Why should I major in sociology?

Sociology is not a practice, but a disciplined and systematic method of understanding. One of the newer academic disciplines in modern universities and colleges, it has its origins in the work of the philosophers and scientists of the “Great Enlightenment.” The major questions of sociology have been pondered by the world’s greatest thinkers since the earliest periods of recorded history. Sociology, as a science, emerged first as a “science of humanity,” longing to predict, understand and correct the ills of society as the modern world rushed to industrial and technological strength. The work of the modern sociologist is shaped by those early thinkers whose writings attempted to correct the misery, poverty, prejudice and human suffering that accompanied society’s rise to greatness. The demand for sociologists is expected to grow as societies are increasingly committed to humane and rational planning and governance. Modern society is complex, changing rapidly and producing so much disagreement and protest that the continuing need for sociology to help to understand is assured.

What can I do with a sociology degree from the University of Pikeville?
Traditionally, students with degrees in sociology have combined their study with work in journalism, social welfare, education, religion, business, and other disciplines, to pursue occupations in management and administration, public relations, communication, criminal justice and the law, teaching and other “people-related” and “helping” professions. Many exciting career possibilities are emerging in applied sociology in such areas as social research, impact assessment in the formulation and evaluation of pubic policy and programming, conflict intervention in such diverse settings as racial struggles, community justice and law enforcement programs and many others. Mass communication provides a broad spectrum of career opportunities dealing with connections between the media and society.

Sociology at the University of Pikeville
This discipline serves students interested in the liberal arts who seek to develop a better cross-cultural understanding of the social order and the social processes essential to personality development. The discipline seeks:

  1. To prepare students for productive careers. While some coursework in this discipline is appropriate in any vocation, student planing their life work primarily around interaction with other persons will find this major a wise choice. Career possibilities are found in a wide variety of public and private enterprises, social services and business, or public administration settings from criminal justice to family and child service agencies to religious ministry to social action. Some career choices may require additional graduate education or other specialized training.
  2. To provide training in theoretical analysis and the development of research skills, or other information on the means of social action, civic or religious leadership, or for those whose conscience calls them to engage our society in the pursuit of social justice or the peaceful resolution of social conflicts.
  3. To equip students to pursue an academic career in teaching, administration, or research as a professional sociologist.
Sociology Degree Options
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Sociology Careers
College Professor
Corrections Professional
Human Rights Officer
Human Services Professional
Law Enforcement Officer
Organizational/Agency Manager
Parole Officer
Public Relations Specialist
Rehabilitation Counselor
Substance Abuse Counselor



SOC 119 Introduction to Sociology
What sociologists do and how they think; the study of the interaction of individuals and groups with their physical and social environment; consideration of the basic sociological conceptual repertoire and major explanatory frameworks used by sociologists.

SOC 214 Juvenile Delinquency
This course is designed to introduce students to the unique world of juvenile delinquency. The course will devote attention to: the nature and extent of delinquency; theoretical perspectives on juvenile delinquency; the influence of social demographics on delinquency; the historical development of the juvenile legal system, and other relevant topics to juveniles and the justice system. Prerequisite: ENG 098 or placement beyond. Cross-listed as CJ 214.

SOC 221 Contemporary Social Problems and Public Policy
An analysis of current social problems in American society. This survey examines the relationship between selected American institutional structures and the development of popular beliefs and theories about social problems, from classical social pathology to "blaming the victim" myths. Special attention will be given to the processes involved in the development and management of public policy, regulatory or administrative law, and the significance of social research and planning. Topics, among others, may include the impact of technology on society, the social consequences of poverty and inequality, and the social construction of reality creating such challenges as mental illness, crime, substance abuse, and others.

SOC 229 The Family
A study of modern marriage and family institutions in the context of radical change; examination of "marital happiness" as a cultural phenomenon; topics include the social regulation of mate selection, kinship relationships and sexual behavior, evaluation of research findings and emerging trends.

SOC 285 Statistics for the Social Sciences
This course will examine both descriptive (e.g. distributions, central tendency, variability, graphic representations) and inferential (e.g. t-tests, Analysis of Variance) statistics within the context of the social sciences. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the conditions that call for the use of one test over another. Students will be exposed to theory as well as to hands-on application through computer statistics packages such as SPSS. Prerequisites: CJ 152, PSY 110 or SOC 119 and MTH 111 or higher. Cross-listed as CJ 285 and PSY 285.

SOC 290 Special Topics in Sociology
A study of a selected topic of special interest. The topic may be proposed by either the Instructor or students, and may be taken for credit any number of times, provided a different topic is studied each time. Prerequisite: SOC 119.

SOC 291 Special Topics in Criminal Justice and Sociology
A study of a selected topic of special interest. The topic may be proposed by either the Instructor or students, and may be taken for credit any number of times, provided a different topic is studied each time. Prerequisite: CJ 152 or SOC 119

SOC 301 Sociological Theory
A study of the historical development of the field of sociology, theory construction, and the alternative models of inquiry which have influenced inquiry into, and the understanding of, social institutions and behavior. This study includes an examination of basic intellectual traditions and paradigms in sociological understanding, including normative beliefs and values as well as scientific theories of social relations and culture from the 18th century to the present. Theorists examined include both early and contemporary thinkers. Prerequisite: SOC 119

SOC 310 Research Methods
An introduction to the major methodological procedures and strategies associated with social research conceptualization and operations, including research design, data collection, and data analysis and interpretation; selected computer applications are utilized where appropriate. Statistical methodologies will address probability, sampling, measures of association, tests of statistical significance, and constructing and evaluating hypotheses. Both quantitative and qualitative research techniques are examined. Prerequisites: CJ 152, PSY 110 or SOC 119, and Junior standing. Cross-listed as CJ 310.

