Sociology and Anthropology Sociology and Anthropology Sociology and Anthropology Sociology and Anthropology Sociology and Anthropology

College of Arts & Sciences

Sociology and Anthropology

Questions?

Matthew Krystal

630-637-5309

Sociology and Anthropology

Why do Americans recognize only two genders or resist eating their pets? Why are the U. S. murder rates among the highest in the world? Has the institution of family weakened over time? Is education a path to upward mobility? Does race matter in the workplace? Can collective protest bring about social change?

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology invites you to explore these kinds of fascinating questions.

Sociology and Anthropology are closely related disciplines that seek to understand the social and cultural forces that influence human behavior. Sociologists are keenly interested in social relations and structures, especially the intersection of race/ethnicity, social class, gender, and sexual preference. Anthropologists place a greater emphasis on life in pre-industrialized nations, examining diverse cultures and systems of meaning, including what people say, do, make, think, and believe.

In our courses, we emphasize collaborative learning, original data collection, and real world problem-solving in settings, as nearby as Chicago, or as far away as Guatemala and Japan.

But what can you do with this understanding?

Our program emphasizes an active, intentional “public” sociology and anthropology -- where insights and wisdom can be shared with interest groups, volunteer organizations, community service agencies, and the general public to effect change. Our goal is to prepare students to become public intellectuals committed to a just social world achieved through meaningful careers in social work, urban planning, law enforcement, community relations, museum curatorship, research and teaching.

So, if you're intellectually curious, interested in promoting social justice and eager to embark on rewarding career, we encourage to explore what sociology and anthropology have to offer.

Anthropology, B.A.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Sociology and Anthropology.

Major Requirements:

39 credit hours, to include the following:

Core Foundational Courses:

  • SOA 165 - Introduction to Archaeology

    SOA 165 - Introduction to Archaeology

    3.00 credit hours

    Introduces concepts, principles and methods used to reconstruct cultural history and prehistory and to form generalizing theories about human society, social organization and social and cultural change over long periods of time. Explores sequences of cultural development learned through archaeological analysis and how such analysis flows from data and hypothesis testing. Assignments involve scientific examination of sets of archaeological data and how the particular case or site relates to larger theories about human society. Students will explore how archaeology contributes to a better understanding of contemporary social issues and their place in human society.

    Core

    Science.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 105 - Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

    SOA 105 - Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

    3.00 credit hours

    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.
    IAI

    S1 901N

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 205 - Introduction to Physical Anthropology

    SOA 205 - Introduction to Physical Anthropology

    3.00 credit hours

    Introduces anthropological concepts, principles and methods used in the scientific examination of human and non-human primate biodiversity across time and space. Explores theories regarding primate and human evolution, the origins of contemporary human biodiversity and the relationship between human biology and human culture. Examines how such theories flow from data and hypothesis testing. Through course readings, hands-on examination of hominid skeletal morphology and research assignments students will explore how physical anthropology contributes to a better understanding the human species and to more thoughtful consideration of contemporary ethical and social issues related to human biodiversity.

    Core

    Science.

    Schedule Of Classes

Method and Theory Sequence:

  • SOA 200 - Research Methods in Social Sciences: Quantitative

    SOA 200 - Research Methods in Social Sciences: Quantitative

    3.00 credit hours

    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.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 201 - Social Theory

    SOA 201 - Social Theory

    3.00 credit hours

    Introduction to the major theoretical perspectives and theories in classical and contemporary sociological thought, from the Enlightenment period to post-modernism.

    Prerequisite(s)


    One of SOA 100, SOA 105 or SOA 190.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 202 - Research Methods in Social Sciences: Qualitative

    SOA 202 - Research Methods in Social Sciences: Qualitative

    3.00 credit hours

    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.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 401 - Anthropological Theory

    SOA 401 - Anthropological Theory

    1.00 credit hours

    A reading and discussion course focused on primary texts written by leading anthropological theorists from the late 19th century to the present.

    Prerequisite(s)


    SOA 105, SOA 201 and Junior standing.

    Schedule Of Classes

Fieldwork/Internship:

At least two credit hours from the following:

  • SOA 295 - Research Practicum

    SOA 295 - Research Practicum

    0.50-3.00 credit hours

    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.

