Sociology

All courses, arranged by program, are listed in the catalog. Courses designated as “active” have been offered in the past three years. Courses designated as “inactive” have not been offered in the past three years and indicate the semester in which the course was last offered. If you cannot locate a specific course, try our advanced search link. Current class schedules, with posted days and times, may be found on the Registrar's Office website or by logging directly into iSiS.

48.101 Introduction to Sociology Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5812
Status Active

Serves as the basic course in sociology. Emphasis is directed at the ways in which social institutions such as government, schools, the economy, social class, and the family develop and influence our lives. It is concerned not only with presenting various ways to understand our relationship to society but also with ways to change it.

48.102 Social Anthropology Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5813
Status Active

Using the comparative approach to society, this course examines several distinct cultures as a means of understanding both the universal constants and the variations in human societies.

48.112 Sociology Goes to the Movies Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 33538
Status Active

This course is designed to give students the opportunity to survey primary sociological texts and view films, offer commentary on and analysis of social behavior.

48.115 Social Problems Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 38335
Status Active

This entry level course uses the core concept of social problems to introduce basic social science reasoning-how social scientist define research questions, develop systematic methods to study them, gather evidence, search for pattern, in link findings to existent knowledge,. Cases provide opportunities to discuss how private problems develop into public issue, illustrating sociology as a discipline that evolves in response to social conflicts and inequalities. The course also meets General Education requirements for Ethics and Diversity.

48.205 Public Sociology Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 33259
Status Active

Public sociology includes sociological initiatives targeting non-university audiences and serving the public good. This course will 1) introduce and critique the various conceptualizations of public sociology linking them to broad schools of sociological theory; 2) explore alternative field models and methods, preparing students for field projects in future semesters; and 3) expose students to sociological practitioners and practices compatible with the mission of the university and department. From a liberal arts perspective, the course stresses critical thinking and communication skills.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Pre-Req: 48.101 Intro to Sociology.

48.210 Sociology of Food Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 38760
Status Active

This course is about Sociology of food exploring the connection between food, society and culture. Our food choices are influenced by age, gender, ethnicity, class and religion. History of food and methods of food production contribute to understanding of social relations among individuals and social changes in society. This course will examine 1. role of food in society, culture and change, 2. changes in food production from simple to complex societies and 3. problems associated with new systems of food production locally and globally.

48.212 Cultures of the World Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5819
Status Active

Focuses on a different country or region each time it is given. Students examine the traditional culture, recent history, economic development, class structure, and international relations of the area covered.

48.215 Peacemaking Alternatives Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5821
Status Active

Examines various positive alternatives to war and violence, including disarmament, nonviolence, conflict resolution, and the United Nations. Students do volunteer work with an activist agency or interview an activist. The course stresses the historical and contemporary role of peace movements and allied social-change movements such as feminism, civil rights and environmentalism.

48.216 Sociology of War and Peace Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 30413
Status Active

The purpose of this course is to examine critically the social forces that contribute to war, war's social consequences, and the possibilities for creating a more peaceful world.

48.220 Self-Assessment and Career Development Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5822
Status Active

Studies the meaning of work in our society. Class participants will assess their own life experiences and develop plans to integrate interests, values, and abilities into meaningful and realistic life/work options.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Jr. or Sr. status only.

48.225 Sociology of Disability Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 33256
Status Active

This course is organized around several key questions that are used to study the concepts of disability and ability from a variety of sociological and interdisciplinary perspectives. Specifically, the course explores representations of disability in popular culture and medical discourses to discuss disability and ability as social constructs. By looking at various literary and cultural representations, this course investigates constructions of the disabled and abled body, how this becomes politicized, and the implications of these constructions.

48.231 Sociology of the Family Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5824
Status Active

Studies the nature of the family in contemporary society, with particular emphasis on the family in America. What functions does the family perform in modern society? How is it changing? How do these changes affect our lives?

48.234 The Study of Minorities Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5825
Status Active

Examines the process of immigration and majority-minority relations in the United States over the last century with particular emphasis on the process of adaptation in a pluralistic society. The treatment of minority groups in other societies is examined as well.

48.236 Sociological Approaches to the Environment Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 33284
Status Active

Focusing on case studies of recent and pending environmental disasters, this course will trace how political, social, economic and cultural arrangements and choices contribute to environmental catastrophes and their resolution. In order to identify possibilities for agency, students will play several environmental games in which they will assume roles in the global economy, governmental and civil society to identify possibilities for agency. As a final project, students will describe a recent disaster identifying both structures that create environmental stresses and the options that might exist for structural changes. The project is intended to develop both critical thinking and communication skills.

