Courses

This is a current list of courses being offered in the Sociology program, and also listed in the 2017-2019 Wagner College Undergraduate Bulletin. The following list also reflects recent changes in the schedule of course availability. 

Sociology



One Unit.  This course is to orient the students to the field of sociology as a scientific discipline. Students will learn the major theories and research methods in sociology and will apply these theories and methods to analyze some of today’s social phenomena, including, social interaction, inequality/social class, deviant behavior and social control, gender/race/ethnicity, marriage/family, social institutions, sexual behavior, population, and globalization. Offered fall and spring semesters


One unit. This course examines the structure and functioning of contemporary American society and specifically emphasizes selected social problems associated with the changing values of the society. Offered fall and spring semesters.


One unit. An examination of the forms and functions of courtship and marriage patterns in relationship to individual and social needs. Analysis of sex-related roles and the changing patterns of these roles in marriage and courtship. Offered summer semester.


One unit. This course will focus on the individual selves each of us believe we have and how it is we have come to have them. What role has language played in structuring our perceptions of external and internal reality? How have our belief systems shaped our perception? What role does memory have in identity construction? What is sanity? How much do social conventions and social institutions determine our identity? What is the relationship between emotions, society, & identity? What does it mean to live in a ‘postmodern' society where the concept of `objective truth'-and ensuing norms structuring morality-are called into question? Offered as required.


One unit. This course studies the development, structure and practice of our criminal justice system, including criminal law, law enforcement, courts and corrections. Offered fall and spring semesters.


One unit. This course examines the promises and the dangers of the genetic revolution. The decoding of the Human Genome, the biological modification of human, animal and plant life, and advances in reproductive technology, cloning and stem cell research, have opened up a Pandora's Box. The ethical, legal and social implications (the "ELSI") of what we "can do" with the genomic research and biotechnology and what we "ought to do" need to be addressed. This course examines the profound changes this biomedical revolution may have on family structure, life expectancy, quality of lives, health and medical expectations, the nature of privacy, criminal justice policy, and the way food is grown. Topics addressed include eugenics, genetic discrimination, behavioral genetics, DNA databanks, reproductive technology, cloning, stem cell research, gene therapy, and genetic enhancements. Offered as required.


One Unit. This course examines the relations between various racial, ethnic,  and religious groups in present-day U.S. society. Special attention is paid to racism, discrimination, and inequality. Offered fall semester and every other spring semester.

One Unit. An exploration of the relationship between the music popular in a particular era in American cultural history and the changes occurring in our society during that time. We will discuss music as a component of culture, changes occurring in the political and cultural spheres, and how music reflects or may even affect events. The class will pay particular attention the 1960s as a case study in both significant social change and a time where popular music reach dramatic new levels of popularity and influence. Offered as required.


One unit. This course provides an introduction to the logic and skills of scientific research. Topics that will be covered include: the essence of science; scientific theory; explanation and prediction; research design; operationalization; survey; research; random sampling and descriptive statistics. Offered fall and spring semesters.


One Unit. This course provides training in basic statistics for social sciences including: level of measurements, descriptive statistics, normal distribution, confidence interval, hypothesis testing, ANOVA, linear association and the use of personal computers for the statistical analysis of real data. Offered fall semesters.


One Unit. Television is the focus for examining the industrial organization of mass media and the ideological impact of mass culture on perceptions of gender, class, race and ethnicity. Reference is made to other mass media, including newspapers, magazines, books, theatre, motion pictures, radio and computers. Offered as required.


One Unit. Criminal Procedure analyzes the delicate balance between the government's need to enforce the criminal law against the rights of the individual to be left alone. The course consists of a study of the criminal justice process from arrest through sentencing. Emphasis will be placed upon the rights of the accused, rights to counsel, search and seizure, and the privilege against self-incrimination. Offered as required.


One Unit. Discussion and analysis of problems and topics not covered in regular course work. The specific content of the course will remain flexible in response to student and departmental interests. Offered as required.


One Unit. This course explains the American civil law system by examining it within the context of broader social issues in society. While this course does introduce undergraduate students to the basic concepts, processes, and institutions of the American civil law system (such as contracts and torts), its main purpose is to examine critically how law affects society and how society affects law. Sociological theories of the relationship between law and society are discussed, and empirical studies of the relationship between "law on the books" and "the law in action" are examined. Offered as required.


One Unit. This course explores marriage and the family as emotional, economic, historical and sociocultural institutions. The class gives an in-depth look at some important issues that affect marriages and families today; these issues include politics, culture, gender, sexuality, the economy, racism, social policy, and immigration. This course focuses also on the interactions between marriage, family, and society. In addition, it not only looks at the social influences on marriage and the family, but also how marriage and the family affect the social world. In this course, we will make use of a variety of texts (theoretical, historical, ethnographic) in exploring marriage and the family - with a focus on the U.S. - through the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We will look at dominant notions of what marriage and families “should” be and social realities of what families actually have been. Attention will be paid to the contradictions between romanticized concepts of marriage and family and our lived experiences of marriage, relationships, and family. In this process we will uncover how wider social forces such as the state, the media, the workforce, race, class, and the gender system, influence our cultural notions about marriage and the family and our lived realities. Offered spring semester.


One Unit. The study of contemporary urban life styles, economy and culture. Ecological, population, and urbanization processes. Urban problems of metropolis and megalopolis. Offered as requested.


One Unit. Analysis of social, cultural, and psychological factors involved in delinquency and crime. Description and analysis of criminal subcultures in contemporary society. Modern programs for crime prevention. Offered fall semester.


