Sociology (SOCI)

SOCI A100 Introductory Sociology 3 crs.

This introductory course focuses on the key concepts, theories, and methods that sociologists use to understand the social world. Readings, lectures, videos, and presentations are used to examine the role that culture, socialization, social inequality, and social institutions (e.g., family, education, government, economy, religion) play in shaping human behaviors and human interactions.

SOCI A200 Cultural Anthropology 3 crs.

This course focuses on the social and cultural diversity of groups living in different parts of the world. Using anthropological studies that have studied the social, symbolic, and material lives of people, the course seeks to explain how and why peoples’ behaviors are both similar and different. This course also examines the relationships between culture and economic systems, social structures, politics, and the environment.

SOCI A204 Introduction to Haitian Society and Culture 3 crs.

This course is an introduction to the rich culture, society, and history of Haiti.   We will begin by discussing Haitian history, particularly the Haitian Revolution and the impact of the Revolution on other parts of the Americas—including its impact on New Orleans.  We then devote a substantial amount of time to studying Haitian politics, the rural and urban sectors in Haiti, and the Haitian diaspora which consists of the large number of people who have emigrated from Haiti to many other countries.

SOCI A210 Social Psychology 3 crs.

This course offers a broad survey of the various theories and perspectives advanced in social psychology, a field which bridges sociology and psychology and is primarily concerned with how individuals view and interact with one another in everyday life. Emphasis is placed on the scientific study of social behavior and experiences stemming from individuals’ participation in social groups, interaction with others, and the effects of the cultural environment and social structures on individuals. Topics include socialization, self and identity, attitudes and attitude change, conformity and deviance, social perception, social influence, social communication and group processes.

SOCI A215 Criminal Behavior 3 crs.

Criminology is the study of the patterns, causes, and responses to the wide range of human behavior defined as criminal. This course explores the empirical and theoretical dimensions of criminal behavior, with particular emphasis on the United States. The course is divided into three parts: (1) the definition and measurement of crime, (2) an overview of various psychological, biological, but mainly sociological explanations of criminality, and (3) an examination of various forms of crime and the application of criminological theories to them.

SOCI A216 Law and Social Control 3 crs.

This course examines the social organization of law and social control in the United States and elsewhere. Students examine major themes in American jurisprudence and the various theoretical strategies employed in explaining and predicting patterns of law and social control. Students explore the relationships between law and various dimensions of social structure including social stratification, morphology, culture, and organization. After an overview of major legal institutions, the focus of the course moves beyond law to an analysis of informal social control and conflict management without invoking the law. This section includes topics such as alternative dispute resolution, vigilantism, and violence as social control.

SOCI A220 Social Protest Movements 3 crs.

This course focuses on some of the major social movements, collective protests, and political conflicts that created significant social changes in the 20th and early 21st century. Through a sociological lens, such important movements as the Labor/Anarchist, Civil Rights, New Left, Women’s Liberation, Gay & Lesbian, Environmental, New Right, and Global Justice Movements are examined and the role they played in addressing many of the social problems and inequalities of U.S. society. A strong emphasis is also placed on how these movements helped create many of the democratic rights and legal protections we enjoy today. Students receive a strong social history and critical analysis of the material and view actual documentary film footage of key movement events.

SOCI A222 Social Networks  3 crs. 

This class is a forum for the discussion of the significance of social networks in everyday life. Given the rise of online social networks like Facebook and Twitter we are more aware of connections between people and the diffusion of innovations than ever before. However, there remains a tendency to think that societies are just collections of independent individuals. In this class we will challenge that assumption and consider to what extent humans are like schools of fish, led by those around us. In the first half of the class we explore various structural properties of networks and consider the value of looking at connections themselves. In the second half of the class we consider how these connections might influence political life, health, crime, inequalities, and other outcomes.

SOCI A230 Sociology of Education 3 crs.

This course considers formal education from kindergarten through college admission. Students are asked to consider how variation within and between schools affects individuals and society and how the experience of schooling varies by race, class and gender. A central question of the course is whether educational institutions perpetuate patterns of inequality and rigidity in the stratification system or whether they promote opportunity. The course also considers how schools are organized and addresses how sociological perspectives can inform debates about school reform.

SOCI A235 Applied Sociology 3 crs.

One aspect of sociological study is to understand how social-scientific knowledge can be used to affect social policy and social programs.  This course focuses on specific policy areas such as health, education, crime and deviance, inequality, etc. to understand how reliable, valid knowledge about social structure, social relationships, the results of action research, and evaluations of social policies/programs influence (or does not influence) social policy and social service programs.  Limitations on how our understanding of society and human behavior can be implemented through policy are also analyzed.