48.240 Sociology of Gender Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5827
Status Active

This course is an interdisciplinary introduction to the field of gender studies. A variety of topics are presented, such as gender stratification, work and family, sexual identities, media representations of women and men, women's movement, and violence against women. Feminist theories and methods are also introduced.

48.245 Work, Labor & Society Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 37377
Status Active

This foundational course has two overarching learning objectives: (1) to give students basic empirical knowledge and analytical tools to understand the context of work in the United States at the dawn of the twenty-first century and (2) to give students an understanding of how labor unions work, what has been their impact historically, and what their role is in contemporary society. Lowell and the Merrimack Valley will be used as a lens through which to examine these larger work and labor issues. The course will be explicitly interdisciplinary, drawing on readings from history, sociology, economics, political science, and psychology to offer an introduction to understanding work and labor through and analytic lens. In addition, the course will include a service-learning component in collaboration with the UML Labor Extension Program.

48.251 Community Service Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5830
Status Active

Course uses fieldwork approach to understand social problems and to discipline study and career pursuit in the area of public service.

48.255 Sociology of Deviance Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5831
Status Active

Analysis of how social institutions define and respond to various forms of social deviance, from individual mental illness to gang violence to illegal acts by governments and corporations. Attention will be paid to the construction and management of deviant identities, the role played by social status, and the social importance of institutions of social control.

48.256 Political Sociology Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5832
Status Active

Focuses on the development and use of power in modern society. Emphasis is placed on the relationship of American political institutions to economic institutions, to social class, and to supporting ideologies.

48.270 Self and Society Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5835
Status Active

An examination of the relationship between individuals and the social world around them. The course examines the underlying structures that pattern human interaction. Topics include the social construction of the self, the construction of social reality, and the sociology of emotions, among others.

48.276 Sociology of the Gun Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5837
Status Active

This course examines the social impact of guns on the American psyche, from deer hunters and intergenerational family bonds to street gangs and broken families, from collectors and recreational users to hospital trauma. Self-defense issues are discussed within the context of the Second Amendment. The conflict between pro-gun and anti-gun special interest groups and the evolution of an American gun culture will be studied.

48.280 Drugs and Society Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 30844
Status Active

This course is designed to introduce students to the cultural and poplitical qualities of drugs in society. The course provides a historical and cross-cultural overview of the use of organic and simple processed substances, as well as a history of drug policy in the United States.

48.303 Sociology of American Education Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5840
Status Active

Course introduces students to ongoing debates in the field of Sociology regarding the American educational system, its structures and functions and how it relates to issues of inequality by race, class and gender. Students are expected to explore, examine and evaluate the current issues relating to the system of education in the United States.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Pre-Req: 48.101 Intro to Sociology.

48.305 Sociology of Family Law Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5841
Status Active

Examines some social issues in family law, the changes therein, and the social climate and consequences accompanying these. By using the sociological method of inquiry to examine family law cases, the relationship between law and society as instruments of order and change are exemplified.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Pre-Req: 48.101 Intro to Sociology.

48.307 Sociology of Immigration Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 37721
Status Active

The United States is frequently described as a country with a proud history of immigration. As a result, citizens and residents of the U.S. often identify their home as a nation of people who make up a melting pot country. While useful and insightful, the melting pot metaphor requires comparison with additional explanations of immigration and immigrant experiences. In order to provide deeper comprehension of the topic matter, this course offers sociological examination of immigration processes, laws, and debates. Three areas compose the main portion of class content: historical accounts and theories, legislation, and the social, economical, and political experiences of immigrants.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Pre-Req: 48.101 Intro to Sociology.

48.310 Ethnicity in Massachusetts Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5844
Status Active

This is an interdisciplinary, distance learning course devoted to understanding specific ethnic groups in Massachusetts, their histories and cultures, and the economic and political realities of their lives as defined by themselves and others. Different groups are studies each year. Groups such as African American, Puerto Rican, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Wampanoag and Mi'skmag will be examined in relation to the topics listed above.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Pre-Req: 48.101 Intro to Sociology.

48.311 Sociological Perspectives on Communication and Social Change (Last Term 2009 Fall) Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 33285
Status Active

Most social interactions and interventions involve communication. Thus, communication patterns present critical issues for sociological inquiry. This course introduces communication as a central yet often ignored element of social life. It surveys existing communication theories, then focuses on models used by marginalized populations in efforts to democratize communication systems. Finally, it introduces tools for communication strategizing. As a final product students will conduct a frame analysis of a current social topic. From a general liberal arts perspective, the course will stress critical thinking and writing skills.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Pre-Req: 48.101 Intro to Sociology.

