Department of Sociology

Department website: https://www.vanguard.edu/academics/academic-programs/undergrad/sociology

Mission: The mission of the Department of Sociology is to equip student scholars with the theoretical, methodological, and substantive knowledge to be professionally competent practitioners devoted to the public good.

The Department of Sociology is a community of learners dedicated to understanding the socio-cultural forces shaping the life experiences of human populations.  The program is based on an applied, active-learning educational model that emphasizes faculty-student collaboration to engage the work of sociologists at the community level.  The department's faculty offer rigorous training in Sociological Theory, Research Design and Methods, and selective substantive areas including Criminology and Criminal Justice, Immigration and Migrant studies, Public Health, and Social Inequality and Justice.  We strive to cultivate in our students a moral vision of professional life so they remain committed to advancing public good in the vocations they pursue as Vanguard alumni.

The Department of Sociology also administers the following minors: Criminology and the Criminal Justice System, Public Health, Social Work, and Sociology.

Majors must achieve a minimum grade of "C-" in all upper division sociology courses required for the major.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) for the Department of Sociology:

  1. Identify how sociological concepts and theories relate to everyday life
  2. Understand and evaluate theoretical explanations of human behavior and social phenomenon
  3. Utilize diverse quantitative and qualitative research methods
  4. Communicate sociological knowledge to diverse audiences
  5. Appreciate the role of research in solving human problems and strengthening human well-being.
  6. Learn how to live and work as a Christ-following sociologist. 

The following academic programs are offered in the Department of Sociology or in collaboration with other academic departments. Questions, contact the Department of Sociology. 

Major: 

Minor: 

Interdisciplinary Minors:

These minors are intended to be an interdisciplinary course of study administered by the Department of Sociology in collaboration with other academic units.  The minor is designed to provide students a theoretical and practical overview of the topic in society from the perspective of various disciplines.

NOTE: Some of the courses listed below may be applicable to general education requirements within the Professional Studies/Non-Traditional Education program (e.g. SOC-100 Intro to Sociology).  Questions, contact the Department of Sociology or the Registrar's Office.


Anthropology

ANTH-102C  Intro to Cultural Anthropology  3 Credits  

The study of culture emphasizing culture's origins and processes. Concepts and theories about culture that apply to life in both developing and developed societies with the aim of solving human problems.

ANTH-317  Modern China  3 Credits  

A study of the political and social history of China from the mid-nineteenth century, when European aggression forced China on a path to modernization, to the present. (per 2020 Academic Catalog, this course is no longer cross listed with HIST-317).

ANTH-320  Social & Cultural Change  3 Credits  

This course is cross listed with SOC-320. The study of change, its processes and consequences in non-Western and contemporary societies. Special emphasis will be given to cross-cultural change involving migrants, minorities, religious contacts, as well as change at the personal level.

ANTH-334  Gender/Culture/Society  3 Credits  

This course is cross listed with SOC-343. Gender as a social construction with powerful consequences is explored in this course along with those cultural values and ideologies which perpetuate the discourse of differences. Contemporary studies of gender cross-culturally will enable an appreciation of the broad diversity in the application of gender constructs and their resultant cultural effects.

ANTH-339  Area Studies in Anthropology  3 Credits  

This course is cross listed with HIST-339. Area Studies is an intensive examination of specific regions of the world. Each course gives a brief survey of the region with attention to cultural history, ethnicity, family structure, political organization, technology, social structure, ethnopsychology, economics and ideologies present within the region. Issues of cultural difference and commonality, regional minority sub-cultural groups, and the role that this region plays within "global" culture are also addressed. (This course may be repeated for credit.) Areas of study in the rotation may include: Latin America, Pacific Rim, Japan, Middle East, Oceania, East Asia, South East Asia, China, Korea, Northern Africa, Sub-Sahara Africa, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, North America, and North America Diaspora.

Terms Typically Offered: Spring.

ANTH-343  Class,Race,Ethnicity & Gender  3 Credits  

This course focuses on the distribution of power and resources across racial and ethnic/cultural groups, class structure, and gender. Phenomenological, institutional, and structural aspects of prejudice and discrimination are examined using the matrix of domination (the intersection of attributes related to class, race, ethnicity and gender) to explore the life experiences of individuals.

