Course Descriptions


SY 221 Introduction to Sociology (3).
Basic concepts, principles, and methods of sociological analysis are examined. Subject areas include culture, socialization, groups, communities, institutions, social inequality, and social change.

SY 222 Honors Introduction to Sociology (3).

Basic concepts, principles, and methods of sociological analysis are examined. Writing intensive, the primary goal is to teach students how to critically evaluate the world around them and their place in it using the sociological imagination.

SY 223 Social Problems (3).
Prerequisite 221 or 222.
An application of the sociological perspective to understanding important contemporary social issues and the social actions and policies that attempt to address them. Students develop critical thinking skills as they explore social problems, solutions and social change. Topics focus on inequality (race/ethnicity, class, gender, etc.) embedded in social institutions.

SY 301 Researching Society (3).
Prerequisite 221 or 222.
Sociological Methods involves various methodologies researchers utilize to produce scientifically based knowledge about society. Methods are any application of methodology, and methodology attempts to answer the question: how do you know? This course is an introduction to theory, design, collection, and analysis of data in sociology with particular focus given to various techniques by which sociological data are examined. (Writing Intensive Course)

SY 303 Computers and Data Analysis (3).
Prerequisite SY 301 or MS 204 or CS 201.
Computers are used in the analysis of survey data. Commonly used software packages such as SPSS are employed.

SY 304 Social Statistics (3).
Prerequisite: MS 100 or above.
An introduction to the use of statistics in the social sciences, with an examination of measures of association and dispersion, scaling, probability, and tests of significance.

SY 308 Pop Culture (3). 
Prerequisite 221 or 222.

A Sociological Analysis of American Society and Culture, this course will examine the basic institutions in American society such as family, education, religion, politics, and economy. It analyzes the roll of organizations in society. It discusses the origin of American culture and the nature of popular culture (spring only).

SY 309 Sociology of Disability (3).
Prerequisite 221 or 222.
This course addresses the human responses to and facilitation of the concept of disability. The emphasis will be to connect the relationship among theory, epistemology, power relationships, and the social construction of disability. When the course is over, you should have a deeper understanding of social theory, the history of disabilities, and also how the concept of disabilities impacts our lives today.

SY 310 Modern Family (3). 
Prerequisite 221 or 222.

A study of origin and evolution of the modern family as a social institution and as a social group with emphasis on how family is impacted by other institutions (economy, state, media, religion, etc.) as well as inequalities (gender, sexualities, race, class, etc.). 

SY 313 Social Psychology (3). 
Prerequisite 221 or 222.

A survey of traditional and contemporary theories in social psychology regarding their applicability to everyday life, including such approaches as cognitive theory, reinforcement theory, symbolic interaction, and humanistic theories.

SY 315 Deviant Behavior (3). 
Prerequisite 221 or 222.

Introduction to the social and cultural factors related to human deviance. Special attention is given to the study of various theories of deviant behavior.

SY 320 Criminology (3). 
Prerequisite 221 or 222.

This course is an introduction to the study of criminology. Its focus is on the nature of crime, the nature and development of law, the criminal justice system, and theories of crime.

SY 322 Juvenile Delinquency (3).
Prerequisite 221 or 222.
Popular misconceptions; delinquency trends; police and juveniles; programs of prevention; detention centers; juvenile courts, probation; theories of causation; corrections.

SY 324 Social Stratification (3).
Prerequisite 221 or 222.

Causes, characteristics, and consequences of inequality are examined. Differences in wealth, power, and prestige are considered in the community, society, and between societies.

SY 325 Sociology of Organizations (3).
Prerequisite 221 or 222.
Simple and complex organizations are examined regarding their structures, functions, conflicts, and changes. Major theories are presented along with empirical studies of organizational behavior.

SY 326 Sociology of Education (3).
Prerequisite 221 or 222.
The school is examined as a major social institution and socializing agent in American society. The formal and informal structure of the school, its influence upon the responses to the wider community institutions, and primary functions of the school system are examined. Teacher-student relationships, the classroom as a social system, and equality of educational opportunity will be considered.

SY 340 Perspectives on Death and Dying (3).
Prerequisite 221 or 222.
An examination of the attitudes of differing cultures and subcultures toward death, which encourages students to supplement relevant readings by discussing personal attitudes toward death and dying. Current research in this topic will be explored by lectures, films, and readings. By better understanding death and dying, students can explore in this course opportunities for growth and for improving the quality of life. SY 340 is cross listed with SW 371, but only one course can be counted for credit.

