Office: 2228 Faculty/Administration Building; 313-577-2930
Chairperson: Jeffrey Kentor

The courses in sociology are designed for various groups of students:

  1. those desiring scientific knowledge of social relationships as a part of their general education;
  2. those planning to enter a public service profession such as social and  urban  planning,  public administration, nursing, medicine, dentistry, or law;
  3. those expecting to engage in work that will require a broad grasp of the nature of society, of public opinion, and of social change such as public affairs, journalism, public relations, communications, marketing, etc.;
  4. those anticipating a career in social and statistical research or evaluation and planning;
  5. those looking forward to the teaching of social studies and sociology;
  6. those preparing for a career in international studies or for service in foreign affairs;
  7. those majoring in sociology as a preparation for graduate professional training in social work, public health, or urban planning;
  8. those planning to pursue graduate studies in sociology.

A good background in Sociology can be a valuable component of preparation for a variety of careers, professions, and occupations. The following information summarizes some of these opportunities. Faculty advisors in Sociology can provide additional information on these and other areas as well.

Human Services Work

Students whose occupational aspirations include working with families, or with men and women in various types of human services or therapeutic settings (Social Work, Nursing, Education, Psychology, Law, Medicine) might consider electing one or more of the following courses:

SOC 2600Race and Racism in America3
SOC 3400Exploring Marriage and Other Intimate Relationships3
SOC 4460Women in Society3
SOC 5400The Family3
SOC 5410Marriage and Family Problems3
SOC 5700Seminar in Social Inequality3
SOC 5870Violence in the Family3


Students who are preparing for a career in business might consider taking:

SOC 1010Understanding Human Society3
SOC 1020Social Problems3
SOC 2203Social Psychology3
SOC 2300Social Inequality3
SOC 3200Methods of Social Research3
SOC 5700Seminar in Social Inequality3

Inter-Group Relations

Any student whose future occupation will entail working with peoples of diverse ethnic and racial groups might consider taking the following courses:

SOC 2204Outsiders and Deviants3
SOC 2300Social Inequality3
SOC 2600Race and Racism in America3
SOC 4360Women and Health4
SOC 4460Women in Society3
SOC 5570Race Relations in Urban Society3
SOC 5580Law and the African American Experience4
SOC 5700Seminar in Social Inequality3
SOC 5760Health and Life Course3

Crime and Criminal Justice

Students whose career goals are in the areas of criminal justice, police work, corrections, probation, law, or related fields might be advised to select their elective courses from among the following:

SOC 1020Social Problems3
SOC 2203Social Psychology3
SOC 2204Outsiders and Deviants3
SOC 3840Corrections4
SOC 5410Marriage and Family Problems3
SOC 5580Law and the African American Experience4
SOC 5810Law in Human Society3
SOC 5870Violence in the Family3

Work with Health-Care Agencies or the Aged

Students who plan to work with the aged or in health care fields (social gerontology, public health, biomedicine, nursing) might consider taking one of more of the following courses:

SOC 2203Social Psychology3
SOC 3440American Medicine in the Twentieth Century3
SOC 4360Women and Health4
SOC 5360Introduction to Medical Sociology3
SOC 5760Health and Life Course3
SOC 6750Sociology of Urban Health3

BREWSTER, ZACHARY W.: Ph.D., North Carolina State University; M.A., Western Kentucky University; B.S., Grand Valley State University; Assistant Professor

BROWN, R. KHARI: Ph.D., M.S.W., University of Michigan; B.A., Wayne State University; Associate Professor

BRUMLEY, KRISTA M.: Ph.D., M.A., M.P.H., Tulane University; B.A., State University of New York at Oswego; Associate Professor

DILLAWAY, HEATHER E.: Ph.D., Michigan State University; M.A., University of Delaware; B.A., Cornell University; Professor

FASENFEST, DAVID: Ph.D., M.A., University of Michigan; B.A., City University of New York; Associate Professor

GOTTFRIED, HEIDI: Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison; M.A., B.A., University of Michigan; Associate Professor

HANKIN, JANET: Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison; M.A., B.A., Case Western Reserve University; Professor

JACOBS, MICHELLE R.: Ph.D. and M.S., Kent State University; B.S. University of Akron; Assistant Professor