48.315 Public Sociology Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 33259
Status Active

Public sociology includes sociological initiatives targeting non-university audiences and serving the public good. This course will 1) introduce and critique the various conceptualizations of public sociology linking them to broad schools of sociological theory; 2) explore alternative field models and methods, preparing students for field projects in future semesters; and 3) expose students to sociological practitioners and practices compatible with the mission of the university and department. From a liberal arts perspective, the course stresses critical thinking and communication skills.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Pre-Req: 48.101 Intro to Sociology.

48.317 Sociology of Genocide Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5846
Status Active

The deliberate destruction of an ethnic group is an historical event and a social process. This course addresses such questions as: Why do genocides occur? Why do people become genocide perpetrators? How do genocides affect survivors and their offspring? How can genocide be prevented? Focus is on Native American, Armenian and Jewish experiences and recent cases of ethnic cleansing.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Pre-Req: 48.101 Intro to Sociology.

48.320 Community Service Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5830
Status Active

Course uses fieldwork approach to understand social problems and to discipline study and career pursuit in the area of public service.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Pre-Req: 48.101 Intro to Sociology.

48.321 Social Theory I Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5848
Status Active

This course offers a critical examination of major classical sociological theories. It emphasizes the relationship between the individual and society and the competing pressures for social order and social conflict.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Pre-Req: 48.101 Intro to Sociology; Sophomore level or higher.

48.322 Social Theory II Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5849
Status Active

This course offers a critical examination of major contemporary sociological theories, including critical theory, neo-Marxism, critical race theory, feminist theory, and postmodernism.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Pre-Req: 48.101 Intro to Sociology and 48.321 Social Theory I.

48.325 Global Conflicts Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5851
Status Active

Pre/Co-Requisites: Pre-Req: 48.101 Intro to Sociology.

48.330 Fast Food, Hot Planet: Sociological Approaches Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 38308
Status Active

With an eye on climate change sustainability, this course maps the social and historical dimensions of crisis and inequalities of food production and distribution. In addition to exploring food security's relation to sustainable food production, students will strengthen critical thinking, writing, and library research skills.

48.340 Sociology of Sports Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5854
Status Active

Examines the history of modern sports at the amateur and professional levels and international competition. The impact of race, sex, economics, and politics on the institution of sports will also be examined.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Pre-Req: 48.101 Intro to Sociology.

48.341 Wealth, Status and Power Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5855
Status Active

Focuses on the phenomenon of social class distinctions with particular emphasis on social class in America. The approach is both historical and sociological.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Pre-Req: 48.101 Intro to Sociology.

48.345 Urban Sociology Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5856
Status Active

Deals with issues related to the quality of life in American cities. Students taking this course may engage in research projects on the city of Lowell and the role of the University of Massachusetts Lowell within that city.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Pre-Req: 48.101 Intro to Sociology.

48.351 The Sociology of Health and Health Care Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5860
Status Active

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Health Care system is undergoing a radical change as profound as any in U.S. history including those for minority and woman's rights. A large segment of the population has struggled to obtain even basic health care coverage. The changes taking place are analyzed in a historical and comparative context by examining health care in other countries. Special attention is given to understanding the professions in medicine and the role medical professions have had in shaping medical care. At the micro level, the course examines evolving health care provider/patient relationships to better understand the level of control patients can exert over their health care decisions.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Pre-Req: 48.101 Intro to Sociology.

48.355 Black Experience in American Life Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5862
Status Active

Pre/Co-Requisites: Pre-Req: 48.101 Intro to Sociology.

48.357 The Sociology of Religion Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5863
Status Active

An investigation of religious institutions and experiences. Emphasis is placed on the influence of religion on social change.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Pre-Req: 48.101 Intro to Sociology.

48.360 Sociology of Non-Violence Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5864
Status Active

An analysis of non-violent efforts to achieve social change through demonstrations, civil disobedience, etc. Movements led by Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and others are examined.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Pre-Req: 48.101 Intro to Sociology.

48.361 Sociology of Law Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5865
Status Active

The course examines the role of social forces in defining the law. Topics include the legal profession, white-collar crime, and the importance of race, class and gender in the criminal justice system.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Pre-Req: 48.101 Intro to Sociology.

48.362 Social Welfare Policy Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 30414
Status Active

The course examines the development of social welfare policy in the United States as well as alternative strategies for social welfare provision. Particular attention is paid to the role of race/ethnicity, class, and gender in the formation of social welfare policy.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Pre-Req: 48.101 Intro to Sociology.

