Aurora University

Sociology (SOC)

SOC-1100  Introduction to Society  (4 semester hours)  

This course provides an introduction to the systematic study of human society. Students learn about the process of the construction of social life and culture by individuals and groups, and students learn about the role society and culture play in shaping the life of individuals. Students develop their own sociological imagination and sociological mindfulness and learn how to apply the new skills to the interpretation of social reality and their own experience. Students are introduced to the major social institutions and the basic processes of human interaction to be better prepared to play the role of agents of social change.

SOC-1200/LTS-1200  Introduction to Latino Cultural Studies  (4 semester hours)  

This introductory course will explore the effects of migration, urbanization and acculturation on the Latino population in the United States. Special attention will be paid to diversity of Latino groups in the U.S. along with exploration of Latinos in Chicago and surrounding suburban communities. This course will be taught in English.

SOC-1300/LTS-1300  Latinos and Latinas in the United States  (4 semester hours)  

This course will provide an in-depth study of the various contributions of Latinos in the United States mainstream culture. The history and integration of Latinos in the U.S. landscape in venues such as politics, education, economics and healthcare will be explored. Key individuals who have enabled these contributions will also be identified. This course will be taught in English.

SOC-1810-9  Selected Topics in Sociology  (Variable semester hours)  

This course will address a specific area of study in Sociology not already covered by other course offerings. Prerequisites vary by topic.

SOC-2150  Cultural Anthropology  (4 semester hours)  

This course focuses on culture defined as a key aspect of human adaptability to the natural and social environment. Students learn about the influences on and processes of culture change, and develop an appreciation of the negative impact of essentialist approaches to culture. They study human biological and cultural characteristics, including language, values, norms, customs and institutions that make up diverse ways of life. A cross-societal analysis of cultures helps students develop acceptance and respect for cultures other than their own. Students are encouraged to develop cultural self-awareness and self-reflection, and create new ways of understanding of their own culture within the context of the emerging global culture.

SOC-2250/CRJ-2250  Social Inequalities  (4 semester hours)  

All societies are characterized by the unequal distribution of income, wealth, mobility, power, prestige, etc. This course introduces students to various patterns of social inequalities, and to factors that shape such inequalities over time. Students learn about the ways in which different forms of social inequalities influence individual and group life. Efforts undertaken by various social agents to reduce the existing gaps between various categories of people, both in the developed and the developing societies, are also discussed.

SOC-2300/CRJ-2300  Criminology  (4 semester hours)  

This course provides an introduction to theories of criminal causation/control and a general overview of the history and development of both criminology and criminality. Additional areas of study include the criminological enterprise, with attention to crime, criminals, victims and punishment, and special emphasis on understanding the social meaning of crime.

SOC-2810-9  Selected Topics in Sociology  (Variable semester hours)  

This course will address a specific area of study in Sociology not already covered by other course offerings. Prerequisites vary by topic.

SOC-2940  Community Internship  (2-4 semester hours)  

Students are individually placed with community organizations and agencies where they work and acquire professional experience. The internship is recommended for students in their junior or senior year. The internship gives students an opportunity to learn the daily operation of community institutions and to develop skills they need to work in culturally diverse contexts. At the same time, students apply their sociological imagination and mindfulness developed in the classroom, as well as their knowledge of sociological theories to the interpretation of the directly observed and experienced aspects of social life.

SOC-3200  Social Problems and Social Action  (4 semester hours)  

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to important social and political problems and policies from a cross-societal perspective. The fundamental questions ask about the origins of social problems and policies that are developed to solve them. The course focuses on the social construction of social problems, and on the role played by the power elites, social experts, media and social movements in the process of that construction. The strengths and weaknesses of governmental programs and regulations and of market-based solutions of these problems also are discussed. The role of volunteerism and philanthropy is analyzed, and so are the unanticipated consequences of politically motivated reforms.

SOC-3350  Race, Ethnicity, and Culture  (4 semester hours)  

Why is it that even today discussions concerning ethnic diversity, race, color and the Constitutional promise and actual practice of equal opportunity continue to evoke uneasiness and personal discomfort? This is an interesting question since our cultural context and national identity are often admired as symbols of liberty. Whether we seek employment in education, business, or social services, we need to be aware of the factors that shape the unique experiences of diverse groups. To expand this awareness, the course analyzes how differences in ethnicity, skin color and other indicators of group membership impact vulnerability and opportunity for diverse groups. The legal and moral questions related to the responses by the mainstream population to racial and cultural minority groups, including the new immigrants are also examined. Stereotypes, prejudices, and discrimination of a wide range of social categories, and the role they play in shaping of the structures of power are also analyzed.

