Carthage strives to foster the development of each student’s sociological imagination. Students learn to thoughtfully analyze the roots of social problems and examine potential remedies. Students are taught to think critically about an individual’s role in society as well as complex social institutions.

Scroll down to read descriptions of the sociology courses offered at Carthage, or click on the following links for additional resources.

Introduction to Sociology (SOC)

SOC 1000 / 4 credits
Explores how social structures and social forces shape beliefs, values, and behavior. Applies theoretical frameworks to historical and contemporary social institutions. The course stresses the impact of social class, race, and gender inequalities.
Offered in Fall/Spring

Social Problems (SOC)

SOC 2010 / 4 credits
Studies the social structural bases of current social problems with a particular focus on the inequities of socioeconomic condition, race, and gender. Students develop transnational comparisons concerning such areas of social life as employment, the workplace, health care, energy use, environmental imbalances, and crime. Analyzes policies designed to remedy specific problems.
Offered in Fall/Spring

Cultural Anthropology (SOC)

SOC 2020 / 4 credits
This course provides an introductory exploration of anthropological approaches to society, culture, language, and history. Students are given the opportunity to consider the intellectual and ethical challenges that confront anthropologists in making sense of human difference, experience, and complexity.
Offered in Fall/Spring

Sociology of Religion (SOC)

SOC 2040 / 4 credits
This course explores sociological perspectives and research on religion. The course is focused on the study of religion as a social institution. The course considers religion and religious movements as forces that may both resist and encourage social change. Beyond institutional dimensions and group dynamics, this course also seeks to broaden student understanding of religion as a basis for personal adjustment in modern societies characterized by diverse meaning systems.
Offered in Spring

Family Violence

SOC 2210 / 4 credits 
This course is an overview of family violence. Particular attention will be given to groups that have been disproportionately affected by family violence, namely women, older adults, and children. Emerging knowledge related to violence in gay and lesbian families, minority families, and special populations will be included. 
Offered in Spring 

Juvenile Delinquency

SOC 2270 / 4 credits
Studies causes of unconventional youthful behavior, societal reactions to it, specialized agencies, treatment strategies, policy proposals for prevention of juvenile delinquency, and the juvenile justice system with its competing functions and personnel.
Prerequisite: SOC 1000
Offered in Fall

Race and Racisms (DIV)

SOC 2530 / 4 credits
Examines the sociological, economic, and psychological nature of the relationships between racial and ethnic groups with differential access to political and economic power. Focus is on the United States, with some discussion of racism, cultural discrimination, and sexism in other parts of the world.
Prerequisite: SOC 1000 or CRJ 1000
Offered in Fall/Spring

Sex, Gender, and Sexuality in a Diverse World (SOC) (DIV)

SOC 2770 / 4 credits
This course examines the sociological perspectives of sex, gender, and sexuality, while incorporating interdisciplinary texts when necessary. The course will locate sex, gender, and sexuality within contemporary sociohistorical context; examine practices and relationships of power; and analyze both institutional and interpersonal forms of inequality based on sex, gender, and sexuality.
Prerequisite: SOC 1000 or WMG 1100
Offered in Spring

Sociological Research Methods (SOC)

SOC 3020 / 4 credits
Studies the sociological methods of research, including their relation to social theory. Examines the main types of research designs, research ethics, the writing of reports, and the evaluation of research information.
Prerequisite: SOC 1000
Offered in Fall

Social Problems in the City

SOC 3025 / 4 credits
This course presumes social problems in the city as products of oppression, marginalization, and social control. Students will learn how economic forces and social structures such as race, class, and government policies influence how cities are socially and spatially organized, and how that has changed over time. Students cover topics like the Great Migration, systemic racism, policing, inequality, poverty, segregation, and joblessness. We will also discuss the interrelations between different social issues and the prospects for social change.
Prerequisite: CRJ 1000 or instructor permission

Women of Africa (SI) (ITL)

SOC 3030 / 4 credits
The study of the countries in Africa has frequently focused on public events: colonialism, political change, war, government actions, and the formal economy. In recent years, researchers have begun to explore in more depth how women’s lives are impacted by these events, and how women in Africa are active participants in the various sectors of their societies. This course will look at life in various African countries through the eyes of women and will examine how women of Africa actively engage in and are affected by political, cultural, and economic events both domestically and internationally. Themes will include human rights issues of women, the impact of modernity and tradition on women’s lives, images of appropriate female behavior, economic hardship and survival techniques, cultural issues surrounding marriage and motherhood, and women’s participation in the public spheres of their countries.

