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Sociology (SOC) Course Descriptions

Department of Sociology, College of Liberal and Fine Arts


SOC 1013  Introduction to Sociology [TCCN: SOCI 1301.]
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Introduces the study of human groups, the relations of individuals to groups, and the process of becoming a group member and functioning in a group setting. (Formerly titled “Introduction to the Study of Society.”)

SOC 1043  Introduction to Public Health
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Introduces the discipline of public health. Covers a variety of disciplines to the basic tenets of public health. Provides a history of public health, an introduction to the five core disciplines (Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Environmental Health, Social and Behavioral Health, and Health Policy & Management). Also covers the role of public health in global society. (Same as PUB 1113. Credit cannot be earned for both SOC 1043 and PUB 1113.)

SOC 2013  Social Problems [TCCN: SOCI 1306.]
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Examines major contemporary social problems and their causes and consequences. Topics may include poverty, racism, sexism, deviance and crime, drug and alcohol dependence, the urban crisis, overpopulation, and war.

SOC 2023  Social Context of Drug Use [TCCN: SOCI 2340.]
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Explores the use and abuse of mind-altering substances within society. Topics of study may include historical treatments of drug use, drug treatment and recovery interventions, the global magnitude of contemporary drug problems, and the problematic nature and consequences of drug legislation and enforcement. (Formerly titled "Drugs in Society.")

SOC 3013  Social Stratification
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Examines theory and research pertaining to inequalities of power, prestige, and economic privilege. Major emphasis upon inequality and social mobility in the United States.

SOC 3033  Population Dynamics
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
An examination of trends in mortality, fertility, and migration for selected countries, and their projected consequences. Associated population policies and options are considered.

SOC 3043  Race and Ethnic Relations
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Examines the dominant-subordinate relations in world societies, with major emphasis on the United States. Models of assimilation, colonial and class society, and consequences for minority and majority populations may be examined.

SOC 3053  Deviance and Difference
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Analyzes the forms of deviance and consideration of social/political trends toward difference. An examination of theories may include: biological, analytic, labeling, functionalist, culture conflict, radical, and poststructuralist.

SOC 3063  Collective Behavior
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: SOC 1013, or consent of instructor.
Focuses on case studies and associated theory dealing with various forms of collective behavior ranging from spontaneous events to organized mass movements.

SOC 3083  Social Change and Development
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Presents principal models and theories of social transformation applied to examples of societal change. Topics may include consideration of master trends such as rationalization, industrialization, and bureaucratization, and the expansion and contraction of global interconnectedness.

SOC 3093  Religion and Society
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Focuses on religious institutions and movements in the United States with comparative data from other countries. Topics may include the relationship of religious institutions to social stratification, economic institutions, and political and social change.

SOC 3113  Criminology
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Examines the nature, prevalence, and impact of different types of legal violations, including street crime, organized crime, political crime, and white-collar crime. Includes treatment of social and legal responses to crime.

SOC 3163  Families in Society
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Examines the modern family, structures and functions, variant patterns and the influence of the broader society in producing family change. Contemporary and continuing issues are covered in the context of theory and research. Topics may include variability in childhood socialization, family violence, changing gender roles, marriage, divorce and remarriage, alternative family structures, and the aging family. (Formerly SOC 2053. Credit cannot be earned for both SOC 3163 and SOC 2053.) (Formerly titled “Marriage and Family.”)

SOC 3193  The Sociology of Work and Occupations
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: SOC 1013, or consent of instructor.
Explores occupational structures in selected societies; the relationship between occupations and economic rewards, lifestyles, and worldview; and determinants of work satisfaction.

SOC 3203  Gerontology
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Examines the historical and cross-cultural differences in the status of the elderly in society. Includes interaction of the elderly with social institutions, and policy implications of the demographic shift toward an aging population in the United States.

SOC 3213  Medical Sociology
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Examines social factors in the cause and distribution of disease; relationships between patients and medical professionals; the contribution of lay belief to health, illness, treatment, and recovery; the organization of health-care delivery; and the disparities in the distribution of medical resources.

SOC 3223  Population Dynamics and Demographic Techniques
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Introduces the common methods, techniques, and models employed by demographers. Topics may include demographic data sources, introduction to life table techniques; construction, standardization, and decomposition of rates; measures of concentration and diversity; and population growth projections. Students will become familiar with microcomputer programs for demographic analysis. (Formerly titled “Demographic Techniques.”)

SOC 3253  The Individual and Society
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Examines the major theories dealing with the effects of culture and social structure on the development and functioning of the personality and the self.

