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Department of Sociology

108 Faculty Office Building
(585) 395-2619

Chairperson: Joan Spade. Assistant Professors: Jeffrey Lashbrook; Eileen O'Brien; Roger Steinhauer; Alan Turley. Instructor (Joint appointment with Delta College): Tim Thornton. Distinguished Professor Emeritus: Edward Lehman. Professors Emeriti: Fred Halley; John Kramer, Jr.; Dorothy Mariner; Robert Potter, Robert Rutzen.

Sociology is the study of group life: its characteristics, changes, causes and consequences. It combines scientific and humanistic perspectives in the study of urban and rural life, family patterns and relationships, social change, intergroup relations, social class, mass media and communications, and health-seeking behavior, as well as social movements and community responses to social problems.

Sociology is a valuable liberal arts major not only for students planning careers in social research, criminology, demography or social psychology, but also for those pursuing a course of study in public administration, gerontology, education, nursing, rehabilitation, social work and market research. Sociology provides a useful background to students planning to enter law, business, medicine, community planning, and politics. Sociology majors are encouraged to explore career alternatives with a field placement through the sociology internship program.

Requirements for the Sociology Major:

The sociology major requires students to earn 30 credits in sociology, and complete all general college requirements leading to either the BA or BS degree [see "Baccalaureate Degree Requirements"]. All majors must complete the four core courses listed below.

Core Courses (12 credits)

  • SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology
  • SOC 200 Social Statistics
  • SOC 300 Sociological Theory
  • SOC 310 Methods of Sociological Research

We also recommend that students complete at least one three-credit course from each of the three course clusters listed below.

Course Clusters:

  1. Social Organization
    • SOC 302 Mass Culture
    • SOC 304 Urban Sociology
    • SOC 306 Social Change: U.S. and the Third World
    • SOC 325 Social Class, Status and Power
    • SOC 350 Dynamics of Modern Organizations
    • SOC 352 Sociology of Work
    • SOC 427 Power in Human Societies
  2. Social Institutions
    • SOC 312 Religion, Society and the Individual
    • SOC 314 The Black Family
    • SOC 351 Industrial Sociology
    • SOC 359 Black Church
    • SOC 361 Sociology of Sex, Marriage and the Family
    • SOC 412 Schools, Learning and Society
    • SOC 427 Power in Human Societies
  3. Social Issues and Problems
    • SOC 210 Social Problems
    • SOC 317 Prejudice, Personality and Culture
    • SOC 331 Sociology of Mental Illness
    • SOC 332 Health, Medicine and Society
    • SOC 371 Deviant Behavior
    • SOC 372 Criminology
    • SOC 428 Racial and Ethnic Relations
    • SOC 464 Gender and Social Change
    • SOC 465 Sociology of Aging

Requirements for the Sociology Minor:

The sociology minor requires that students complete SOC 100 and 15 credits from other sociology courses.

Double Major in Criminal Justice and Sociology

This cooperative venture between criminal justice and sociology enables you to complete two majors before graduation. Completing the sociology major, in addition to the criminal justice major, is expected to serve you well in a number of ways. This option displays the completion of a second major on your graduation transcript, indicating an additional breadth of knowledge in the investigation of social problems. Given the social pressures that you know that impinge upon police officers, probation officers, and judges, and the strange character of justice today, additional knowledge and skills should serve you well. Completion of both majors may enhance your employment opportunities in criminal justice. We are now getting students returning for a second major in sociology after completing their bachelor's degree in criminal justice, to become eligible for career advancement. Additional knowledge about such matters as domestic violence, sex crimes, deviant behavior, and alternative methods of conflict resolution is invaluable for the person employed in criminal justice. At such time that you decide to become a master or doctor of criminology or sociology, this combined major should facilitate admission into the many graduate programs that combine sociology and criminology, as well as graduate work in either field. The combined major should also facilitate admission to graduate work in administration or law school, if these possibilities interest you.

For advisement on a double major in criminal justice and sociology, consult with any of your criminal justice professors or consult with any of our sociology professors. We suggest consulting with one of the substantial number of our students currently completing a double major in criminal justice and sociology. If you elect to pursue this option of a double major in criminal justice and sociology, do so as early in your career as possible, since courses in both areas fill up very quickly, and you receive preferential treatment through preregistration as a major in each area.

The double major in criminal justice and sociology is easy to accomplish. Sociology courses can fulfill your criminal justice corequisites and you may overlap sociology and criminal justice courses.

