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Below, you'll find a list of all the courses we teach, along with a brief description of the content of the course.

Course Descriptions

  • General Education Courses *
  • Writing Intensive Courses WR
  • Speaking Intensive Courses SP


Sociology 101 – Principles of Sociology

Principles of Sociology seeks to impart an analytical framework with which the student can better understand the relationship between individual and social structure. Theories of functionalism, conflict, symbolic interactionism, and socialization will be discussed. The concepts of normative culture, technology, demography, ethnocentrism, values, norms, institutions, status, role, bureaucracy, and stratification will be developed and applied to social institutions. These institutions will include: the formal organization, courtship, marriage and family, religion, health care service delivery, media, politics, military, and criminal justice. 3 credits. * Fulfills General Education Goal 8 for non Sociology majors.

Sociology 102 – Contemporary Social Problems

Contemporary Social Problems examines problems confronted by humans as both creators and objects of society. Problems of family instability, health and disease, war, distribution of resources, substance abuse, gender role definition, prejudice, discrimination and institutional response to deviance will be addressed. Particular emphasis is given to how groups define, experience, and attempt to solve these social problems. Attention will also be given to a global perspective and how the concepts of fact, truth, right and wrong are socially constructed. 3 credits. * Fulfills General Education Goal 8 for non Sociology majors.

Sociology 205 – Deviance

This course is an in-depth examination of deviant behavior, its social forms and functions. Societal response to deviance is examined to highlight norms, values and control mechanisms. Emphasis is placed on sociological theories that explain deviant behavior. 3 credits.

Sociology 220 – Self in Society

The interplay of societal forces and self are examined in this course. Attention is given to such topics as: self in society and society in self; collective behavior; mass movements, public opinion, propaganda and the mass media; group processes; socialization and social psychological aspects of social structure. 3 credits.

Sociology 222 – Perspectives on Childhood and Parenting

 In this course socialization is examined as a reciprocal process between parents and children/adolescents and other social institutions. Topics that will be explored include transitioning to parenthood, infant and child development, attachment theory, parenting practices and stresses, family structure, the changing dynamics of parent-child relationships across the lifespan, and the influence of gender, race, and socioeconomic status on family dynamics.  3 credits.

Sociology 233 - Introduction to Social Inequality and Difference.

This course focuses on the causes, consequences and justifications of social inequalities in the United States and in other societies. Current social policies are critically examined and alternative routes to social change are explored. Race, ethnicity, social class, gender, sexual orientation, age and physical ability/disability are among the significant variables by which human societies make distinctions among their members. Such distinctions often lead to an inequitable distribution of political power, social well-being, and the resources available to individual members of the society. In this course we seek to increase students’ awareness and understanding of the inequities in society and the consequences of those inequities for different communities and individuals within society.  3 credits.

Sociology 241 – Marriage and the Family

The history of American families and contemporary family issues are analyzed using sociological theory and research. Topics that are covered include marriage, cohabitation, divorce, single parent families, blended families, the impact of race and gender norms, and socioeconomic status on family structure. 3 credits. WR

Sociology 260 - Environment and Society

This course provides an introduction to environmental sociology and the sociology of natural resources. Students will investigate the relationship between social and biophysical systems. Key topical areas include: social definition of the environment and natural resources, theoretical approaches to understanding the relationship between humans and the non-human environment, environmental attitudes, environmental social movements, environmental justice, and the social organization of resource use. Students will also explore how environmental/natural resource assets shape social organization, how resource development and use patterns affect social change, and the effects of changing resource conditions on natural resource dependent communities.    3 credits.

Sociology 261 - A Comparative Study of Sport in the UK

This course will entail a study abroad experience in London, England with a focus on UK Sport. The course explores issues related to the structure and culture of sport as well as the historical foundations of UK sport. Students will focus on how sociological ideas such as forms of inequality, globalization, identity, fandom, and the relationships between other institutions and the sporting system. Attention will be paid learning the skills and strategies associated with different UK sport s such as cricket, stoolball, and lawn bowling. Students will be expected to participate in all pre-departure logistics planning/informational sessions. The course is open to all academic majors, yet students must pre-apply for participation in the course. Students must possess a 2.5 overall GPA, and must be able to secure one reference to qualify for participation. 3 credits.

Sociology 275 - Sociology of the Welfare State and Social Policy

In this course students will learn theoretical paradigms addressing how welfare states are created and how the change. Additionally, students will be exposed to an array of ways the welfare state has been researched in the United States and cross-nationally. An in-depth understanding of how the American welfare state is different from other industrialized nations will be addresses with particular emphasis being placed on research that evaluates policy. Particular attention is spent examining how policies affect individuals and families, as well as how these policies shape family structure and decisions. Students learn how to design and conduct both basic research and applied research. Methods of conducting program/policy evaluation are emphasized. 3 credits.


