Program Website: Sociology – Hiram College

Introduction

Sociologists face the challenging task of analyzing and interpreting the social world while living in the midst of it. Hiram’s academic program is designed to provide students of sociology with the research tools and techniques essential for performing comprehensive and accurate inquiries into the nature of human experiences within social contexts.

The program focuses on familiarizing students with contemporary theories in sociology and on teaching students how to conduct research projects. In addition, students who complete the sociology program at Hiram will have an understanding of basic sociological concepts, how these concepts interrelate, and how these concepts affect a student’s own life. Hiram’s sociology program includes faculty who have expertise in both micro- and macro-social perspectives. This diverse proficiency among faculty allows the program to cover a wide range of topics in the discipline. Specific substantive strengths of current sociology faculty include mental health, medical sociology, criminal justice, urbanization, social inequality, and diversity.

The breadth and depth of Hiram’s sociology program prepares students for success in graduate school and the professional workforce. Recent Hiram graduates in sociology have obtained professional positions as child-care workers, social workers, probation officers, education advocates, activities director, managing editor of a magazine, grant writer, resource development coordinator for AmeriCorps, and as a university professor. Alumni of Hiram’s sociology program have pursued graduate degrees in fields that include sociology, counseling, law, non-profit management, medicine, public health, and social work at institutions such as Case Western Reserve University, the College of William and Mary, Columbia University, Kent State University, Miami of Ohio, Purdue University, and Ohio State University.

Another opportunity available to those in the sociology program is to pursue a 3:2 collaborative five-year program in social administration with Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. If a Hiram student meets the requirements of this program and is accepted, that student would spend three full-time years at Hiram College, followed by two full-time years at Case Western Reserve University’s renowned Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. Upon successful completion of this 3:2 program, the student would receive a Bachelor of Arts from Hiram College and a Master of Science in Social Administration (equivalent to an MSW degree). For more information about requirements, please see a faculty member within the program.

Sociology Courses Most Recently Offered:

SOCI/CRLJ 10500LAW & SOCIETY:CA4
SOCI 15500INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY:CA4
SOCI 18000WKSP:1
SOCI 20100SOCIAL PROBLEMS:ES4
SOCI 21500HUMAN SETTLEMENTS:CA4
SOCI 22600RACE & ETHNICITY IN AMERICA:UD3
SOCI 26200THE FAMILY4
SOCI 30300ENVIRONMENTAL SOCIOLOGY:CA4
SOCI 31000PEOPLE/PLACE THE RUST BELT:CA 3
SOCI 36200YOUTH AND SOCIETY:UD3
SOCI 38700FOOD:EATERS,EATING& THE ENV:CA4
SOCI 45200SOCIAL THEORY4
SOCI 45500RESEARCH METHODS4

Capstone

Our three senior seminar courses (SOCI 45200 SOCIAL THEORY and SOCI 45500 RESEARCH METHODS) and SOCI 48000 SENIOR SEMINAR - CAPSTONE are viewed as courses which require students to synthesize knowledge acquired in the other courses in the major. These capstone experiences require demonstration of advanced empirical and analytical skills in sociology. Sociology majors must earn a minimum grade of "C" in each of the capstone courses. 

Program Honors

Graduating seniors may receive program honors if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • An overall grade-point average of at least 3.0
  • A program grade-point average of at least 3.5
  • In addition, the student must be recommended by faculty within the sociology program for these honors.

Procedures for Determining Program Grade-Point Average

Sociology faculty consider the highest grades for 33 hours. However, the required courses for the major must be included, even if they are not the highest grades. Grades for MATH 10800 STATISTICS:MM and/or PUBH 20100 EPIDEMIOLOGY&BIOSTATISTICS:MM are not included when determining the program GPA.

Faculty

Laci A Fiala, (2021) Associate Professor of Crime, Law, and Justice & Sociology; Chair; Director of Eclectic Scholars
B.S., NW Missouri State University;
M.A., Ph.D., University of Nebraska - Lincoln
fialala@hiram.edu

James N Rhodes, (2019) Associate Professor of Sociology
B.A., M.A., Ph.D., University of Manchester
rhodesjn@hiram.edu

Sociology courses were found under SOAN prior to the 2020-21 academic catalog year.

