Social Science (SOSC)

SOSC 505  Race and Diversity in the United States  (4 Credits)  

This course offers an introduction to the body of research and understanding about race and diverse identities and cultures, particularly in the context of the United States. Students will identify and describe terminology relating to race and diversity and will explore and describe the concepts of race, culture, class, sex, and gender identity as social constructs. Students will be asked to think critically about assumptions related to race- and sex-based hierarchical ideas and the effects of those assumptions on equitable economic, social, and political participation in the United States. Students will explore, and explain, the meaning of intersectionality as it relates to diverse identities (e.g. race, ethnicity, sex and gender, etc.). PREREQUISITE(S):

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Identify and describe key terminology and concepts related to race and diversity.
  2. Describe the meaning of a social construct as a sociological phenomenon and apply its principles to a given example related to race, culture, class, or gender identity.
  3. Evaluate the effect of psychological and sociological race- and sex-based hierarchies on individuals or groups in terms of their equitable inclusion in economic, social, and political participation in the U.S.
  4. Explain the meaning of intersectionality as it relates to the connection between diverse forms of identity (e.g., race, ethnicity, sex and gender identities, etc.) and describe how it applies to an example where there are interdependent methods of discrimination.
  5. Describe a situation in which there is evidence of discrimination according to race, ethnicity, sex, or gender identity and provide analysis of the indicators that support these claims.

SOSC 519  Living in a Digital Democracy  (4 Credits)  

The growth of the internet has impacted virtually every aspect of American society. This course provides a broad overview of the societal issues and concerns raised as groups and individuals make the transition to a digital environment. The primary focus of this course is to provide the opportunity to analyze how the internet is being used to change voting behavior, stimulate the growth of a global economy, and alter our sense of community.

Prerequisite(s): CRIT 501 Critical Inquiry or the equivalent.

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Demonstrate a working knowledge of basic internet technology and its vocabulary.
  2. Describe the tensions between the ideals of a free society and the dangers posed by open access to internet information.
  3. Examine the ways the internet challenges current laws of copyright, free speech, and privacy that were developed before this technology became widely available.
  4. Identify and discuss the effects of the internet on trends and changes in society including its impact on communication, the way people work, how community is defined, and globalization.
  5. Evaluate the potential effects of the internet on the political process including its use as a resource for information, a strategy for campaigning, and a vehicle for voting.
  6. Analyze whether the internet will increase the gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” of the world.

SOSC 602  Men and Women in Cross-Cultural Perspectives  (4 Credits)  

This course provides a basis for analyzing alternatives in the relationships between men and women by looking at the roles women play in widely different societies; for example, in peasant, socialist, and capitalist industrial societies. The range of women's and men's roles in a variety of cultures is explored through readings, discussions, films, and slides.

Prerequisite(s): PSY 501 Introduction to Psychology or SOC 501 Introduction to Sociology.

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Pursue an interdisciplinary approach to learning about and discussing gender roles in societies.
  2. Articulate the impact of culture, history, and biography on how men and women perceive themselves and each other in relation to the rest of the social world and describe how they act on these perceptions.
  3. Research and explore how race, class, and ethnic differences complicate shared gender experience.
  4. Describe what similarities exist across the boundaries of groups.

SOSC 604  Dynamics of Family Relationships  (4 Credits)  

This course examines evolving family structures in contemporary American society. The functions which a family serves are reviewed. The stages of family life and development, a variety of communication patterns and the causes of breakups are addressed. The focus of the course is on helping students develop an ability to assess the strengths of a family system, evaluate the decision-making processes used by a family and discuss the resiliency of the family. The course reviews a range of intervention methods which can be used to improve family relationships.

Prerequisite(s): PSY 501 Introduction to Psychology, or SOC 501 Introduction to Sociology, or CRIM 500 Introduction to Criminology.
SOSC 605  Stress and the Family  (4 Credits)  

This course examines the characteristics of both healthy and troubled families as they progress through each developmental stage. Change is a constant in each person’s life; the family’s response to change and the resulting stress is reviewed. A family’s ability to manage extraordinary stressors, from both external and internal sources, is discussed. There is an emphasis on maladaptive patterns including family violence, runaways, and self-harming patterns.