Wrongful Convictions

SOC 3035 / 4 credits
This course is intended to help students understand relevant research on the causes and effects of wrongful convictions. The course draws upon research across several academic disciplines like sociology, psychological sciences, legal studies, and criminology in order to understand wrongful convictions as social processes that occur at different levels of social reality (i.e., individual to systemic), and several points within criminal justice systems (from lawmaking to conviction).
Prerequisite: CRJ 1000 or instructor permission

African Transitions (SI) (ITL)

SOC 3040 / 4 credits
African countries and peoples have often been examined through the lenses of European and North American cultures. These analyses have sometimes been helpful and other times have resulted in inaccurate portrayals of African life and people. This course uses texts written predominantly by African authors from various parts of the continent to provide African perspectives of transitions that have occurred on the continent. These transitions include the transition from traditional life to colonial rule, the shift to independence, attempts at democratization, adaptations rural Africans make when moving to urban areas, and the clashes between Western and African cultures that continue today. Using themes of governance, community, and reference groups to examine different African cultures, the course incorporates theories and concepts from the disciplines of political science and sociology.


SOC 3110 / 4 credits
This course examines deviance as a sociological concept. Students will gain a theoretical understanding of the ways in which deviance has been defined historically, as well as contemporary definitions. Societal reactions, ranging from informal social control to formal control, are also examined.
Prerequisite: SOC 1000 or CRJ 1000

Crimes of the Powerful

SOC 3120 / 4 credits
This course explores the social and institutional contexts of various forms of corporate and governmental deviance and/or crime. A range of cases that constitute elite deviance and/or criminal activity will be examined (e.g., insider trading, political corruption, corporate harm caused to consumers and the environment). Each case will be discussed within its larger political, social, and historical context.
Prerequisite: SOC 1000 or CRJ 1000

Logic of Sociological Inquiry

SOC 3240 / 4 credits
This course provides the sociology major with an intermediate overview of sociological theories and research methods. Students will read original research monographs and journal articles representing both historical and contemporary research and theory within the discipline of sociology. Finally, the history of the discipline in relation to other social and natural sciences will be explored (i.e., how are the ways in which a sociologist understands the world different or similar to those in other disciplines?).
Prerequisites: SOC 1000 and sophomore or higher standing
Offered in Spring

Sociological Inquiry and Practice

SOC 3250 / 4 credits
This course is designed to provide sociology majors and minors with advanced sociology research and analysis skills. Students will read and analyze empirical research articles and original theoretical texts, and examine social issues/problems using a critical sociological lens.
Prerequisite: SOC 1000 or instructor permission

Global Poverty (ITL)

SOC 3450 / 4 credits
While the focus of this course will be theoretical, the class will begin by introducing some general background information on global stratification. We will examine the geography of stratification (i.e., which countries are rich, which countries are poor, etc.). The basic demographics of poverty will also be explored. Particular attention will be paid to infant mortality rates, life expectancy rates, health care quality and access, education, the status of women, and the availability of foreign and domestic assistance. Finally, we will analyze various concepts of poverty, measures of poverty, and different kinds of stratification systems.

Data Analysis

SOC 3900 / 4 credits
Quantitative data analysis is an integral part of the work of sociologists. In this course, students will learn how to use SPSS to analyze data from various secondary data sources. Students will learn common statistical analysis used in sociology, data base management, and how to summarize and interpret statistical outcomes.
Prerequisite: SOC 3020
Offered in Spring

Senior Seminar in Sociology

SOC 4990 / 4 credits
The capstone experience for all majors in the department, the primary emphasis of this course will be writing the Senior Thesis. An oral presentation of the thesis is required for this course.
Prerequisites: Senior standing and SOC 3240, SOC 3020, and SOC 4010
Offered in Spring