SOCI A240 Sociology of the Family 3 crs.

This course explores the impact of social changes on family structures. Throughout the course, the sociological perspective is employed to focus on the link between larger social forces and their impact on intimate relationships. An emphasis is placed on the interactive relationships which exist between gender, race, social class, age, and sexual orientation and the constraints they impose on individuals and families.

SOCI A242 Sociology of Mardi Gras 3 crs.

This course teaches students how to use a sociological perspective to examine one of the cultural events most associated with New Orleans, the annual celebration of Mardi Gras. In addition to studying Mardi Gras as a cultural practice, students explore deviant behavior as well as race, class, and gender stratification, along with the political economy of Mardi Gras, both locally and globally. Students also compare and contrast the work of several sociologists who have studied Mardi Gras, giving them exposure to different methodologies as they critique the research others have done.

SOCI A250 The Sociology of Gender 3 crs.

This course focuses on the constraints that the social construction of gender imposes on both men and women in our gender-stratified society. The emphasis of this course is on developing a critical, empirically-based understanding of the structural and historical foundations affecting men and women in society.

SOCI A255 The Sociology of Sexualities 3 crs.

This course examines the social construction of sexuality, sexual identities, and the influence of society on sexual behaviors, including societal attempts at regulating sexuality and the ways gender influences sexual attitudes and behaviors. Particular attention is given to the emergence of queer identities, politics, and activism. Finally, the course critically interrogates heterosexism, homophobia, compulsory heterosexuality, and globalization and sexual commodification.

SOCI A260 Women in Latin America 3 crs.

This course examines the social-structural context, daily realities, and contributions of Latin American women in the economy, politics, and the arts. There is an emphasis on the 20th century. This course also aims to convey a more thorough understanding of contemporary Latin American societies.

SOCI A270 Sociology of Popular Culture 3 crs.

This course explores the social, cultural, and political implications of popular culture using theoretical frameworks rooted in cultural sociology. Cultural products considered include television, film, music, and digital media. The course considers how popular culture may reify gender, race, class, and generational divisions in American society, as well as how individuals and audiences may use, and manipulate, popular culture in order to challenge those divisions.

SOCI A285 Sociology of Disaster 3 crs.

This course offers a critical introduction to the field of disaster research, with a particular emphasis on the differential risks and socio-environmental impacts associated with various natural and technological disasters today. Traumatic responses to hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and tsunamis are examined, as well as oil spills, rig blowouts, levee failures, toxic contamination, nuclear plant accidents, and other catastrophes of the modern age. Special attention is paid to recent events such as The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, Hurricane Katrina, and the BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf.

SOCI A300 Urban Sociology 3 crs.

This course introduces students to the field of urban sociology that examines the modern city and its cultural, economic, and political institutions. In order to explore the unique nature of life in the city, the course will cover socio-political- economic theories about the growth of cities, the development of urban centers in the United States, and the nature of urban cultures and lifestyles. Students will also learn about how globalization has led to the emergence of “global cities” in other parts of the world.

SOCI A310 Social Policy 3 crs.

The policy-making process and implementation are affected by many factors---sociological, economic, and political.  This course adopts an inter-disciplinary approach to study how social policies are designed and to understand how policy is or is not adopted. Specific policy areas are  selected to study in-depth how social factors combine to shape social policies and their effects.

SOCI A315 Delinquency and Justice 3 crs.

This course examines the nature and extent of juvenile delinquency in American society and the ways in which society and justice system respond to delinquency and prevent.  Topics include theories of causation; research on the causes of delinquency, juvenile justice policy, the components and historical evolution of the juvenile justice system, and the effectiveness of institutional and community-based correction and treatment programs.  In addition, the course takes a historical perspective on trends and changes in societal responses to delinquency.

SOCI A320 Sociology of Religion 3 crs.

Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx and Max Weber, the founding fathers of modern sociology, each devoted some time to writing about religion and society. This course focuses on questions such as: What do people believe? How do people talk about religion? How is religion organized? How does religious belief impact other aspects of social life? Although these questions can be asked of all societies, the primary focus of this class is the contemporary United States.

SOCI A321 Body, Society and Health 3 crs.

This course introduces students to some of the intellectual debates of the social body and body-related processes in the field of sociology. Particularly, this course focuses on the role varied social institutions play in defining and shaping our bodily experiences and overall health and well-being. Some of the substantive topics covered in this class are bodily practices of dieting, cosmetic surgery, sex-reassignment surgery, and health-conditions related to cancer, AIDS, obesity, and eating disorders.

