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|This page was last updated: 07/04/01 04:00:14 AM|
Chair, Professor Terry Arendell
Professors Thomas Morrione, Arendell, and Cheryl Townsend Gilkes; Visiting Professor Andrew Twaddle; Assistant Professors Alec Campbell and John Talbot; Visiting Instructor Jonathan White
The sociology curriculum introduces students to the discipline, especially to the interplay of sociological theory and sociological research. Courses foster appreciation of such sociological concerns as social inequality, race and ethnicity, gender, social change, globalization, social control, deviance, conflict, social movements, the formation of identity, and of various major social institutions, including education, the economy, polity, family, medicine, law, and criminal justice. Social policy issues are a common theme in courses. By conducting research for course projects, students learn that sociology is an empirically based social science; they learn to do sociology as well as to read about how it is done. Integrating service learning opportunities with our curriculum is a continuing interest of the department. The major in sociology provides students with a critical and humanistic perspective. For those considering graduate or professional school, it offers a comprehensive background in theory, research methods, statistics, and various substantive subject areas in the discipline.
Requirements for the Major in Sociology
The point scale for retention of the major applies to all courses in sociology. No requirement for the major may be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory.
Honors in Sociology
 Visions of Social Control An examination of deviance, dissent, and social control in utopian societies as depicted in selected novels, to illuminate social processes in contemporary societies. Police surveillance, propaganda, legal segregation, political repression, bureaucratic regulation, and biological or psychological manipulation as means of maintaining social order and controlling deviance. Enrollment limited. Three credit hours. S.
131fs Principles of Sociology Sociologists study processes by which people create, maintain, and change their social and cultural worlds. They investigate contemporary social issues and strive to explain relationships between what happens in peoples' lives and the societies in which they live. Sociology's research methods and theories apply to the full range of human behavior, from individual acts to global environmental, political, and economic change. An introduction to how and why sociologists study social and cultural phenomena such as inequality, race and ethnicity, gender, power, politics, the family, religion, social and cultural change, crime, and globalization. Four credit hours. S, D. FACULTY
177f The Sociology of Sexuality and Gender An exploration of the social aspects of human sexuality, focusing on the tight interrelatedness of gender and sexuality, from a social constructionist perspective, and considering the overlapping influences of class, race and ethnicity, and religious beliefs and traditions. Topics include: human sexual desire, attraction, and gender; sexual behaviors; relationships; sex and marriage; the politics of sexuality; sexual orientations and preferences; heterosexism and homophobia; and cultural images of sexuality and sexual behaviors. Part of Integrated Studies program; requires concurrent enrollment in English 177. Four credit hours. S, D. ARENDELL
 African-American Elites and Middle Classes Utilizing classical and contemporary sociological theories of stratification and race relations, the course explores the intersection of class and race-ethnicity in the social origins and historical roles of elites and middle classes in the African-American experience. Particular attention to the writings of Du Bois, Frazier, Cox, and Wilson. Biographical and autobiographical perspectives provide rich description of socialization, family contexts, work, politics, ideologies, and the impacts of racism and social change. Three credit hours. S, D.
215f Classical Sociological Theory The history of sociology, and a critical survey of the systems of thought about society, centered on major schools of sociological theory and their representatives. The place of theory in social research as presented in works of major social theorists, including Comte, Spencer, Durkheim, Weber, Marx, Pareto, Simmel, and Mead. Prerequisite: Sociology 131. Four credit hours. WHITE
217f Politics and Society A survey of sociological perspectives on politics and political processes. Topics include state theory, political parties, the politics of production, social movements, and ideology. Prerequisite: Sociology 131. Four credit hours. CAMPBELL
 Contemporary Social Problems Analysis of selected controversial issues and public problems in the contemporary United States. General theoretical frameworks in the sociology of social problems used to analyze issues from one or more perspectives; areas include alienation, economic and political freedom, the politics of morality, poverty, women's roles, and social inequality. Four credit hours. S, D.
 Crime and Justice in American Society The course explores crime and the criminal justice system in American society. Topics include the definition of crime, police practices, sentencing practices, penal policy, and crime prevention. In addition, discussions of specific crimes including drug crimes, domestic abuse, and white collar crime. Each issue is tied to sociological discussions of the social, economic, and political contexts of crime and criminal justice policies. Prerequisite: Sociology 131. Three credit hours.
