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Chair: Associate Professor Wetcher-Hendricks
Professor: J. Ravelle; Associate Professors: Jasper, Rosen; Assistant Professor: O'Connel; Faculty Associate: Reynolds (Political Science); Adjunct Faculty: Davis, Elliott, Giordano, Heiberger, Makoul, Morganelli, Murray, Ramunni, Sonne, Williams, Wyffels

The program in sociology helps students better understand social organization and human social behavior. With strong foundations in sociological research and theory, students learn about self and society, social interaction, the role of culture and social institutions, and the importance of structured inequality (race, class, and gender) in social life. The department has a particular strength in the analysis of legal institutions.

The Major in Sociology

A student may select either the general sociology program or the law and society program.

  • Sociology (General) Designed to prepare students for a wide range of professional careers and advanced study. This track is particularly useful background for careers in education, human services, social policy, business, or the media.
  • Sociology (Law and Society) Designed for students with an interest in careers in the legal profession or other aspects of the justice system, as well as for the kinds of advanced study expected of professionals in those fields.

The Sociology Core

   Sociology 115 Introductory Sociology
   One course from among the following three:
      Sociology 113 Cultural Anthropology
      Sociology 210 The Human Services System
      Sociology 216 The Legal System
      (Students in the law and society program should take Sociology 216.)
   Sociology 246 Basic Research Methods
   Sociology 335 Sociological Theory
   Sociology 346 Advanced Research Methods

In addition to these five required courses, students take four other courses above the 100 level, at least one of which must be at the 300 level. These remaining courses should be chosen in careful consultation with the student's advisor, but students in the general sociology program will take either Sociology 258, 355, or 357 as at least one of these upper level courses, while law and society students will normally take Sociology 318. The writing-intensive requirement for majors will be fulfilled by Sociology 258 or 355.

Sociology majors should fulfill their Learning in Common F2 requirement by completing Mathematics 107.

Students in the general sociology program should take electives designed to familiarize them with an array of other disciplines. Law and Society students should include among their electives courses such as Political Science 110.

Note: Students majoring in either track of the sociology major who desire a minor or a second major are required to select a field outside the Sociology Department.

Transfer Students

All transfer students must complete a minimum of five of their sociology requirements at Moravian College.

The Minor in Sociology

The minor in sociology consists of five course units: Sociology 115 and four other courses that must include at least two 200-level courses and one 300-level course.

The Interdepartmental Major

Six courses of Set I of the interdepartmental major must include Sociology 115, at least two 300-level courses, and three other departmental electives.

Courses in Sociology

113. Cultural Anthropology. An introduction to the ways that anthropologists analyze cultures to understand the diversity of human social forms. Using both cross-cultural comparisons of major social institutions and practices and the intensive examination of selected specific cultures, it seeks to promote students' understanding of human cultural diversity. (M4)
Wyffels, Staff

115. Introductory Sociology. Explores basic concepts and theories concerning the relationship between individuals and society. Emphasizes the influence of culture, social structure, and institutions upon human activity. Discusses and analyzes social groups, socialization, community, class, power, and social change, among other substantive issues. (M4)

125. Marriage and the Family. Customs and trends in courtship, marriage, and family life in the United States and worldwide. Analysis of family structures with particular attention devoted to roles, relationships, and problems within as well as between families.
Davis, Wetcher-Hendricks

165.  Life Walk of Justice:  Introduction to Peace and Justice Studies.  (Also Interdisciplinary 165, Religion 165.)  In this course students will be encouraged to identify and analyze (in)justice in our own lives, communities and world.  In addition to course readings, we will use the contemplative practices of memoir and walking as resources for critical thinking.  A majority of the course will involve students developing responses to (in)justice through various projects that reflect students’ own passion and design, including academic, artistic, political, social, service-oriented, and personal responses. (M3) Denton-Borhaug, Jasper

210. The Human Services System. Describes the wide variety of human services offered in the United States, explaining current resources available and ranges of unmet needs. Students explore the historical development of the helping professions, as well as philosophies and political realities that affect human services. They also examine roles and skills needed by various human-service practitioners. Prerequisite: Sociology 115.