    Prerequisite(s)


    Instructor consent.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 385 - Chicago Field Study

    SOA 385 - Chicago Field Study

    3.00 credit hours

    A first hand study of city life in Chicago with a particular focus on Chicago's neighborhoods.

    Prerequisite(s)


    One of SOA 100, SOA 190 or instructor consent.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 497 - Internship *

    SOA 497 - Internship

    0.00-9.00 credit hours

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 499 - Independent Study *

    SOA 499 - Independent Study

    1.00-9.00 credit hours

    Schedule Of Classes

Topical and Area Courses:

  • SOA 155 - Native Americans

    SOA 155 - Native Americans

    3.00 credit hours

    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.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 240 - Applied Economic Anthropology

    SOA 240 - Applied Economic Anthropology

    3.00 credit hours

    Exploration of the application of anthropological data, methods and approaches to contemporary economic problems and challenges. Topics include poverty and marginalization, economic development, retail anthropology, anthropology in governmental and nongovernmental agencies, anthropology and entrepreneurship, anthropology in the private sector.

    Prerequisite(s)


    SOA 105.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 345 - Religion, Ritual and Symbol

    SOA 345 - Religion, Ritual and Symbol

    3.00 credit hours

    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.

    Prerequisite(s)


    Course work in religion or SOA 105.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 363 - Mayas, Aztecs and Their Neighbors

    SOA 363 - Mayas, Aztecs and Their Neighbors

    3.00 credit hours

    Continuity and change, diversity and commonality among the indigenous peoples of Mexico, Guatemala and northern Central America from first human occupation to the present. Emphases on indigenous politics and transnational flows of people, culture and material.

    Prerequisite(s)


    One of SOA 105, SOA 155 or three CORE Social Science courses.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 421 - Indigenous Peoples and the State

    SOA 421 - Indigenous Peoples and the State

    3.00 credit hours

    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.

    Prerequisite(s)


    SOA 105 and Junior standing; or instructor consent.

    Schedule Of Classes

Interdisciplinary Elective:

Three credit hours from the following:

  • ECN 100 - Economics of Social Issues

    ECN 100 - Economics of Social Issues

    3.00 credit hours

    This course surveys the basic principles of economic theory with a special emphasis on applications of economics to practical problems. Use of supply and demand analysis enables the student to better understand how the market system works. Included among other issues to be covered are inflation, unemployment, pollution, health care, international trade and income distribution. This course may not be taken after completing either ECN 250 or ECN 252.

    Core

    Social Science.
    IAI

    S3 900

    Schedule Of Classes

  • ENV 120 - People and Nature

    ENV 120 - People and Nature

    3.00 credit hours

    An introduction to the interdisciplinary field of Environmental Studies from a humanities perspective. Students read some of the most important books by American authors about the complicated and changing relationships between people and the rest of nature. These classic environmental texts offer insights into perceptions and uses of nature. This course aims to help students interpret arguments about environmental issues and understand their social, historical and political context.

    Core

    Humanities.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • GWS 100 - Introduction to Sex, Gender and Sexuality

    GWS 100 - Introduction to Sex, Gender and Sexuality

    3.00 credit hours

    "Gender" as practice, performance and representation has differed for women and men according to race, class and other divisions throughout time. This interdisciplinary course places critical focus on "gender," or the cultural invention and representation of femininity and masculinity. Lectures and discussions examine areas such as: appearance, health, relationships, birth control and pornography; access to political institutions and power; gender in the workplace; sexuality and sexual orientation; gender representation in popular culture; the impact of women's perspectives on research, knowledge, history and other cultural institutions; feminism and cultural politics.

    Core

    Humanities or Social Science.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PSC 102 - Introduction to International Relations

    PSC 102 - Introduction to International Relations

    3.00 credit hours

    Trends in international relations from both a theoretical and practical perspective through the examination of power, diplomacy, morality, international law and organization.

    Core

    Social Science.
    IAI

    S5 904N

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PSY 100 - Psychology: Science of Behavior

    PSY 100 - Psychology: Science of Behavior

    3.00 credit hours

    An examination of the basic concepts, processes, theories and empirical findings concerning the behavior of organisms. Consideration is given to the following topics: physiological and developmental basis of behavior, sensory and perceptual processes, states of consciousness, learning and memory and motivation and emotion, as well as personality, intellectual functioning, psychopathology and social influences on behavior.

