Prepare to promote social justice in careers such as social work, criminal justice and community activism.

College of Arts & Sciences

Department of Sociology & Anthropology

Sociology

Questions?

Undergraduate Admission

(630) 637-5800

admissions@noctrl.edu

Why pursue a sociology degree at North Central College?

As a sociology student you will develop a set of perspectives and tools that can lead to a fulfilling and productive career and a life informed by an understanding of social change and social justice. Along the way, the core ideas of discipline, as well as professors and fellow students, will present intellectual challenges, inconvenient truths, and intriguing ideas- all with the intent of promoting your own developement and growth as an engaged citizen in the contemporary world.

You can also:

  • Choose a concentration in criminal justice, community studies or general sociology.
  • Learn more about the community through Community Engaged Learning projects and volunteer opportunities with organizations like WorldRelief, Circle K and North Central’s Cardinals in Action.
  • Apply for a Richter Grant to fund your research anywhere in the world.
  • Pair your interest in sociology with anthropology and complete a single combined major in sociology and anthropology.
  • Join the Alpha Kappa Delta sociology honor society.

More Department information

Sociology, B.A.

Sociology is the study of social interactions among individuals and social groups. It developed as an intellectual and moral response to the problems and possibilities brought about by the democratic and industrial revolutions of the past and the on-going challenges of promoting a just, fair and meaningful life in the present era. As a sociology student, you will develop a set of perspectives and tools that can lead to a fulfilling and productive career and a life informed by an understanding of social change and social justice. Along the way, the core ideas of the discipline, as well as professors and fellow students, will present intellectual challenges, inconvenient truths and intriguing ideas—all with the intent of promoting your own development and growth as an engaged citizen in the contemporary world. 

Sociology opens up many engaging career pathways and offers valuable preparation for positions in many different types of organizational settings such as educational institutions, not-for-profit organizations, private corporations and government agencies. With a bachelor's degree in sociology, graduates are positioned to obtain and excel in occupations as urban planners, social service providers, public health workers, community liaisons, journalists, educators, admissions counselors, public relations professionals, juvenile counselors and police officers. For those students who are considering an advanced degree, sociology facilitates entry into professional programs in law, social work, public policy, theology, administration (e.g. public, business, fine arts), as well as master's and doctoral programs in sociology.

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

Major Requirements

Core Courses

  • SOCI 100 - Life Chances and Choices: Introduction to Sociology

    SOCI 100 - Life Chances and Choices: Introduction to Sociology

    4.00 credit hours

    Gateway to the social science of human interaction and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Development of a sociological imagination to grapple with diverse and fascinating societal issues ranging from deviance to structured inequalities. Special focus on the life chances and life choices in emerging adulthood in areas of relationships, education, and work.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, US Power Structure.
    iCon(s)
    Challenge Inequity.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOCI 200 - Social Inquiry I: Quantitative

    SOCI 200 - Social Inquiry I: Quantitative

    4.00 credit hours

    An assessment of the strengths and limitations of various modes of quantitative data collection including experiments, surveys, content analysis and the use of secondary data. Sustained focus on applying the methods and techniques learned to actual social science 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.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Quantitative Analysis.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOCI 300 - Social Inquiry II: Qualitative

    SOCI 300 - Social Inquiry II: Qualitative

    4.00 credit hours

    Social researches and detectives have much in common. Both are concerned with human behavior and both investigate the world to gather evidence that produces valid and meaningful conclusions. This class provides students the opportunity to learn, practice and develop their research skills though the investigation of social worlds, with special emphasis upon in-depth interviews, observations, content analysis, focus groups and the ethical standards associated with each of these methods.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Writing Intensive.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOCI 350 - Social Life and Social Theory

    SOCI 350 - Social Life and Social Theory

    4.00 credit hours

    An introduction, review and application of classic and modern sociological theories to everyday life. Emphasis placed upon the attempts to understand the emergence of modern and post-modern times and the underlying problems brought about by these social developments. Applications of social thought to issues of work, marriage, deviance, presentations of self, love, police work, gender, consumer behavior and punishment.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Humanities, U.S. Power Structures.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOCI 400 - Sociological Culminating Experience

    SOCI 400 - Sociological Culminating Experience

    2.00 credit hours

    A synthesis and integration of the sociological knowledge acquired in coursework and other learning experiences. Students, either individually or in small groups, apply sociological understanding (theory, research methods or substantive knowledge) to a selected problem or public issue. Students demonstrate the mastery of their sociological expertise and create samples of work to further careers or advanced educational goals.

