Sociology

College of Health and Social Sciences

Dean: Alvin Alvarez

Department of Sociology

Chair: Andreana Clay
HSS 370
Phone (415) 338-1466
Fax: (415) 338-2653
Website: sociology.sfsu.edu

Program Scope

Sociology examines the social aspects and dimensions of most everything human beings do in the realm of politics, economics, culture, technology, relationships, and identity. Studying sociology provides students critical and reflexive perspectives with which to understand the world. It pushes students to develop the analytical, research, and compositional skills necessary to investigate, understand, analyze, explain, and improve the world around them. Courses cover a broad range of topics including: the study of individuals as social actors; the analysis of social processes such as social interaction and deviance and conformity; the study of institutions such as law, family, media, popular culture, medicine, education, and religion; and the investigation of the social organization of entire societies in the global context. The department offers a variety of courses of interest to non-majors as well as to majors.

Career Outlook

Upon completion of a B.A. in Sociology, students can continue their education with graduate work in either sociology or in some related field such as social work, public administration, or law. For students who choose to pursue employment with their bachelor's degree, sociology provides an excellent liberal arts foundation for a range of career paths that utilize their sociological insights as well as the conceptual and methodological skills they have acquired. Training in sociology can open a variety of doors in human services and in business. Those who enter human services may work with youths at risk, the elderly, or people experiencing problems related to poverty, substance abuse, or the justice system. Some find employment in agencies that work for social change including various organizations concerned with human rights issues or the environment. Sociology majors who enter the business world work in sales, marketing, customer relations, or human resources.

In addition, the sociology major has a competitive advantage in today's information society. The solid base received in research design, data analysis, statistics, and sociological concepts enables them to compete for support positions in research, social planning, policy analysis, program evaluation, and other social science endeavors.

Professors

Barbosa, Dumont, Fields, LeBlanc, McCaughan

Associate Professors

Bettinger, Carrington, Clay, Hossfeld, Martinez, Sears

Major

Minor

  • Minor in Sociology
    Due to impaction of the Sociology major, the Department is not accepting new Sociology minors until further notice. Students who have already declared the minor may continue their planned course of study.

SOC 105 Sociological Perspectives (Units: 3)

Major ideas, concepts, and methods in the study of society: social structure, social interaction, culture, social policy and social change.

Course Attributes:

  • D1: Social Sciences

SOC 110 Sexuality in Society (Units: 3)

Introductory exploration of sexuality in its social context. Critical reflection on conventional and individualizing understandings of sexuality. Includes research articles, documentary films, and mainstream television and magazines.
(This course is offered as SXS 110 and SOC 110. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • D1: Social Sciences
  • Social Justice

SOC 200 Changing Cities (Units: 3)

Changing cities in a global world. Multi-disciplinary social science perspectives on city life. Social, cultural, and ethnic diversity. Metropolitan regions. Strategies for creating social justice and environmental sustainability. Experiencing the city.
(This course is offered as USP 200 and SOC 200. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • D1: Social Sciences
  • Social Justice

SOC 245 Social Problems (Units: 4)

Identification and analysis of contemporary social problems: the role of power and ideology in defining social problems, their causes and consequences, evaluation of proposed solutions, and methods of intervention.

Course Attributes:

  • D1: Social Sciences
  • Social Justice

SOC 272 Social Inequality: Poverty, Wealth, and Privilege (Units: 4)

Prerequisite: ENG 114.

Patterns of social stratification and inequality. Class, status, and power dimensions; cultural variations; patterns of class mobility and change.

SOC 275 Sociology by the Bay (Units: 2)

Speaker series introducing students to sociological research and related work being done in the San Francisco Bay Area or conducted by Bay Area sociologists. (CR/NC grading only)

SOC 293 The Measure of Society: Creating and Displaying Social Information (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Completion of quantitative reasoning requirement.

Introduction to quantitative methods for measuring social qualities, and basic quantitative tools for analysis and display of data. Covers maps, charts, and tables commonly used in sociological research.

SOC 300GW Sociological Analysis - GWAR (Units: 4)

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I] with a grade of C- or better. Restricted to upper division Sociology majors, completion of two sociology courses with grades of C or better.

Sociological analysis, writing, and research. (ABC/NC grading only)

Course Attributes:

  • Graduation Writing Assessment

SOC 330 Comparative Race and Ethnicity in the U.S.: Class, Gender, and Nation (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Examines dynamics of race and racism by analyzing intersections of class, race, gender, and nationalism, including theoretical perspectives shaping the subfield of comparative race and ethnicity in sociology, theories of racial formation, constructivist theory, ethnic boundaries, assimilation, and ethnocentrism.
(This course is offered as RRS 330 [formerly ETHS 330] and SOC 330. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Social Justice

SOC 362 The Social Construction of Deviance and Conformity (Units: 4)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing, completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I].

