Florida State University General Bulletin 1998-1999

FSU Homepage Office of the Registrar On-Line Registration 1997-1999 Graduate Bulletin Table of Contents

Academic Departments and Programs (course descriptions)

Department of Sociology

College of Social Sciences

Chair: Eberstein;
Professors: Armer, Boyd, Eberstein, Fendrich, Hardy, Hazelrigg, Imershein, Isaac, Kinloch, Martin, Myles, Orcutt, Quadagno;
Associate Professors: Bellingham, Ford, Losh, Padavic;
Assistant Professors: Brewster, Chan, Dahms, Reynolds;
Professor Emeritus: Nam;
Affiliate Faculty: Chiricos, Doan, Milton, Papagiannis, Rose, Sly

Few fields have as broad a scope as sociology, the study of human groups and social life. The sociology majors interests range from the nuclear family to the many types of societies, from crime to religion, from the divisions of race and class to the integrating symbols of culture, from the sociology of occupations to politics. At The Florida State University, the Department of Sociology examines all of these matters and others. Current research is ongoing in such diverse areas as sex roles, race relations, the welfare state, and population.

There are several reasons for pursuing a sociology degree. First, sociology addresses circumstances and events that affect students lives today and in the future. Second, a sociology major provides a broad-based, liberal arts education that promotes understanding and sharpens analytical skills. Third, a sociology major is excellent preparation for a career in professions that require an ability to think and write analytically. Sociology graduates have found employment in academia, business, law, medicine, politics, and government. Fourth, sociology prepares students for advanced graduate work in anticipation of careers in research and teaching.

Sociology majors learn how to analyze the employment, termination, and promotional practices of organizations; anticipate the changes humans will undergo in their life; practice market research; detect social trends; analyze statistical data; evaluate public policies; assess the impact of technological innovations; interpret political and social change in the world system; conduct surveys and interpret their results; project fertility and mortality patterns; and appreciate classic theories of social order and change.

The facilities and resources available to sociology majors include access to the microcomputer lab in the College of Social Sciences and opportunities to work closely with faculty on research projects. The department provides a wide range of courses on important aspects of social life, leading to greater understanding of human society and a variety of skills that are increasingly essential for citizens in a postindustrial, information-based, and rapidly changing global society.

State of Florida Common Course Prerequisites

The State of Florida has identified common course prerequisites for this University degree program. These prerequisites are lower-level courses that are required for preparation for the University major prior to a student receiving a baccalaureate degree from The Florida State University. They may be taken either at a community college or in a university lower-division program. It is preferred that these common course prerequisites be completed in the freshman and sophomore years.

The following lists the common course prerequisites or approved substitutions necessary for this degree program:

  1. Sociology majors should complete two (2) lower-level courses with the prefixes of SYA, SYD, SYG, SYO, or SYP.

Core Program

For acceptance as a sociology major, students must have successfully completed The Florida State Universitys liberal studies requirements with a grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or better. Consult the Undergraduate Degree Requirements section of this General Bulletin for further details.


Students may earn a bachelor of arts (BA) or a bachelor of science (BS) degree in sociology.


Students must complete thirty (30) semester hours in sociology, with a grade of C or better in each course, including: SYG 1000 (Introductory Sociology), SYA 4010 Sociological Theory, SYA 4300 Methods of Social Research, and SYA 4400 Social Statistics. Transfer students must earn a minimum of fifteen (15) semester hours in sociology at The Florida State University. Transfer of the required upper-division courses (SYA 4010, 4300, and 4400) is subject to the approval of the departmental chair.


A minor may be earned by completing any twelve (12) semester hours in sociology with a grade of C or better in each course. At least six (6) of the twelve (12) semester hours must be completed at The Florida State University.

Honors in the Major

The Department of Sociology offers a program of honors in the major to encourage talented juniors and seniors to undertake independent and original research as part of their undergraduate experience. For requirements and other information, see the University Honors Program and Honor Societies section of this General Bulletin.

Definition of Prefixes

DEM Demography
SYA Sociological Analysis
SYD Demography and Area Studies
SYG Sociology: General
SYO Social Organization
SYP Social Processes

Undergraduate Courses

Introductory Course

SYG 1000. Introductory Sociology (3). An introduction to the fundamentals of sociology. Emphasis is placed on exposure to the basic findings of empirical research studies in a wide range of areas traditionally examined by sociologists.

Sociological Theory and Methods of Research

SYA 4010. Sociological Theory (3). This course introduces the student to the kind of theory which has developed in the field of sociology since its foundation, moving through to the contemporary scene. Major theoretical fields, major theorists, and dominant theoretical issues which continue to be part of the sociological approach to explanation are covered.
SYA 4300. Methods of Social Research (3). Broad coverage of research design, data collection, and data analysis. This is a required course for sociology majors.
SYA 4400. Social Statistics (3). This course involves the application of statistical techniques to sociological data as illustrated in the research and writing of social scientists. As a course for majors, it represents an important part of the students methodological training with respect to the statistical analysis of data typically used by sociologists. The student is expected to carry out a number of exercises involving the statistical analysis of sociological data and to interpret the results.
SYA 4932r. Tutorial in Sociology-Undergraduate (1). Prerequisite: upper division, sociology majors. Repeatable to a maximum of three (3) semester hours. Selected topics in contemporary sociology; maximum enrollment of five students in each tutorial.

