Department of Sociology

SOC 302P • Physical Activity/Society-Wb

43175 • Twito, Samuel
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM • Internet
CD (also listed as H S 310P)
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COURSE DESCRIPTION

The principal objective of Physical Activity in Society is to understand the way in which people are physically active in a social context. We will examine how social forces influence physical activity including cultural, economic, historical, and demographic considerations. The course examines physical activity on both the individual and population levels to better understand the benefits and barriers to activity in society.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Analyze contemporary issues in physical activity from a variety of disciplinary and professional perspectives. ●
  • Understand physical activity on both the personal/individual level as well as the population level. ●
  • Critically evaluate (and convey through writing) the assumptions, motives, and evidence that individuals and groups use in discussing physical activity.

REQUIRED READING

Readings are available on Canvas. There is no required textbook for the course.

COURSE FORMAT

This course is organized in a lecture format with discussions throughout. Though a larger class, these discussions are an important place to connect lecture content and class readings to your related experiences, interests, and knowledge. 1

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IN SOCIETY COURSE ASSIGNMENTS AND EVALUATION

Specific details on assignments (including rubrics) are available on Canvas. Due dates are included on the course calendar (p. 3). Unless otherwise noted, all assignments are due at 11:59PM on Thursdays via Canvas. Late assignments will lose 5 points per 24 hours. Please contact me as soon as possible if there are conflicts with assignments or if you need help.

  • Activity Selection (5%) Choose a physical activity of any kind to participate in this semester. Explain why you chose your activity through the assignment in Canvas. Meet with me and discuss your activity.
  • Field Observation (30%) An integral part of this class is field observations of physical activity (at least twice weekly) as a way to connect content in lecture and readings to the real world. You will collect data as a participant observer (using autoethnography) in a physical activity of your choice - sports, dance, exercise, walking, gardening, cycling, etc. These observations are the basis for your final paper.
  • Exams (30%) There will be two non-cumulative in-class exams covering material from lecture and the readings.
  • Annotated Bibliography (5%) An annotated bibliography is due prior to your final paper.
  • Final Project (30%) The semester’s work will culminate in a project wherein you combine your field observations with scholarly sources you find to create a larger narrative about how your physical activity functions in society. Due Tuesday, May 12th.

Grade Disputes: Any dispute of any grade from assignments, exams, or papers must be made within one week of the grade being posted or it will not be considered. Please reach out to us early if there are any problems with completing assignments


SOC 307F • Diversity In Amer Families-Wb

43184 • Goldstein-Kral, Jess
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM • Internet
SB
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Course Description

Use of sociological and historical lenses to study the diversity of American families, including topics of: transnational families, teen motherhood, LGBT families, step-parenthood, and polyamorous families. Exploration of current demographic trends in the family, as well as the historical conditions that have motivated shifts in family structures. Examination of the American family as embedded within unequal systems, with a focus on class, gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality, and citizenship.

 

Course Readings

Select book chapters:

  • “On Becoming a Teen Mom”- Mary Patrice Erdmans and Timothy Black
  • “The Polyamorists Next Door”- Elizabeth Sheff
  • “Queering the Family”- Carla Pfeffer
  • “Invisible Families”- Mignon Moore
  • “How Love Conquered Marriage”- Stephanie Coontz
  • “From Marriage to the Market”- Susan Thistle
  • “Future Families: Diverse Forms, Rich Possibilities”- Ross Parke
  • Articles:
  • “Inequalities in Transnational Families” by Dreby and Adkins
  • “The Burden of Deportation on Children in Mexican Immigrant Families” by Dreby

 

Grading

  • Journal Entries- 40%
  • Attendance- 10%
  • Discussion- 5%
  • In-class assignments- 5%
  • Reading Quizzes- 30%
  • Presentation- 10%

 

Attendance Policy

Attendance will count for 10% of the final grade. Students who have up to two absences will get an “A” for 10% of their grade; 3 absences is a “B”; 4 absences is a “C”; 5 is a “D” and 6 or more is an “F”. I assume that if you miss a class, you have a very important reason; you do not have to give any explanation. Unfortunately, emergencies sometimes happen. In the event of an emergency, please reach out as soon as possible, provide documentation, and we will work together to get you back on track.


