North Central College - Naperville, IL

Sociology & Anthropology Courses

NOTE: This page contains all of the regular course descriptions for this discipline or program. Academic credit for each course is noted in parenthesis after the course title. Prerequisites (if any) and the general education requirements, both Core and All-College Requirements (ACRs), which each course fulfills (if any) are noted following each course description. Not all courses are offered every year. Check Merlin, our searchable course schedule, to see which courses are being offered in upcoming terms.

SOA 100 Introduction to Sociology (3.00)
An introduction to the basic concepts, theories, and methods of the study of human groups. Includes an examination of deviance, class, race and gender inequality, and social institutions from the sociological perspective. Core: Social Science.

SOA 105 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (3.00)
An examination of the diversity of human cultures. Human adaptations to various environments. Kinship, religion, political, and economic institutions in non-Western societies. Core: Social Science.

SOA 155 Native Americans (3.00)
Continuity and change, diversity and commonality among the indigenous peoples of the United States and Canada. Concentration on native nations of the upper Midwest. Special emphasis on ecological and spiritual relationships with the land. Core: Social Science.

SOA 165 Introduction to Archaeology (3.00)
Introduces concepts, principles, and methods used to reconstruct cultural history and prehistory. Explores sequences of cultural development learned through archaeological analysis. Case studies by instructor. Core: Social Science.

SOA 185 Peoples and Cultures of Africa (3.00)
An introductory survey of the cultural diversity and complexity of sub-Saharan Africa. Attention is given to the long period of independent development of traditional societies, the forms and extent of European domination, and the post-1945 struggles to regain independence and create new cultural identities. Same as: HST 185. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

SOA 190 Urban Problems (3.00)
An introduction to urban life from a sociological perspective. Examines issues of urban culture, racism, poverty, power, and community from both analytic and practical perspectives. Major goal of the course is to engage in an enlightened debate on the nature of urban life. Core: Social Science.

SOA 200 Research Methods in Social Sciences: Quantitative (3.00)
An assessment of the strengths and limitations of various modes of quantitative data collection including experiments, questionnaires, content analysis, and the use of secondary data. Emphasis is placed on ethical issues, becoming a critical consumer of research, and developing the ability to design and carry out an independent study. Same as: HTB 200. Prerequisite: Course in ECN, PSC, PSY or SOA.

SOA 201 Social Theory (3.00)
Introduction to the three major theoretical perspectives of sociology (conflict theory, functionalism, and microinteractionism) as those relate to issues of order and disorder in society.

SOA 202 Research Methods in Social Sciences: Qualitative (3.00)
An overview of qualitative methods, including in-depth interviewing, oral history, focus groups, and participant observation. Addresses practical issues, such as question development, negotiating access, maintaining rapport, sampling strategies, note taking, and analysis. Delves more deeply into ethical issues and the back stages of the research process.

SOA 203 Community Studies (3.00)
An examination of the challenges and opportunities confronting communities in contemporary society, with a focus upon issues of social justice, social change, and community service. The course serves both as an introduction to urban and community life and to meaningful careers in public life, social services, and community organizing.

SOA 205 Introduction to Physical Anthropology (3.00)
The evidence for human evolution. Humankind as a member of the primate order. The origin and present status of human races. Controversies surrounding the biological bases of intelligence and social behavior. Laboratory work included. Core: Science or Social Science.

SOA 210 Gender Studies (3.00)
The study of gender as a social product, including theoretical frameworks, gender-defining institutions, and feminism. Same as: GWS 210.

SOA 220 Family (3.00)
The sociological study of the family. Topics examined from a structuralist/feminist perspective include the history of the family, the relationship between work and family, and the impacts of class and race on family structure. Same as: GWS 220. Core: Social Science.

SOA 250 Criminology (3.00)
A survey of historical and contemporary theories of crime, an analysis of the nature and extent of major types of crime, an overview of the American criminal justice system.

SOA 280 Racial and Ethnic Minorities (3.00)
An examination of racial and ethnic diversity in American society; race, ethnic, and class inequality; prejudice, discrimination, and institutional racism; patterns of race and ethnic relations; racial and ethnic responses to racism and subordination. Core: Social Science.

SOA 295 Research Practicum (0.50-3.00)
Students work in collaboration with faculty on ongoing research. Activities vary according to project needs and student background, but may include recruitment of participants, data collection, data coding and entry, bibliography construction, literature review, or statistical analysis. This course is graded pass/no pass. Can be taken more than once for up to three total credit hours. Instructor consent required.

