Sociology Classes

SOC108E World Population Issues
Lecture and open discussion on population problems throughout the world today. Topics include statistical processes, world food production and standards, medical assistance, world economic issues, Third World Development, issues on aging, adolescent pregnancy, foreign aid options, and the human responses to population pressures, especially in urban centers.
(Also listed as GEO108E)

SOC110E Introduction to Corrections
This course is designed to address correctional issues from policy making to treatment modalities. The issue of historical perspective and its relation to corrections today is a major focus, in addition to providing comprehensive coverage of topics such as custody versus treatment, private versus public interests, confinement versus community-based alternatives, current trends in corrections, and the challenges facing the practitioners.

SOC 121E Principles of Sociology
This course consists of an introduction to the study of human society. The student will become acquainted with the approaches, methods, and findings of contemporary sociology and the ongoing process of understanding social interaction, groups, problems, and sociocultural systems. Topics covered may include socialization, social inequality, deviance, the corporation and occupational roles, the community, interrelationships, change of institutions, and other related subjects.

SOC122E Social Problems
This course explores the dilemma of modern society and the social problems associated with it. Understanding the dilemma as one in which society provides a stable social order and protects cherished values, while at the same time it generates and sustains serious social problems, the course explores some remedial responses as well. Topics may include: drugs, crime, alcoholism, poverty, sexism, abortion, injustice, suicide, racial discrimination, mental illness, aging, pornography, and disease.

SOC216E Race and Ethnic Relations
The study of the social processes of accommodation, conflict, and assimilation as they characterize the relationships both within and between ethnic, majority and minority groups. Special attention is given to the use of reference group theory as a means of describing these social processes.

SOC223E The Family in Society

The institution of the family is studied from historical and cross-cultural perspectives that focus on the relationship between macro-social developments and changes in family structure. A comparative view is conjoined with a problems approach in order to examine contemporary family patterns and their alternatives.

SOC230E Aging in Society

An introduction to the critical sociological study of aging and old age in human society. The contemporary Western response to age is explored by contrasting it with other definitions and treatment of age in societies other than our own. The experience of aging, the medicalization and institutionalization of old age, and the survival strategies of old age are examined.

SOC224E Gender Issues in Society
An analysis of the relationship between the gender-role differences and experiences of women and men within the major institutional spheres of society. The purpose of this course is to develop an understanding of the gender-related structures of marriage, family, religion, education, and work, and to examine areas of conflict and change in gender roles in these institutions.

SOC241E Sociology of Health and Illness
This course critically examines the structural arrangements of medical practice and of medical settings in relation to their economic, social and cultural contexts. The primary focus is on societal and professional responses to illness and the growing concern about the “health care crisis” in the United States. Topics include: the emergence of the medical professions; the growing medicalization of society; the social and economic organization of the medical sector; medical care giving institutions; practitioner-patient interaction; comparative medical care systems; and the future of American health care.

SOC242E Criminology
The course examines the patterns, causes, and consequences of crime, and the ways in which the criminal justice system attempts to deal with the crime problem in the United States. Topics include: analyses of how laws are created; theories of crime causation; penology, the relationship between crime/criminal justice and social class, race/ethnicity, and gender; fear of crime; the social construction of crime in the media; the growth of the prison system; and an assessment of the efficacy of alternative “crime-fighting” strategies such as community policing.

SOC243E Juvenile Delinquency
An analysis of the origins of the societal category “Juvenile Delinquency” and a search for causes and cures of juvenile delinquent careers. The course also examines the major contemporary issues in the field. Topics include: decriminalization, deinstitutionalization, court diversion, radical non-intervention, community arbitration, and community-based corrections.

SOC245E A Study of Violent Crime
This course surveys the nature and extent of violent crime in actual crime cases and examines the social structures in our society that allows violence to exist. Topics for review include gang war, molestation of children, sex and violence, and family violence. High profile cases will include Commonwealth v Porter, Commonwealth v Stewart, and California v Peterson.

SOC247E Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice
This course examines contemporary criminal behavior and includes topics such as the efficacy of the Massachusetts gun law, citizen’s civil rights, organized crime and the Boston FBI’s use of informants, restraining orders, sentencing and plea bargaining, the rape shield law, and the role of the state in regulating private sexual conduct between consenting adults.

SOC248E Introduction to Criminal Justice
This course focuses on the criminal justice system and issues concerning the jury system, the principle behind defense of insanity, defendants’ rights, a judge’s authority in sentencing, the role of the district attorney, and public safety.

SOC249E Community Corrections
Recently the Massachusetts Legislature has invested millions of dollars for use in intermediate sanctions and community corrections rather than expanding our prison system. This course analyzes the concept of community corrections, its development, its utility, the role of the department in implementing it and the problems associated with violations or with those who do not comply with the terms of community correction. The various types of intermediate sanctions such as intensive probation and home confinement are discussed and evaluated.

SOC255E Special Topics: Popular Culture
This course examines aspects of popular culture, including music, advertising, and film using sociological concepts and theory.

SOC272E Deviant Behavior
An analysis of those human pathologies whose causes or consequences are related to social processes. Problems included are delinquency, crime, mental illness, alcoholism, drug addiction, and sexual deviations.