SOC 307L • Gender/Race/Class Amer Soc-Wb

43189 • O'Quinn, Jamie
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM • Internet
CD SB
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Course Description

This course examines the interplay of gender, race, class, and sexuality in American society. Drawing on lectures, readings, and films, we will explore how gender, race, class, and sexuality operate not simply as individual ways of categorizing people, but as interrelated inequalities that structure our social world. We begin by examining each core concept from a sociological perspective – as social constructions that help to rationalize and justify social inequality. We will then focus our attention on the relationships among them – how gender, race, class, and sexuality intersect to shape individual experiences, daily social interactions, and society. Next, we will locate the intersections of gender/race/class/sexuality in the history of American society. Finally, we examine how these differences and inequalities matter in a variety of institutional contexts, including family life, the criminal justice system, and education.


SOC 308D • Ethncty/Gender: La Chicana-Wb

43190 • Rosas, Lilia
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM • Internet
CD SB (also listed as MAS 311)
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Among the many catalysts that centralized the narratives of Chicanas into the discourse the U.S. Southwest/Mexican Borderlands, the 1971 La Conferencia de Mujeres por la Raza in Houston inspired how Chicanas/Xicanas, xicanindias, mestizas, indigenous, Mexican American, and brown women defined themselves, asserted their roles and identities, and shared their stories. This course privileges the stories, struggles, contestations, imaginations, writings, and accomplishments of Chicanas in the United States in the mid-twentieth and early twentieth-first centuries. Through a close examination of literature, and attention to historical and theoretical materials, we will create a growing understanding of the significance of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, language, spirituality, and citizenship in affecting the daily lives and social worlds of Chicanas. By end of the semester, we will also gain a complex insight into the importance of how Chicana feminism, Xicanisma, intersectionality, migration, borders, and community are formative in the Chicana experience(s).

 


SOC 308S • Intro To Health & Society-Wb

43195 • Osbakken, Stephanie
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM • Internet
CD SB (also listed as H S 301)
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COURSE DESCRIPTION

Welcome to HS 301/SOC 308S! The principle objective of this course is to offer students a broad overview of health and illness in society from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. We will examine how social forces influence patterns of health and disease in U.S. society, considering how economic, political and structural factors shape morbidity and mortality rates, and public health policy in the U.S. We will also explore how ingrained cultural beliefs, such as racial/ethnic and gendered biases, among others, shape public perceptions of morality and public health policies. Finally, we will explore how social forces shape the very definitions of health, illness, and disease categories, and thereby medical diagnoses and treatments, and the experience of illness in U.S. society. To this end, our course readings and discussions will help us address current bioethical controversies that continue to influence our beliefs about health and illness and shape our very understandings about human rights and personhood. Our journey this term will be rigorous, but exciting! By the end of the semester you will be able to confidently recognize and analyze all of the social forces that shape health and illness in U.S. society.

For those students pursing the Health and Society major in the College of Liberal Arts, this course is required. For others, this course can be used to fulfill the social and behavioral sciences component of the university core curriculum and addresses the following four core objectives established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: communication skills, critical thinking skills, empirical and quantitative skills, and social responsibility. This course also carries a cultural diversity flag.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Analyze contemporary health issues from a variety of disciplinary and professional perspectives.
  • Explain how one’s social location, the media, and economic forces shape health behaviors and outcomes.
  • Explain how social and cultural factors shape contemporary understandings and experiences of health and illness and death and dying in the U.S.
  • Critically evaluate the assumptions, motives, and evidence that individuals and groups use to make specific claims about health and illness.

READINGS AND OTHER COURSE MATERIALS

Course readings consist of scholarly journal articles, book chapters, timely news articles, blog posts, and other social media posts related to health and illness. Unless otherwise indicated, these are all available on Canvas, under the Files tab, organized in folders by class day. Please read and watch all assigned course materials before arriving to class any given day. Most readings are listed below and 3 posted on Canvas early in the term, but I am likely to add additional short, newsworthy articles on health and illness that occur during the term. You’ll also find that I have assigned several TED Talks and other online videos too. Finally, near the end of the semester we’ll read one book that you are responsible for purchasing or borrowing from the library—any edition is fine. It is listed below.

Gawande, Atul. 2014. Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. New York: Metropolitan.