Prerequisite: ANTH-102C; PSYC-103C; or SOC-100C

ANTH-346  Human Sexuality  3 Credits  

This course is cross listed with SOC-346 and PSYC-346. Human Sexuality provides an overview of human sexual anatomy, gender identify, sexual orientation and expression, and the ways that contexts affect sexual meanings. Must have junior or senior class standing.

Prerequisite: ANTH-102C, PSYC-103C or SOC-100C; must have Junior orSenior standing.

Terms Typically Offered: Fall and Spring.

ANTH-371  Urban Studies System  3 Credits  

This course is cross listed with SOC-371. A study of urban life with emphasis on its organization, unique functions, and problems.

Prerequisite: ANTH-102C, PSYC-103C, or SOC-100C

ANTH-375  Social Issues of Health and Wellness  3 Credits  

This course is cross listed with SOC-375. Explores the social forces that shape the health and illness of populations, the changing social definitions of wellness and social expectations. This course examines the role of society and culture in wellness-related decision making and health-care delivery systems.

ANTH-442  Globalization & Development  3 Credits  

This course is cross listed with SOC-442. Course considers anthropological approaches to the analysis of economic development and change, with special attention given to contemporary development concerns as perceived at the local level. The organization of large- and small-scale development organizations, including non-government organizations, in non-Western settings will also be examined. Class is also designed to meet the needs of students interested in participating in both overseas and domestic community/organizations/economic development.

ANTH-450  Anthropology Teaching Internship  1-3 Credits  

Students may be a teaching intern for classes they have previously taken. Regular hours each week for classes and/or meetings are established at the beginning of the semester. The intern will assist the instructor in course-related activities. May be repeated for a maximum of six units. 0 or above and the permission of the instructor.

ANTH-453  Language,Culture/Linguistics  3 Credits  

This course is cross listed with ENGL-453. This course surveys the acquisition and use of language within a cultural context. It examines the relationship of language to culture, language acquisition, and language analysis or linguistics, emphasizing the utility of such knowledge for educators. Stress is given to understanding language's reciprocal relation with culture, the nature of language systems, and linguistic analysis to enable educators a better comprehension of second language acquisition within learning environments.

Prerequisite: ANTH-102C, PSYC-103C, or SOC-100C

Terms Typically Offered: Spring.

ANTH-455  Research Assistantship  1-4 Credits  

The undergraduate research assistantship engages students in original research projects of the faculty or student's own design. Its aim is to apply those skills learned in prior research design and methodology coursework and/or expand on these as appropriate to the student's skill set. A research agenda will be developed with each student, which then becomes the guide for the class. May be repeated for credit.

ANTH-470  Special Topic in Anthropology  1-3 Credits  

Study of a special topic in one of the fields of anthropology. May be repeated for credit.

Sociology

SOC-100  Intro to Sociology  3 Credits  

An introduction to the study of society, considering the fundamental concepts of sociology in each of three great areas: social structure, social processes, and social problems. Sociology deals with the way individuals, groups, and institutions are related to one another. This course meets the Social Science requirement in the Professional Studies Program.

SOC-100C  Introduction to Sociology  3 Credits  

An introduction to the study of society, considering the fundamental concepts of sociology in each of three great areas: social structure, social processes, and social problems. Sociology deals with the way individuals, groups, and institutions are related to one another.

Terms Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, and Summer.

SOC-220  Marriage & Family Social Conte  3 Credits  

This course provides students with a sociological perspective of marriage and family living. Themes include: the social construction of gender and the consequences for relationships and social institutions; intimacy in family relationships; communication, conflict and stress in the family; the realities of parenting; integrating work and family life; separation divorce and remarriage; later life families. This course meets the Social Science requirement in the Professional Studies program.

SOC-230  Social Problems  3 Credits  

A selective sociological analysis of major problems confronting American society, discussion of individual and social disorganization, poverty, urbanization, deviancy, effects of mass media, and other issues.

SOC-258  Sociology of Sport & Human Movement  3 Credits  

This course is cross listed with KINE-258. This class will examine the historical and contemporary interpretations of the role of play, games, sports, dance, fitness, and recreation in a variety of cultures. This class will also address sociocultural issues such as gender, socioeconomic status, race and ethnicity in sport. This course is only offered odd years in the Fall.

