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Undergraduate Studies Catalog 2003-2005

Department of Sociology

108 Faculty Office Building
(585) 395-2619

Chairperson: Joan Z. Spade. Professor: Spade; Assistant Professors: Jeffrey T. Lashbrook; Eileen O'Brien; Roger K. Steinhauer. Visiting Assistant Professor (Great Britain): John Halsey. Distinguished Professor Emeritus: Edward C. Lehman. Professors Emeriti: Fred S. Halley; John E. Kramer, Jr.; Dorothy A. Mariner; Robert J. Potter, Robert Rutzen.



Sociology is the study of interpersonal interaction, groups, and social institutions. Grounded in a rigorous study of sociological research methods and theory, sociology looks at gender, race, and class relationships at the interpersonal and societal level; the social construction of health and illness, including mental illness; conformity as well as deviance from societal norms; social institutions such as education, family, and religion; the structure of social organizations and communities; and social change, including a focus on social movements. Sociologists "turn personal troubles and concerns into social issues and problems open to reason" (C. Wright Mills, 1959: 186), focusing on how the individual and society mutally influence one another. Sociologists also seek to understand the structure and nature of social systems, particularly in relationship to social organization and systems of inequality.

Sociology is a valuable liberal arts major committed to developing research methods and conceptual skills critical for today's careers. A major in sociology provides a strong foundation for a wide range of career options, including community planning, public administration, gerontology, education, nursing, market research, and other positions. In addition, a sociology major is valuable preparation for post-graduate study in areas such as law, social work, business, and medicine. Sociology majors are encouraged to explore career alternatives with a field placement through the Sociology Internship program.

Requirements for the Sociology Major:
The sociology major requires students to earn 30 credits in sociology, and complete all general College requirements leading to either the BA or BS [see "Baccalaureate Degree Requirements"]. All majors must complete the four core courses listed below.

Core Courses (12 credits)

  • SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology
  • SOC 200 Social Statistics
  • SOC 300 Sociological Theory
  • SOC 310 Methods of Sociological Research

Students must also complete 18 credits of electives in sociology. Students who do not take SOC 200 Social Statistics in the department must take 21 credits of sociology electives.

Requirements for the Sociology Minor:

The sociology minor requires that students complete SOC 100 and 15 credits from other sociology courses for a total of 18 credits.

Double Major in Criminal Justice and Sociology

This cooperative venture between the Departments of Criminal Justice and Sociology enables you to complete two majors before graduation. Completing the sociology major, in addition to the criminal justice major, is expected to serve students well in a number of ways. This option displays the completion of a second major on your graduation transcript, indicating an additional breadth of knowledge in the investigation of social problems and issues. Given the social forces that effect the work of police officers, probation officers and judges, and the nature of justice today, additional knowledge and skills should serve students well. Completion of both majors will enhance employment opportunities in criminal justice. Students with a second major in sociology find they are more eligible for career advancement. Additional knowledge about such matters as domestic violence, sex crimes, deviant behavior, and alternative methods of conflict resolution is invaluable for the person employed in criminal justice. At such time that a student decides to pursue a master's or doctorate degree in criminology or sociology, this combined major should facilitate admission into the many graduate programs that combine the two disciplines, as well as graduate work in either field. The combined major should also facilitate admission to graduate work in administration or law school, if these possibilities interest you.

For advisement on a double major in criminal justice and sociology, consult with any criminal justice or sociology professor. We suggest contacting with one of the substantial number of our students currently completing a double major in criminal justice and sociology. If a student elects to pursue this option of a double major in criminal justice and sociology, students do so as early in his/her career as possible, since courses in both areas fill up very quickly, and he/she should receive preferential treatment through preregistration as a major in each area.

The double major in criminal justice and sociology is easy to accomplish. Sociology courses can fulfill criminal justice corequisites and students may overlap sociology and criminal justice courses. Students can be enrolled in minutes or drop in or call.