Course Descriptions

SOCI 10500:  LAW & SOCIETY:CA:  4 Hour(s)  

ISSUES IN LAW AND SOCIETY:CA ~ This course is an introduction to the American legal system (both civil and criminal law) and its relationship with social institutions. It provides students with knowledge about the connections between justice and society with particular emphasis on the law’s historical origins and its structure and function within society. Several topics such as types of crime, juveniles and criminality, minorities and criminality, and social control are discussed allowing for better understanding of the significant interaction between law and humanity. This course is also listed as CRLJ 10500.

Core: Social/Cultural Analysis Meth

SOCI 15500:  INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY:CA:  4 Hour(s)  

INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY:CA ~ A basic knowledge of sociology; introduction to study of human society-related concepts, and content. Human behavior from the perspective of culture, groups, and organizations. Sociology majors must earn a “C” or higher. Prerequisite to all advanced courses except with special permission.

Core: Social/Cultural Analysis Meth

SOCI 18000:  WKSP::  1 Hour(s)  

WORKSHOP ~ Workshops may be taken Pass/No Credit only. Students may take no more than nine workshops for credit toward graduation. Workshops can be used as elective credit only.

SOCI 20100:  SOCIAL PROBLEMS:ES:  4 Hour(s)  

SOCIAL PROBLEMS:ES ~ This courses uses a sociological lens to offer an in-depth look at several enduring societal problems. Examples include alcohol and drug use/abuse, mental illness, poverty, crime, family disorganization, and health care. We will also explore several causes and potential solutions of social problems. Sociology majors must earn a "C" or higher.

Prerequisite: SOAN 15500 or SOCI 15500

Core: Meaning/Ethics/Soc Responsibil

SOCI 20510:  VICTIMOLOGY:  4 Hour(s)  

VICTIMOLOGY~ Victimology is the scientific study of crime victims and focuses on the physical, emotional, and financial harm victims suffer due to crime. The course emphasizes defining victimology as unique from criminology, applying crime theories to victims, exploring the many ways in which people experience victimization, and how victims interact with police and play a vital role in courts and corrections. Students will analyze both victim experiences and victimization data. The course can help to prepare students in many disciplines, from criminal justice to nursing, to work with victims and understand the complexity of victim issues. This course is also listed as CRLJ 20500.

SOCI 21500:  HUMAN SETTLEMENTS:CA:  4 Hour(s)  

HUMAN SETTLEMENTS:URBANIZATION, SPRAWL, AND TRANSITIONS:CA ~ For the vast majority of human history, people have lived in small groups. Urbanizing processes, which began millennia ago, have accelerated rapidly in recent centuries and have brought about some dramatic changes in how people live. With reference to biological evolution, we will identify fundamental human needs in order to establish a basis for assessing the degrees to which different kinds of settlements (e.g., foraging societies, early and industrial cities, and sprawl) meet those needs and for discerning the ways they influence quality of life. We give special consideration to the environmental and social consequences of settlement design and land use and explore some novel alternatives intended to aid the transition to a more sustainable model. Elective: fits within "human social systems" emphasis. Cross-listed with EVST 21500

Prerequisite: INTD 22500 or SOAN 15500 or EVST 10100 or SOCI 15500

Core: Social/Cultural Analysis Meth

SOCI 22000:  COMMUNITY:CA:  3 Hour(s)  

COMMUNITY:CA ~ Focusing on the nature of human communities, we examine the essential role they have played in societal and individual development, historical changes in their structures and functions, and the social and environmental implications of those. We consider which qualities of community are present or lacking today and how to cultivate those which generally support human well-being, environmental health, and quality of life. Also listed as EVST 22000.

