Sociology

Overview

Sociology is concerned primarily with the scientific study of social groups and social relations. Sociologists seek to understand how societies, institutions, organizations and other social forces shape and are shaped by individuals. One of the department's primary aims is to provide students with the analytical critical skills needed to understand and evaluate social institutions and social change more effectively.

The sociology faculty complement one another in a way that allows them to offer a varied range of courses. Courses reflect a growing interest and focus in the discipline on disadvantaged groups and classes of people and the ways they interact with social institutions. Occidental's proximity to Los Angeles, one of the most ethnically and economically diverse cities in the world, makes this focus all the more appropriate and provides students with the opportunity to observe many of these social phenomena firsthand.

Sociology majors will receive excellent preparation for graduate and professional study in sociology, law, social work, journalism, public health, business management, teaching, public administration, and other fields that require the ability to think critically, analytically, and ethically about a wide range of social issues in the search for viable solutions. While the department is committed to providing majors with the best possible preparation for careers in sociology and related fields, it is equally committed to providing non-majors with knowledge of social life as well as evaluative and analytical skills from which they will benefit in their chosen field of study and their careers in an increasingly diverse and complex world.

Major Requirements

Eleven courses (44 units) are required to complete the major.

COURSEWORK

SOC 101Introduction to Sociology

4

SOC 304Sociological Inquiry

4

SOC 490Senior Seminar in Sociology

4

Students must select one course from below:
SOC 200Classical Sociological Theory: Marx, Weber, Durkheim

4

SOC 205Contemporary Sociological Theory

4

Students must select one from the list below:
SOC 305Quantitative Research Methods

4

SOC 306Qualitative Research Methods

4

SOC 310Sociological Field Methods

4

Electives:

Choose six additional courses from within the department

*One non-Sociology course cross-listed with Sociology can count towards the major

The Sociology Department encourages students to declare the major by the end of their first year.

WRITING REQUIREMENT

Students majoring in Sociology will satisfy the final component of Occidental College's college-wide writing requirement by completing any 300 level Sociology course by the end of the fall semester of the junior year with a grade of B- or higher (or appropriate course work). Students should familiarize themselves with the departmental requirement at the time of declaring the major. See the Writing Program and consult the department chair for additional information.

COMPREHENSIVE REQUIREMENT

Students will engage in a major research project that will culminate in a written senior thesis.

HONORS

A distinctive ("PD") comprehensive senior thesis based on primary research along with a 3.5 grade point average in the department and 3.25 overall.

INTERNSHIPS

The department, in concert with the Career Development Center, keeps files on available internships in law, criminal justice, and various social and community agencies.

PROGRESSION THROUGH THE MAJOR

If you declare at the end of your first year, you should:

Take Classic or Contemporary Sociological Theory in your sophomore year.
SOC 200Classical Sociological Theory: Marx, Weber, Durkheim

4

SOC 205Contemporary Sociological Theory

4

Take Sociological Inquiry in your sophomore year
SOC 304Sociological Inquiry

4

Take a research methods course in your junior year
SOC 305Quantitative Research Methods

4

SOC 306Qualitative Research Methods

4

SOC 310Sociological Field Methods

4

Enroll in Senior Seminar (490) in the fall of your senior year.
SOC 490Senior Seminar in Sociology

4

If you declare during your sophomore year, you should:

Take Classic or Contemporary Sociological Theory as soon as possible.
SOC 200Classical Sociological Theory: Marx, Weber, Durkheim

4

SOC 205Contemporary Sociological Theory

4

Take Sociological Inquiry as soon as possible.
SOC 304Sociological Inquiry

4

Take a research methods course in your junior year.
SOC 305Quantitative Research Methods

4

SOC 306Qualitative Research Methods

4

SOC 310Sociological Field Methods

4

Enroll in Senior Seminar in the fall of your senior year.
SOC 490Senior Seminar in Sociology

4

Sociology students are encouraged to consider studying abroad for a semester. Those who plan to study abroad should work with their advisor on an academic plan that allows for both a study abroad experience and completion of their major requirements. The ideal plan ensures that students study abroad, and have taken at least two Sociology electives and the following courses prior to senior year: SOC 101; SOC 200 or SOC 205; SOC 304; and SOC 305, SOC 306, or SOC 310. Up to two courses taken in Sociology departments while abroad count towards the major electives.

Minor Requirements

Five courses (20 units) in Sociology which must include SOC 101. The remaining four courses are electives that students may select from all the other courses offered by the department.

Courses

Sociology Courses

Faculty

Regular Faculty

Richard Mora, chair

Associate Professor, Sociology; Affiliated Faculty, Latino/a & Latin American Studies

B.A., Harvard College (Sociology); M.A., University of Michigan (Education); M.A., Harvard University (Sociology); Ph.D., Harvard University (Sociology & Social Policy)

Danielle Dirks

Assistant Professor, Sociology

B.S. Psychology, B.A. Sociology, M.A. Sociology, University of Florida; Ph.D. The University of Texas at Austin

John T. Lang

Associate Professor, Sociology

B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Rutgers University

Jan Lin

Professor, Sociology; Advisory Committee, Urban and Environmental Policy

B.A., Williams College; M.S., London School of Economics and Political Science; Ph.D., New School for Social Research

Krystale E. Littlejohn

Assistant Professor of Sociology

A.B, Occidental College; M.A., Ph.D., Stanford University

Dolores Trevizo

Professor, Sociology; Advisory Committee, Latino/a and Latin American Studies

A.B., Occidental College; M.A., Ph.D., UCLA

Lisa Wade

Associate Professor, Sociology

B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara; M.A., New York University; M.S., Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison

On Special Appointment

Terri Anderson

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Sociology

B.A. U.C. Irvine, M.A. U.C.L.A., Ph.D. U.C.L.A.

Rebecca DiBennardo

Non Tenure Track Instructor, Sociology

B.A., Vassar College; M.P.A., New York University Wagner School; M.A., University of California, Los Angeles