SOCI A323 Social Justice in New Orleans 3 crs.

In this course, students combine sociology coursework with an intensive community placement in a social justice organization in New Orleans. Students spend approximately 6-8 hours per week (at least 80 hours over the course of the semester) at their community service sites. Work in the community is supplemented by the sociological exploration of social justice in general and specifically as it pertains to the individual service sites.

SOCI A333 Correctional Institutions 3 crs.

This course is a sociological analysis of the history, ideology, and social structure of correctional systems in the U.S.  The course includes an examination of philosophies of punishment, socio-legal aspects of punishment, the social organization of prisons and incarcerated communities, the management and control of inmates, prison litigation, and the various community-based alternatives to imprisonment such as, probation, intermediate sanctions, and parole.  The role and implementation of capital punishment are also examined.

SOCI A335 Research Methods and Techniques 3 crs.

This course introduces the basic methodological toolkit of sociological analysis including: survey design, analysis of secondary data, interviewing, focus groups, participant observation, and content analysis. The course establishes best practices for the development of research projects in sociology including the development of a feasible research question and the choosing of an appropriate methodology for answering the question of interest. Students also develop the skills necessary to critique the methodologies of existing academic literature in sociology.

Corequisite: SOCI A338

SOCI A336 Social Statistics 3 crs.

This course is a general introduction to the fundamentals of descriptive and inferential statistical procedures for data analysis in the social and behavioral sciences. The course begins with basic univariate and bivariate statistical techniques and progresses to multivariate analyses ending with a basic understanding of linear regression.  Students completing this course are expected to apply them by analyzing of data and interpreting the results. Students demonstrate their mastery and application of these procedures during a weekly lab period.

Corequisite: SOCI A339

Prerequisites: SOCI A335, MATH A115

SOCI A337 Writing People, Writing Cultures 3 crs.

We are often so immersed in the task of living, that we rarely take the time to reflect on the social and cultural rules and patterns that govern our lives. In this class we engage in the art of careful observation and analysis of everyday life. We learn and use practical tools for carrying out participant observation, keeping field notes, interviewing, and analyzing data and we put these tools into practice at designated field sites.

SOCI A338 Research Methods and Techniques Lab 1 cr.

This course offers an opportunity to practice research methods introduced in SOCI A335 Research Methods and Techniques. Students are asked to design surveys, create interview protocols, and write field notes. The lab also introduces software for the collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data, such as Atlas.ti and SPSS.

Corequisite: SOCI A335

SOCI A339 Social Statistics Lab 1 cr.

The statistics lab is a corequisite of SOCI A336 Social Statistics and is used to apply the statistical methods used in class by using Statistical Package for the Social Statistics (SPSS).  The lab acquaints students with how to use SPSS, which is a commonly used quantitative computer program.  The lab meets once a week.  Weekly assignments correspond to the analytical techniques covered in class.  An emphasis is placed on interpreting the statistical results.

Corequisite: SOCI A336

SOCI A345 Sociological Theory 3 crs.

This course focuses on the original writings of a number of contemporary social theorists since the classical works of Marx, Durkheim, Weber, and Simmel. Students examine the conceptual tools and theoretical propositions advanced in the major paradigms of modern sociological thought. After considering the nature and role of theory in social science and briefly examining the classical foundations of contemporary sociological theory, students begin a rigorous analysis of the substance and structure of each major school of thought including motivational theory, phenomenology and symbolic interactionism, functionalism and systems theory, neo-Darwinian theory, sociobiology, rational-choice and exchange theories, conflict theory, feminist theory, constraint theory, and behavioral theory. In addition, students devote some time to various theories of modernity and postmodernity. Students end the course with an interactive theory debate on a specific substantive area of social life.

Prerequisite: SOCI A100

SOCI A352 Global Race/Ethnic Relations 3 crs.

This course explores the historical creation of race through colonialism and its perpetuation in the modern era of globalization, analyzes significant global racial/ethnic conflicts of the modern world such as those in Rwanda, the Middle East, South Africa, and Darfur, and the role of race in global migration. Additionally, this course focuses on the ways race manifests itself in various locations across the globe. Finally, attention is paid to resolving racial/ethnic conflicts.

SOCI A355 Environmental Sociology 3 crs.

Environmental Sociology is concerned with the scientific study of the interactions between human society and the natural environment, as well as how social systems and ecosystems impact each other. All environmental problems, by their causes and consequences, are inherently social problems, with deeper roots in the dominant economic and political structures, cultural values, resource use patterns, technologies, and systems of inequality. Through the readings, films, lectures, and discussions, students learn to think critically and theoretically about environmental issues, problems, and controversies, as well as how to evaluate different claims about the environment with credible scientific evidence. Emphasis is also placed on developing a system of values and a sense of responsibility that will allow students to contribute to the future sustainability of the planet.