    Prerequisite(s)

    Senior standing and Sociology major or minor.

    Schedule Of Classes

Inequalities Course

One of the following:

  • SOCI 210 - Gender: Patterns/Privileges/Possibilities

    SOCI 210 - Gender: Patterns/Privileges/Possibilities

    2.00 credit hours

    Explores the social construction and importance of gender and sexualities in our social world including life experiences, opportunity structures and institutions, such as the military and the media. Evaluates who is privileged and disadvantaged in this categorization system and some of the ways in which current practices are being challenged. Particular attention paid to the intersection of race/ethnicity, social class and disabilities.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, U.S. Power Structures.
    iCon(s)
    Being Human.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOCI 211 - Race/Ethnicity: Conflict and Change

    SOCI 211 - Race/Ethnicity: Conflict and Change

    2.00 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. Attention to the various ways race and ethnicity are created and recreated in society, and the way these social constructions permeate all aspects of societal life, despite remaining largely invisible and normalized.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, U.S. Power Structures.
    iCon(s)
    Being Human.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOCI 212 - Social Class: Get Ahead/Fall Behind

    SOCI 212 - Social Class: Get Ahead/Fall Behind

    2.00 credit hours

    Social class impacts every aspect of life-from food choices, to college attendance, career options, good health, vulnerability to crime, happiness, life span, and on. Most importantly, it impacts the chances for getting ahead in society or falling behind. The social causes and personal consequences of class in American society are examined through a discussion of key concepts and theories, a cultural and structural tour through the class system, an examination of social mobility, and a debate on possible solutions to the problems of growing inequality.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, U.S. Power Structures.
    iCon(s)
    Challenging Inequity.

    Schedule Of Classes

Pathway Courses

Three courses from any of the following three areas:

Problems Courses
  • SOCI 220 - Crime, Law and Society

    SOCI 220 - Crime, Law and Society

    4.00 credit hours

    An analytic and real world examination of the intricate relationship between crime, law and society. Examination of the social roots of criminal behavior, the emergence of criminal laws, the types of crime (homicide, burglary and arson), characterizing segments of society and the criminal justice response to offenders. Special attention devoted to specific types of crime, including white collar and organized crime.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    U.S. Power Structures.
    iCon(s)
    Challenging Inequity.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOCI 221 - Youth Justice, Crime and Law

    SOCI 221 - Youth Justice, Crime and Law

    4.00 credit hours

    A close-up look at juvenile laws, crimes committed by young people and the juvenile justice system. Special attention given to specific crimes such as shoplifting, tagging and vandalism and more serious crimes of theft, assault and drug behavior. Discussions of social policies related to treatment and prevention and an analysis of juvenile courts, diversion program and incarceration.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    U.S. Power Structures.
    iCon(s)
    Challenging Inequity.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOCI 222 - Power-Based Personal Violence

    SOCI 222 - Power-Based Personal Violence

    4.00 credit hours

    Debunks pervasive myths by delving into the causes and consequences of Power-Based Personal Violence, which takes many forms (e.g. harassment, stalking, sexual assault, intimate partner violence). Utilizes the lenses of intersectionality and social justice. Engages deeply with community partner prevention programs and trains with a strengths-based model of survivor empowerment. Makes space for candid conversations about the emotional impact of researching PBPV and anticipated career challenges in fields, such as criminal justice and social services.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    U.S. Power Structures, Community Engaged Learning.
    iCon(s)
    Engaging Civic Life.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOCI 223 - Community and City Life

    SOCI 223 - Community and City Life

    4.00 credit hours

    Discover the breath of experiences, the range of life styles, and the persistent problems that make city life the social setting for the richest opportunities and most perplexing inequalities in contemporary society. Attention given to issues of urban culture, schooling, housing and planning for more sustainable and equitable environments.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, U.S. Power Structures.
    iCon(s)
    Engaging Civic Life.