Core: Social/Cultural Analysis Meth

SOCI 22300:  SOCIAL INEQUALITY:  4 Hour(s)  

SOCIAL INEQUALITY ~ This course examines key forms of social inequality which operate in contemporary American society, especially how intersections of race/ethnicity, class, and gender shape access to societal resources and power. It explores how different dimensions of inequality relating to poverty, income, wealth, employment, education and housing are produced and experienced by differently located social actors, and concludes with a focus on the policies available to address these disparities. Sociology majors must earn a "C" or higher.

Prerequisite: SOAN 15500 or SOCI 15500

SOCI 22600:  RACE & ETHNICITY IN AMERICA:UD:  3 Hour(s)  

RACE AND ETHNICITY IN AMERICA:UD ~ This course focuses on the ways in which race and ethnicity continue to shape contemporary American society, animating social relationships, identities and institutions and the distribution of material and symbolic resources. During the course we will consider the social, political and historical processes through which race and ethnicity acquire social meaning, examining changing forms of racism and discrimination, as well as expressions of racial identity. We explore how sociologists have sought to understand race and racism, and assess the significance of race and ethnicity across various domains of social life including work, housing, education, criminal justice, and health. Students will examine links between social policies and racial stratification, and consider how we might address enduring forms of racial and ethnic inequalities. At the end of the course, students will have an in-depth understanding of the origins and development of race, the structure of racial and ethnic hierarchies, sociological theories of race and racial inequality, as well as knowledge of how race and ethnicity shape the everyday realities of society.

Prerequisite: SOAN 15500 or SOCI 15500

Core: Understanding Diversity Home

SOCI 22700:  RACE & ETHNICITY IN AMERICA:UD:  4 Hour(s)  

RACE AND ETHNICITY IN AMERICA:UD ~ This course focuses on the ways in which race and ethnicity continue to shape contemporary American society, animating social relationships, identities and institutions and the distribution of material and symbolic resources. During the course we will consider the social, political and historical processes through which race and ethnicity acquire social meaning, examining changing forms of racism and discrimination, as well as expressions of racial identity. We explore how sociologists have sought to understand race and racism, and assess the significance of race and ethnicity across various domains of social life including work, housing, education, criminal justice, and health. Students will examine links between social policies and racial stratification, and consider how we might address enduring forms of racial and ethnic inequalities. At the end of the course, students will have an in-depth understanding of the origins and development of race, the structure of racial and ethnic hierarchies, sociological theories of race and racial inequality, as well as knowledge of how race and ethnicity shape the everyday realities of society.

Prerequisite: SOCI 15500 or SOAN 15500

Core: Understanding Diversity Home

SOCI 23900:  SEX AND GENDER IN SOCIETY:UD:  3 Hour(s)  

SEX AND GENDER IN SOCIETY:UD~ This course is an introduction to the study of gender, sex, and sexuality in society using a sociological lens. Students will examine varying perspectives on sex, sexuality, and gender. Interrelationships between gender and power, social class, and health will be discussed. Additionally, topics such as the nature versus nurture debate, hegemonic masculinity, and the #feminism will be explored. This course is offered for three (3) credit hours as SOCI 23900.

Prerequisite: SOAN 15500 or SOCI 15500

Core: Understanding Diversity Home

SOCI 24010:  SEX AND GENDER IN SOCIETY:UD:  4 Hour(s)  

SEX AND GENDER IN SOCIETY ~ This course is an introduction to the study of gender, sex, and sexuality in society using a sociological lens. Students will examine varying perspectives on sex, sexuality, and gender. Interrelationships between gender and power, social class, and health will be discussed. Additionally, topics such as the nature versus nurture debate, hegemonic masculinity, and the #feminism will be explored. This course is offered for three (3) credit hours as SOCI 23900.

Prerequisite: SOAN 15500 or SOCI 15500

Core: Understanding Diversity Home

SOCI 24500:  SOC MOVEMENTS/COLLECTV BEHAVR:  4 Hour(s)  

SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND COLLECTIVE BEHAVIOR ~ The influence of social movements and collective behavior in social change. How social institutions are maintained, modified and transformed through relatively unstructured social relations like mob and crowd reactions, fads, fashions, rumor, panic, protest groups, reform and revolution.