SOCI A365 The Sixties 3 crs.

This course offers a social history and a critical analysis of one of the most turbulent, complex, and watershed decades in U.S. history—the 1960s. From its origins in the Cold War culture of the 1950s to the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, the people, events, conflicts, protest movements, ideas, and innovations of the sixties forever changed the socio-political structure and cultural values of the United States, as well as many aspects of the larger world. Particular emphasis is given to understanding the 1960s as a defining era that continues to impact our society today in many significant ways.

SOCI A375 U.S. Civil Rights Movement 3 crs.

This course provides a social history and critical social movement analysis of the key years of the early U.S. Civil Rights Movement from 1954-1968. Attention is also paid to the historical origins of the Freedom Struggle from slavery up through the years of Reconstruction and Jim Crow Segregation, as well as the movement's aftermath and ongoing sociological impacts on contemporary American society and race relations. Perhaps the most important social movement in our history, the struggle for civil rights helps us understand the role of social protest and activism in bringing about many of the democratic rights and legal protections that we take for granted today. Emphasis is also paid to understanding the various economic, political, and cultural factors that are necessary to create wide-scale social change through the study of the CRM’s major leaders, organizations, protest campaigns, tactics, ideology, and resource base.

SOCI A480 Senior Capstone 3 crs.

Students enroll in this course in conjunction with the Capstone Professional Development course, SOCI A481. In this course, students work one-to-one with a faculty mentor on an original research project. Students are responsible for all aspects of the project, from research design, identifying or collecting data, data analysis and interpretation, to presenting the results of their research in a public forum at the end of the semester. This course combines the elements of a seminar with sociological research and helps students pull their undergraduate learning together in a meaningful way as they “do sociology” outside of the classroom. It is an opportunity to integrate the theories, concepts, and methods of the discipline.

Corequisite: SOCI A481

Prerequisite: SOCI A335

SOCI A481 Capstone Professional Development 1 cr.

Students enroll in this course in conjunction with the Capstone Research Project, SOCI A480. This course is designed to help prepare graduating students for their professional futures. Students complete a number of assignments including a mock interview, resume development, the Sociology Major Field Test, and attend an information session on graduate school and one of our faculty colloquium research presentations.

Corequisite: SOCI A480

Prerequisite: SOCI A335

SOCI A495 Special Project arranged 1-3 crs.

This project focuses on the creative or productive efforts of one or more students. A special project is distinguished from a research project in its lack of the historical or experimental method and perspective characteristics of research.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

SOCI A496 Seminar/Workshop arranged 1-3 crs.

A seminar is a supervised group of students sharing the results of their research on a common topic. A workshop is a supervised group of students participating in a common effort.

SOCI A497 Internship (arranged) 1-3 crs.

Sociology majors and minors with a GPA of at least 2.75 may apply up to six credits of supervised internships or independent study courses toward their major or minor electives. No two internships shall be at the same site.

Must be at least a junior.

Must have completed 12 hours of sociology courses.

SOCI A499 Independent Study (arranged) 1-3 crs.

Sociology majors and minors with a GPA of at least 2.75 may apply up to six credits of supervised internships or independent study courses toward their major or minor electives. No two internships shall be at the same site.


Sociology Courses in the Common Curriculum 

SOCI T121 First-Year Seminar 3 crs.

Introductory Common Curriculum: First-Year Seminar

The gateway course to the Common Curriculum is the First-Year Seminar (FYS). This issues-based, interdisciplinary seminar introduces students to college-level thinking and learning as well as Jesuit values at the core of a Loyola education. This FYS has a specific topic within the scope of Sociology. A full list of currently offered FYS courses can be found on the Loyola Online Records Access (LORA) system.

SOCI X232 Social Problems 3 crs.

Advanced Common Curriculum: Social Science

This course introduces students to some of the core and most contentious social problems in the U.S. today. Through the readings, films, lectures, and discussion, the material provides a substantive overview and sociological critique of the conflicts surrounding issues like social inequality, racism and privilege, the family, crime and deviance, and environmental degradation, with an emphasis on understanding their root causes, social impacts, and policy/behavioral solutions. This course also emphasizes the importance of social action, awareness, human empathy, and a sense of political responsibility/citizenship, as well as how to analyze social issues from and informed, rational, and critical perspective.

SOCI X236 Global Environmental Crisis 3 crs.

