George Mason University 1997-98 Catalog Catalog Index
Course Descriptions

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Sociology Courses (SOCI)


Sociology and Anthropology

101 Introductory Sociology (3:3:0). Introduction to basic sociological concepts. Aspects of human behavior; individual and group interaction; social mobility and stratification; status and class; race relations; urbanism; crime and criminology; social change and reform.

152 Modern Social Problems (3:3:0). Prerequisite: SOCI 101 or permission of instructor. Sociological analysis of the problems of modern society, including those related to stratification, urbanism, family and kinship, cultural change, and deviant behavior.

300 Social Control (3:3:0). Prerequisite: SOCI 101 or permission of instructor. How various social institutions function to organize and regulate society. Topics include family, education, ideology, law, media, work, governmental planning, and stratification. Course serves as a foundation of many specialized courses offered by the department, especially those that focus on control of crime and delinquency.

301 Criminology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: SOCI 101 or permission of instructor. Causes and meaning of crime, with emphasis on adults. Patterns of criminal behavior, including property crimes, violent crimes, organized crime, white-collar crime, and victimless crime. Critical assessment of criminal justice system as a response to crime.

302 Sociology of Delinquency (3:3:0). Prerequisite: SOCI 101 or permission of instructor. Theories of juvenile delinquency and societal reactions to delinquency. Gender differences in rates and types, historical overview emphasizing origins and development of juvenile justice system. Critical assessment of juvenile justice and its alternatives.

303 Sociological Research Methodology (4:3:2). Prerequisite: SOCI 313 or permission of instructor. Introduction to empirical design in sociological research. Historical development, research design, sampling, methods of gathering data, sociometric scales, analysis and interpretation of results, and research reporting.

304 Sociology of Work (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Three hours of sociology or permission of instructor. Meaning and structure of the world of work and its relationship to other spheres of life.

305 Sociology of Small Groups (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Six hours of sociology or permission of instructor. Characteristics, structure, and processes of small group dynamics; theories and models of group analysis, techniques of observation and research in small groups; research theory and application of small group knowledge to such natural groups as mutual aid self-help groups, families, juvenile delinquent gangs, and task groups in work sites.

306 Demographic Analysis (Population Problems) (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Six hours of sociology including SOCI 101, or permission of instructor; SOCI 322 recommended. Influence of population structure distribution and change in vital rates of ecological, social, economic, and political problems of human society.

307 Sociology of Collective Behavior (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Six hours of sociology including SOCI 101, or permission of instructor. Types of collective action, theories of social movements and their roles in social change.

308 Sociology of Race Relations and Minorities (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Six hours of sociology including SOCI 101, or permission of instructor. History and changes in racial, ethnic, and minority relations in modern society, with particular emphasis on the African American experience.

309 Marriage and the Family (3:3:0). Prerequisite: SOCI 101 or permission of instructor. A study of the dynamics of living together within the context of marriage and the family in contemporary America. A social systems approach provides the analytical model for the study.

310 Sociology of Deviance (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Six hours of sociology or permission of instructor. Analysis of the macro- and microlevel deviance-producing processes, of the meaning and control of deviance, and of the major theoretical approaches to deviance.

311 Classical Sociological Theory (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Nine hours of sociology including SOCI 101, or permission of instructor. Sociological tradition is explored through readings and discussions of ideas drawn from the writings of selected sociological thinkers such as Comte, Marx, Weber, Durkheim, and others.

313 Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (4:3:2). Prerequisite: SOCI 101 or permission of instructor. Introduction to fundamentals of applied statistics as used in behavioral science to include descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, correlation-regression, analysis of variance, factor analysis, nonparametric statistics, and practical experience with calculators in applying statistical analysis to actual problems of the behavioral sciences.

315 Sociology of Sex Roles (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 60 hours or permission of instructor. Changing conceptions of sex roles, both female and male, in contemporary society. Using historical and comparative data, considers the differential socialization of males and females in relation to the changing social structure in which it takes place.