Sociology Courses

SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology (A,S). Introduces the sociological perspective on society and human behavior applied to familiar social surroundings; and the meanings and rules that shape human social life, the organization of social life and ways in which individual human beings are incorporated into and prepared for social interaction. 3 Cr. Every Semester.

SOC 200 Social Statistics (A,T). Covers basic descriptive and inferential statistics and computer software used in social research. Students who have received academic credit for BIO 431, ECN 204, MTH 243, PSH 202, PLS 300 or credit for an elementary statistics course from SUNY Brockport or from another institution may not receive credit for this course and must substitute another sociology course for the major. 3 Cr. Every Semester.

SOC 210 Social Problems (A,S,D). Explores the nature of and the sociological approaches to social problems; the social relativity, extent, and complexity of the specific contemporary social problems selected for study; the range, limitations and the personal and social implications of solutions to social problems; and sensitivity to the interdependent nature of various social problems. 3 Cr.

SOC 220 Introduction to Social Psychology (A,S). Covers social psychological theory and research in the interaction of individuals and groups; the extent to which others influence individual behavior; the dynamics of group participation; and the extent to which human potential is shaped within the context of group life. 3 Cr.

SOC 271 Gender, Race, and Class (A,W,D). Cross-listed as AAS 271 and WMS 271. Examines the intersecting experiences of gender, race, and class, and responses to the institutional and interpersonal discrimination in women's and men's lives. Investigates the history of efforts to end discrimination, and the ways these efforts translate into issues of current concern in the US. 3 Cr.

SOC 300 Sociological Theory (A). Prerequisite: SOC 100 or 101. Covers the historical development of sociological perspectives over the last two centuries. Focuses on key classical and contemporary theorists tracing the development of major issues and perspectives in sociology. 3 Cr. Every Semester.

SOC 302 Mass Culture (A). Examines the processes through which mass culture products are created and disseminated and the relationships between these products and social norms and values. Utilizes various theoretical perspectives and incorporates comparisons between elements of high and popular culture. 3 Cr.

SOC 304 Urban Sociology (A,D). Considers urbanization, its social consequences, and the alter native strategies for dealing with urban problems. Focuses on contemporary American urban issues, supplemented by examinations of urbanization in historical and cross-cultural perspectives. 3 Cr.

SOC 306 Social Change in the Third World (A). Explores problems of economic and political development in contemporary Third World countries. Emphasizes ways in which relations with industrialized countries influence patterns of social change in Latin America and Asia. 3 Cr.

SOC 310 Methods of Sociological Research (A,T). Prerequisite: SOC 100 or 101. Explores the process and logic of research, the range of research designs, and specific research tools for the collection and analysis of social data. 3 Cr. Every Semester.

SOC 312 Religion, Society and the Individual (A). Explores forms of religious meaning, action and organization, and the generalizations made in the sociology of religion concerning the relationships among religion, the individual, social structure and social change. 3 Cr.

SOC 314 The Black Family (A). Cross-listed as AAS 314. Explores the sociocultural, political and economic conditions that affect black family life. Confronts the pejorative tradition as the primary modality for examining black family life, and explores the African antecedents and continuities that have influenced the black family in the U.S. 3 Cr. See AAS 314.

SOC 317 Prejudice, Personality and Culture (A). Cross-listed as AAS 317. Examines the historical and social conditions in which prejudice arises; social functions of prejudice and its psycho-social manifestations; the impact of prejudice and discrimination upon social and race relations in mass societies; and theories of prejudice. 3 Cr. See AAS 317.

SOC 325 Social Class, Status and Power (A). Prerequisite: SOC 100 or 101. Explores the nature, causes and consequences of inequalities of social class, wealth and power. Also examines major theories of social stratification and mobility in industrial nations. 3 Cr.

SOC 331 Sociology of Mental Illness (A). Prerequisite: SOC 100 or 101. Covers social theories and research about the definition and management of mental and emotional health and illness, and the organization of care for mental and emotional illnesses. 3 Cr.

SOC 332 Health, Medicine and Society (A). Prerequisite: SOC 100. Examines assumptions about medicine, health, and illness; and current knowledge about the relationship between society, the individual, and the social structure of the medical system. 3 Cr.

SOC 350 Dynamics of Modern Organizations (A). Prerequisite: SOC 100 or 101. Covers social scientific and other approaches to the study of modern organizations and bureaucracy in business, government, schools, health care, religion, etc. 3 Cr.

SOC 351 Industrial Sociology (A). Prerequisite: SOC 100 or 101. Studies the development of modern industrial organizations and changing patterns of labor-management relations in the U.S. 3 Cr.