KENTOR, JEFFREY D.: Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University; M.A., Antioch University; B.A. George Washington University; Professor and Chair

MEROLLA, DAVID M.: Ph.D., M.A., B.A., Kent State University; Associate Professor

MONTAZER, SHIRIN: Ph.D., M.A., B.A., University of Toronto; Assistant Professor

MORTON, PATRICIA: Ph.D., M.A., Purdue University; B.S., Texas State University; Assistant Professor

SWIDER, SARAH C.: Ph.D., M.A., University of Wisconsin; M.S., Cornell University; B.A., Saint Michael's College; Associate Professor

TRUJILLO-PAGAN, NICOLE: Ph.D., University of Michigan; B.A., Emmanuel College; Associate Professor

SOC 1010 Understanding Human Society Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Social Inquiry, Social Sciences

Analysis of basic sociological concepts and principles to give the student an understanding of the perspective that sociology brings to the study of human society. Offered Every Term.

SOC 1020 Social Problems Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Diversity Equity Incl Inquiry, Social Inquiry, Social Sciences

Consideration of major contemporary social problems which reveal structural strains, value conflicts, deviations and changes in society. Analysis of socio-cultural factors creating problems and of possible solutions. Offered Every Term.

SOC 2050 The Study of Non-Violence Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Diversity Equity Incl Inquiry

Intellectual and social roots of non-violence and the practice of non-violence in different people's life styles. Historical and political forces and movements related to non-violence. (Some sections linked to Peace and Justice Learning Community.) Offered Every Term.

Equivalent: HIS 2530, PCS 2050, PS 2550

SOC 2100 Topics in Sociology Cr. 3

Specialized and topical studies of sociological themes. Topics to be announced in Schedule of Classes. Offered Every Term.

Repeatable for 9 Credits

SOC 2200 Sociology as a Vocation I Cr. 2

Introduces students to the sociological literacy framework, the curriculum in the sociology major, the potential career paths that sociology majors can pursue, and sociology as an academic discipline and a vocation rather than just a major. Offered Every Term.

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to students with a major, minor, or concentration in Sociology or Sociology Honors.

SOC 2201 Race Relations in Metro Detroit Cr. 3

This course introduces how race relations are intertwined with the historical trajectory and social processes Metro Detroit. It provides historical and contemporary data about racial inequality and segregation in Metro Detroit. It also considers the role of various social institutions (e.g., educational system, religious institutions, criminal justice system) in resisting and perpetuating racial inequalities in Metro Detroit. Offered Yearly.

SOC 2202 Gendered Worlds Cr. 3

Introduces the ideas that have been central to the sociological study of gender and society. Describes historical and contemporary gender inequalities, the role of various social institutions in perpetuating gender inequality, the social construction of gender, and the way gender roles vary both historically and across cultures. Offered Yearly.

SOC 2203 Social Psychology Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Social Inquiry, Social Sciences

Introduction to the sociological study of social psychology. This course describes the sociological aspect of the self and explores how individuals experience the self in relation to society. Offered Every Term.

SOC 2204 Outsiders and Deviants Cr. 3

Provides an overview of the sociological student social deviance, emphasizing crime and other deviant behaviors and conditions Offered Every Term.

Equivalent: CRJ 2204

SOC 2205 Sociology of the Environment Cr. 3

Provides an introduction to the sociology of the environment, the study of the interrelationships of human social systems and the environment, with a primary focus on the social aspects of environmental concerns. Offered Yearly.

SOC 2206 Political Sociology Cr. 3

Examines the sociology of politics and explores sociological analysis of political processes in the United States. Offered Yearly.

SOC 2207 Sociology of Development Cr. 3

This course covers the major sociological approaches to issues of development and social change, with a focus on the problems and prospects facing the Third World. Offered Yearly.

SOC 2208 Sociology of Sport Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Social Inquiry

Examines the relationship between sport and society, with an emphasis on the relationship of sport to social variables, social institutions, and social problems. Offered Yearly.

SOC 2209 Sociology of Religion Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Social Inquiry

Explores current sociological debates as they pertain to the complex and multi-faceted relationship between religion and other social institutions. Offered Yearly.

