Sociology

Follow your passion for Sociology

If you’re interested in why people do what they do, and why the world works the way it does, Sociology might be the major for you. You’ll gain the skills and knowledge to understand how institutions and organizations shape individual life experiences. This includes systematically analyzing the behavior patterns of social, political, religious, educational and business organizations to identify the causes of problems such as violence, crime, divorce, poverty, racism and sexism.

Our flexible curriculum encourages double majors and the exploration of topics relevant to our daily lives. We focus on inequality in the issues of race, gender and class through active, community-based learning, reflection and examination of current events. Graduates demonstrate the Loras mission of reflective thinking, active learning, responsible contributing and ethical decision-making.

 

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WHY DO PEOPLE DO WHAT THEY DO?

Why does the world work the way it does? Sociologists systematically analyze the behavior patterns of social, political, religious, educational, and business organizations. They conduct research and analyze theory to help identify the causes of social problems such as violence, crime, divorce, poverty, racism, and sexism.

Sociology provides skills and knowledge for understanding how institutions and organizations shape individual life experiences.

Our goal is to provide our students with opportunities to connect theory and research. We present a flexible curriculum meant to encourage double majors and exploration of topics relevant to our real lives. Our program has a focus on inequality, examining issues of race, gender, and class. Our courses offer opportunities for active learning (including community based learning in some cases), reflection on your own values and beliefs, and a chance to examine current social issues through readings, films, and other media. With a major in sociology, you will be prepared to demonstrate the Loras College mission of reflective thinking, active learning, responsible contributing, and ethical decision-making.

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A CAREER IN SOCIOLOGY

Your option are unlimited. Graduates of Loras with a Sociology degree are employed in wide range of fields.

What can you do with a Sociology major? How about…what can’t you do with a Sociology major!

Though the word “sociology” might not be a part of many job descriptions, the skills and insights you gain from this field are useful in many different areas. Being able to understand and conduct research will give you an edge in the job market. Knowledge about key social factors and various group dynamics is helpful in most jobs where you’ll interact with others.

Graduates in sociology may enter a wide range of fields including:

  • social services
  • business positions
  • environmental planning
  • data analysis
  • urban and rural planning
  • non-profit work
  • government positions
  • ministry
  • law enforcement
  • legal services
  • education

Visit our Sociology career options page for more information.

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CAREER COUNSELING, INTERNSHIPS, AND JOB SEARCH ASSISTANCE

The Loras College Center for Experiential Learning can provide students with assistance in career counseling, gaining work experience via internships, and conducting a job search.


Many resources are available including employer literature, job listings, job shadowing, resume writing and interviewing materials.

Recent Sociology graduates have taken positions at:

Abused Women’s Shelter
Advanced Data Comm- Supervisor
Americorps
Arthur Andersen- Researcher
Barnes and Noble- Asst Manager
Bremwood- Activities Director
Catholic Charities
Claims Adjustor
Clinton Community Care- Social Worker
Custom Concrete- HR Asst Director
Dubuque County Sheriff’s Department
Foster Care Review
Four Oaks
Harlem Ambassadors
Hillcrest Family Services
Hills and Dales
International Academy of Design- Recruiter
Office of Rep Stephen Freese
Peace Corps
Police Officer
Sunnycrest Manor

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Student Learning Outcomes
Student Learning Outcomes – Sociology
1. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the sociological imagination.
2. Students will apply sociological theory to real-world issues.
3. Students will write a literature review that demonstrates an ability to synthesize sociological research.
4. Students will write a literature review that demonstrates an ability to interpret theory.
5. Students will select and use an appropriate method for the research problem.
6. Students will properly interpret, discuss, and present results.
Major Requirements

SOCIOLOGY
Division of Philosophical, Religious, Theological, Social & Cultural Studies
Richard Anderson, Ph.D., Chair
rick.anderson@loras.edu
563.588.7177

Requirements for the major in Sociology (B.A.):
Students completing a major in sociology must complete a minimum of 15 credits in Sociology numbered 300 or above. Students in sociology may transfer up to 12 credits toward the Sociology major from another institution. Students may take L.CRJ-323 to meet the L.SOC-332 requirement, or take L.PSY-211 and L.PSY-212 to meet the L.SOC-332 and L.SOC-333 requirement.

