Current Courses

Sociological Perspectives: The basic concepts and principles of major sociological perspectives. Attention is given to how these perspectives have been developed and used by social scientists to explain social phenomena.
Sociology of the Media: A variety of social, political, and economic forces influence contemporary mass media. We will examine some of them and will consider the changing role of the media in society as well. Students will be introduced to a range of social scientific methods that have been used to document the nature of media content and understand how it is produced. Topics will include the study of class, race, and gender inequalities in media content, the consequences of concentration in media ownership, and the dynamic relationship between producers and consumers of media. Students will undertake a significant research project. Prerequisite: One sociology Gateway course.
Social Research Methods: Examination of methods employed in the investigation of sociological problems. This course analyzes the research process as an integral whole including political and ethical issues in conducting research. Topics include conceptualization, measurement approaches, design of surveys, and methods of interviewing and observation. Students design studies using various methodological techniques.
Political Sociology: How does “power” manifest itself in society? Students will explore the ways that power emerges in social movements, communities, nation states, and between international actors. A substantial portion of the course will also be devoted to sociological understandings of globalization. Readings will include classical formulations of power by Marx and Weber as well as modern and contemporary understandings of power found in pluralism, elite theory, systems theory, and other outlooks.
Prerequisites: one sociology gateway course (SO 101 or SO 201 or SO 202 or SO 203 or SO 204) and one additional sociology course.
Sociology of Sport: An exploration of sport as a social institution, a set of political and economic relationships, and a space for the development of identity. This course examines organized sports as a form of recreation and leisure, as popular culture, and as an industry with significant labor issues. Special attention will be given to stratification within sport along lines of race, class, gender, sexuality, nationality, and disability. Key texts explore the experiences of both athletes and fans at the recreational, collegiate, and professional levels, both nationally and globally.
Prerequisite: one sociology gateway course
Visit The Sporting Life, a digital exhibit of objects from the Tang Museum curated 2015 Sociology of Sport class.

Past and Rotating Courses

Presenting Social Research
Attitudes, Values, & Tastes
Sociological Theory
Social Statistics

Global Education

Public Media, Private Media in the Land of the BBC (2017): A seminar developed for Advanced Studies in England’s (ASE) five-week summer school in the world-heritage city of Bath, England. This course compares the mass media systems of the UK and the U.S. We trace how the two systems developed historically and consider how different revenue models (e.g., advertising, subscriptions, publicly-funded, etc.) encourage particular types of content. We will also learn about the relationship between the state and the mass media in the two countries. Students will study British newspapers and TV and explore how norms concerning objectivity, censorship, and public interest programming differ from U.S. media outlets.


London: The Global City (2011, 2013): A Concordia College month-long global education course using London as a case for introducing students to two key concepts in sociology: “urbanism” and “the global city.” “Urbanism” as a concept has been used to suggest that people living in cities construct distinctive ways of life. The “global city” is a concept which encourages exploration of the special character of those cities which function as the principle nodes of global networks from which power in markets, politics, and culture emanate. These concepts allowed us to explore key patterns of urban experience in London, a city at the center of globalization. The design of the course was experiential, fieldwork-oriented, and comparative. Our goal was to simulate for students the experience of citizenship and urban living in a non-U.S. city. At the same time, we wanted to explore how those experiences are shaped by London’s status and function as a global city. Students had an immersion-like experience residing in dormitory housing with domestic UK students. Co-taught with Matthew Lindholm (Sociology).


The Ethnographic Essay (2012): In this month-long Concordia College global education course, students learned the skills of ethnography experientially, observing and interviewing in urban and rural communities throughout Scotland. We spent ten days in Edinburgh, an incredibly well-preserved historic city with its lush public parks and its famous castle overlooking the city. Then, we spent five days exploring the Scottish Highlands, including the Isle of Skye, enjoying the beauty of the countryside and the charm of the rural culture. Finally, during the final two weeks, the group resided in Glasgow, a lively, modern Scottish city where friendly (if heavily-accented) residents mix with art school hipsters. Living in downtown apartments in Glasgow, each student conduct her/his own ethnographic study of a coffeeshop, a bus line, a religious community, a bookstore, a working farm, or another microculture of their choosing. Along the way, the group mer working artists, non-profit employees working with the country’s urban poor, and a rural dog-breeder, among others. Through the visits and the research projects, students became deeply immersed in the culture of Scotland, seeing the country through the eyes of its residents. Co-taught with Karla Knutson (English).


High Impact Learning Trip (HILT) in San Diego and Tijuana (2013): A week-long social justice program exploring race and ethnicity, immigration policy, and inequality on the U.S.-Mexico border. This program was student-led and organized in collaboration with with Darin Johnson, a campus pastor at San Diego State University, and Transformational World Opportunities (TWO), a non-profit that promotes global understanding through immersive experiences in Mexico. The students and I described our experiences in Concordia College’s intercultural journal, Djembe.

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