Sociology Courses

SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology (A,S). Introduces the sociological perspective on society and human behavior applied to familiar social surroundings; and the meanings and rules that shape human social life, the organization of social life and ways in which individual human beings are incorporated into and prepared for social interaction. 3 Cr. Every Semester

SOC 200 Social Statistics (A,T). Covers basic descriptive and inferential statistics and computer software used in social research. Students who have received academic credit for BIO 431, ECN 204, MTH 243, PSH 202, PLS 300 or credit for an elementary statistics course from SUNY Brockport or from another institution may not receive credit for this course and must substitute another sociology course for the major. 3 Cr. Every Semester

SOC 210 Social Problems (A,S,D). Explores the nature of and the sociological approaches to social problems; the social relativity, extent, and complexity of the specific contemporary social problems selected for study; the range, limitations and the personal and social implications of solutions to social problems; and sensitivity to the interdependentnature of various social problems. 3 Cr.

SOC 220 Introduction to Social Psychology (A,S). Covers social psychological theory and research in the interaction of individuals and groups; the extent to which others influence individual behavior; the dynamics of group participation; and the extent to which human potential is shaped within the context of group life. 3 Cr.

SOC 271 Gender, Race, and Class (A,W,D). Cross-listed as AAS 271 and WMS 271. Examines the intersecting experiences of gender, race, and class, and responses to the institutional and interpersonal discrimination in women's and men's lives. Investigates the history of efforts to end discrimination, and the ways these efforts translate into issues of current concern in the US. 3 Cr.

SOC 300 Sociological Theory (A). Prerequisite: SOC 100. Covers the historical development of sociological perspectives over the last two centuries. Focuses on key classical and contemporary theorists tracing the development of major issues and perspectives in sociology. 3 Cr. Every Semester

SOC 304 Urban Sociology (A,D). Considers urbanization, its social consequences, and the alter native strategies for dealing with urban problems. Focuses on contemporary American urban issues, supplemented by examinations of urbanization in historical and cross-cultural perspectives. 3 Cr.

SOC 306 Social Change in the Third World (A). Explores problems of economic and political development in contemporary Third World countries. Emphasizes ways in which relations with industrialized countries influence patterns of social change in Latin America and Asia. 3 Cr.

SOC 310 Methods of Sociological Research (A,T). Prerequisite: SOC 100. Explores the process and logic of research, the range of research designs, and specific research tools for the collection and analysis of social data. 3 Cr. Every Semester

SOC 312 Religion, Society and the Individual (A). Explores forms of religious meaning, action and organization, and the generalizations made in the sociology of religion concerning the relationships among religion, the individual, social structure and social change. 3 Cr.

SOC 314 The Black Family (A). Cross-listed as AAS 314. Explores the sociocultural, political and economic conditions that affect black family life. Confronts the pejorative tradition as the primary modality for examining black family life, and explores the African antecedents and continuities that have influenced the black family in the US. 3 Cr.

SOC 317 Prejudice, Personality and Culture (A). Cross-listed as AAS 317. Examines the historical and social conditions in which prejudice arises; social functions of prejudice and its psycho-social manifestations; the impact of prejudice and discrimination upon social and race relations in mass societies; and theories of prejudice. 3 Cr.

SOC 325 Social Class, Status and Power (A). Prerequisite: SOC 100. Explores the nature, causes and consequences of inequalities of social class, wealth and power. Also examines major theories of social stratification and mobility in industrial nations. 3 Cr.

SOC 331 Sociology of Mental Illness (A). Prerequisite: SOC 100. Covers social theories and research about the definition and management of mental and emotional health and illness, and the organization of care for mental and emotional illnesses. 3 Cr.

SOC 332 Health, Medicine and Society (A). Prerequisite: SOC 100. Examines assumptions about medicine, health, and illness; and current knowledge about the relationship between society, the individual, and the social structure of the medical system. 3 Cr.

SOC 350 Dynamics of Modern Organizations (A). Prerequisite: SOC 100. Covers social scientific and other approaches to the study of modern organizations and bureaucracy in business, government, schools, health care, religion, etc. 3 Cr.

SOC 351 Industrial Sociology (A). Prerequisite: SOC 100. Studies the development of modern industrial organizations and changing patterns of labor-management relations in the US. 3 Cr.

SOC 352 Sociology of Work (A). Prerequisite: Any lower-division sociology course. Provides a study of work and occupations in modern society. Examines patterns of specialization, profes-sionalization, bureaucratization, alienation, and conflict associated with blue-collar, clerical, professional, managerial, and other occupational groups; and special problems of minorities in the work world. 3 Cr.