235f Sociology of Religion A survey and overview of religion as a social phenomenon and an object of sociological analysis. Topics include theoretical perspectives, research strategies, the problem of meaning and moral order, and religion as a group phenomenon involving social conflict, social organization, social class, race-ethnicity, gender relations, politics, popular culture, and public problems such as pluralism, innovation, secularization, and religious economy. Prerequisite: Sociology 131. Four credit hours. GILKES
 The School in American Society An examination of the structure, organization, and practices of schools in American society. Topics include the role of schools in relation to other social institutions and the opportunities and obstacles experienced by various populations of students. Readings and discussions will engage the debate over whether, or to what extent, schools enable social mobility or reproduce inequality in our society. Four credit hours.
 Population Problems in International Perspective An introduction to the sociological study of processes of population growth and change, examining the social causes of fertility, mortality, and migration, and their impacts on population growth and the age-sex structure of populations. The history of world population growth and its relationship to economic growth, the food supply, and the environment. The debates over whether there is a "population problem" and over what types of population policies should be adopted. Prerequisite: Sociology 131. Four credit hours. D.
252s Race, Ethnicity, and Society Comparative perspectives on topics that include the meanings of race and ethnicity in the United States, ethnic community experiences, racism, prejudice and discrimination, and preferential treatment in the shaping of ethnic identities as it has applied to immigration, citizenship, government programs, and educational opportunities. An examination of the roles of race and ethnicity in organizing complex, stratified societies and in organizing communities and enclaves within those societies, utilizing multiple sociological perspectives on race, ethnicity, minority groups, institutional racism, and inequality. Special attention is paid to the United States in sociohistorical perspective, particularly with reference to the roles of conquest, slavery, immigration, and internal migration. The importance of race and ethnicity in social movements, social conflicts, social policy, and law is also examined. Prerequisite: Sociology 131. Four credit hours. D. GILKES
271f Introduction to Sociological Research Methods Introduction to a variety of research methods employed by sociologists. Topics include problem definition, the logic of inquiry, the relation between theory and research, research design, sampling, and techniques for data collection and analysis. Prerequisite: Sociology 131. Four credit hours. CAMPBELL
272s Advanced Sociological Research Methods Use of quantitative methods of data collection and analysis; manipulation of quantitative data using the computer, basic statistical analysis, interpretation of statistical results, and integration of empirical findings into sociological theory. Prerequisite: Sociology 131, 271. Four credit hours. Q. CAMPBELL
273f The Family Central issues in the sociological study of the American family in both historical and contemporary contexts. Two broad facets of sociological study of the family are emphasized: the family as a major social institution in relationship to other major social institutions, particularly the industrial/post-industrial capitalist economy and the liberal democratic polity, and the family as a primary social group and a unit of intense interpersonal relationships structured along gender and generational lines. Prerequisite: Sociology 131. Four credit hours. ARENDELL
274s Social Inequality and Power A sociological analysis of the structure of inequality in the United States. The course surveys the major sociological theories of social class and inequality and applies them to analyze the American power structure, the nature and extent of inequality across the country, and the reasons for the persistence of racial inequality and gender inequality in contemporary society. Prerequisite: Sociology 131. Four credit hours. D. WHITE
276j Sociology of Gender The behaviors expected of people because of their sex and differences in the status of men and women in society are examined using a sociohistorical perspective. Theories accounting for gender differences are analyzed, and the consequences of gender inequality in contemporary society are explored. An introductory survey of the sociological study of gender, using feminist and social constructionist theoretical approaches, investigating the construction and maintenance of gendered identities and a stratified society, focusing primarily on contemporary America. Among the topics examined are: cultural definitions and expectations; childhood socialization; intimacies and sexualities; gendered activities and gender inequalities in marriage and family; activities and inequities in work and the economy; power and politics; and social reforms and possibilities. Variations by race and socioeconomic class are considered throughout. Three credit hours. S, D. BLAKE
 Social Psychology An analysis of major social psychological views of human behavior, with special emphasis on the works of George Herbert Mead and Herbert Blumer. Human group life, social behavior, self, situations, and society examined from a variety of perspectives. Prerequisite: Sociology 131. Four credit hours.
