Sociology & Criminal Justice Course Descriptions

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SOCIOLOGY AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

 

SCCJ-101. INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY                                                                                            3:3:0

The purpose of this course is to expose students to the major areas of sociological research and to develop a sociological perspective.  The course is a sampler of the diversity of sociological study including, socialization and culture, socioeconomic class and inequality, race and ethnicity, sexuality and gender, and globalization.  By the end of this course students will have a better understanding of the ways in which individuals are influenced by a society’s major institutions, structures and cultures and how they fit within a complex global web of social interconnection. Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-101H. Introduction to Sociology-Honors                                                                                         3:3:0

Development and application of Sociological concepts and perspectives concerning human groups including attention to socialization, culture, organization, stratification, and societies. This class is focused on fundamental sociological concepts and research methodology.  By the end of this course students will be able to utilize sociological theories and methods to explain social patterns with a focus on social structure and culture. Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-102. Principles of Sociology                                                                                                           3:3:0

This course is designed for sociology majors and examines key sociological concepts, principles, theories and methods of sociological analysis. Subject areas include culture, socialization, group dynamics, social institutions, social inequity, globalization and social change.  By the end of this course students will be able to utilize sociological theories to understand social inequality, globalization, and multiculturalism.    Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-103. SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS                                                                                                            3:3:0

This course is designed to provide a thorough examination of the major social institutions (i.e., the family, the economy, the educational system, the religious system, the political system, and the medical system) from a variety of sociological perspectives. In doing so, this class will prepares students to conduct structural analyses of society, allowing them to better understand how social structure influences individual behaviors.  This will include identifying major social institutions, explaining the potential functions social institutions may serve in society, and an introduction to current research.  Prerequisites: SCCJ 101 or 102. Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-104. INTRODUCTION TO CRIMINAL JUSTICE                                                                                   3:3:0

Survey of the agencies and processes involved in the Criminal Justice System including the police, the prosecutor, the public defender, the courts, and corrections. Students will explore definitions of crime and how crime is measured. Students will examine inequality in the Criminal Justice System and will start to gain a global perspective. Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-191. UNIVERSITY SEMINAR I – SOCIOLOGY                                                                                   1:2:0

University Seminar is a two-semester, General Education course sequence designed to provide students with the essentials for a smooth transition to college life and academic success.  Academic skills will be developed.  These skills include critical reading, thinking, listening, writing, speaking, and using the library, the internet, and word processing.  Values clarification, coping with peer pressures, and the impact of a healthy lifestyle will be addressed.  Opportunities will be provided for self-evaluation and growth in basic learning strategies as well as personal and career goals.  Knowing the history of the University, feeling connected to the institution, and sharing a common educational experience with other freshmen are important goals of this course.

Credit, one hour.

 

SCCJ-192. UNIVERSITY SEMINAR II – SOCIOLOGY                                                                                   1:1:0

University Seminar is a two-semester, General Education course sequence designed to provide students with the essentials for a smooth transition to college life and academic success.  Academic skills will be developed.  These skills include critical reading, thinking, listening, writing, speaking, and using the library, the internet, and word processing.  Values clarification, coping with peer pressures, and the impact of a healthy lifestyle will be addressed.  Opportunities will be provided for self-evaluation and growth in basic learning strategies as well as personal and career goals.  Knowing the history of the University, feeling connected to the institution, and sharing a common educational experience with other freshmen are important goals of this course.

Credit, one hour.

 

SCCJ-200. WRITING IN THE MAJOR                                                                                                           3:3:0

This course provides students with an intensive writing course designed to improve literature research and assessment skills as well as writing skills. The course design is recursive so that students learn to edit, correct and improve their written work. Students will examine professional social science articles, sharpening literature synthesis and evaluation abilities. Students will learn to write for the social science professions using various formats, including annotated bibliographies, outlines, literature reviews, and research papers.

Pre-requisites: Passed with C or better SCCJ 101, ENGL 101 and ENGL 102.

Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-202. SOCIAL DEVIANCE                                                                                                                    3:3:0

The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of the sociological study of deviance, emphasizing the role that deviance plays in the creation of social disorganization. The course will explore the social construction of deviance, specifically how deviance is defined, the role the people and society play in assigning this definition, and how social control systems respond to deviance. Topics will include subcultures, the medicalization of deviance, suicide, violence, drug use, and deviant identities and careers. Students will be exposed to criminological theories and social-psychological concepts such as stigma management and labeling processes. Prerequisites: SCCJ 101 or 102 or 104. Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-203. SOCIAL PROBLEMS                                                                                                                 3:3:0

One of the central concerns of sociology is to identify and better understand the problematic and destructive aspects of a society so that we can work toward fixing these social problems.  This course will expand students understanding of social problems by examining the various ways in which problems in society are socially constructed and publically framed.  Students will learn to deconstruct social problems, critically examine their relevancy and validity, and develop perspectives on the potential for social change. Prerequisites: SCCJ 101 or 102. Credit, three hours.       

 

SCCJ-206. CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY                                                                                                   3:3:0

This course will expose students to common forms of cultural analysis in sociology and the study of meaning in the social world. Students will explore how individuals and groups make sense of and find meaning in the world. Empirical works will be presented that exemplify various approaches, each with a different way of accounting for those theoretical matters of concern.  This course will prepare students ask sociological questions that incorporate matters of meaning and interpretation into their analysis.  Prerequisites: SCCJ 101 or 102. Credit, three hours

 

SCCJ-208. CRIMINOLOGY                                                                                                                          3:3:0

The course focuses on classical and contemporary theories of offending and victimization. Students will be introduce to the causes of crime and will learn to critique and apply criminological theoretical perspectives. Additional topics address the nature and extent of crime in the United States through analyses of official data, prospects of rehabilitation and policy implications. Prerequisites: SCCJ 104. Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-210. RACE AND ETHNIC RELATIONS                                                                                               3:3:0

The primary purpose of this course is to examine interracial and interethnic relations. Students will gain a socio-historical understanding of race and ethnic relations in the United States. Topics will include racial and ethnic identities, prejudice and discrimination, stereotypes, migration and assimilation, colorblind racism, and white privilege. Students will examine how racial inequality is reproduced through social interactions and social institutions such as the criminal justice system. Prerequisites: SCCJ 101 or 102. Credit, three hours.

SCCJ-299. TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY                                                                                                   3:3:0

In this course, students will examine the role of technological innovation on processes of social and cultural change in a global context. Specific topics will include how past and current uses of technology yield positive and negative results, societal risks, and ethical issues. Students will analyze the relationship between technology and social problems, population trends, environment, education, and the workplace. Prerequisites: SCCJ 101 or 102 and 200. Credit, three hours.

 

SCCCJ-301. JUVENILE DELINQUENCY                                                                                                       3:3:0

This course examines juvenile delinquency and the juvenile justice system.  The history, developments, and current issues related to juvenile delinquency and response to it are examined from a number of perspectives.  Additional topics include system biases, minority disproportionate representation, and gendered responses.  By the end of the course, students will be able to:  describe the extent of delinquency as it varies across time and groups; define and apply theories of juvenile delinquency; and assess the construction and response to delinquency from a variety of perspectives.  Prerequisites:  SCCJ 101 or 102 and 200 and 104.  Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-302. RURAL SOCIOLOGY                                                                                                                  3:3:0

This course explores rurality in international and domestic contexts.  Concepts and theories defining rural sociology are examined. Rural-urban differences in demographic composition, occupational structure, attitudes, and values of rural people and regional cultures are addressed. Rural services and institutions as determinants of the quality of life are discussed.  Prerequisites:  SCCJ 101 or 102 and 200.  Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-303. SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY                                                                                                             3:3:0

This course situates the study of human behavior within social context to reveal how one’s feelings and actions can be influenced by other people. We will examine the processes of human interaction and the social influences of family, group membership, generic social processes, mass media, and socioeconomic status, race, gender, and sexuality on individuals and groups. Students will examine socialization, the formation and changing of attitudes, social perception, role strain, collective behavior, intergroup and intragroup relations, and generic social processes that reproduce inequality. Prerequisites: SCCJ 101 or 102 and 200. Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-305. URBAN SOCIOLOGY                                                                                                                 3:3:0

This course focuses on the ways cities change, how and why urban development takes place, and who has the power to make decisions that affect urban life.  The class examines the ways in which decisions made at the macro urban scale filter down to influence the different ways people experience city life including the ways different urban cultures operate to establish themselves within communities and interact with others.  Major areas discussed in this course include the history of urbanization and suburbanization, race and ethnicity within American cities, urban decline and gentrification, community activism and power, cities and globalization, the effects of neighborhoods on culture, and the future of American cities.  At the end of this course, students will be able to use urban sociological theories to explain patterns of class, race and gender based spatial inequality and critically examine unequal patterns of urban and suburban development.  Prerequisites: SCCJ 101 or 102 and 200. Credit, three hours.        

