Sociology

http://www.whitworth.edu/sociology

SociologyThe Whitworth Sociology Department’s mission is to prepare students with the skills to describe, explain, interpret and make a difference in social life. The department equips students to promote well-being in the arenas of social life around them and encourages students to explore the relationships between sociology and faith. To these ends, students are expected to master the substantive content of sociology and its methods of research and data analysis, to develop an ideal vision of social life as informed by sociology and their deepest convictions, and to be prepared to advance that vision through a career and social engagement. The faculty is committed to providing excellence in teaching, scholarship and mentoring, and to modeling community engagement through research, writing, consultation and service. In addition, the faculty help foster a stimulating and supportive learning community and offer perspectives on social life and social issues from a variety of value frameworks and Christian traditions.

The learning outcomes of this major prepare students to do the following:

  • Demonstrate proficiency of the conceptual core of sociology in one of the four specialized tracks within the major.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the breadth of human social experience and inequalities.
  • Demonstrate an ability to conduct and assess social research using digital data analysis.
  • Demonstrate an ability to access and use reliable sources of sociological data and analysis.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in written communication.
  • Work to clarify their worldview, values, and deepest convictions, relating them in meaningful ways to sociology, to social issues, and to the way they conduct their lives.
  • Identify and apply sociological concepts toward a career.
  • Demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of humans as social and cultural beings and the implications of that for responsible participation in social life.