 Social Change Television, rumor, fear, the madness of crowds, war, riots, the civil rights and women's rights social movements, congressional legislation, famine, industrialization, computer technology, religion, and government are agents of and products of social changes. A sociological look at phenomena such as these provides an introduction to the study of social change. A review of classical sociological approaches to the study of social change, as well as historical, social psychological, psychological, and ecological elements. Students are encouraged to analyze contemporary changes in American culture. Prerequisite: Sociology 131. Four credit hours.
318s Contemporary Sociological Theory An exploration and analysis of the contemporary state of sociology as a discipline. Special attention is given to critical theory, rational choice theory, global systems theory, phenomenology, ethnomethodology, symbolic interactionism, and postmodernists' criticism of modern social science. Prerequisite: Sociology 215. Four credit hours. WHITE
 Globalization Globalization is a word widely used in the media and in academic discourses but used in many different ways and applied to a broad range of social phenomena. A systematic exploration of some major aspects of the process of globalization and the ways in which they are interrelated: the changing organization of the world economy, the rise of global culture industry, problems of population growth and environmental degradation, and the spread of ethnic conflicts. The various types of resistance movements that have arisen in response to increasing globalization and some of the debates over how to solve the problems it has created. Formerly listed at Sociology 397. Prerequisite: Sociology 131. Four credit hours. D.
 Social Deviance A seminar examining changing definitions of social deviance and evaluating the "adequacy" of a variety of theories of deviant behavior. Readings and discussions emphasize contemporary perspectives. Postmodernists' criticisms of traditional views of deviance also receive attention. Prerequisite: Sociology 131. Four credit hours.
 The Sociology of Food If, as the saying goes, "you are what you eat," then what are you? Do you know where your food comes from, who grows it, and how it is traded and transported to you? This course answers those questions, and more. Students explore the social meanings and the social relations surrounding the preparation and consumption of food as well as the social relations of food production. Also the organization of a global food system that links the production and consumption of food and how it generates abundance in some places and hunger and famine in others. Prerequisite: Sociology 131. Four credit hours. D.
337s Childhood in Society A seminar exploring the social, historical, and cultural constructions of childhoods and children, with a specific focus on the American and Western European contexts, using a sociological perspective, especially the social constructionist paradigm, to explore the relationships between the social order and constructions of childhood, children and their environment, and age categories and social relations. Social policy relevant to childhoods and children. The history and development of child welfare in the United States, and selective contemporary social issues and needs, among them economic provision, education, health care, child care, and health care. Four credit hours. ARENDELL
 The City in Sociological Perspective An examination of the factors that have shaped the social ecology of American cities. Course materials explore the relationship between ecological features of the city and various urban social problems. Materials also investigate the life experiences and the structure of opportunities open to urban residents. Prerequisite: Sociology 131 and one 200-level sociology or anthropology course. Four credit hours. D.
 Sociology and the American Race Problem A seminar combining intellectual history with critical analysis of theories on race, ethnicity, prejudice, discrimination, caste, and other concepts related to the history of the sociological study of "race relations." Special attention to sociologists and the civil rights movement and the impact of that and other social movements on sociological thought. Prerequisite: One of the following: Sociology 131, 214, 231, 252, 355 or 357 or American Studies 276. Four credit hours.
355f African-American Women and Social Change Sociological analysis and historical overview of African-American women and their families, work lives, and community (especially religious and political) experience. A focus on the contradictions between lived experience and cultural expectations surrounding gender and on the distinctive experiences of African-American women as a force for social change. Prerequisite: An introductory social science course or American Studies 276. Four credit hours. D. GILKES
356f Health and Illness A basic introduction to the sociological study of health and medicine. An overview of sociological work on health, death, disease, illness, sickness and health care. Topics will include health problems that medical care systems are designed to meet, the social psychology of sickness, occupations that have been devised to deal with those problems, settings designed to facilitate meeting health needs, health care systems in the United States, Sweden, and other countries, and medical care reform in the U.S. and other countries. Prerequisite: Sociology 131. Four credit hours. S. TWADDLE
 Civil Rights, Black Power, and Social Change A seminar examining the impact of the civil rights and black power movements on sociological concepts, theories, and perspectives on race relations, racial stratification, social change, and ethnicity. The PBS series Eyes on the Prize I and II are used to introduce readings and discussions of sociological and ideological texts influenced or produced by activists and activities of the civil rights or black power movements. The connections among civil rights and black power movements and other social movements in the United States and other societies. Prerequisite: An introductory anthropology, sociology, history, or American studies course. Four credit hours. S, D.