 

SCCJ-306. SOCIOLOGY OF RELIGION                                                                                                        3:3:0

Religion continues to be an important institution in society, both within the United States and throughout the world.  This course will introduce students to the sociological study of how religion influences the lives of individuals.  Particular focus will be given to the large amount of variation within religion, as one of the goals of this class is to “de-essentialize” religion on an empirical level.  This course will prepare students to understand the causes & consequences of religion in society, as well as give them experience empirically engaging sensitive sociological topics. Prerequisites: SCCJ 101 or 102 and 200. Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-309. MEN AND WOMEN IN SOCIETY                                                                                                   3:3:0

The course is designed to provide students with a sociological framework for analyzing and deconstructing gender relations in society. Topics will include the social construction of gender, gender socialization, power and violence, sexuality, gender relations in the family, and gender stratification in the labor force. By the end of the semester, students will have a critical understanding of gender disparities from a global perspective. Prerequisites: SCCJ 101 or 102 and 200 or WMGS 200 Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-310. SOCIAL STRATIFICATION                                                                                                            3:3:0

This course explores the various ways in which the unequal distribution of wealth and power in the United States influences the American experience.  Specifically, the course looks at the ways in which systems of wealth inequality are maintained, how inequality is experienced and how it affects different social groups, who controls wealth and who does not and why systems of stratification matter.  By the end of this course students will be able to identify different systems of stratification, the differential impacts and effects of stratification on different groups and use theories of stratification to explain the persistence of social inequality.  Prerequisites: SCCJ 101 or 102 and 200. Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-311. LAW ENFORCEMENT                                                                                                                    3:3:0

This course traces the historical roots and shaping of modern law enforcement agencies. The recruitment and retention, behavioral management and issues surrounding the practices and responsibilities of law enforcement officials are also examined. By the end of the semester, students will have been exposed to a range of professional careers in the field. Prerequisites: SCCJ 101 or 102 and 200 and 208. Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-313. COURTS AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE                                                                                                3:3:0

The course is designed to provide an analysis of the structure and function of the criminal system in the United States including the roles of the prosecutor, defender, judge, justice, and court administrator. The issues confronting the system will be considered from historical and sociological perspectives. The ideal type will be compared with actual functioning of the system and court reform programs and proposals will be discussed. Prerequisites: SCCJ 101 or 102 and 200 and 208. Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-314. METHODS OF SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH                                                                                  3:3:0

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to research problems, design, and procedures in sociology and criminal justice. Students will be exposed to the nature of the research process, including ethical practices and going through the IRB, and guidelines for formulating research questions and testable hypotheses. Topics will include conceptualization and operationalization of variables, sampling, qualitative and quantitative data collection, and the relationship between theory and research. Prerequisites: SCCJ 101 or 102 and 200. Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-315. CRIMINAL LAW                                                                                                                              3:3:0

A study of both substantive and procedural criminal law. Consideration is given to its historical development, principles of criminal law and criminal liability, and the main doctrines of criminal law toward specific crimes and sanctions. Prerequisites: SCCJ 101 or 102 and 200 and 208. Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-316. CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE                                                                         3:3:0

The course examines current and controversial issues that permeate the modern criminal justice system. Emphasis is placed on critically examining the issues that come with passage of legislation and policies that impact citizens and criminal justice officials. Topics include in depth analyses of the U.S. Patriot Act, the implications of Three Strikes Laws and Stand Your Ground Laws, the nature of stop and frisk policies, and the impact of race, class and gender have on citizens’ perceptions of the criminal justice system. This course will prepare students to critically analyze current debates and policy issues in the field. Prerequisites: SCCJ 101 or 102 and 200 and 208. Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-322. ELEMENTARY STATISTICS                                                                                                             3:3:0

A course covering graphic representation of data, measures of central tendency and dispersion, the normal distribution and the use of standard scores, and simple correlation and regression. By the end of this course, students will have a basic understanding of statistics and how they fit into the research process. Prerequisites: SCCJ 101 or 102 and 200 and 314. Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-323. ADVANCED STATISTICS                                                                                                                 3:3:0