216. The Legal System. An introduction to the language, theory, and practice of the law, with a particular emphasis on the American legal system, including both criminal justice and civil justice systems. Topics include constitutional law, court procedure, comparative legal systems, criminal law and procedure, administrative law, family law, real and personal property, employment law, and estates and trusts. Prerequisite: Sociology 115.
Morganelli, J. Ravelle

220. American Constitutional Law. (Also Political Science 220) Role of the Supreme Court and its relationship to legislative and executive branches of the American political system. Attention to judicial decisions of constitutional and historic significance in development of American government. Fall, alternate years. Two 70-minute periods. Prerequisite: Political Science 110 or Sociology 216.

221. Civil Liberties and the U.S. Constitution. (Also Political Science 221) Civil liberties of Americans as delineated in the Bill of Rights. Issues of freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, right to counsel, searches and seizures, self-incrimination, cruel and unusual punishment, and fair trial. Judicial policy-making and problem of individual freedoms in conflict with federal and local police powers. Alternate years.

226. Legal Environment of Business. (Also Management 226) Legal principles related to conduct of business and industry. Topics include contracts, sales, agency, business organizations, partnerships, corporations, pass-through entities, unfair competition, and cyberlaw.
Murray, J. Ravelle

240. Social Deviance. The concept of deviance as addressed by sociological perspectives. Sociological, biological, and psychological theories of causation are used to explore behaviors that may intersect with matters pertaining to criminal justice and social welfare. Prerequisite: Sociology 115.
Ramunni, Wyffels

245. Juvenile Delinquency. Delinquent behavior and the juvenile justice system, with emphasis on facets of delinquency (types and origins) that differentiate it from adult criminal behavior. Topics include institutional and non-institutional prevention, control, and treatment of delinquency. Prerequisite: Sociology 115.

246. Basic Research Methods. Development and practical use of skills for initiating the research process, from development of topics to determination of research methods and instruments. Information-gathering through traditional sources and the media, and proper reporting of this information. Understanding and use of structures for data-gathering. Prerequisite: Sociology 115.
O'Connell, Wetcher-Hendricks

251. Human Sexuality. (Also Interdisciplinary 251) The physical, psychological, relational, and socio-cultural aspects of sexuality influence humans from before birth through death. This course will increase students' understandings of lifespan human sexuality; engage them in critical thinking about sexuality in the context of culture; help them identify and critique their sexual values, attitudes and morals; and enable students to make relational and sexual decisions in keeping with their values. (U2)

256. Social Controversies. (Also Interdisciplinary 256) Ethical concerns associated with traditional and contemporary social issues. Assessment of moral arguments based upon individual beliefs as well as those promoted by traditional philosophy. Encourages exploration of students' own philosophies in the context of everyday life. Prerequisite: Sociology 115; junior or senior standing. (U2)

258. Power and Conflict. Analyzes the ways that sociologists and others have tried to understand social hierarchies and the processes by which social activity develops and sustains them. Focus is on understanding social-science theories and concepts that describe and analyze social inequality and perceptions of such inequality in modern life. Prerequisite: Sociology 115. Writing-intensive.

260. Urban Sociology. Examines the city as a unique site of social life, using an historical and comparative approach to identify key features in the development of industrial, post-industrial, and global cities. Topics include human and spatial divisions, institutional structure of urban areas (including economic, political, and religious dimensions), cosmopolitanism, and pluralism. Each term, the course focuses on one city, such as New York, Bombay, or London, as a case study. Prerequisite: Sociology 115.

265. Sociology of Religion. The role of religion in modern society, with emphasis on the changing dynamic of religion. Topics include secularization and de-secularization of society; religious pluralism and immigration; political and civil religion; new religions. Prerequisite: Sociology 115. (M3)

266. Sociology of the Blues. The social, cultural, and historic dynamics of the blues idiom in the postbellum African-American South. Topics include the intersection of music and segregation and the demographic shifts that relocate the form to the urban, industrial North. (U2)

268. Nation, Religion & Region in India. This course is designed as an introduction to the culture and society of modern India. The course focuses upon the historical formation of different communities, looking at the historical, political, cultural, and social forces that have shaped these communities. The course will highlight the development of national, religious, and regional communities. No prerequisites. (M5)