    Core

    Social Science.
    IAI

    S6 900

    Schedule Of Classes

Anthropology Minor

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Sociology and Anthropology.

18 credit hours, including:

  • SOA 105 - Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

    SOA 105 - Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

    3.00 credit hours

    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.
    IAI

    S1 901N

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 155 - Native Americans

    SOA 155 - Native Americans

    3.00 credit hours

    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.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 165 - Introduction to Archaeology -or-

    SOA 165 - Introduction to Archaeology

    3.00 credit hours

    Introduces concepts, principles and methods used to reconstruct cultural history and prehistory and to form generalizing theories about human society, social organization and social and cultural change over long periods of time. Explores sequences of cultural development learned through archaeological analysis and how such analysis flows from data and hypothesis testing. Assignments involve scientific examination of sets of archaeological data and how the particular case or site relates to larger theories about human society. Students will explore how archaeology contributes to a better understanding of contemporary social issues and their place in human society.

    Core

    Science.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 205 - Introduction to Physical Anthropology

    SOA 205 - Introduction to Physical Anthropology

    3.00 credit hours

    Introduces anthropological concepts, principles and methods used in the scientific examination of human and non-human primate biodiversity across time and space. Explores theories regarding primate and human evolution, the origins of contemporary human biodiversity and the relationship between human biology and human culture. Examines how such theories flow from data and hypothesis testing. Through course readings, hands-on examination of hominid skeletal morphology and research assignments students will explore how physical anthropology contributes to a better understanding the human species and to more thoughtful consideration of contemporary ethical and social issues related to human biodiversity.

    Core

    Science.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 202 - Research Methods in Social Sciences: Qualitative

    SOA 202 - Research Methods in Social Sciences: Qualitative

    3.00 credit hours

    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.

    Schedule Of Classes

Six additional credit hours selected from:

  • SOA 345 - Religion, Ritual and Symbol

    SOA 345 - Religion, Ritual and Symbol

    3.00 credit hours

    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.

    Prerequisite(s)


    Course work in religion or SOA 105.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 363 - Mayas, Aztecs and Their Neighbors

    SOA 363 - Mayas, Aztecs and Their Neighbors

    3.00 credit hours

    Continuity and change, diversity and commonality among the indigenous peoples of Mexico, Guatemala and northern Central America from first human occupation to the present. Emphases on indigenous politics and transnational flows of people, culture and material.

    Prerequisite(s)


    One of SOA 105, SOA 155 or three CORE Social Science courses.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 421 - Indigenous Peoples and the State

    SOA 421 - Indigenous Peoples and the State

    3.00 credit hours

    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.

    Prerequisite(s)


    SOA 105 and Junior standing; or instructor consent.

    Schedule Of Classes

Sociology, B.A.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Sociology and Anthropology.

Major Requirements:

33 credit hours to include courses that together examine the central themes, methods, theories and career opportunities in the discipline.

Core Courses:

  • SOA 100 - Introduction to Sociology

    SOA 100 - Introduction to Sociology

    3.00 credit hours

    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.
    IAI

    S7 900

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 190 - Urban Problems

    SOA 190 - Urban Problems

    3.00 credit hours

    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.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 200 - Research Methods in Social Sciences: Quantitative

    SOA 200 - Research Methods in Social Sciences: Quantitative

    3.00 credit hours

    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.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 201 - Social Theory

    SOA 201 - Social Theory

    3.00 credit hours

    Introduction to the major theoretical perspectives and theories in classical and contemporary sociological thought, from the Enlightenment period to post-modernism.

    Prerequisite(s)


    One of SOA 100, SOA 105 or SOA 190.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 202 - Research Methods in Social Sciences: Qualitative

    SOA 202 - Research Methods in Social Sciences: Qualitative

    3.00 credit hours

    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.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 496 - Life Chances and Life Choices

    SOA 496 - Life Chances and Life Choices

    3.00 credit hours

    This is a capstone course for sociology majors.  It asks students to apply their acquired sociological wisdom (methods, theory, culture, structure) in an attempt to promote a more informed, involved, principled and productive life.  It will focus upon the life chances and life choices involving formal education, work and occupations, marriage and family and retirement.

