Course Descriptions and Schedules

Full Course Offerings

Spring 2016 Schedule – Coming Soon!


Check Out What’s Coming Up in Spring 2016!

Some of our courses for the upcoming semester include:

Soc 390:  Sociology of Food (Dr. Gengler)

Food. We love it, we can’t live without it, but we fear that it might be making us fat, making us sick, and damaging our environment. What we “choose” to eat is not always as much of a choice as it might first seem. Our consumption practices are shaped by what food is readily available to us, our ideas about what is and is not healthy, the food cultures we grew up in, and the identities we are working to construct for ourselves—whether that be as a “vegan” or as a “steak-and-potatoes-kind-of-guy.” Policies on everything from farm subsidies to pesticide use to school lunches influence what goes into our bodies. Our food consumption connects us intimately to our friends and family, but also to others across the country and around the globe; those who grow, pick, package, sell, prepare, and serve our food.  In this class, we will look beneath the surface of food production and consumption in the U.S. Throughout the course, we will view films pulling back the veil on the foods we consume everyday, and considering the health consequences they have for both those who produce and consume them. We will consider the paradox of how an abundance of cheap food can go hand-in-hand with hunger. And we will get out into the community and explore some of the food cultures right here in our own “backyard” of Winston Salem. This course will require a community engagement component with the Second Harvest Food Bank.


Soc 327:  Sociology of Emotion (Dr. Simon)

This seminar will introduce students to the the sociology of emotion.  Although most of us think that feelings are deeply personal and private experiences—comprised of physiological and psychological elements—sociologists argue that they are heavily influenced by social factors.  In this seminar, we’ll explore the social side of emotion—including how they are socially learned, shaped, regulated, controlled, and distributed in the population as well as the consequences of emotion culture, emotion norms, emotion management, emotional labor, and emotional deviance for individuals, social groups, and society.  A major theme of the course is the relationship between gender and emotion; we’ll read about and discuss gender-linked norms about the “appropriate” experience and expression of emotion for males and females as well as gender differences in actual emotional experience and expression.


Soc 383a:  Health Inequalities (Dr. Simon)

This seminar will introduce students to current sociological perspectives on the health and well-being of individuals, families, communities, and societies. Throughout the semester, we will examine the many complex social determinants of inequalities in both mental and physical health (including reproductive health) based on socioeconomic status, gender, and race/ethnicity in the U.S.  We will also investigate why the health of the U.S. population is poorer than the health of populations in other economically advanced countries.


Sample Syllabi for Select Courses

The following are syllabi for some of the recently taught courses in the department.  These syllabi illustrate the general themes likely to be covered in these courses, but readings and assignments will vary by semester.

Soc 151:  Principles of Sociology (Brown)

Soc 151:  Principles of Sociology (Yamane)

Soc 270:  Sociological Theory (Yamane)

Soc 301:  Sociology of Religion (Yamane)

Soc 327:  Sociology of Emotions (Simon)

Soc 334:  Sociology of Education (Soares)

Soc 359:  Race and Ethnic Relations (Brown)

Soc 360:  Social Inequality (Brown)

Soc 363:  Global Capitalism (Taplin)

Soc 364:  Political Sociology (Brown, general overview)

Soc 364:  Political Sociology (Brown, focus on civil rights)

Soc 365:  Technology, Culture, and Change (Taplin)

Soc 381:  Sociology of Gender, Social Relationships and Well-Being Over the Life Course (Simon)

Soc 381a:  Social Psychological Perspectives on Social Inequality (Simon)

Soc 383a:  Health Disparities (Simon)

Soc 384:  Sociology of Guns (Yamane)