Department of Sociology

Department of Sociology

Social and Behavioral Sciences Building, Room 327
(909) 537-5541 Department of Sociology website

Bachelor of Arts

  • Sociology
  • Sociology - Social Service Track



Certificate Programs

  • Gerontology
  • Social Services

The sociology major offers a balanced program of study for students interested in pursuing graduate study or in the practical application of sociology. The curriculum is designed to expose the student to the scope and methods of sociology and to provide a broad educational background for understanding the structure and functioning of modern society.

The department also offers an alternate program of study for students interested in pursuing a career in the social sciences area and for those interested in enrolling in an M.S.W. graduate program.

As an adjunct to the curriculum, there are two student organizations for sociology majors. The Sociology Club has a varied program of social, community service and academically oriented activities. In addition to general sociology majors, students in human services and students in social services actively participate in the club. A chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta, the sociology honor society, is open to junior sociology majors with a 3.5 grade point average and to seniors and graduate students with a 3.0 grade point average.

Departmental Honors

Students majoring in sociology are eligible to receive honors in sociology at graduation if they have met the following:

  1. At least one-half of the course work required by the major is completed at this university;
  2. At least a 3.5 grade point average in the major, both at this university and overall;
  3. An overall undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 ("B") or better;
  4. Completion of a senior honors project (SOC 597) approved in advance by the department.

Undergraduate Degrees

Bachelor of Arts


Certificate Programs


SOC 100. The Study of Society. 4 Units.

Survey of the basic characteristics and dynamics of society and culture from the sociological perspective.

SOC 110. Choices in the Life Course. 2 Units.

Utilization of social research in helping students make choices about life course events, such as career, education and family.

SOC 180. Critical Thinking about Social Problems. 4 Units.

Critical thinking skills are developed through a comparison of common sense and social scientific analyses of contemporary social problems. Focus on causal reasoning, common logical fallacies and the distinction between belief and knowledge.

SOC 301. Qualitative Research. 4 Units.

Prerequisites: SOC 100
Examines social problems and issues using various qualitative research methods such as focus groups, participant observation and in-depth interviews.

SOC 307. Social Research I. 5 Units.

Prerequisites: SOC 100
Basic concepts and techniques used by sociologists in conducting research. Four hours lecture and two hours laboratory.

SOC 309. Social Research II. 5 Units.

Prerequisites: SOC 307 and MATH 110, MATH 115 or MATH 120 or equivalent
Application of social measurement techniques, including data collection, data entry and the use and interpretation of the methods of data presentation with the utilization of statistical routines. Involves the use of computers and statistical software in the development of research reports, sociological analysis and modeling. Four hours lecture and two hours laboratory.

SOC 311. Sociological Theory. 4 Units.

Prerequisites: SOC 100
Sources of sociological theory and current trends in sociological analysis.

SOC 330. Social Gerontology. 4 Units.

Issues facing individuals, families and communities in a rapidly aging world. Social, psychological, physical and economic aspects of lifelong aging are discussed along with theories and myths of aging, coping with life adjustments, health and social services and careers in aging. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 335. Population and Society. 4 Units.

Examines social and political problems that are influenced by population, population distributions, and population dynamics. The fundamental demographic processes of fertility, mortality, and migration are discussed.

SOC 336. Black Women and Feminism. 4 Units.

Black women in America and their activities on behalf of women's rights; the interplay of racism and sexism within the women's movement. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 339. Socialization. 4 Units.

Theories, goals and processes of childhood socialization and, to a lesser extent, adult socialization. Emphasis on organized social roles as they are mediated through the norms and patterned interactions of institutions; that is, the family, peer groups and the schools. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 340. Sociology of the Family. 4 Units.

A systematic and comparative analysis of family structure and change: marriage, reproduction, childrearing, marital problems. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 341. Marriage and Family Among Blacks. 4 Units.

Forces affecting the black family, with emphasis on the roles assigned to individual members. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 342. The Chicano Family. 4 Units.

Consideration of the traditional and changing Mexican-American family patterns. Regional and social class variations. Influence of the family on Mexican-American personality development from a social-psychological perspective. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 343. Sociology of Family Violence. 4 Units.

The occurrence, causes and effects of family violence as a social phenomenon. Formerly SOC 320. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 344. Sociology of LGBT Families. 4 Units.

Social forces affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender families (LGBT) families), with emphasis on the open, socially constructed ways in which people in this category create and define families. Discussion of legal issues, as well as fertility and parenting concerns.

SOC 350. Criminology. 4 Units.

Causes of crime with emphasis on sociological factors. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 352. Juvenile Offender. 4 Units.

Causes of juvenile delinquency, types of juvenile offenders, the juvenile court, legal aspects of delinquency and methods of rehabilitation. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 354. Deviant Behavior. 4 Units.

Deviant modes of human adjustment to modern society; processes of personal-social interaction in development of individual and group deviation. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 355. Medical Sociology. 4 Units.