SOC 359 The Black Church (A). Cross-listed as AAS 359. Provides an extended definition of the soul (essence) of the black church, and a critical analysis of the works of two exponents of the theology of liberation, in light of the historical experience of black people. 3 Cr.

SOC 361 Sociology of Sex, Marriage and the Family (A,W). Cross-listed as WMS 361. Prerequisite: Any lower-division sociology course. Explores social variations in sex, marriage and family behavior, and social theories and research. 3 Cr. Every Semester

SOC 371 Deviant Behavior (A). Prerequisite: SOC 100. Examines classical and contemporary theories of deviant behavior, the extent of criminal and deviant behavior in modern society, and analysis of various approaches to controlling deviant behavior. 3 Cr.

SOC 380 Social Movements (A,W,D). Prerequisite: SOC 100. Familiarizes students with classical and contemporary theories of social movements, and investigates United States movements, including civil rights and women's liberation, by way of these sociological perspectives. 3 Cr. Fall

SOC 390 Career Exploration in Sociology (B). Brockport Career exploration Course (BCEC) in Sociology is a one-semester elective course that encourages sophomores, juniors and seniors to investigate a career through placement in an area human service agency, government office or class room. Allows students to work under the guidance of an immediate supervisor and a college faculty sponsor, and participate in workshops through the Office of Career Services. Credit Varies.

SOC 399 Independent Study (A). Prerequisite: Instructor's permission. Provides theoretical perspectives on social phenomena or a sub-area of sociology not covered by other registered courses. Arranged in consultation with instructor. 1-6 Cr.

SOC 404 Contemporary Sociological Theory (A). Prerequisite: SOC 300. Explores different ways of interpreting and understanding the recurring patterns of everyday life, and epistemological assumptions of the major theoretical orientations in contemporary society. 3 Cr.

SOC 412 Schools, Learning and Society (A,D,I). Prerequisite: SOC 100 or instructor's permission. Explores the relationships between education and other institutions; and social structures and processes through which culture is transmitted. 3 Cr.

SOC 428 Racial and Ethnic Relations (A,D,W). Prerequisite: SOC 100. Studies the role of race and ethnicity in social relations. Examines major theoretical orientations toward racial and ethnic stratification, as well as the consequences of inequality for both majority and minority groups. 3 Cr.

SOC 453 Contemporary Women's Issues (A). Cross-listed as WMS 453. Focuses on issues concerning women and their changing role in today's society. Although various issues are singled out for analysis through reading, lecture, and class discussion, all of them are interrelated by virtue of their focus on women. 3 Cr.

SOC 464 Gender and Social Change (A). Cross-listed as WMS 464. Prerequisite: SOC 100, 210 or 220. Examines gender inequality in the US and other societies, and the relation of the economic, political and social changes to gender roles. 3 Cr.

SOC 465 Sociology of Aging (A). Cross-listed as WMS 465. Prerequisite: SOC 100, 210, or 220. Provides information and theories about the social aspects of aging including health income, family relationships, role change and social policy. 3 Cr. Spring

SOC 489 Applied Social Research Practicum (A). Prerequisite: Instructor's permission. Provides direct experience in conducting sociological research under faculty supervision. 3 Cr.

SOC 499 Independent Study (A). Prerequisite: Instructor's permission. Examines various theoretical perspectives on a social phenomenon or sub-area of sociology not covered by other registered courses. Arranged in consultation with the instructor. 3-6 Cr.


The information in this publication was current as of December 2002 when the text was compiled. Changes, including but not restricted to, tuition and fees, course descriptions, degree and program requirements, policies, and financial aid availability may have occurred since that time. Whether or not a specific course is scheduled for a given term is contingent on enrollment, budget and staffing. The college reserves the right to make any changes it finds necessary and may announce such changes for student notification in publications other than the College catalogs. For the purpose of degree and program completion, students are bound by the requirements in effect as stated in the printed catalog at the time of their matriculation at SUNY Brockport. Inquiries on the current status of requirements can be addressed to the appropriate College department of office. Also refer to the Brockport Web site home page at for current information.