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Course Listings

SOC105 Principles of Sociology (3)
A course intended to foster the student's "sociological imagination", provide the student with exposure to the basics of the academic discipline and emphasize examination of: 1) the "ultimate meaning of life" through analysis and evaluation of the social construction of reality, socialization processes, and institutions, cultural (including value, linguistic, belief, and normative systems), and structural processes/components which provide the "meat and bones" of social life; 2) "one's place in the world" through the analysis and evaluation of cultural relativism, ethnocentrism, multiculturalism, population demographics, and various other social problems; and 3) "one's social and ethical" responsibility to others through the analysis and evaluation of stratification systems (particularly class, race, and gender), class, racial, ethnic, and gender relations, the role of social movement and activism in fostering social awareness and change, and the relationship of critical sociology to theological and philosophical systems of thought. Considerations of the position of sociology as an empirical science, its historical underpinning, its methodology, and other major components are also made. This course fulfills a core requirement in the social science category. A grade of C or higher in this course is required for all higher level Sociology courses.

SOC201 Sociology of Deviance (3)
Prerequisite: SOC 105. An investigation of the normative systems that guide behavior with particular attention paid to forms of behavior that fall outside the parameters of those systems, such as certain forms of crime, collective movements, teen rebellion, cults, and lying.

SOC206 Community Service (3)
Community service provides students with a field experience: introducing students to the network of community services and organizations. Volunteer placements are arranged in community/social service agencies and organizations and, as necessary, include training sessions and seminars. However, please note that no student on academic probation may register for this course and that this course may be repeated for a total of six semester hours of credit.

SOC215 Social Psychology (3)
Prerequisite: SOC 105, if taking for Sociology credit. Social psychology entails an analysis of the nature and causes of individual behavior in social situations. Topics include social perception, attitudes, interpersonal attraction, social influence, aggression, pro-social behavior, and group processes. Cross-listed as PSY 205.

SOC216 Class, Race and Gender (3)
Prerequisite: SOC 105. A survey course exposing students to the inquiry of race, class and gender via a sociological perspective. Race, gender, and class have been key variables in terms of understanding power and the distribution of resources in the American political system. The primary focus of the course is to establish a basic understanding of how the American system of governing operates and then to analyze this in terms of placing a template of race, gender, and class upon it. Cross-listed as POS 216.

SOC217 Social Problems (3)
Prerequisite: SOC 105. This course entails an exploration of issues that are considered harmful to the human condition, such as population, crime, domestic violence, environmental sustainability, and poverty.

SOC218 Sociology of Dating, Marriage and Family (3)
Prerequisite: SOC 105. This course provides an investigation of a basic social institution: including analysis of dating, courtship, and marriage practices and functions; alternative primary groupings, such as homosexual unions and commuter relationships; primary group sexuality, conflict and conflict resolution; childbearing and socialization; divorce and remarriage.

SOC225 Criminology (3)
Prerequisite: SOC 105, if taking for Sociology credit. Criminology provides an examination of crime and the criminal in society; the nature of crime and criminal law; causal theories of crime; methods of treatment, and prevention. Cross-listed as CRJ 225.

SOC226 Juvenile Justice (3)
Prerequisite: SOC 105, if taking for Sociology credit. The Juvenile Justice course analyzes the social and legal implications of the juvenile system. Causes, treatment, and prevention of juvenile delinquency are explored. Cross-listed with CRJ 226.

SOC248 Urban Sociology (3)
Prerequisite: SOC 105. Urban sociology is a general study of the sociology of industrial development including its structural-functional, conflictual, and symbolic dimensions and relationships to larger society.

SOC301 Contemporary Sociological Theory (3)
Prerequisite: SOC 105. The contemporary sociological theory course involves exploration and application of contemporary sociological theories. Topics include theory construction, structural-functionalism, conflict theory, symbolic interactionism, phenomenology, among others.

SOC304 Substance Abuse (3)
Prerequisite: SOC 105, if taking for sociology credit. A study of the pharmacological, social, legal, and clinical aspects of drug use in contemporary society. Cross-listed as CRJ 304.

SOC309 Group Dynamics (3)
Prerequisite: SOC 105. Group dynamics involves an introduction to small group processes, including basic concepts and group techniques. Practical orientation and demonstration of groups approaches are stressed.

SOC311 Social Research Methodology (3)
Prerequisite: SOC 105; MAT 208 or PSY 201. Social research methodology involves exposure to and application of various methods used in conducting social scientific research. Topics include, survey design, field research methods, participant/non-participant observational techniques, sampling design, data analysis, and publication of findings. This course includes development of a research proposal that will be basis for the student's major work to be completed in Thesis (SOC 409).

SOC315 Social Movements (3)
Prerequisite: SOC 105. A survey and theoretical interpretations of various social movements in history, such as the civil rights and the women's movements in the U.S., the French Revolution, and overthrow of Czarist Russia.

SOC320 Sociology of Education (3)
Prerequisite: SOC 105. The sociology of education course focuses on the theoretical, ideological and philosophical interpretations of the role of education as a social institution.

SOC325 Complex Organization (3)
Prerequisite: SOC 105. This course involves an in-depth examination of complex social organization with particular emphasis placed on its characteristic processes, structures, and systems.

SOC355 Special Topics (3)
Special topics courses are offered periodically as sociology electives when courses are developed that deviate from offerings of the established curriculum, but are nonetheless consistent with departmental goals, such as Appalachian studies, Gay and Lesbian Issues, or Communist Studies.

SOC381 Mexican-U.S. Border Studies Program (0-3)
Prerequisite: completion of all core social science, history, fine arts, and foreign language requirements; instructor approval. Course enrollment is limited to twelve students accepted on a "first-approved-first-enrolled basis." This course entails an intensive exploration of the sociology of the Mexican-U.S. border area of Ciudad Juarez and El Paso, Texas including the political, environmental, historical, cultural, economic, artistic, racial, legal, and migration issues endemic to the area.

SOC395 Internship in Sociology (1-3)
Interns work within organizations, agencies or other settings gaining experience in a specific area of sociology. The course may be repeated for subsequent semesters.

SOC400 Independent Study (3)
Independent study credit is offered when students wish to explore a specific issue of sociological interest that falls outside the parameters of the established departmental curriculum. Independent studies are subject to departmental approval and entail direct supervision of a departmental faculty member.

SOC405 Social Change (3)
Prerequisite: SOC 301. The course on social change involves an analysis of the forces behind and factors contributing to sociological evolution. A variety of theoretical interpretations of this phenomenon are presented, discussed, and applied to specific historical and current events and postmodern forecasts.

SOC409 Thesis (3)
Prerequisite: SOC 105; Junior or senior standing. Recommended prerequisite: SOC 301, 311. Candidates for the bachelor degree with a major in Sociology are required to write and submit a paper of no less than forty pages in length that illustrates the candidate's mastery of theoretical, methodological, and substantive course content within the sociology major. Successful completion of the thesis provides evidence of the student's and faculty's success in meeting department goals. As a rule, the student begins work on methodological component of the thesis in the social research methodology course (SOC 311) followed by theoretical augmentation of the work in the contemporary sociological theory course (SOC 301). This project usually involves a public presentation of the work at an applicable scholarly conference. An additional component of the "capstone" course involves resume writing, preparation for and completion of the national major content assessment exam, GRE preparation, and discussion and promotion of employment and graduate school application process.