A profile of the Sociology Department
Take a look at what past grads from Witt have done with their majors – internships, grad school programs, and first jobs after graduation. It’s not always as cut and dried as you think; a Liberal Arts degree has a lot of flexibility!
What Past Witt Sociology Students Have Done
Uniting sociological and anthropological perspectives, the students and faculty of the Department of Sociology join in exploring human society and culture.
Course offerings and co-curricular activities address a full range of issues in both the applied and the more academic areas of the disciplines. The department is unique in its international and inter-discipliary emphases.
The sociologist describes, explains, and predicts human behavior. As one of the social sciences, sociology seeks to understand how people are affected by their social environment. For example, sociologists examine social roles and social differentiation along such dimensions as age, gender, class and ethnicity. Sociology is often defined as the study of society and other social groups. It recognizes that society involves coherent and systematic structures and processes and that there are always both order and change in human groups. Sociologists are especially interested in understanding the collective forces of control such as values, norms, and institutions.
The cultural anthropologist is also interested in these issues, but focuses more on the concept of culture, the shared patterns of thinking and acting in a society. Anthropologists may study an American college, a small isolated village in the South Pacific, or the Korean court system. But anthropology is especially concerned with making comparisons: how are societies similar, how are they different, and why do these similarities and differences exist?
Sociology and anthropology at Wittenberg lead the student to develop an intelligent, critical analysis of society's values, norms, and social structures. They instill an insight which enables one to cope with social change; they give basic knowledge and enhance skills useful in future careers.
Requirements for Major
Required in Sociology
The sociology major is comprised of 37 semester hours in sociology. The student selecting the major is required to complete Sociology 101, 307, 360, and 498. Twenty additional semester hours are to be selected from departmental offerings; eight of these hours must be at the 300 or 400 level. The student may use only four semester hours in Sociology 460, 490, or 491 toward the major. A 2.0 GPA in sociology courses is required, and majors are expected to attend regularly scheduled Sociology Colloquia.
Required in Related Departments
The student must complete a course in statistics (Psychology 107, Mathematics 127 or 227, or Management 210) and must demonstrate computing competency before taking Sociology 307.
Requirements for the Minor
The sociology minor is comprised of Sociology 101 and 16 additional hours in sociology courses. Eight of these 16 hours must be at the 300 or 400 level. Sociology 460, 490 and 491 can be used toward the minor only with Departmental approval.
101S. Introduction to Sociology. 4 semester hours.
Analysis of human interaction. Focus upon social structure, culture, socialization, and the nature of basic institutions and social processes. Occasional writing intensive sections. Every semester.
110C/S. Cultural Anthropology. 4 semester hours.
Introduction to cultural anthropology, paying particular attention to the concept of culture and to the cultural patterns around the world. Topics include fieldwork method, institutions of society, and symbols and meaning. The student reads descriptions of societies from different ethnographic areas, including the United States. Occasional writing intensive sections. Every year.
201. Topics in Sociology/Anthropology. 2-4 semester hours.
Courses in areas of special interest not covered in regular course offerings. Alternate years. This course may be repeated for credit.
203. Sociology of Education. 4 semester hours.
This course examines education as a social institution. It explores the organization and functions of schools, socialization process within schools and their relationship to academic achievement, the relationship between schooling and patterns of inequality, and schools as both objects and agents of change. Selected social problems such as school violence, student substance abuse, racial and ethnic divides, and the challenge of addressing the needs of special populations also will be considered.
210S. Sociology of Family. 4 semester hours.
Sociocultural study of marriage and the family with emphasis on variations in organization, function and value orientation arising from status, ethnic and religious differences. Implications for family life in American society. Writing Intensive. Every year.
230S. Welfare and Human Services. 4 semester hours.
Critical analysis of the helping professions and a survey of community agencies with emphasis on theoretical and applied aspects of human service work. Some sections writing intensive. Alternate years.
245C/S. Gender and Society. 4 semester hours.
Gender is a key component of all human groups. Topics to be covered include gender roles, division of labor by gender, gender inequalities, gender relations in production and reproduction, and symbolic expression of gender differences. May be taught from either an anthropological or a sociological perspective. Alternate years.
250S. Sociology of Deviance. 4 semester hours.
Analysis of deviance as an interactive process with emphasis on the social context of deviance and the process by which deviants are socially defined. Every year.
270S. Sociology of Minority Groups. 4 semester hours.
Meaning and nature of minority groups, theories and patterns of interaction, and current trends and problems. Every year.
277C/R. Islam and Islamic Societies. 4 semester hours.
A sociocultural introduction to the beliefs and practices of Islam, including a review of its development from its origins in the Middle East to its spread around the globe; evaluation of the place of Islam in shaping modern Islamic societies and cultures, with special attention to Muslim family relations; assessment of the experience of Muslims in societies where they form a minority population, including the United States; and consideration of the role of Islam in contemporary world affairs. Alternate years.
280. Animals and Society. 4 semester hours.
This course presents an examination of ways in which human societies have viewed and treated other animals and the implications of these interactions for human social organization. Sociological perspectives and methodological approaches will be used to analyze these issues. Students will learn the roles animals play in human society and ways in which humans have treated other animals, past and present. Special attention will be given to entanglements that exist between the treatment of animals and devalued groups of humans - as well as the effects of human-animal relations on the Third World, incluiding hunger, social conflict, and environmental deterioration.
290C/S. Global Change. 4 semester hours.
Critical examination of the major theories of social change with respect to the emergence of global political and economic systems. Topics include the industrial revolution and colonialism as well as modernization, socioeconomic development, with a particular focus on understanding issues significant to the Third World. Every year.