A course which is devoted to inferential statistics. This course cover interval estimation and hypotheses testing for all levels of measurements. A statistical laboratory which uses the campus computer and the ‘statistical package for the social sciences’ (SPSS) is an integral component of the course.) By the end of the course, students will be able to do basic and more advanced statistical processes to test hypotheses and conduct their own research studies using SPSS.  This course prepared students for graduate level statistics courses and is essential for students planning on entering a graduate program in Criminology, Criminal Justice, or Sociology.  Prerequisites: SCCJ 101 or 102 and 200 and 314 and 322. Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-330. POPULATION ANALYSIS                                                                                                                 3:3:0

This course examines the causes, consequences of, and interaction among the three major demographic variables: 1) fertility, 2) mortality, and 3) migration. The various policy alternatives with respect to the three (3) demographic variables will be examined. Prerequisites: SCCJ 101 or 102 and 200 and 322. Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-351. SOCIOLOGY OF THE FAMILY                                                                                                          3:3:0

This course explores one of the central institutions of human societies; the family.  The focus is on how and why families change over time, how families vary culturally from one place to another, the function of the family in society, and the ways in which different family types operate concurrently within societies.  Some major themes explored in this course include, changing family dynamics and composition, the various roles of different family members, power within families, and how families are framed in society. By the end of this course students will be able to apply sociological theories to the study of families and describe and explain cultural variation in family structures based on class, race, ethnicity and gender. Prerequisites: SCCJ 101 or 102 and 200. Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-356. SOCIOLOGY OF EDUCATION                                                                                                           3:3:0

This course will introduce students to empirical research regarding a number of topics within the sociology of education.  This includes issues such as inequality, student performance, the relationship between education and the marketplace, and the school-to-prison pipeline.  Students will read works from multiple theoretical standpoints, and conducted using several different methodological approaches.  Students will write book reviews and other assignments designed to give them experience with literature searches, and class participation will be encouraged. This course will prepare students to understand the effects of social structure and power in relation to the consequences and meanings of education in the United States.  Prerequisites: SCCJ 101 or 102 and 200. Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-360. SOCIOLOGY OF WORK                                                                                                                    3:3:0

This course gives students an opportunity to engage the sociological literature studying work.  The course will address topics such as organizational behavior, alienation, systems of control, occupational differentiation, work and leisure, and job satisfaction.  More specifically, it will look at three issues: the destabilization of work and employment, the shift toward a service-based economy and away from industry, and the decline of U.S. labor unions.  This course will prepare students to understand the social patterns that influence our working lives in nonobvious ways, applying sociological theories to a specific institution in society.  Prerequisites: SCCJ 101 or 102 and 200. Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-380. MEDICAL SOCIOLOGY                                                                                                                      3:3:0

A critical analysis of the American medical system, including an examination of the structure of health care delivery, interaction within medical settings, and the sociocultural factors which influence morbidity, medical service utilization, and treatment. Prerequisites: SCCJ 101 or 102 and 200. Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-399. INDEPENDENT STUDY                                                                                                                       3:3:0

Individual reading or field study by students wishing to pursue a special interest within the field of sociology, but not covered by one of the regular sociology courses.  Prerequisites:  Consent of the Instructor.  Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-402. PRINCIPLES OF CORRECTIONS                                                                                                        3:3:0

A general course describing the history and evolution of the modern correctional system. This course examines the purpose of corrections and punishment, the treatment and rehabilitation of offenders under correctional supervision, problems with jails/prisons, and preparing offenders for release into the community. Additional topics address community-based corrections and probation/parole.  Prerequisites: SCCJ 311 or 313 or 315 or 316. Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-405. SOCIOLOGY OF SEXUALITIES                                                                                                         3:3:0

This course will explore the relationship between sexuality, gender and the body in a U.S. and global context. The social construction of sexuality, sexual identities, historical trends, social movements, and current policy debates, will be covered. Prerequisites: SCCJ 101 and SCCJ 309 or WMGS 201. Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-406. SOCIOLOGY OF LAW                                                                                                                         3:3:0

A general treatment of the social origins and consequences of the law and legal process. Special emphasis is placed on problems of legal sanctions. Review of analysis of selected areas of theory and research in the sociology of law. Topics covered will include such areas as civil litigation and the civil courts, police operations and the sociology of law and order, educational laws and the operations of educational institutions, and sociological theories of justice, and the operations of legal agencies. Some attention is paid to law and the law-like phenomena and other sanctioning mechanisms in other societies, including primitive societies, but main emphasis is on American society. Prerequisites: SCCJ 311 or 313 or 315 or 316. Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ 408. SOCIOLOGY OF POVERTY                                                                                                                 3:3:0

