Professors Sylvester, Kane, and Duina; Associate Professor Taylor (chair)
The curriculum in sociology is designed to introduce students to a sociological perspective, which explores social structures and their intersections with individual lives. Courses address a wide range of social phenomena, from patterns of everyday interaction to social and political revolutions. Sociology as a discipline focuses on recognizing and analyzing social determinants that shape our lives. That focus offers a unique potential not only for understanding society, but also for social action and social change.
The courses offered in sociology include a variety of 100- and 200-level courses introducing sociology and many of the specific topics and issues addressed by sociologists. Most 200-level courses are open to first-year students and have no prerequisites. The core courses for the major and minor also begin at the 200 level. These core courses focus on developing the skills and tools necessary for a more advanced application of a sociological perspective, preparing students for junior-senior research seminars at the 300 level.
The methods and substantive areas of sociology provide an excellent background for a wide range of careers in fields such as government, public policy, law, social research, community work, social activism, health, human services, social work, counseling, education, business, personnel, advertising, and market research, as well as a strong foundation for graduate study in sociology and a variety of applied or related areas including law, criminal justice, social work, business, public policy and public administration, urban and community planning, health care administration, public health, education, survey research administration, and journalism.
A handbook describing the major and minor in greater detail, including additional career information, is available from the department chair. More information on the department and an electronic version of the handbook are also available on the website (www.bates.edu/SOC.xml).
Major Requirements. Students majoring in sociology must complete eleven courses: Sociology 204, 205, two junior-senior research seminars (Sociology 395), a senior thesis (Sociology 457 or 458), and any six additional courses in the Department of Sociology (a Short Term course in the Department of Sociology may be substituted for one of these courses; one independent study course can normally be applied to the major). Majors planning to study abroad should consult the FAQs for study abroad on the department's website at (www.bates.edu/SOC.xml).
Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may not be elected for courses applied toward the major.
Minor Requirements. The requirements for the minor are: Sociology 204, 205, one junior-senior research seminar (Sociology 395), and any three additional courses in the Department of Sociology (a Short Term course in the department may be substituted for one of these courses).
Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may not be elected for courses applied toward the minor.
SOC 101. Principles of Sociology.The course is concerned with social behavior, social institutions, and with the characteristics of sociology as a discipline. Students become familiar with the use of such basic concepts in sociology as norms, values, roles, socialization, stratification, power and authority, deviance and control, social conflict, and social change. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every year. H. Taylor.
SOC 103. Macrosociology: Institutions and Structures.Macrosociology concerns itself with broad-level topics and issues: international development, demographic trends, state formation and behavior, the relationship between politics and the economy, industries, globalization, national and international law, cultural convergence across countries, national and transnational policy making, corruption, security issues, among others. Often, attention turns to structures and institutions for explanatory purposes. Enrollment limited to 40. F. Duina. Concentrations
SOC 116. Criminology.The course considers the nature of the criminal act and how some wrongs are defined and prosecuted as crimes by the legal system. It is concerned with the variety of criminal behaviors as products of individual differences and social circumstances, with the techniques available for the description and measurement of crime, and with the nature and validity of the explanations of crime provided by criminological theories. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every year. S. Sylvester. Concentrations
SOC 204. Theoretical Foundations of Sociology.Theories of society are used in a variety of ways to make sense of the world in which we live. This course examines the evolution of sociological theory, and the history of sociology as a discipline. Major schools of social theory are compared and analyzed, with emphasis on their role as foundations of sociology. Prerequisite(s): one course in sociology. Enrollment limited to 30 per section. [W2] Normally offered every semester. F. Duina, S. Sylvester.
SOC 205. Research Methods for Sociology.This course is a practical introduction to the research methods used by sociologists, including survey research, content analysis, participant observation and field research, qualitative interviewing, and comparative historical research. The assumptions of various approaches to social science research are considered, along with application of methods of collection and analysis for both qualitative and quantitative data. Prerequisite(s) or corequisite(s): Sociology 204. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every year. E. Kane, H. Taylor. Interdisciplinary Programs.