Terms Typically Offered: Fall, odd years.

SOC-265C  Introduction to Behavioral Statistics  3 Credits  

A course in basic statistical concepts and methods of collecting, summarizing, presenting,and interpreting data in the behavioral sciences; including descriptive statistics (use of graphs and charts), normal distribution curve, measures of central tendency, deviation and dispersion, hypothesis testing, statistical fallacies, correlation, and topics in probability. Students majoring in Psychology, Sociology or History/Political Science must take PSYC-265C or SOC-265C to fulfill the core curriculum requirement in mathematics and the major requirement.

SOC-305  Criminology/Criminal Justice System System  3 Credits  

This is a survey course that introduces students to the motivations for criminal behavior and societal responses to them. Law, crime, and crime control will be presented as social phenomena that can be adequately understood only in terms of larger social and cultural contexts.

Prerequisite: ANTH-102C PSYC-103C or SOC-100C

SOC-310  Introduction to Social Work  3 Credits  

This course will introduce students to the profession of social work across a variety of contexts. Special attention will be given to the values supporting social work, areas/fields of practice, and the social functions filled by social workers.

SOC-312  Death, Grief, and Loss System  3 Credits  

This course is cross listed with PSYC-312. This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the study of death and dying. This course will discuss the intellectual, emotional, social, psychological, experiential and spiritual aspects of death and loss as part of one's personal discovery.

Prerequisite: ANTH-102C, PSYC-103C, or SOC-100C

SOC-317  Community Development  3 Credits  

In this introduction to the field of community development, we explore the historic roots of poverty and development, as well as some of the key theories and methods in the field. We will explore the ingredients that connect communities and the ways in which communities can advocate for the design of programs and initiatives which reflect their needs and values. The course includes case studies from both local and international contexts. Out of this course, students will develop a specific assessment plan for a group in which they are interested.

SOC-320  Social & Cultural Change  3 Credits  

This course is cross listed with ANTH-320. The study of change, its processes and consequences in non-Western and contemporary societies. Special emphasis will be given to cross-cultural change involving migrants, minorities, religious contacts, as well as change at the personal level.

SOC-324  Social Psychology  3 Credits  

This course is cross listed with PSYC-324. An examination of interpersonal behavior as it is influenced by social processes, culture, face-to-face interactions, and personality characteristics; including interpersonal and group behavior in relationship to social values, norms, attitudes, roles, and social needs.

Prerequisite: SOC-100C or PSYC-103C

SOC-332  Marriage & the Family  3 Credits  

The institutions of marriage and the family are explored from the sociological perspective which emphasizes the influence of societal norms on human behavior and social structures. Commonly held conceptions of traditional marital forms and alternative forms of cohabitation both historical and modern are examined using the analytical tools of social science theory, research methods, and statistics.

Prerequisite: ANTH-102C, PSYC-103C, or SOC-100C

SOC-334  Gender/Culture/Society  3 Credits  

This course is cross listed with ANTH-334. Gender as a social construction with powerful consequences is explored in this course along with those cultural values and ideologies which perpetuate the discourse of differences. Contemporary studies of gender cross-culturally will enable an appreciation of the broad diversity in the application of gender constructs and their resultant cultural effects.

SOC-336  Managing Crisis  3 Credits  

This course is cross listed with PSYC-336. This course examines the phenomena of social crises and emergencies. It will examine Crisis Theory, response, coping skills and intervention methods. Implications for gender, race, social class, and diverse backgrounds will be explored in light of how those differences influence differing needs, norms, and ways of coping.

Prerequisite: ANTH-102C PSYC-103C or SOC-100C

SOC-337  Public Health  3 Credits  

This course introduces the multifaceted discipline of public health. Students will consider current public health problems such as diabetes, infant mortality, the aging of the US population and health inequalities. In addition, students will learn about the core functions and essential services of public health in both the US and around the world.

Prerequisite: ANTH-102C, PSYC-103C or SOC-100C

SOC-338  Child Welfare  3 Credits  

The objective of this course is to provide students with an overview of Child Welfare practice and how it has shaped legislation, policy, advocacy and services for children and families in the United States. This course will also examine competencies, knowledge and skills that are essential for child welfare social workers to perform their work with children and families.

