Course Descriptions

SO: Courses in Sociology

Department of Sociology & Anthropology

SO 101  Introduction to Sociology  3 Cr
Survey of the basic concepts and methods with an emphasis on sociology as a mode of analysis. Introduces the student to a sociological way of think-ing to better understand one’s self and others. This study of behavior utilizes materials drawn from contemporary American society. Each semester.

SO 200  Social Problems  3 Cr
An in-depth examination and discussion of selected American social prob-lems, including poverty, sexism, racism, family violence, and health issues. Recommendations for alleviation of the problems with a social justice viewpoint. Prerequisite: SO 101. Fulfills National Diversity requirement. Fall semester.

SO/AN 204  Cultural Anthropology  3 Cr
This course will introduce students to culture as a framework for under-standing similarities and differences in behavior and values in human societ-ies. The class will look at communi-ties and cultures from around the globe to give a cross-cultural understanding of human behavior. Fulfills Global Diversity requirement. Fall semester, even-numbered years.

SO/AN 208  The Family  3 Cr
Anthropological and sociological investigation of the marriage and family institutions in various cultures and their influences upon both individuals and social organizations. Analysis of family communications; one’s choices in relationships; parenting; life transitions; and roles of gender, property, power, and love in marriage and family. Prerequisite: SO 101 or consent of instructor. Fulfills National Diversity requirement. Fall semester, odd-num-bered years.

SO 215  Contemporary Issues in Rural and Urban Sociology   3 Cr
This course examines sociological processes in the urbanization of soci-eties. Problems concerning both rural and urban life will be covered, as well as efforts to build community from the local level to that of the “global village”. The conflicting interests that farmers, ranchers, environmentalists, developers, urban planners, business, government and other groups have in these issues are presented and analyzed. Prerequisite: SO 101. Fulfills National Diversity requirement. Fall semester, even-numbered years.

SO/PSY 216  Social Psychology  3 Cr
An introduction to and an analysis of social interaction, including the social aspects of personality, social attitudes, group behavior, and the influences of social institutions on individual behavior. Prerequisite: PSY 105 or SO 101. Fall semester.

SO/AN 218  Introduction to Native American Studies  3 Cr
This course covers a broad range of prehistoric, historic, and cultural is-sues pertaining to American Indians. The course will cover diversity among tribes including political organiza-tion, social organization, economics, subsistence, and current issues. Every semester. Fulfills National Diversity requirement.

SO 220  Sociology of Sport  3 Cr
This course examines sports in American society. It helps the student to understand the reciprocal influences between sports and our culture, including social values, education, socialization, deviance, minority and female athletes, and the mass media and money. Sports is placed within the context of social institutions including the family, politics, economics, religion, etc. The course is designed to be a part of the student’s development of a healthy, analytic view of sports and leisure that will facilitate longevity and good health. Field experiences and observations will be included. Fall semester, even-numbered years.

SO 225  Sociology of Gender  3 Cr
While there are biological differences between the sexes, in this course we will explore the social aspects of gender from a sociological perspective. From this view, gender is treated as separate from sex, because gender is the study of differing social expectations for people according to their sex. We will examine how gender is defined, constructed, and reinforced within society, and how all this relates to gender identities and gender inequality. With a critical eye on gender’s social construction, we will address issues of gender acquisition and explore the interactions between gender and other socially-constructed categories such as race/ethnicity and class as well as social institutions. Prerequisites: SO 101, PSY 105, or CO 101. Fall semester, odd-numbered years.

SO 230   Social Movements and Collective Action  3 Cr
When groups want to affect social change but even traditional democratic means (lobbying, voting, etc.) have failed, what are their options? How effective are these options in different circumstances? When has a social movement or form of collective action been successful? Would you say the environmental movement has been successful? The women’s movement? The simplicity movement? In this course, we will explore why social move-ments and collective action are so common, even in democratic states, as a means for redressing grievances. We will look at the origins, circumstances, consequences, and competing theories of riots, crazes, panics, reforms and revolutionary movements. This is a course for anyone interested in how significant, systematic social change happens, or doesn’t happen. Prerequisite: SO 101. Spring semester, odd-numbered years.

