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Sociology (SOC) Course Descriptions

SOC 5003  Sociological Theory
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
The nature of sociological theory, the major varieties of theory, the theorists who developed them, and the social and historical contexts of theory development and construction. Issues concerning the relation of theory and research are also explored.

SOC 5033  Qualitative Research Methods
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Qualitative strategies and techniques used in social science research, including field methods such as participant observation, in-depth interviews, and the collection of documents. Emphasis is on understanding the ways people interpret their experiences and construct and shape their reality.

SOC 5043  Evaluation Research
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Theory and practice of evaluation of public policy and social service programs. Evaluation theories, models, and key evaluation studies are reviewed. Practical and political issues involved in the design and implementation of evaluations are addressed. Evaluation of a social agency or program may be included.

SOC 5053  Professionalization Seminar
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course assists students in navigating key benchmarks in the master’s program, including the comprehensive examination, master’s thesis, and internship. Issues of pedagogy (teaching), writing, and scholarship are also addressed, along with prospects students often consider upon completion of the master’s degree (e.g., doctoral program admission, community college instruction, and the application of sociological skills in workplace settings).

SOC 5063  Research Design
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: 3 semester credit hours of undergraduate research methods.
Graduate-level methods of sociological inquiry. Topics may include the ethics of social inquiry, deductive and inductive reasoning, conceptualization and operationalization, sampling, experimental and quasi-experimental design, survey research, field research, unobtrusive research, and basic qualitative and quantitative data analysis.

SOC 5073  Quantitative Research Methods
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: SOC 5063.
Graduate-level social statistics. Topics may include analysis of contingency tables, analysis of variance, correlation, multiple linear and logistic regressions, and index construction and scaling with use of computer programs such as SPSS to analyze social data. (Formerly SOC 5013. Credit cannot be earned for both SOC 5013 and SOC 5073.)

SOC 5083  Advanced Quantitative Research Methods
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: SOC 5073.
Advanced social statistics. Topics may include categorical data analysis, event history analysis, structural equation modeling (LISREL), multi-level modeling or longitudinal data analysis with use of computer programs such as SPSS, STATA, SAS, Amos, or HLM to analyze social data. (Formerly SOC 5023. Credit cannot be earned for both SOC 5023 and SOC 5083.)

SOC 5123  Family Contexts and Social Change
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Family system organization and process within the broader context of community and society. Emphasis is on the changing historical roles of families, as well as cross-cultural, socioeconomic, race and ethnic, and gender variability in the family. The impact of education, the economy, and politics is also considered.

SOC 5133  Sociology of Health and Health Care
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
The relation of social behavior to health status, epidemiology, and the social organization of medicine in the United States and cross-culturally. Emphasis is on the development of the health care industry and problems associated with the delivery of health care services.

SOC 5143  Demography and Community Trends
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Basic demographic perspectives and data; methods of analysis of population size, distribution, and composition; determinants and consequences of population trends. Applications of computer programs for demographic analysis may be included.

SOC 5173  Religion, Health, and Mortality
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Explores the complex relationships between religion and mental health, physical health, and mortality risk. Attention will also be given to religious influences on factors that may affect health, including health behaviors, social ties and support systems, psychological resources, coping practices, and character strengths that may foster resilience. The distinction between religiousness and spirituality will be discussed.

SOC 5203  Social Stratification
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Theory and research pertaining to structures of social inequality—their causes, forms, and consequences. Emphasis is on the distribution of power, prestige, and economic privilege, and patterns of social mobility in the United States.

SOC 5213  Race and Ethnic Relations
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Dominant-subordinate relations between various racial and ethnic groups from cross-cultural theoretical perspectives. Models of assimilation, cultural pluralism, and colonialism are investigated, as are their implications for minority and majority group members.

SOC 5223  Mexican Americans: Community, Culture, and Class
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Sociological focus on the Mexican American population. Emphasis is on the theories used to interpret the experiences of this group, particularly those oriented to issues of stratification and social mobility.

SOC 5233  Sociology of Gender
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Interdisciplinary survey of theory and current research on gender and gender-related issues. Gender-based theories are examined and compared to explanations for other forms of social stratification. Implications for family dynamics, the labor force, and the economy are explored. (Formerly titled “Gender and Society.”)

SOC 5253  Border Studies
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
An examination of borders in an era of globalization, with emphasis on the United States–Mexico border. Themes may include a theoretical criticism of American mainstream border studies and its more important representatives.

SOC 5263  Cultural Studies
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
A study of the significance of culture in society, including the relationship between culture, consciousness, the economy, identity, and history. The development of the field and crucial debates in the literature will be examined. The relationship of Cultural Studies with Critical Theory, feminist theory, multicultural theory, and media studies will be explored.