    Prerequisite(s)


    Senior standing and Sociology major.

    Schedule Of Classes

Core - Professional Experience:

Three credit hours from the following courses:

Institutions:

Three credit hours from the following courses:

  • SOA 204 - Schools and Society

    SOA 204 - Schools and Society

    3.00 credit hours

    Examines the education system through the sociological lens and provides an introduction to current issues in the sociology of education. Looks at the practices and outcomes of schooling and the structural environment in which schools are situated. Considers the relationship between organizational practices and individual experiences. Examines cross-cultural variation in educational systems as well as sociological perspectives on contemporary school reform.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 220 - Families and Intimate Relationships

    SOA 220 - Families and Intimate Relationships

    3.00 credit hours

    The sociological study of the family and other intimate relationships. Topics examined from a sociological and feminist perspective include the history of the family, the relationship between work and family, the changing definition of the family and the impact of class, race and gender on the family structure.

    Core

    Social Science.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 255 - The Criminal Justice System

    SOA 255 - The Criminal Justice System

    3.00 credit hours

    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.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 261 - Sociology of Religion

    SOA 261 - Sociology of Religion

    3.00 credit hours

    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.

    Prerequisite(s)


    SOA 100 or course work in religious studies.

    Schedule Of Classes

Inequalities:

Three credit hours from the following courses:

  • SOA 315 - Sociology of Gender and Sexualities

    SOA 315 - Sociology of Gender and Sexualities

    3.00 credit hours

    The study of gender as a social product, including theoretical frameworks, gender-defining institutions and feminism.

    Prerequisite(s)


    SOA 100 or SOA 190.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 330 - Racial and Ethnic Minorities

    SOA 330 - Racial and Ethnic Minorities

    3.00 credit hours

    An examination of racial and ethnic diversity in American society, with a focus upon racial and ethnic inequality; prejudice, discrimination and institutional racism; patterns of race and ethnic relations; racial and ethnic responses to racism and subordination.

    Prerequisite(s)


    SOA 100 or SOA 190.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 380 - Social Class in American Society

    SOA 380 - Social Class in American Society

    3.00 credit hours

    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.

    Prerequisite(s)


    Junior standing; SOA 100 or SOA 190; or instructor consent.

    Schedule Of Classes

Topical Courses:

Six credit hours of Sociology course work at the 300-level or above

Sociology Minor

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Sociology and Anthropology.

18 credit hours including:

  • SOA 100 - Introduction to Sociology

    SOA 100 - Introduction to Sociology

    3.00 credit hours

    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.
    IAI

    S7 900

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 200 - Research Methods in Social Sciences: Quantitative -or-

    SOA 200 - Research Methods in Social Sciences: Quantitative

    3.00 credit hours

    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.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 202 - Research Methods in Social Sciences: Qualitative

    SOA 202 - Research Methods in Social Sciences: Qualitative

    3.00 credit hours

    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.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOA 201 - Social Theory

    SOA 201 - Social Theory

    3.00 credit hours

    Introduction to the major theoretical perspectives and theories in classical and contemporary sociological thought, from the Enlightenment period to post-modernism.

    Prerequisite(s)


    One of SOA 100, SOA 105 or SOA 190.

    Schedule Of Classes

    • Nine additional credit hours of sociology elective of which at least three credit hours must be at the 300-level or above.

"What the United States does best is to understand itself. What it does worst is understand others." 
Carlos Fuentes

One of the primary purposes of our anthropology program is to equip you to better understand the world beyond the shores and borders of the United States. But being knowledgeable about other peoples is only part of the goal. Departing from Fuentes, we believe that being familiar with human life in other villages makes us more capable of understanding ourselves and where we're from. Accordingly, anthropologists study virtually everything human.

If people say it, do it, make it, think it, believe it, we find it interesting. We don’t limit ourselves to the present. We believe that human history, pre-history, and even the lifeways and evolution of our primate ancestors tell us important things about ourselves. We use every method available, from digging up the things folks used in the past, to surveys of large numbers of people, to informal socializing within a small community.

So come join us on journeys of social and cultural exploration. Along the way you’ll enhance your critical thinking, reading, writing, and skills. As a graduate you’ll have the tools and knowledge necessary to meet the challenges of working within any human organization.