PY/SO 210. Social Psychology.A study of people in social settings. Topics covered include conformity, interpersonal attraction, and attitude formation and change. Theoretical principles are applied to such social phenomena as social conflict, stereotyping, competition, and altruism. Prerequisite(s): Psychology 101. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 50. Normally offered every year. M. Sargent, H. Boucher. Concentrations
SOC 217. Criminal Justice and Corrections.The course considers the social role of police and law enforcement, the criminal justice system and the problems of criminal prosecution, the nature and philosophy of various types of punishment and alternatives to punishment, and the place of criminological research in testing the effectiveness of criminal policy. Prerequisite(s): Sociology 116. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. S. Sylvester. Concentrations
SOC 224. Sociology of Law.The course examines the law as a system of social behavior within cultural and historical context and as a body of knowledge within the sciences of human behavior. The course considers the relationship between the law and other institutions of contemporary society such as politics, the economy, education, and science. Recommended background: one course in sociology. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. S. Sylvester. Concentrations
SOC 230. Sociology of Health and Illness.This course examines how social and structural forces shape health, illness, and the health care system. Through critical analysis of health and illness in the United States, the course traces the history of medical sociology. Topics include social factors associated with health and disease, disability, the organization of health care, medical ethics, and the relationship between health care and human rights. Recommended background: one course in sociology. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. H. Taylor. Concentrations
AN/SO 232. Ethnicity, Nation, and World Community.The course explores the means by which social identities are constructed as ethnicity and nations. It focuses on how representations taken from categories of everyday life—such as "race," religion, gender, and sexuality—are deployed to give these group loyalties the aura of a natural, timeless authority. This inquiry into ethnicity and nation as cultural fabrications allows for exploration of the possibility of global community not simply in its institutional dimensions, but as a condition of consciousness. Not open to students who have received credit for Anthropology/Sociology 325. Enrollment limited to 15. C. Carnegie. Concentrations
SOC 235. Global Health: Sociological Perspectives.This course introduces students to the health care systems of nations in the developed and developing world. Health care takes place within culturally unique social, historical, and political contexts, which shape factors such as disease, nutrition, violence, reproductive health, and environmental and occupational hazards. The course explores how these diverse forces shape illness experience, health care utilization, organization and training of health care providers, and systems of health care delivery. Drawing on a critical perspective, this course utilizes sociological methods and theories to explore health and illness around the globe. Recommended background: one course in sociology. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30 per section. H. Taylor. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
ED/SO 242. Race, Cultural Pluralism, and Equality in American Education.Through thematic investigation of school segregation, desegregation, and resegregation, this course explores the question: What would equal educational opportunity look like in a multicultural society? In light of contextual perspectives in educational thought, the course confronts contemporary debates surrounding how the race/ethnicity of students should affect the composition, curriculum, and teaching methods of schools, colleges, and universities. Specific issues explored include bilingual education, college admission, curriculum inclusion, desegregation, ethnic studies, and hiring practices. A thirty-hour field experience is required. Recommended background: Education 231. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 25. [W2] M. Tieken. Concentrations
SOC 250. Privilege, Power, and Inequality.This course addresses inequalities of race, class, gender, and sexual orientation, primarily in the United States but with some attention to international inequalities as well. Topics include patterns in the distribution of privilege, power, and resources in society; the ideologies and beliefs surrounding unequal distributions; and the role of organizations, social movements, public policy, and law in challenging inequality. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. E. Kane. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
SOC 255. Activism and Social Change.This course focuses on activist strategies for creating social change. Drawing on case studies from a variety of progressive social movements, students examine a range of activist strategies, from traditional tactics such as protests and direct actions to more contemporary tactics like Internet activism. Topics may include the mobilization of activists and the experience of activism, the use of narrative and stories in social movements, the development of social movement organizations and coalitions, and the influence of technology on activist strategies. The course incorporates a community-engaged component, in which students participate in action projects and learn from the experiences of state and local activists. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Staff.
