Sociology is the systematic study of human society. Topics covered include culture, socialization, groups and organizations, social processes, community, social stratification, social change, and major institutions such as religious, economic, educational, or health care institutions, and the family. The sociological perspective will be illustrated by analyzing Canadian society in the context of the global community.
At CMU, students are challenged to think about how their faith and beliefs are shaped by society, and about how their faith and beliefs have the potential to shape society. Knowledge of sociology helps students understand themselves, others, and the systems within which they work and live.
The minor requires 18 credit hours and can fit alongside a major in any field, whether in the three-year or the four-year Bachelor of Arts. The student is given the opportunity to gain a broad understanding of Sociology through the required introductory courses, and then may explore a variety of topics, according to their interest. A student can gain valuable secondary competencies, applicable in almost any vocation, but especially relevant alongside a major in Communications, Business, International Development Studies, or Peace & Conflict Transformation Studies. Careers where these skills may be applied include areas such as social welfare, criminal justice, government, research, industrial relations, and administration.
SOCI-1110 Introduction to Sociology: (3 credit hours) This course provides an introduction to sociology through the study of society, social institutions, group behaviour, and social change as guided by a range of theoretical and conceptual resources. It will place emphasis on using sociological thinking to understand a broad range of contemporary social behaviours.
SOCI-2000 Social Welfare: (3.0 credit hours) Explores how economic, political, and ethical theories on society and human nature are manifested in societal responses to human need in providing social services. Includes a survey of the history of social welfare in Canada and a review of the major social welfare institutions.
SOCI-2020 Communities and Organizations: (3.0 credit hours) Examines the characteristics and interactions of communities and organizations (e.g., service, advocacy, NGOs, government agencies) in light of sociological theory. Critical attention will be devoted to structural responses to social issues such as childcare, immigration, housing, unemployment, disability, healthcare, aging, and poverty.
SOCI-2030 Inter-Cultural Theory and Practice: (3.0 credit hours) This course introduces the theoretical and methodological issues in inter-cultural study. Attention will be given to cultural translation, cultural encounters between groups, concomitant cultural appropriations, cross-fertilizations, transnational influence, identity, and resistance.
SOCI-2060 Sociology of Gender: (3.0 credit hours) The study of gender from a sociological perspective develops an appreciation for how social structure, institutions, and culture shape gender roles and the lives of those who play these roles; and for how, at the same time, gender roles shape culture, institutions, and social structure. This course will also attend to the ‘inherent or constructed’ debate about gender roles, the role of the media in shaping gender, and the intertwining of gender and family, politics, work, and religion. Prerequisite: SOCI-1110.
POLS/SOCI/PHIL-2600 Social and Political Philosophy: (3.0 credit hours) What is human nature? Should society be organized to reflect this? What is justice? Are states coercive by nature? How does property inform politics? What is ethical citizenship? These questions are explored through a survey of Western political thinkers including Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, de Gouges, Burke, Wollstonecraft, Mill, and Marx, and by examining their contemporary legacy.
PSYC/SOCI-2700 Interpersonal Communication: (3.0 credit hours) An examination of the multilevel communication processes that underlie and support social interaction and relationship formation and change. Special attention will be given to the differences and connections between verbal and nonverbal communication and to the rules and rituals of social interaction in everyday life. Prerequisite: PSYC-1020 or SOCI-1110 or PCTS-1110.
SOCI-2950 Topics in Sociology: (3.0 credit hours) The content of this course will vary from year to year, depending on the needs of students and the interests and availability of instructors.
POLS/COMM/SOCI-3000 Politics, Society and Mass Media: (3.0 credit hours) This course examines the relationship between the mass communications media and the political and social processes in which they operate, investigating the state of research on mass media, the role of media in creating and shaping political awareness, and in influencing human behaviour and values. Examples of topics which may be covered are: media ownership and organization patterns, media in the electoral process, the media in developing nations, the media and globalization, propaganda, media freedom and public opinion. Prerequisite: 30 credit hours of university-level studies, including six credit hours in social science.
SOCI-3100 Ethical Living in a Technological Society: (3.0 credit hours) This course will examine the implications of living in a technological society for our understandings of self, society, and Christian faith. The course will explore the historical roots of modern technology and the closely related domains of science and economics as well as a range of related philosophical, historical, psychological and sociological critiques. Emphasis will be placed on identifying creative options for living “faithfully” within a technological society. Prerequisite: 30 credit hours of university-level study, including SOCI-1110, or permission of the instructor.
SOCI-3950 Topics in Sociology: (3.0 credit hours) The content of this course will vary from year to year, depending on the needs of students and the interests and availability of instructors. Prerequisite: 30 credit hours of university-level study, including SOCI-1110.
PSYC/SOCI-4030 Qualitative Inquiry in the Social Sciences: (3.0 credit hours) Examination of principles and procedures for conducting qualitative research in the social sciences. Topics include: the assumptions that inform qualitative research designs; procedures for gathering meaningful data through interviews, observation and textual archives; the analysis of such data; and ethical issues pertaining to the research endeavour. Prerequisite: 60 credit hours of university-level studies, including 12 credit hours in social sciences.
IDS/PCTS/POLS/SOCI-4100 Senior Seminar in Social Change: (3.0 credit hours) In this capstone seminar, students review and compare inter-disciplinary and discipline-based approaches to social change, including issues in peacebuilding and conflict transformation, social and economic development, environmental sustainability, and democratization and social movements. Using a seminar format, students will examine contending theories of social change, and address questions of power, interpretation, ethics, commitments and virtues in understanding and working for social change. These examinations will allow students to explore ways of integrating theories and practices, and articulate their own understanding and ethics of social change. Prerequisites: 60 credit hours of university level studies, including 18 credit hours in IDS, PCTS, SOCI, POLS, GEOG or PSYC; or permission of the instructor. It is recommended that the practicum requirement be completed prior to taking this course.
SOCI-4940 Independent Study in Sociology: (3.0 credit hours) A study in a specific area of Sociology under the direction of a faculty member. Prerequisites: SOCI-1110, an additional nine credit hours in Sociology, and a minimum of 60 credit hours of university-level studies.