Courses

SO 120 Introduction to Sociology3
Examination of the concepts, methods and findings sociologists use to understand social life in the U.S. and other cultures. Analysis of social groups and processes, from families and cities to crime, social change, and inequalities of gender, race and class. Exploration of social problems and how to make a difference. Fall and spring semesters.
SO 196 Topics in Sociology1-3
Selected lower-division topics in sociology. Periodic offering.
SO 200 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology3
This course has two basic objectives: to develop a framework for understanding other cultures and to learn skills to communicate that understanding. Through a systematic investigation of the nature of culture and a comparative study of cultures and peoples known to humankind at the present time, it is expected that we can better understand ourselves and the social world around us. Offered Jan Term in Hawaii.
SO 205 Social Stratification: Power, Prestige And Wealth3
Examination of structural and cultural processes that govern social stratification, life chances, and social exclusions. Application of concepts to social problems related to stratification, demonstrating an ability to propose effective ways to treat harmed persons and develop preventive structural changes. Prerequisite: SO 120.
SO 220 Race and Ethnicity3
Examines racial and ethnic relations around the world, with emphasis on the United States. Students explore race as a social construct and its intersections with class, gender and immigrant status. Emphasis is put on racism within social institutions along with analysis of beliefs and privilege at the individual level. Prerequisite: SO 120.
SO 222 U.S. Civil Rights Movements3
This course explores social movements by focusing on a single case the US Civil Rights Movement. The course looks at the history of the civil rights movements as a vehicle to explore the dynamics of social movements. Prerequisites: SO 120. Jan Term.
SO 230 Sociology of Education3
This course explores the relationship between education and society: why some students advance further than others; what shapes the organization of schools; how race, class, and gender interact with education; and educational reform. Prerequisite: SO 120. Spring semester.
SO 238 Sociology of Middle-Eastern Society3
An overview of geography, history, demographic characteristics, social stratification, political behavior, socio-religious institutions, revolutionary change, problems of diversity, complementarity and integration in the people and cultures of the Middle East, including the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; the gulf crisis and its aftermath; the Middle East and international inequality; and prospects for peace and the future. Fall semester.
SO 252 Sociology of Gender3
This course will cover topics related to the construction, development, and impact of gender in society. Students will examine how are gender intersects with race, ethnicity, class, sexuality and other dimensions of identity. Finally, students will look at the relationship between family, education, the media, politics, economics, and religion. Students will be asked to consider the role of faith and values and how that shapes our understanding of gender in society. Prerequisites: SO 120 or WG 201.
SO 271 Introduction to Social Welfare3
Examine the theory and practice of social welfare in social and historical context. Develop an understanding of the variety of at-risk populations served by public and private agencies and look at the ways in which we attempt to provide for their welfare. Thoughtfully consider social welfare in light of Christian faith. Prerequisite: SO 120. Fall semester.
SO 272H Honors Sociology of Religion: Religious Ecology3
This course offers a hands-on, in-depth exploration of one approach within sociology of religion - religious ecology. Religious ecology does not refer to religious and theological approach to ecological issues such as the environment or global climate change. Rather this is an approach that seeks to understand religious institutions and organizations by examining them within their own ecological context: by situating them within their local social, cultural, demographic and organizational contexts.
SO 275 Population Analysis3
An analytical approach to population movements and the effects that population movements have on social environments. Students will interface with computer-based Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to learn specific skills and techniques used by professional demographers. Students will apply these skills to promote social well-being in various local and global contexts, reflecting upon their moral responsibilities as members of a populated world. Prerequisite: SO 120.
SO 283 Deviance, Crime and Criminal Justice3
Analysis of the theoretical core of criminology, including concepts related to deviance, crime, and criminal justice. Students will assess the nature of social problems related to the criminal justice system, show an ability to propose effective ways to treat harmed persons, and develop preventive structural changes. Students will also clarify faith commitments, values, and deepest convictions as they relate to social issues regarding deviance and crime. Prerequisite: SO 120.
SO 296 Topics in Sociology1-3
Selected topics in sociology. Periodic offering.
SO 303 Globalization and Social Change And Wealth3
Globalization and Social Change is an introduction to global studies from sociological and interdisciplinary perspectives. The course will examine economic, political, cultural, and social ties between nations, drawing on theories and concepts from several disciplines that include international studies, political science, economics and the humanities in addition to sociology. Topics to be covered include global social movements, global inequality, the media, and the spread of western cultures and ideologies.
SO 307 Latin American Politics3
Explore the wide range of problems facing Latin American societies based on their past under-development. Takes a thematic approach, focusing on subjects as diverse as the military, peasants, Indians, U.S. foreign policy, multinational corporations, urbanization and education. Build an understanding of Latin America using the resources of sociology. Prerequisite: SO 120.
SO 311 Families and Society3
Family, kinship and marriage in societal context. Human families in their many forms are examined cross-culturally and historically; primary emphasis is upon the changing shape and character or American families today. Impact of class, race and values on family life is explored. Special focus is on parent-child relations and the problems of children in American families. Prerequisite: SO 120. Fall semester.
SO 311W Families and Society3
Family, kinship and marriage in societal context. Human families in their many forms are examined cross-culturally and historically; primary emphasis is upon the changing shape and character or American families today. Impact of class, race and values on family life is explored. Special focus is on parent-child relations and the problems of children in American families. Continuing Studies only.
SO 315 Funding and Grant Writing3
Identification of potential funding sources and preparation of application documents is covered. Analysis of successful grants and assistance from local resources will be reviewed. Individuals who work for entities who depend on grants and outside funding should take this course. For continuing studies evening students only.
SO 320W The Sociological Tradition: Theories in Context3
An examination of the emergence of sociology and sociological thought focusing on the men and women who developed sociology and how their questions and perspectives were shaped by philosophical and social contexts. The course will assess the sociological tradition, explore how it helps us understand contemporary society, and relate it to faith perspectives. Prerequisite: SO 120. Fall semester.
