This concentration focuses on understanding the history, development, social and political dynamics of urban centers, both in the US and globally.  It addresses the current and future environmental, physical and demographic aspects of human settlement as well as social and political aspects. Topics include issues of urban social stratification and poverty; race/ethnicity and lifestyles; immigration; crime and delinquency; community, politics and community activism; urban planning; housing; technology and the environment; media, art and culture; and work and occupations. We strongly suggest that students in this concentration take SOC 245: Urban Sociology or SOC 212: Community and Society.​ 

Course Requirements

Open Electives

Open elective credit also is required to meet the minimum graduation requirement of 192 hours.

SOC 212

COMMUNITY AND SOCIETY

An analysis of neighborhoods, cities, suburbs and utopian communities; the examination of major trends in urbanization and the evaluation of urban and community policies.

SOC 214

POLICE AND THE URBAN COMMUNITY

The nature of police work, decision-making structures and processes, conflict and cooperation in police-community relationships.

SOC 230

SEX AND GENDER IN THE CITY

Examines the role of sex, sexuality, and gender in urban life, their interaction in urban spaces, and the formation of related private and public social policies.

SOC 231

RACE AND ETHNICITY IN THE CITY

The social and cultural importance of urban ethnic communities and their interrelationships are investigated through a study of neighborhood development and change. Special emphasis on the major ethnic communities of Chicago.

SOC 232

GLOBAL CITIES

National and international comparisons of urbanization and urbanism as a way of life in world cities, regional/satellite cities, and cities of production and distribution. Focus on the impact of power and resources on city life throughout the world.

SOC 245

URBAN SOCIOLOGY

Study of urban growth and its impact. Topics explored include metropolitan development and change, population density, diversity and migration, urban life styles, urban institutions and important societal trends. Local, national and cross-national cases are examined. (Formerly taught as SOC 345)

SOC 271

POPULATION PROBLEMS

An examination of important population related problems and issues facing nations today. Selected topics include comparative population policies and their societal implications, population control, mortality patterns, changing patterns of illness and epidemic disease, contemporary migration and refugee patterns and related national policies, and the societal responses to changing age structures.

SOC 340

SOCIAL INEQUALITY

Examination of inequalities in wealth and power and their consequences for individuals and the society; for example, the institutions of law, health care, education and politics.
Prerequisites:
SOC 101 or SOC 105 is a prerequisite for this class.

SOC 346

URBAN ETHNOGRAPHY

An introduction to field research in an urban environment.
Prerequisites:
SOC 101 or SOC 105 is a prerequisite for this class.

SOC 347

CLASS, POWER AND DECISION MAKING IN THE CITY

Analysis of decision-making in urban settings. Considers the role of class disparities, power, citizen protest and community participation in urban outcomes.

SOC 348

THE CITY IN THE FUTURE

Alternative views of urban structures and social life in the post-industrial age. Considerations of the implications of energy, different technologies, future shock and social trends.

SOC 354

COMPARATIVE COMMUNITY POLITICS

The course examines a variety of areas affecting the social and political organization of communities in the U.S. and other countries. Important areas examined include social organization, the institutional and socioeconomic structure, urbanization, patterns of citizen participation and the social organization of political decision making. Cross-listed with SOC 426 and MPS 574.

SOC 355

CHICAGO AS A SOCIAL SYSTEM

This course draws upon the rich tradition of sociological work carried out in Chicago to exemplify, illuminate, and integrate a variety of sociological concepts, theories and methodologies.

SOC 356

THE CITY IN CROSS-CULTURAL PERSPECTIVE

This course examines the city as a type of human settlement, focusing on the different forms, functions, images and ideological perceptions of cities across a number of different cultures.

SOC 370

PEOPLE, PLACES, AND FOOD

Exploration of community food resources and the relationship to chronic disease such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. Qualitative methods focus on meanings of eating habits and how people secure food. Analyzes barriers and supports for healthy eating habits in Chicago neighborhoods. Service-learning component.

SOC 390

SEMINAR IN SOCIOLOGY

Selected topics form the basis of an in-depth consideration. Topics vary and may be initiated by students.

SOC 394

COMMUNITY BASED SOCIOLOGY

Combines basic understanding of sociological principles with field experience.

SOC 398

INTERNSHIP

Placement of students in work-study situations relevant to careers in health and human services, social work, juvenile justice, law and society, urban and community services. Clinical and Experiential (can fulfill jr. yr. requirement). (1 to 4 credit hours).