Please note: No more than six (6) hours of previously cross-listed L.CRJ or L.SOC courses can count toward major or minor (L.CRJ-252, L.CRJ-253, L.CRJ-320).

Req Course Cr’s
Select one from Req 1
1 L.SOC-101: Sociology in Action 3
1 L.SOC-115: Introduction to Sociology 3
2 L.SOC-332: Research Methods and Methodology 3
3 L.SOC-333: Statistical Analyses 3
4 L.SOC-336: Classical Sociological Theory 3
5 L.SOC-490: Senior Seminar 3
6 Elective: Additional Sociology course 3
7 Elective: Additional Sociology course 3
8 Elective: Additional Sociology course 3
9 Elective: Additional Sociology course 3
10 Elective: Additional Sociology course 3
30 total required credits

Requirements for the minor in Sociology:

Req Course Cr’s
Select one from Req 1
1 L.SOC-101: Sociology in Action 3
1 L.SOC-115: Introduction to Sociology 3
One of the following must be at the 300+ level
2 Elective: Additional Sociology course 3
3 Elective: Additional Sociology course 3
4 Elective: Additional Sociology course 3
5 Elective: Additional Sociology course 3
6 Elective: Additional Sociology course 3
18 total required credits
Course Descriptions

L.SOC-101: Sociology in Action

Through hands-on activities inside the classroom and community-based learning in the “real world,” students will be introduced to the ways in which sociologists approach the world. The relationship between individuals and society, ideas about how the world operates, and the dynamic process of social change will be emphasized as students learn to think sociologically. Restriction: Not open to students who have taken L.SOC-115. 3 credits. January term.

L.SOC-115: Introduction to Sociology

An overview of the discipline of sociology. The course examines the theories and research methods of sociology as well as substantive areas including culture, social stratification, small group dynamics, social institutions, and the dynamics of social and cultural change. Restriction: Not open to students who have taken L.SOC-101. 3 credits.

L.SOC-216: Social Problems

Consideration is given to a number of contemporary social problems. Sociological principles are employed in the analysis of such topics as poverty, crime, racial and ethnic relations, health care issues, sexism, environmental degradation and other types of inequality. 3 credits.

L.SOC-227: Sociology of the Family

The primary goal in this course is to introduce and explore important issued related to the influential institution of the family. Social processes, myths, and problems facing contemporary families will be examined. While students will reflect on their own family experiences the course focuses on social structures that shape family life. 3 credits.

L.SOC-240: Gender & Society

An exploration of the influence of gender stratification on both the social development of women and men and their personal experiences of social institutions such as the family, the economy, the political order, religion, and the educational system. Special emphasis is placed on the intersecting character of class, race, and gender stratification systems. 3 credits.

L.SOC-250: Aryan Societies-AC

An examination of the complex relationship between personal identity and community. The course focuses on the formation of racial, class, gender, and sexualized identities in hate group communities, the ways in which white supremacists react to changes in their local environments, and how they affect change in their communities. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110, and one course from L.LIB-130, L.LIB-135, or L.LIB­220. 3 credits.

L.SOC-252: Self & Society-AI

An examination of the impact of the social environment on individual identity and behavior. The course emphasizes development of self, attitudes and attitude change, interpersonal relations, small groups and collective behavior. Students will develop a stronger sense of human interaction and relationships, and an appreciation for multiple views of social reality that should be useful to their relations at home, with friends, at work, and within their larger community. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB­110, and one course from L.LIB-130, L.LIB-135, or L.LIB-220. 3 credits.

