The minor in Sociology covers the study of society. Topics include: the origins and nature of sociology and the social sciences; society and culture; social institutions such as family, education and work; socialisation; social stratification, power, and social change; industrialisation; and urbanisation.

Programme Structure

Minor requirements – US Credits 18 – UK Credits 72

An introduction to the study of society. Topics include: the origins and nature of sociology and the social sciences; society and culture; social institutions such as family, education, and work; socialization; social stratification, power, and social change; industrialization; and urbanization.

plus one course from the lower division with SCL prefix which can include:

This course aims to introduce students to the study of contemporary non-western popular music. This music, often derived from traditional ‘folk’ forms and originating in cities such as Kingston, Havana, Sao Paulo or Kinshasa, is just as likely to be heard today on the streets and in the clubs of ‘global cities’ such as London and New York . This course investigates these urban, culturally hybridized forms of popular music as representative manifestations of 21st century cultural globalization.

plus four courses from the upper division with SCL prefix which can include two of the following:

In this course, “mass communications” is taken in its broadest sense, which may include cinema, television, newspapers, magazines, comics, and the Internet, as well as fashion and merchandising. “Society” involves the people who engage with those texts, from critical theorists to fans, censors to consumers. The course examines the relationship between texts and the people at various points during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, from various cultural and national perspectives. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to test and debate established theories by bringing them to bear on everyday popular texts.

Examines the global politics of development and of developing states, and various social, economic and environmental themes surrounding post-war attempts to promote development. The course will consider both development theory and practice in the context of globalization, and provide an overview of the history of global development from economic miracles to failed states. A range of contemporary development debates and issues are addressed.

This interdisciplinary course addresses the vitally important and complex phenomenon of contemporary globalization. The concept of globalization and the history of this phenomenon are interrogated. Political, social, economic and cultural aspects of globalization are discussed, and core themes of globalization debates are addressed, such as convergence, nationalism, and inequality. A range of global actors, agents and institutions are critically engaged with.

At the heart of political sociology is a concern with the relationship between the state and society, a relationship that, as citizens, affects us all. This course explores the link between the people and the state in three interrelated respects: the concept of power, the theory and practice of revolution and the way politics affects the social fabric of daily life in technologically advanced, multi-media societies. In addition, a discussion takes place regarding the global significance of political and social change.

Examines the political, economic, ideological, and social dilemmas associated with environmental issues. The first section of the course addresses the historical roots of environmentalism, its key concepts, and a range of key thinkers and paradigms for understanding environmentalism as an ideology. The second section of the course explores the role of key actors engaged in environmental policy making, and important issues in contemporary environmental politics. Topics addressed include environmental movements and parties, global environmental regimes, the impact of the media on environmental issues, and prospects for green technologies and employment.

Examines the questions of whether ethnicity is a universal phenomenon, and if ethnic conflict is inevitable. Investigates why ethnicity became such an important tool of political organization in the 20th century. This course examines ethnicity, and to a lesser extent religion and nationalism, as bases of social and political belonging and differentiation and sources of both creativity and conflict. Starting with the premise that identity is socially constructed, the ways in which ethnic identity has been formed and used in different societies will be examined. Different theories of ethnicity will be explored during the course, as well as specific case studies. Key contemporary issues in the study of ethnicity and identity, such as immigration and multiculturalism, are also addressed.

The recent emergence of a number of religious movements in many parts of the world has raised important questions about the role of religion in political and social life. This course explores the relationship between religion, political identity and its expression between and across nation-state borders. By focusing on a number of religious movements, such as various Islamic revivals and the new Christian right, this course will examine the various ways in which religious traditions are used as identity-building vehicles, particularly at times of cultural transition and social change. It examines how the internet and other communication networks serve as mediums for Religious identity formation.

This course is designed to explore in detail the way in which socio-cultural contexts influence the development of the self in infancy and childhood. Special emphasis will be given to the development of the self-concept and self-esteem, interpersonal processes and the application of psychoanalytic ideas to human development; including the work of Erik Erikson, Anna Freud and D. W. Winnicott. The course will also focus on the role of family processes on socialization, the effects of trauma in childhood, peer group dynamics and children’s friendships; as well as a wide variety of theoretical perspectives on adolescence, and contemporary theories of the relationship between insecure attachment and psychopathology. Students will have the opportunity to engage in independent research projects examining a variety of topics, including the effects of parenting styles on the developing child, the long-term effects of solitude, and the effects of inter-parental conflict on the child’s sense of security.

At least three of the upper division courses required for a minor must be taken at Richmond. No more than three courses may overlap within a degree between a student’s major and any minor.

Undergraduate Prospectus 2022