325 Sociology of War and Conflict (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Six hours of sociology or permission of instructor. Study and analysis of war as a sociopolitical phenomenon in our society and in other societies. Total war and other conflict alternatives¬such as limited war, nonnuclear war, subversion and sabotage, terrorism, guerilla war¬are primary units of analysis.

326 Military Sociology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 60 hours or permission of instructor. The military from a sociological perspective. Topics include the role of the military in society, revolutions, civil-military relations, the military as a profession, and military culture.

332 Sociology of Urban Communities (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Six hours of sociology including SOCI 101, or permission of instructor. The urban community: historical development, demography, and ecology of metropolitan areas; urbanism as a way of life; the emergence of suburbia; the future of cities.

340 Power in Society: Introduction to Political Sociology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Six hours of any social science including SOCI 101, or permission of instructor. Analysis of how political power is related to other aspects of social life, in terms of such sociological approaches as class conflict, social consensus, elite analysis, and protest and revolution.

350 The Sociology of the Life Cycle (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Three hours of sociology or permission of instructor. Consideration of social influences on the timing of the life course. Topics include cultural variations in defining age roles, historical social development of generational subcultures, youth and age as new minorities, community structure and the aging process, the mass media and the American cult of youth, and explorations of alternative patterns of generational interaction.

373 The Community (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Six hours of sociology including SOCI 101, or permission of instructor. Examination of small- to moderately-sized communities ranging through the village, rural community, small town, and city subcommunity. The latter category includes city localities, ethnic villages, and suburban communities.

382 Education in Contemporary Society (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Six hours of sociology including SOCI 101, or permission of instructor. Study of education as a social institution, and its function as a socialization agency for social stability and social change. Emphasizes influences of social class elements on educational process and social organization of the U.S. public school system.

383 Human Services in Society (3:3:0). Prerequisite: SOCI 101 or permission of instructor. Analysis of human services emphasizing government-sponsored, nonprofit organizations, and informal voluntary services, their interrelationships with health care and welfare systems. Comparative analysis of services in other societies. Observation in service agencies..

385 Sociology of Religion (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Three hours of sociology or permission of instructor. The personal and institutional dimensions of religious life in relation to major sociological concepts such as role, status, norms, and social aggregates. The student selects an aspect of religion for in-depth study.

390 Sociology of Health, Illness, and Disability (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Six hours of sociology including SOCI 101, or permission of instructor. Examination of social context of health, illness, and disability and the relationships of health care professionals and patients, and the structure and delivery of health care in different medical systems.

399 Independent Study (1-3:0:0). Prerequisites: Six hours of sociology including SOCI 101 and approval of a written proposal. Individual study of a sociological topic of interest to the student. Open to sociology majors only.

401 Social Stratification: The Study of Inequality (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 12 hours of sociology including SOCI 101, or permission of instructor. Structure of social inequality from a stratification framework. Social class systems are analyzed through economic, political, and prestige structures. Includes the study of social mobility and differential life stages and opportunities.

402 Sociology of Punishment and Corrections (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Six hours of sociology including SOCI 101, or permission of instructor. Theories explaining forms of punishment systems, punishment and corrections as a product of historical, cultural, and political changes, differences by race and gender in punishment and corrections. Problems of social control and violence in prisons, alternative rehabilitation, and community prevention strategies.

405 Analysis of Social Data (4:3:3). Prerequisite: 60 hours, SOCI 221, or permission of instructor. Overview of the management and analysis of empirical social science data, including file construction, scaling and measurement, data transformation, and treatment of missing data. Manipulation, management, and analysis of data sets using computers are emphasized.

410 Social Surveys and Attitude and Opinion Measurements (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 12 hours of sociology including SOCI 221 and 303, or permission of instructor. Survey of research methods and techniques used in collecting and analyzing social data and techniques and methods of measuring social attitudes and opinions.

412 Contemporary Sociological Theory (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 12 hours of sociology including SOCI 101 and 311, or permission of instructor. Contemporary sociological theorists such as Parsons, Merton, Mills, Berger, and Gouldner are analyzed in terms of their relationship to major schools of contemporary sociological theory.