Social processes of rulemaking, enforcing, and breaking; theoretical and methodological problems of conceptualizing and analyzing values, rules, power, social judgments, and punishment.

SOC 370 Classical Theories of Society (Units: 4)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing; SOC 300GW; completion of GE Areas A and B4 [formerly GE Segment I].

Fundamental assumptions underlying classical sociological theory. Surveys the works of scholars such as Marx, Durkheim, Weber and other classical thinkers.

SOC 371 Contemporary Theories of Society (Units: 4)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing; SOC 300GW; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I].

Examination of the most salient works in contemporary sociological theory.

SOC 381 Questionnaire Design (Unit: 1)

Prerequisites: Restricted to upper division standing; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I]; SOC 300GW, SOC 370 or SOC 371; or consent of instructor. Students are encouraged to enroll in SOC 392.

Introduction to questionnaire design. Topics include maximizing respondent comprehension; techniques for measuring past behaviors and events; effects of question wording; response formats, and question sequence on responses; asking for sensitive information; and matching design and analysis.

SOC 382 Python for Social Scientists (Unit: 1)

Prerequisites: Restricted to upper division standing, completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I], SOC 392. Students are encouraged to enroll in SOC 393.

Introduction to Python programming language as a tool to gather social data in electronic form and deliver information to analysis programs (e.g., R, SPSS, QGIS).

SOC 383 R for Social Scientists (Unit: 1)

Prerequisites: Restricted to upper division standing; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I]; SOC 392; or consent of instructor. Students are encouraged to enroll in SOC 393.

Introduction to the R statistical package as used in social science research. Illustration of R use in social science research for statistical analysis, data visualization, and spatial description and analysis.

SOC 392 Introduction to Research Methods (Units: 4)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I]; SOC 300GW, SOC 370 or SOC 371; or consent of instructor.

Nature of scientific research and research design; relationship of research to sociological theory. Classwork, 3 units; laboratory, 1 unit.

SOC 393 Quantitative Analysis of Social Data (Units: 4)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I]; SOC 392; or consent of instructor.

Techniques of measuring, tabulating, analyzing, and interpreting statistical data. Classwork, 3 units; laboratory, 1 unit.

SOC 394 Sociological Field Methods (Units: 4)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing or consent of instructor, completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I], SOC 392.

Theoretical and practical exploration of sociological methods for studying relationships between day-to-day experiences and broader social structures, ideologies, and inequalities. Field methods include interviewing, participant observation, and content analysis. Special focus on writing, analytical, and presentation skills.

SOC 400 Variations in Human Sexuality (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Variations in sexuality: sexual identity, relationships, behavior, and fantasy; identification of personal and social problems associated with varied sexual lifestyles.
(This course is offered as SXS 400, PSY 450, and SOC 400. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Social Justice

SOC 410 Grassroots Organizing for Change in Communities of Color (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

An advanced examination of grassroots social change movements in communities of color in the U.S.; how they are organized; how they succeed and even fail; by combining social change theory, history, and practical contemporary approaches to grassroots social justice work. [Formerly ETHS 410] [CSL may be available]
(This course is offered as RRS 410 and SOC 410. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Social Justice

SOC 420 Indigenous Media and Social Change (Units: 4)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I].

Examination of contemporary visual culture, particularly commercial culture, for its impact on personal and collective identity. Technical aspects of creating and altering visual media.
(This course is offered as SOC 420 and ANTH 420. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

SOC 424 Social Movements (Units: 4)

Prerequisite: ENG 214 or equivalent.

Examines social movements and political action in comparative perspective. An examination of origins, tactics, and outcomes of social movements. [CSL may be available]
(This course is offered as PLSI 424 and SOC 424. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

SOC 451 Criminological Theory (Units: 4)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I].

Social, economic, and political context in which criminological theories (past and present) emerged and how they are reflected in legal practices.
(This course is offered as SOC 451 and C J 452. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

SOC 452 Juvenile Justice (Units: 4)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I].

Analysis of "delinquency," emergence and administration of juvenile law, and analysis of social organizations for youthful offenders. Classwork, 3 units; fieldwork, 1 unit. [CSL may be available]
(This course is offered as SOC 452 and C J 470. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

SOC 455 Punishment and Social Control (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I].

Contemporary and historical methods of punishment and control are examined as reflections of broader trends in society.

SOC 457 Sociology of Law (Units: 4)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I].

Examination of legal institutions, developing knowledge and understanding of the social nature of law, the operation of existing institutions and their relation to social conditions and process.

SOC 461 Ethnic Relations: International Comparisons (Units: 4)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I].

Sociological factors related to ethnic identity, nationalism, and conflict in selected multi-ethnic societies worldwide. Ethnicity in politics, religion, family, education, and work.