The Family

SYG 2430. Marriage and the Family (3). This course is concerned with the processes of marriage and family relationships in a changing society. Topics covered include interpersonal attraction, heterosexual love relationships, pre-marital and marital sexuality, marital and family interaction, and alternative family forms. The major course objective is to familiarize students with the process of heterosexual and parent-child interaction over the life cycle from a sociological perspective.
SYO 3100. Family Problems and Social Change (3). A basic sociological approach to conditions, issues, and problems of familial organization within the context of changing institutional structures of modern society. Attention is given to such questions as: how have spouse roles changed, and why? how do changes in the organization of work affect family experience? how are family and kinship patterns affected by an aging population? etc.

Personality and Society (Social Psychology)

SYP 3000. Social Psychology of Groups (3). This course represents the study of social psychology from a sociological perspective. Specifically, it is an analysis of the influence of the groups and the individual on each other, including the study of norms, group pressure, leadership, motivation, and social personality.
SYP 3300. Collective Action and Social Movements (3). This course focuses on episodes of collective behavior in natural disasters and social movements with special attention to large-scale social movements in the United States.
SYP 4340. Public Opinion Analysis (3). An examination of the role of the mass media influences on public opinion, techniques of opinion measurement, and the impact of opinion polls on attitudes and behavior.

Population and Human Ecology

SYD 3012. Population and Development in Florida (3). Reviews the demographic trends present in Florida and traces their causes and consequences. No prerequisites, but either SYD 3010 or ECP 3113 is recommended.
SYD 3020. Population and Society (3). This course examines the causes and consequences of population change in the United States and the world with an assessment of the impact of demographic change on various social institutions.

Social Issues and Change

SYD 3800. Sociology of Sex and Gender (3). This course provides a look at the sociological facets of gender and its effect in society.
SYD 4700. Race and Minority Group Relations (3). An introduction to prevalent sociological concepts and theories utilized in the study of dominant-subordinate relationships between groups. The social significance of minority status is emphasized. Once introduced, concepts and theories are applied to the experiences of several nonwhite ethnic groups in the US with special attention being devoted to contemporary black-white relationships. The reemergence of white ethnicity is discussed in relation to the above.
SYG 2010. Social Problems (3). This course represents a study of various contemporary social problems in an urbanized society which may include such topics as education, the family, politics, the economy, race relations, drug use and alcoholism, over-population, and other issues.
SYO 4180. Gender and Work (3). This course is an introduction to the cultural and structural mechanisms that reproduce gendered outcomes in the workplace. It addresses occupational segregation, the wage gap, sex differences in promotions, unpaid family work, explanations of inequality, strategies for change and resistance to change, and the intersections of gender, race, and class.
SYO 4550. Comparative Sociology (3). This course deals with variations and patterns of development in individuals and social institutions across societies.
SYP 3400. Social Change (3). This course is concerned with the context, essential sources, dynamics, and consequences of social development, modernization, and societal change.
SYP 3730. Aging and Society (3). This course examines the social structure of age and age-related phenomena, with particular emphases on later stages of the life course and on recent changes of the situation of the elderly in industrial societies. Topics include work and retirement, minority-group and gender differences in old age, conditions affecting the social construction of age categories, and social policies concerning the elderly.
SYP 4570. Deviance and Social Control (3). This course focuses on major theories and research traditions, including structural and social psychological causes of deviant behavior, processes of labeling deviants, and social conflict over definition and treatment of deviance.

Social Organization

SYO 3200. Sociology of Religion (3). A basic sociological perspective on the social organization and forms of religious life in modern society. Religious groups are studied as organizations that contribute to social stability, social conflict, and social change.
SYD 3600. The Community in Urban Society (3). An introduction to the community as a changing form of social organization with emphasis on community field studies (ethnographies), theories of communal organization, and the study of community-specific processes such as power distribution and decision making, conflict, stratification, and the dynamics of land-use change. Special attention is given to the study of the metropolitan community in US society and its inner city and suburbs.
SYO 3530. Social Classes and Inequality (3). Basic theory of social stratification is presented and used in description of the stratification system in the United States and other nations. Opportunity for social mobility in the social structure is assessed and compared with rates of mobility in other countries.
SYO 4250. Sociology of Education (3). This course presents a sociological approach to the study of education as a social institution, its structure, functions, and role in contemporary life.
SYO 4300. Sociology of Politics (3). This course deals with American political institutions, political organizations, pressure groups, and the publics participation in political processes. Discussion focuses on current political issues from a sociological perspective.
SYO 4350. Sociology of Business, Labor, and Government (3). The primary focus of this course is on the interrelationships among business and production organizations, labor interests and struggles, and the state and state policies, from various theoretical and historical perspectives. In addition to critical evaluation of conventional political-economic perspectives, the course will examine recent sociological work on the state, the labor movement, and industry.
SYO 4420. Sociology of Health Care (3). An introduction to the organizational, economic and political structures and problems of American health care. Also introduces several of the sociological approaches that examine these issues.
SYP 3540. Sociology of Law (3). This course examines the interrelationship between the legal order and the social order. Limitations of civil and criminal law for conflict management and for implementation of social policy are considered.