SOC 315 Social Psychology
Human behavior viewed as individual and his or her sociocultural environment--that is, such cultural groups as the family in its various forms, the school, the church, the political party, the lodge or service club, the sports crowd, the mob, and the military unit. Prerequisite: SOC 119 or PSY 110. Cross-listed as PSY 315.

SOC 334 Sport in Society
This course examines the relationship between sport, both professional and amateur, and society. Students apply critical thinking skills to analyze current sport-related controversies, and gain a deeper understanding of the relationships between sports and global social issues such as gender, ethnicity, social class, economics, politics, and mass media. It will also examine the social and cultural history of sport and its influence on our social institutions, such as politics, the economy, and government. Prerequisites: ECN 201 or ECN 202 or SOC 119. Cross-listed as BUS 334.

SOC 342 Drugs and Society
The ingestion of chemical substances in order to alter one’s consciousness has been practiced in virtually all cultures and ages throughout human history despite the risks associated with this practice. This course is an examination of the relationship between drugs and the social contexts in which they exist, are used, and misused. Prerequisites: CJ 152, PSY 110 or SOC 119. Cross-listed as CJ 342.

SOC 350 The Culture of the Appalachian Region
A study of the Appalachian culture and social systems, including family structure, social class, religion, and education. Some attention given to Appalachian folklore in dance, food, and story-telling.

SOC 355 Deviant Behavior
The course begins with an overview of sociological theories of deviance which attempt to define the sociological significance of deviant behavior. Social conditions and processes associated with careers of deviants will be explored, as well as the relationship of deviancy to problems of social control. Offering a more complex way of understanding and defining deviance in relation to social expectations, substantive readings and selected media will offer examples of the nature of deviant behavior. Prerequisite: CJ 152, PSY 110, or SOC 119. Cross-listed as CJ 355.

SOC 405 Social Stratification
This course examines social inequality with a focus on race, class, and gender. Students will study theories and empirical findings related to various status hierarchies and how positions in the hierarchies affect access to resources and power in society. In addition, these theories will be utilized to examine the structure, history, and evolution of systems of stratification. Prerequisites: SOC 119 and sophomore standing.

SOC 411 Sociology of Mental Disorders
This course focuses on the social factors that impact health and the relationship between sociology and medicine. We will take a critical approach to topics such as: changing conceptualizations of health and illness, the impact of membership in different social demographic groups on health and illness (social epidemiology), medical and sociological models of illness, the development of health care institutions, and medical training and health care provision. Prerequisites: ENG 112 or ENG 115, SOC 119, and Junior standing.

SOC 412 Sociology of Health and Illness
This course is designed to introduce students to the study of mental health and illness from a sociological perspective. Generally considered psychological problems, mental illnesses and mental disorders are strongly influenced by the environment and are understood in a social and cultural context. We look at mental disorders from a broad perspective to consider the impact of historical changes, social demographics, and social values on the definitions of mental health and illness and the ways that society responds to the problem of mental disorder. Prerequisites: ENG 112 or ENG 115, SOC 119, and Junior standing.

SOC 452 Interdisciplinary Commons in Law, Justice, and Society
An examination of theoretical problems, strategies and controversies in modern approaches to intellectual and social problems in American culture; review of contemporary thinkers in light of classical theoretical and policy statements. Prerequisite: Senior status. Cross-listed as CJ 452 and PSY 452.

SOC 490 Special Topics in Sociology
A study of a selected topic of special interest. The topic may be proposed by either the Instructor or students, and may be taken for credit any number of times, provided a different topic is studied each time. Prerequisites: SOC 119 and Junior standing.

SOC 491 Special Topics in Criminal Justice and Sociology
A study of a selected topic of special interest. The topic may be proposed by either the Instructor or students, and may be taken for credit any number of times, provided a different topic is studied each time. Prerequisite: CJ 152 or SOC 119 and Junior standing.

SOC 498 Practicum
A supervised work/study placement in a setting consistent with the student's interest and career goals. May be repeated for a total of 6 semester hours with 3 hours credited to the completion of a Sociology or Criminal Justice major and the remaining 3 hours credited as an upper division general elective. A student may earn no more than 6 hours of CJ 498 and SOC 498. Contacts with agencies arranged with permission of instructor. Prerequisites: Junior standing, completion of 15 hours of coursework in Sociology or Criminal Justice, and permission of faculty supervisor. Cross-listed as CJ 498.

SOC 499 Directed Individual Study in Sociology
A program of reading and reporting planned and carried out under the guidance of a faculty member in the major. The topic, issue or area of student interest must concern a problem in the discipline not routinely available in the college catalog. Interdisciplinary study is encouraged. This option is available to majors of all disciplines of upper level standing. By permission of instructor(s) upon approval of a student-generated proposal. Prerequisites: Junior status and completion of twelve hours of Sociology, and consent of the Instructor, Division Chair, and the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Name: Eric Primm
Title: Associate Professor of Sociology
Email: EricPrimm@upike.edu
Phone: 606.218.5041
Office: Armington 423

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