SO 325 Sociology of Death and Dying3
Looks at death due to both disease process and trauma. Elements of study will include various care giving options; emotional aspects associated with lengthy dying process v. traumatic death; as well as loss and grief; cultural influences regarding care/treatment; religious/spiritual influences; legal and business issues.
SO 326 Sociology of Marriage3
Examination of marriage and intimate relationships in the U.S. today. Sociological research and value perspectives are used to understand such issues as mate selection, cohabitation, careers and marriage, power, communication and conflict, diverse marriage styles, divorce and remarriage. Major emphasis given to the nature and dynamics of sexuality and gender in intimate relationships. Faith perspectives on marriage, sex, and gender are explored. Prerequisite: SO 120.
SO 337 Social Research3
Designing, conducting and interpreting research in an essential skill required of many modern occupations. In this class in organized curiosity, students receive experience in social research by participating in the design and implementation of a class research project. Valuable skills in problem formulation, research design, measurement, questionnaire construction, interviewing, data collection and analysis will be gained as the student encounters these issues in our class research project. Prerequisite: SO 120 and two other sociology courses. Fall semester.
SO 338 Statistical Analysis in Sociology3
Learn how to use the computer to do statistical analysis. Become familiar with some basic statistical procedures and develop skills ranging from simple tasks of data entry, data management, data transformation, defining data files and file editing to more complex tasks of univariate, bivariate and multivariate statistical data analysis. Hands-on experience using SPSS software. Prerequisite: SO 120. Spring semester.
SO 343 Sociology of Religion3
How can one make sense of religion? A variety of theoretical and methodological "ways of looking" will be used in an attempt to understand religious behavior. Religion will be explored both as it is affected by its social context and as it affects society. Sociology has been seen as both serious threat to cherished religion and a valuable tool for ministry. Both tensions and conversations between Christianity and sociology will be examined. Prerequisite: SO 120. Periodic offering.
SO 365 Cities and Urban Life3
Develop skills for understanding today's urban world. Explore the development of the city, patterns of urban settlement, the influence of urban environment upon group life and individual personality, the pathology and possibilities of urban life, and social aspects of urban planning. Examine the situation of the "truly disadvantaged" and learn how to explore an urban subculture. The real city as a learning laboratory: literature, games, guests, movies, field trips, class TV studies and field projects. Prerequisite: SO 120.
SO 368 The Helping Process in Social Services3
Learn to use core concepts, values, and skills for helping people in social-service settings. Become familiar with interviewing, assessing and behaving professionally in these settings. A Christian view of the helping process will be integrated with the skills and knowledge.
SO 370 Delinquency and Juvenile Justice3
The class will review prominent theories on delinquency causation and will use these theories to understand case examples of people who exhibit delinquent behavior. A firsthand introduction to the components, agencies, programs and trends in the juvenile-justice system will move from theory to more pragmatic concerns. Prerequisite: SO 120. Spring semester.
SO 375H Planned Communities3
This course examines the way the physical environment affects social dynamics. But instead of just talking about the relationship between space and social life, students will create tangible models of communities that manipulate these relationships. In this sense, students will become community planners. Travel to various planned communities is required.
SO 377 Sects and Violence3
This course investigates the organizational dynamics of new religious movements: seeking to understand why/how they proliferate, and exploring processes of recruitment. We will also examine conflicts of these movements with churches, anti-cult organizations, and the state. Prerequisite: SO 120.
SO 386 Readings3
Students will better understand the criminal justice system and policing. Students will analyze current public policies regarding criminal justice within the American social context. Field experiences and guest speakers will prepare students for their practicum as well as expose them to career opportunities. Students will be required to reflect on their personal policing philosophy given their Christian faith or deepest convictions.
SO 396 Topics in Sociology1-3
Selected upper-division topics in sociology. Periodic offering.
SO 425 Making Change: Social Intervention Strategies3
Learn to use a 'sociological imagination' to explore the relationship between personal troubles and public issues while examining a variety of social problems. Examine steps, strategies, approaches and skills used to make change while developing an understanding of neighborhoods, communities and organizations. Experience change firsthand and apply course material by participating in a service learning project outside the classroom. Prerequisite: SO 120 and SO 337. Spring semester.
SO 430 Sports and Society3
Interrelationships of sports with other aspects of culture. Role of sports in American society. Prerequisite: SO 120. Also listed as KIN 430. Spring semester.
SO 437 Social Research Practicum2
This is hands-on research practicum in which the students will engage in an actual social research project under the guidance and supervision of a faculty member, write an article-length paper based on the project, and present their findings and results at two scholarly conferences in the Spring - the Pacific Sociological Association Conference (PSA) and the Spokane Intercollegiate Research Conference (SIRC). Prerequisite: SO-120, SO-337, and SO-338.
SO 438 Social Research Practicum II1
This is hands-on research practicum in which the students will engage in an actual social research project under the guidance and supervision of a faculty member, write an article-length paper based on the project, and present their findings and results at two scholarly conferences in the Spring, the Pacific Sociological Association Conference (PSA) and the Spokane Intercollegiate Research Conference (SIRC). Prerequisites: SO-120, SO-337, SO-338 and SO-437.
SO 466 Ethics in Public Service3
Examining the role, values and issues of management in social service and public agencies in the context of democratic governance, citizen participation, power structures and professional codes of conduct, with an emphasis on developing skill in critical and ethical reasoning and decision making.
SO 475 Sociology Practicum3
Through placement in a social agency, students apply their sociological understandings and develop new questions and insights to enrich their sociology. Interns meet in a cluster-group seminar to learn together and process their experiences. Prerequisite: SO 120. Junior or senior sociology major. Spring semester.
SO 478 Contemporary Sociology: Perspectives and Practice3
A capstone course for senior sociology majors. Contemporary sociological perspectives are examined, from neo-Marxist to postmodern sociologies. Diverse forms of sociological practice are explored with emphasis upon how sociologists connect their personal commitments with sociological practice. Students clarify how they will "live their sociology." Prerequisite: SO 320W. Spring semester.

