Sociology

SOCI 1101 – Introductory Sociology
Dr. James Dowd

“Basic concepts, theoretical approaches, and methods of sociology, with an emphasis on culture, socialization, social organizations, and major institutions.”

SOCI 2470 – Deviance and Social Control
Dr. Ronald Simons

“The nature, extent, and correlates of deviance and its control by social institutions and agencies; theories of deviance and societal reactions to deviance.”

SOCI 3070 – Juvenile Delinquency
Professor Todd Krohn

“The juvenile justice system, including the measurement of delinquency, contexts of adolescent socialization, and techniques of evaluation research.”

SOCI 3220 – Development of Sociological Theory
Dr. James Dowd

“Pivotal sociological theorists from classic theorists such as Marx, Weber, and Durkheim to the present.”

This has been one of my favorite Sociology courses so far.  The first research assignment was to apply one of the theories discussed in the first part of the course to any social area.  I found this to be a great opportunity to critically discuss my involvement in debate, and I found that I could easily discuss the rationalization of policy debate in terms of Weberian theory.  Below is my first paper:
SOCI 3220 – Debate and Rationalization Paper

The second paper assignment took a similar format – we were to analyze a social fact through the lens of a theory discussed in the second half of the course.  For this paper, I decided to look into the current youth phenomenon of electronic dance music in terms of Bourdieuan theory:
SOCI 3220 – EDM and the Field Paper

SOCI 3270 – Personality and Social Structure
Dr. Dawn Robinson

“The social factors that shape behavior and self-concept; theories such as behaviorism, symbolic interactionism, Freudian psychology, cognitive social psychology, and critical approaches. Topics include emotions, human development, and authenticity and sincerity in the postmodern age.”

Social psychology is a subset of Sociology I had not yet studied, and this course provided both the basic foundations of social psychology as distinct subject matter as well as in-depth examination of modern experiments that have improved the field.  We attempted to discover how macro-level social structures are produced, conserved, and altered during face-to-face micro interactions.

SOCI 3280 – Sociology of Gender
Dr. Linda Grant

“Feminist theories and methodologies on gender, with an emphasis on contemporary American society and the intersection of gender, race, and class. Topics include socialization, sexual orientation, reproduction, violence, family and household, work and global restructuring, and politics.”

In this course, I worked with a group the entire semester to research the barriers to women in the legal profession.  This work was particularly of interest to me because of my social background and my interest in the legal field.  Below is my written and self-edited portion of the research assignment:
SOCI 3280 – Women in Legal Profession Paper – Individual Section

SOCI 3600 – Logic and Practice of Sociological Research
Dr. Thomas McNulty

“The basic ideas and techniques used to conduct and evaluate research. Topics include the purposes and types of social research; the logic and interpretation of bivariate and multivariate data analysis; and the use of microcomputers to analyze evidence commonly used in social research.”

This course focused on the understanding and application of quantitative and qualitative research methods to the practice of sociology.  Throughout the course, I completed 6 major assignments using SPSS software.  The variables were those found in the 2010 General Social Survey, which includes thousands of variables; the assignments covered frequency distributions, Pearson correlations for continuous variables, data modification, comparing means, and multivariate analysis.

SOCI 4240 – Sociology of War and the Military
Dr. James Dowd

“War as a phenomenon with social causes and consequences; the military as an occupation and organization. Topics include conscription; the historical experiences of women and minorities in the military; and war as a source of collective memory for generations, ethnic groups, and nations.”

In this course, we examined the modern military as a social institution, one of the most trusted and politically favored in the country.  We looked at the patterned and distinctive activities that define the institution as well as the sociological aspects of modern versus historical warfare.  The following wars made up the majority of the course material: Vietnam, the Gulf War, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Iraq and Afghanistan.  The two exams for the course included take-home essays – they are attached below:
SOCI 4240 – Draft Essay
SOCI 4240 – Endless Wars Essay