Advanced Common Curriculum: Social Science

This course provides students with a general exploration and analysis of the biophysical, cultural, and socio-political roots of our global environmental crisis. Emphasis is placed on the three core issues driving most of the earth’s ecological problems today: human population growth, resource consumption, and energy use/climate change. Moreover, the course also highlights how development and globalization processes contribute to a range of socio-environmental problems for impoverished, underdeveloped nations in the periphery. Overall, the readings, films, lectures, and discussion challenge students to become more environmentally informed and critical thinkers about the planet they inhabit, its current trends, and what can be done to create a more socially just and sustainable future.

SOCI X240 Global Sociology 3 crs.

Advanced Common Curriculum: Social Science
RAC: Diversity

In this course we begin by examining colonial and post-colonial relationships between countries at different levels of social and economic development. We go on to explore the social impact and cultural impacts of the increased globalization of production and trade. Toward the end we consider how processes of globalization are shaping international discussions concerning human rights, the environment, religion, and traditional cultures.

SOCI X241 Development of Social Thought 3 crs.

Advanced Common Curriculum: Social Science
RAC: Diversity

This course focuses on the original writings of four classical social theorists: Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, and Georg Simmel. These four figures were largely responsible for shaping sociology as a distinctive enterprise, but their work also inspired broad movements in a number of other disciplines. In this regard, the writings students examine are relevant also to those who do not intend to major in sociology but would like to become acquainted with the major developments in the intellectual history of modern Europe.

SOCI X247 Sociology of Sport 3 crs. 

Advanced Common Curriculum: Social Science

In this course, we analyze the phenomena of sport through a sociological lens including an analysis of racism, classism, sexism, and homophobia in sport, children and sport, the political economy of sport, sports and the role of the media, and finally, social problems such as steroid use, violence, and criminal activity associated with sports.  

SOCI X252 Violence in Society 3 crs.

Advanced Common Curriculum: Social Science

This course addresses the causes, contexts, and potential solutions regarding the onset and prevalence of violence.   Interdisciplinary insights and literature will be reviewed and applied to the study of violence and to its personal as well as social consequences.  Various forms of violence such as interpersonal, group violence, and staged violence are examined.

SOCI X255 Race, Racism, and Privilege 3 crs.

Advanced Common Curriculum: Social Science
RAC: Diversity

This course provides an examination of the social construction of race, changing racial ideologies and the manifestation of these as racism and privilege, both historically and currently. Particular attention is paid to the historical and sociological basis for racial/ethnic tensions in the United States and discrimination against racial/ethnic minorities. Additionally, there is an emphasis on self-reflection and an interrogation of the significance of the role race plays in all of our lives.

SOCI X260 Race, Class, and Schools 3 crs. 

Advanced Common Curriculum: Social Science 
RAC: Diversity 

This class considers how variation within and between schools affects individuals and society and how the experience of schooling varies by race, class and gender. A central question of the course is whether educational institutions perpetuate patterns of inequality and rigidity in the stratification system or whether they promote opportunity. The course also considers how schools are organized and addresses how sociological perspectives can inform debates about school reform.

SOCI X305 Social/Political Inequality 3 crs.

Advanced Common Curriculum: Social Science
RAC: Diversity

In this course we examine the social structures and practices that perpetuate inequality.  The social categories of race, class, gender, and sexuality are the central foci of the class as these help to shape individuals’ life chances.  In addition to studying the structures of inequality, we examine how our own position within the larger social structure shapes our lives.

SOCI X312 African Diaspora Communities and Cultures 3 crs.

RAC: Diversity 

The African diaspora in the Americas includes diverse communities and cultures. What are their commonalities and differences? What does it mean to be both "African" and "American"? We  study the rich tradition of scholarly work that has addressed these questions by examining African diaspora experiences in different parts of the Americas.

SOCI X315 Sociology of Food and Food Justice 3 crs.

Advanced Common Curriculum: Social Science

In this class we explore key sociological concepts through the lens of food:  socialization, power, identities (both individual and national), social status, political economy, social inequalities, gender, social movements, and globalization.   The study of food production and consumption allows us to understand the relationships between people, food and cultures.  Additionally, it allows us to explore how global capitalism influences the food choices we make.

SOCI X320 Violence and Human Rights 3 crs.

Advanced Common Curriculum: Social Science

This course provides a broad, interdisciplinary understanding of the complexities, controversies, and issues surrounding two major social problems facing humanity: violence and human rights violations. Resting on the premise that the concepts of violence and human rights are not unrelated, this course not only examines the relationship between violence and human rights, but also engenders the idea that greater commitment to human rights is the most effective antidote to violence.