SOC 464 Families and Society (Units: 4)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I].

Family variations in the U.S. and the world: historical antecedents and social influences; changing structure of the family, problems, and emerging trends.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences

SOC 467 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Cultures and Society (Units: 4)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I].

Sociological analysis of the character and development of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities and cultures in the context of broader social inequalities and social transformations. Special attention to the historical and social antecedents of the contemporary U.S. Focus on empirical and theoretical work within sociology.
(This course is offered as SOC 467 and SXS 667. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

SOC 468 Social Aspects of Human Sexuality (Units: 4)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Sexuality as human social behavior. Social, cultural, and ethnic causes and consequences of ways of behaving sexually.

SOC 469 Gender and Society (Units: 4)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing, completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I].

Sex roles in society. Origin, socialization, and demands of conformity. Restrictions and encouragements for breaking with conventional sex roles.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences

SOC 471 Societal Change and Development (Units: 4)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I].

Examination of complexities and concern inherent in the understanding of societal change and development. Most salient theories, problems, and solutions in the field. Emphasis on the relationship between societal and global change.

SOC 476 Medical Sociology (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I].

Sociology of health and illness; organization of medical care; therapeutic interaction; medico-social problems; innovation in health care.

SOC 477 Environmental Sociology (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I].

Changing organization of human societies and their relations with the natural environment; environmental consequences of modern cultural beliefs and lifestyles. Social consequences of environmental changes.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Global Perspectives

SOC 480 City in a Global Society (Units: 4)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I].

Urban life and settings in U.S. and internationally. Analysis of impact of the global context. Economic, ethnic, gender, cultural, political, and technological changes.
(This course is offered as SOC 480 and USP 470. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

SOC 481 Sociology of Brazil (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing; ENG 214 or equivalent.

Broad view of the evolution of Brazilian society, analyses of specific issues that are vital for the understanding of contemporary Brazil, and insights about the relative nature of sociological phenomena through societal comparisons.

SOC 482 Global Immigration and Immigrants (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I].

Social, cultural, and historical issues associated with international migration. Reasons why people migrate and how migration changes social institutions, local communities, whole countries, and the migrants themselves.

SOC 483 Global Sociology (Units: 4)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I].

Global processes and their impact on different societies and individuals. Global theory; social problems such as poverty, hunger, racism, sexism, global warming, labor exploitation.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Global Perspectives

SOC 484 Population and Social Dynamics (Units: 4)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I].

Population dynamics: social factors related to social and environmental problems of population growth or decline. Human fertility and fertility control, mortality, and migration. Population policy. Classwork, 3 units; laboratory, 1 unit.

SOC 485 Political Sociology (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing; completion of GE Areas A and B4; or consent of instructor.

Examination of the social dimensions of power, particularly those embedded in institutions of the state. Exploring relations between state and society, social movements, political organization and civic participation, political culture, voting behavior, and citizenship.
(This course is offered as SOC 485 and PLSI 485. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

SOC 486 Sociology of Mental Health (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I].

Sociological approach to the study of mental health seeking to identify the social conditions that affect psychological well-being, and to describe the processes linking social conditions to psychological effects.

SOC 487 Mexican Migrations: A Social History (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Examination of the historical and contemporary social and legal effects of immigration flows and deportations by focusing on the development of the U.S.-Mexico border, U.S. immigration policies, gendered migrations, and U.S. definitions of belonging as well as exclusion in relation to Mexican immigration communities.
(This course is offered as SOC 487 and LTNS 487. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

SOC 490 Sociology of Popular Culture (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 214 or equivalent.

Exploration of sociological theories and methods for analyzing historical and contemporary cultural expressions in popular music, art, film, television, and advertising.

SOC 491 Ancestors or Data? Culture, Conflict, and NAGPRA (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Political struggles surroundings the creation and implementation of the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). Analysis of the law, impact of recent court decisions, and specific focus on cultural conflicts related to the concept of knowledge.
(This course is offered as AIS 490, ANTH 490, and SOC 491. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

SOC 492 Sociology of Art (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing; completion of GE Segment 1, including ENG 214 or equivalent.

Sociological perspectives on the social production, distribution, and consumption of art; art as an expression of collective identity; art as signifier of the meanings human beings attribute to the social world; and the relationship between art and social change.

SOC 494 Sociological Research III: Special Projects (Units: 2-4)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I]; SOC 392, SOC 393 (may be taken concurrently), or equivalents.

Supervised experience in carrying out well-defined research projects. Enrollment by petition. May be repeated for a total of 6 units.

SOC 500 Senior Seminar (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I]; SOC 300GW, SOC 370 or SOC 371, and SOC 392; or consent of instructor.