GRADING AND EVALUATION OVERVIEW

Your final course grade will be calculated as follows:

  • Squarecap responses = 10%
  • Exam #1 = 25%
  • Exam #2 = 25%
  • Exam #3 = 25%
  • Reading Responses = 15%

Total 100%


SOC 309C • Creating Sustainable Socty

43200 • Swearingen, William
Meets TTH 5:00PM-6:30PM WEL 1.316
SB (also listed as GRG 309C)
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Course Description

The course will offer students an overview of sustainability as something human beings must create. In an era of global warming and ever greater social inequalities - both between countries and within countries – how can we remake a more equitable and sustainable future for those who will come after us? The focus of the course will revolve around the core issues of sustainability: what does sustainability mean? Why do we need to remake human societies in more sustainable ways? And what does social equity have to do with sustainability? One of the problems we have in teaching about sustainability today is our focus on two of the "E's" without much attention to the third. We talk mostly about Environment, secondly about Economy, and then tend to pay short shrift to Equity. This course will address all three, but put a greater focus on Equity than is usual. The course will be taught from a social sciences perspective, which approaches human relationships with the natural world (Environment) in the context of their relationships with each other (Environment and Equity). Global warming (environment) is main reason we are talking about Sustainability today, but global warming is both cause and effect of our economies and inequalities.


SOC 317L • Intro To Social Statistics-Wb

43210 • Cheadle, Jacob
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM • Internet
QR MA
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Description:

This course presents a general overview of the statistical methods used in the social sciences. While it’s important that you gain an understanding of the mathematical concepts behind the statistical analyses, it is of even greater importance that you leave this course with a conceptual and rational understanding of today’s most commonly used (and useful) statistical methods.

Truth claims made with statistics are abundant and often have the quality of facts in U.S. social and political life. Unfortunately, because many people do not understand the statistics undergirding these claims, they receive less scrutiny than they deserve. It is my primary goal to ensure that students learn the basic statistical literacy they need to be smart consumers of information. Our increasing reliance on statistics to understand the social world means that statistical and analytic skills are marketable skills. In fact statistics is one of very few classes that sociology majors take that provides them with concretely marketable skills. I believe that giving undergraduates a solid understanding of statistics is a way of democratizing knowledge and its production. In teaching statistics my goals are:

  •   To demystify statistics so that every student can be a smart consumer of quantitative information.

  •  To teach students to think sociologically with and about quantitative information.

  • To provide students with a solid foundation of quantitative and computing skills that could serve

    as assets in subsequent employment and academic settings.

  •   To demonstrate to students that learning statistics has practical applications outside of the       classroom in everyday life.

Texts:

Salkind, Neil J.. 2012. Statistics for People Who (Think They) Hate Statistics: Excel 2010 Edition. 3rd Edition. SAGE Publications. 

Grading and Reqirement:

I will use a non-competitive grading scale. In other words, the grade you receive will not depend on how well others have performed in class. You can earn a maximum of 115 points in this class. Your grade will be based on your mastery of each of the required tasks in the class. The grading scale for the final course grade is as follows: 115-94=A; 90-93=A-; 87-89=B+; 83-86=B; 80-82-B-; 77-79=C+; 73-76=C; 70-72=C-; 67- 69=D+; 63-66=D; 60-62=D-; 59 & below=F.

I do not give incomplete and will not change the final grade for whatever reason. You have plenty of opportunities to do well in this class. Use them.

If you receive a final grade of B+ or higher, I will write a personal recommendation for you in the future, stating that you have significant quantitative and computing skills.CLASS & LAB ATTENDANCE 10 PTS

As will be addressed later in detail, you have two free absences you can choose. However, I’d recommend you to use them only for emergencies. More than two absences will affect your class attendance grades negatively.


SOC 317L • Intro To Social Statistics-Wb

43205 • Powers, Daniel
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM • Internet
QR MA
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Description:

This course presents a general overview of the statistical methods used in the social sciences. While it’s important that you gain an understanding of the mathematical concepts behind the statistical analyses, it is of even greater importance that you leave this course with a conceptual and rational understanding of today’s most commonly used (and useful) statistical methods.

Truth claims made with statistics are abundant and often have the quality of facts in U.S. social and political life. Unfortunately, because many people do not understand the statistics undergirding these claims, they receive less scrutiny than they deserve. It is my primary goal to ensure that students learn the basic statistical literacy they need to be smart consumers of information. Our increasing reliance on statistics to understand the social world means that statistical and analytic skills are marketable skills. In fact statistics is one of very few classes that sociology majors take that provides them with concretely marketable skills. I believe that giving undergraduates a solid understanding of statistics is a way of democratizing knowledge and its production. In teaching statistics my goals are:

  •   To demystify statistics so that every student can be a smart consumer of quantitative information.

  •  To teach students to think sociologically with and about quantitative information.

  • To provide students with a solid foundation of quantitative and computing skills that could serve

    as assets in subsequent employment and academic settings.

  •   To demonstrate to students that learning statistics has practical applications outside of the       classroom in everyday life.

Texts:

Salkind, Neil J.. 2012. Statistics for People Who (Think They) Hate Statistics: Excel 2010 Edition. 3rd Edition. SAGE Publications. 

