Sociology Program

Course Descriptions

SOCI 1313 (SOCI 1387 Honor Program):  Principles of Sociology

This course will introduce students to the study of society, focusing on the use and critique of the main sociological theories and techniques used to investigate the human condition. The course will examine social institutions, processes, and practices across a range of social structures, cultures, and historical periods.

SOCI 1323:  Current Social Issues

This course helps students understand contemporary social issues, evaluate and critique alternative explanations of these issues, and analyze and critically assess various proposed solutions to key public policy problems and issues. Students will develop writing, speaking, listening, and critical thinking skills that will enable them to assume an informed role as citizens in a democratic society. Much of the course will come from information in the news media and other appropriate information sources about cultural, political, economic, and public policy issues, with special emphasis on issues related to our unique location in South Texas.

SOCI 2301:  Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences

An introduction to the procedures used in handling sociological data including frequency distributions, central tendency, variability, correlation and elementary hypothesis testing.

Prerequisites:  SOCI 1313 and 1323 or consent of instructor

SOCI 3301:  Research Methods

This course introduces students to the basic research methods used in the social sciences. Emphasis is on the logic of social science and the implications of the major forms of research methodology. Allow students to recognize and analyze merits of research in the social sciences.

Prerequisite:  SOCI 2301

SOCI 3310:  Sports and Society

The course investigates the relationship between sports and society by examining the role and impact of agents of socialization such as the family, the peer group and the mass media on athletes and their personalities. This course also explores the issues of racism, sexism and violence in various sports. The assumption that participation in sports builds character will be examined along with cultural issues such as deviance, retirement and competition.

SOCI 3324:  Sociology of Health

Analysis of basic problems in the maintenance and preservation of health and delivery of health care services by social class. Focus is on environmental causes of disease; social-psychological response to illness; and family cohesion, strain and resources as affected by illness.

Prerequisite:  three hours of sociology or consent of instructor

SOCI 3325:  Social Psychology

Social psychology is a discipline that bridges sociology and psychology. It is the scientific study of how people think about, influence, and relate to one another. This course covers such topics as socialization, self-presentation, attitudes, communication, social influence, interpersonal attraction and relationships, behavior in small groups, intergroup relations, and personality and social structure.

Prerequisite:  SOCI 1313

SOCI 3333:  Urban Sociology

The culture, history and growth patterns of cities; demographic, ecological patterns and trends. Problems of housing and community organization.

Prerequisite:  SOCI 1313 or consent of instructor

SOCI 3344:  Societies in Global Perspective

The course is rotated to examine the cultures of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, with one of these regions as the focus of study in any particular semester. The course looks into cultures of various societies in terms of their social institutions such as religion, education, family, customs, traditions, etc., in contemporary and historical perspective and how such institutions provide the value system that is subsequently internalized in the socialization process and become part of the personality.

SOCI 3363:  Sociology of Religion

The sociological study of religion has traditionally been an important part of sociology since the beginning of sociology as an academic discipline. This course will focus on the way religion functions in society and its various forms throughout the world.

SOCI 3393:  Sociology of Aging

Analysis of the basic problems faced by the aged within a social context. Within an institutional framework, focus is on health, income, work, religion, leisure and interpersonal relationships of the aged.

SOCI 4310:  Gender in a Global Perspective

An exploration of the sociological meaning of gender and gender roles in contemporary society. The focus is on the status of women vis-á-vis that of men in the institutional structure:  family, marketplace, school and political-legal arena. The nature and causes of sex role differentiation, of changing sex roles and the future of sexual equality will be discussed.

SOCI 4313:  American Minorities

An analysis of inter-group relations among minority groups and the dominant group with special focus on patterns of conflict, change, adjustment, power and inequality among such groups. Some in-depth description of the problems and characteristics of major American minorities.

SOCI 4314:  Sociology of Deviance

The nature and extent of deviancy examined through a review of theory and research on deviant behavior. Selective examination of particular types of individual and subcultural deviance (e.g., homosexuality, physical handicaps, prostitution).

SOCI 4320:  Sociology of the Family

A comparative and historical approach will be used to examine sociological issues concerning the family in contemporary America. An in-depth analysis will focus on many of the social problems that affect the most important social institution in society.

SOCI 4323:  The Mexican-American People

Presents an examination of the Mexican-American's economic status, cultural values, style of life, educational attainment, family status and political participation as affected by current socio-economic conditions and their historical antecedents.

Prerequisite:  Registration is limited to students with junior or senior status.

SOCI 4324:  Contemporary Research in Social Psychology

The course is a review of selected topics from the empirical literature in social psychology such as gender, ethnicity, attitudes, prejudice and discrimination, persuasion, and helping behavior with emphasis on research from professional articles. Previous course number:  3326. A student may receive credit in only one course.

Prerequisite:  SOCI 1313, three hours of statistics in any department or approval of instructor

SOCI 4325:  Cultural Sociology

The rise of cultural sociology has been one of the most important developments in recent American social science. This course will introduce students to one of the most popular and important areas within sociology. The major lines inquiry:  text, code, production, reception and culture in action, which have made cultural sociology flourish in the past ten years, will be examined. This will be accomplished by relying on the mass media as a concrete and shared mechanism through which culture is produced, received and put into action. This course will use movies, television, magazines, newspapers and recording industry extensively as resources for examination and analysis of major and timely cultural themes.

SOCI 4326:  Population and Society

This course will address the issues of human population by studying the social processes of births, deaths, and migration. The course will study the so-called "population explosion" in developing societies and look as to how the population increase in these societies is affecting the social institutions such as education, the family, government, etc. These and other related questions will be addressed.

Prerequisite:  SOCI 1313

SOCI 4330:  Gender Research in Social Psychology

The course examines gender in research taken from articles found within the peer-reviewed professional journals in social psychology.

Prerequisite:  Any statistics course.

SOCI 4333:  Social Theory

The nature and function of social theory and its development. Emphasis on the cumulative insights and ideas, which have contributed to sociology and on the role of social theory in understanding modern society.

Prerequisite:  SOCI 1313 or 1387

SOCI 4352:  Social Inequality

A discussion of research, concepts and theory related to inequality in social life, its causes and consequences. The social order of relations between the affluent and the poor and how inequality among the social classes is built into the institutions of society.

SOCI 4360:  Sociology of Education

Social and institutional organization of education and the profession of teaching. Class, ethnic and other social factors affecting the educational process and the effect of educational institutions and practices on the community and the society.

SOCI 4380:  Social Protests and Social Movements

An investigation of the careers of protest and movement organizations. Special attention is directed to the structure of these organizations and the dilemmas and problems they encounter. Case studies are included.

SOCI 4383:  Independent Studies

Designed to give students experience in research or in-depth theoretical/empirical readings in a substantive area not normally covered within standard courses. Research projects or advanced readings will vary according to student interest and faculty availability. Sequential registration for up to nine hours is permitted as topics vary.

SOCI 4385:  Special Topics in Sociology

Selected topics in sociology. Course may be repeated once as topics change with a maximum of six credit hours.

SOCI 4390:  Internship

The course is designed to provide students with supervised sociology-related work experience in a community agency. Students must contact the Sociology Department and the Department of Career Placement Services (S.S. Bldg. 2.101) for approval before registering for the course.

Prerequisite:  Declared sociology major and 15 hours completed in sociology and the consent of the department chair and the Director of the Department of Career Placement Services.