48.371 Sociology of Work Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5867
Status Active

Pre/Co-Requisites: Pre-Req: 48.101 Intro to Sociology.

48.380 Sociology of Mass Media Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 33539
Status Active

Examines ownership and control patterns of electronic and print media and their impact on media content and censorship.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Pre-Req: 48.101 Intro to Sociology.

48.382 Social Movements Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5868
Status Active

Considers organized action undertaken to alter the social position of a group. Organization, techniques of action, motivation of participants, and group ideologies are studied. Materials from historical, social, psychological, and sociological sources are used.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Pre-Req: 48.101 Intro to Sociology.

48.402 Research I Quan. Methods Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5873
Status Active

An introduction to methods of social research, with emphasis on quantitative research methods. Presents basic statistical techniques used in social research as well as the computer software used for analyzing social science data. For majors only.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Academic Plan Sociology (BA) only, or Instructor permission.

48.403 Research II Qual. Methods Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5874
Status Active

Qualitative research methods. Discusses various strategies employed by qualitative researchers with special emphasis on field research. For majors only.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Academic Plan Sociology (BA) only, or Instructor permission.

48.404 Learning from the Field Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5875
Status Active

Provides students with the opportunity to directly observe and participate in the operation of a social service organization.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Academic Plan Sociology (BA) only, or Instructor permission.

48.405 Feminist Methodologies Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 34784
Status Active

Despite the recent growth of feminist methodologies, there is no one way of doing feminist methodologies. The growing body of literature in this area addresses the distinctive challenges and strengths of doing this research. Gender Studies scholars especially seek to question the framing of a study, managing of emotions, and ethical dilemmas. We will explore feminist strategies for creating, implementing, and analyzing a project that is grounded in the everyday lives of people while situating them in a social, political, and economic context. We will explore the interdisciplinary intersections where these challenges push at the boundaries of the disciplines of your major field of study. We will also investigate how to use as variety of qualitative approaches while doing a feminist project and the ways in which feminism can enlighten understandings of "traditional" qualitative methods.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Academic Plan Sociology (BA) only, or Instructor permission.

48.421 Seminar on the Family Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5877
Status Active

Study of the family structures and gender roles in various human societies. Prerequisites: 48.101 plus either 48.231 or 48.241.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Academic Plan Sociology (BA) only, or Instructor permission.

48.469 Seminar on Global Society Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5882
Status Active

Considers the spread of industrial society globally. Emphasizes economic, political and cultural changes in various parts of the world and in the USA.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Academic Plan Sociology (BA) only, or Instructor permission.

48.475 Seminar on Conflict Resolution Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5886
Status Active

Pre/Co-Requisites: Academic Plan Sociology (BA) only, or Instructor permission.

48.484 Internship I Credits: 1-3

Course Details
Min Credits 1
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5890
Status Active

Pre/Co-Requisites: Academic Plan Sociology (BA) only, or Instructor permission.

48.491 Directed Studies in Sociology Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5892
Status Active

The student, through regular and frequent consultation with an instructor, develops a course of directed reading in sociology and defines a problem for individual research. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Academic Plan Sociology (BA) only, or Instructor permission.

48.492 Directed Studies: Sociology Credits: 1

Course Details
Min Credits 1
Max Credits 1
Course ID 5893
Status Active

A one-credit, short course available only to qualified seniors. Prerequisite: Permission of Department Chairperson.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Academic Plan Sociology (BA) only, or Instructor permission.

48.495 Thesis in Sociology Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5894
Status Active

A program of study which affords the advanced student with an additional opportunity to pursue a previously explored problem in greater depth or to initiate a new study. The purpose is to sharpen and refine techniques for scholarly research and presentation in the student's major discipline. Prerequisites: demonstrated proficiency in an area selected for directed study and permission of instructor.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Academic Plan Sociology (BA) only, or Instructor permission.

48.496 Practicum Experience Credits: 3

Course Details
Min Credits 3
Max Credits 3
Course ID 5895
Status Active

A program of on-campus and/or off-campus experience for sociology majors and minors only. Specific requirements vary depending upon department policies and the nature of the program undertaken by the student. The intent of the practicum experience is to provide an occasion for investigation of a community, social, cultural, or artistic area and for applying techniques of problem solving and/or skills that are appropriate to the student's major discipline. May be repeated to a maximum of six credits. Students are graded satisfactory and unsatisfactory. The practicum experiences may not be substituted for a required course in the major. Prerequisite: permission of Chairperson.

Pre/Co-Requisites: Academic Plan Sociology (BA) only, or Instructor permission.