SOC 3263  Latinas in U.S. Society
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Focuses on women of Latino descent in the United States with a comparative emphasis on the experiences of Texas Latinas relative to those residing elsewhere in the Southwest. Topics may include: historical presence in the Southwest; patriarchy and familism; labor and employment issues; immigration and border issues; political involvement and feminist vision; artistic, cultural and intellectual expression. (Same as WS 3953. Credit cannot be earned for both SOC 3263 and WS 3953 when topic is the same.)

SOC 3283  Poverty
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Examines the causes and consequences of poverty in the United States and selected other societies. An examination of social programs designed to combat poverty.

SOC 3293  Sociology of Gender
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Explores the nature of gender roles in our own and other societies. Consideration of how people learn gender roles and the outcomes of this learning for individuals, families, and societies. Alternatives to conventional gender roles. (Formerly titled “Gender Roles.”)

SOC 3323  Introduction to Social Research
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: SOC 1013.
Introduction to the philosophy of science and the logic of research design. Examines a variety of social research designs including experiments, survey research, content analysis, and historical analysis. Course emphasizes techniques related to information gathering, basic data analysis, and reporting findings. (Formerly titled “Research Methods in Sociology.”)

SOC 3343  Classical Sociological Theory
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: SOC 1013.
Examines the transition from social philosophy to sociology, with special emphasis on the work of Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber. The foundational theories and concepts in sociology are addressed, with attention also given to the application of theory to longstanding and current social issues. (Formerly SOC 3153. Credit cannot be earned for both SOC 3343 and SOC 3153.)

SOC 3353  Contemporary Sociological Theory
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: SOC 1013.
Examines contemporary paradigms in sociological theory (e.g., functionalism, neo-Marxism, phenomenology, and feminism), and current debates over the state of theory. Attention is also given to the linkages between theory and research. (Formerly SOC 3183. Credit cannot be earned for both SOC 3353 and SOC 3183.)

SOC 3373  Qualitative Research Methods
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: SOC 3323.
Introduces the philosophy of science and research design, including participant observation, in-depth interviews, oral history, and focus groups through field research. The course provides opportunities for developing qualitative research skills while gaining familiarity with issues and problems common to these methods.

SOC 3383  Sociology of the African American Community
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Examines the history, struggles, and diversity of the African American community through relevant sociological frameworks. Topics may include the historical role of African Americans within urban society, the current status of blacks in the United States, and contemporary social issues relevant to race.

SOC 3393  Quantitative Research Methods
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisites: Completion of the Core Curriculum requirement in mathematics, SOC 1013, and SOC 3323.
Application of conceptualization and operationalization in the quantitative analysis of a variety of sociological subjects. Use of elementary measures of central tendency and dispersion, crosstabulations, and linear model procedures to evaluate relationships among variables; problems of descriptions and inference. Includes the use of standard computer packages and secondary analysis of data. (Formerly SOC 3313. Credit cannot be earned for both SOC 3313 and SOC 3393.)

SOC 3413  Sociology of the Mexican American Community
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Focuses on contemporary issues regarding Mexican American communities. Topics of discussion include family structure, gender roles, border issues and political power. Comparison with other minorities and the majority group will allow discussion of variant community patterns. (Formerly titled “Mexican American Family.”)

SOC 3423  Mass Media in Society
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Examines media production and its role in the economy; the construction of media meaning, signification, and ideology; and the role of the audience in making sense of messages. Larger issues of societal power will be treated, along with an examination of alternative media.

SOC 3433  Mexican Immigration and U.S. Society
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Focuses on the growth and development of the Mexican population in the United States and controversies around Mexican immigration, both legal and undocumented. Uses a sociological perspective to present a historical analysis of Mexican migration to the United States, theoretical explanations of migrations, and the social implications of these issues.

SOC 3463  Sociology of Sport and Leisure
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Examines the social meanings of play and leisure in advanced industrial societies. Emphasis will be on the origins, structure, and function of these phenomena in the United States, with major emphasis on sport as an institution.

SOC 3503  Sociology of Education
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Explores education as an institution that affects and is affected by the larger social structure. Topics may include the role of schools in society; connections between schooling, stratification and the economy; gender and ethnic differences in achievement; and social and cultural contexts of learning.

SOC 3513  Children and Society
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Examines the evolution of concepts of childhood over time. Topics may include theories of child development, cultural and social influences in child raising, the effects of affluence and poverty on children, children in postmodern societies, and child socialization in different cultures.