Sociology 301 – Sociology of Religion

This course will acquaint students with the broad range of concepts, theories, and issues that have shaped the sociological study of religion. The course begins with a consideration of the sociological perspective on religion. Students will examine various sociological definitions of religion and be introduced to the methods used in the sociological analysis of religion. Finally, religious diversity, elements of religion, religious experiences, and the functions and dysfunctions of religion will be addressed. While the course will focus on religion in the contemporary United States, students will also consider religion as a key element in all human societies. Prerequisite:  SOCL 101 or SOCL 102. or permission of instructor. 3 credits.

Sociology 302 – Sociology of Popular Culture

This course will present a variety of sociological perspectives on popular culture. During the course students will examine the nature and forms of popular culture, its role in our lives, and its broad effects on American society and culture. More specifically, students will critically examine how popular culture is produced, disseminated, consumed, interpreted, and experienced in the United States.  Prerequisite:  SOCL 101 or SOCL 102 or permission of instructor. 3 credits.

Sociology 305 – Society and Technology: Identity, Community, and Ethics

This course provides an analysis of the relationship between science, technology, and society. The focus is on information-based technology that is rapidly restructuring the nature of human interaction and contemporary reality personally, ethically, and institutionally. Topics will include identity, social interaction, community, work, family, inequality, deviance, and social control. Prerequisite:  SOCL 101 or SOCL 102 or permission of instructor. 3 credits.

Sociology 306 – Stress and Crisis in Families

Normative and traumatic stresses and crises that families and their members experience, including birth of a child, divorce, violence, death, natural disasters, and war time family separations are examined. Family stress theory, protective factors, coping strategies, prevention and intervention are addressed as well. Prerequisite: SOCL 101 or SOCL 102 or permission of instructor. 3 credits.

Sociology 310 – Complex Organizations

In this course students engage in a study of complex organizations such as private enterprises, voluntary associations, and governmental bureaucracies in terms of political-economic environment, formal and informal structure, technology, management ideologies, control and commitment of personnel, and impact on lives of individuals. Classical and recent theory and research are examined. Prerequisite: SOCL 101 or SOCL 102 or permission of instructor. 3 credits. WR

Sociology 320 – Sociology of Education

Sociology of Education examines the structure and process of education in contemporary society. The primary focus is on U.S. public education. Topics include the contribution of sociology to understanding education and teaching; the relationship of education to other institutions such as the family, government, religion, and the economy; demographic changes that effect education; the effect of social class on student achievement and teaching; formal and informal positions, roles and processes in schools; and consideration of current issues such as school funding, compensatory and special education programs, race and gender issues, and educational reform movements.  3 credits.

Sociology 321 – Supernatural Belief Systems

This course provides an investigation of the social aspects of religion, its forms of organization, and its relationships to other institutions. 3 credits.

Sociology 322 – Sustainability: Prehistoric, Colonial and Contemporary Peoples on the Northern Neck of Virginia

Students will study the natural and cultural ecology of the Northern Neck focusing on variables such as prehistoric and contemporary climate, soil composition, water, and floral and faunal communities.  A key concern running throughout the course will be the cultural patterns utilized by prehistoric, colonial and contemporary human populations in this region. 3 credits.

Sociology 325 – Gender and Society

This course provides an examination of the social construction of gender and the social organization of gender inequality, as well as an analysis of gender identity in socialization, interpersonal behavior, the family, the media, and the economy. 3 credits.

Sociology 331– Aging and the Life Course

This course provides a comprehensive examination of social gerontology, with particular emphasis on the historical changes in the role of the elderly in society, future social and demographic trends, the contribution of sociological theories to understanding this group, and public policy implications. Also addressed are specific social problems associated with aging (poverty, loneliness, suicide). Prerequisite: SOCL 101 or SOCL 102 or permission of instructor. 3 credits.

Sociology 332 – Sociology of Dying and Death

The course explores social processes attendant to dying and death, including those that define the role processes of dying and the status of being dead. The effects of disruption in dyads, families, and larger social organizations will be studied. The thesis that emotions are socially and culturally mediated will be examined. Other topics include cross-cultural causes of death, demography of death, care systems which attend dying, the concept and treatment of pain, funeral and body dispositions, and medical and legal ethics. Prerequisite: SOCL 101 or SOCL 102 or permission of instructor. 3 credits.

Sociology 345 – Social Research and Program Evaluation

 In this course students learn the logical basis for conceptualization and research in sociology and criminology. Research design, concept formation, data collection, data reduction, data analysis, and data interpretation are studied. Students learn how to design and conduct both basic research and applied research. Methods of conducting program evaluation are emphasized. Prerequisite:  SOCL 101 or SOCL 102 or permission of instructor. Offered fall semester. Open to Juniors and Seniors only. 3 credits. WR

Sociology 346 – Statistics for the Social Sciences

Computer application of quantitative and statistical techniques to sociological data. Emphasis on questionnaire construction, coding, sampling, building and maintaining data sets, probability, statistical distributions, hypothesis testing, and theoretical modeling. Students are required to become proficient in the use of a statistical software package. Offered spring semester. Open to Juniors and Seniors only.  Prerequisite: SOCL 345. 3 credits.