SO 231   Demography  3 Cr
This course is concerned with population studies and the effects of popu-lation growth, loss, morbidity, and mortality on society. The age distribution within a society has important implications for social, economic, and po-litical planning. In order to plan for the future we have to understand why some populations are growing while others are shrinking and what happens to societies as their patterns of birth, death, or migration change. Are we in the midst of a population explosion? Is the growing size of the senior population going to break the economy? These are all questions that will be explored. Prerequisite: SO 101. Fall semester, even-numbered years.

SO 245  Physical Anthropology  3 Cr
Physical anthropology Is the study of the biocultural diversity in humans.  The interaction between culture and biology produces a variety of human adaptations that are traced through the following venues: primate fossil records, primate and human behavior, and human biological variation.  Spring semester, odd-numbered years.

SO 262  Alcoholism, Drug Abuse, and Dependent Behavior  3 Cr
A holistic approach with a particularly sociological emphasis regarding the use and abuse of alcohol, other psychoactive drugs, and dependency behaviors, e.g. gambling and sexual addiction. Upon completion of the course, students will understand problems of addiction, methods of pre-vention and control, theories of causation, and the disease concept. They will know various treatment methods. Prerequisite: SO 101. Fall semester, odd-numbered years.

SO 291  Social Gerontology  3 Cr
This course presents the many (physical, social, family, emotional, public policy, and other) dimensions of aging within the context of current socio-logical, gerontological, and other social theories. Empirical facts on aging include a background on social science research methods used to gain such knowledge. This course includes guest lectures by community professionals working in gerontological fields, as well as elderly individuals. Prerequisite: SO 101. Fall semester, odd-numbered years.

SO 309  Crime and Criminology  3 Cr
A survey of findings, myths, and perspectives on crime. A wide variety of types of crime are studied, including violent, white collar, sex, corporate, and organized crime. Theories regarding crime and proposed solutions to crime are examined. Prerequisite: SO 101. Fulfills National Diversity requirement. Fall semester, even-numbered years.

SO 312  Juvenile Delinquency and Deviant Behavior   3 Cr
Course emphasizes juvenile delinquency and the juvenile justice system; includes theories on juvenile delinquency, mental illness, drug abuse, and sexual deviance; and examines the role of institutions and various treat-ment methods. Strongly recommended for those interested in careers in law, probation, parole, human services, or social work. Prerequisite: SO 101 or consent of instructor. Fulfills National Diversity requirement. Spring semester, odd-numbered years.

SO 314  Sociology of Law  3 Cr
Examination of social processes involved in enacting legislation, law en-forcement, and judicial decisions along with the roles of lawyers, judges, and others in both civil and criminal systems. Recommended for those interested in law, law enforcement, or areas related to the legal system. Prerequisite: SO 101 or consent of instructor. Fulfills Global Diversity re-quirement. Fall semester, even-numbered years.

SO/AN 317  Ethnic and Racial Relations  3 Cr
An anthropological and sociological examination of ethnic and racial real-tions and identities within and between different socio-cultural groups. This includes an analysis of beliefs about ethnicity and race, focusing on their development through historical processes. Prerequisite: SO 101. Fulfills National Diversity requirement. Fall semester, odd-numbered years.

SO/AN 318  North American Archaeology  3 Cr
This class will explore major methods and theories archeologists use to explore North American prehistory from their origins to present. Regional diversity in tribal adaptations and lifeways are explored by using examples from archaelogy, biological anthropology, and cultural anthropology. Fulfills Global Diversity requirement. Spring semester, even-numbered years.

SO 331  Social Science Research Methods  4 Cr
An overview of the principles, methods, and practice of research in the social sciences. The course will assist students in research design, case studies, conducting field research, analyzing and evaluating their research data, conducting needs assessment, program evaluation, and practice ef-fectiveness. Prerequisites: SO 101; MA 207; Junior status. Spring semester.

SO 340   Sociology of Organizations  3 Cr
Organizations are the fundamental unit of modern society. Organizations shape the ways we interact, how we accomplish goals, how we transfer resources, and how we develop our own sense of self. Organizations are extremely diverse. They can be small and local, like our Helena Brewers baseball team or Carroll’s SAVE group. They can be large and international, like Microsoft or the World Bank. They can be voluntary, like a club. They can be involuntary, like a prison. In this course we will focus on the diversity in organizations and examine how they work, why they empower some people and hinder others, and how they reflect and shape society. We will look at a variety of theories attempting to understand organizations, and evaluate each for their usefulness. We will then apply these theories to specific or-ganizations we read about through course material, and then you will have a chance to apply the theories in your own case study of an organization of your choosing. Prerequisite: SO101. Spring semester, odd-numbered years.

