Organizations are the foundation of modern society. All areas of life—economic, social, political, and cultural—are influenced by formal organizations. In this course, we will investigate sociological theories of organizations that seek to answer the following questions: What are organizations, and for whom and how are they organized? Who has power in organizations and how is that power maintained? Are organizations affected by their environments and in what ways? How and why do organizations change? We will explore these theoretical questions in the context of numerous case studies that will allow us to examine how sociological theories of organizations play out in the real-world.
West Virginia University: Deviant Behavior (SOCA 302)
Society labels groups and individuals who deviate from 'normal behavior' as deviant, sick, or evil. Yet the boundaries surrounding what is normal and deviant evolve over time, as yesterday’s deviance becomes today’s normal. How do we know what is ‘deviant’? Is deviance an objective fact or a socially constructed concept? With social scientific lenses, we will explore how groups become defined as deviant and how these definitions change over time. Through examining case studies of stigmatized groups with a focus on controversial religious groups often called ‘cults’, we will learn why individuals engage in deviant behavior, why some groups are more likely to be considered deviant, and what methods society uses to control deviance. Credit Hours: 3; Prerequisites: SOCA 232 and SOCA 234.
West Virginia University: Sociology of Religion (SOCA 393C)
Have you ever wondered what makes someone more likely to join a particular religion or why certain religious traditions have more members than others? Ever wonder why someone would join a highly strict religion or cult? In this course we will investigate these questions from a sociological perspective. We will examine the factors that lead to conversion, apostasy, and religious commitment and explore what makes certain religious traditions more effective at gaining and retaining members. By the conclusion of this course you will have gained knowledge of classical and contemporary sociological theories of religion that will provide you with a framework for understanding past, present, and future religious phenomena.
West Virginia University: Professional Research and Writing Seminar (SOCA 601, Graduate)
This course focuses on learning how to write a publishable paper. Your main activities will be to write and review the writing of others. Thus, your grade will be based on the writing you submit, on the feedback you provide other students, and your participation in class. This class will also contribute to your professional socialization as reviewing and providing feedback on work is a fundamental part of being an academic. Of course, reviewing the writing of others is also extremely beneficial for you—it will improve your own writing, introduce you to new literatures and methodologies, and may increase your interest in other topics. Using Wendy Laura Belcher’s Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success, this course will explain the publication process and share strategies for achieving success in the academic writing arena, including setting up a work schedule, identifying appropriate journals for submission, working with editors, clarifying arguments, and organizing material. We will also learn how to navigate the Institutional Review Board (IRB).
West Virginia University: Data Analysis 1 (SOCA 615, Graduate)
This course is the first part of a two-semester sequence (615 and 616) designed to introduce students to a range of standard statistical techniques in sociological analysis. SOCA 615 begins with an introduction to the basic concepts, terminology, and procedures of data analysis, as well as the logic underlying those procedures. Next, we cover how to describe data (descriptive statistics) and probability distributions. The focus shifts mid-semester to basic statistical inference. We then end with statistical techniques regarding how to compare two groups and how to analyze associations between categorical variables. Throughout the semester, we will emphasize the application of the statistical techniques we are learning and the substantive interpretation of results in relation to sociologically-motivated research questions and theoretical hypotheses. Students will practice data analysis using the statistical software package STATA.
West Virginia University: Individual and Society (SOCA 780, Graduate)
This course provides the foundation for understanding the individual in society, as defined according to two main areas of inquiry: (1) the study of how systems of ideas interact with, reproduce, and transform other social structures and social identities and (2) the analysis of the patterns of social interaction of groups of people. A main goal is to examine micro-macro linkages and discover the relationships between society and the perceptions, beliefs and behaviors of individuals. Students will study different theoretical models put forth to explain the linkages between individuals and the social world. In this course we will explore the following questions: What is the individual (or self)? What is society? How do they relate to each other? Is society completely external to the individual, internal, or both? Are people merely passive recipients of societal influence or do they take an active role in it?
University of Washington: Sociology of Religion (SOC 357)
Syllabus Have you ever wondered what makes someone more likely to join a particular religion or why certain religious traditions have more members than others? Ever wonder why someone would join a highly strict religion or cult? In this course we will investigate these questions from a sociological perspective. We will examine the factors that lead to conversion, apostasy, and religious commitment and explore what makes certain religious traditions more effective at gaining and retaining members. By the conclusion of this course you will have gained knowledge of classical and contemporary sociological theories of religion that will provide you with a framework for understanding past, present, and future religious phenomena.
University of Washington: Sociology of Organizations and Work Practicum (SOC 494 D), Writing Intensive
Syllabus This practicum course is designed to combine experiential learning in the workplace with critical reflection about practical and theoretical issues of work and organizations. Each student will participate in an internship in a local agency or organization. The main objective of the course is to encourage you to experience sociology outside of the classroom and apply your sociological knowledge to the world around you. Your internship provides a practical forum for practicing the application of sociological ideas outside of the university setting.
University of Washington: Sociology of Education Practicum (SOC 494 A/B), Writing Intensive
Syllabus This course is a practicum in the Sociology of Education. The Department of Sociology’s service learning program combines an experience in tutoring with critical reflection about practical and theoretical issues involved in education. Your mentoring will take place in the Seattle public schools and will involve working with students on their reading and other coursework. While your aim is to help students develop in these areas, it is also to motivate them, to help them understand and realize their potential and the role that education can play in their lives. Back in our own classroom, we will be considering through readings, writing, and discussions how sociology can inform our practice. For example, what are the structural and cultural forces shaping the school and students we work with, and how do students respond to those pressures?
University of Washington: American Religion (RELIG 254), Writing Intensive
Syllabus Religions in the American context have shaped and been shaped by American culture. This course seeks to understand the history, background and tradition in its power to shape American culture, values, and politics. We will focus in particular on American Protestantism, its early hegemony, later fragmentation and new resurgence.