Grading and Reqirement:

I will use a non-competitive grading scale. In other words, the grade you receive will not depend on how well others have performed in class. You can earn a maximum of 115 points in this class. Your grade will be based on your mastery of each of the required tasks in the class. The grading scale for the final course grade is as follows: 115-94=A; 90-93=A-; 87-89=B+; 83-86=B; 80-82-B-; 77-79=C+; 73-76=C; 70-72=C-; 67- 69=D+; 63-66=D; 60-62=D-; 59 & below=F.

I do not give incomplete and will not change the final grade for whatever reason. You have plenty of opportunities to do well in this class. Use them.

If you receive a final grade of B+ or higher, I will write a personal recommendation for you in the future, stating that you have significant quantitative and computing skills.CLASS & LAB ATTENDANCE 10 PTS

As will be addressed later in detail, you have two free absences you can choose. However, I’d recommend you to use them only for emergencies. More than two absences will affect your class attendance grades negatively.


SOC 319 • Intro To Social Demography

43215 • Weiss, Inbar
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM WEL 1.316
GC SB
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Course Description

The purpose of this course is to introduce the students to the field of social demography. It is designed to help students understand the larger factors shaping population size, composition and density. Through the semester, we will explore key concepts, theories and basic measurements that are essential to study population dynamics. The topics that will be covered in the course are: Mortality, morbidity, fertility, migration, urbanization, age and sex structures and the social implications of demographic changes. Through this class students will also learn how to read and interpret graphs, data and demographic phenomena. 

Reading Materials 

Short readings will be posted on-line.

Textbook (optional): Demography: The Study of Human Population, 4th edition, Hickes Lundaquist, J., Anderton, D. L., and Yaukey, D. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press. 

Grading and Requirement:

5 quizzes (70%)

3 homework assignments (30%)

 *In addition, there will be three optional bonus assignments- a presentation proposal and a short presentation on a unique demographic case study and a data analysis assignment. 


SOC 320C • Cancerland-Wb

43220 • Osbakken, Stephanie
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM • Internet
CDWr (also listed as H S 340)
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COURSE OBJECTIVES

This course has several objectives. First, students will learn to step beyond their personal understandings of cancer to cultivate a more sociological and analytical approach to understanding this complex disease. By the end of the term, students will be able understand the cultural and structural forces that shape the occurrence, treatment, and experience of cancer in the U.S. The second goal of this course is to develop students’ writing skills. Through various writing assignments, students will cultivate an effective argumentative writing style as they critically evaluate cancer research and the social factors that influence how the disease is understood, treated, and depicted in popular culture. Students will spend considerable time honing their own writing, learning about the importance of revisions as they engage in rigorous edits of their peers’ work. The peer review process not only familiarizes students with basic editing skills, but also encourages collaboration and teamwork. Finally, by acting as a codiscussant once during the term, students will gain experience and confidence leading a discussion on a course topic of their choice.

COURSE MATERIALS

Course materials include various articles and book chapters and video links, most of which are available on Canvas. Please note that I reserve the right to remove, add or substitute assigned materials. There are also two required books for the course.

  • Mukherjee, Siddhartha. 2010. The Emperor of all Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. New York: Simon and Schuster.
  • Kalanithi, Paul. 2016. When Breath Becomes Air. New York: Random House.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND EVALUATION

To successfully complete this course, you must read all assigned texts before each class, attend and participate regularly, co-facilitate a discussion once during the term, complete and submit assignments on time, and present on your research topic at the end of the semester.

Attendance (5%)

Attendance is mandatory in a discussion-based, writing intensive class. You can miss two classes without penalty during the term. Absences #3, #4 will result in a 10-point deduction from this portion of your grade and a loss of participation points for the day. For absences #5 and beyond, I will deduct 10 points from your final course grade for each additional absence.

Participation (20%)

Students are expected to have read all assigned readings before each class period and participate actively and respectfully in class. Students are also required to regularly respond to blog-post prompts on our discussion board. There will be a total of 16 prompts posted, and you will need to 3 thoughtfully respond to at least 12 prompts during the semester. It is also a good idea to write your own questions on the readings. Come to class willing to share your questions and actively participate in our discussions.

Leading Discussion (10%)

Students will be asked to co-facilitate a discussion once during the semester. I will pass around a sign-up sheet on 1/28 so you have plenty of time to plan with your co-discussant. I will also discuss my evaluation guidelines in advance so that you are aware of my expectations. Your attendance on the date you are leading discussion is MANDATORY.

Paper #1 (10%)

Students will write a 2-3 page (double-spaced) short paper. 