Topic to be specified in Class Schedule. May be repeated for a total of 6 units when topics vary. (Plus-minus letter grade only.)

SOC 501 Internship: Applied Sociology (Units: 2)

Prerequisites: Senior standing; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I]; SOC 370 or SOC 371, SOC 392; concurrently enrollment in SOC 502. Contact instructor the semester prior to enrollment.

Fieldwork in approved public or private organization or agency. Supervision by organization staff and faculty coordinator. (CR/NC grading only) [CSL may be available]

SOC 502 Internship Seminar: Applied Sociology (Unit: 1)

Prerequisites: Senior standing; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I]; SOC 370 or SOC 371, SOC 392; concurrent enrollment in SOC 501. Contact instructor for consent the semester prior to enrollment.

Analysis of internship experience. (Plus-minus letter grade only) [CSL may be available]

SOC 503 Research Internship Seminar (Unit: 1)

Prerequisites: Restricted to upper division Sociology majors and minors; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I]; SOC 300GW, SOC 370 or SOC 371, SOC 392; or consent of instructor; concurrent enrollment in SOC 504.

Reflection on sociological research practice, membership in research communities, dissemination of findings to relevant audiences and constituencies, and methodological concerns. (Plus-minus letter grade only)

SOC 504 Research Internship Experience (Units: 2)

Prerequisites: Restricted to upper division Sociology majors and minors; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I]; SOC 300GW, SOC 370 or SOC 371, SOC 392; or consent of instructor; concurrent enrollment in SOC 503.

Sociological research experience, discussion of methods, membership in research communities, and dissemination of findings to relevant audiences and constituencies. (CR/NC grading only)

SOC 510 Analysis of the Felon in Society (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Restricted to upper division Sociology and Criminal Justice majors; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements; or consent of instructor

Examination of the process of Re-entry (post-incarceration) from the perspective of individuals who have lived it. Classwork, 1 unit; activities, 2 units.
(This course is offered as SOC 510 and C J 510. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

SOC 552 Comparative Employment Relations (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing.

Introduction to the concept of the employment relationship, the main "models" and their key actors; diversity at work to international labor rights and how they are approached and practiced in different countries.
(This course is offered as LABR 552 and SOC 552. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

SOC 553 Labor Standards and Corporate Social Responsibility (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing.

Introduction to an overview of recent academic debates on Corporate Social Responsibility, International Labor Standards and "decent work." Codes of conduct, monitoring, and certification/labeling/ transparency.
(This course is offered as LABR 553 and SOC 553. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

SOC 554 Themes in Comparative Employment Relations (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing.

Introduction to the main "models" that have been used in comparative analysis of national systems of employment relations; the Anglo-Saxon, Japanese, and European social models; discussion of the appropriateness of these models in understanding transforming economies.
(This course is offered as LABR 554 and SOC 554. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

SOC 555 Labor Rights in the Global Economy (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Key themes concerning labor rights in the global economy; focus on core labor rights identified by the UN: freedom of association, freedom from child labor; freedom from coerced labor, and freedom from discrimination.
(This course is offered as LABR 555 and SOC 555. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

SOC 580 Educational Equity (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Is education the great equalizer? Educational equity and policy issues, including institutional racism, school finance, recruitment/retention of under-represented students, language. [CSL may be available]
(This course is offered as LTNS 580, SOC 580, and RRS 580 [formerly ETHS 580]. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Social Justice

SOC 640 Sociology of the Latino Experience (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

A comprehensive introduction to sociological perspectives on the Latino/Latina experience in the United States. Historical and structural in approach.
(This course is offered as LTNS 640 and SOC 640. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

SOC 645 Sociology of Latin America (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I].

Theoretical and empirical exploration of the social structures and processes of identities, inequalities, and struggles associated with class, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, and sexuality in contemporary Latin American societies.

SOC 685 Projects in the Teaching of Sociology (Units: 1-4)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing; consent of instructor; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I]; minimum grade of B+ in course (or equivalent) student will be assisting in, and cumulative GPA of 3.0.

Instructional aides have opportunity to increase knowledge of course topic and understanding of processes of teaching and learning. Aides provide assistance to students in class activities such as writing assignments, research projects, preparation for examinations, general study habits. (Students may earn a maximum of 4 units toward the baccalaureate degree for any course(s) numbered 685 regardless of discipline.)

SOC 699 Independent Study (Units: 1-4)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing; consent of instructor, major adviser, and department chair; completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I].

Supervised study of a particular problem selected by the student. May be repeated for a total of 4 units.

SOC 899 Independent Study (Units: 1-3)

Prerequisite:Consent of the graduate major adviser, the supervising faculty member, and the department chair.

Study is planned, developed, and completed under the direction of a member of the faculty. Enrollment by petition.