There are three ways to study anthropology at North Central College, as a major, as a minor or as a combined sociology and anthropology major.

Anthropology Major (30 credit hours)
As a major, you'll take 12 credit hours of core (required) courses. Additionally you will have courses in general anthropological theory. Rounding out your program of studies, courses offered by professors from a wide range of disciplines allow you to consider particular peoples, belief systems, nation-states and regions in detail.

  • Core Courses (12 credit hours): SOA 105 Intro to Cultural Anthropology, SOA 155 Native Americans, SOA 202 Qualitative Research Methods, SOA 399 Independent Study in Theory
  • Sub-disciplinary Courses: Take six hours from SOA 165 Introduction to Archaeology, SOA 205 Introduction to Physical Anthropology, ENG 370 Language and Linguistics
  • Interdisciplinary Course: Take three hours from SOA 345 Religion, Ritual & Symbol, SOA 363 Mexico and its Neighbors, SOA 421 Indigenous Peoples & the State, SOA 310 Cultural Psychology
  • Cultural Area Courses: Select at least one course from three different culture areas (Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East)

Anthropology Minor (18 credit hours)

SOA 105, 155, 165 or 205, 202, and six additional credit hours of anthropology electives of which at least three must be at the 300-level or above.

The minor emphasizes core courses and general anthropological theory. You will find the anthropology minor an excellent complement to any major. Courses in your major field of study become fuller and more interesting as you take them with a uniquely anthropological perspective.

Anthropology and Sociology Major (27 credit hours)

SOA 100 Intro to Sociology, SOA 105 Intro to Cultural Anthropology, SOA 155 Native Americans, SOA 165 Intro to Archaeology--or--SOA 205 Intro to Physical Anthropology, SOA 190 Urban Problems, SOA 200 Quantitative Research Methods, SOA 202 Qualitative Research Methods, SOA 201 Social Theory, SOA 345 Religion Ritual and Symbol

Anthropology and sociology students learn a great deal about the social organization and culture of both Western and non Western societies. Choosing the sociology and anthropology major will equip you to better understand your own society and the lives people live around the world.

For more detailed information, consult our catalog.

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 and to form generalizing theories about human society, social organization and social and cultural change over long periods of time. Explores sequences of cultural development learned through archaeological analysis and how such analysis flows from data and hypothesis testing. Assignments involve scientific examination of sets of archaeological data and how the particular case or site relates to larger theories about human society. Students will explore how archaeology contributes to a better understanding of contemporary social issues and their place in human society. Core: Science.

SOA 170 Cultural Regions of the World (3.00)

Major world regions and geographical organization of their physical environment, with an emphasis on maps to solve spatial problems. Stresses how cultures and individuals interact with the environment to determine resource and land use. Examines the effect of human settlement and migration on ecosystems. Same As: HST 170. Core: Humanities or 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.

SOA 201 Social Theory (3.00)

Introduction to the major theoretical perspectives and theories in classical and contemporary sociological thought, from the Enlightenment period to post-modernism.

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 204 Schools and Society (3.00)

Examines the education system through the sociological lens and provides an introduction to current issues in the sociology of education. Looks at the practices and outcomes of schooling and the structural environment in which schools are situated. Considers the relationship between organizational practices and individual experiences. Examines cross-cultural variation in educational systems as well as sociological perspectives on contemporary school reform.

SOA 205 Introduction to Physical Anthropology (3.00)

Introduces anthropological concepts, principles and methods used in the scientific examination of human and non-human primate biodiversity across time and space. Explores theories regarding primate and human evolution, the origins of contemporary human biodiversity and the relationship between human biology and human culture. Examines how such theories flow from data and hypothesis testing. Through course readings, hands-on examination of hominid skeletal morphology and research assignments students will explore how physical anthropology contributes to a better understanding the human species and to more thoughtful consideration of contemporary ethical and social issues related to human biodiversity. Core: Science.

SOA 220 Family and Intimate Relationships (3.00)

The sociological study of the family and other intimate relationships. Topics examined from a sociological and feminist perspective include the history of the family, the relationship between work and family, the changing definition of the family and the impact of class, race and gender on the family structure. Same as: GWS 220. Core: Social Science.