SOC 2210 Sociology of Health and Medicine Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Social Inquiry

Designed to introduce the field of medical sociology. The course investigates the impacts of social and institutional variables on health behaviors and outcomes. It also considers the cultural, organizational, and economic functioning of various healthcare institutions. Offered Yearly.

SOC 2245 Blacks and Sport in the United States Cr. 3

The intersection between race and sport in the United States, examined to better understand the role of sports in our socialization and cultural construction. Offered Biannually.

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate level students.

Equivalent: AFS 2245

SOC 2300 Social Inequality Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Diversity Equity Incl Inquiry, Social Inquiry, Social Sciences

Structure and process in society, institutions, communities, and organizations. Scientific analysis of organization, conflict, and change in the economy, government, religion, education, and family. Offered Yearly.

SOC 2500 Introduction to Urban Studies Cr. 4

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Social Inquiry, Social Sciences

Urban phenomena both past and present, including the quality and nature of urban life; major concerns of urban areas; perspectives and techniques of various urban-related disciplines. Offered Every Term.

Equivalent: GPH 2000, HIS 2000, PS 2000, US 2000

SOC 2510 People on the Move Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Global Learning Inquiry, Social Inquiry, Social Sciences

Birth, death and migration investigated with respect to their social causes and consequences for society and human behavior. International migration will be a major focus of this course, since populations are always shifting in global society. Population growth and development will also be covered. Offered Biannually.

SOC 2600 Race and Racism in America Cr. 3

Examination of the nature and practice of racism in American society from its historical foundations to its contemporary institutional forms. Offered Biannually.

Equivalent: AFS 2600

SOC 3050 Basic Sociological Theory Cr. 3

Introduction to sociological theory from a general conceptual framework. Major concepts, theoretical positions and recent trends in theoretical sociology will be considered. Offered Yearly.

Prerequisite: SOC 2200 with a minimum grade of P

SOC 3101 Special Topics in Sociology Cr. 1

Covers introductory topics in Sociology. Offered Irregularly.

Repeatable for 3 Credits

SOC 3200 Methods of Social Research Cr. 3

An elementary research methods course that covers the process of doing social research, including research design, data collection techniques, processing and analysis of data, as well as the interpretation of data. Offered Yearly.

SOC 3220 Introduction to Social Statistics Cr. 3

Introduction to major concepts in social statistics including level measurement, distributions, probability and bivariate hypothesis testing. Discussion of the role that statistics play in discussions and popular understandings of social issues. Offered Yearly.

SOC 3400 Exploring Marriage and Other Intimate Relationships Cr. 3

Students examine, from a sociological perspective, issues concerning intimate relationships. Major emphasis on description and analysis of changes in monogamous marriage. Non-traditional marital forms also examined. Focus upon the intimate relationships as they relate to personal, functional concerns of the student. Offered Biannually.

SOC 3440 American Medicine in the Twentieth Century Cr. 3

Major historical benchmarks in the making of the medical system in the U.S., including developments in medicine and medical knowledge, as well as social and political factors that influenced their reception and implementation. Offered Winter.

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate level students.

Equivalent: HIS 3440

SOC 3710 Learning About Your Community Through Research Cr. 4

Blend of participatory, in-service, and classroom work to enhance undergraduate research skills by linking social science theories and concepts to hands-on community-based learning opportunities. Offered Fall.

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate level students.

Equivalent: LAS 3710

SOC 3840 Corrections Cr. 4

Description and analysis of legal, social and political issues affecting contemporary correctional theory and practice. Topics include: history of corrections, function and social structure of correctional institutions, institutional alternatives including diversion, probation and parole. Field trips to institutions and community correctional settings normally required. Offered Every Term.

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate level students.

Equivalent: CRJ 3350

SOC 3990 Directed Study Cr. 1-3

For students who show evidence of ability and interest, and desire to do advanced reading. Part-time and student instructors are ineligible to supervise directed study. Offered Every Term.

Repeatable for 6 Credits

SOC 3991 Directed Study: Salford - WSU Exchange Cr. 3-9

Directed study at University of Salford, England. Offered Fall, Winter.

SOC 4010 Sociology as a Vocation II Cr. 1

Provides an opportunity change for students to think retrospectively about their experiences in sociology and to think prospectively about their next steps in their careers. Students will systematically document the courses they took, projects they participated in, and assignments they completed in the past to build a personal academic portfolio. Offered Every Term.

