Academic Catalog 2022–2023

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Sociology Courses

SOC101 Sociology and Society

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course introduces students to basic concepts in sociology. It is designed to make students understand what makes sociology a different discipline from other social sciences. It covers basic topics including, but not limited to: groups, communities and society, evolution of societies, social structure and social change, communication in society, social stratification, youth and subculture, family and kin relations, social inequality and social mobility, social integration and solidarity, culture and social values. Examples are drawn from Lebanon and elsewhere to clarify the discussion.

SOC201 Introduction to Sociology

[3–0, 3 cr.]

The course introduces students to the basic concepts and processes governing social relationships as well as scientific approaches dealing with and explaining social phenomena. Various social institutions are examined.

SOC203 Citizenship and Leadership

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course covers the basic concepts of leadership, active citizenship and public involvement in a democratic society.  It also examines the theories and approaches that link together these three concepts. The course will cover the principles and skills that leaders and citizens should acquire to be civically engaged in different social, political and economic contexts. Students will propose and implement a civic engagement project.

Exclusion: Students who take POL230 Citizenship (1 cr.) AND  POL / 237 Basics of Leadership (1 cr.) cannot take this course for credit.

SOC215 Introduction to Gender Studies

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course examines what it means to be a man or a woman, from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives. It explores the construction of masculinities and femininities in a variety of cultural contexts. Special attention is given to gender differences, and gender inequalities.

SOC303 Urban Sociology

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course is a survey of the city as a historical development, in relation to economic, social, and political factors, from the early settlements to the development of contemporary urbanism. It deals with a broad overview of the current planning theories, from the context of modernist ideals to the social studies of planners and sociologists.

Pre-requisite: SOC201 Introduction to Sociology

SOC304 Sociology of Religion

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course examines historical and contemporary relationships between social groups and their sacred symbols and objects, including the forms and functions of religion, religious beliefs and rituals, the politics and economics of religion, identity politics and religious movements.

Pre-requisite: SOC201 Introduction to Sociology

SOC311 Social Problems: Stratification & Marginalization

[3–0, 3 cr.]

The course surveys key political ideas primarily from the Renaissance through the Enlightenment up to the beginning of the 20th century. Analysis and discussion of original texts and political ideas related to the general philosophy of each author’s historical and political background.

Prerequisite: POL201. 

SOC313 Women in the Arab World

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course examines the roles and status of Arab women in relation to various societal factors, including a brief overview of the legal rights as stated in the personal status code. Class discussions will analyze the changes by identifying determinants and patterns of change. Students are also introduced to basic gender, and feminist, perspectives on the status of women in Arab societies.

SOC321 Sociology of the Arab World

[3–0, 3 cr.]

A seminar for students interested in understanding the Arab world’s social structures with emphasis on major institutions and values, viewed from a three-dimensional perspective, namely: habitat, ethnic compositions and history.

SOC390 Civic Engagement

[1–0, 1 cr.]

This course provides a platform to address issues of social concern across disciplines. It briefly presents the concepts of civic engagement/community service. The major component of the course is a guided community service experience based on a plan designed by the students and the course supervisor, in cooperation with the Outreach and Civic Engagement office, where applicable. Students will engage in community projects that draw upon the student’s academic discipline or that is designed to fit the student’s interest. Students will present a report that documents the said project.

SOC401 Sociological Theories

[3–0, 3 cr.]

The course is an advanced study of classical and modern sociological theories including, but not restricted to, the works of Durkheim, Marx, Weber, Bourdieu, Giddens, Hall and Norbert Elias.

Pre-requisite: SOC201 Introduction to Sociology

SOC488 Topics in Sociology: Sociology of Migration

[3–0, 3 cr.]

The course introduces students to the basic concepts and processes governing mobility of people between various countries. It applies sociological, anthropological and cultural studies approaches to analyze this phenomenon. 

Pre-requisite: SOC201 Introduction to Sociology

SOC488D Fundamentals of Gender Discrimination

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course is not about women. This course is not about men. This is a course about the discriminatory practices that women and men experience in various settings – public and private. Discrimination can take many forms: Racial, Economic, Political, Religious and Gendered. Arguably, we have all experienced some form of discrimination in our lifetime, and we have also been agents of perpetuating discrimination (whether we have done this consciously or not).

This course introduces the fundamentals of Gender Discrimination: What does it look like? What factors perpetuate it? What is its impact on men and women? What can I do to avoid being complicit in discriminatory practices?

The course engages students in active learning using Game Theory, Problem-Based Learning and Case studies of real scenarios. Students are challenged to question their own practices and perspectives, and they will be expected to contribute to the active formulation of positive and forward-looking solutions.

SOC488E Topics in Sociology: Gender Equality in the Workplace

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course examines the nature of contemporary workplaces and the extent to which equal opportunities are afforded for individuals regardless of their gendered identification or their sexual orientation. We study the politics of the corporate world, the dynamics of scientific careers, the changing nature of leadership in society and politics. Our aim is to understand the ways in which the absence of gender equality impacts a country’s economic prosperity, on its ability to formulate sustainable and scientifically sound strategies that cope with fragile environments, and on its potential to participate in democratic transitions.

The course covers issues of global and regional import, and focuses attention on the challenges faced in the professional cultures of the MENA region.

The course engages students in active learning using Problem-Based Learning, Debates, and Case Studies of real scenarios. Students are challenged to question their own practices and perspectives, and they will be expected to contribute to the active formulation of positive and forward-looking solutions.

SOC815 Gender and Migration

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This seminar will use a gender lens to various forms of migration and trafficking in persons. Themes covered include: international gendered labor markets, migration to and from the Middle East, domestic labor, Human Trafficking; Sex trafficking, displacement through conflict and development, remittances, and human rights.