Law, Justice, and Social Change submajor
Professor Alford A. Young, Jr., Chair (7/1/10-6/30/17)
Professor Jennifer Barber, Associate Chair
Professor Karin A. Martin, Undergraduate Director
Associate Professor Sarah A. Burgard, Director of Graduate Studies
A department advisor is available to students for one-on-one appointments to discuss the choice of sociology as a major (or minor), assist in course selection, and advise on co-curricular opportunities and career preparation. Students can schedule an advising appointment by calling the department at (734) 764-6324 or using the online appointment scheduler at www.lsa.umich.edu/soc. Students can also email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Students wishing to pursue a minor in Law, Justice, and Social change must develop a specific plan for its completion in consultation with the department advisors. Appointments are scheduled online at: www.lsa.umich.edu/soc/undergraduate/advisingandprogrampolicies
Special Department Policies
Students must earn at least a C– in the prerequisites for the major (or minor) and in all courses they plan to include in the plan for the major (or minor). Courses elected as pass/fail may not be included in the plan for the major (or minor).
The department expects that at least 18 of the 33 credits required for a sociology major be completed with Department of Sociology faculty on the UM–Ann Arbor campus. The research methods and sociological theory courses must be taken in residence on the UM–Ann Arbor campus.
Credit Limits and Exclusions. A combined total of eight INDEPENDENT or EXPERIENTIAL credits may be included in the plan for the major. This includes SOC 225 (and 389), 321, 324, 394, 395, and 396. There is an additional limit on SOC 225 (or 389) credits; only four credits of SOC 225 (or 389) may be included in the plan for the major.
Sociology is about people and their patterns; it seeks to understand and account for the complexities of human interaction and patterns of social life. It focuses on relations among people, groups, organizations, classes, cultures, and society. Sociology scientifically explores and analyzes issues vital to our personal lives, our communities, our society, and the world. In short, it involves all aspects of human experience and activity. Almost any aspect of how human beings gather together in groups, organizations, and societies can be studied within sociology. The study of sociology provides fascinating and distinctive perspectives on the social world. The field also offers a range of research techniques that can be applied to virtually any aspect of social life: crime and delinquency, family dynamics, corporate downsizing, how people express emotions, welfare or education reform, or global issues of peace and war. Because sociology addresses the most challenging issues of our time, it is a rapidly expanding field with broad implications. Students interested in learning more about the sociology plan for the major or intending to declare a major in sociology should attend an information meeting for prospective majors on one of the dates posted on the department's website.
Special Opportunities. The Department of Sociology offers a wide range of special opportunities for undergraduates to actively engage in the design of their education. These include: major advising, service-learning through Project Community, independent studies with faculty, facilitation of Intergroup Dialogues, the Honors Program, SURO (Sociology Undergraduate Research Opportunities), writing competitions and awards, and a department-supported student organization, the Undergraduate Sociology Association.
Project Community. A number of sociology majors participate in Project Community (SOC 225: Practicum in Sociology), an experiential learning and community service program. Students earn academic credit by reflecting sociologically on their volunteer experience in education, criminal justice, public health, and community organizing settings. Roles open for student volunteers include those of tutors, referral service workers, health care assistants, patient educators, prisoner and youth advocates, and recreational or artistic workshop leaders. This course is an ideal experiential complement to the academic instruction provided by the department. Students, assisted by trained undergraduate coordinators and graduate student instructors, gain useful skills and contacts while serving the needs of the community. Project Community administration is organized by the Ginsberg Center for Community Service. Students can find more information about Project Community at ginsberg.umich.edu.edu/projectcommunity.
Effective Fall 2014
Students have the option of adding a subplan in “Law, Justice, and Social Change” to their Sociology major. Courses in Law, Justice, and Social Change submajor emphasize the ways in which legal and other social institutions reproduce and exacerbate social inequalities, and the capacity of social groups to challenge such institutions in ways that produce fundamental social change. A wide range of courses will explore how we understand the concepts of justice and apply it and will develop knowledge in criminology, law, social movements, human rights.
Requirements for the submajor. To have a notation of the submajor appear on your transcript, you must successfully complete a minimum of 12 credits from the following list:
- SOC 270, 350, 354, 368, 461, 465, 476, 489
- appropriate topics in SOC 295, 495
- approved independent studies in SOC 395
- criminal justice settings of SOC 225 (or 389)
A maximum of 6 credits for the subplan may come from Experiential Learning or Independent Study style courses.
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