Changes effective Spring Term 2015

Armenia McClure Nichter

Sociology provides an understanding of human societies for students desiring a liberal arts education, as well as for those preparing for graduate study in sociology or related fields.

Qualified students may be invited to participate in the department's honors degree program, as well as in independent study projects and internships with faculty.

Because sociology relies heavily on advising for program direction, majors must choose an advisor in the department.


Twelve (12) courses are required, at least eight (8) of which must be taken at Rollins. All core courses must also be taken at the College.


Choose one (1) of the following four (4) prior to junior year.

  • SOC 101 The Sociological Perspective
  • SOC 102 American Society
  • SOC 208 Self and Society
  • SOC 211 Social Problems

Choose one (1) of the following three (3).

  • SOC 323 Sociology of Culture
  • SOC 355 Race and Ethnic Relations
  • SOC 367 Economy and Society

Take all of the following.

  • SOC 203 Methodology (fall of junior year)
  • SOC 343 Social Stratification (spring of junior year)
  • SOC 335 Sociological Theory (spring of junior year)


  • One (1) course in anthropology, philosophy, economics, history, or politics
  • Five (5) courses in sociology, at least three (3) of which must be at the 300-400-level
  • SOC 418 Senior Seminar (after completion of core courses)


Eight (8) courses are required, six (6) of which must be taken at Rollins.

  • Five (5) core courses required for major
  • Two (2) 300-400 level courses in sociology
  • SOC 418 Senior Seminar (after completion of core courses)


Course of Study

SOC 101 The Sociological Perspective
: Covers scope, methods, and general principles of the discipline. Focuses on group behavior, race relations, inequality, social institutions, and social change. Suitable for nonmajors.

SOC 102 American Society: Examines recent social, political, economic, and cultural changes and trends.

SOC 112 The Family: Examines how political, economic, and social changes affect marriage and family. Highlights comparative family structure, divorce, abortion, homosexuality, and changing sex roles in light of larger social changes. Suitable for nonmajors.

SOC 203 Methodology: Focuses on collecting, analyzing, and interpreting social data. Addresses research strategies and their ethical implications. Prerequisite: sociology major or consent.

SOC 208 Self and Society: Introduces theories and research findings on socialization, identity formation, and presentation and actualization of self. Explores question of identity in contemporary American society and in everyday life. Suitable for nonmajors.

SOC 211 Social Problems: Follows traditional areas of social problem analysis (poverty, sexism, racism, and crime) as they evolve and transform society as a whole. Suitable for nonmajors.

SOC 250 Sociology of Gender: Examines gender relations and the construction of femininity and masculinity in American society. Explores gender within the context of social institutions, including science, education, families, the economy, and sport. Suitable for nonmajors.

SOC 258 Animals and Society: Covers interspecies communication studies (particularly those focusing on dolphins, chimpanzees, and gorillas), role of pets in human society, trainer/performer relationship, and animal rights (factory farming, fur, use of animals in scientific experiments). Suitable for nonmajors.

SOC 308 The Body in Society: Investigates studies of gender, sexuality, and medicine which reveal that, far from being a biological given, the body is a construct altered by social forces that change over time. Looks into eating disorders, physical appearance, sex, reproduction, illness, and abortion. Uses sociohistorical analyses and case studies.

SOC 311 Topics in Sociology: Analyzes such contemporary topics as emerging social movements, global society, and the female heroic. Varies from year to year. May be repeated for credit.

SOC 315 Sociology of Childhood: Examines childhood as both a social construct and lived experience. Addresses the various cultural and structural factors that shape conceptions of childhood, the structure of childhood in contemporary society, children's "social worlds," and children's perceptions and experiences of everyday life. Prerequisite: one SOC course.

SOC 317 Television and Society: Investigates role of TV in creating new social environments and reshaping conventions of time and space. Addresses impact of TV on family, gender, race and ethnic relations, education, and consumption. Prerequisite: one SOC course or consent.