413 Seminar in Social Issues (3:3:0). Prerequisites: 90 hours and 12 hours of sociology. Opportunity to apply to contemporary relevant issues the theoretical perspectives and methodological skills previously learned.

414 Sociology of Language (3:3:0). Prerequisites: 60 hours and 3 hours of sociology, or permission of instructor. Interaction of language and social structure. Focus on language as revealing culturally specific rules of interpretation; on the sex, class, race, and setting of specific uniformities in producing talk; and on language as it constrains the individual.

416/516 Internship in Sociology (1-6:1-6:0). Prerequisites: 21 hours of sociology including research methods, or permission of instructor. The internship is intended to provide learning experience in the application of sociological knowledge and skills in different work settings. Student will work in an approved setting as applied sociologist. A minimum of 40 hour of work for each credit hour is required.

420 Regional and Societal Development (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 60 hours or permission of instructor. Social dimensions of economic growth and development with particular emphasis on Third World countries. Examines alternative definitions of development; problems related to the implementation of change strategies; and the contexts of national, regional, and institutional change.

421 Fieldwork in Social Change (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Six hours of sociology or permission of instructor. In-depth investigation of planned social change through fieldwork internship with a change organization of student's choice. Groups may be involved in influencing peace, environment, civil rights, consumer protection, poverty, or other public issues. Topics include ideologies, targets, organizational structures, opposition, and strategies of change.

441 The Sociology of Aging (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Six hours of sociology or permission of instructor. Aging from a sociological perspective. Topics covered include demographic trends and the aging population in America, the social construction of life stages and the creation of "old age," cultural labeling and human resistance.

450/550 The Holocaust: The Construction of Social History through Survivor Testimonies (3:3:0). Prerequisite for 450: 60 hours or permission of instructor. Prerequisite for 550: Undergraduate senior status in Sociology or graduate status. This course examines the Holocaust¬the destruction of European Jewry¬through testimonies of survivors and the narratives of historians. Topics include the historical and cultural circumstances that encouraged German antisemitism; the rise of Nazism, the ghettoization of the Jews in Poland, Jewish life in the ghettos, European Jews under Nazi occupation, Jewish resistance, Christian rescuers, the invasion of Russia and mobile killing units; life in hiding and passing, forced labor camps and concentration camps, the U.S.'s and the world's responses, and reflections on the Holocaust today. Eyewitness testimony, memory, narrative, and literature are also considered.

471 Prevention and Deterrence of Crime (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 60 hours, inservice status, or permission of instructor. Theoretical and practical strategies for crime prevention and deterrence. Social, environmental, and mechanical developments. Police, courts, and correctional elements of law enforcement in terms of current effectiveness and future potential for crime prevention.

475/575 Women and the Law (3:3:0). Prerequisite for 475: 60 hours or permission of instructor. Prerequisite for 575: Undergraduate senior status in Sociology or graduate standing.This course analyzes the changing position of women in law from both a legal and a sociological perspective. It focuses on how the law defines and regulates women's rights in a variety of areas such as employment, marriage and divorce, reproduction and control of one's body, and violence against women. It explores the social and economic consequences of various legal doctrines and compares laws and policies in the United States with those in other countries.

480/481 Honors Seminar in Sociology (6:6:0). Prerequisite: Senior standing, 3.5 departmental GPA, and permission of instructor. Capstone seminar for seniors of high academic rank in sociology. Topic varies. Meets regularly fall semester; supervised individual research in spring semester. Students required to register for both SOCI 480 in the fall and 481 in the spring. For consideration, qualified students should submit a letter of interest to the department.

492 Formal Organizations (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission of instructor. Analysis of types of large, complex organizations in society; a study of bureaucracy and of the informal group formation that is often a part of the larger structure. Effectiveness of the formal organization and its administration.

495 Sociocultural Change (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 60 hours or permission of instructor. Sources, processes, and consequences of social and cultural alteration. Anthropological and sociological models for case analysis of social movements, culture contact and borrowing, innovation-adoption, and planned change.

499 Independent Research in Sociology (1-4:0:0). Prerequisite: 18 hours of sociology including SOCI 221, 303, 311, and 412; a 3.0 GPA in sociology; and a research proposal approved by instructor and department chair before enrollment. Investigation of a sociological problem according to individual interest with stress on research.