This course focuses on the causes and consequences of poverty.  Poverty is analyzed from a sociological perspective and focuses on the structural forces shaping poverty as well as the experiences of people living in poverty.  A focus on the ways major economic, political and educational institutions mitigate and exacerbate poverty. By the end of this course students will be able to use theories of stratification to understand changing poverty rates and utilize research-based evidence to develop critical arguments about poverty related policies. Prerequisites: SCCJ 200 and SCCJ 310.

 

SCCJ-409. REAL/REEL CULTURE                                                                                                                       3:3:0

This course will foster an understanding of human culture and how mass media including, movies, music, television, print media and the internet are affecting the construction and negotiation of social identities and culture.  This course will explore how and why the mass media, especially the corporate and consumer media, portrays various identities including gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, and disability and how these identities  mix, swirl, reinforce and conflict with our own ideas of who we are. This course will contribute to students’ abilities to develop a critical argument using research based evidence and sociological theories. Prerequisites: SCCJ 200 and consent of the Instructor. Credit, three hours.       

SCCJ-412. SOCIOLOGICAL THEORIES                                                                                                               3:3:0

Facts never speak for themselves.  Sociological analysis always involves nonfactual elements such as traditions, beliefs, and goals.  This course will review many of the key social theories in contemporary sociology, classical sociology, and the intellectual traditions that linked them together.  This course will help students use explicit theoretical conceptualizations as essential tools for studying and understanding society.  Prerequisites: SCCJ 314.

 

SCCJ-415. VICTIMOLOGY                                                                                                                                 3:3:0

The role of victims in crimes, their treatment by the criminal justice system, their decisions to report crimes and help prosecute offenders, and victim compensation. Special focus on sexual assault and family violence. By the end of this course, students will have a broad understanding of the role social constructs play in the victimization experience for people who are victimized, both in terms of their experience with the criminal justice system and their experience understanding and processing what occurred.  Prerequisites: SCCJ 311 or 313 or 315 or 316. Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-420. COMPLEX ORGANIZATIONS                                                                                                            3:3:0

The general objective of the course is to examine internal and external factors which affect the behavior, performance and effectiveness of formal organizations—internal factors such as an organization’s structure; its patterns of authority; channels of communications, etc., and external factors such as the environment within which the organization operates. This course will prepare students to think critically about how the organization of collective action influences the outcomes of collective action.  Prerequisites: SCCJ 314. Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-435. SOCIAL CHANGE                                                                                                                            3:3:0

Examination of the causes, mechanics, patterns, strategies, or consequences of change in structure (relationships and institutions) of societies, and analysis of specific kinds of change such as revolutions, social movements, modernization, and industrialization. By the end of this course students will understand the socio-historical context of social change; they will be able to use theories to identify and differentiate patterns of social change and to explain when, how and why social changes occur. Prerequisites: SCCJ 200 and 322. Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-448. SENIOR SEMINAR                                                                                                                           3:3:0

This is the capstone course for sociology and criminal justice majors.  In this course, students will demonstrate writing, critical thinking, information literacy, and oral presentation skills of a college graduate.  The instructor will determine the topic of focus and students will complete a capstone research project where they appraise contemporary social problems, critique sociological/criminological research, use scientific findings to support a sociological argument, discuss the importance and impact of social inequality on the various social institutions and groups, and develop a critical argument using a sociological perspective. Prerequisites: SCCJ 314 and 412; Senior status with major or minor in Sociology/Criminal Justice. Credit, three hours.

 

SCCJ-450. CRIMINAL JUSTICE INTERNSHIP  Internship Form                                                                          3:3:0

Designed to give students first-hand, career related experience in a local agency or organization. Internships must be planned with the Department's Internship Instructor and a Field Supervisor in the semester prior to the actual placement. Qualified agency staff provides on-site supervision of the student, and the Internship Instructor, in conjunction with the Field Supervisor, monitors the intern's progress and evaluates his/her work. Prerequisites: SCCJ 200 and junior status with major or minor in Criminal Justice, and consent of the Internship Coordinator. Credit, three hours