SOC 320 Social Change: Considers effect of change on organization of societies, relationship of humans to the environment, and future lifestyles.

SOC 323 Sociology of Culture: Includes various theories of culture. Emphasizes field research and observation of phenomena such as fads, fashions, and media themes and characters. Prerequisite: sociology major or consent.

SOC 324 Women in Society: Studies experiences created by differences in race, class, age, and sexual orientation. Presents theories about women's place in society. Discusses identity development, family relations, sexualities, paid and unpaid labor, feminization of poverty, violence, reproductive technologies, and feminist and antifeminist social movements.

SOC 325 Political Sociology: Reviews recent developments in American politics: structure of power in society, political significance of large corporations, relationship between business and government, and nature of American democracy.

SOC 326 The Sociology of Kurt Vonnegut: Compares Vonnegut's writings with work of sociologist/economist Thorstein Veblen. Uses Vonnegut's fiction as a springboard for discussion of alienation, quest for meaning in bureaucratic environment, "imbecile institutions," dangers of technocracy, and growing reality of plutocratic society.

SOC 329 Sociology of the Sixties Counterculture: Emphasizes political protest (civil rights, antiwar, feminist), alternative living arrangements (communes, cooperatives), and lifestyle (music, clothing, celebrations).

SOC 333 Postmodern Society: Reviews recent debates about postmodernity using critical-theory and sociology-of-knowledge approaches.

SOC 335 Sociological Theory: Examines concerns of early founders in light of contemporary trends within field. Addresses values in sociological inquiry, problem of applying general scientific model to sociology, and biases of researchers. Prerequisite: sociology major or consent.

SOC 343 Social Stratification: Investigates various forms of structured social and economic inequality, concentrating primarily on race, class, and gender.

SOC 345 Sociology of Gender: Examines gender in American society, with an emphasis on the construction of femininity and masculinity in the context of major social institutions. Reviews various approaches to the study of gender that include elements of symbolic interactionism, constructionism, post-modernism, conflict theory, and feminist theory. Specific institutional contexts of the construction and management of gender, including science, schools, family, the economy, and sport, also considered.

SOC 346 Sexualities: Understanding sexual matters requires considering how sexuality is modeled, molded, and manipulated. We will consider historical, legal, and cultural contexts of sexuality; highlighting themes of social construction and social control. Prerequisite: Any prior SOC course or consent.

SOC 350 Class Inequality: Focuses on socioeconomic inequality with emphasis on the contemporary United states, sociological theories to explain inequality, and the mechanisms and consequences of social class inequality in social instutions. Prerequisite: Any prior SOC course or consent.

SOC 355 Race and Ethnic Relations: Explores colonization and immigration, assimilation and pluralism, prejudice and discrimination, and inequality and conflict past and present.

SOC 356 The State of Black America: Examines political, economic, social and cultural standing of African Americans (both historical and contemporary), relationships between blacks and whites, and internal differentiation of black population.

SOC 360 Poverty and Social Welfare: Focuses on changing composition of poverty population, war on poverty, public and academic debates, present-day American welfare system, and relationship between poverty, welfare, and inequality.

SOC 367 Economy and Society: Analyzes American economic institutions, particularly the modern corporation, and the modern state. Relates shifting patterns of production and consumption to structural changes in late industrial capitalism. Measures impact of multinational corporations on community, environment, workers, and U.S. foreign policy.

SOC 371 Deviant Behavior: Investigates deviant behavior as the inverse of power: The more power a particular class of people possesses, the less likely they will be defined as deviant. Challenges students to redefine "deviance" and examine "normal" workings of U.S. institutions. Prerequisite: one SOC course or consent.

SOC 417 Research Seminar: Explores topics in contemporary sociology. Requires individual research projects and oral reports. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: one SOC course or consent.

SOC 418 Senior Seminar: Develops common grounding in a specific subject to serve as a framework for individual projects. Requires oral reports. Prerequisites: core courses and senior standing.