270. Corrections in America. Historical development and competing philosophies of corrections as institutional and community-based programs. Dynamics of prison life; inmate subculture; administrative, organizational, and rehabilitative aspects of adult and juvenile probation and parole. Prerequisite: Sociology 216.
Giordano, Ramunni

275. Complex Organizations. Theory and dynamics related to the administration of complex organizations. Emphasis on historical, comparative, and contemporary organizational theories; distinction between sociological and economic approach to understanding organizations. Case studies aid in comprehending these differences. Prerequisite: Sociology 115.
J. Ravelle

310. The Family and the Law. Sources and applications of family law in America. Legal regulation of marriage, boundaries of marital and non-marital contracts, divorce. Legal ramifications of parent-child relationships, including parental obligations in children's education and medical care. Issues of child neglect, abuse, and legal termination of parental rights. Prerequisite: junior standing.

312. Environmental Law. Importance of public policy and the law to environmental issues and problems. Topics include environmental values upon which policy is based; review of laws and regulations with an emphasis on NEPA, RCRA, CERCLA; and policies that apply to clean water, wetlands, endangered species. Prerequisite: Sociology 216.

318. Criminal Law and Society. Causes of crime, nature of criminal acts, elements of crimes, defenses, excuses and justifications for crimes. Topics include crimes against persons, property, moral order, "victimless" crimes, admissibility of evidence, constitutional guarantees. Prerequisite: Sociology 216.
Giordano, Heiberger, J. Ravelle

335. Sociological Theory. Prominent schools of sociological theory, building upon theories introduced in lower-level courses. Development of social theory and connections between classical and contemporary theoretical positions. Topics include consensual and conflict approaches, micro- and macro- perspectives. Current theoretical challenges, including feminist theory, critical race theory, and post-modernist theories. Prerequisite: Sociology 115.

346. Advanced Social Research. Capstone course for sociology majors. Each student conducts an empirical study designed to develop skills for gathering and interpreting data using common statistical tests to determine significant effects. Students become familiar with computer programs that perform these tests and practice scholarly presentation of research findings. Prerequisite: Sociology 246.
O'Connell, Wetcher-Hendricks

350. Media Technology and Society. (Also Interdisciplinary Studies 350) Technological development and social implications of various forms of mass media. Analyzes mass media as a social force that shapes personal and collective ideas and behaviors. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing. (U1)

355. Sociology of Gender. (Also Interdisciplinary Studies 355) Relationships between biologically defined sex and culturally defined gender; analysis of expectations and limitations upon males and females in traditional and contemporary societies. Significant focus on inequality in social institutions, including family, workplace, and legal system, that reflect differences in sex and sexual orientation. Writing-intensive.

357. Racial and Ethnic Inequality. Current and historical theories of race and ethnicity paradigms. Concepts of minority-dominant relations, assimilation, pluralism, strains of anti-racism, immigration, segregation.

358. Segregation in America: The Legacy of Jim Crow (Also Interdisciplinary 358) A more grounded approach for tracing and interpreting the wide reach of legalized and enforced segregation in American life focusing primarily on the post-bellum period of the 19th century through the civil rights struggles of the 1960s and 1970s. Looks past many of the more commonly understood (and misinterpreted) elements of the so-called Jim Crow edifice by looking at all regions of the country during this period in a more comparative frame. Examines the social, historical, economic, and political forces that fueled the construction of segregation then while attempting to make sense of discussions relative to race, class, and power in America today. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing. (U2)

366. Counseling in Human Services. Development of the helping relationship as a basis for individual, group, and family counseling. Building interviewing skills through classroom practice exercises to demonstrate and integrate understanding of counseling techniques. Helpful preparation for students in a variety of field placements and internships. Prerequisite: Sociology 210 and junior or senior standing.

370. Seminar. In-depth study of one of a wide range of topics in contemporary sociology, such as social movements, media, sports, and other aspects of popular culture. Open to junior and senior sociology majors or by permission of instructor.

375-377. Fieldwork in Sociology. Designed to relate classroom concepts to organizational practice. To be eligible for a specific placement, students should contact advisor at the start of the junior year to plan courses necessary for their field placement, which requires approval of fieldwork seminar instructor. Restricted to senior majors.

190-199, 290-299, 390-399. Special Topics.

286, 381-384. Independent Study.

288, 386-388. Internship.

400-401. Honors.