Peace Rally

Sociology is an academic and applied discipline that studies society and human social interaction. Sociological research ranges from the analysis of short contacts between anonymous individuals on the street to the study of global social processes.  Numerous fields within the discipline focus on how and why people are organized in society, either as individuals or as members of associations, groups, and institutions.  As an academic discipline, sociology is typically considered a social science.

Sociological research provides educators, planners, lawmakers, administrators, developers, business leaders, and people interested in resolving social problems and formulating public policy with rationales for the actions that they take.  Sociology also studies social status and the social structures of society, social change, social movements, and the breakdown of society through crime and revolution.  Seeking to understand how human beings live in and are affected by society, sociology is a key area in advancing human understanding of how to establish a world of peace and harmony.

Completion of the required North Idaho College courses results in an associate degree and meets the general core requirements at all Idaho public universities. The suggested coursework normally fulfills the first half of baccalaureate degree requirements in Sociology.

Department Mission
The Sociology Department at North Idaho College affirms the primary mission to provide rigorous, high quality instruction by assisting students in learning to "think sociologically" in order to define, analyze, and understand human behavior in a variety of settings, broadening knowledge of culture and society and increasing understanding and appreciation of the meanings of human diversity.  In the process, sociology courses strive to help prepare students who wish to continue studies at a 4-year institution while at the same time providing a valuable component in the general education of all students.

Program Outcomes
1.  Provide high quality instruction that promotes lifelong learning and allows students to develop the capabilities needed to understand the past and meet the complexities and challenges of the future.
2.  Ensure courses meet the needs of students who plan to pursue a degree in sociology at a four-year college or university.
3.  Compliment the career goals of students pursuing other degrees by broadening their educational horizons and meeting cultural diversity requirements.
4.  Structure the curriculum to offer practical, scientific, and cultural perspectives of the human experience.
5.  Work with diversity issues and promote the infusion of diversity into our department and curricula.


Sociology 101: Introduction to Sociology
This introductory course presents the fundamental principles affecting human social systems. The concepts of traditional as well as contemporary theorists will be discussed. Emphasis will be placed on the forces governing groups and the conditions that transform social life. This course fulfills a social science requirement for the A.A. and A.S. degrees

Sociology 102: Social Problems
This course applies sociological concepts and methods of analysis to current social problems in the United States. Topics of study include issues such as racism, social inequality, crime and environmental degradation. This course is recommended for students entering the fields of sociology, counseling, social work and justice studies. SOC-102 fulfills a social science requirement for the A.A. and A.S. degrees.

Sociology 103: Cultural Diversity
This course is designed to increase the awareness and appreciation of diversity within the contemporary U.S. population. It will examine historical and contemporary experiences from perspectives of both women and men of diverse races, ethnicities, social class, religions, sexual orientation, ages, and abilities. Students will explore their particular inherited and constructed traditions, identify communities and significant life experiences while learning from the varied experiences and perspectives of those who are different. Students will become more aware of the nature of personal, institutional, and societal inequalities and the processes leading to a more equitable society. Students will be encouraged to develop a critical consciousness and to explore ways of empowering to help eliminate ideologies of unequal treatment. This course will develop an extended and collaborative dialogue about past, present, and future U.S. democratic aspirations and foster a respect for people’s life experiences while teaching skills needed to function in today’s diverse and increasingly interconnected global society. This course fulfills a social science requirement for the A.A. and A.S. degrees or the cultural diversity requirement for the A.A. degree.

Sociology 155: Drug Abuse - Fact, Fiction, or Future
This course is designed to provide information about drugs, their effects, and the laws and social implications relative to them. Students will learn about the causes of drug abuse, treatment modalities, community resources, alternatives, and problem solving skills.

Sociology 220: Marriage and Family
This course is designed to help students understand more about marriage and family life processes. Students will examine values, needs, and responsibilities as they relate to intimacy, the selection of partners, cohabitation and marriage, family planning choices, parenting, family economics, and interpersonal communication. Students will also address the issues of family violence, divorce, and the restructuring of new families. This course will be helpful to those who wish to have more knowledge about relationship, marriage, and family issues or those who are entering such fields as counseling and social work. This course fulfills a social science requirement for the A.A. and A.S. degrees.

Sociology 251: Race and Ethnic Relations
This course explores the influence of race and ethnic membership in structuring social interaction and behavior amongst people in the United States. Although the primary focus is in the ethnic experience in the U.S., comparative models will also be explored to provide a framework for the American situation. A major element of the course will be an investigation of the five major ethnic groups: Native Americans, Hispanics (Latinos), African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and white Americans; with a special emphasis on the condition of Native Americans. Principal topics will include historical aspects of race and ethnicity, theoretical viewpoints, causes of ethnic conflict, racism and prejudice, psychopathology and ethnicity, focal topics (e.g. affirmative action, “reverse” discrimination, bilingual education, immigration issues) and future trends and directions. This course will be helpful for individuals seeking to work in professions or environments where they will be in contact with members of diverse ethnic and racial groups. This course fulfills a social science requirement for the A.A. and A.S. degrees or the cultural diversity requirement for the A.A. degree.

Sociology 283: Death and Dying
This course introduces the concepts, attitudes, and social dynamics of death and dying, including various cultural perspectives. Topics include demographics, who dies and why, suicide, treatment of the dying and dead, religious and legal perspectives, stages of dying, caregiving, grief, and bereavement.