Courses

This is a current list of courses being offered in the Sociology program and Civic Engagement classes, and also listed in the Wagner College Undergraduate Bulletin. The following list also reflects recent changes in the schedule of course availability. 

Sociology



One Unit.  This course is to orient the students to the field of sociology as a scientific discipline. Students will learn the major theories and research methods in sociology and will apply these theories and methods to analyze some of today’s social phenomena, including, social interaction, inequality/social class, deviant behavior and social control, gender/race/ethnicity, marriage/family, social institutions, sexual behavior, population, and globalization. Offered fall and spring semesters.


One unit. This course examines the structure and functioning of contemporary American society and specifically emphasizes selected social problems associated with the changing values of the society. Offered fall and spring semesters.


One unit. An examination of the forms and functions of courtship and marriage patterns in relationship to individual and social needs. Analysis of sex-related roles and the changing patterns of these roles in marriage and courtship. Offered summer semester.


One unit. This course will focus on the individual selves each of us believe we have and how it is we have come to have them. What role has language played in structuring our perceptions of external and internal reality? How have our belief systems shaped our perception? What role does memory have in identity construction? What is sanity? How much do social conventions and social institutions determine our identity? What is the relationship between emotions, society, & identity? What does it mean to live in a ‘postmodern' society where the concept of `objective truth'-and ensuing norms structuring morality-are called into question? Offered as required.


One unit. This course studies the development, structure and practice of our criminal justice system, including criminal law, law enforcement, courts and corrections. Offered fall and spring semesters.


One unit. This course examines the promises and the dangers of the genetic revolution. The decoding of the Human Genome, the biological modification of human, animal and plant life, and advances in reproductive technology, cloning and stem cell research, have opened up a Pandora's Box. The ethical, legal and social implications (the "ELSI") of what we "can do" with the genomic research and biotechnology and what we "ought to do" need to be addressed. This course examines the profound changes this biomedical revolution may have on family structure, life expectancy, quality of lives, health and medical expectations, the nature of privacy, criminal justice policy, and the way food is grown. Topics addressed include eugenics, genetic discrimination, behavioral genetics, DNA databanks, reproductive technology, cloning, stem cell research, gene therapy, and genetic enhancements. Offered as required.


One unit. This course provides an introduction to the sociological perspective of race, ethnicity, and identity. Histories and experiences of different racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. will be discussed. The course begins with the social construction of racial and ethnic categories; prejudice, discrimination, and systemic racism. In addition, racial inequalities in several institutional contexts (e.g. neighborhoods, labor market, criminal justice system) will be examined. Throughout the course close attention will be paid to the relationship between race, power, and social stratification. The course also touches upon social movements and the roles they have played in combating systemic oppression and the fight for racial justice. Offered fall and spring semester

One Unit. An exploration of the relationship between the music popular in a particular era in American cultural history and the changes occurring in our society during that time. We will discuss music as a component of culture, changes occurring in the political and cultural spheres, and how music reflects or may even affect events. The class will pay particular attention the 1960s as a case study in both significant social change and a time where popular music reach dramatic new levels of popularity and influence. Offered as required.


One unit. This course provides an introduction to the logic and skills of scientific research. Topics that will be covered include: the essence of science; scientific theory; explanation and prediction; research design; operationalization; survey; research; random sampling and descriptive statistics. Offered fall and spring semesters.


One Unit. This course provides training in basic statistics for social sciences including: level of measurements, descriptive statistics, normal distribution, confidence interval, hypothesis testing, ANOVA, linear association and the use of personal computers for the statistical analysis of real data. Offered fall semesters.


One Unit. Television is the focus for examining the industrial organization of mass media and the ideological impact of mass culture on perceptions of gender, class, race and ethnicity. Reference is made to other mass media, including newspapers, magazines, books, theatre, motion pictures, radio and computers. Offered as required.


One Unit. Criminal Procedure analyzes the delicate balance between the government's need to enforce the criminal law against the rights of the individual to be left alone. The course consists of a study of the criminal justice process from arrest through sentencing. Emphasis will be placed upon the rights of the accused, rights to counsel, search and seizure, and the privilege against self-incrimination. Offered as required.