One Unit. This course examines international migration as a social process, with a main focus on immigration to the United States. It provides sociological tools to understand why immigration happens, how it occurs, and what consequences and outcomes it produces. We will explore theories of migration and compare and contrast trends in old world and new world migration systems, as well as the American migration experiences, both from the perspective of the immigrants/refugees and the U.S. receiving population. Overall, the course will compare and contrast the differing immigration patterns and experiences of immigrants and refugees from Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe. Offered every other spring  semester.


Zero Unit. This is the experiential learning component to SO 306 Crossing Borders. Students volunteer once a week with a local immigrant/refugee organization for at least 2 hours. Offered every other spring semester.


One Unit. The origins of criminal law are examined in Western society: local, state and federal penal laws; judicial decisions on criminal capacity, criminal capacity, criminal intent and due process. Offered spring semester.


One Unit. This course is an introductory look into the complex world of military law. The course builds upon the general concepts of criminal justice to examine the similarities and differences between the civilian and military justice systems, to explain why the military has its own special set of laws, and to trace the evolution of today's substantive and procedural military law. Offered as required.


One Unit. Population theories and politics; A review of data sources as applied to human life cycle, education, socioeconomic and political processes; Population and social change. Offered as required.


One Unit. This course focuses on the theoretical analysis of the origins and maintenance of social inequality. Topics covered include: measures of income inequality, analysis of current income inequality in the United States; racial and gender discrimination and its effect on education and income; and normative questions on inequality. Offered as required.


One Unit. The primary objective of this course is to develop a critical and sociologically grounded approach to the study of gender.  Questions that will be considered in this class include: What is the difference between sex and gender? What does it mean to study gender from a sociological perspective?  Are there different ways of understanding this concept? What does “doing gender” mean? What is feminism? How do social class, race, ethnicity, nationality, and age affect the meaning of gender and/or being gendered? Have concepts of femininity and masculinity changed over time? How are gender norms and gender ideals communicated through the media, religion, and the state? In addition we will consider the role of individual agency by looking at different social movements (e.g. women’s liberation, gay rights). Offered fall semester.


One Unit. Historical analysis of human work. Managerial structures, bureaucracy, unionism, mechanization, and automation and their impact on the industrial system and its problems. Offered as required.


One Unit. This course surveys sociological theory from Comte, Spencer, Marx, Weber, Durkheim to present explanations. It includes a detailed analysis of contemporary theories and examines the relationship between theory and research/social policy. Also discussed are recent theoretical trends such as feminist, ecological and humanistic approaches. Prerequisite: Sociology 101 or 103. Offered spring semester.


One Unit. In this course students simulate professional behavior and develop a sense of professional identity through an 8 hour per week experiential practicum at an off-campus placement. Students conduct a sociological analysis of the goals, organization, processes, and other experiences of their agency through written logs leading to a final paper and through participation in a weekly seminar with their classmates and a professor at the college. Offered spring semester.


One Unit. In this course students draw on their acquired knowledge of the discipline to develop an independent research project. Specifically, students formulate a sociological research question related to their agency practicum in the Senior Reflective Tutorial, and review current literature on their research question. Then students apply the sociological theories and research methods to develop theoretical arguments and testable hypotheses and to test their hypothesis with empirical data (they may either collect their own data or work with existing data or statistics). Throughout the semester, students meet collectively to present reviews of published literature, make oral progress reports on their research, and peer-edit each other's drafts. The course culminates in a written "conference paper" presented orally at a department "conference". Prerequisites: SO 343 Sociological Theory, SO233 Research Methods I and SO 234 Research Methods II. Offered spring semester.


One Unit. In an effort to give students another perspective on the discipline of sociology, in this course, advanced standing students have the opportunity to do focused research on a topic related to a sociology faculty member's own teaching and scholarship. The student does a minimum of eight hours per week of supervised research on a selected topic. This course is made available by instructor's permission to advanced and high-standing undergraduate students, majoring in sociology, and particularly those planning to go to graduate school in sociology or/and social work. In the course, the upper level student fulfills such duties as helping the faculty member to develop his or her research in a given area and taking part in a particular class taught by the faculty member. The course culminates in a research paper using the format of a sociology journal, and having a minimum of fifteen scholarly references. The student gains advanced research experience and the opportunity to work closely with a Wagner College faculty member. Senior standing and permission of the instructor. Offered as required.


One Unit. Supervised independent research projects developed by the student, with faculty advisement. Restricted to advanced sociology majors. Offered as required.

 

Courses with a Social Work Emphasis  



One Unit. This course provides students with an introduction to the field of social work and to the various methodologies social workers use in their efforts to help their clients negotiate the social welfare system. The complexities of the social welfare system are presented and contemporary issues in welfare structure and service delivery are discussed. Career opportunities in the social welfare field will be considered. Offered fall and spring semesters.


One unit. Examines problems and concepts of the policy process in the U.S., exploring the political, economic, and institutional frameworks which structure public welfare choices. This course covers problem and needs analysis, policy analysis, program development, and program evaluation. Offered as required.


One Unit. This course provides an introductory supervised training experience in an off-campus organization or non-profit agency. A sociological and anthropological analysis of the goals, organization and processes of agency environment is emphasized. In placement, students simulate professional behavior and develop a sense of professional identity. Students work as least 13 weeks at their agency, analyze their experience through written assignments, and participate in a weekly seminar at the college. Offered as required.


One Unit. A seminar course, the content of which is determined by the instructor. Special studies in social welfare methods of theory. Offered as required.