 Social Movements Examines the origins, courses, and consequences of social movements. Topics include the emergence of movements, the development of leadership, movement tactics and strategies (e.g., nonviolent direct action, litigation), and explanations of movement success and failure. Cases covered change from year to year but may include racial and ethnic movements, nationalist movements, conservative movements, environmentalism, women's movements, and major political movements such as fascism, communism, progressivism, and populism. Prerequisite: Sociology 131 or 357. Four credit hours. D.
 Social Situations in Everyday Life An introduction to issues, problems, and strategies relating to the observation and analysis of human interaction in natural social settings both on and off campus. A social-psychological perspective is developed through discussion of firsthand field experience and participant observation in a variety of settings. Prerequisite: Sociology 131 and 271. Four credit hours.
 Divorce and Contemporary Society The history of divorce in the United States, locating marital dissolution in the larger sociohistorical and cultural ideological contexts: advancing industrialization, increased urbanization, and a changing economy; family demographic shifts; the individualistic ethic and changing gender norms and ideologies; developments in child psychology and parenting; and how the expansion of the social welfare state and challenges to public policy contribute to and affect the divorce rate and families' and individuals' experiences. Prerequisite: Sociology 131 and 273, or 276. Four credit hours. D.
 Welfare Policy in Sociological Perspective An examination of the origins and growth of the welfare state in comparative and historical perspective although primary emphasis is placed on the United States. Topics include the definition of welfare, the social and political functions of welfare provision, corporate welfare, the relationship of welfare programs to the labor movement and other social movements, and the current crisis in welfare programs in advanced industrial countries. The success and/or failure of specific welfare programs and the extent of fraud in the welfare system. Prerequisite: Sociology 131. Four credit hours. D.
 Gender and Public Policy A seminar exploring the relationship between gender and public policy in American society, with a particular focus on policies and programs at the federal level. Drawing upon the fields of gender and feminist studies and theory, law, and policy studies, an examination of the development of laws and policies pertaining to women and men on the basis of presumed or argued sexual difference, in the context of American historical, philosophical, and cultural traditions. Prerequisite: Sociology 131 and 273, or 276. Four credit hours. D.
398s Genocide and Political Violence An exploration of the perplexing and disturbing reality of widespread genocide and political violence throughout the world, particularly during the 20th century. Causes, what constitutes genocide, how genocide and political violence are rationalized and allowed to continue, issues of prejudice, discrimination, and racism, responses by the world community, issues of morality and immorality, and what can be done to prevent/reduce genocide and political violence. Case studies covered may include the Holocaust, Armenia, Rwanda, Burma, El Salvador, Guatemala, East Timor, Chiapas, Tibet, Congo. Prerequisite: Sociology 131. Four credit hours. WHITE
483f, 484s Honors Project Prerequisite: Senior standing, admission to the honors program, and permission of the supervising faculty member. Two to four credit hours. FACULTY
491f, 492s Independent Study Individual topics in areas where the student has demonstrated the interest and competence necessary for independent work. Prerequisite: Senior standing and permission of the department. Two to four credit hours. FACULTY
493f Senior Seminar in Sociology Social policy in contemporary Western societies, particularly the United States, including comparisons with other advanced industrial societies. The relationships between political structures and organization, cultural history and values, and social objectives. The processes of policy decision making and implementation and of social change and policy decision making. Prerequisite: Senior standing, Sociology 215, 271, and 272. Four credit hours. ARENDELL
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Colby is a four-year, residential, liberal arts college in Waterville, Maine. Colby offers undergraduate courses during fall and spring semesters and grants bachelors of arts degrees.