    Schedule Of Classes

Tools Courses
  • SOCI 295 - Research Practicum

    SOCI 295 - Research Practicum

    1.00-4.00 credit hours

    Work in collaboration with faculty on ongoing research. Activities vary according to project needs and student background, but may include bibliography construction, literature review, recruitment of participants, data collection and entry, qualitative coding or statistical analysis. This course is graded pass/no pass. May be taken more than once for up to four total credit hours.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOCI 330 - Policing and Corrections

    SOCI 330 - Policing and Corrections

    4.00 credit hours

    Reviews how criminal punishment and the justifications for it (e.g. deterrence, retribution, rehabilitation, incapacitation and restoration) have evolved over time. Reflects on contemporary trends, such as the increased militarization and mass incarceration. Assesses the strategies of police and corrections officers and identifies best practices in criminal investigations, law enforcement, prisoner supervision, rehabilitation and reintegration. Special emphasis on relationships with the broader community.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOCI 332 - Chicago Encounters

    SOCI 332 - Chicago Encounters

    4.00 credit hours

    From the Gold Coast to Pilsen, Bucktown to Bridgeport. Join with fellow students in a first-hand, field study of Chicago's most interesting and intriguing neighborhoods. Students work together and conduct an original investigation of a selected neighborhood by means of interviews, demographic analysis and street level observations. A Chicago Semester course that provides students with a supervised introduction to the communities of the city and the opportunity to develop an appreciation for the personal and career opportunities in this world-class urban environment.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Community Engaged Learning.
    iCon(s)
    Experiencing Place.

    Schedule Of Classes

Institutions Courses
  • SOCI 340 - Criminal Justice System

    SOCI 340 - Criminal Justice System

    4.00 credit hours

    An in-depth study of the functions, structure and organization of the agencies that are responsible for the administration of justice. Special emphasis is placed on the institutions and processes of law making and enforcement, the judicial system, corrections and the juvenile justice system. Attention is given to issues such as overburdened court calendars, crowded and explosive jail conditions, pervasive citizen fear of crime and understaffed police departments.

    Prerequisite(s)

    SOCI 100.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Global Understanding.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOCI 341 - Schools and Society

    SOCI 341 - Schools and Society

    4.00 credit hours

    Examines the education system through the sociological lens, focusing on the practices and outcomes of schooling and the structural environment in which schools are situated. Considers the relationship between organizational practices and individual experiences, as well as cross-cultural variation in educational systems. Attention given to school reform efforts, the "achievement gap" between students from different communities and debates about K-12 curricula.

    Prerequisite(s)

    SOCI 100.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Global Understanding.
    iCon(s)
    Thinking Globally.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOCI 342 - Families and Intimate Relationships

    SOCI 342 - Families and Intimate Relationships

    4.00 credit hours

    Examines topics from a sociological and feminist perspective including 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 family dynamics. Thought-provoking discussions explore ideals about love, marriage, gender, parenthood, sex and sexuality-scientifically considering both the "public" and "private" dimensions of families over the course of the semester.

    Prerequisite(s)

    SOCI 100.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Global Understanding.
    iCon(s)
    Thinking Globally.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOCI 343 - Health, Illness and Care

    SOCI 343 - Health, Illness and Care

    4.00 credit hours

    This course covers the theoretical orientations that guide sociological and anthropological insights into health, illness, treatment seeking and the organization of medical care and the current state of empirical knowledge in the field. Topics include the social origins of illness; lay beliefs about disease; sociodemographic variations in health care utilization; the profession of medicine; the structure of the American health care system and cross-national disparities in health and longevity. This course challenges our assumptions about the social foundations of health disparities, the sovereignty of medical providers and the administration of health care.

    Prerequisite(s)

    SOCI 100.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Global Understanding.
    iCon(s)
    Examining Health.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • ANTH 345 - Religion, Spirituality and Community

    ANTH 345 - Religion, Spirituality and Community

    4.00 credit hours

    An examination of the interplay of religion, culture and society. Special emphasis on religion and spirituality in context of social inequality. Theoretical approaches to explain religious change including revitalization theory and secularization theory. Contemporary religious diversity in the U.S. and globally. Participant observation fieldwork required for the course. Related study abroad experience offered occasionally.

    Prerequisite(s)

    One of ANTH 145, SOCI 100 or RELG 100.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, Global Understanding, U.S. Power Structure.
    iCon(s)
    Being Human, Engaging Civic Life.