SY 350 Sociology of Disasters (3).
Prerequisite 221 or 222.
The course applies a sociological perspective to trace the study of disasters, emphasizing how social inequalities constitute varying degrees of risk and destruction throughout pre, impact and post disaster stages. This course examines social structure and social process as they interact with disaster conditions.

SY 356 Social Movements & Activism (3).
Prerequisite 221 or 222.
Crowds, mass behavior, fashions and fads, reform movements and revolutions are examined. Current examples are used to illustrate models and theories.

SY 360 Race, Ethnicity & Society (3).
Prerequisite 221 or 222.
This course focuses on relations between majorities and minorities, the conditions of minority life, and the structural, cultural, and interpersonal barriers that affect minorities.

SY 362 Global Immigration Patterns and Trends (3).
Prerequisite 221 or 222.
This course examines the structural and individual immigration patterns and trends between country of origins and destination countries. The course examines how economic, political, and social forces lead to push and pull factors in both voluntary and forced migration routes. Course topics include illegal immigration, brain drain, refugees/asylum seekers, transnational migrants, etc.

SY 364 Medicine and Society (3).
Prerequisite 221 or 222 or permission of instructor.
This course is designed to provide a brief introduction to the major themes of and current trends concerning the social causes and consequences of health and illness. Topics of interest will be to explore the social facets of health and disease; the social functions of health organizations; and the social behaviors of health personnel and consumers.

SY 365 Drugs and Society (3).
Prerequisite 221 or 222.
This course presents a sociological framework for studying the ways in which societies both encourage and restrict the use of psychoactive drugs. The course will investigate the ways we think about alcohol, tobacco, prescription, and illegal drugs.

SY 366 Religion, Spirituality & Cults (3).
Prerequisite 221 or 222.
The study of religion in its social and cultural contexts. Comparatively examines how religious beliefs, rituals, and practices exist in close relation to other aspects of society and culture, giving to human existence coherence and purpose.

SY 367 Sociology of Sexualities (3).
Prerequisite 221 or 222.
A study of how sexuality is perceived, defined, and experienced in the context of society. Topics include social norms, attitudes and beliefs about sexuality, public and private policies, as well as practices surrounding sexuality, and how sexuality is related to social institutions.

SY 368 Gender and Society (3). 
Prerequisite 221 or 222.
Theories of Gender will examine various theories of gender; how gender shapes interactions in everyday life; and how gender works in various social institutions (education, work, family, politics, media, etc.) and challenges to gendered systems.

SY 370 Aging and Human Development (3). 
Prerequisite None.

An examination of aging in the United States. Primarily a sociological perspective but deals with the psychological and biological aspects of aging, as well as contemporary demographic, economic, and political trends. SY 370 is cross listed with SW 370, but only one course can be counted for credit.

SY 399 Study Tour (3). 
Prerequisite None.

Topics, excursions, and requirements determined by department. May be duplicated for credit; however, only three (3) credits may be applied toward any major or minor. Infrequently scheduled and subject to minimum and maximum numbers. Advance deposit required.

SY 427 Understanding Society I (3). 
Prerequisites SY 221 or 222, plus twelve (12) hours sociology courses or permission of instructor.

An examination of the major trends in social thought up to WWII. 

SY 428 Understanding Society II (3). 
Prerequisites SY 221 or 222, plus twelve (12) hours sociology courses or permission of instructor.

An examination of the major trends in social thought up to WWII. 

SY 441, 442, 443. Independent Study (3). 
Students seeking admission must have advanced standing and secure approval of instructor and department chair.
An opportunity for the student with advanced standing to explore areas of special interest.

SY 452 Aging Practicum (3). 
Prerequisite SY 370.
Field observation and experiences in agencies or organizations engaged in planning or administering programs for older people or providing direct services to older people. Seminar analysis of these experiences.

SY 460 Sociology Internship (3).
Prerequisite: Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0; a minimum completion of 12 hours of sociology course work at Jacksonville State University; and instructor approval required.
This course provides students the opportunity to gain work/career experience in service/learning or business/corporate settings. 

SY 480, 481, 482. Advanced Seminar in Sociology (3).
Prerequisite 221 or 222, advanced standing, and instructor approval required.

An examination of current issues in Sociology. The content of the course will vary each semester. 

SY 495 Advanced Seminar in Aging (3).
Prerequisite SY 370, advanced standing, and approval of instructor required.
An examination of current issues in aging.

SY 499 Senior Sociology Seminar (3)
Prerequisites: SY 301, SY 304, and SY 427; or approval of instructor.

A summary and reintegration of fundamental concepts in Sociology. Career paths are also discussed.