Sociology is the study of human behavior in society. The "sociological imagination," which is a term for understanding the effects of social forces on individuals and groups, enables students to better understand the effects of race, gender, social class and social institutions in contemporary society. Majors earn a general understanding of the complexities of today's society and its social problems through basic research and statistical skills, preparing them for graduate study in sociology or for careers dealing with people and social institutions.
Courses in sociology give you the background and analytical skills needed to understand social institutions and social change. The sociology major requires courses in sociological theory, critical analysis, research methods and statistics. Two core electives are selected from among courses dealing with gender, race, and stratification in preparation for the Senior Seminar. Other electives include such courses as Urban Sociology, Aging, Criminology, Community Social Service Systems and Methods, and the Sociology of Mass Media. Special Topics courses, such as Globalization and Women and Reproduction, are offered regularly to provide you with the opportunity to take classes that are not a regular part of the curriculum. If you have a GPA of 3.5 or higher you may earn Departmental Honors by completing two honors independent study courses in which an individual research project is designed and carried out.
As a sociology major, you seek an understanding of your world and its processes. You will be part of a department that includes both traditional-age students and continuing studies students. Our majors are also diverse in terms of race and national origin. You may choose to combine this major with a minor or second major in a related field such as communication, psychology, teacher preparation, not-for-profit management or business. Our classes are scheduled both during the day and in the evening, enabling employed adults to complete the major entirely in evening.
Faculty members in the sociology department are committed to the academic excellence of the program and to the success of their students. Small classes and faculty accessibility are key components of an enhanced educational experience. The department is composed of associate professors Suzanne Stevens Trask and Teresa Rust Smith, visiting assistant professor Matthew Irvin, visiting instructor Kristen Lavelle and adjuncts Greg Thomas and Andrew Leslie.
With a degree in sociology, you will be able to join other Salem students who have gone on to graduate schools. Some of the schools attended by recent graduates include Syracuse University, George Washington University, University of Georgia, University of North Carolina-Greensboro and University of North Carolina-Charlotte. Sociology majors have pursued graduate degrees in sociology, social work, counseling, education, law, public policy/public administration and allied health fields.
Many sociology graduates go directly into human service positions; into teaching (in combination with Salem's teacher preparation program); or into positions in business or health services. Some examples from recent graduates are: project manager for Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center; public affairs officer, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, HHS; attorney for Legal Aid Society of Northwest North Carolina; house manager for Ronald McDonald House of Winston-Salem; and director of admissions, Salem Academy.
Sociology Major (B.A.)
The major in sociology requires a minimum of ten courses. Five of the ten courses must be taken at Salem, including SOCI 380, the senior capstone course. Students who desire immediate employment in human service organizations are encouraged to take SOCI 225, 226, and 275.
The minor in sociology requires the completion of six courses.
Sociology Courses (SOCI)
100. Introduction to Sociology One course
The concepts, theories and methods that form the core of the sociological perspective on human social behavior, including such topics as structure, social process, socialization and culture. Fall and Spring.
130. Making Change: Public Policy, Advocacy, and Grassroots Organizing One course
An introduction to public policy and to the means of effecting change in it. The principal focus of the course will be on lobbying, advocacy and grassroots organizing as tools for influencing public policy. Cross-listed as NFPM 130.
140. Social Entrepreneurship One course
An introduction to the creation of enduring change in social systems. The course will present historical models of social entrepreneurs as well as contemporary examples. Emphasis will be placed upon the transferable lessons that those examples represent. The subset of social entrepreneurship that emphasizes fiscal sustainability will also be presented. Cross-listed as NFPM 140.
200. Independent Study in Sociology One-quarter to one course
Independent study under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Open to students with a 2.0 cumulative average and permission of the chair of the department. Independent study may take the form of readings, research, conference, project and/or field experience. Independent study may be taken for a total of two courses, the maximum in any one term being two course credits. Prerequisite: permission of the department.
201. Sociological Theory One course
Contemporary theoretical perspectives are studied in relation to past theoretical development. The implications of the current sociological theory for the development of sociology as a discipline are emphasized. Prerequisite: SOCI 100. Fall and Spring.
202. Race and Ethnic Relations One course
A socio-historical analysis of the interaction of racial and ethnic groups and the American environment. This will include the social, economic and political aspects of racial and ethnic groups in the United States. Fall.
204. Critical Analysis of Social Issues One course
This course is required for the major and intended to prepare students for core courses. It will emphasize critical thinking skills, beginning familiarity with research literature in several substantive areas of sociology that deal with social problems. Research experience and oral/written requirement designed to stress organization, clarity of expression and proper academic citation procedures. Prerequisite: SOCI 100. Fall and Spring.
205. Social Psychology One course
An analysis of various current theories, topics, and research methodologies in social psychology. Some of the topics covered include social perception, impression formation, attraction, pro-social and anti-social interpersonal behavior, attitudes, prejudice and discrimination, social roles, group influence on behavior, group dynamics, leadership and social ecology. Cross-listed as PSYC 130. Prerequisite: PSYC 010 or permission of instructor. Fall.
208. Sociology of the Mass Media One course
The process, structure, content and effects of mass communication will be studied. Contemporary issues surrounding mass communication will be considered as well as the relationship between mass media organizations and other social institutions. Spring.