SOC 260. Economic Sociology.Most, if not all, economic activity—whether it takes place at the level of individuals, organizations, or markets—requires rules, norms, and institutions. Efficiency alone cannot account for the existence and nature of those rules, norms, and institutions. Beliefs, values, power structures, perceptions of self-interest, political structures, history, and numerous additional factors hold explanatory potential as well. This course investigates these factors. In the process, students explore some of the most important theoretical frameworks in sociology and politics such as rational choice theory, historical institutionalism and statist theory, and some key topics in sociology such as international development. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30 per section. F. Duina. Concentrations
SOC 265. Sociology of Competition.The course examines the nature of competition in the social world: its rules, structure, varieties, functions, assumptions, and consequences. Special attention is paid to competition in specific realms of social life such as economics, politics, the labor market, and sports. Whenever possible, students are asked to think about competition in comparative terms. Readings thus draw from American, European, and Asian traditions. Enrollment limited to 30 per section. F. Duina.
SO/WS 270. Sociology of Gender.This course focuses on the social construction of gender through a consideration of a series of interrelated social institutions and practices central to gender stratification. Emphasis is placed on the intersections between gender inequality and inequalities of race/ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, and nation. Recommended background: one previous course in the sociology or women and gender studies. Not open to students who have received credit for Sociology 270. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. E. Kane. Concentrations
SOC 360. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study per semester. Normally offered every semester. Staff.
PY/SO 371. Prejudice and Stereotyping.Two issues that have long held the interest of social psychologists and that are of great social importance are prejudice and stereotyping. This course explores traditional and contemporary social psychological research on unconscious and covert forms of prejudice as well as cognitive and emotional functions served by stereotyping. The course concludes with an examination of the challenges to prejudice reduction and stereotype change. Prerequisite(s): Psychology 218. Enrollment limited to 50. (Diversity.) M. Sargent. Concentrations
ED/SO 380. Education, Reform, and Politics.The United States has experienced more than three centuries of growth and change in the organization of public and private education. The goals of this course are to examine 1) contemporary reform issues and political processes in relation to the constituencies of school, research, legal, and policy-making communities and 2) how educational policy is formulated, implemented, and evaluated. The study of these areas emphasizes public K–12 education but includes postsecondary education. Examples of specific educational policy arenas include governance, school choice (e.g., charter schools, magnet schools, and vouchers), school funding, standards and accountability, and parental and community involvement. A research-based field component of at least thirty hours is required. Recommended background: one or more courses in education and sociology. Enrollment limited to 15. Staff. Concentrations
SOC 395. Junior-Senior Research Seminars.These seminars provide advanced coverage of specific topics in sociology. Special attention is paid to the theories and methods adopted by sociologists to investigate these topics. Each seminar requires a substantial research project, related to the seminar theme. Prerequisite(s): Sociology 204 and 205.
SOC 395A. European Integration: Politics, Society, and Geography.The European Union (E.U.) represents one of the most remarkable achievements of the contemporary world. This seminar first reviews the history and structure of the E.U. It then examines a series of topics related to the political, social, and geographical dimensions of European integration. These topics include the drivers of integration, the transformation of domestic policies and institutions, the demands of E.U. law, the rise of a European identity, the consequences of expansion in Eastern and Central Europe, the salience of regions, and the E.U. on the international scene. Comparisons with South America's Mercosur conclude the seminar. Students are exposed to numerous theoretical tools and methodologies, including institutionalism, rational choice theory, intergovernmentalism, and comparative methods. Prerequisite(s): Sociology 204 and 205. Enrollment limited to 15. [W2] F. Duina. Concentrations
SOC 395C. Research Seminar in Criminal Policy.The seminar is concerned with the application of knowledge gained from criminological theory and research to the administration of the criminal justice system and the evaluation of criminal justice programs. The seminar is intended to advance a student's ability to carry out individual research. Prerequisite(s): Sociology 204 and 205. Enrollment limited to 15. [W2] S. Sylvester.
