SOC - Sociology Course Descriptions

SOC 101 Introductory Sociology

Is a scientific study of human behavior involving two or more individuals. It is intended as a general survey of the discipline of sociology, analyzing various institutions that may affect human behavior. Some of the institutions that sociologists study are the family, religions, media, peer groups, and political systems.



This course is the prerequisite for all advanced courses in sociology and social work.

SOC 106 Christianity and Society

Examines the relationship between religion and human behavior. The course is designed to introduce students to a current sociological perspective for dealing with contemporary social problems and concerns. In addition, students will learn the value of taking a sociological perspective for understanding the various statements and efforts of Christian groups and individuals to address social issues. Students will be encouraged to view social problems from both sociological and Christian perspectives, thereby coming to a deeper appreciation and understanding of the complexity of our lives and our social world.


SOC 107 Communes and Covenants

Exposes the student to various groups and movements in the United States. Each is described and analyzed in a sociological framework. The groups range from Gypsies, Shakers, Amish, and Oneida, to the Bruderhof Communes of the 70s and the charismatic covenant communities. A search is made for their underlying causes and their probable consequences for both the individual and the larger community.


SOC 204 Marriage and Family

Is a popular course because many students realize that this is a serious vocation and, as a consequence, they wish to learn more mature ways of dealing with it. The general student will appreciate the insights that sociologists have provided-certain ways of looking at husband-wife relations and parent-children relations. Sociology majors will, in addition, acquaint themselves with a special aspect of the general theories of institutions. An attempt at blending these two approaches is made by the instructor and students.


SOC 205 Criminology and Penology

Deals with the philosophy and history of society's ideas about crime and what should be done about it. Sociology has uncovered many facets through the use of concepts developed in general sociology as well as in the field of criminology itself. Based on this new knowledge, a number of new theories and new policies are advocated.


SOC 211 Social Theory

Provides the framework for sociological research. The classical sociologists such as Comte, Spencer, Marx, Weber, and Durkheim will be presented followed by discussions of the modern sociological theories such as functionalism, conflict theory, social exchange, and symbolic interactionism. These theories will be re-evaluated in light of a Christian perspective.


SOC 224 Social Psychology

Explores the growth of a social personality, the effects of crowd behavior, the development of values and attitudes, and the mechanics of group life in general. The recognized scholars-Maslow, Goffman, Berger, Luckman, and others-are included in this study of the whole person.


Cross Listed Courses

PSY 224

SOC 314 Deviant Behavior

Is the sociology of deviance provides an exploration of the sociological concepts of deviance, social order, social power, identity construction, and identity management. Students will understand how the sociological perspective of deviance differs from the psychological and social work approach to understanding society and social life, although there is an overlap of knowledge within these perspectives. Students will begin to recognize how groups of people can gain power to shape social definitions of deviance, and apply these definitions across multiple situations and even societies.


SOC 324 Sociology of Religion

Covers a wide variety of topics including religious social ethics, history of religious movements, church and sect organizations, religion in American society, religion and identity, and the religious aspects of the sociology of knowledge.


SOC 409 Domestic Violence

Examines the violence that exists in many families today. Sociologists and social psychological theories will be presented as possible explanations and solutions to domestic problems. The course will focus on spousal physical and emotional abuse, marital rape, incest, and child abuse.


SOC 410 Juvenile Delinquency

Analyzes juvenile behavior that is beyond parental control and subject to legal action. This course will focus on the social circumstances that promote such behavior, particularly in family situations and peer groups. In addition, the effectiveness and ineffectiveness of the juvenile justice system will be analyzed.


SOC 422 Philosophy of the Social Sciences

Investigates the basis of knowledge in the social sciences through a study of recent debates. The course deals with problems of theory construction, verification, and the role of models in sociology as well as aspects of the use of the social sciences in the formation of public policy.


SOC 434 Senior Thesis

Is required of all senior majors. Students will meet with their advisor to discuss their senior thesis, which will be an original library research project.