North Central College - Naperville, IL

Sociology & Anthropology Courses

NOTE: This page contains all of the regular course descriptions for this discipline or program. Academic credit for each course is noted in parenthesis after the course title. Prerequisites (if any) and the general education requirements, both Core and All-College Requirements (ACRs), which each course fulfills (if any) are noted following each course description. Not all courses are offered every year. Check Merlin, our searchable course schedule, to see which courses are being offered in upcoming terms.

SOA 100 Introduction to Sociology (3.00)
An introduction to the basic concepts, theories, and methods of the study of human groups. Includes an examination of deviance, class, race and gender inequality, and social institutions from the sociological perspective. Core: Social Science.

SOA 105 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (3.00)
An examination of the diversity of human cultures. Human adaptations to various environments. Kinship, religion, political, and economic institutions in non-Western societies. Core: Social Science.

SOA 155 Native Americans (3.00)
Continuity and change, diversity and commonality among the indigenous peoples of the United States and Canada. Concentration on native nations of the upper Midwest. Special emphasis on ecological and spiritual relationships with the land. Core: Social Science.

SOA 165 Introduction to Archaeology (3.00)
Introduces concepts, principles and methods used to reconstruct cultural history and prehistory and to form generalizing theories about human society, social organization and social and cultural change over long periods of time. Explores sequences of cultural development learned through archaeological analysis and how such analysis flows from data and hypothesis testing. Assignments involve scientific examination of sets of archaeological data and how the particular case or site relates to larger theories about human society. Students will explore how archaeology contributes to a better understanding of contemporary social issues and their place in human society. Core: Science.

SOA 170 Cultural Regions of the World (3.00)
Major world regions and geographical organization of their physical environment, with an emphasis on maps to solve spatial problems. Stresses how cultures and individuals interact with the environment to determine resource and land use. Examines the effect of human settlement and migration on ecosystems. Same As: HST 170. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

SOA 185 Peoples and Cultures of Africa (3.00)
An introductory survey of the cultural diversity and complexity of sub-Saharan Africa. Attention is given to the long period of independent development of traditional societies, the forms and extent of European domination, and the post-1945 struggles to regain independence and create new cultural identities. Same as: HST 185. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

SOA 190 Urban Problems (3.00)
An introduction to urban life from a sociological perspective. Examines issues of urban culture, racism, poverty, power, and community from both analytic and practical perspectives. Major goal of the course is to engage in an enlightened debate on the nature of urban life. Core: Social Science.

SOA 200 Research Methods in Social Sciences: Quantitative (3.00)
An assessment of the strengths and limitations of various modes of quantitative data collection including experiments, questionnaires, content analysis, and the use of secondary 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.

SOA 201 Social Theory (3.00)
Introduction to the major theoretical perspectives and theories in classical and contemporary sociological thought, from the Enlightenment period to post-modernism.

SOA 202 Research Methods in Social Sciences: Qualitative (3.00)
An overview of qualitative methods, including in-depth interviewing, oral history, focus groups, and participant observation. Addresses practical issues, such as question development, negotiating access, maintaining rapport, sampling strategies, note taking, and analysis. Delves more deeply into ethical issues and the back stages of the research process.

SOA 203 Community Studies (3.00)
An examination of the challenges and opportunities confronting communities in contemporary society, with a focus upon issues of social justice, social change, and community service. The course serves both as an introduction to urban and community life and to meaningful careers in public life, social services, and community organizing.

SOA 204 Schools and Society (3.00)
Examines the education system through the sociological lens and provides an introduction to current issues in the sociology of education. Looks at the practices and outcomes of schooling and the structural environment in which schools are situated. Considers the relationship between organizational practices and individual experiences. Examines cross-cultural variation in educational systems as well as sociological perspectives on contemporary school reform.

SOA 205 Introduction to Physical Anthropology (3.00)
Introduces anthropological concepts, principles and methods used in the scientific examination of human and non-human primate biodiversity across time and space. Explores theories regarding primate and human evolution, the origins of contemporary human biodiversity and the relationship between human biology and human culture. Examines how such theories flow from data and hypothesis testing. Through course readings, hands-on examination of hominid skeletal morphology and research assignments students will explore how physical anthropology contributes to a better understanding the human species and to more thoughtful consideration of contemporary ethical and social issues related to human biodiversity. Core: Science.

SOA 220 Family and Intimate Relationships (3.00)
The sociological study of the family and other intimate relationships. Topics examined from a sociological and feminist perspective include 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 the family structure. Same as: GWS 220. Core: Social Science.

SOA 230 Professional Experiences in Sociology (3.00)
This course challenges students to reflect on how sociological skills and insights can be applied to their own lives, future careers and to the broader community. Students actively engage with issues of public importance and consider ways to facilitate positive community change and to make sociological knowledge accessible to policy makers, community leaders and popular audiences. Students will begin thinking about transitioning out of their student identity and will discuss the logistics of the job market, including developing resumes and cover letters.

SOA 240 Applied Economic Anthropology (3.00)
Exploration of the application of anthropological data, methods and approaches to contemporary economic problems and challenges. Topics include poverty and marginalization, economic development, retail anthropology, anthropology in governmental and nongovernmental agencies, anthropology and entrepreneurship, anthropology in the private sector.