SOA 230 Professional Experiences in Sociology (3.00)

This course challenges students 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. Students will begin thinking about transitioning out of their student identity and will discuss the logistics of the job market, including developing resumes and cover letters.

SOA 240 Applied Economic Anthropology (3.00)

Exploration of the application of anthropological data, methods and approaches to contemporary economic problems and challenges. Topics include poverty and marginalization, economic development, retail anthropology, anthropology in governmental and nongovernmental agencies, anthropology and entrepreneurship, anthropology in the private sector.

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 255 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.

SOA 261 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 261.

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. ACR: Intercultural.

SOA 315 Sociology of Gender and Sexualities (3.00)

The study of gender as a social product, including theoretical frameworks, gender-defining institutions and feminism. Same as: GWS 315.

SOA 320 Punishment (3.00)

This course examines how criminal punishment has evolved over time. It reviews the various justifications for punishment-including deterrence, retribution, rehabilitation, incapacitation and restoration-and examines how these affect punishment in practice. It considers the social, political and economic functions that punishment serves. It explores why incarceration has substantially increased in the the United States and considers future trends in criminal punishment.

SOA 330 Racial and Ethnic Minorities (3.00)

An examination of racial and ethnic diversity in American society, with a focus upon racial and ethnic inequality; prejudice, discrimination and institutional racism; patterns of race and ethnic relations; racial and ethnic responses to racism and subordination.

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. 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.

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: KIN 360. ACR: Intercultural.

SOA 363 Mayas, Aztecs and Their Neighbors (3.00)

Continuity and change, diversity and commonality among the indigenous peoples of Mexico, Guatemala and northern Central America from first human occupation to the present. Emphases on indigenous politics and transnational flows of people, culture and material. ACR: Intercultural.

SOA 375 Protest and Change (3.00)

A sociological 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. ACR: Leadership, Ethics, & Values.

SOA 385 Chicago Field Study and Practicum (3.00)

A first hand study of city life in Chicago with a particular focus on Chicago's neighborhoods.

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 401 Anthropological Theory (1.00)

A reading and discussion course focused on primary texts written by leading anthropological theorists from the late 19th century to the present.

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. ACR: Intercultural.

SOA 496 Life Chances and Life Choices (3.00)

This is a capstone course for sociology majors. It asks students to apply their acquired sociological wisdom (methods, theory, culture, structure) in an attempt to promote a more informed, involved, principled and productive life. It will focus upon the life chances and life choices involving formal education, work and occupations, marriage and family and retirement. Life Chances and Life Choices Eligibility

SOA 497 Internship (0.00-9.00)

Instructor consent required.

SOA 499 Independent Study (1.00-9.00)

Instructor consent required.

Sociology was born out of an attempt to understand social inequality in society. And for most sociologists, the goal is not simply to understand such inequality but to work at changing social and cultural worlds so as to create more socially just societies. Sociology faculty at North Central College are committed to this vision of a just social world. We have created a liberal arts curriculum that emphasis critique and renewal, on the one hand, and socially conscious and responsible career paths, on the other.

Sociology Major

Sociology Major Core Courses (18 credit hours): SOA 100 Intro to Sociology, SOA 190 Urban Problems, SOA 200 Quantitative Research Methods, SOA 201 Social Theory, SOA 202 Qualitative Research Methods, SOA 498 Public Sociology

Majors then choose one of the following tracks based on their intellectual curiosity social justice orientation and professional career goals.

Criminal Justice Track (18 credit hours)

SOA 250 Criminology, SOA 280 Race/Ethnicity--or--SOA 380 Social Class in American Society, SOA 300 Organized Crime, SOA 350 Juvenile Delinquency, SOA 490 Criminal Justice, & one course from the following: LEV 230 Conflict Resolution, PSY 280 Drugs and Behavior, PSC 336 Civil Rights, Liberties, and Justice

This sequence of courses will challenge you to think critically about the causes of and the responses to crime in society. You will be presented with the most current thinking and research about these issues and be able to speak with a variety of professionals in the criminal justice field - from FBI agents, to street gang police officers, to organized crime researches.