SO 351  Medical Sociology  3 Cr
Course develops an appreciation of the role of sociology and social sciences in the study of health and medical care. Interactions between patients and medical professionals; function and problems in health care systems; deprofessionalization of doctors, and other problems confronting modern medical care are also analyzed from a sociological perspective. Recommended for those considering a career in public health, health science, medicine, health care delivery, or social work. Prerequisite: SO 101 or consent of instructor. Spring semester. Fulfills National Diversity requirement.

SO 355   Sociology of Emotions  3 Cr
In this course we look at emotions from a sociological rather than a psychological perspective and ask such questions as: Can difficulties such as anorexia, PTSD, “cutting,” or bad relationships usually treated on an individual level by a therapist be understood from a societal perspective? As human beings we experience emotions, yet social interaction necessitates that certain kinds of emotions are appropriate in some settings and not in others. At this point we must ask ourselves how much our emotions are influenced and constrained by cultural norms, values, beliefs, and vocabularies. We especially have to control our emotions in the workplace; does this create emotion-work? We will also look at emotional relationships between humans, society, and pets. Prerequisite: SO 101. Spring semester, odd-numbered years.

SO 360   Environmental Sociology  3 Cr
This course will examine the relationships between human society and the natural environment with a particular emphasis on how different social classes, races and genders experience or affect the environment. We will study how factors such as consumption, population growth, development, technology, political ideologies and social movements affect the identification, emergence and resolutions of environmental problems—from local to global levels. By the end of the course students will be able to think critically about the relationships between the social and the natural worlds, and will analyze and begin to suggest solutions to contemporary environmental problems. Prerequisite: SO 101. Fall semester, even-numbered years.

SO 389 A  International Crime  3 Cr
This course is a survey of the type of activities that constitute the world of international crime. Most folks are well aware of the trafficking that oc-curs in drugs, and the subject of the international drug trade will be one area covered. The following is a list of other areas under consideration: international pharmaceutical smuggling, human trafficking (immigration, slavery, prostitution, workers, body parts, babies, etc.). Lumber and other resources, food copyright violations, and pollution. Because so much of our economy rests on import and trade, background on these topics may be instrumental in evaluating the advisability of some activities. Special topics course, offered spring 2014.

SO 389 B  Comparative Justice Systems  3 Cr
This course will compare the justice process in the United States with a number of other primary systems in the world. Law, accusations, evidence, processes, sanctions, and outcomes will be evaluated. The systems to be compared will be those used in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Civil Laws systems used in most of Europe, and China, a survey of the components of law in the Islamic world, and what is available concerning Africa and the rest of the American countries. As in the United States, ignorance of the law does not diminish its consequences. Special topics course, offered spring 2014.

SO 392  Modern Social Theory  3 Cr
This course introduces students to important theoretical tools that will enable them to see the world as sociologists do and, in the process, assist them in constructing new theories as social contexts continually change. In addition to highlighting the contributions of some of the discipline’s founding theorists (e.g., Marx, Weber, Durkheim and Mead), the course will focus on the most significant modern theoretical perspectives in sociology. Prerequisite: SO 101, junior standing. Fall semester.

SO 425  Sociology Internship  3-6 Cr
This course is an internship consisting of supervised work experience and an intern observation in approved social service and governmental agen-cies which render direct service to clients or client systems. Students are placed in agencies which correspond to their major area of study. Agencies include those dealing with the juvenile and criminal justice system, those serving the needy, those engaged in health care delivery, and governmental agencies. Readings will be assigned and periodic individual meetings with each student’s sociology advisor will be held. No more than six (6) credits of SO 425 may apply to a student’s total major requirements. Prerequisites: Senior standing; consent of instructor.

SO 495  Senior Seminar  3 Cr
A comprehensive review and professionalization for seniors graduating in sociology, including an analysis of the sociology profession, a survey of literature, and direction in the formulation of a semester project. Satisfies the comprehensive examination requirement. Prerequisite: SO 392. Fall semester. Fulfills Writing Intensive requirement.