One Unit. Discussion and analysis of problems and topics not covered in regular course work. The specific content of the course will remain flexible in response to student and departmental interests. Offered as required.


One Unit. This course explains the American civil law system by examining it within the context of broader social issues in society. While this course does introduce undergraduate students to the basic concepts, processes, and institutions of the American civil law system (such as contracts and torts), its main purpose is to examine critically how law affects society and how society affects law. Sociological theories of the relationship between law and society are discussed, and empirical studies of the relationship between "law on the books" and "the law in action" are examined. Offered as required.


One Unit. This course explores marriage and the family as emotional, economic, historical and sociocultural institutions. The class gives an in-depth look at some important issues that affect marriages and families today; these issues include politics, culture, gender, sexuality, the economy, racism, social policy, and immigration. This course focuses also on the interactions between marriage, family, and society. In addition, it not only looks at the social influences on marriage and the family, but also how marriage and the family affect the social world. In this course, we will make use of a variety of texts (theoretical, historical, ethnographic) in exploring marriage and the family - with a focus on the U.S. - through the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We will look at dominant notions of what marriage and families “should” be and social realities of what families actually have been. Attention will be paid to the contradictions between romanticized concepts of marriage and family and our lived experiences of marriage, relationships, and family. In this process we will uncover how wider social forces such as the state, the media, the workforce, race, class, and the gender system, influence our cultural notions about marriage and the family and our lived realities. Offered spring semester.


One Unit. The study of contemporary urban life styles, economy and culture. Ecological, population, and urbanization processes. Urban problems of metropolis and megalopolis. Offered as required.


One unit. This course presents different perspectives on crime, punishment, and the criminal justice system. How should society punish offenders and why? How do we explain the content of the criminal law? How do we explain why people commit crime? How should we measure crime? What should we do to control crime? How should our criminal justice system be organized? Offered fall semester.


One Unit. This course examines international migration as a social process, with a main focus on immigration to the United States. It provides sociological tools to understand why immigration happens, how it occurs, and what consequences and outcomes it produces. We will explore theories of migration and compare and contrast trends in old world and new world migration systems, as well as the American migration experiences, both from the perspective of the immigrants/refugees and the U.S. receiving population. Overall, the course will compare and contrast the differing immigration patterns and experiences of immigrants and refugees from Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe. Offered every other spring  semester.


One Unit. The origins of criminal law are examined in Western society: local, state and federal penal laws; judicial decisions on criminal capacity, criminal capacity, criminal intent and due process. Offered spring semester.


One Unit. This course is an introductory look into the complex world of military law. The course builds upon the general concepts of criminal justice to examine the similarities and differences between the civilian and military justice systems, to explain why the military has its own special set of laws, and to trace the evolution of today's substantive and procedural military law. Offered as required.


One Unit. Population theories and politics; A review of data sources as applied to human life cycle, education, socioeconomic and political processes; Population and social change. Offered as required.


One Unit. This course focuses on the theoretical analysis of the origins and maintenance of social inequality. Topics covered include: measures of income inequality, analysis of current income inequality in the United States; racial and gender discrimination and its effect on education and income; and normative questions on inequality. Offered as required.


One Unit. The primary objective of this course is to develop a critical and sociologically grounded approach to the study of gender.  Questions that will be considered in this class include: What is the difference between sex and gender? What does it mean to study gender from a sociological perspective?  Are there different ways of understanding this concept? What does “doing gender” mean? What is feminism? How do social class, race, ethnicity, nationality, and age affect the meaning of gender and/or being gendered? Have concepts of femininity and masculinity changed over time? How are gender norms and gender ideals communicated through the media, religion, and the state? In addition we will consider the role of individual agency by looking at different social movements (e.g. women’s liberation, gay rights). Offered fall semester.


One Unit. The application of sociological concepts and methods to a historical analysis of the economy, including the production, distribution, exchange, and consumption of goods and services within a broader social context. Topics addressed include the changing role of markets, corporations, financial institutions, unions, the law, and government as society moves from a preindustrial to an industrial to a post-industrial society. Offered as required.