Prerequisite: SOAN 15500 or SOCI 15500

SOCI 26200:  THE FAMILY:  4 Hour(s)  

THE FAMILY ~ Using a sociological nature this course will explore interpersonal relationships and families throughout the lifespan, with an emphasis on history, diversity, inequality, society, and life course processes. We will examine several aspects of relationships and families, such as dating, mate selection, cohabitation, marriage, parenthood, childrearing, divorce, remarriage, singlehood, widowhood, parent-child interactions, sexual orientation, etc. Additionally, this course explores how these aspects can be defined and how they have evolved overtime. Such as: What constitutes a family? Is there a “proper” way to raise children? How does one’s childhood socialization affect their love life? Etc.

Prerequisite: SOAN 15500 or SOCI 15500

SOCI 28000:  SEM::  4 Hour(s)  

SEMINAR ~

SOCI 28100:  INDEPENDENT STUDY:  1-4 Hour(s)  

INDEPENDENT STUDY ~

SOCI 29800:  FIELD EXPERIENCE:  1-4 Hour(s)  

FIELD EXPERIENCE ~

SOCI 30300:  ENVIRONMENTAL SOCIOLOGY:CA:  4 Hour(s)  

ENVIRONMENTAL SOCIOLOGY:CA ~ While humans are distinct in their capacity to create culture, they remain always a part of, and dependent on, nature. This course is an examination of the ongoing dialogue between human social processes and the biophysical environment within which they take place. Readings will highlight the ways in which social structures and the individual behaviors that reflect them both shape and are shaped by the environment. We will study “environmental problems” through a sociological lens, focusing on the cultural, economic, political, and other social systems and processes that give rise to them. In particular, we will examine the ways in which these systems and processes organize patterns of everyday life and consider strategies for re-organizing those patterns in the effort to respond to and mitigate socio-ecological problems. Some sections of this course may be considered service learning (SL). This course is also offered as EVST 30300

Prerequisite: INTD 22500 or SOAN 15500 or SOCI 15500

Core: Social/Cultural Analysis Meth

SOCI 31000:  PEOPLE/PLACE THE RUST BELT:CA :  3 Hour(s)  

PEOPLE/PLACE IN THE RUST BELT:CA~ This course focuses on the American ‘Rust Belt’, and the lives of the people and the nature of the places that comprise it. The term itself emerged in the early 1980s, as a way of making sense of the dramatic industrial and urban decline sweeping across the nation’s former manufacturing heartland (Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois). The class explores how processes like deindustrialization, depopulation, and social and economic change have impacted on the area, and traces rise of new forms of racial and class inequalities which have shaped the people and places of this region. Students examine the more recent transformations of the ‘Rust Belt’, studying processes of urban regeneration and gentrification, and the implications of these changes on cities and communities. It also considers how the ‘Rust Belt’ has been imagined and reimagined within popular culture through images of decay, ruin but also as a site for renewal. Finally, the class explores the politics of the region, particularly given the way in which the ‘Rust Belt’ has been seen as central to America’s changing political landscape.

Core: Social/Cultural Analysis Meth

SOCI 35900:  MEDICAL SOCIOLOGY:ES:  4 Hour(s)  

MEDICAL SOCIOLOGY:ES ~ This course uses a sociological perspective to explore health and illness, and the practices, professions, and institutions related to health care. Focusing more on social rather than individual determinants of health and illness, it examines social forces (such as socio-economic status, gender, race/ethnicity, etc.) that are related to illness and mortality; social meanings and experiences with acute/chronic illness and disability, as well as history, structure, and status of professions within medicine and medical care. Significant topics of interest include, but are not limited to mental illness, social epidemiology, health behavior and lifestyles, the sick role, medicalization, bioethics and medical experimentation.