L.SOC-254: Race & Ethnicity-AC

The primary emphasis in this course is on introducing and exploring important issues related to race and ethnicity in the United States. The course analyzes information comprehensively and includes historical evidence in order to better understand culture. Students will explore probable causes and consequences of inequality rooted in race/ethnicity. Students will incorporate an analysis of values, including understanding how personal and cultural values result from social forces and structures, into their examination of race and ethnicity. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110, and one course from L.LIB-130, L.LIB-135, or L.LIB-220. 3 credits.

L.SOC-272: Global Inequality-AC

This course examines issues of inequality related to class, race, gender, and sexuality across the globe. Throughout the semester, consideration will be given to how distinct historical and cultural contexts create unique experience with inequality. The study of global inequality will be grounded in a discussion of local values which emerge from and affect larger social forces, both within and between regions. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110, and one course from L.LIB-130, L.LIB-135, or L.LIB-220. 3 credits.

L.SOC-295: Topics

Sociology topics course. Used to develop courses which have not been approved under another catalog number. See Division Chair for more information.

L.SOC-310: Cultural Analysis

This is a study travel course which examines cultures in depth by focusing on inequality. The course could be offered in a number of different locations. Particular social, political, and economic issues significant to the region of study will be considered. The course immerses students in cultural settings away from campus and includes excursions to a wide range of culturally rich sites including historic sites and museums. Required readings provide a base for students to build upon as they hear from local experts and see many cultural artifacts. Students will hear several guest lectures and interact with guest lecturers and tour guides, and will participate in daily class discussions to critically analyze experiences and information. Students will engage with people from various cultural perspectives to hear first-hand accounts regarding inequality. Prerequisite: L.SOC-101 or L.SOC-115. 3 credits. January term.

L.SOC-330: Sociology of Education

Education is analyzed as a key social institution that influences, and is influenced by, the larger society. The course will focus on important, enduring issues within the sociology of education such as social class, race/ethnicity, gender, school organization, academic achievement, politics, and educational reform. Additional issues currently under debate, especially in regard to policy and practice will also be examined. Prerequisite: L.SOC-101 or L.SOC-115. 3 credits.

L.SOC-332: Research Methods & Methodology

An examination of the principles of social research including the research process, choosing the research problem, constructing social explanations, measurement, survey and field research techniques, and the analysis, interpretation, and application of survey research data. Prerequisites: Grade of C- or better in the mathematical modeling requirement, L.SOC-101 or L-SOC-115, and 3 additional credits in sociology. 3 credits. Spring semester.

L.SOC-333: Statistical Analyses

Rationale and use of various statistical procedures including measures of central tendency, dispersion, inference and association. Students gain experience in coding and entering data, recoding variables, and creating composite measures with the use of computer software. Students develop their own hypotheses and conduct independent statistical analyses of survey data. Encouraged for all social science majors. Prerequisites: Grade of C- or better in L-SOC-332, L.CRJ-323, or L.PSY-211. 3 credits. Fall semester.

*Note – Students are considered for a prerequisite waiver at the discretion of the Professor.

L.SOC-336: Classical Sociological Theory

This course focuses on the major theoretical perspectives and important early scholars within sociology. Students will learn to apply sociological theory to issues of sociological concern as well as to their daily lives. Prerequisite: L.SOC-101 or L.SOC-115. 3 credits. Fall semester.

L.SOC-340: Social Demography

Demography is the scientific study of human populations (their size, composition, and distribution) and the changes in these factors as they occur through the three processes of fertility, mortality and migration. Issues like immigration, population decline in some areas and increases in others, and the aging of a population, and their effects will be examined. Students will examine demographic process and consider how these issues are relevant their lives now and in the future. Prerequisite: L.SOC-101 or L.SOC-115. 3 credits.

L.SOC-355: Sociology of Popular Culture

Popular culture includes a wide variety of topics such as art, comic books, sports, hip-hop, clothes, movies, food, TV, or advertisements, and this course will draw on various sociological perspectives to critically evaluate the media as an influential social institution. This course will examine how popular culture is becoming increasingly central to social life in the United States and around the world and will consider issues related to race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and social class. Prerequisite: L.SOC-101 or L.SOC-115. 3 credits.

