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Department of Sociology

108 Albert W. Brown Building
(585) 395-2619

Chair and Associate Professor: Jeffrey T. Lashbrook, PhD, University of Rochester; Professor: Joan Z. Spade, PhD, SUNY Buffalo; Associate Professor: Julie M. Ford, PhD, Graduate Center, City University of New York; Assistant Professors: Denise A. Copelton, PhD, SUNY Binghamton; Amy E. Guptill, PhD, Cornnell University; Eric Kaldor, PhD, Rutgers University; Lynne M. Moulton, PhD, Rutgers University; Elliot B. Weininger, PhD, Graduate Center, University of New York.



Sociology is the study of interpersonal, structural and cultural patterns that make up human societies. Drawing on rigorous methodological and theoretical traditions, sociologists examine the workings of major social institutions such as education, family, economy, medicine and the media; the formation of groups, organizations, communities and social movements; the interpersonal and social dynamics of race, class and gender; conformity with and deviance from societal norms and values; and the social construction of contemporary experiences and issues, including health and illness. By placing the individual in his or her societal context, sociologists “turn personal troubles and concerns into social issues and problems open to reason” (C. Wright Mills, 1959: 186). Sociologists also seek to understand the structure and nature of social systems, particularly in relationship to patterns of beliefs and practices, social organization, and systems of inequality.

Sociology majors develop research and conceptual skills critical for today’s careers, including criminal justice, public health, social work, community and organizational development, planning, public administration, gerontology, education, nursing and market research. In addition, a sociology major or minor is valuable preparation for post-graduate study in areas such as law, social work, business and medicine. Sociology majors are encouraged to enroll in internships to explore career alternatives.

Requirements for the Sociology Major

The sociology major requires students to earn 33 credits in sociology. All majors must complete the five core courses listed below and must have a “C” or higher grade in SOC 200, SOC 300 and SOC 310.

Core Courses (15 credits)

Course Number Course Name
SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology
SOC 210 Social Problems, Social Psychology or Social Institutions (one of these 220 or 230 courses MUST BE taken at SUNY Brockport)
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 students to complete SOC 100 and 15 credits from other sociology courses for a total of 18 credits.

Double Major in Criminal Justice and Sociology or Social Work and Sociology
Cooperative ventures between the Departments of Sociology, Criminal Justice and Social Work enable students to easily complete two majors before graduation. Having a second major on the graduation transcript indicates additional breadth of knowledge in the investigation of social problems and issues. Indeed, additional knowledge about such matters as school systems, domestic violence, sex crimes, deviant behavior, interpersonal interaction, and alternative methods of conflict resolution is invaluable for the person employed in criminal justice or social work. Given the social forces that affect the work of police officers, probation officers and judges and social workers, completing the sociology major as well should enhance the employment opportunities of students in both of these fields. This combined major should also facilitate admission into the many graduate programs, including social work, criminology, sociology, public administration or law.

For advisement on a double major in criminal justice or social work and sociology, consult with any professor in these departments. Those wishing to pursue the option of a double major in sociology and social work or criminal justice should do so as early in their academic careers as possible. Courses in these disciplines fill up very quickly and majors receive preferential treatment in registering. In addition, students must apply to the Department of Social Work and fulfill prerequisites for that major in their first and second years.

Sociology Courses

SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology (A,S). Cross-listed as HON 216. Introduces the sociological perspective on society. Explores patterns of human behavior and interaction, including systems of inequalities, the meanings and rules that shape human social activities, 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). Covers basic descriptive and inferential statistics and computer software used in social science research. Students who have received academic credit for ECN 204, HLS 488, MTH 243, PSH 202 or credit for an elementary statistics course from SUNY Brockport or from another institution has this requirement waived, and may not get credit for this (SOC 200) course. If waived, you must substitute another sociology course for the major. 3 Cr. Every Semester

SOC 210 Social Problems (A,D,S). Explores the links between private problems and social issues, arguing that both are consequences of how our society is organized. The course focuses on the structural inequalities and cultural forces contributing to problems and addresses potential solutions. The course also emphasizes the interdependent nature of many social problems, as well as the larger global context within which many of these problems are located. 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 230 Social Institutions (A). This course explores theories and research related to the analysis of social institutions, with a special emphasis on family, religion, economy, politics and education. Factors contributing to institutional stability and change are discussed. The course builds on the concepts and theories covered in Introduction to Sociology, and extends that work by analyzing the social world at the institutional level more thoroughly. 3 Cr. Every Semester

SOC 271 Gender, Race and Class (A,D,W). Cross-listed as AAS 271, 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 302 Culture (A,I). Examines sociological approaches to the production, circulation, and consumption of cultural objects and practices in their many forms. Emphasizes the complex relations between culture and social structure, and introduces students to a variety of strategies for studying culture sociologically. 3 Cr.