SOC 5323  Sociology of Childhood
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Explores concepts, theories, and empirical research focusing on childhood and children. Topics may include social structure and its consequences for children’s lives, and how circumstances, meanings, and representations of childhood differ across cultures.

SOC 5333  Language and Society
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
An examination of the work of important scholars in the study of language and social behaviors. Themes may include an overview of morphology communication, communicative interactions, societal segmentation and linguistic variation, language and gender, language acquisition, language policies, bilingual communities, and language in institutional encounters such as schools.

SOC 5343  Education and Reproduction of Inequality
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Examines the relation between types of societies and systems of education, the connection between schooling and societal stratification, and how schooling contributes both to social mobility and to the reproduction of the prevailing social order.

SOC 5353  Crime and Delinquency
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Analyzes the role of crime and delinquency in society. A consideration of the relationship among data, theory, and policy as integral components of crime and delinquency forms a central theme of this course. Independent empirical work is required.

SOC 5363  Theory Building and Methods
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Explores the role of theory building and methodology in sociology. The philosophy of science and sociology of knowledge and of science are used to understand the scientific dynamics of sociology. Theory building, methodology, and research design are explored.

SOC 5403  Social Movements
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Involves evaluation of dominant theoretical perspectives and research strategies in social movements and organized protests. Contrasts classic theoretical models with more recent scholarship emphasizing the cultural dimensions of social movement dynamics. Case studies may include the American Civil Rights Movement, Labor Unionization, and the Feminist and Environmental Movements.

SOC 5423  Social Psychology
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Provides the student with foundation in the theoretical background of social psychology as well as exposure to contemporary empirical examination of the theories and concepts utilized in this perspective. Topics for study may include socialization, social roles, aggression, pro-social behavior, interpersonal attraction, group dynamics, and collective behavior.

SOC 6043  Immigration and Society
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Analyzes theoretical explanations and social, economic, cultural, and ideological features of migration. May include topics such as border dynamics, transnationalism, incorporation of immigrants, remittances, and the impact on sending and receiving countries.

SOC 6063  Health and Health Disparities
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Explores issues related to disparities in population health. Health care based on racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds in the United States and other nations will be analyzed. Discussions may include differences in health and health care at the local, national or international level.

SOC 6143  Sociology of Religion
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
A seminar to provide a theoretical and methodological appraisal of contemporary research in the sociology of religion. Classic texts will be considered with emphasis on current trends in the field. May include topics such as religion and health, religion and globalization, new religious movements, religion and politics, religion and family and the immigrant religious experience. Theoretical debates from the secularization thesis to rational choice approaches will be considered.

SOC 6903  Topics in Advanced Sociology
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
A seminar offering the opportunity for specialized study not usually available as part of the regular course offerings. Topics may include social gerontology, deviance, social psychology, religion, mass communications, and research applications. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

SOC 6943  Prerequisite Directed Study
3 hours credit.
Restricted to students who have been conditionally admitted. Directed study under the supervision of a faculty member designated by the Graduate Advisor of Record to supplement deficiencies in a student’s background for graduate work. May require the student to audit undergraduate courses. Requires written work under the faculty member’s supervision. May be repeated.

SOC 6951,3  Independent Study
1 or 3 hours credit. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission in writing (form available) of the instructor and the Sociology Graduate Advisor of Record.
Independent reading, research, discussion, and/or writing under the direction of a faculty member. For students needing specialized work not usually available as part of the regular course offerings. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 hours, regardless of discipline, will apply to the Master’s degree.

SOC 6961  Comprehensive Examination
1 hour credit. Prerequisite: Approval of the Sociology Graduate Program Committee to take the Comprehensive Examination.
Independent study course for the purpose of taking the Comprehensive Examination. May be repeated as many times as approved by the Sociology Graduate Program Committee. Enrollment is required each term in which the Comprehensive Examination is taken if no other courses are being taken that term. The grade report for the course is either “CR” (satisfactory performance on the Comprehensive Examination) or “NC” (unsatisfactory performance on the Comprehensive Examination).

SOC 6963,6  Internship
3 or 6 hours credit. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor and 18 semester credit hours of graduate work.
Work-oriented experience within a local organizational setting where the principles, theories, concepts, and methods of the discipline can be applied. A research paper under the supervision of assigned faculty is required.

SOC 6973  Special Problems
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
An organized course offering the opportunity for specialized study not usually available as part of the regular course offerings. Special Problems courses may be repeated for credit when topics vary, but not more than 6 hours, regardless of discipline, will apply to the Master’s degree.

SOC 6983,6  Master’s Thesis
3 or 6 hours credit. Prerequisites: Permission of the Graduate Advisor of Record and thesis director, and 24 semester credit hours of graduate work.
Thesis research and preparation. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 hours will apply to the Master’s degree. Credit will be awarded upon completion of the thesis. Enrollment is required each term in which the thesis is in progress.

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