SOC 395E. Sociology of Health Professions.This seminar draws on theoretical perspectives and research methodologies employed by two major subfields of sociology, the sociology of work and medical sociology. Health professionals in the United States work in rapidly changing technological, political, economic, and demographic environments. Students explore these and other issues facing health professionals, such as job satisfaction, stress, and efforts to balance work and family. They examine a wide range of health occupations, including (but not limited to) physicians, nurses, dentists, allied health professionals, and practitioners of complementary medicine. Students draw on a diverse range of theoretical frameworks and both qualitative and quantitative research methods employed in the study of health professions. Prerequisite(s): Sociology 204 and 205. Enrollment limited to 15. [W2] H. Taylor.
SOC 395G. Comparative Sociology.Comparative sociology studies social institutions, economic systems, political systems, cultures and norms, legal systems, public policy, social change, and behavior in two or more settings. Comparisons can be qualitative or quantitative in nature and are usually driven by a desire to test theories or hypotheses. Topics of study might include the role of the state in stimulating economic development in advanced and developing countries, the rise of antiglobalization movements in North American and European countries, the spread of democracy in Central and Eastern European nations, and the role of women in business in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. This seminar introduces students to comparative sociology through an examination of recent exemplary works and the completion of individual projects related to each student's interests. Prerequisite(s): Sociology 204 and 205. Enrollment limited to 15. [W2] F. Duina.
SOC 395H. Social Inequality and Public Policy.How are social inequalities in the United States both reduced and exacerbated by public programming, ranging from health care initiatives to work-family policies? This course explores public policies that affect diverse facets of social life, including marriage and family, education, health care, and work. Emphasis is placed on how such macrolevel forces shape individual lives, and particularly how policy intersects with inequalities based on race/ethnicity, class, gender, age, and sexual orientation. Students conduct individual research, drawing on a diverse range of theoretical frameworks and both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Prerequisite(s): Sociology 204 and 205. Enrollment limited to 15. [W2] H. Taylor.
SOC 395I. Gender and Family.This seminar focuses on current debates in the research and policy literatures on gender and family. Potential topics include family policy, domestic violence, the division of labor in households, reproduction, partnerships, parenting, children's gendered experiences within families, elder care, and the integration of work and family. All of these topics are addressed with attention to the role of gender in structuring family experiences, and to the intersections of gender with race, class, sexual orientation, and nation. Theories addressed include feminist theory. Research methods include both quantitative and qualitative approaches to studying gender and family. Prerequisite(s): Sociology 204 and 205. Enrollment limited to 15. [W2] E. Kane. Interdisciplinary Programs.
SOC 395J. Research Seminar in Science and Law.The course considers the relationship between law and science, especially the use of scientific evidence in civil and criminal litigation. Legal admissibility and scientific validity are discussed in light of the U.S. Supreme Court case of Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and the influence of that case and its aftermath in the development and use of the forensic sciences. Prerequisite(s): Sociology 204 and 205. Enrollment limited to 15. [W2] S. Sylvester. Concentrations
SOC 395K. Public Sociology.Sociologists have debated the relationship between the discipline and broader publics for well over a century. In recent years, renewed debate has developed around the promise of public sociology, which former American Sociological Association president Michael Burawoy defines as a sociology that "engages publics beyond the academy in dialogue about matters of political and moral concern." This seminar introduces students to competing perspectives on public sociology, including attention to the history of the discipline's orientation toward public issues and public audiences. With those debates as context, students then engage in the practice of public sociology through community-based research projects on issues related to social inequality. Prerequisite(s): Sociology 204 and 205. Enrollment limited to 15. [W2] E. Kane. Concentrations
SOC 401. Law and Community Internships.Part-time internships in local courts and other agencies concerned with the legal system. Enrollment is limited to available positions. Prerequisite(s): Sociology 116. Instructor permission is required. Normally offered every year. S. Sylvester.