Patients self concept from the pre-patient stage to the post-patient state and the relationship to the social system. Developmental stages in the sick role in contemporary society are emphasized. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 356. Sociology of Mental Illness. 4 Units.

Cultural variations in definitions of mental health and illness; social processes involved in defining, labeling and treating mental illness; stigmatizing effects of being labeled mentally ill; relationship of the incidence and treatment of mental illness to class, ethnicity and other sociological categories. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 358. Punishment and Corrections. 4 Units.

History and theories of punishment and treatment in dealing with criminals, sociological analysis of institutional systems and community based systems, work release programs and pre-release guidance centers.

SOC 360. Social Psychology. 4 Units.

The study of social interaction as it influences the development of self, role behavior, attitudes and values. Emphasis on symbolic interaction as a school of thought. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 363. Sociology of Mass Communication. 4 Units.

Study of symbolic and organizational aspects of mass communication systems. Special attention to attitudes and beliefs as influenced by the mass media.

SOC 375. Sociology of Sport. 4 Units.

A sociological study of the relationship of sport to the structure of human societies. Analysis of the role of sport in childhood and adult socialization, and in the defining of social groups, neighborhoods, schools, cities, regions and nations.

SOC 380. Sociology of Religion. 4 Units.

Theoretical analysis of religion as a social institution in complex societies. Structure and functioning of religious organizations, roles and role relationships; types of religious organizations and leadership; relationships of religion to other social institutions; religion and social change. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 381. Women and Religion. 4 Units.

Social forces affecting women's experiences in relisious institutions in the U.S. and globally.

SOC 410. Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. 4 Units.

Social inequality, including gender and class variations in racial and ethnic socialization, experienced by members of racial and cultural groups in the United States. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 418. Sociology of Social Welfare. 4 Units.

Survey of the development and implementation of social welfare policies. Analysis of the impact of different public welfare programs on contemporary social problems. Formerly SOC 318. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 420. Social Movements. 4 Units.

Study of collective behavior and social movements with application of theory to historical and contemporary cases to understand emergence, mobilization, culture, and consequences.

SOC 422. Sociology of Work. 4 Units.

Prerequisites: SOC 100
The study of the nature of work under capitalism, the consequences emerging from such work, and alternatives to capitalist relations in production.

SOC 424. Social Capital and Social Networks. 4 Units.

Prerequisites: SOC 100
Study of social capital and social networks with an emphasis on community, resources, and the causes, qualities, and consequences of those ties connecting us together.

SOC 425. Asian Americans: Origin and Ethnicity. 4 Units.

Examines the origin countries, immigration patterns, adaptation to government policies, discrimination, and contemporary ethnic identity of Asians and Asian Americans. Formerly a topic under SOC 590. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 430. Urban Sociology. 4 Units.

Nature, causes and consequences of urbanization; metropolitan areas; location and types of cities; social and demographic characteristics of urban populations. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 432. Political Sociology. 4 Units.

Examination of political process from the perspective of sociology, exploring in depth the nature, distribution and exercise of power, and related areas of interest. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 434. Community Organization. 4 Units.

Programs of action, operative and proposed, for the organization of the community and the solution of its problems. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 436. Group Dynamics. 4 Units.

Dynamics of primary group relationships, including psychotherapy groups. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 440. Social Class. 4 Units.

Study of social class systems with particular reference to race, ethnicity and gender.

SOC 441. Black Social Stratification. 4 Units.

Caste in America, comparison of black and white stratification, black social mobility. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 442. Chicano Social Stratification. 4 Units.

Variables affecting the social status of the Mexican-American in society, Mexican-American social mobility, social class differences in Mexican-American communities. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 444. Sociology of Gender. 4 Units.

Social inequality, including class and racial/ethnic variations in sex-role organization, in the roles of women and men in contemporary U.S. society. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 445. Latino Health. 4 Units.

Current research issues, methodologies, and theoretical approaches concerning the health of the Latino community in the U.S.

SOC 450. White Collar Crime. 4 Units.

Study of Americas most costly form of crime and deviance. History, causes, consequences, prevention and explanations of economic crime and abuse of power in the corporate and business world, the professions, trades, the unions and government.

SOC 484. Social Casework. 4 Units.

Process of problem solving used by social work agencies to help individuals to cope more effectively with their problems in social functioning. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 525. Indian Nations and Native America. 4 Units.

Reviews the 500 years of conquest, genocide, resistance, and survival, including the contemporary realities of indigenous peoples. Formerly a topic under SOC 590. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 540. Sociology of Education. 4 Units.

Sociological analysis of educational organizations, the relationship of such organizations to culture, social class and power, and the roles of teachers, students and administrators. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 545. Indigenous Peoples. 4 Units.

Sociological study of Indigenous Peoples from the local to the global. Formerly a topic under SOC 590.

SOC 575. Internship in Sociology. 4 Units.