SOA 297 Internship (0.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

SOA 299 Independent Study (1.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

SOA 300 Organized Crime (3.00)
An examination of organized crime in contemporary society. The course reviews relevant models and explanations of organized crime, the various goods and services provided by organized crime groups (from gambling, to loan sharking, to labor racketeering, to drug trafficking), the emergence of criminal groups in a comparative perspective, and law enforcement responses aimed at social control.

SOA 310 Cultural Psychology (3.00)
The course considers what we mean by culture, and how taking culture into account affects our knowledge of basic psychology in areas like human development, the self-concept, gender expectations, as well as our understanding of mental illness. The courses focuses on both psychological and anthropological approaches to studying culture and the pros and cons of different approaches. Same as: PSY 310. Prerequisites: Junior standing; PSY 100; SOA 105 or one 200 level PSY, excluding PSY 250. ACR: Intercultural.

SOA 340 Sociology of Religion (3.00)
A study of interplay between religion and society. Attention given to religion as a system of ideas and ritual patterns as well as a social institution. Same as: REL 340. Prerequisite: SOA 100 or REL course.

SOA 345 Religion, Ritual, and Symbol (3.00)
A cross-cultural examination of religious beliefs and religious institutions, and the symbolic meanings and social functions of myths and rituals. Special emphasis on the beliefs and practices of selected indigenous peoples. Same as: REL 345. Prerequisite: SOA 105 or REL course. ACR: Intercultural.

SOA 350 Delinquency (3.00)
Historical development of the juvenile justice system and the invention of delinquency. An overview of the contemporary juvenile court and justice system. An examination of the nature and extent of delinquency in American society and a survey of theories of the causes of delinquent behavior. Prerequisite: SOA 100 or SOA 250.

SOA 360 Sport in Society (3.00)
An historical study of sport across time and cultures. A comparative analysis of sport and its uses in ancient, medieval, and modern societies is undertaken. Work-leisure patterns that developed over the course of American history are examined. Primary consideration of the urban, industrial, and commercial processes that contributed to culture formation, with particular emphases on class and gender relations, commercialized leisure practices, and the impact of the mass media in the formation of value systems. Discussion of theories relative to the role of sport in society, with particular emphasis on globalization, colonialism, and cultural hegonomy in the Caribbean, Pacific Rim, and Asia. Same as: HPE 360. ACR: Intercultural.

SOA 363 Mexico and its Neighbors (3.00)
Continuity and change, diversity and commonality among the indigenous peoples of Mexico, Guatemala, and the Southwestern U.S. from first human occupation to the present. Emphases on indigenous politics and transnational flows of people, culture, and material. Prerequisite: Course in HST, PSC, or SOA. ACR: Intercultural.

SOA 375 Protest and Change (3.00)
A socilogical study of discontent and social change. Highlights the origins, concerns, life cycle, and impact of social movements, as well as the tactics activists use and the challenges they face. Selected case studies may include civil rights, feminism, animal welfare, and the abortion debate.

SOA 380 Social Class in American Society (3.00)
An analysis of social class in American Society. Examines a variety of social class-related issues, including prestige systems, social mobility, poverty, world systems, structured inequality, and community organizing. Special emphasis placed upon inequality in terms of the values of social justice and attempts to bring about social changes through different forms of leadership and community organizing. Prerequisites: SOA 100 or SOA 190; Junior standing. ACR: Leadership, Ethics, & Values.

SOA 390 Topics in Sociology (3.00)
An in-depth consideration of current topics in sociology, such as social deviance, work and society, violence, and social disaster.

SOA 397 Internship (0.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

SOA 399 Independent Study (1.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

SOA 421 Indigenous Peoples and the State (3.00)
The multi-dimensional study of the clash of cultural values, attitudes, and ideologies that commonly occurs in global encounters and relationships between state systems and native peoples. Economic, socio-political, and ideological issues are among the topics covered. Prerequisites: Junior standing; SOA 105 or instructor consent. ACR: Intercultural.

SOA 490 Criminal Justice in America (3.00)
An examination of the theoretical and practical responses to crime in American society. Selected topics include criminal behavior, law, policing, the judiciary, corrections, and juvenile justice. Prerequisite: SOA 250.

SOA 494 Chicago Field Study and Practicum (3.00)
A first hand study of city life in Chicago. Prerequisite: SOA 100 or SOA 190.

SOA 497 Internship (0.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

SOA 498 Public Sociology (3.00)
This capstone experience challenges SOA majors to synthesize and assess what they have learned in the program and to reflect on how sociological skills and insights can be applied to their own lives, future careers, and to the broader community. Students actively engage with issues of public importance and consider ways to facilitate positive community change and to make sociological knowledge accessible to policy makers, community leaders, and popular audiences. Prerequisites: SOC major, Junior standing.

SOA 499 Independent Study (1.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.