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    • College of Arts & Sciences

      • Social Sciences Division
      • Kapelski Learning Center, Room 226
      • tel: 610-499-4365
      • fax: 610-499-4603
    • Stuart Eimer

      • Co-Chair, Department of Sociology
      • Kapelski Learning Center, Room 239B
      • tel: 610-499-4640
    • Beth Latshaw

      • Co-Chair, Department of Sociology
      • Kapelski Learning Center, Room 239C
      • tel: 610-499-4406

Curriculum, Sociology

Students majoring in sociology may choose the applied sociology concentration, the civic engagement & social change concentration, the social research concentration, or the sociology pre-physical therapy concentration. Learn more about these concentrations on the main sociology webpage.

Many of our courses are also cross listed with the gender and women’s studies program and the African and African American studies minor, making it easy for students to earn a dual major or minor.


View a selection of courses students may take as a sociology major.

SOC 201 Criminology

The study of crime in society—its origins and relationships to other institutions. These topics are discussed both historically and in the context of contemporary American society. The following theoretical perspectives are explored: biological, psychological, social disorganization, differential association, anomie, cultural and subcultural, functional, social conflict, labeling, and social control. Special topics include organized crime, white collar and corporate crime, victimless crime, and violence in society.

SOC 202 Civic Engagement and Social Activism

This service-learning course includes some level of civic/political engagement in the form of social activism. Students learn about social activism by doing it, reflecting on their experiences and doing research related to the activism in which they engage. Experiential learning sites can be found in multiple settings that provide service or take action on behalf of groups or issues where action committees are organized.

SOC 204 Social Problems

The study of social problems in the United States and other parts of  the world. This course looks at political policy and the unrest that follows from inequality based on race, gender, class, sexual orientation, and subcultural group practices. Through film, readings, and discussion, the class focuses on the application of critical thinking to understand and address the effects of social differentiation on individuals and groups.

SOC 215 The Family

An examination of the family as a social institution with multicultural and cross-cultural differences. Areas of study include the organization of kinship systems, historical antecedents of family structure in the United States, gendered family roles, domestic violence, and the theoretical implications of societal change on intimacy patterns and family relations.

SOC 245 Rap, Hip Hop, and Society

This course explores the contemporary emergence of rap and hip hop culture. The course engages students in listening to music, viewing DVDs, and reading books and articles related to rap, hip hop, and cultural values. Societal issues of social control and freedom of speech are examined. Students explore these issues with the intent to broaden their sociological imaginations.

SOC 257 Sex and Gender in Society

An examination of sex/gender systems in historical, cross-cultural, and contemporary societies. Identity politics and the interconnections between gender, race, class, ethnicity, and sexual orientation are core segments of this course. Feminist, socialist, liberal, and conservative thought on sex/gender issues are examined. Readings include classic early writings from the contemporary women’s movement and more recent gender analyses.

SOC 307 Social Deviance

A study of various forms of norm-violating behavior, including individual and group acts, using the societal reaction or interactionist perspective. Types of deviant behavior examined include sexual deviation, mental illness, juvenile gangs, alcoholism, and drug use.

SOC 315 Poverty and Society

When compared to most other advanced industrial capitalist nations, poverty rates in the United States are high, particularly in many of the nation’s urban centers. This course examines the causes and consequences of poverty. It explores the ways that social scientists define and measure poverty, examines the characteristics of poor Americans today, and considers a broad range of issues relating to poverty such as education, family structure, culture, economic restructuring, segregation, social movements, and public policy. A service-learning component requires students to participate weekly in an organized activity with a community partner in Chester.

For more information about courses and requirements for sociology, including the concentrations, please refer to our course catalog.