May 27, 2024  
Course Catalog 2016-2017 
Course Catalog 2016-2017 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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Daphne A. John, Associate Professor of Sociology and Chair
Rick Baldoz,  Assistant Professor of Sociology
Jinwon Kim, Vst. Assistant Professor of Sociology

Greggor Mattson, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Christine Parris, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Christi Smith, Vst. Assistant Professor of Sociology
Veljko Vujacic, Associate Professor of Sociology

Clovis L. White, Associate Professor of Sociology


Sociology is concerned with the study of social phenomena-the self, groups, community solidarity, economic and political behavior, inequality, culture and values, social organization, institutions-in societies of various types and levels of development. The question of how groups, societies, and larger social systems change or remain the same over time frames work in the discipline. The department curriculum reflects the breadth of the discipline and responds to the variety of student interests. The curriculum addresses the educational objectives of students who wish to: (1) study for advanced degrees in Sociology as preparation for careers in teaching or research; (2) apply Sociology in the professions such as law or urban planning; (3) apply Sociology in public policy or social service agency work; (4) utilize Sociology to contribute to majors in other disciplines such as psychology, anthropology, history, or political science; (5) learn the ways in which the sociological imagination can increase and enrich one’s participation in society. These different objectives may suggest different courses or combinations of courses so students thinking about majoring in the department should consult an advisor early in their decision process.  Courses in many other disciplines add strength to a major in Sociology.  The particular pattern of courses chosen will vary, depending on the plans and interests of the student.  The pattern should be worked out in close consultation with the major advisor.



A major in Sociology consists of the following:

A minimum of 9.5 courses (nine full courses and one half course) in the department, including an introductory sociology course.
   a.  Required courses: 301, 302 and 303. Students are strongly advised to take these courses by the end of their junior year, since advanced courses assume knowledge of material covered in them. Those considering Honors should know that they must have completed 301 and 302 courses to be eligible for the program.
   b.  STAT 113, or STAT 114 or STAT 213 must be taken before or while enrolled in SOCI 301/302.
   c.  At least one seminar in Sociology.
   d.  The 9.5 courses required for the major may include only one introductory course. 
   e.  A First Year Seminar offered by a Sociology faculty counts toward the major but is not considered a substitute for an introductory course.
   f.  Courses in which a student has earned a letter grade lower than a C- or P cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of the major or minor. 


The minor in Sociology consists of the following:

  1. A minimum of 5 full courses in the department which must include: 
  2. An introductory course (but not more than one).
  3. Either Sociology 301/302 (Social Research Methods) or Sociology 303 (Social Theory).
  4. Courses in which a student has earned a letter grade lower than a C- or P cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of the major or minor.


The department invites a number of qualified majors to participate in the Honors Program. To be eligible, students must have completed Sociology 301/302 by the end of their junior year.  Senior Sociology Majors are asked to submit a written proposal (to the department chair) to participate in the Sociology Honors Program at the end of their junior year. Students are not formally accepted into the Honors Program until the research proposal is approved by the department. The level of Honors is determined by the thesis grade, assessment of oral presentation of the project and major GPA.

Off-Campus Programs for Credit

Students are encouraged to broaden their educational experience by taking advantage of off-campus programs, preferably sometime during their junior year. A maximum of 3 courses may be applied toward the major and require prior approval of the department. A program of special interest for Sociology majors is the GLCA Philadelphia Center.

Transfer of Credit

Students who transfer sociology courses taken at other institutions may, with the approval of the department, apply certain of such courses toward the major or minor. No transfer courses will substitue for the required Sociology 301, 302, and 303 which must be completed at Oberlin College.  The transfer of credits may be subject to the transfer of credit fee. Requests to transfer courses taken at other institutions are evaluated on an individual basis. Generally, transfer credit shall not exceed 3 full courses.

Private Reading

Students who have completed available courses in a subject may schedule a reading course in that subject during their junior or senior years. In some instances, reading courses in subjects not offered in the department may also be arranged. No more than one reading course may be scheduled in any semester, or more than two during an undergraduate program.  Each private reading course will be the equivalent of one-half course (2 credits).

First Year Seminar Courses

  • FYSP 118 - Through the Looking Glass
  • FYSP 163 - She Works Hard for the Money:  Women, Work, and the Persistence of Inequality
  • FYSP 191 - Social Justice in the US

Senior Seminars

These seminars are designed to integrate theory, methods, and the core analytical areas by linking the specific seminar topic to broader sociological issues. They serve as capstones for the sociology major.


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