One Unit. This course focuses on the development of the U.S. law and legal system in social context from the Colonial Era through the Twenty First Century. The class begins with an overview of the U.S. legal system: its origins, its setup, and its overall functions. Through leading Supreme Court cases and other materials, it examines the Court’s attempt to strike a balance between protecting individual’s liberties and freedoms against the need for authority and government oversight. From the earliest cases of the Court’s term (i.e. Marbury v. Madison) to those handed down in recent years (i.e. Affordable Health Care Act, DOMA), we trace the Court’s decisions alongside the political and social movements taking place at that time in the U.S., determining whether the Court was a passive or aggressive force in shaping U.S. history. Offered as required.


One unit. This course stimulates students to think theoretically, critically, and sociologically about their world; teaches them how to read a theoretical text; and provides them a basic competence in sociological ideas and concepts. Foundational works by Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, and others are read to see how they investigate, question, theorize, and reform their “modernizing” world. Prerequisite: Sociology 101 or 103. Offered spring semester.


One Unit. In this course students simulate professional behavior and develop a sense of professional identity through an 8 hour per week experiential practicum at an off-campus placement. Students conduct a sociological analysis of the goals, organization, processes, and other experiences of their agency through written logs leading to a final paper and through participation in a weekly seminar with their classmates and a professor at the college. Offered spring semester.


One Unit. In this course students draw on their acquired knowledge of the discipline to develop an independent research project. Specifically, students formulate a sociological research question related to their agency practicum in the Senior Reflective Tutorial, and review current literature on their research question. Then students apply the sociological theories and research methods to develop theoretical arguments and testable hypotheses and to test their hypothesis with empirical data (they may either collect their own data or work with existing data or statistics). Throughout the semester, students meet collectively to present reviews of published literature, make oral progress reports on their research, and peer-edit each other's drafts. The course culminates in a written "conference paper" presented orally at a department "conference". Prerequisites: SO 343 Sociological Theory, SO233 Research Methods I and SO 234 Research Methods II. Offered spring semester.


One Unit. In an effort to give students another perspective on the discipline of sociology, in this course, advanced standing students have the opportunity to do focused research on a topic related to a sociology faculty member's own teaching and scholarship. The student does a minimum of eight hours per week of supervised research on a selected topic. This course is made available by instructor's permission to advanced and high-standing undergraduate students, majoring in sociology, and particularly those planning to go to graduate school in sociology or/and social work. In the course, the upper level student fulfills such duties as helping the faculty member to develop his or her research in a given area and taking part in a particular class taught by the faculty member. The course culminates in a research paper using the format of a sociology journal, and having a minimum of fifteen scholarly references. The student gains advanced research experience and the opportunity to work closely with a Wagner College faculty member. Senior standing and permission of the instructor. Offered as required.


One or Two Unit(s). Sociology majors can do an internship for credit. They need to speak to their advisor and complete this application before they begin their internship. Offered as required.


One Unit. Supervised independent research projects developed by the student, with faculty advisement. Restricted to advanced sociology majors. Offered as required.

 

Social Work



One Unit. This course provides students with an introduction to the field of social work and to the various methodologies social workers use in their efforts to help their clients negotiate the social welfare system. The complexities of the social welfare system are presented and contemporary issues in welfare structure and service delivery are discussed. Career opportunities in the social welfare field will be considered. Offered fall and spring semesters.


One Unit. The history, theory and techniques of social work practice with individuals and families. Discussion and demonstration of the social casework and problem-solving methods, and the contemporary psychotherapeutic approaches used in current social work practice in a variety of settings; e.g.,community mental health, schools, probation, hospitals, nursing homes. Offered as required.


One unit. Examines problems and concepts of the policy process in the U.S., exploring the political, economic, and institutional frameworks which structure public welfare choices. This course covers problem and need analysis, policy analysis, program development, and program evaluation. Offered as required.


One Unit. This course provides an introductory supervised training experience in an off-campus organization or non-profit agency. A sociological and anthropological analysis of the goals, organization and processes of agency environment is emphasized. In placement, students simulate professional behavior and develop a sense of professional identity. Students work as least 13 weeks at their agency, analyze their experience through written assignments, and participate in a weekly seminar at the college. Offered as required.