Requirements for a Major in Sociology, B.A. (42)

All tracks require the following core courses: (15)

SO 120Introduction to Sociology3
SO 320WThe Sociological Tradition: Theories in Context3
SO 337Social Research3
SO 338Statistical Analysis in Sociology3
SO 478Contemporary Sociology: Perspectives and Practice3

Track I: Social Analysis (45)

Core Courses
SO 120Introduction to Sociology3
SO 320WThe Sociological Tradition: Theories in Context3
SO 337Social Research3
SO 338Statistical Analysis in Sociology3
SO 478Contemporary Sociology: Perspectives and Practice3
Social Inequalities6
Social Stratification: Power, Prestige And Wealth
Race and Ethnicity
Sociology of Gender
Globalization and Social Change
Social Institutions6
Sociology of Education
Deviance, Crime and Criminal Justice
Families and Society
Sociology of Religion
Sports and Society
Social Research Practicum3
Social Research Practicum
Social Research Practicum II
Electives (may include any of the above courses or any of the following courses)15
Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
U.S. Civil Rights Movements
Population Analysis
Cities and Urban Life
Planned Communities
Sects and Violence

Track II: Social Service and Community Action (45)

Core Courses15
Introduction to Sociology
The Sociological Tradition: Theories in Context
Social Research
Statistical Analysis in Sociology
Contemporary Sociology: Perspectives and Practice
Required courses15
Social Stratification: Power, Prestige And Wealth
Introduction to Social Welfare
The Helping Process in Social Services
Making Change: Social Intervention Strategies
Sociology Practicum
Electives15
Race and Ethnicity
U.S. Civil Rights Movements
Sociology of Education
Sociology of Gender
Population Analysis
Deviance, Crime and Criminal Justice
Sociology of Religion
Cities and Urban Life
Planned Communities

Track III: Criminal Justice (45)

Core Courses 15
Introduction to Sociology
The Sociological Tradition: Theories in Context
Social Research
Statistical Analysis in Sociology
Contemporary Sociology: Perspectives and Practice
Required Courses15
Race and Ethnicity
Deviance, Crime and Criminal Justice
Delinquency and Juvenile Justice
Criminal Justice in Social Context
Sociology Practicum
Electives 15
Social Stratification: Power, Prestige And Wealth
Sociology of Gender
Population Analysis
Families and Society
Cities and Urban Life
The Helping Process in Social Services
Sects and Violence
Making Change: Social Intervention Strategies
Law and Society
Forensic Psychology

Note: One writing-intensive course is required.

Track IV: Global Sociology (45)

Core Courses
SO 120Introduction to Sociology3
SO 320WThe Sociological Tradition: Theories in Context3
SO 337Social Research3
SO 338Statistical Analysis in Sociology3
SO 478Contemporary Sociology: Perspectives and Practice3
Required Courses
SO 238Sociology of Middle-Eastern Society3
SO 303Globalization and Social Change3
SO 425Making Change: Social Intervention Strategies3
SO 475Sociology Practicum3
Study Abroad: Participate in any study abroad program for a minimum of 3 credits. If more than 3 credits are taken, the remaining credits may satisfy elective credits.3
Electives15
Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Race and Ethnicity
Social Stratification: Power, Prestige And Wealth
Population Analysis
Cities and Urban Life
International Relations
International Political Economy
International Development
Study Abroad: Participate in any study abroad program

Requirements for a Sociology Minor (15)

SO 120Introduction to Sociology3
Four additional courses in sociology chosen in consultation with a sociology advisor12
Dean of Arts and Sciences

NOELLE WIERSMA

Chair

RAJA S. TANAS

Professor

RAJA S. TANAS

Assistant professors

STACY KEOGHMARK KILLIANJASON WOLLSCHLEGER