Prerequisite: ANTH-102C PSYC-103C or SOC-100C

SOC-343  Class,Race,Ethnicity & Gender  3 Credits  

This course is cross listed with ANTH-343. This course focuses on the distribution of power and resources across racial and ethnic/cultural groups, class structure, and gender. Phenomenological, institutional, and structural aspects of prejudice and discrimination are examined using the matrix of domination (the intersection of attributes related to class, race, ethnicity and gender) to explore the life experiences of individuals.

Prerequisite: ANTH-102C; PSYC-103C; or SOC-100C

SOC-345  Family Violence  3 Credits  

This course is cross listed with PSYC-344. Investigates the identification, causes, and prevention of all types of intrafamily abuse: child, spouse, sibling, and parent. Explores theories and research findings for practical application. Studies the sociocultural contexts in which abuse and violence occur. For students whose careers will bring contact with victims and/or perpetrators of family violence.

Prerequisite: ANTH-102C, PSYC-103C, or SOC-100C

SOC-346  Human Sexuality  3 Credits  

This course is cross listed with ANTH-346 and PSYC-346. Human Sexuality provides an overview of human sexual anatomy, gender identify, sexual orientation and expression, and the ways that contexts affect sexual meanings. Must have junior or senior class standing.

Prerequisite: ANTH-102C, PSYC-103C, or SOC-100C; must be Junior orSenior standing.

Terms Typically Offered: Fall and Spring.

SOC-349  Religion & Society  3 Credits  

The social structural approach to the study of religion, with particular emphasis on American society. Examines personal religious experience and expressions, structural forms, systemic relationships between religious systems and other social subsystems.

SOC-355  Survey of Human Services  3 Credits  

This course is cross listed with PSYC-355. Survey of Human Services explores the ways in which care is provided for the whole individual, surveying community resources and developing an understanding of the ways in which human services are carried out in various settings. Ethical issues and the significance of a Christian worldview in human services are also examined.

Prerequisite: SOC-100C or PSYC-103C

SOC-357  Inside-Out-Jail Class  3 Credits  

This class meets at the Orange County jail and provides an overview of the study of crime as a social phenomenom. It focuses on the perspectives, meanings of, theories about, correlates of, consequences from, and societal responses to crime. Students in this course will meet at the jail for class each week.

SOC-362  Juvenile Delinquency & Justice  3 Credits  

The causes of juvenile delinquency are reviewed from a broad social systems perspective. Delinquent crimes, gang activity and violence are studied, as is the system of juvenile justice. Course is designed for those who will be working with juveniles.

Prerequisite: ANTH-102C, PSYC-103C, or SOC-100C

SOC-365  Sociological Theory  3 Credits  

An introduction to the theorists and theoretical models which result from examination and analysis of our empirical world of social relations, social structures, and social institutions.

Prerequisite: SOC-100C

SOC-369  Research Design & Methods  3 Credits  

Examines the major qualitative and quantitative research methods used in applied Anthropology and Sociology. Particular emphasis will be given to design, preparation, and process of applied social research. Introduces students to various methods including unobtrusive observation, structured and unstructured interviewing, and survey research.

Prerequisite: SOC-265C and SOC-365

Co-Requisite: SOC-369L

SOC-369L  Research Design & Methods Lab  1 Credit  

Introduces students to computer software utilized by social researchers to compile, manage and analyze data as a product of research.

Co-Requisite: SOC-369

SOC-371  Urban Studies System  3 Credits  

This course is cross listed with ANTH-371. A study of urban life with emphasis on its organization, unique functions, and problems.

Prerequisite: ANTH-102C, PSYC-103C, or SOC-100C

SOC-373  Deviant Behavior  3 Credits  

Explores how societies decide what behaviors are deviant, how they attempt to prevent and/or correct deviance and the consequences to the offenders and the social structures in which they occur. Emphasis is given to research that describes deviance, theories which explain the social conditions contributing to the emergence and perpetuation of deviance, and the analysis of society's programmed efforts to resolve the problems deviance produces.

SOC-375  Social Issues of Health & Wellness  3 Credits  

This course is cross listed with ANTH-375. Explores the social forces that shape the health and illness of populations, the changing social definitions of wellness and social expectations. The course examines the role of society and culture in wellness-related decision making and health-care delivery systems.