Supervised work and study in private or public organizations. A total of eight units may be applied toward the major; 12 units may be applied toward graduation requirements. Graded credit/no credit. Prerequisites: SOC 100.

SOC 590. Seminar in Sociology. 4 Units.

Prerequisites: SOC 307 and consent of instructor. Prerequisite: SOC 100, SOC 307, SSCI 306 and consent of instructor
An intensive study of some phase of sociology to be developed by the instructor with the class. May be repeated for credit as topics change.

SOC 595B. Independent Study. 2 Units.

Prerequisites: senior or graduate standing, a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0, consent of instructor and departmental approval of a written proposal of a project submitted on a standard application filed in advance of the quarter in which the course is to be taken
Special topics involving library and/or field research. A total of 10 units in SOC 595 may be applied toward graduation. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 595C. Independent Study. 3 Units.

Prerequisites: senior or graduate standing, a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0, consent of instructor and departmental approval of a written proposal of a project submitted on a standard application filed in advance of the quarter in which the course is to be taken
Special topics involving library and/or field research. A total of 10 units in SOC 595 may be applied toward graduation. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 595D. Independent Study. 4 Units.

Prerequisites: senior or graduate standing, a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0, consent of instructor and departmental approval of a written proposal of a project submitted on a standard application filed in advance of the quarter in which the course is to be taken
Special topics involving library and/or field research. A total of 10 units in SOC 595 may be applied toward graduation. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 595E. Independent Study. 5 Units.

Prerequisites: senior or graduate standing, a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0, consent of instructor and departmental approval of a written proposal of a project submitted on a standard application filed in advance of the quarter in which the course is to be taken
Special topics involving library and/or field research. A total of 10 units in SOC 595 may be applied toward graduation. Prerequisite: SOC 100.

SOC 597. Senior Honors Project. 5 Units.

Prerequisites: formal application approved by department chair
Original research in an area of sociology, culminating in a major research report. The research project may be a quantitative or qualitative nature. Enrollment limited to students whose formal application for departmental honors is approved.

SOC 600. Proseminar in Sociology. 4 Units.

Prerequisites: consent of instructor.
Survey of the concepts and ideas that sociologists employ to study, describe and analyze globalization.

SOC 606. Sociology of Terrorism. 4 Units.

Ideology, causes, development and sociological effects of terrorism in society. Also included are the histories of terrorist groups, social-psychological profiles of members, technology and modus operandi.

Current Faculty

Annika Anderson, Assistant Professor
B.A. 2006, Pennsylvania State University
M.A. 2010, Washington State University
Ph.D. 2015, Washington State University
Zeng-yin Chen, Professor
B.A. 1981, Bejing Normal University
M.A. 1988, Dartmouth College
M.A. 1988, M.S. 1993, Ph.D. 1994, Stanford University
Ed Collom, Professor, Chair
B.S. 1992, UC Riverside
M.A. 1996, UC Riverside
Ph.D. 2001, UC Riverside
James V. Fenelon, Professor
B.A. 1978, Loyola Marymount University
M.A. 1981, M.A. 1983, School of International Training
Ph.D. 1995, Northwestern University
Patricia Little, Assistant Professor
B.S. 1977, Oregon State University
B.A. 1986, M.A. 1990, Ph.D. 1994, University of California, Riverside
Dale Lund, Professor
B.S. 1973, M.S. 1976, Ph.D. 1979 University of Utah
Marcia Marx, Professor
B.A. 1984, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
M.A. 1987, Ph.D. 1993, University of California, Riverside
Rafik Mohamad, Professor, Dean
B.S. 1992, George Washington University
M.A. 1996, University of California, Irvine
Ph.D. 2002, University of California, Irvine
José Muñoz, Associate Professor
B.A. 1995, University of California, Irvine
M.A. 1998, California State University, Dominguez Hills
Ph.D. 2008, State University of New York, Stony Brook
Karen Robinson, Assistant Professor
B.A. 1998, University of California, Los Angeles
Ph.D. 2011, University of California, Irvine
Mary Texeira, Professor
B.A. 1989, M.A. 1992, Ph.D. 1994, University of California, Riverside
Elsa O. Valdez, Professor
B.A. 1986, M.A. 1988, Ph.D. 1991, University of California, Riverside
Eric Vogelsang, Assistant Professor
B.S. 1996, Syracuse University
M.S. 2011, University Of Wisconsin, Madison
Ph.D. 2015, University Of Wisconsin, Madison
King-To Yeung, Assistant Professor
B.A. 1996, University of Guam
M.A. 1998, Texas Tech University
Ph.D. 2007, Rutgers University


David L. Decker, Professor
John Heeren, Professor
Harold A. Jambor, Lecturer
Thomas Meisenhelder, Professor
Randi L. Miller, Professor
Bernhardt L. Mortensen, Associate Professor
Clifford T. Paynton, Professor