SOC 352 Sociology of Work (A). Prerequisite: Any lower-division sociology course. Provides a study of work and occupations in modern society. Examines patterns of specialization, profes-sionalization, bureaucratization, alienation, and conflict associated with blue-collar, clerical, professional, managerial, and other occupational groups; and special problems of minorities in the work world. 3 Cr.

SOC 359 The Black Church (A). Cross-listed as AAS 359. Provides an extended definition of the soul (essence) of the black church, and a critical analysis of the works of two exponents of the theology of liberation, in light of the historical experience of black people. 3 Cr. See AAS 359.

SOC 361 Sociology of Sex, Marriage and the Family (A,W). Cross-listed as WMS 361. Prerequisite: Any lower-division sociology course. Explores social variations in sex, marriage and family behavior, and social theories and research. 3 Cr. Every Semester.

SOC 371 Deviant Behavior (A). Prerequisite: SOC 100 or 101. Examines classical and contemporary theories of deviant behavior, the extent of criminal and deviant behavior in modern society, and analysis of various approaches to controlling deviant behavior. 3 Cr.

SOC 372 Criminology (A). Prerequisite: SOC 100, 210 or 220. Examines the extent and trends of crime and the problems of measuring crime. Covers the social, political and economic impact of crime on society, and distinguishes among various non sociological and sociological explanations of criminal behavior. Also assesses how each explanation of crime implies specific types of treatment and prevention policies. 3 Cr.

SOC 380 Social Movements (A,W,D). This course familiarizes students with classical and contemporary theories of social movements, and investigates United States movements, including civil rights and women's liberation, by way of these sociological perspectives. 3 Cr. Fall.

SOC 390 Career Exploration in Sociology (B). Brockport Career exploration Course (BCEC) in Sociology is a one-semester elective course that encourages sophomores, juniors and seniors to investigate a career through placement in an area human service agency, government office or class room. Allows students to work under the guidance of an immediate supervisor and a college faculty sponsor, and participate in workshops through the Office of Career Development and Placement. Credit Varies.

SOC 399 Independent Study (A). Prerequisite: Instructor's permission. Provides theoretical perspectives on social phenomena or a sub-area of sociology not covered by other registered courses. Arranged in consultation with instructor. Credit Varies.

SOC 404 Contemporary Sociological Theory (A). Explores different ways of interpreting and understanding the recurring patterns of everyday life, and epistemological assumptions of the major theoretical orientations in contemporary society. 3 Cr.

OAP 407 Studies in Social Science: London. Co-sponsored by Brunel University and SUNY Brockport. Enables students to live and to study in London. Through lectures, discussions and field trips, allows students to examine the relationships between British and American society. 15-30 Cr.

SOC 412 Schools, Learning and Society (A). Prerequisite: SOC 100 or 101 or instructor's permission. Explores the relationships between education and other institutions; and social structures and processes through which culture is transmitted. 3 Cr.

SOC 427 Power in Human Societies (A). Explores the acquisition, distribution, and use of power in human societies. Emphasizes the relations between power and major institutional arrangements, e.g., stratification systems, economics, politics, and forms of administrative control. 3 Cr.

SOC 428 Racial and Ethnic Relations (A,D). Provides a study of the role of race and ethnicity in social relations. Examines major theoretical orientations toward racial and ethnic stratification, as well as the consequences of inequality for both majority and minority groups. 3 Cr.

SOC 453 Contemporary Women's Issues (A). Cross-listed as WMS 453. Focuses on issues concerning women and their changing role in today's society. Although various issues are singled out for analysis through reading, lecture, and class discussion, all of them are interrelated by virtue of their focus on women. 3 Cr.

SOC 464 Gender and Social Change (A). Cross-listed as WMS 464. Prerequisite: SOC 100, 101, 210 or 220. Examines gender inequality in the U.S. and other societies, and the relation of the economic, political and social changes to gender roles. 3 Cr.

SOC 465 Sociology of Aging (A). Cross-listed as WMS 465. Prerequisite: SOC 100, 101, 210, or 220. Provides information and theories about the social aspects of aging including health income, family relationships, role change and social policy. 3 Cr. Spring.

SOC 489 Applied Social Research Practicum (A). Prerequisite: Instructor's permission. Provides direct experience in conducting sociological research under faculty supervision. 3 Cr.

SOC 499 Independent Study (A). Prerequisite: Instructor's permission. Examines various theoretical perspectives on a social phenomenon or sub-area of sociology not covered by other registered courses. Arranged in consultation with the instructor. 3-6 Cr.


Last Updated 7/21/22