Sociology 350 – Power and Privilege: Social Stratification

This course is a study of how power, wealth, and prestige are built into the structure of society. The consequences of social ranking, class identification, and opportunities for social mobility are also explored. Prerequisite: SOCL 101 or SOCL 102 or permission of instructor. 3 credits.

Sociology 351 – Sociology of Family Violence

This course is designed to familiarize students with the sociological literature on family violence. Topics which will be explored include the social causes and consequences of spouse abuse, marital rape, child maltreatment (physical abuse, neglect, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse) and parent abuse, as well as the response of the criminal justice system to and the societal perceptions of such violence. Emphasis will be on synthesizing and critiquing family  violence theories and research. Prerequisite: SOCL 101 or SOCL 102 or permission of instructor. 3 credits.

Sociology 355 – The Community

Students review theories of community and analyze representative community studies. 3 credits.

Sociology 360 – Urban Sociology

This course provides an examination of city life, its problems and prospects. The nature of organization, bureaucratization, and massification including social, economic, and political features of metropolitan areas are studied. Urban lifestyles and dilemmas are also discussed. Prerequisite: SOCL 101 or SOCL 102 or permission of instructor. 3 credits.

Sociology 370 – Medical Sociology

Students study sociocultural factors that influence health, health care and illness in addition to an analysis of health care services, hospital organization, roles and role relationships in the health care setting and the processes of socialization of health care personnel and patients. Prerequisite: SOCL 101or SOCL 102 or permission of instructor. 3 credits.

Sociology 376 – Sociology of Law

In this course students learn the relationship between law and social structure. They further study the processes of law creation, interpretation, enforcement and modification, and examine police, judicial and jury behavior as well as analyze the legal profession itself. 3 credits.

Sociology 377 – Sociology of Sport

This course provides an analysis of sport as a changing social institution.  Emphasis will be placed on the organization of sport, the interaction of sport with other social institutions, sex, race, and ethnic status, collegiate sport, professionalization, law and shifting social values.  Prerequisite:  SOCL 101 or 102 or permission of instructor. 3 credits.

Sociology 381,382 – Topical Seminars

These courses are advanced seminars for sociology majors and non-majors interested in sociology. These seminars are designed to permit small groups of qualified students to pursue specialized topics in sociology, as listed below. Prerequisite: SOCL 101, SOCL 102 or permission of instructor. 3 credits.

  • Collective Behavior and Social Movements. In this course, students study social behavior that is guided by nontraditional norms and is less structured than more traditional behaviors. The topics of crowds, cults, riots, rebellions, social change movements, and revolutions are explored.
  • Small Groups. In this course, students gain a sociological appreciation of units consisting of two or more members engaged in meaningful contact such as families, work groups, therapeutic associations, athletic teams, and peer groupings.
  • Sociology of Mass Communication. This course is an exploration of the structure of media industries (press, radio, television, and advertising), their impact on audiences, mass culture, and specific public issues such as violence and politics.

Sociology 401 – Sociological Theory

This course is an examination of the major theoretical positions in classical and current sociology. Offered fall semester. Open to Juniors and Seniors only. 3 credits.

Sociology 455 – Social Change

In this course students study significant alterations in the organization of society and in patterns of values, norms, and behavior over time. The social and economic development associated with modernization and industrialization and various sources of change found in technology, social structure, population, the environment, and cultural innovation are explored. Prerequisite: SOCL 101 or ANTH 101 or permission of instructor. 3 credits.

Sociology 461 – Senior Seminar in Sociology

This course is a seminar for the senior sociology major, designed to integrate knowledge of specific subfields into a comprehensive view of sociology and its role in relation to other sciences. Open only to senior sociology majors. 3 credits. *  WR and SP

Sociology 492 – Internship in Sociology

This course provides direct student learning in applied settings that permits a practiced supervised experience. Students learn through performance in meaningful tasks in a variety of social environments. Prerequisite: 18 hours of sociology at Longwood. Students' cumulative GPA must be 2.0 or above to be eligible for internship. Must be arranged at least one semester in advance with chair of department. May be repeated in subsequent semesters. Variable credit; no more than 15 total credits may be earned. Only six credit hours of Internship will earn quality points (A, B, C, and D grades); all credits earned beyond six credits will be assigned Pass/Fail grades. 1-15 credits. SP Fulfills General Education Goal 14.



Advising Resources

2015 and subsequent catalogs:

Catalogs prior to 2015:

Course Rotation: