Systematically and scientifically studying society and social behavior

Sociologists look beyond individual and unique events to the predictable broad patterns and regular occurrences of social life that influence individuals, especially gender, race/ethnicity, and social class/inequality. This is the sociological imagination. 

Courses in sociology at St. Scholatica focus on the forms of social organization and social processes in our own and other cultures, and on the theoretical approaches sociologists use to understand them.

Course Outcomes

By providing students with the tools to examine the social and cultural dimensions of society and to analyze social justice issues, courses in sociology help students think critically and act responsibly in a complex and rapidly changing world. That's why sociology courses are required for a number of majors and why many courses fulfill General Education Pathways requirements. 

Course Descriptions

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SOC 1125 - General Sociology ( II ) - 4 cr.
Designed to provide an overview of the concepts, methods, and applications of sociology, and the development of the sociological imagination. Topics include development of the social self, status and role, race and ethnicity, gender, social class, deviance, political and economic institutions, population dynamics, the family, and other dimensions of society. This introductory course emphasizes the development of the sociological imagination.


SOC 2265 - Diversity/Marginality in U.S. ( I, II ) - 4 cr.
Comparative study of the cultural systems of American minority groups. Course examines significant social, familial, economic, institutional and cultural characteristics of American Indians, African-Americans, Mexican- Americans, Asian-Americans and other non-Western immigrants, women and other groups occupying minority status. T he student studies significant values, beliefs, traditions and practices of these groups and considers current view points and issues related to these minority lifestyles.


SOC 2433 - The Family and Society ( I, II ) - 4 cr.
Exploration of the meaning and variety of family life in the United States and other cultures. Classic and contemporary theories are combined with recent research findings to understand the changing definitions and contexts of family life. Emphasis is placed on the study of the family in a broader context, including the influence of neighborhoods, schools and religion, socioeconomic inequalities, gender roles, domestic abuse, divorce, and a life span approach to family life.


SOC 2999 - Topics in Siciology - 1-4 cr.
Description coming soon.


SOC 3315 - Psychosocial Aspects of Aging - 4 cr.
Provides an overview of the aging individual within the social context. The focus is on characteristics of today's older adults, psychological processes in late life, the social context in which older adults live and society's response to older adults. Topics include: demographics, stereotypes and attitudes, research methods, theories of development, sensing and responding to the environment, cognitive processes, mental disorders and treatment, death and dying, sexuality, intimate relationships, family relationships, care giving, employment and retirement, finances, Social Security, Medicare, living environments, ethnicity, gender, crimes against and by older adults, social programs and political power of the older cohort.


SOC 3327 - Social Psychology - 4 cr.
Explores the history, content, methods, and applications of social psychology as a scientific discipline. Topics include social psychological research methods, the importance of the person and the environment in predicting social behavior, errors in social judgments and decision making, attribution theories, obedience to authority, conformity, group processes, prejudice and discrimination, aggression, altruism, interpersonal attraction and sexuality, and conflict and peacemaking. The most current applications of social psychology to law, the health professions, the clinic, business, and politics are discussed, with special emphasis on connections to students' own lives. Prerequisite: one course in general or developmental psychology.


SOC 3330 - Research Methods - 4 cr.
Overview of the research process designed for upper division students interested in reading and/or conducting research. Topics include: logic of scientific research, types of research, phases of a research study, designing experimental and correlational studies, sampling, quantitative and qualitative methods for collecting data, evaluating and writing research reports, and ethical issues. Prerequisite: junior class standing or permission of instructor.


SOC 3433 - Social Issues & Social Change ( II, WI ) - 4 cr.
How does social change come about? Why do some problems come to public attention while others do not? These questions are just as important as gaining knowledge about a particular set of social issues. Students in this course study the process by which social issues are constructed, gain attention and support, and become social movements. Analysis of controversial current issues is mirrored with learning to research a topic, apply sociological theory, formulate a position, and present that position in an accurate and effective manner in this course, which qualifies as a writing intensive course.


SOC 3777 - Special Topics - 1-8 cr.
Courses not a regular part of Sociology curriculum but taught because of a special need, interest or opportunity. Topics vary.


SOC 3999 - SOC Independent Study - 1-8 cr.
Description coming soon.


SOC 4777 - Topics in Sociology - 1-4 cr.
Courses not a regular part of Sociology curriculum but taught because of a special need, interest or opportunity. Topics vary.


SOC 4999 - Independent Project - 1-6 cr.
Students select a particular topic of study with instructor. Individual student learning goals and method of evaluation is designed. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

Contact Us

Gerald Henkel-Johnson Psy.D., LP, Program Chair

The College of St. Scholastica
School of Sciences
Tower Hall, Room 3648
1200 Kenwood Avenue
Duluth, MN 55811

Phone: (218) 723-6023
Email: gjohnson@css.edu