Department of Sociology

Sociology is the study of social life, including individuals, groups, organizations, institutions, and societies. Sociologists investigate the social causes and consequences of human behavior and interaction, such as inequality, poverty, discrimination, and urbanization. While offering a general sociology curriculum, the program specializes in the study of race, ethnicity, and gender; work, organizations, and the economy; and urban sociology. Students majoring in Sociology will gain an understanding of, and the ability to use, key sociological theories, methodologies, and analytical skills in building sociological knowledge.

A major in Sociology will prepare students to undertake graduate studies in sociology, and other fields such as other social sciences, social work, law, urban planning, and public health. It is also an excellent preparation for a wide variety of occupations in business and industry, the justice system, community and social services, government, education, social justice, and research.

Distinction

To be considered for Distinction, students must obtain a 3.00/4.00 overall GPA, plus the following:

  • 3.50/4.00 GPA in the major for Distinction;
  • 3.75/4.00 GPA in the major for High Distinction;
  • 3.75/4.00 GPA in the major, SOC 499, and completion of a senior thesis for Highest Distinction.

Note: The GPA will be calculated using all of the credits that are being applied to the degree—from UIC and from any transfer institution.

Special Programs in Sociology

Research Skills

The Sociology program offers courses in which students can develop their research skills. Students can take courses such as Introductory, Intermediate, and Advanced Statistics, as well as learn about various research methods (such as Ethnography, Survey, Census) in introductory and more advanced research methods courses.

Area of Concentration

The Sociology program offers a general sociology curriculum with an emphasis in the study of race, ethnicity, and gender; work, organizations, and the economy; and urban sociology. Students who want to specialize in any of these areas select relevant courses at the 200- and 400-level.

Course Credit for Paid Work

Cooperative education combines work experience with academic courses. Co-op placement possibilities include a wide range of professional, managerial, and technical positions in firms, not-for-profit organizations, and government agencies.

Independent Study and Research Projects

Students can gain research experience by working with a faculty member on an ongoing research project or conducting their own independent research project. Students who want to graduate with the Highest Departmental Distinction must complete SOC 499 and write a senior thesis based on a research project.

Preprofessional Preparation

Majoring in Sociology can provide students with an excellent preparation for admission to professional and graduate programs in medicine, health, law, urban planning, social work, education, and business.

Critical Thinking and Communication

Sociology develops skills in analyzing, synthesizing, generalizing, and communicating information and knowledge. Courses stress both logical and data analysis as well as careful and thoughtful reading, discussion, and writing. Sociology’s subject matter includes relationships among economic, political, cultural, and social factors and explores the impact of physical and biological forces on individuals and society. This inclusive framework and general training lies at the heart of a liberal education for lifetime learning.

Courses

SOC 100. Introduction to Sociology. 3 hours.

Analysis of human societies, organizations and groups, and the interrelations among individuals, groups, and societies. Class Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Discussion/Recitation and one Lecture-Discussion. Individual and Society course, and US Society course.

SOC 105. Social Problems. 3 hours.

Contemporary social problems examined from the perspectives of social institutions, culture, inequality, organizations and groups, political and economic structure, social change, and social policy. Course Information: May be substituted for SOC 100 as a prerequisite for other sociology courses. Individual and Society course, and US Society course.

SOC 120. Introduction to Asian American Studies. 3 hours.

Overview of Asian American experiences and perspectives in socio-historical context. Introduction to major concepts, issues, and debates in the field of Asian American Studies. Course Information: Same as GLAS 120. Previously listed as SOC 125. Class Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Discussion and one Lecture. Individual and Society course, and US Society course.

SOC 201. Introductory Sociological Statistics. 4 hours.

An introduction to the basic statistical methods used in the analysis of sociological data. 3 hours of lecture and 2 hours of laboratory per week. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): SOC 100 or SOC 105; and either MATH 090 or MATH 092 or MATH 118 or the equivalent or consent of the instructor. Class Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Laboratory and one Lecture-Discussion.

