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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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Featured Courses

Spring 2014


Sociology 3020, Race/Ethnicity in the U.S.

This interesting course serves as a Cultural Diversity Core, and examines the social stratification system of races and ethnic groups in the U.S. Included are sociological analyses of the concepts of "race," "ethnic group," and "dominant and subordinate" and "majority and minority" groups. Also analyzed are sociological perspectives on "prejudice" and "discrimination," along with a review of the socioeconomic conditions of Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Arab and Muslim Americans, and Chinese and Japanese Americans.

Taught by James L. Simmons, Ph.D., J.D. In addition to holding a Ph.D. degree in Sociology, he worked for three years on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

Sociology 4700, Sociology of Law

This course is well suited to those interested in careers in sociology, criminal justice, public affairs, public administration, political science, and law. It explores the relationship between law and society, with an emphasis on modern America. Major topics include:

  • Definitions of "law"
  • Comparative systems of law
  • Major sociological theorists of law
  • Organization of and interrelationship between the legal and sociopolitical system in the U.S.
  • The structure of law: legal education, the legal profession, criminal and civil law
  • Practitioners of law: judges, prosecutors, criminal and civil defense attorneys, parole and probation officers
  • The roles of judges: "interpreters" of law vs. "makers" of law
  • Alternate dispute resolution: mediation and arbitration Negotiated justice—plea bargaining and restorative justice

Taught by James L. Simmons, Ph.D., J.D. In addition to holding a Ph.D. degree in Sociology, he has been a licensed attorney since 1989.