SOC-3430/PSY-3430  Issues in the Study of Gender and Sexuality  (4 semester hours)  

In this course students are introduced to various theoretical and empirical approaches to the understanding of the diversity of sexual and gender expression, including the politics of sexual orientation and gender identity. They explore the biological, psychological, and social aspects of human sexuality and gender and the processes that lead from difference to discrimination and inequality. They learn about the continuously changing relationship between gender/sexuality and various social institutions (e.g., government, family) and elements of culture (e.g., religion, language). Issues of structural, symbolic, and intimate violence related to gender and sexuality, and of its impact on physical and mental health are also discussed. Multicultural and global perspectives constitute the framework for the discussion.

Prerequisite(s): SOC-1100 or PSY-1100.
SOC-3450/PSY-3450  Social Psychology  (4 semester hours)  

This course is a general survey of the field of social and applied psychology. Although a broad range of subjects is sampled, the primary focus of this course is on individuals and their social environment. Social psychology focuses on how one's social environment affects his or her thoughts, attitudes and behaviors.

Prerequisite(s): PSY-1100.
SOC-3480  Globalization and Social Change  (4 semester hours)  

This course focuses on the trends in economic, political, social, and cultural globalization, hybridization, fragmentation, and on selected local/community phenomena related to those macro/global changes that occur in our times. Elements of world-systems theory and the theory of culture change, theories of social stratification, of the origin and perpetuation of inequalities in society and in the world, in combination with other current approaches to the explanation of human experience both on the macro and micro levels, will be explored. Questions related to ethics, human rights, individualization, consumerism, politics, and to growing awareness of the ambivalence of human experience will be debated.

SOC-3500/PSY-3500  Statistics in the Behavioral Sciences  (4 semester hours)  

This course addresses scientific method of inquiry for research in the behavioral sciences. Concepts, methods and designs involved in the statistical evaluation of research data will be discussed. The course will include instruction in SPSS statistical software.

Prerequisite(s): PSY-1100 or SOC-1100; MTH-2320 or MTH-1100 with a "C" or better.
SOC-3510/CRJ-3510  Human Rights and Responsibilities  (4 semester hours)  

Why is our world continuously on fire? What factors contribute to the intra- and intergroup conflicts? To address these questions, this course takes a historical and a cross cultural approach to the study of the socio-political and economic factors that shape violence, aggression and trauma. The first part of the course introduces students to the emergence of human rights in the 20th century. Next, selected examples of economic, social and cultural victimization, wars, genocidal and terrorist actions are explored to understand how violence varies across contexts. The resulting health challenges, such as malnutrition, HIV/AIDS, trafficking of humans and human organs are also addressed. Finally, issues of nonviolent social change, peaceful conflict resolution, and possibilities for a "new world order" are also explored.

Prerequisite(s): SOC-1100.
SOC-3570  Politics of Intimate Relations  (4 semester hours)  

This course applies a historical, comparative, and global approach to the study of social and political forces that shape patterns of mate selection, dating, intimate relationships, power relations, conflicts, and violence among members of intimate relationships and of the dissolution of such relations with all its consequences. The issues related to parent-child dynamic and the problems that emerge in single-parent, multi-generational, transitional, same-sex or blended families are also taken into consideration. The issues of individual and population aging are contextualized by broader interpersonal, familial, social, and political perspectives. The role of contemporary media representation of intimate relations and their challenges is included in the analysis.

Prerequisite(s): SOC-1100.
SOC-3580  Environmental Justice and Advocacy  (4 semester hours)  

The course introduces students to the relationship between human societies and the larger natural environment of which they are a part. Environmental justice is one of the most important and active sites of environmental scholarship and activism both locally and globally. As a social movement, environmental justice seeks fair treatment of all people regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, economic status, national origin, and education level with respect to environment politics, policies, and their implementation. In this course, students examine issues of human rights and ecological health in the contemporary world and they review programs that have been developed to address selected health conditions, such as childhood asthma reduction, lead poisoning prevention, waste recycling, clean-up and restoration of contaminated sites, sustainable/organic agriculture, clean energy programs and cancer and health disparities research.