SOC 203. The African American Family in the United States. 3 hours.

Examination of the structure and functioning of the African American family. Historical and contemporary analyses. Course Information: Same as AAST 203. Prerequisite(s): AAST 100 or SOC 100 or consent of the instructor. Individual and Society course, and US Society course.

SOC 212. Human Sexuality: Social Perspectives. 3 hours.

Historical and cultural perspectives on contemporary American sexuality; knowledge, attitudes, and practices; sexuality over the life cycle, socialization; affection, interpersonal attraction; marriage, law, other institutions. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): SOC 100.

SOC 215. Sociology of Childhood and Youth. 3 hours.

Explores the meanings and social position of children and youth in society and examines how contemporary ideas about these categories emerged. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): SOC 100 or SOC 105; or consent of the instructor. Individual and Society course, and US Society course.

SOC 224. Gender and Society. 3 hours.

Sociological perspectives on gender as a factor in social stratification; gender role acquisition; individual and social consequences of changing social definitions of gender roles. Course Information: Same as GWS 224. Prerequisite(s): SOC 100 or GWS 101 or GWS 102. Individual and Society course, and US Society course.

SOC 225. Racial and Ethnic Groups. 3 hours.

Sociological and social-psychological analysis of racial, religious, and other ethnic groups; consideration of historical and current social problems arising from their relationships in society. Course Information: Same as AAST 225 and LALS 225. Prerequisite(s): SOC 100; or consent of the instructor. Individual and Society course, and US Society course.

SOC 226. Latinas in the United States. 3 hours.

Socioeconomic conditions and cultural experiences of Latinas in the U.S. Historical and contemporary views of labor, health, education, family, identity formation and leadership. Course Information: Same as GWS 276, and LALS 276. Class Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Lecture and one Discussion.

SOC 228. Sociology of Asia and Asian Americans. 3 hours.

Asian and Asian-American culture, institutions, and organization; immigration, population, settlement patterns; occupations and poverty; family and ethnic identification; inequality and politics; values, prejudice, discrimination. Course Information: Same as GLAS 228. Prerequisite(s): SOC 100. Individual and Society course, and US Society course.

SOC 229. Sociology of Latinos. 3 hours.

Examines social, political and economic issues affecting Latino groups. While focusing on the process of racialization, the course also examines immigration, language rights, gender and sexuality, labor market, media, and youth. Course Information: Same as LALS 229. Prerequisite(s): SOC 100 or LALS 102 or SOC 105 or LALS 103; or consent of the instructor. Individual and Society course, and US Society course.

SOC 231. Criminology. 3 hours.

Introductory survey of theories exploring the origins, organization, meanings, and control of crime. Course Information: Same as CLJ 220. Prerequisite(s): CLJ 101. Class Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Discussion/Recitation and one Lecture.

SOC 241. Social Inequalities. 3 hours.

Dimensions of inequality: economy, education, housing, health care; power, status and self-esteem; inequality, and social policy. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): SOC 100. Individual and Society course, and US Society course.

SOC 244. Sociology of Work. 3 hours.

Impact of bureaucracy, technology, and automation; changing composition of labor force: women, youth, elderly, racial and ethnic minorities; international comparisons; policy implications. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): SOC 100 or SOC 105; or consent of the instructor. Individual and Society course, and US Society course.

SOC 245. Marriage and Family. 3 hours.

The family as an interactional system, an organization, and a social institution; extended family ties, mate selection, marital roles, socialization, marital dissolution, family life course and change. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): SOC 100. Individual and Society course, and US Society course.

SOC 246. Sociology of Religion. 3 hours.

Analysis of the structures and functions of religious institutions in modern society.Special attention to the interplay between religion and other social phenomena, such as economics, politics, and secular culture. Course Information: Same as RELS 246. Occasional field trips. Prerequisite(s): One social sciences Course Distribution Credit (CDC) course and sophomore standing. Class Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Lecture-Discussion and one Practice. Individual and Society course, and US Society course.

SOC 251. Health and Medicine. 3 hours.

Health care systems; special emphasis on United States; dimensions of wellness and sickness including mental health; health providers, organizations, and institutions and their relations. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): SOC 100 or SOC 105; or consent of the instructor. Individual and Society course, and US Society course.

SOC 258. Race and Urban Life. 3 hours.

Examines the experiences of Blacks in urban areas since the 1900's. Course Information: Same as AAST 258.

SOC 265. Sociology of Politics. 3 hours.

The exercise of power and power structures; alternative political systems; relationship between state and society; political attitudes, participation, and organizations; political change, reform, and revolution. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): SOC 100. Individual and Society course.

SOC 268. Introduction to Comparative Sociology. 3 hours.

Comparisons of population, culture, economics, politics, and social relations among contemporary societies. Relations among institutional areas and among societies. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): 3 hours of social science courses. Individual and Society course, and World Cultures course.

SOC 271. African Americans and the Politics of Incarceration. 3 hours.

Examination of the status of African Americans as offenders, victims, and personnel within the criminal justice system. Course Information: Same as AAST 271 and CLJ 271. Previously listed as SOC 371. Prerequisite(s): Grade of C or better or concurrent registration in AAST 100 or Grade of C or better or concurrent registration in SOC 101. Individual and Society course, and US Society course.

SOC 276. Urban Sociology. 3 hours.

Examination of the history, patterns, and consequences of urban places and life in those places. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): SOC 100. Individual and Society course, and US Society course.

SOC 296. Supervised Study or Research. 1-3 hours.

Special projects arranged in advance by faculty or student initiative. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 9 hours with approval. Students may register in more than one section per term. Approval to repeat course granted by the department. Prerequisite(s): 9 hours of sociology, consent of the instructor, and approval of the department prior to registration. Class Schedule Information: This course counts toward the limited number of independent study hours accepted toward the degree and the major.

SOC 298. Internship in Sociological Applications. 3 hours.

Placement in a university or external organization where students participate in a project using sociological skills under the direction of a field supervisor. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): SOC 201 and SOC 202; and approval of the department. Class Schedule Information: This course counts toward the limited number of independent study hours accepted toward the degree and the major.

SOC 300. Introduction to Sociological Research Methods. 4 hours.

Survey of the principal methods of social research; problem and concept formation, research design, sampling reliability, internal and external validity, control of alternative explanations, ethical responsibilities of researchers. Course Information: Previously listed as SOC 202. Prerequisite(s): SOC 201; and sophomore standing or above; or SOC 201 and one additional 200-level course in sociology. Class Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Lecture and one Discussion.

SOC 385. Introduction to Sociological Theory. 3 hours.

A survey of the major approaches to explaining social pheomena drawn from representative nineteenth and twentieth-century social theorists. Emphasis on present-day applicability of these approaches. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): Sophomore standing or above and two 200-level elective courses in sociology or consent of the instructor. Class Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Lecture and one Discussion.

SOC 401. Sociological Statistics. 4 hours.

Descriptive and inferential statistics for graduate and advanced undergraduate sociology majors and related fields. Tests of means, regression, correlation, analysis of variance, and related topics. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): SOC 201 and two additional 200-level sociology electives; or graduate standing or consent of the instructor. Class Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Laboratory and one Lecture-Discussion.

SOC 402. Intermediate Sociological Statistics. 4 hours.

Covers general linear models emphasizing regression, analysis of variance and covariance, simple structural equation models, simple categorical methods and elementary matrix algebra. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): SOC 401. Class Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Laboratory and one Lecture-Discussion.

SOC 405. Writing in the Social Sciences. 3 or 4 hours.

Leads to effective, clear writing for a social science audience. Teaches how to organize ideas, avoid tiresome jargon, and write with precision. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): 6 hours of upper-division social science courses.