SYA 4905r. Directed Individual Study (3). Consent of instructor and departmental chair required. May be repeated to a maximum of nine (9) semester hours.
SYA 4930r. Selected Topics in Sociology (3). May be repeated to a maximum of nine (9) semester hours.
SYA 4931r. Honors Work (3). May be repeated to a maximum of nine (9) semester hours.
SYA 4932r. Tutorial in Sociology (1). Prerequisite: upper division sociology majors or minors only. Reading and analysis of primary literature on selected topics in contemporary sociology. May be repeated to a maximum of three (3) semester hours.

Graduate Courses

Sociological Theory

SYA 5125. Classical Social Theory (3).
SYA 5126. Contemporary Sociological Theory (3).
SYA 5205. Theory Construction (3).
SYA 6934r. Selected Topics in Theory (3).

Research Methodology

SYA 5310. Qualitative Research Methods in Sociology (3).
SYA 5345. Introduction to Research Methods (3).
SYA 5406. Multivariate Analysis (3).
SYA 5407. Advanced Quantitative Methods (3).
SYA 5455. Social Statistics and Data Analysis (3).
SYA 5515. Sociological Research Practicum (1). (S/U grade only.)
SYA 5516. Reporting Sociological Research (3). (S/U grade only.)
SYA 6936r. Selected Topics in Research Methods (3).

Area Courses

DEM 5906r. Directed Individual Study (1-3). (S/U grade only.)
DEM 5910r. Supervised Research (1-6). (S/U grade only.)
DEM 5930r. Special Topics in Demography (3).
DEM 5972r. Masters Research Paper in Demography (3-6). (S/U grade only.)
DEM 8977. Masters Research Paper Defense (0).(S/U grade only.)
SYA 5355. Comparative Historical Sociology (3).
SYA 6938r. Selected Topics in Social Institutions, Social Organization, and Social Policy (3).
SYA 6939r. Selected Topics in Social Psychology (3).
SYD 5045. Introduction to Demography (3).
SYD 5105. Population Theory (3).
SYD 5135. Techniques of Population Analysis (3).
SYD 5145. Population Policy (3).
SYD 5155. Seminar in Population Education (3).
SYD 5215. Mortality (3).
SYD 5225. Fertility (3).
SYD 5235. Population Mobility (3).
SYD 5425. Urbanization and Population Distribution (3).
SYD 5605. The Community (3).
SYD 5705. Intergroup Relations (3).
SYD 5815. Contemporary Theories of Gender (3).
SYO 5105. Sociology of the Family (3).
SYO 5126. Contemporary Family Theory (3).
SYO 5135. Comparative Family Systems (3).
SYO 5185. Family and Work Linkages (3).
SYO 5255. Sociology of Education (3).
SYO 5306. Political Sociology (3).
SYO 5335. Sociology of Political Economy (3).
SYO 5351. Classical Theories of the Labor Process (3).
SYO 5352. Contemporary Theories of the Labor Process (3).
SYO 5376. Sociology of Gender and Work (3).
SYO 5405. Health Institutions and Social Policy (3).
SYO 5505. Social Organization and Change (3).
SYO 5535. Social Stratification (3).
SYO 5545. Social Institutions and Complex Organizations (3).
SYP 5105. Theories of Social Psychology (3).
SYP 5305. Collective Behavior and Social Movements (3).
SYP 5446. Sociology of National Development (3).
SYP 5516. Sociological Theories of Deviance (3).
SYP 5735. Sociology of Aging (3).
SYP 5737. The Dynamics of Aging and Social Change (3).


SYA 5907r. Directed Individual Study (3). (S/U grade only.)
SYA 5909r. Directed Individual Study (1-3). (S/U grade only.)
SYA 5912r. Supervised Research (1-5). (S/U grade only.)
SYA 5946r. Supervised Teaching (1-5). (S/U grade only.)
SYA 6933r. Selected Topics in Sociology (3).
SYA 6937r. Selected Topics in Deviance and Social Control (3).
SYA 8945. Doctoral Review Paper (3-6). (S/U grade only.)
SYO 6930r. Selected Topics in Marriage and Family (3).

For listings relating to graduate course work for thesis, dissertation, and masters and doctoral examinations and defense, consult the Graduate Bulletin.

SPANISH: see Modern Languages and Linguistics