SOC-376  Immigration and Diversity  3 Credits  

This course will discuss topics of immigration and demographic change as interconnected social phenomena and will explore different generational cohorts as social forces that contribute to suburbanization, American consumerism, the birth and rebirth of social movements and various subcultures.

SOC-377  Migrants and Refugees  3 Credits  

This course explores sociological explanations of migration to understand voluntary and involuntary movement of refugees and migrants. The course discussion includes the history of global refugee responses, immigration policies in the U.S. and its growing population of undocumented migrants and refugees, and global political instabilities and subsequent displacement of people from their places of security. The course aims to achieve deeper understanding of diversity embedded in migration stories, intended and unintended consequences of our reactions to refugee crises, and the social significance of development and globalization.

SOC-378  Prisons and Jails  3 Credits  

Provides an overview of modern adult corrections, specifically probation, parole, incarceration, community-based corrections, and prevention programs. Includes survey of history, application and theory of punishment philosophies and practices. Studies contemporary correctional policies, practices, and issues.

SOC-382  Mental Illness in Society  3 Credits  

This course examines the distribution of mental illness throughout society, the social conditions of processes that contribute to mental illness and mental health, and the individual experience of being labeled and treated as mentally ill.

SOC-442  Globalization & Development  3 Credits  

This course is cross listed with ANTH-442. Course considers anthropological approaches to the analysis of economic development and change, with special attention given to contemporary development concerns as perceived at the local level. The organization of large- and small-scale development organizations, including non-government organizations, in non-Western settings will also be examined. Class is also designed to meet the needs of students interested in participating in both overseas and domestic community/organizations/economic development.

SOC-450  Sociology Teaching Internship  1-3 Credits  

Students may be a teaching intern for classes they have previously taken. Regular hours each week for classes and/or meetings are established at the beginning of the semester. The intern will assist the instructor in course-related activities. May be repeated for a maximum of six units. PREREQUISITES: Must be Junior or Senior standing with a GPA of 3.0 or above and the permissions of instructor.

SOC-455  Sociology Research Assistantship  1-3 Credits  

The student assistant will be assigned to work on various steps of the research process from the formulation of the problem through the analysis of the data and preparation of the research report in written and/or oral formats. May be repeated for a maximum of six units.

Prerequisite: SOC-100C, SOC-369 and MATH-265C, SOC-265C, or PSYC-265C

SOC-460  Field Practicum  1-4 Credits  

Field experience in a social service agency such as an outpatient health facility, a community organization, or a social program. This course is controlled by the instructor and all field sites must be approved by the professor. The course instructor and the university manage the course requirements and responsiblities, which may include: a research paper, weekly journals, and various written assignments. The course requires weekly interaction between professor and student, as well as training and preparation that are comparable with other courses within the major. Thirty hours of field experience will be required for each credit hour. Must take three (3) units during the first semester. May be repeated for 1-4 units in a subsequent semester.

Prerequisite: SOC-369 and SOC-369L or permission of instructor

Terms Typically Offered: Fall and Spring.

SOC-462  Research Practicum  1-4 Credits  

This course provides an in-depth research experience. Students work closely with a faculty mentor at all levels of the research process - from the development of a conceptual framework and articulation of the research question to the creation of the research instrument, collection of data, and analysis of key findings. Students will submit an empirical research paper at the end of the term with the opportunity to present their research in a number of academic conferences and colloquia. Must take 3 units during the first semester. May be repeated for 1-4 units in a subsequent semester.

Prerequisite: SOC-365 and SOC-369

Terms Typically Offered: Fall and Spring.

SOC-470  Special Topic in Sociology  1-3 Credits  

Study of a special topic in one of the fields of sociology. May be repeated for credit. Special topic courses are developed by faculty according to student interest and are offered periodically.

Prerequisite: ANTH-102C, PSYC-103C, or SOC-100C

SOC-480  Individual Studies in Sociology  1-3 Credits  

May be repeated for credit.

SOC-490C  Senior Seminar  3 Credits  

This course is designed to serve as a rite of passage for graduating seniors. It particularly is intended to assist the student in integrating the multifaceted aspects of their educational experience with their short- and long-term life goals. This course fulfills the Core Curriculum Capstone requirement for Sociology majors.