SOC 406. Urban Ethnography. 3 or 4 hours.

The study of processes and meanings in African American communities in urban areas, interviews, participant observation, focus groups. Course Information: Same as AAST 405. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): AAST 100; and junior standing or above.

SOC 407. Seminar in Comparative Racialization. 3 or 4 hours.

Provides an interdisciplinary and comparative approach to the making and remaking of "race" and the resultant racialized experiences of different groups in the U.S. and globally. Course Information: Same as AAST 407. Prerequisite(s): AAST 247 or AAST 248 or AAST 340 or SOC 225; and senior standing or above; or consent of the instructor.

SOC 424. Sociology of Gender. 3 or 4 hours.

Variety and change in gender roles; patterns and consequences of gender inequality; gender and sexuality; gender and social institutions such as family, economy. Course Information: Same as GWS 425. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): SOC 224, or any 100 or 200-level GWS course and an additional 200 or 300-level elective in sociology or gender and women studies; Junior standing or above; or graduate standing; or consent of the instructor.

SOC 425. Race and Ethnicity. 3 or 4 hours.

Critical examination of the conceptual frameworks and empirical findings in the study of race and ethnicity. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): SOC 225 an additional 200- or 300- level elective in Sociology; or consent of the instructor.

SOC 426. Topics in Race, Ethnicity, and Gender. 3 or 4 hours.

Intensive examination of a specialized topic in race, ethnicity and gender. The specific topic of the course varies depending on the faculty offering it. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated up to 2 times. Students may register in more than one section per term. Prerequisite(s): SOC 224; or SOC 225; and junior standing or above and an additional 200 or 300-level elective in sociology; or consent of the instructor.

SOC 428. Asian/Asian American Women in the Global Economy. 3 or 4 hours.

Examines the racialization and feminization of a global division of labor and focuses primarily on Asian and Asian American women's participation and incorporation as workers and key actors in the development of the global economy. Course Information: Same as GLAS 428 and GWS 428. 3 undergraduate hours; 4 graduate hours. Previously listed as ASAM 428. Prerequisite(s): At least one GLAS or GWS or SOC course; or consent of the instructor.

SOC 433. Latin American Migration to the U.S. 3 or 4 hours.

Latin American migration to the U.S. International migration theories, family remittances, transnational linkages, dual citizenship, and past and current U.S. immigration policy debates. Course Information: Same as LALS 433. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): Consent of the instructor.

SOC 440. Topics in Organizations and Institutions. 3 or 4 hours.

Intensive examination of a specialized topic announced when the class is scheduled. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated up to 2 times. Students may register in more than one section per term. Prerequisite(s): SOC 244 or MGMT 340, and an additional 200-level sociology elective, and junior standing; or consent of the instructor.

SOC 441. Social Stratification. 3 or 4 hours.

The nature of systems of differentiation and ranking in societies and their consequences; emphasis on class structure in the United States; prestige, status, power, and social mobility in the United States and other societies. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): SOC 241 and an additional 200 or 300-level elective in Sociology; and Junior standing or above; or consent of the instructor.

SOC 445. Sociology of the Family. 3 or 4 hours.

Variety and change in family patterns; family formation and break-up; parents' and childrens' effects on each other; influences of culture and political economy; consequences for other institutions. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): SOC 224, or SOC 245 and an additional 200 or 300-level Sociology elective; and Junior standing or above; or consent of the instructor.

SOC 446. Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in American Religion. 3 or 4 hours.

Religious institutions in the U.S. as a crucible for racial, ethnic, and gender identities, group formation, and intergroup relations; major world religions represented in the U.S. Course Information: Same as RELS 446. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): SOC 246 and an additional 200 or 300- level elective in Sociology; and Junior standing or above; or consent of instructor.

SOC 447. Organizations. 3 or 4 hours.