210. Sociology Research Methods One course
Methodological and theoretical approaches in the analysis of social phenomena, including theory building. Prerequisites: SOCI 100 or CRST 100 or permission of department chair. Required of all sociology majors. Fall and Spring.
215. Social Statistics One course
The principles and methods for collecting and analyzing social data. Emphasis on tests of hypotheses; parametric and non-parametric techniques; multivariate analysis; data transformation and manipulation. Use of examples from sociology. Prerequisite: a college level math course. Fall and Spring.
220. Social Stratification One course
Systems of social inequality (stratification) in human societies with emphasis on the nature, causes and consequences of social inequality in American society. Spring.
225. Community Social Service Systems One course
A comprehensive review of the application of sociological principles in the social services. This course reviews the history of public and private agencies and includes field placement in an agency. Fall.
226. Community Social Services Practice and Methods One course
An in-depth review of the diagnostic and functional methods and therapeutic techniques used in the delivery of social services. Emphasis is placed upon needs assessment, interaction with the individual, and client groups. Spring.
230. Sociology of Gender Roles One course
Causes and consequences of behavioral expectations associated with masculine and feminine gender roles in modern societies. Emphasis is given to social learning, role conflict and social movements associated with social inequalities related to sex status. Spring.
232. Marriage and the Family One course
The institution of marriage and the family in various societies with special emphasis on the contemporary American family. Fall, alternate years.
240. Globalization and Global Inequities One course
This course addresses globalization both locally and internationally, exploring issues of global governance, global inequality, low-wage economics and the transnationalization of the globe. This course examines power differentials among nations, examining why some countries benefit from globalization while others do not. It acknowledges that globalization is more than an economic process and has deep implication for social, cultural and political systems around the world.
252. Sociology of Aging One course
An examination of the major theories of aging, the demography of aging and the influence of longevity on social issues. Fall, alternate years.
254. Technology and Social Change One course
A study of the impact of technology on contemporary social institutions. Topics include images of technology and theories of social change; computers and information transfer, security, privacy; issues in social forecasting and ethical dilemmas associated with new technologies. Special emphasis is placed upon the emergence of an information society and the resulting shifts in social values and lifestyles. Offered as needed.
260. Complex Organizations One course
Sociological perspectives on complex organizations: governmental, nonprofit and business. Special attention given to the development of organization theory and its relationship to actual organizations. Offered as needed.
265. Sociology of Sport One course
An examination of sports using the sociological perspective. Consideration of the similarities and differences among play, game and sport will be considered from the American approach to the organization of sport in comparison to other cultures. Sociological theories will be used to analyze a number of social issues in sport, including discrimination, politics, violence, youth participation, media representations, commercialization and drug use. Particular attention is given to the relationship between sport and other social institutions such as the family, religion, politics, health and economics. This course places a strong emphasis on exploring how gender, race, class and sexuality intersect in the world of sports.
270. Criminology One course
This course examines crime and deviance from a sociological perspective. It looks critically at correlates of crime, the prevalence of crime, and crime control. This course provides a greater understanding of theoretical and social explanations of crime, how crime is measured and studied, the social costs of crime, and solutions to the problems of crime. Cross-listed with CRST 100.
275. Internship in Sociology One course
An opportunity to use the knowledge and skills the student has learned in coursework to solve problems in a real work setting; the apprenticeship aspect of the internship implies that the student has some base of knowledge and will increase her knowledge and skills by direct contact with an experienced, knowledgeable mentor. Open to sophomores, juniors and seniors with a 2.0 cumulative average; maximum credit per term is one course; admission by application only.
280. Urban Community One course
This course will examine the design of urban public space and the major demographic features of contemporary cities. It considers the impact that neighborhood context has on crime and criminal behavior. The development and structure of neighborhoods will be explored in relation to informal social control mechanisms in terms of socialization patterns of group membership and social cohesion; and formal social control mechanisms of law enforcement, the court system, and the corrections system.
290. Honors Independent Study in Sociology One course
Advanced independent study under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Open to juniors and seniors with a 3.5 average in sociology, subject to approval of the chair of the department. Honors work may be taken for a maximum of two courses.
310. Special Topics in Sociology One course
Contemporary issues in sociology. This course consists of intensive study of current topics in the field of sociology. Offered as needed.
380. Analysis in Race, Class and Gender One course
Study of the ways in which the interlocking experiences of race, class and gender shape all social institutions and systems of meaning. Required capstone course for majors. Students will complete a major research paper. Enrollment limited to senior majors or by permission of department. Spring.
Wake Forest University/Baptist Medical Center
S.C.A.N. (Stop Child Abuse Now)
The Children's Home
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Public School System
Florida School of Traditional Midwifery
Winston-Salem Police Department
Juvenile Justice Council
Guardian ad Litem Program
Winston-Salem Urban League
North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness
Darryl Hunt Project for Freedom and Justice
Winston-Salem Institute for Dismantling Racism
Infant Mortality Reduction Coalition
The Legal Aid Society of Northwest North Carolina
Ronald McDonald House
The Family Court of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, State of South Carolina