Prerequisite(s): PSY 501 Introduction to Psychology, or SOC 501 Introduction to Sociology, or CRIM 500 Introduction to Criminology. NOTE: Completion of SOSC 604 Dynamics of Family Relationships is recommended.

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Describe the essential tasks of the family, the stages of development through which families pass, and characteristic patterns of family functioning.
  2. Utilize systems theory to analyze how well an individual family is functioning.
  3. Explain the typical changes a family must make to adapt to each stage of the developmental sequence.
  4. Examine how normal stressors can cumulatively damage some family’s adaptive mechanisms.
  5. Describe how extraordinary stressors such as job loss, economic downturns, or military actions can impact a family’s stress levels.
  6. Analyze several maladaptive strategies used by family members including violence, running away, and substance abuse.
  7. Compare and contrast strategies of effectively functioning families with maladaptive strategies, focusing on aspects of family life such as parenting, communication, and support networks.
  8. Inventory local community resources available to support family functioning.
  9. Develop a plan to help foster resilience in family systems with their local community.

SOSC 630  Aspects of Aging in a Modern Society  (4 Credits)  

The course introduces the physical, psychological, economic and social aspects of aging. Attention is given to these key aspects of aging and their relationship to the characteristics of our aging population in the United States. The course also explores the impact of culture, family structure, and societal values on the elderly in our society.

Prerequisite(s): PSY 501 Introduction to Psychology, or SOC 501 Introduction to Sociology.

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Identify and define the following four aspects of aging: social, psychological, physical, and economic.
  2. Analyze the relationship among and between the four aspects of aging and their impact on the individual and group within society.
  3. Recognize the role of societal norms and values in determining the attitudes toward the elderly in America.
  4. Relate the diverse social and cultural values of the elderly to the social, economic, physical, and psychological aspects of aging.
  5. Identify and discuss the demographics of the United States’ aging population.
  6. Discuss findings from major research studies in the field of aging and gerontology and apply to case studies and readings.
  7. Examine factors that have an impact on the well-being of the elderly including program funding, health care, housing, and retirement.

SOSC 637  Social Stratification and Inequality  (4 Credits)  

This course explores the diversity of life experiences in contemporary America and assesses structured inequality in terms of socioeconomic, racial, gender, and sexuality differences. Using the theoretical framework of the social construction of race, gender, economic class, sexual orientation, and disability in historical contexts, the course examines how and why stratification systems emerge and are reproduced. Students then consider alternatives to the categories of difference and the processes, philosophical developments, institutions, and conditions that lead to and rely on power and privilege in modern society.

Prerequisite(s): PSY 501 Introduction to Psychology, or SOC 501 Introduction to Sociology, or CRIM 500 Introduction to Criminology.

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Summarize the interdisciplinary approach to understanding structured societal inequalities.
  2. Analyze the theoretical framework of the social construction of race, gender, economic class, and sexual orientation in historical contexts.
  3. Articulate the ways in which individuals are circumscribed by their position in the social stratification system.
  4. Critically evaluate and propose alternatives to categories of difference, social institutions, and conditions that lead to and rely on power and privilege in modern society.

SOSC 650  Integrative: Project in Social Science  (4 Credits)  

This capstone course for Social Science majors is designed to integrate learning from the entire major in an individually-customized project. Students demonstrate competency in Social Science by producing a substantive original project based on in-depth research.

Prerequisite(s): CRIT 602 Advanced Critical Analysis and Strategic Thinking, IDIS 601 Interdisciplinary Seminar, and all major requirements must be completed prior to enrollment in this course. Academic Advisor approval is required for registration to be processed. NOTE: Students who were admitted to the college before Fall 2019 and have remained active in their original catalog year are not required to take IDIS 601.

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Develop a sociological question for extended exploration.
  2. Conduct thorough research.
  3. Demonstrate critical analysis of sources.
  4. Write a major project employing advanced skills of exposition, argument, and synthesis.
  5. Employ responsible quotation and citation practices based on impeccable documentation.