Characteristics of business, government, and not-for-profit organizations; approaches used to study organizations; theoretical and empirical analysis of organizational processes. Course Information: Same as MGMT 447. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): SOC 241 or MGMT 340 or SOC 244 and an additional 200 or 300-level elective in sociology; and junior standing or above; or consent of the instructor.

SOC 448. Sociology of Development. 3 or 4 hours.

Historical, economic, political, social, and geographic factors shaping national and international development experiences and outcomes. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): 6 hours of upper-division social science courses or consent of the instructor.

SOC 451. Medical Sociology. 3 or 4 hours.

Survey of major topics in sociology of health and medicine including social definitions of health and illness, patient practitioner interaction, the organization of health institutions and professions. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): 6 hours of upper-division sociology or consent of the instructor.

SOC 455. Topics in Medical Sociology. 3 or 4 hours.

Intensive examination of a specialized topic announced when the class is scheduled. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours. Students may register in more than one section per term. Prerequisite(s): SOC 451 or consent of the instructor.

SOC 465. Topics in Sociology of Politics. 3 or 4 hours.

Intensive examination of a specialized topic announced when the class is scheduled. Course Information: Same as POLS 465. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours. Students may register in more than one section per term. Prerequisite(s): 6 hours of upper-division sociology or consent of the instructor.

SOC 471. Population. 3 or 4 hours.

The measurement and study of major trends and differentials in fertility, mortality, migration, growth, and compositional characteristics of the population of the United States and other nations. Course Information: Same as EPID 471. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): SOC 201 and an additional 200 or 300-level course in sociology; and junior standing or above; or consent of the instructor.

SOC 473. Cities and Regions. 3 or 4 hours.

Characteristics, conditions, and consequences of structure and change of cities and metropolitan regions. Spatial, political economy, cultural perspectives. Census, ecological, historical, comparative data for cities. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): SOC 201 and an additional 200 or 300-level course in sociology; and junior standing or above; or consent of the instructor.

SOC 476. Topics in Urban Sociology. 3 or 4 hours.

Intensive examination of a specialized topic announced when the class is scheduled. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours. Students may register in more than one section per term. Prerequisite(s): 6 hours of upper-division sociology or consent of the instructor.

SOC 485. Classical Social Theory. 3 or 4 hours.

Survey and analysis of classical European and American social theory. Examination of how theorists such as Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Veblen and Park defined and described society within their own social contexts and how we derive meaning from these theories. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): SOC 385; and senior standing or above; or consent of the instructor.

SOC 487. Current Social Theory. 3 or 4 hours.

Review and evaluation of major currents in sociological theory since the 1940s. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): SOC 385; and senior standing or above; or consent of the instructor.

SOC 490. Senior Research Experience. 4 hours.

The course integrates theory, methods and analytical skills to a substantive area of sociology. Students will gain hands-on experience by collecting data, analyzing data, writing up their findings and presenting their projects to the class. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 8 hours, with approval of the deparment. Students may register for more than one section per term. Previously listed at SOC 400. Prerequisite(s): SOC 300 and SOC 385; and senior standing or above and one 400-level elective in sociology and consent of the instructor. Class Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Lecture and one Discussion.

SOC 496. Independent Study or Research. 1-9 hours.

Extensive readings in specialized areas of sociology or empirical research for advanced undergraduate or graduate students. Course Information: May be repeated with approval. Students may register in more than one section per term. Approval to repeat course granted by the department. Undergraduate students may repeat course for maximum of 9 hours of credit. Prerequisite(s): 18 hours of sociology, excluding SOC 296 and SOC 299, consent of the instructor, and approval of the department. Class Schedule Information: This course counts toward the limited number of independent study hours accepted toward the degree and the major.

SOC 499. Senior Thesis. 1-4 hours.

Individual study for students working on a senior thesis under the supervision of a faculty advisor. This course is required for students graduating with highest departmental distinction. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 8 hours, with approval of the department. Students may register for more than one section per term. Previously listed as SOC 299. Prerequisite(s): SOC 490; and senior standing or above; and consent of the instructor.