SOA 250 Criminology (3.00)
A survey of historical and contemporary theories of crime, an analysis of the nature and extent of major types of crime, an overview of the American criminal justice system.

SOA 255 Criminal Justice in America (3.00)
An examination of the theoretical and practical responses to crime in American society. Selected topics include criminal behavior, law, policing, the judiciary, corrections and juvenile justice.

SOA 261 Sociology of Religion (3.00)
A study of interplay between religion and society. Attention given to religion as a system of ideas and ritual patterns as well as a social institution. Same as: REL 261.

SOA 297 Internship (0.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

SOA 299 Independent Study (1.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

SOA 300 Organized Crime (3.00)
An examination of organized crime in contemporary society. The course reviews relevant models and explanations of organized crime, the various goods and services provided by organized crime groups (from gambling, to loan sharking, to labor racketeering, to drug trafficking), the emergence of criminal groups in a comparative perspective and law enforcement responses aimed at social control.

SOA 310 Cultural Psychology (3.00)
The course considers what we mean by culture, and how taking culture into account affects our knowledge of basic psychology in areas like human development, the self-concept, gender expectations, as well as our understanding of mental illness. The courses focuses on both psychological and anthropological approaches to studying culture and the pros and cons of different approaches. Same as: PSY 310. ACR: Intercultural.

SOA 315 Sociology of Gender and Sexualities (3.00)
The study of gender as a social product, including theoretical frameworks, gender-defining institutions and feminism. Same as: GWS 315.

SOA 320 Punishment (3.00)
This course examines how criminal punishment has evolved over time. It reviews the various justifications for punishment-including deterrence, retribution, rehabilitation, incapacitation and restoration-and examines how these affect punishment in practice. It considers the social, political and economic functions that punishment serves. It explores why incarceration has substantially increased in the the United States and considers future trends in criminal punishment.

SOA 330 Racial and Ethnic Minorities (3.00)
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.

SOA 345 Religion, Ritual, and Symbol (3.00)
A cross-cultural examination of religious beliefs and religious institutions, and the symbolic meanings and social functions of myths and rituals. Special emphasis on the beliefs and practices of selected indigenous peoples. Same as: REL 345. ACR: Intercultural.

SOA 350 Delinquency (3.00)
Historical development of the juvenile justice system and the invention of delinquency. An overview of the contemporary juvenile court and justice system. An examination of the nature and extent of delinquency in American society and a survey of theories of the causes of delinquent behavior.

SOA 360 Sport in Society (3.00)
An historical study of sport across time and cultures. A comparative analysis of sport and its uses in ancient, medieval, and modern societies is undertaken. Work-leisure patterns that developed over the course of American history are examined. Primary consideration of the urban, industrial, and commercial processes that contributed to culture formation, with particular emphases on class and gender relations, commercialized leisure practices, and the impact of the mass media in the formation of value systems. Discussion of theories relative to the role of sport in society, with particular emphasis on globalization, colonialism, and cultural hegonomy in the Caribbean, Pacific Rim, and Asia. Same as: KIN 360. ACR: Intercultural.

SOA 363 Mayas, Aztecs and Their Neighbors (3.00)
Continuity and change, diversity and commonality among the indigenous peoples of Mexico, Guatemala and northern Central America from first human occupation to the present. Emphases on indigenous politics and transnational flows of people, culture and material. ACR: Intercultural.

SOA 375 Protest and Change (3.00)
A sociological study of discontent and social change. Highlights the origins, concerns, life cycle and impact of social movements, as well as the tactics activists use and the challenges they face. Selected case studies may include civil rights, feminism, animal welfare and the abortion debate.

SOA 380 Social Class in American Society (3.00)
An analysis of social class in American Society. Examines a variety of social class-related issues, including prestige systems, social mobility, poverty, world systems, structured inequality, and community organizing. Special emphasis placed upon inequality in terms of the values of social justice and attempts to bring about social changes through different forms of leadership and community organizing. ACR: Leadership, Ethics, & Values.

SOA 385 Chicago Field Study and Practicum (3.00)
A first hand study of city life in Chicago with a particular focus on Chicago's neighborhoods.

SOA 390 Topics in Sociology (3.00)
An in-depth consideration of current topics in sociology, such as social deviance, work and society, violence, and social disaster.

SOA 397 Internship (0.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

SOA 399 Independent Study (1.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

SOA 401 Anthropological Theory (1.00)
A reading and discussion course focused on primary texts written by leading anthropological theorists from the late 19th century to the present.

SOA 421 Indigenous Peoples and the State (3.00)
The multi-dimensional study of the clash of cultural values, attitudes, and ideologies that commonly occurs in global encounters and relationships between state systems and native peoples. Economic, socio-political, and ideological issues are among the topics covered. ACR: Intercultural.

SOA 496 Life Chances and Life Choices (3.00)
This is a capstone course for sociology majors. It asks students to apply their acquired sociological wisdom (methods, theory, culture, structure) in an attempt to promote a more informed, involved, principled and productive life. It will focus upon the life chances and life choices involving formal education, work and occupations, marriage and family and retirement. Life Chances and Life Choices Eligibility

SOA 497 Internship (0.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

SOA 499 Independent Study (1.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.