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College of Social & Behavioral Sciences

Current Courses

  • Spring 2019
    • Introduction to Sociology
      • Course Description:
        • As the course title states, this class is intended to introduce you to central issues in society.  The course will acquaint you with a number of sociological perspectives and theoretical orientations.  By taking this course, you will develop a sense of the range of issues covered by social scientists and the various perspectives and tools used to understand these issues.  We will approach this course through the perspective of political economy, which is, by its very nature, an orientation that dissects the world we live in. 
      • Course Objectives:
        • Students will be familiarized with the basic perspectives in sociology.
        • The course will facilitate mastery of basic sociological concepts.
        • Students will expand their knowledge of basic sociological issues, including issues of social class, race/ethnicity, gender, and sexuality.
        • The course is designed to enable the student to understand sociological issues both in United States’ society as well as in the global context.
        • This course also encourages students to develop a better understanding of their culture and society and how they fit into it, and to apply the sociological perspective to the analysis of social situations.
        • The student should gain a knowledge of cultural and social differences, be able to apply sociology to international issues, and to understand the role of the world citizen.  
    • Sociology of Globalization
      • Course Description:
        • Currently, political-economic institutions transcend national boundaries and are increasing the influence they have on the daily lives of people around the world. In the popular press and media, the term “globalization” has been used to characterize the changes taking place in our world today, but this class will take a critical look at the term globalization and the changes in global political and economic structures. This course will focus on political bodies and agreements, such as the World Trade Organization, to understand their operation and the implications for people around the world. In addition, the course will examine the role of political-economic agendas and the creation of such entities as the IMF and the World Bank. At the conclusion of the course, the students will have a better understanding of what has been called “globalization” and the political and economic institutions that shape their lives.
      • Course Objectives:
        • Students will be able to:
          • Master an understanding of diversity as defined by Minnesota State Mankato. " According to MNSU-M, “diversity is defined in comprehensive terms as the many faceted ways in which human beings differ from one another. Often overlapping, these differences can include: age, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, mental/physical ability, race/ethnicity.”
          • Acquire a substantive knowledge base to identify the impact of oppression for individuals from diverse populations, specifically how the global capitalist system has detrimentally affected diverse cultures around the world..
          • describe the history and operation of the contemporary global economy including the global institutions: The World Bank, The International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization.
          • communicate the negative consequences of the pursuit of a neoliberal strategy for economic growth.
          • assess the limitations and potential for overcoming the devastating effects of the neoliberal model of growth.
    • Sociological Theory
      • Course Description:
        • Sociological theory is the backbone of the study of Sociology.  It provides us with the lens through which we understand the world.  Theory is to the sociologist as the microscope is to the biologist (they have theories too, but just play along with the analogy!).  Theories allow us to see the world at different levels of abstraction and to connect the lived experiences of people with the social world they inhabit.  Theories frame our understanding and allow us to make sense of a complex social world.  In this class, you will be exposed to three of the most notable, if not controversial, social theorists: Marx, Weber and Durkheim.  Because they are central to the discipline, we spend more time with these theorists.  You will also hear from some lesser-known figures in Sociology to give you perspective on the “voices from below” that are often left out.

      • Course Objectives
        • You will be familiar with the main concepts of the central theorists in Sociology.
        • You will gain insight from Sociologists who highlight issues of gender and race/ethnicity.
        • You will see the application of Sociology to an increasing international, globalized world.
        • You will be able to apply Sociological concepts to the contemporary world.
        • You will gain an appreciation for understanding the world through a theoretical lens, developing your own “Sociological Imagination.”

      • “No social study that does not come back to the problem of biography, of history and of their intersections within society has completed its intellectual journey.” C. Wright Mills

      • “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.” Karl Marx