Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Professor Mary Sundal, PhD, Chair
Associate Professor Alexandra Klales, PhD
Associate Professor Sangyoub Park, PhD
Assistant Professor Lindsey Ibañez, PhD
Assistant Professor Jason Miller, PhD
Assistant Professor Laura Murphy, PhD
Lecturer Ashley Maxwell, PhD
Lecturer Alexander Myers, MA
Consistent with the mission of the University and the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology offers students the opportunity to deepen and broaden their knowledge of humankind and themselves. We provide a broad understanding of cultural, social, and physical diversity in the world - past, present, and future. Students enrolled in sociology and anthropology classes will learn to critically examine social life, its organization, and its meaning. Through engaged pedagogy, we contribute to the intellectual development of our students who acquire the skills needed to examine cultures and societies through empirical, analytical, comparative, and historical methods. We believe that a firm grounding in sociological and anthropological knowledge will enrich the lives of our students and prepare them to be active citizens of their local communities and our global society.
Description of Sociology
Sociology is the “study of social life, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior” (www.asanet.org). Sociologists study topics from welfare to health care reform, from organized religion to cults, from poverty to concentrations of wealth, from war to natural disasters, from aging to population change, from social media to music and film, from deviance to social order, from law to crime, from divisions of race/class/gender to shared cultural meanings. Students may go on to careers in areas such as social services (juvenile justice system, battered women shelters, disaster planning/relief), administrative support (information technology, human resources, employee training), social science researcher and/or analyst, law, education (graduate school, professor), marketing (copy writing, technology or software), and law enforcement.
Student Learning Outcomes
Sociology majors at Washburn University, upon graduation, should be able to:
- Critically analyze the role of culture and social structure in shaping the lives of members of society.
- Identify, describe, and apply core sociological theories/perspectives to social phenomena at the micro and/or macro levels.
- Explain the effects of race, class, gender, and other forms of diversity on life chances at the individual, institutional, and/or societal levels.
- Frame sociological questions of significance, outline processes by which they might be empirically answered, and evaluate the major ethical issues involved.
- Demonstrate analytical reasoning skills by interpreting numerical, textual, and ethnographic information.
SO 100 Introduction to Sociology (3)
This course introduces students to theories, concepts, and methods used by sociologists in the study of society. Through this course, students should come to realize how many aspects of their lives are influenced by the social world in which they live and, as a result, should obtain a better understanding of themselves as social individuals and their place in society. Students will also develop an awareness and appreciation of how other individuals, groups, and/or societies have arrived at quite different perspectives. Prerequisite: None.
SO 101 Social Problems (3)
This course introduces students to the complexity of major social problems that are currently facing the U.S. and the world. Special emphasis is given to problems emerging from various divisions and inequalities in society related to social power, social class, race/ethnicity, sex, etc. Students will learn tools needed to critically evaluate these issues using sociological perspectives. Prerequisite: None.
SO 200 Special Topics in Sociology (1-3)
SO 207 Race and Ethnic Relations (3)
SO 300 Special Topics in Sociology (1-3)
SO 301 Population and Society (3)
This course provides students with an overview of the field of population studies. In the course, students will explore topics including fertility, mortality, immigration, marriage, and the consequences of these demographic changes on both social and individual levels. Prerequisite: SO 100.
SO 302 Culture & Human Sexuality (3)
SO 304 The Family (3)
This course provides an examination of contemporary U.S. and global family life, including courtship, marriage, divorce, child-rearing, and caring for aging parents. Prerequisite: SO 100.
SO 305 Criminology (3)
This course examines theories of causation of crime as well as conformity (non-criminal behavior), and their relationships to social structure and culture. In this course, we examine how laws are created, applied, and enforced in society. Prerequisite: Six hours of Sociology including SO 100 or SO 101.
SO 306 Law and Society (3)
In this course, the legal system is studied not in terms of the rules that make up the system, but in terms of the activities involved in creating, interpreting and enforcing these rules. The primary concern is with the ways in which the legal system affects society and in which society is an integral part of the larger social system and not an isolated set of rules, procedures, and activities. Prerequisite: SO 100 or SO 101.
SO 307 Penology (3)
This course provides a historical examination of the treatment of convicted adults and juveniles, as well as discussions of modern alternatives to prison, such as probation, parole, restorative justice, and suspended sentencing. The course includes field trips to local institutions. Prerequisite: SO 100 or SO 101.
SO 308 Sociology of Mental Health (3)
Survey and sociological analyses of major theoretical approaches toward mental health and illness exploring the social factors associated with mental illness; examination of the dynamics of societal reactions to mental illness. Prerequisite: SO 100.