Prerequisite: SOAN 15500 or SOCI 15500

Core: Meaning/Ethics/Soc Responsibil

SOCI 36200:  YOUTH AND SOCIETY:UD:  3 Hour(s)  

YOUTH AND SOCIETY:UD ~ This course examines the social-historical creation of youth as a distinctive stage of life, and offers an in-depth treatment of the sociology of youth with emphasis on social inequalities, culture and identity. This course includes a global perspective to examine differences and inequalities in the experience of youth, with specific attention to youth within advanced capitalist societies. Major social institutions will be studied regarding their linkages to and influences on youth, including but not limited to family, neighborhood/place, education, policy & law, and work/economy.

Prerequisite: SOAN 15500 or SOCI 15500

Core: Understanding Diversity Home

SOCI 36300:  YOUTH AND SOCIETY:UD:  4 Hour(s)  

YOUTH AND SOCIETY:UD ~ This course examines the creation of adolescence and youth as a distinctive stage of life in Europe, England and the USA. Youth culture at various points in history will be examined. Causes and consequences of contemporary adolescent problems will be highlighted. A revised version of this course is offered for three credit hours as SOCI 36200.

Prerequisite: SOAN 15500 or SOCI 15500

Core: Understanding Diversity Home

SOCI 38000:  SEM::  1-4 Hour(s)  

SEMINAR ~

SOCI 38100:  SPC TPC::  1-4 Hour(s)  

SPECIAL TOPICS IN SOCIOLOGY ~

SOCI 38700:  FOOD:EATERS,EATING& THE ENV:CA:  4 Hour(s)  

FOOD:EXAMINING EATERS, EATING, AND THE ENVIRONMENT:CA ~ Food is a principal ingredient in sociocultural systems and conveys much about a society and its relationship with the biophysical world. This course explores the social significance of food, including: the determinants of what and how people in a society eat, the meanings associated with certain foods, how food norms reflect and perpetuate certain kind of social inequality, changes in food production and consumption processes, and the consequences of these for the health of people and the environment. Also listed as EVST 38700.

Prerequisite: INTD 22500 or SOAN 15500 or SOCI 15500

SOCI 45200:  SOCIAL THEORY:  4 Hour(s)  

SOCIAL THEORY ~ This course is an in-depth exploration of themes that feature prominently within classical and contemporary social theory. Students will gain a reflexive, critical, and applicable understanding of how social theorists have addressed a range of core social scientific themes such as the self/identity, power, inequality, race, gender, and the state. These themes are addressed through key thinkers from across the globe with an emphasis on the different perspectives used to make sense of such issues and how such theories can be applied to contemporary social issues. Sociology majors must earn a “C” or higher. Also listed as CRLJ 45200.

Prerequisite: SOAN 15500 or SOCI 15500

SOCI 45500:  RESEARCH METHODS:  4 Hour(s)  

RESEARCH METHODS ~ This course studies the multiple types of research and analysis methods used by social scientists to develop and investigate social issues. It covers the use of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods; exploring issues relating to topics such as research design, data, sampling, analysis, and ethics. Preparation for students’ senior capstone project will also take place in this course. Sociology majors must earn a “C” or higher. Also listed as CRLJ 45500.

Prerequisite: SOAN 15500 or SOCI 15500

SOCI 48000:  SENIOR SEMINAR - CAPSTONE:  1-4 Hour(s)  

SENIOR SEMINAR - CAPSTONE ~ This course is the senior capstone for all Sociology majors. Throughout the course, students will be required to pursue independent research, design and implement their own interdisciplinary project, and present a written report and oral presentation. Frequent, focused meetings with a faculty advisor will help students explore inquiries and develop skills related to their investigation. Sociology majors must earn a “C” or higher.

Prerequisite: SOAN 20100 or SOCI 20100 or SOCI 32300 or SOAN 32300 or SOCI 22300

SOCI 48100:  INDEPENDENT RESEARCH:  1-4 Hour(s)  

INDEPENDENT RESEARCH ~

SOCI 49800:  INTERNSHIP:  1-4 Hour(s)  

INTERNSHIP ~

Academic Offerings