503 Family Law (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Undergraduate senior status in sociology, graduate standing, or permission of instructor. An examination of the salient aspects of the law as it affects the family in our dynamic society. Topics include the nature and formalities of the marital relationship; intrafamily torts and crimes; termination of the marital relationship; child custody and support; adoption; separation agreements; and the economic and sociological aspects of marriage, separation, and divorce.

505 Sociology of Sex and Gender (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Undergraduate senior status in sociology, graduate standing, or permission of instructor. An advanced study of sex roles in contemporary society. Using historical and comparative data, course examines perceived, prescribed, and actual sex differentiation in social, political, and economic roles.

515 Applying Sociology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Undergraduate senior status in sociology or graduate standing. An overview of the ways sociologists have applied their theoretical and methodological skills and understanding in sociological practice in nonacademic settings.

523 Racial and Ethnic Relations: American and Selected Global Perspectives (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Undergraduate senior status in sociology, graduate standing, or permission of instructor. Demographic purview of racial and ethnic groups in the United States; racial and ethnic groups as human-social-minority groups. . Factors making for minority status including personality factors, group cultural factors; reactions of racial and ethnic minorities to minority status; programs, methods, social movements, and philosophies seeking to change minority group status.

525 Current Research in Sex and Gender (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Undergraduate senior status in sociology, graduate standing, or permission of instructor. Advanced study of the current social science research and research methodology used in the study of sex and gender.

541 Survey Research (3:3:0). Prerequisite: PSYC 300 or SOCI 221, or equivalent. Introduction to the theory, method, and practice of survey research design and analysis. Students complete a survey research project.

599 Issues in Sociology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Undergraduate senior status in sociology or graduate status. Contemporary topics in sociology including issues in sociological theory, crime and delinquency, advanced research methods, social and cultural change, urban sociology, medical sociology, sociology of aging, and rural sociology. Course may be taken only once for credit.

602 Sociology of Formal Organizations (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Classical and contemporary theories governing formal organization, and issues such as nature of authority, implementation of change, and relationship between formal organization and society.

604 Sociology of Occupations and Professions (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Theories of occupations and professions. Issues include educational patterns and social mobility, occupational status and prestige, importance of the work setting, work satisfaction and alienation, and impact of the professions on society.

607 Criminology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Crime and crime causation. Topics include social basis of law, administration of justice, and control and prevention of crime.

608 Juvenile Delinquency (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Sociology of adolescent behavior. Sociological factors that determine which behaviors and social categories of adolescents are likely to be labeled and treated as delinquent.

609 Sociology of Punishment and Corrections (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Understanding the development of the modern penal system as interpreted by various perspectives, including Durkheim, Marx, Weber, Foucault, Elias, and Garland. Exploration of recent trends and problems, including social control and violence in prisons, race and gender disparities in punishment, and alternative rehabilitation and prevention strategies.

610 Qualitative Research Methods (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Examination of basic research methods involving observational techniques and procedures used in description and analysis of the patterns, configurations, ethos, eidos, structures, functions, and styles typical of whole societies and cultures; with an emphasis on case studies, unobtrusive methods, participant observation, long-term residence, choices of observer status¬role, recording data, uses of technical equipment, key informants, interviewing techniques, and ethical considerations in employing such methods and procedures.

611 Classical Sociological Theory (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. In-depth examination of major issues in classical (pre-1930) sociological theory. Durkheim, Marx, Weber, Mead, and others are analyzed and the social and intellectual context of their theories is emphasized.

612 Contemporary Sociological Theory (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Schools in contemporary sociological theory such as structural-functionalism, conflict, exchange, symbolic interactionism, ethnomethodology, humanist sociology, and critical theory are examined. Contemporary theorists are analyzed in relation to the schools.

614 Sociology of Culture (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Analysis of 20th-century debates in American culture, and cultural politics, with emphasis on art and popular culture, the news media, and competing notions of "the public." In-depth readings in cultural sociology cover a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches.