SOC 457. Senior Thesis.Individual and group conferences in connection with the writing of the senior thesis. Students register for Sociology 457 in the fall semester and for Sociology 458 in the winter semester. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.
SOC 457, 458. Senior Thesis.Individual and group conferences in connection with the writing of the senior thesis. Students register for Sociology 457 in the fall semester and for Sociology 458 in the winter semester. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.
SOC 458. Senior Thesis.Individual and group conferences in connection with the writing of the senior thesis. Students register for Sociology 457 in the fall semester and for Sociology 458 in the winter semester. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.Short Term Courses
SOC s17. Hate Violence in the Contemporary United States.This course has two components: 1) an examination of hate violence in the contemporary United States and 2) a weekly dialogue session focusing on individuals' experiences with and perceptions of racial, ethnic, religious, gender, sexual orientation, and other forms of bias. The first component offers an interdisciplinary look at hate violence, including its historical roots in the United States, then focusing on issues raised from the mid-1980s to the present. The second component, the dialogue series, provides students the opportunity to discuss their personal and collective experiences and perceptions about bias in a structured environment. Enrollment limited to 25. Staff.
SOC s21. Forensic Sociology.This seminar considers the use of sociological data and their interpretation in decisions made by courts and other agencies of the judicial system, and the role of the social scientist as an expert witness. Areas considered may include unlawful discrimination, spousal abuse, trademark infringement, obscenity, prediction in law enforcement and corrections, jury selection, and the death penalty. S. Sylvester. Concentrations
SOC s26. Life Course and Aging.This course explores the aging experience, focusing on early adulthood, middle age, and late life. Students are introduced to the social forces shaping the aging experience, paying particular attention to how race and ethnicity, gender, and social class influence the life course. Topics include key transitions in the life course produced by the intersection of individual lives with institutions such as family, health care, and the workplace. The course applies the theoretical perspectives and methodological techniques of life-course sociology to an exploration of life trajectories and the meanings of age. Enrollment limited to 20. H. Taylor.
SOC s27. Studies in Crime Prevention.Current efforts to deal with crime consist principally of law enforcement and punishment. Punishable offenses increase and punishments become more severe with, some argue, little effect on the overall state of crime. An alternative effort is to prevent crimes. The course explores the variety of crime prevention practices, from those that direct attention to offenders' behavior to those that—taking into account that most crimes involve not only an offender but also a victim and a situation surrounding both—seek to alter that critical situation. Major topics include community policing, crime analysis, and crime prevention through environmental design. Enrollment limited to 20. S. Sylvester. Concentrations
SOC s28. War, States, and Social Change.In this course students examine sociological perspectives on war, peace, empires, nation-states, revolutions, and reforms, drawing on recent theories of the sociology of war, political sociology, and comparative-historical sociology. In the second half of the course, special attention is given to the post-World-War-II period and the twenty-first century. Enrollment limited to 30. Staff. Concentrations
SOC s35. Community-Based Research Methods.Community-based research brings together academic and local community members to conduct research addressing local needs. In this course, students explore the foundations of community-based research and conduct individual research projects using data previously collected in the community by students in Research Methods for Sociology (Sociology 205). Advanced techniques of quantitative and qualitative data analysis are presented, including the analysis of data from quantitative surveys and content analysis as well as qualitative interviews and field observation. Students undertake a review of the scholarly literature, and craft a final project that uses that literature as context for the analysis of data using the techniques covered in the course. Prerequisite(s): Sociology 204 and 205. [Q] E. Kane. Concentrations
SOC s50. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study during a Short Term. Normally offered every year. Staff.