    Schedule Of Classes

Additional Requirements for the B.A. Degree

Students must demonstrate elementary competence in a foreign language. For more information, see the B.A. Degree Requirements within the Academic Regulations section of this catalog.

Sociology Minor

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

Minor Requirements

A minimum of 20 credit hours, including:

  • SOCI 100 - Life Chances and Choices: Introduction to Sociology

    SOCI 100 - Life Chances and Choices: Introduction to Sociology

    4.00 credit hours

    Gateway to the social science of human interaction and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Development of a sociological imagination to grapple with diverse and fascinating societal issues ranging from deviance to structured inequalities. Special focus on the life chances and life choices in emerging adulthood in areas of relationships, education, and work.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, US Power Structure.
    iCon(s)
    Challenge Inequity.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOCI 400 - Sociological Culminating Experience

    SOCI 400 - Sociological Culminating Experience

    2.00 credit hours

    A synthesis and integration of the sociological knowledge acquired in coursework and other learning experiences. Students, either individually or in small groups, apply sociological understanding (theory, research methods or substantive knowledge) to a selected problem or public issue. Students demonstrate the mastery of their sociological expertise and create samples of work to further careers or advanced educational goals.

    Prerequisite(s)

    Senior standing and Sociology major or minor.

    Schedule Of Classes

Inequalities

One of the following:

  • SOCI 210 - Gender: Patterns/Privileges/Possibilities

    SOCI 210 - Gender: Patterns/Privileges/Possibilities

    2.00 credit hours

    Explores the social construction and importance of gender and sexualities in our social world including life experiences, opportunity structures and institutions, such as the military and the media. Evaluates who is privileged and disadvantaged in this categorization system and some of the ways in which current practices are being challenged. Particular attention paid to the intersection of race/ethnicity, social class and disabilities.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, U.S. Power Structures.
    iCon(s)
    Being Human.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOCI 211 - Race/Ethnicity: Conflict and Change

    SOCI 211 - Race/Ethnicity: Conflict and Change

    2.00 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. Attention to the various ways race and ethnicity are created and recreated in society, and the way these social constructions permeate all aspects of societal life, despite remaining largely invisible and normalized.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, U.S. Power Structures.
    iCon(s)
    Being Human.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SOCI 212 - Social Class: Get Ahead/Fall Behind

    SOCI 212 - Social Class: Get Ahead/Fall Behind

    2.00 credit hours

    Social class impacts every aspect of life-from food choices, to college attendance, career options, good health, vulnerability to crime, happiness, life span, and on. Most importantly, it impacts the chances for getting ahead in society or falling behind. The social causes and personal consequences of class in American society are examined through a discussion of key concepts and theories, a cultural and structural tour through the class system, an examination of social mobility, and a debate on possible solutions to the problems of growing inequality.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, U.S. Power Structures.
    iCon(s)
    Challenging Inequity.

    Schedule Of Classes

Electives

An additional 12 credit hours of Sociology, with at least four credit hours at the 300- or 400-level.

Sociology Internships and Jobs

Sociology opens up many engaging career pathways and offers valuable preparation for positions in different types of organizational settings such as, educational institutions, not-for-profit organizations, private corporations, and government agencies.

Internships

  • Mental health services intern, Wheaton, IL
  • Intern, Illinois State Police, Downers Grove, IL
  • At-risk youth mentor, Metropolitan Family Services, Wheaton, IL
  • Intern, HHS Planning and Consulting, Chicago
  • Refugee resettlement intern, World Relief, Aurora, IL
  • TLC youth advocate, Hesed House, Aurora, IL
  • Adult probation services intern, 19th Judicial Circuit, Waukegan, IL
  • Exploring diversity intern, Bardwell School, Aurora, IL
  • Not-for-profit management, Appalachia Service Project, Johnson City, TN

Graduate Schools

Recent graduates in sociology have been accepted at:

  • University of San Diego
  • Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Careers

  • Urban planner
  • Social service providers
  • Public health workers
  • Community liaisons
  • Journalists
  • Educators
  • Admission counselors
  • Public relations professionals 
  • Juvenile counselors
  • Police officers

For those students who are considering an advanced degree, sociology facilitates entry into professional programs in law, social work, public policy, theology, administration (e.g. public, business, fine arts), as well as master's and doctoral programs in sociology.

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