L.SOC-375: Social Movements

The primary focus of this course is the examination and application of social movement theory. Students will examine factors that influence movement emergence, culture, tactics, organizational strength, and outcomes. In doing so, they will assess the relative strength and weaknesses of social movement theory as they apply to a range of both progressive and conservative movements. Prerequisite: L.SOC-101 or L.SOC-115. 3 credits.

L.SOC-390: Social Inequality

This course will familiarize students with how systems of class, gender, racial, and sexual stratification operate in the United States. We will explore the construction, maintenance, and impact of inequality. While a great deal of the course will focus on social class, the intersection of all forms of inequality will be the primary focus of attention. Prerequisite: L.SOC-101 or L.SOC-115. 3 credits.

L.SOC-393: Practicum

The practicum is designed for sociology majors and minors who desire an agency/organization placement. The primary objective of the practicum is to enable students to link classroom learning to work situations. Prerequisite: L.SOC-101 or L.SOC­115. 1-3 credits.

L.SOC-395: Topics

Sociology topics course. Used to develop courses which have not been approved under another catalog number. See Division Chair for more information.

L.SOC-490: Senior Seminar

A seminar for senior sociology majors which endeavors to crystallize the student’s knowledge and appreciation of the discipline. The course will concentrate upon methodological, theoretical, and substantive issues of interest in the field. Prerequisites: Grade of C- or better in L.SOC-332, L.BIO-279, L.CRJ-323, or L.PSY-211; and grade of C- or better in L.SOC-333, L.MAT-115, L.PSY-212 or. Open to seniors only. *Note – Students are considered for a prerequisite waiver at the discretion of the professor. 3 credits. Spring semester.

RELATED COURSES: Economics, History, International Studies, Politics

Questions? Contact Us!

Richard Anderson, Ph.D.
Division of Philosophical, Religious, Theological, Social & Cultural Studies Chair
Professor of Sociology
563.588.7177 | Richard.Anderson@loras.edu

Rick Anderson arrived at Loras College in 1995 fresh out of graduate school at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Prior to that he earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology from Luther College and a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota-Mankato. His specialty fields include the sociology of families, race and ethnicity, gender, and social inequalities. In recent years he has taught courses on the sociology of sport and the sociology of popular culture. He is a past recipient of the Cardinal Newman Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award and strives to create significant learning experiences that prompt students to find meaning and purpose in their education. Outside of school he reads fiction, rides bikes (road and mountain), plays basketball, and practices what he calls chainsaw therapy as he creates and maintains hiking trails through the woods where he lives and recharges.

Lisa Garoutte, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Sociology
563.588.7022 | Lisa.Garoutte@loras.edu

Dr. Garoutte joined the Loras faculty in 2007 after earning her Ph.D. at The Ohio State University. Her areas of specialization are social movements and social inequality, with an emphasis on racist violence. She teaches classes in sociological theory, social movements, gender, social class, and hate groups. Dr. Garoutte has received fellowships for her research related to community-based learning and was a recipient of the Mike and Linda Budde Excellence in Teaching Award.

Kathrin Parks, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Sociology
563.588.7819 | Kathrin.Parks@loras.edu

A 1998 graduate, Dr. Parks returned to Loras as a faculty member in 2007 after earning her Ph.D. in Sociology at Texas A&M University. While at Loras, she majored in Sociology, History, and German, with a minor in International Studies. She lived in Austria from 1998-1999 as a Fulbright Teaching Assistant. Her varied interests expand to her teaching, where she has taught courses on the sociology of education, social demography, research methods and statistics, social problems, democracy and global diversity, the social construction of whiteness among others. Her research interests often focus on racial and educational inequality. Currently, Dr. Parks is working on a project about the impact of motherhood on academic careers. She also has experience with designing research projects, analyzing data, and consulting on projects.
When she’s not teaching or reading sociology, Dr. Parks enjoys time with her husband and two kids. She enjoys travel, films, podcasts, playing board games, knitting, reading, and singing karaoke. She also serves as a Human Rights Commissioner for the city of Dubuque.