Prerequisite: SOC 2200 with a minimum grade of P

SOC 4201 Seminar in Race and Ethnicity Cr. 3

Introduces contemporary, empirical, and sociological research within the sociology of race and ethnicity. Offered Yearly.

SOC 4202 Seminar in the Sociology of Gender Cr. 3

Provides an overview of the current state of knowledge in the sociology of gender with an emphasis on recent empirical research. Offered Yearly.

SOC 4203 Seminar in Global Inequality and Development Cr. 3

The primary goal of this course is to introduce students to the sociological research on global inequality and development with an emphasis on recent empirical studies. Offered Yearly.

SOC 4204 Seminar in Aging and the Life Course Cr. 3

Provides students with an overview of some major issues and research findings relating to aging and the life course with an emphasis on recent empirical studies. Offered Yearly.

SOC 4205 Seminar in Medical Sociology Cr. 3

Provides students with an overview of the current state of knowledge in medical sociology with an emphasis on recent empirical papers. Offered Yearly.

SOC 4360 Women and Health Cr. 4

Analysis of sociological issues surrounding women and health, including gender differences in morbidity and mortality, the use of health services, interaction with providers, gender differences in mental disorder, alcoholism, drug abuse, gender roles and the professions of physicians and nurses. Offered Every Term.

SOC 4460 Women in Society Cr. 3

In-depth investigation of the living and working conditions of women in the world today, with a particular emphasis on the impact of socioeconomic changes on the lives of women (including their relationships with men). Offered Yearly.

SOC 4600 Internship in Sociology Cr. 3

Sociology majors or minors volunteer at a local organization or agency that relates to their career interests. Assignments include completing internship hours, keeping a journal, completing a resume, and writing a research paper. Offered Biannually.

Prerequisite: SOC 1010 with a minimum grade of D or SOC 2300 with a minimum grade of D or SOC 3200 with a minimum grade of D

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to students in the Department of Sociology.

SOC 4996 Sociology: Capstone Course Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Writing Intensive Competency

Students choose a specific researchable topic related to the discipline and explore possible theoretical approaches. In addition, students develop a research proposal related to a topic which will include research methodology. Offered Fall, Winter.

Prerequisite: SOC 1010 with a minimum grade of D and SOC 2200 with a minimum grade of P and SOC 3050 with a minimum grade of D and SOC 3200 with a minimum grade of D and SOC 3220 with a minimum grade of D and SOC 4010 with a minimum grade of D

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to students in the Department of Sociology.

SOC 5010 Selected Sociological Topics Cr. 1-4

Topics to be announced in Schedule of Classes. Offered Yearly.

Repeatable for 20 Credits

SOC 5020 End-of-Life Issues Cr. 3-4

Physical, spiritual, legal, economic, political, cultural, and ethical issues at the end of life, examined as stories about individuals, families, and communities. Offered Yearly.

SOC 5360 Introduction to Medical Sociology Cr. 3

Topics include the definition of illness, the distribution of death and disease in society, health promotion, help-seeking behavior, socialization of health care providers, the delivery of health care, and health care reform. Offered Yearly.

SOC 5400 The Family Cr. 3

An introduction to the sociology of the family: forms of organization, interaction patterns throughout the life cycle, ethnic and cultural differences, conflict and change. Especially useful for students in social work, counseling, family and consumer resources, nursing and education, as well as the other social sciences. Offered Every Term.

SOC 5410 Marriage and Family Problems Cr. 3

Social and historical context of marriage and family problems. Power, conflict, communication and crisis as they relate to the nature and dynamics of the family. Problem solving techniques; specific family problems: divorce or child abuse. Offered Every Term.

SOC 5570 Race Relations in Urban Society Cr. 3

Theoretical orientations applied analytically to enhance an understanding of the patterned structures of privilege in society which are based on race. Inequality, segregation-desegregation, pluralism; social structural frameworks; some attention to social-psychological aspects of topics such as prejudice and racism. Offered Irregularly.