SOC 304 Urban Sociology (A,D). Prerequisite: SOC 100. Considers the process of urbanization and its social consequences. Focuses on contemporary urban issues, including suburbanization, and also examines urbanization from an historical and cross-cultural perspective. 3 Cr.

SOC 306 Development and Globalization (A,I). Prerequisite: SOC 100. Compares and contrasts three social processes that have connected distant people and places in the modern era: colonialism, development, and globalization. Students will explore the theoretical and cultural foundations of those processes, the social institutions involved in maintaining them, their impacts on people around the world, and the major social issues that they bring to the fore. 3 Cr.

SOC 310 Methods of Sociological Research (A). 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, with a focus on quantitative analysis. Statistics (SOC 200) not required, but preferred. 3 Cr.

SOC 312 Religion, Society and the Individual (A,I). Prerequisite: SOC 100. 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 326 The Sociology of Food (A). Prerequisite: SOC 100. Examines the social relations surrounding the production, distribution, preparation and consumption of food. Explores how food relates to individual and group identity, family, work and leisure, social inequality, globalization and social change. Throughout we consider the consequences of food production and consumption on social relationships and population health. 3 Cr.

SOC 328 Racial and Ethnic Relations (A,D,I). Prerequisite: SOC 100. Explores the dynamic qualities of race and ethnicity in terms of definition, meaning and experience. 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 332 Health, Medicine and Society (A,I). 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 352 Sociology of Work (A). Prerequisite: SOC 100. Provides a study of work and occupations in modern society. Examines patterns of specialization, professionalization, bureaucratization, alienation, discrimination and conflict associated with blue-collar, clerical, professional, managerial, and other occupational groups. 3 Cr.

SOC 353 Contemporary Women’s Issues (A,I,W). 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 354 Sociology of Money (A). Prerequisite: SOC 100. Explores money as a medium of exchange from a sociological perspective, including how money is distributed in our economy and in other types of economies, ways that money shapes social relations, and how our personal relationship to money shapes who we are and how we live. Also addresses topics such as welfare, private charity, credit, upward and downward mobility, and more. 3 Cr.

SOC 361 Sociology of Sex, Marriage and Family (A,I,W). Cross-listed as WMS 361. Provides an introduction to sociological theory and research on intimate relationships and families in the US. Examines historical and contemporary variations, with the main focus on the gendered nature of marriage and family life. Looks at intimacy and family formation through topics such as love, marriage and sexuality. Investigates key concerns in family life such as the balance of power, negotiating work/family roles, parenthood and divorce. 3 Cr. Every Semester

SOC 364 Gender and Social Change (A,I,W). Examines gender as a social construction, embedded in interpersonal interactions, social institutions and cultural systems, comparing gender in the US to gender in other cultures. Explores topics such as how we learn gender, how gender serves to maintain systems of inequality for men and women, and how the meaning of gender has changed over time. 3 Cr.

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,D,W). Prerequisite: SOC 100. Investigates how collective efforts for social change form, the barriers and opportunities they face, and their impacts on society as a whole. Through readings, films, discussions, and papers, students will learn about past and present social movements and the theories that seek to explain them. 3 Cr. Fall

SOC 383 Mass Media in Society (A,I). Mass media is a major force in socialization, political contestation, and social change. The goal of this course is to investigate and critically analyze the impact of media on society. The course explores the ways gender, ethnicity, sexuality and class are treated in the media and the forces shaping the production of mass media. 3 Cr.

SOC 390 Brockport Career Exploration Course (BCEC) (B). Cross-listed as BCE 361. 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. 3 Cr.

SOC 404 Contemporary Sociological Theory (A). 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. Examines education as a social institution and its relationship to other social institutions. Explores schools as organizations in terms of structure and functions; compares schools within and across cultures; looks at inequality within education; and considers the role schools play in social change. 3 Cr.

SOC 441 Sport and Society (A). Cross-listed as PES 441. An introductory survey course which investigates the linkage between sport and society from a sociological perspective. The sport-society nexus is examined from functionalist, conflict critical, and feminist theoretical frameworks. Organized around several intellectual discourses, sport is analyzed and discussed within multiple social and cultural contexts. Challenges students to discover how sport can be made more democratic, more socially just, more accessible to all. 3 Cr. Every Semester

SOC 489 Applied Social Research Practicum (A). Prerequisites: SOC 413 and SOC 414. Provides direct experience in conducting sociological research under faculty supervision. 1-6 Cr. SOC 499 Independent Study in Soc

Last Updated 10/27/20

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