292S. Population Problems. 4 semester hours.
Population theories, problems of population growth, birth and death rates, and sociocultural factors in the composition and distribution of population. Every third year.
296S. Urban Sociology. 4 semester hours.
Exploration of urban studies, e.g., urban culture, lifestyle problems of institutional sectors, social change and planned development. Alternate years.
301. Special Topics. 2-4 semester hours.
Courses in special areas of the discipline, e.g., sociology of education, contemporary social problems, collective behavior, etc. Prerequisite: One sociology course of at least three semester hours. Alternate years. This course may be repeated for credit.
307. Research Methods. 5 semester hours.
Overview of the fundamental concepts and methods of sociological research providing experience with all phases of research from conceptualization and design through data-gathering, analysis, and the reporting of results. Descriptive and inferential statistics are used in the course. Includes both field and laboratory components. To be taken by all majors during their junior year before Senior Thesis. Prerequisites: Sociology 101; Mathematics placement level 23 and completion or concurrent enrollment in an approved statistics course (Psychology 107, Mathematics 127 or 227, or Management 210). Writing and math intensive. Every year.
330S. Wealth, Power, and Poverty. 4 semester hours.
Theoretical aspects and empirical studies of social classes, their origins, and characteristics with specific reference to the United States. Prerequisites: One sociology course of at least three semester hours. Alternate years.
340R. Sociology of Religion. 4 semester hours.
Examination of the structure and functioning of religious organizations and institutions, their relationships to the social structure and their role in social change. Prerequisite: One sociology course of at least three semester hours. Writing intensive. Alternate years.
350. Race and Ethnicity. 4 semester hours.
Race and ethnicity continue to be important markers of identity, stratification, and political action. This course will expose students to concepts and theories that can promote an understanding of the roles of race and ethnicity in contemporary society and guide new ways of thinking about these issues. Specifically, the course will introduce students to the sociological analysis of race and ethnic group membership in its various historical and geographical contexts, especially that of the contemporary United States. Why has racial/ethnic group membership remained a salient factor in social life? What factors perpetuate racial/ethnic stratification inour society? When does racial/ethnic group membership form the basis of social and political mobilization? Key concepts will be critically evaluated, with attention drawn to their ideological basis, explanatory power, and policy implications. Students will be encouraged to think critically about the social issues under study and their relevance to their own lives as members of a multi-ethnic society.
360. Sociological Theory. 4 semester hours.
Fundamental concepts of the discipline and their interrelationships in general theories of society. The relationships between theory and research, theory and philosophical presuppositions, and theory and social structure. To be taken by each major, preferably in the junior year. Prerequisite: One sociology course of at least three semester hours. Writing intensive. Every year.
364. Political Sociology. 4 semester hours.
Analysis of the role of power in society especially as institutionalized in the polity, with an emphasis on how political processes are related to the economy, education, family and religion. Prerequisite: One sociology course of at least three semester hours. Writing intensive. Every year.
370. Criminology. 4 semester hours.
Theories of the nature and extent of crime, factors conditioning criminal behavior, methods of punishment and rehabilitation, and programs of crime prevention. Prerequisite: One sociology course of at least three semester hours. Occasional writing-intensive sections. Alternate years.
376S. Law and Society. 4 semester hours.
Study of the functioning of both the formal structure and informal mechanisms of the legal domain within a society. Topics include the use of law as social control, the conflict-resolution function of the law and the structure of legal organizations. May be taught from either a sociological or anthropological perspective. Prerequisites: One sociology course of at least three semester hours. Writing intensive. Alternate years.
380. Identity, Self and Society. 4 semester hours.
Examination of the concepts of identity and identity formation to construct a more integrated view of self and society and to assess the value of these concepts for understanding human behavior. Draws upon various behavioral science materials. Prerequisite: One sociology course of at least three semester hours. Writing intensive. Alternate years.
390C. Russian and Central Eurasian Societies and Cultures. 4 semester hours.
Analysis of the societies and cultures of the post-Soviet realm, emphasizing family life, religion, stratification, politics, law and education. Prerequisite: One sociology course of at least three semester hours. Writing intensive. Alternate years.
401. Seminar. 4 semester hours.
Exploration of areas such as social theory, research methods, human ecology and population, social psychology, social organization and anthropology. Prerequisite: One sociology course of at least three semester hours. Writing intensive. Every third year. This course may be repeated for credit.
490. Independent Study. 2-4 semester hours.
Individual research elected by the student in consultation with the department faculty. Prerequisite: One sociology course of at least three semester hours. This course may be repeated for credit but only four semester hours can be counted toward the major in Sociology. Can be used for the minor in Sociology only with departmental approval.
491. Internship. 2-4 semester hours.
Work-study course that provides opportunity to observe decision-making processes, relate course materials to practical problems and participate appropriately in a work environment. Prerequisite: One sociology course of at least three semester hours. This course may be repeated for credit but only four semester hours can be counted toward the major in Sociology. Can be used for the minor in Sociology only with departmental approval.
498. Senior Thesis. 4 semester hours.
Comprehensive written project and an oral defense. The thesis is a requirement of each major. For further details on the structure of the senior thesis requirement, please consult the department’s designated senior adviser. Prerequisites: Sociology 307 and completion of an approved statistics course (Psychology 107, Mathematics 127 or 227, or Management 210). Sociology 360 must be completed or taken concurrently with Sociology 498. Writing intensive. Every year.
499. Honors Thesis/Project.
Prerequisite: 3.50 GPA and permission of the Department Chair.