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Sociology focuses on group behaviors, social institutions and public issues.

As presented at Stern College for Women, the discipline combines the scientific and humanistic perspectives in its investigation of urban and rural life, family patterns and relationships, religion, culture, intergroup relations, social class and prestige, criminology and deviance, mass media and communication and social problems.

Mission Statement

The Sociology Department at Stern College strives to provide students with rigorous and intellectually grounded understandings of the social and cultural world. At its core, the sociological mission is rooted in social and cultural (including anthropological) theory and the scientific method. Sociology majors and other students taking our courses are given opportunities to develop theoretical and analytical skills to evaluate and conduct social research and analysis. The Department is committed to using these tools to understand and address social problems and inequalities in global, institutional, cultural, and interpersonal social relations. Students are also encouraged to explore their own position in and relationship to society and culture. The Department is dedicated to building sociological knowledge and skills that are applicable to a broad range of settings including the public and private sectors, and especially, in the pursuit of advanced academic and professional degrees. Our hope is that graduates will be well equipped to be engaged citizens in an increasingly knowledge-intensive and diverse world.

Program Student Learning Goals

  1. Majors in sociology will be able to demonstrate conceptual and theoretical skills to sociological/anthropological topics and questions.
  2. Majors in sociology will be able to apply methodological skills to sociological/anthropological topics and questions.
  3. Majors in sociology will be able to critically analyze sociological/anthropological topics and questions.
  4. Majors in sociology will be able to communicate effectively sociological/anthropological topics and questions.

If you have any questions about sociology at Stern College, please contact Dr. Jill Katz at

Program Information

Please see the Schedule of Classes for the current semester’s offerings.

Sociology (SOCI)