615 Social and Cultural Change (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing in sociology or permission of instructor. Social and cultural change in a transsocietal and transcultural (or comparative) perspective, with particular attention to theories, research methods, and conclusions concerning development and modernization in post-colonial and "Third World" societies and cultures.

616 Society, Culture, and Personal Character (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing in sociology or permission of instructor. Transcultural (comparative) examination of the interrelations between social and cultural actors and individual personal character; focus on life history of individuals in particular social and cultural settings. Readings and discussions center upon theoretical concerns, methodological approaches, and current research in study of social/cultural factors in personal character.

619 Conflict and Conflict Management: Perspectives from Sociology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing in sociology or conflict analysis and resolution, or permission of instructor. The course deals with the sociology of conflict. Such major sociological theories of conflict as those of Marx, Weber, Simmel, Dahrendorf, Coser, and Collins are presented. The role that sociological conflict theory plays in undergirding conflict management practices is stressed.

620 Design of Social Research (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing and undergraduate statistics and research methodology, or permission of instructor. Introduction to advanced strategies of social research used in the area of social policy analysis, including sample design, theory and techniques of measurement, questionnaire design, and data collection. Includes an introduction to various types of social research: survey, participant observation, case study, and evaluation research.

621/GEOG 621 Human Ecology and the City (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Introduction to urban ecology. Origin and development of various types of cities, shape and structure of urban areas, inner and outer city, and spatial patterning of urban institutions.

622 Metropolitan and Regional Development (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Process of social development in the context of metropolitan and regional social change. Social development is considered in the light of economic, political, demographic, and human resource dimensions.

623 The Suburban Community (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Systematic sociological study of the suburb: (a) its evolution and development (demographic and geographic); (b) its varied types; (c) its relation to the inner city; (d) as part of the metropolitan area and megalopolis; (e) its structure as a community including its formal and informal social groupings, organization and voluntary associations, family and social institutions, social stratification, and social mobility; and (f) social change.

630 Analytic Techniques of Social Research (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing and undergraduate statistics and research methodology, or permission of instructor. Advanced strategies of social research used in the area of social policy analysis, focusing on analytic techniques such as analysis of variance and covariance, multiple regression and correlation, path analysis, and elaborative contingency table analysis.

632 Evaluation Research for Social Programs (3:3:0). Prerequisite: SOCI 620, SOCI 630, or permission of instructor. Study of methodological issues related to the evaluation of social programs. Conceptual and research design issues are explored in relation to social programs, particularly the delivery of social services. Includes the examination of methods used to assess the need for the programs, impact of delivery systems, and the efficiency and effectiveness of social programs.

633 Special Topics in Sociology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor.

640 Social Theory and Social Policy (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Major theories of social organization and social change as a means of understanding social policy development. Concentration is on social policies in American society.

650 Health Systems Delivery (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Analysis of the social factors associated with the delivery of health care. Several theoretical perspectives are used to highlight relevant elements. Planning for health from individual to federal processes is studied. The processes and problems of measuring the quality of health care are investigated.

651 (551) Medical Sociology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Social context of disease and medical care, the position of the professions in the medical care structure, the delivery of medical care, and the physician-patient relationship under different systems of practice.

680 Clinical Sociology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Introduction to theoretical principles, methods, and procedures necessary to practice clinical sociology as an independent consultant or within private or public organizations. Such specialized applications as family counseling, organizational change, medical sociology, and educational sociology are covered.

686 Sociology of Aging (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Analysis of sociological issues in aging. Issues include class and cultural factors, problems of work, retirement, attachment and loss, and ageism. Different theories of aging are examined.

696-697 Independent Study (3:0:0), (3:0:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Theoretical and research literature chosen by student and instructor.

799 Thesis (1-6:0:0). 800 Studies for the Doctor of Philosophy in Education (variable credit). Prerequisite: Admission to the Ph.D. in Education program to study in sociology. Program of studies designed by student's discipline director and approved by student's doctoral committee, which brings the student to participate in the current research of the discipline director and results in a paper reporting the original contributions of the student. Enrollment may be repeated.


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