Community Studies Track (18 credit hours)

SOA 203 Community Studies, SOA 280 Race/Ethnicity, SOA 375 Protest and Change, SOA 380 Social Class in American Society, SOA 494 Chicago Field Study, and one of the following: HST 210 City Life, HST 325 American Cities and Suburbs, PSC 345 Economic and Social Justice, PSY 330 Community Psychology, ENG 350 Writing for Social Change

The Community Studies Track is ideal for students who have interests in urban affairs, social service, and or in advocating for and learning from those groups who are in disadvantaged positions. It incorporates courses from a a variety of disciplines what will heighten your awareness of social problems and equip you with the tools to bring about social change.

General Concentration (12 credit hours)

At lest 12 credit hours within SOA, of which 6 credit hours must be at the 300-level or above.

This track is for students who prefer a more general sociological training and understanding. We encourage this track if you are interested in exploration and learning about the range of topics that interest, confront and befuddle sociologists.

Sociology Minor (18 credit hours)

SOA 100, 200 or 202, 201, and nine additional credit hours of sociology elective of which at least three must be at the 300-level or above.

Whether you're pursuing a career as a doctor, therapist, educator, journalist, politician or the like, a minor in sociology is an ideal paring. It will help you develop a "sociological imagination," which is the ability to see the impact of broader social forces on private lives.

For more detailed information, consult our catalog.

Matthew Krystal

Associate Professor of Anthropology
SOA
630-637-5309
Jennifer Keys

Assistant Provost for Teaching & Learning; Director, Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence
SOA
5313
Louis Corsino

Professor of Sociology; Ruge Fellow; Coordinator of Urban and Suburban Studies
SOA
630-637-5312
Kristin Geraty

Associate Professor of Sociology; Director of College Honors Program
SOA
630-637-5315
Marisa Fontana

Half-Time Assistant Professor of Sociology
SOA
630-637-5343

Studying sociology or anthropology presents a wide array of present and future opportunities. Follow the links below to learn more.

Original Research Opportunities

In addition to applying knowledge gained in the classroom, you can contribute to ongoing research projects in sociology and anthropology.

Richter Independent Fellowship Grants
Design your own research project and get it funded through The Richter Independent Study Fellowship Program. North Central sociology and anthropology students have won Richter grants:

  • to conduct independent field research among the Northern Paiute (Native Americans) of Pyramid Lake, Nevada
  • for a field study of ethnic entrepreneurship in Brazil
  • to travel to Ghana, West Africa and explore the impact of globalization on Ghanaian music
  • to produce a video profile of gentrification in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago
  • to conduct first-hand research on the life of "street children" in South Africa 
  • to examine the role of non-government organizations and their impact on sustainable economic development in Haiti
  • to conduct a comparative study of cultural contact on Chicago's Devon Avenue and London's Brick Lane
  • to examine the perceptions of Iranian women in London toward war, peace, and the United States

Chicago Term
Take your classes in the loop with faculty expert in Chicago history and sociology. Conduct your own urban studies research.

Urban and Suburban Studies
Consider Chicagoland your learning laboratory. Take up urban studies or urban anthropology.

Rall Symposium on Undergraduate Research
Present your research to fellow students, faculty and distinguished guest scholars. A fantastic (and rare) forum for undergraduate students to participate in serious scholarly research. 

Study Abroad
North Central offers opportunities to study in Costa Rica, London and China/Japan, among many others. Anthropology majors have recently made the Costa Rica program a central part of their studies.

Field Schools in Archaeology
Click here to learn about opportunities to participate in archaeological  research around the world.

Field Schools in Anthropology
Click here for opportunities to learn about human societies around the world by going into 'the field.'

Graduate School & Careers

The Next Steps:

After completing your degree, you’ll be ready to find interesting and challenging work, go on to graduate or professional school or apply your skills and knowledge to real world problems.

Jobs
Despite what you may have heard, sociologists and anthropologists are highly employable! Check out some the places where recent sociology and anthropology majors have landed jobs:

Still wondering about a careers for majors in sociology or anthropology? Just take a look at some of these resources:

Graduate School
Students recently completing a North Central sociology or anthropology program of study have gone on to some of the most prestigious graduate schools in the country.

Service
Whether addressing economic development overseas or social problems in your own backyard, training in the social sciences prepares you to make a difference.


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