  • 1001 Introduction to Sociology 3 credits
    Basic concepts, theories, methods, and findings of sociology; forms of social life: interaction, groups, organizations, and societies; socialization; inequality; social institutions.
  • 1116 Sociology of Deviance 3 credits
    Analysis of different theoretical perspectives in the study of deviance; theories of deviance; social sources of deviance; study of various types of deviant behavior and attributes; reduction of deviance; coping with deviance and the reintegration of the deviant into society.
    Prerequisite: SOCI 1001.
  • 1158 Criminology 3 credits
    The study of delinquent and criminal behavior; theories of criminality; extent and patterns of criminality; behavior systems in crime; an overview of societal response to crime, including the police, courts and prisons; prevention and treatment of crime.
    Prerequisite: SOCI 1001.
  • 1202 Social Institutions 3 credits
    The role and function of social institutions in the formation and maintenance of community and nationhood; historical background and contemporary ideological, technical, and ethical challenges. The political, economic, sociological, religious and communication structures of contemporary life.
    Prerequisite: SOCI 1001.
  • 1204 Cultural Anthropology 3 credits
    The study of people in relation to their geographic and socio-cultural environments. Cultural variations and adaptive strategies in a broad range of societies focusing on food- gathering, marriage and the family; kinship terminology; psychology; religion; recreation; and folklore. Emphasis on field research methods.
  • 1205 Introduction to Anthropology 3 credits
    Introduction to the reconstruction of human evolution through the study of fossils and other evidence; primate behavior and ecology in the field; the comparative study of human cultural and social variation and similarity; archaeology; anthropological linguistics. Insights promote useful social policies.
  • 1206 Introduction to Archaeology 3 credits
    An introduction to world prehistory, with an emphasis on the rise and fall of social and political complexity. Topics range from cave paintings and early farmers to the first civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, and Central and South America.
  • 1209 Sociology of Israeli Identities 3 credits
    Does the State of Israel unite or divide World Jewry? Does being Jewish unite or divide Israelis? Exploration of socio-historical forces, the diversity of immigrant and indigenous cultures, conflicting religions and ideologies within the geographical space we call Israel.
  • 1211 Archaeology of Israel 3 credits
    Through the lens of archaeology, this course probes the history of the Land of Israel from the earliest farmers to the end of the Roman/Byzantine era.
  • 1212 Archaeology of Israel Fieldwork 2-3 credits
    Academic and practical experience in the recovery and analysis of the material remains of an ancient culture. Dig and survey the site, wash and read pottery at the base camp, and learn about the archaeology of Israel and archaeological methodology.
  • 1215 Sociology of Religion 3 credits
    Study of the reciprocal relationship between religion and the rest of society; how people interact and organize themselves within religious settings; research methods and dilemmas raised in the scientific study of religion; religious diversity, change, and stability; the complexities involved in the sociological study of Jewry and the various Eastern and Western religious traditions; how religious rituals, tales, myths, and facts shape, endorse, and validate humanity’s responses to the world.
    Prerequisite: SOCI 1001.
  • 1232 Sociology of Health 3 credits
    Distribution of disease among and within populations; trends in medical practice; politicization of health care; contemporary social and ethical issues in health care: genetic engineering, right to die, living wills, and consumer movements in health care.
    Prerequisite: SOCI 1001.
  • 1233 Introduction to Public Health 3 credits
    This course provides an introduction to fundamental concepts in public health including epidemiology, psychological and sociocultural contexts of health, health promotion and health disparities, the U.S. healthcare system, public health interventions, and ethical issues in public health research and practice.
    Prerequisites: PSYC 1010, either experimental psychology or a science course with a lab, junior status or permission of instructor.
  • 1283 Sociology of Education 3 credits
    An exploration of the social organization of educational institutions, utilizing various sociological perspectives to offer views on equality/inequality, organization, curriculum, and achievement.
    Prerequisite: SOCI 1001.
  • 1311 Urban Sociology 3 credits
    Focuses on contemporary city life. Methods of studying the city, ranging from community studies to detailed observation of daily interaction; growth of the city, suburb, and metropolis; political and economic issues such as gentrification, race relations, and relationship among city, state, and federal government; critical evaluation of classical theorists; contemporary problems of the city.
    Prerequisite: SOCI 1001.
  • 1413 Social Stratification 3 credits
    The study of the distribution of power in society; classical systems of stratification; theories of social stratification; gender and age stratification; social stratification in the United States; measurement of stratification; stratification and social mobility; achieved versus ascribed status.
    Prerequisite: SOCI 1001.
  • 1436 Social Movements 3 credits
    Theoretical perspectives appropriate to the analysis of political, religious, and cultural movements; case studies of various social movements, as selected by the students.
    Prerequisite: SOCI 1001.
  • 1504 Methods of Social Research 3 credits
    Application of the scientific method to social data; definitions, concepts, and hypotheses; research design; techniques of collection and analysis of data.
    Prerequisite: SOCI 1001.
  • 1640 Sociological Theories 3 credits
    We begin with an examination of the foundational theories of three traditions within modern sociology, focusing on how these theories were devel¬oped in the writings of Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, and George Herbert Mead. This is followed by an examination of more recent theorists such as DuBois, Berger, Simmel, Marcuse, Habermas, and Dorothy Smith.
    Prerequisite: SOCI 1001.
  • 1730 The American Jewish Community 3 credits
    The effects Jews have had on American society and how American society has influenced Judaism; mechanisms used by Jews and other religious groups to thwart change or adapt to the host culture: membership in associations and organizations, political behavior and lobbies, links with Israel. Relationships between Jews and other societal groups.
    Prerequisite: SOCI 1001.
  • 1746 Ethnic Groups in the United States 3 credits
    Nature of ethnic and minority groups; acculturation and assimilation in the United States; relation of ethnic groups to the institutions of the dominant society; nature and causes of prejudice and discrimination.
    Prerequisite: SOCI 1001.
  • 1757 Race, Caste, and Ethnicity 3 credits
    Responsibilities and pitfalls of ascribed status; various approaches to understanding ethnocentrism; hosts, immigrants, and settlement; assimilation patterns; ethnic and racial myths; contributions to society by minorities; responses to subordination practices; consequences of prejudice and discrimination; attitude formation and change; multiculturalism; political correctness: sensitivity and oversensitivity.
    Prerequisite: SOCI 1001.
  • 1831 Self and Society 3 credits
    Analyzes how identity and the self are created through social, psychological, cultural, and historical processes. These include socialization over the life course and the performance of social roles such as child, student, spouse, consumer, worker, and senior citizen. Special emphasis on understanding the ways that gender, race and ethnicity, and class shape emotional life and the creation of a multilayered self.
    Prerequisite: SOCI 1001.
  • 1934 Sociology of Mass Media 3 credits
    Role of mass media in the formation of public opinion in areas ranging from elections to images of women, Jews, and other groups; analysis of content of TV programming and production, how media influence politics and public opinion; dynamics and role of the pollster; mass media and consumerism.
    Prerequisite: SOCI 1001.
  • 2210 The Family 3 credits
    Analysis of the family in historical context: popular myths of the family; changes in gender roles and family relationships; divorce rate and the family; the idealized family.
    Prerequisite: SOCI 1001.
  • 4901, 4902 Independent Study
    See Academic Information and Policies section.
  • 4925; 4926 Topics in Sociology 3 credits
    Varies by semester. May include such topics as Race, Class, and Gender.

Sociology Major

Thirty credits. SOCI 1001, 1504, 1640, and an additional 21 credits in SOCI courses. PSYC 3105 may count toward the major. STAT 1021 is highly recommended.

Sociology Minor

SOCI 1001, 1504, and an additional 9 credits in SOCI courses. PSYC 3105 may be counted.

For more details about the Sociology major and minor - see the factsheet at the Academic Advisement webpage.

The following list includes faculty who teach at the Beren (B) and/or Wilf (W) campus.

  • Eric Goldman
    Adjunct Professor of Sociology (B)

  • Orlee Hauser
    Clinical Associate Professor (B)

    Jill Katz
  • Clinical Associate Professor of Archaeology (B)
    Chair, Department of Sociology

    Sidney Langer
  • Adjunct Professor of Sociology (W)
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