SO 309 Sociology of Deviance (3)
SO 310 Social Class in the U.S. (3)
This course explores the definition of social class and the impact of social class on everyday lives including opportunity, education, marriage, and parenting. Prerequisite: SO 100.
SO 311 Juvenile Delinquency (3)
This course examines the characteristics and extent of youthful deviancy. The focus is on possible causes, concepts of treatment, and societal reaction. Prerequisite: SO 100.
SO 313 Sociology of Disasters (3)
This course analyzes the phenomena we call "disaster" using a sociological perspective. Some of the topics covered will include: What is a disaster? Do disasters randomly affect populations, or are some groups more vulnerable than others? How can disasters act as an agent for or against social change? Prerequisite: SO 100.
SO 314 Organizations (3)
This course examines organizations from the sociological perspective with emphasis on formal organizations. Through this course, students will learn to apply concepts of organizational structure; organizational culture; processes of power, leadership, and decision-making; and understand outcomes of organizations on individuals, communities, and society, as well as the larger environments. Prerequisite: SO 100.
SO 315 Sociology of Sport (3)
In this course we examine sport as a microcosm of society, in that we critically examine the social, cultural, political, and economic realities of society. Further, the sociology of sport exists to promote, stimulate, and encourage the sociological study of play, games, and contemporary physical culture and examine what these activities tell us about society. Prerequisite: SO 100.
SO 316 Japan and East Asia (3)
The main objective of this course is to examine social, cultural, demographic, economic, and political trends in East Asia through the lens of sociologists and other social scientists. Emphasis will be on China, Japan, and Korea. Prerequisites: SO 100.
SO 318 Sociology of Religion (3)
This course provides a comparative study of the phenomenon of religion with special emphasis on the impact and future of religion in the modern world. Classical and contemporary theories serve as a basis for the approach to religious values, norms, institutional structures, and changing religious practices. Prerequisite: SO 100.
SO 319 Food and Culture (3)
Food is a part of everyday life, and we often taken the act of cooking and eating for granted. In this course, we will explore larger social phenomena through our consumption of food. Much of the focus of this course will involve reading scholarly analyses of different issues surrounding food. Prerequisites SO100 or consent of instructor.
SO 323 The City and Urban Life (3)
This course provides a comparative study of the origin and development of cities. The focus is on processes of urban development, rural-urban migration, inter-relationships between people, urban cultures, social institutions, use of space and competing theoretical perspectives. Prerequisite: SO 100 or SO 101.
SO 326 Aging and Society (3)
This course explores the aging process from the vantage point of sociological theories and related empirical studies. Emphasis is on the social, political, economic, medical, and demographic contexts of aging. Special attention is given to "new ageism." The course also focuses on the effect on U.S. society of an aging population. Prerequisite: SO 100.
SO 338 Strategies for Social Change (3)
This course explores the major economic, political, and social forces that influence structural and cultural change in the U.S. and the world using a sociological perspective. The course also introduces students to different types of social movements and provides a framework for activism, as individuals and as members of groups. Prerequisite: SO 100 or SO 101.
SO 360 Sociological Theory (3)
This course provides a historical examination of the field of sociology and the development of sociological theory from its classical roots to contemporary debates. "Schools of thought" and the work of particular theorists are used to explore central concepts. Prerequisite: Declared major, junior / senior standing.
SO 362 Methods of Social Research (3)
Specific research techniques employed by sociologists, anthropologists, and other social scientists are considered, including polls and surveys, the interview and participant observation. Each student will complete an outside project. One of two capstone courses required of Sociology majors. Prerequisites: Declared major and 15 hours of Sociology, or consent.
SO 363 Internship (1-3)
Field training to provide students with experience in an operational or research setting through assignment to local social agencies or museums approved and supervised by a faculty member. May be elected twice for a maximum of three hours. Prerequisites: Declared major, senior standing and consent.
SO 366 Directed Readings (1-3)
Under supervision of a faculty member, students will undertake an extensive readings course to further their understanding of a specific topic within Sociology. May be repeated for a maximum of six hours. Students are limited to six hours total from SO 366 and SO 367 combined. Prerequisite: Declared major, junior/senior standing, and consent.
SO 367 Directed Research (1-3)
Upon supervision of a faculty member, students may undertake an independent research project in a specific aspect of Sociology. May be repeated for a maximum of six hours. Students are limited to six hours total from SO 366 and SO 367 combined. Prerequisite: Declared major, junior/senior standing, and consent.
SO 377 Sociology of Education (3)
This course examines theories and methods focusing on the role of education in stabilizing and changing industrial society particularly the United States. We describe and analyze how schools and universities figure into recurring crises and struggles-especially those related to the job market and to people’s concerns as to what constitutes a rewarding life. Prerequisite: SO 100, SO 101 or consent of instructor.