SOC 3543  Data Management in Public Health
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Provides an introduction to data management for research projects in public health using microcomputers. Topics include design of data collection forms, data entry, computer managed documentation and statistical computing using SPSS/SAS. (Same as PUB 2113. Credit cannot be earned for both SOC 3543 and PUB 2113.)

SOC 4013  Public Sociology
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Examines the historical development, recent trends, and issues and debates that have shaped the intellectual development of public sociology. Explores public sociology as a model or approach that uses the discipline’s research tools to address public issues in a manner accessible to wider audiences beyond the academy. Readings from past and current public sociologists will be incorporated. Debates within the field about the validity of public sociology will also be discussed.

SOC 4023  Violence and Society
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Examines and assesses the major social science perspectives and theories that attempt to explain why violence occurs in society. (Formerly SSC 3203. Credit cannot be earned both for SOC 4023 and SSC 3203.)

SOC 4043  Global Health
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Covers the field of global health, particularly the serious health problems facing developing world populations. The course begins with an introduction to the global burden of disease and then examines the complex social, economic, political, environmental, and biological factors that structure the origins, consequences and possible treatments of disease. Provides an introductory survey of the basic issues and initiatives in contemporary international public health, and develops student awareness of the socioeconomic and cultural complexity of health problems in developing nations.

SOC 4053  Health Care System
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Covers the complexities of health care organization and finance and presents a general overview of how the U.S. health care systems work and how the major components within the system fit together. Covers basic structures and operations of the U.S. health system—from its historical origins and resources, to its individual services, cost, and quality. Compares and contrasts the U.S. health care system with other health care systems around the world.

SOC 4073  Social and Behavioral Theories in Public Health
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Examines the fundamental social and behavioral theories that drive research and practice in public health. The course covers a number of social and behavioral theories commonly used in public health education interventions at the individual, group, and community levels.

SOC 4083  Behavioral Epidemiology
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Provides an introduction to the social/behavioral sciences in public health, basic behavioral measurement methods, and basic knowledge of epidemiologic application in the area of social and behavioral science. The course will stress the relationship of human behavior to disease, and ways in which the social/behavioral sciences differ from epidemiology with respect to approaches to measurement, terminology, and analytic methods. In addition, the course will examine the literature, and explore in-depth and quantify the determinants of behavior that are risk factors for several chronic and infectious disorders. (Same as PUB 3413. Credit cannot be earned for both SOC 4083 and PUB 3413.)

SOC 4433  Culture and Society
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Explores the social significance of cultural production, including the relationships between art, consciousness, the economy, and history. Themes examined may include the social production of art, art and ideology, the problem of artistic reception, and art movements and cultural resistance. Topics include art and culture in minority social movements, the relation between high and low culture, and cultural conflict over art.

SOC 4683  Health Disparities
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
The main purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding of how racial/ethnic, social, economic, demographic and gender factors contribute to disparities in health and health care in the United States.

SOC 4853  Special Studies in Sociology
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
An organized course offering the opportunity for specialized study not normally or not often available as part of the regular course offerings. Special Studies may be repeated for credit when topics vary, but not more than 6 semester credit hours, regardless of discipline, will apply to a bachelor’s degree. (Formerly SOC 4953. Credit may be earned for both SOC 4853 and SOC 4953 but may not exceed 6 semester credit hours combined.)

SOC 4863  Topics in Sociology
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
An organized course offering the opportunity for a specialized topic not normally or not often available as part of the regular course offerings. Special Topics may be repeated for credit when topics vary, but not more than 6 semester credit hours, regardless of discipline, will apply to a bachelor’s degree.

SOC 4911,3  Independent Study
1 or 3 hours credit. Prerequisites: Permission in writing (form available) from the instructor, the student’s advisor, the Department Chair, and the Dean of the College in which the course is offered.
Independent reading, research, discussion, and/or writing under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 semester credit hours of independent study, regardless of discipline, will apply to a bachelor’s degree.

SOC 4933,6  Internship in Sociology
3 or 6 hours credit. Prerequisites: Completion of SOC 3343 or SOC 3353 and SOC 3373 or SOC 3393 and consent of internship coordinator.
Provided as part of the COLFA Signature Experience and offers supervised work experience relevant to sociology within selected organizations and agencies. Internships selected should be relevant to previous coursework. A maximum of 6 semester credit hours may be earned through this internship.

SOC 4993  Honors Thesis
3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Enrollment limited to candidates for Honors in Sociology during the last two semesters.
Supervised research and preparation of an honors thesis. May be repeated once with advisor’s approval.


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