Equivalent: AFS 5570

SOC 5580 Law and the African American Experience Cr. 4

In-depth examination of the African American experience with law in the U.S.; historical development of the U.S. Constitution; legal barriers to equality and the influence of race on the law; use of law as a political instrument; participation of blacks in the legal process; comparisons with other countries. Offered for undergraduate credit only. Offered Biannually.

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate level students.

Equivalent: AFS 5580

SOC 5700 Seminar in Social Inequality Cr. 3

Sociological framework for analyzing several inequalities in contemporary U.S. society. Race, class, and gender as individual topics and as they intersect in society; inequalities in personal life experience. Offered Yearly.

SOC 5760 Health and Life Course Cr. 3

Personal, interpersonal and institutional significance of aging and age categories. Sociological dimensions of aging based on physical, social-psychological, and demographic backgrounds. Offered Yearly.

SOC 5800 Topics in the Sociology of Sex and Gender Cr. 3

Explores the sociology of gender, as one of the most basic organizing mechanisms in society. Covers a broad overview of gender,including the following: themes: feminist theory, bodies, masculinities, work, work & family, families, migration, and politics. Offered Irregularly.

Prerequisite: SOC 4050 with a minimum grade of D-

SOC 5810 Law in Human Society Cr. 3

Law and the legal structure in its social context. The development, enforcement and interpretation of law; emphasis on the American system of government. Reciprocal effects of law and the society in which it develops; comparative analysis. Designed for pre-law, criminal justice, and political science students, as well as for sociology majors. Offered Yearly.

Equivalent: CRJ 5810

SOC 5870 Violence in the Family Cr. 3

Analysis of the nature of violence in family and family-like relationships; prevalence and types of family violence; social and social psychological correlates of violence in families. Offered Yearly.

SOC 6050 Sociological Theory I Cr. 3

Sociological theorists before 1920, their thought and the historical context in which such thought developed. Offered Yearly.

Prerequisite: SOC 2000 with a minimum grade of C-

SOC 6060 Sociological Theory II Cr. 3

Historical and theoretical analysis of sociological thought in the present century. Current trends in sociological theory. Offered Yearly.

Prerequisite: SOC 6050

SOC 6070 Sociological Analysis Cr. 3

An intensive examination of a wide range of sociological studies, designed to acquaint the student with how sociologists deal with important theoretical issues, using a variety of methods and sources of data. Particular attention will be paid to the logical coherence of the studies and to the fit between data and interpretation. Offered Biannually.

Prerequisite: SOC 6050 with a minimum grade of B

SOC 6280 Social Statistics Cr. 3

Basic techniques for organizing and describing social data, measures of central tendency and dispersion, probability theory and hypothesis testing, tests of significance and confidence intervals, measures of association for two variables, analysis of variance. Offered Yearly.

Prerequisite: SOC 4220 with a minimum grade of D-

SOC 6290 Advanced Social Statistics Cr. 3

Multiple and partial correlation and multiple regression, dummy variable analysis, analysis of covariance, causal models for multi-dimensional contingency tables, path analysis techniques, introductory factor analysis, Markov chains, selected additional topics. Offered for graduate credit only. Offered Yearly.

Prerequisite: SOC 6280 with a minimum grade of B

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

SOC 6455 Discrimination and Fair Housing Cr. 3

Multidisciplinary investigation into the nature, motivations, consequences, and legal/public policy implications of racial/ethnic discrimination in housing and related markets in U.S. metropolitan areas. Offered Biannually.

Equivalent: AFS 6455, ECO 6455, PS 6455, UP 6455, US 6455

SOC 6580 Applied Sociology I: Research and Theory in Applied and Clinical Settings Cr. 4

Topics include the analysis of applied sociological theory and research design and ethical issues in applied and clinical social science projects, with emphasis on writing skills in applied and clinical research and theory. Offered Yearly.

SOC 6590 Applied Sociology II: Strategies for Changing Social Behavior Cr. 4

Analysis of practical sociological strategies for promoting the change of social behavior. Focus on behavior of the individual, small group, and the community structural levels. Means of evaluating effectiveness of change strategies. Materials drawn from theory and practice in sociology and related social sciences. Offered Yearly.

SOC 6750 Sociology of Urban Health Cr. 3

Review of theories and research on health status and health care delivery issues in urban communities. Offered Irregularly.