological understandings of race, with a particular focus on race relations in the contemporary United States. We begin by investigating how sociologists understand racial distinctions, asking: What comprises a racial group? What constitutes a “group” in the social sense? We then shift our attention to patterns of racial inequality in the U.S., investigating the intersection of economic, political, and racial stratification. After analyzing national trends in racial stratification, we narrow the focus to particular regions and metropolitan areas, including St. Louis, to shed light on pressing public concerns such as the interrelationships between race and the criminal justice system. The course ends by looking beyond U.S. borders to compare the way that race is understood in other countries. Are there common patterns of racial classification shared by many societies? What makes the U.S. system of racial stratification distinctive? No prerequisites.
Sociology 2510 – Sociological Approaches to American Health Care
MW 2:30 to 4:00, Lecturer Linda Lindsey
Exploration through the sociological lens of how health, illness, and healthcare delivery in the United States are influenced by the social structure in which they are embedded. With the backdrop of the ongoing crisis of health care in the United States and the controversy surrounding the Affordable Care Act, we focus on the intersection of diversity factors including such as race, social class, gender, sexuality that predict risks in navigating the health care system. Professionals representing a variety of health oriented settings and serving the needs of a diverse constituency will share their perspectives. No prerequisites.
Introduction to descriptive and inferential statistical techniques used in sociological research. Topics addressed include probability distributions, data presentation and visualization, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing, and linear regression. Applications of statistical analysis drawn from sociological research and other social science data sources, such as polling and economic data. Students will use statistical software to complete assignments. Prerequisite: introductory course in sociology or consent of the instructor.
Introduction to the sociological study of gender. The primary focus is U.S. society, but we will also discuss gender in an international context. From the moment of birth, boys and girls are treated differently. Gender structures the experiences of people in all major social institutions, including the family, the workplace, and schools. We will explore how gender impacts lives and life chances. The central themes of the course are historical changes in gender beliefs and practices; socialization practices that reproduce gender identities; how race/ethnicity, class, and sexuality shape the experience of gender; and the relationship between gender, power, and social inequality. Prerequisite: introductory course in sociology or consent of the instructor.
Sociological understanding of work, and in particular, how work reduces or replicates inequality. Classic and contemporary sociological theories of work; how work in the U.S. has changed over time; and how workers are matched to “good” and “bad” jobs. Threaded through the course is the exploration of barriers to racial, gender, and class inclusion and advancement at work. We will explore how organizational structures, policies, and practices can increase or decrease those barriers. Prerequisite: introductory course in sociology or consent of the instructor.
Comparative and historical examination of conflict between social groups, including groups defined by race, ethnicity, and class. Readings combine classical and contemporary perspectives on collective conflict with in-depth analyses of historical and contemporary episodes. We discuss various ways in which conflicts can manifest, including the formation and hardening of divisive attitudes, discriminatory lawmaking and criminal justice practices, riots and collective violence, residential segregation, and sustained social movement activity. Prerequisite: introductory course in sociology or consent of the instructor.
A review of theoretical and empirical research on how and why people migrate across international borders, and the consequences of international migration for immigrants and natives in the United States. While immigration is one of the most controversial issues in the contemporary United States, these contentious debates are not new. Americans once voiced the same concerns about the economic and social impact of Southern and Eastern European immigrants that today are aimed at immigrants from Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. In this course, we will compare historical (1880-1920) and contemporary (1965-present) waves of immigration to the United States. We will explore why and how people migrate, immigrant integration, the impact of immigration on native-born Americans, and how government policies--at the national, state, and local level-shape immigrant assimilation and what it means to be considered truly "American," in a social as well as a legal sense. Prerequisite: completion of an introductory sociology course or consent of the instructor.
Exploration of the realities of economic life in the United States and how they correspond to the American Dream. Interdisciplinary perspectives from economics, sociology and other areas of social inquiry. Emphasis on the consistency between empirical data and different concepts of the American Dream. Specific topics to include sources of economic growth and changing living standards, unemployment, impact of globalization on U.S. citizens, economic mobility, poverty and inequality, and social justice. Prerequisites: Econ 1011 and Econ 1021, or consent of the instructors.
Sociology 4621 – The Political Economy of Urban Education
Wednesday 2:30 – 5:30, Professor Odis Johnson
Defining a political economy of urban education involves the examination of power and wealth and the manner in which they operate in urban settings. It requires analysis of the larger urban social and economic context and consideration of historical forces that have brought the schools to their present state. In this course, we consider various political and economic factors that have influenced and shaped urban education in the United States, drawing upon the extant literature on urban education and related social science disciplines to characterize and discuss them. A particular focus of this course will be on the dynamic interrelationships among the political economy, urban education, and social stratification.
This class will provide an overview of the sociology of education and human social development. The readings and class assignments will support the examination of how social institutions and individuals' experiences within these institutions affect educational processes and social development. The literature reviewed will span various levels of analysis, ranging from the individual to the structure of relations among social and educational institutions. In an increasingly complex society, important educational issues arise throughout the life cycle. This course will provide opportunities to examine all stages and all types of education at the individual, institutional, and organizational levels. A reoccurring theme throughout the course will be a focus on education in metropolitan regions.
Sociology 4900 – Research in Sociology
Independent work linked to the material covered by an associated 300- or 400-level class in sociology leading to completion of a research paper. Work is supervised by the faculty member teaching the associated class. Registration may be concurrent with the associated course or after the course is completed. Successful completion of this paper satisfies the capstone requirement for the sociology major. Students will normally receive one credit for this course, but students may register for up to three credits with the approval of their faculty supervisor. Open to sociology majors only; register for the section assigned to the faculty supervisor. Prerequisite: approval of faculty supervisor.
Sociology 4910 – Internship in Sociology
Students may receive up to 3 units of credit for an approved, faculty-sponsored internship that relates to the study and application of sociological material. Credit determined by the number of hours worked. Specific requirements are set by the faculty supervisor in consultation with the supervisor in the organization where the internship work is completed. Students should complete a learning agreement provided by the Career Center. Successful completion of an internship approved by the student’s major advisor satisfies the capstone requirement for the sociology major. Open to sociology majors and minors only; register for the section assigned to the faculty supervisor. Prerequisites: completion of the “Learning Agreement” provided by the Career Center and approval of faculty supervisor.
Sociology 4920 – Teaching Practicum in Sociology
Students may receive up to 3 units of credit for work assisting in course instruction, tutoring, and preparation of course materials under the supervision of a faculty member. This course does not fulfill sociology major requirements. Register for the section assigned to the faculty supervisor.