Prerequisite(s): SOC-1100 or SOC-2150; Highly Recommended: SOC-3480 or BIO-3540.
SOC-3600/CRJ-3610  Research Methods  (4 semester hours)  

This course provides an overview of the methods used to devise, design and perform social science research. Following a brief overview of the nature and philosophy of science, qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches are explored, as students generate their own social science research questions, and create appropriate research designs. The course also includes instruction in the SPSS statistical package.

Prerequisite(s): SOC-1100 or CRJ-1010; MTH-1100.
SOC-3700/BIO-3700  Politics of Global Health and Medicine  (4 semester hours)  

The course addresses the question of how social and political factors, such as race, nationality, or social class, as well as governmental laws, regulations, and politics shape and are shaped by individual and population health and well-being around the world. Among other questions, students discuss the impact of structural violence of social inequalities on human suffering and on the access to health care and medical care, including access to medications. The ethicality of medical research is also included in that discussion. Assigned readings and discussions address 1) the determinants of disease and health inequalities between populations and over time; 2) how social and political factors influence medical knowledge, health care, and medical care; and 3) what must be done to combat and prevent health inequalities in local, national, and global contexts.

Prerequisite(s): SOC-1100 or SOC-2150. Highly recommended: SOC-3480 or BIO-3540.
SOC-3810-9  Selected Topics in Sociology  (Variable semester hours)  

This course will address a specific area of study in Sociology not already covered by other course offerings. Prerequisites vary by topic.

SOC-3940  Sociology Internship  (2-4 semester hours)  

An academic internship experience for credit requires the student to be at least a sophomore in standing. The academic internship experience requires a faculty sponsor, educational criteria, and a current executed affiliation agreement and Schedule A on file. Internships can be designated as either credit/no credit or letter grade, depending on the school or program. Regular tuition is charged, and additional fees may apply.

Grading Type: Credit/No Credit

SOC-4310  Seminar in Sociological Theory and Practice I  (4 semester hours)  

The course is an invitation to sociological theory and practice. Students examine prevailing sociological perspectives and their relation to researchable questions. Readings from classical sociological theorists on selected topics build the foundations for students' individual research. Examples of the past conceptualizations of specific social and cultural issues broaden students' perspective of sociology as a discipline. Students explore research methodology including sampling and questionnaire construction. They select a research topic and conduct a review of relevant sociological literature. They also prepare the tools necessary for the empirical part of their research and submit the IRB forms for approval.

Prerequisite(s): SOC-1100; 2 additional Sociology courses at the 3000 level
Co/prerequisite(s): SOC-3500/PSY-3500 or SOC-3600/CRJ-3610.
SOC-4320  Seminar in Sociological Theory and Practice II  (4 semester hours)  

The course is a continuation of that examination of prevailing sociological perspectives and their relation to researchable questions. Readings from contemporary, most modern, and the most current sociological theorists on selected topics further expand the foundations for students' individual research. Examples of the most recent conceptualizations of specific social and cultural issues broaden students' perspective of sociology as a discipline. Students conduct their research project initiated during the course of SOC-4310, collect data, analyze and interpret them using the SSPS, and write the final paper.

Prerequisite(s): SOC-4310.
SOC-4810-9  Selected Topics in Sociology  (Variable semester hours)  

This course will address a specific area of study in Sociology not already covered by other course offerings. Prerequisites vary by topic.

SOC-4940  Community Internship  (2-4 semester hours)  

Students are individually placed with community organizations and agencies where they work and acquire professional experience. The internship is recommended for students in their junior or senior year. The internship gives students an opportunity to learn the daily operation of community institutions and to develop skills they need to work in culturally diverse contexts. At the same time, students apply their sociological imagination and mindfulness developed in the classroom as well as their knowledge of sociological theories to the interpretation of the directly observed and experienced aspects of social life. Permission of the instructor required.

Prerequisite(s): Instructor permission.

Grading Type: Credit/No Credit

SOC-4980  Independent Study in Sociology  (0.5-17 semester hours)  

Descriptions of independent studies are contained in the petition by which the learning experience was approved. Prior to registration, students must file the Independent Study Petition. This petition requires the signature/approval of the Instructor, Department Chair, and Academic Dean. Regular tuition is charged. In most cases, Independent Study should be within the field of the student's major and should be something that cannot be pursued through established courses. These are pursued on campus under the direct supervision of an Aurora University faculty member. Regular tuition is charged, and additional fees may apply.