One Unit. A seminar course, the content of which is determined by the instructor. Special studies in social welfare methods of theory. Offered as required.

 

Civic Engagement



One Unit. The Civic Engagement Leadership course will critically explore the meanings of leadership, citizenship, and the public good through readings related to the scholarship of citizenship and leadership. Students will, through exposure to community partners and reflective writings, develop their own citizenship and leadership plans in the context of a democratic public life. Offered fall and spring semesters.


One Unit. 100-hour internship OFF campus (in the area of students' concentration within the Civic Engagement Minor). In addition, this class will meet for 1.5 hours every week to implement the Bonner curriculum for juniors as well as help students to develop civic professional identities. Prerequisites: CE206 and GOV103. Offered fall semester.


One unit. 100-hour internship ON campus (in the area of students' concentration within the Civic Engagement Minor), possible placements include, but are not limited to: Food Recovery Network, Composting, Holocaust Center, theatre department, WagnerVotes, Counseling Center)\. This class will meet for 1.5 hours every week to implement the Bonner curriculum for seniors, help students to further develop civic professional identities, and prepare their Bonner Senior capstone presentation (for non-Bonners, that would be a presentation as well). Prerequisites: CE206, GOV103, and CE300. Offered fall semester.


Zero unit.In the fall term of freshmen year, students explore and find issues and causes in which they can make a difference through service while also learning. They intentionally engage in thinking about identity, learning about themselves and each other, and getting to know the places surrounding the campus where they will engage. The four sessions in this theme support these aims. The first capstone workshop also focuses on exploration. It introduces the capstone concept and inspiring examples, letting freshmen identify and discuss their potential academic, career, and personal interests. Offered fall semester.


Zero unit. In the spring term of freshmen year, students are introduced to a more comprehensive understanding of civic and community engagement. As they find a regular position and a site, they can think critically about how their service and agency are making an impact. These sessions will teach students a philosophy and approach for identifying solutions to the issues they are confronting and understanding how they might contribute to solutions. The second capstone workshop builds on the first, allowing freshmen to revisit their long-term interests for their four years. Offered spring semester.


Zero unit. During the fall semester of sophomore year, students continue in a regular service position while beginning to take on leadership roles. In this, they develop a sense of civic agency and identity. Students may begin leading and managing other volunteers or peers or taking on more sophisticated roles. These workshops will help prepare them for service leadership. The third capstone workshop allows students to look ahead, with an introduction to capacity building projects. Students begin to understand the multitude of project types that they can engage in with community partners, which can prepare them for conversations about their positions and projects  Offered fall semester.


Zero unit.In the second term of sophomore year, students can begin to be introduced to a more comprehensive understanding of civic and community engagement. As they find a regular position and a site, they can think critically about how their service is making an impact. These sessions will teach students a philosophy and approach for identifying solutions to the issues they are confronting and understanding how they contribute. The second capstone workshop builds on the first to revisit long-term interests for their four years  Offered spring semester.


Zero unit. In the sixth term, students have completed nearly three years of engagement and worked on different levels. Now, they begin to think about their own upper-class experiences and future pathways. A systems view on their community engagement work can help students as they both take on higher level roles with partners, complete more challenging academic work, and prepare for options after graduation. Through positions and education that help them appreciate how they are building organizational and community capacity, they can think critically about the impacts of their work and their potential future pathways, including careers. The capstone workshop prepares students to implement their planned project (co-led by Instructor of record for CE300 and Senior Bonner Intern). Offered fall semester.


Zero unit. Senior Bonner students are getting ready to graduate and turning their attention towards the future. In this semester, Bonner Leaders will be guided by an appropriate advisor (either through the CE Minor or their major) to complete capstone projects and reflect on their entire Bonner experience to create and share a Presentation of Learning. These workshops will support students to reflect on their college learning as a whole and be further prepared to pursue post-graduate goals and succeed. They especially emphasize reflective, integrative, and communication skills. The final capstone workshop (done after projects are completed) helps students write and share their Bonner learning through publications, essays, resumes, and other avenues.Offered fall semester.