Paper #2 First draft (15%)

Students will write a 5-page paper (double-spaced) that applies course concepts and theories to an analysis of a specific social or cultural issue relating to cancer research or treatment.

Peer Review Reports (5%) Students will provide peer-review feedback for Paper #2. This will entail providing marginal comments and also writing a one-page peer review report for two or three of your studentcolleagues. I will distribute detailed guidelines about this process.

Paper #2 Revised Draft (20%)

After receiving my feedback, you will revise Paper #2 and resubmit it.

Paper # 3 (15%)

Students will write a 5-page paper (double-spaced) that applies course concepts and theories to a social or cultural issue relating to the experience of cancer.

Overall semester averages will earn the following letter grades:

  • 93-100: A
  • 90-92.9: A
  • 87-89.9: B+
  • 83-86.9: B
  • 80-82.9: B
  • 77-79.9: C+
  • 73-76.9: C
  • 70-72.9: C
  • 67-69.9: D+
  • 63-66.9: D
  • 60-62.9: D-
  • 0-59.9: F

SOC 321G • Global Health Issues/Systms-Wb

43225 • Jeon, Jiwon
GCWr
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Course Description

This course provides an overview of global health challenges in the world today. It is essential to understand the links between health, education, poverty, and development with an appreciation of the values, beliefs, and cultures of diverse groups. The first half of the course will review critical global health issues from biosocial, cultural and environmental perspectives. A biosocial approach to global health equity is the underlying theme. The second half of the course will review various health systems in the World Health Organization geographic regions and will compare and contrast the various regions, as well as countries within regions, with regard to the specific health challenges they face.

This course carries both the Writing flag and Global Cultures flag. We will use writing to improve critical thinking skills and understanding of global health issues as well as to improve upon the ability to formulate ideas with an emphasis on the ASA writing style. In this class, you can expect to write regularly during the semester, complete substantial writing projects, and receive feedback from your instructor to help you improve your writing. You will also have the opportunity to revise one or more assignments, and you may be asked to read and discuss your peers’ work. Global Cultures courses are designed to increase your familiarity with cultural groups outside the United States. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from writing assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one non-U.S. cultural group. This course may be used to fulfill the social and behavioral sciences component of the university core curriculum and addresses the following four core objectives established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: communication skills, critical thinking skills, empirical and quantitative skills, and social responsibility.

Course Objectives

  1. Describe global health issues, trends, and policies
  2. Understand how population growth, disease, environmental changes, and economic and political activities impact global health
  3. Assess and analyze global health program interventions and their impacts
  4. Compare and contrast health issues and policies between economically developed countries and developing countries
  5. Synthesize findings to highlight common patterns and unique differences in health challenges between and within major world regions

SOC 321K • Soc Ineq & Health In U.s.

43230 • Musick, Marc
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM MEZ B0.306 • Hybrid/Blended
(also listed as LAH 350)
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This course examines patterns of health and illness in the US and their possible causes.  By focusing on societal structures and demographic trends, the course is able to uncover the ways in which American society and social interactions shape health outcomes across the adult population.  Some attention in the course is also devoted to the healthcare system in the US and the ways in which it leads to certain population health outcomes.  The course is designed with experiential learning in mind, thus it requires students to undertake projects that help them better understand how health outcomes are patterned in the community around UT Austin. 

Potential Readings

Healthy People 2020.  US Government.

Mama Might be Better off Dead.  Laurie Kaye Abraham

The Social Transformation of American Medicine.  Paul Starr.

Ideas about Illness.  Uta Gerhardt.


SOC 322J • Economic Sociology Of Hlth-Wb

43250 • Palmo, Nina
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM • Internet
CD
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What is this course about?

This course will give you an up-close view of how health care and health insurance work, and don’t work, in the U.S. today. This course involves a service-learning project with a local nonprofit organization, Foundation Communities. You will become a Certified Application Counselor in the insurance marketplace and help real clients enroll in insurance plans. To ground this practical experience in academic knowledge, we will use classroom time to learn about how the current state of health insurance and health care came to be, and how we could improve it.

Why is this course important?

This course provides an opportunity to gain practical, real-world knowledge of the challenges facing Austin residents today as they navigate the world of health insurance and health care. Understanding how the health care system works on a practical level and on a policy level is something that we all need to know – whether we are future physicians, other experts, or patients.


SOC 322U • US Immigration-Wb

43255 • Rodriguez, Nestor
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM • Internet
CD (also listed as MAS 374)
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Course Rationale
Immigration patterns have significantly affected the development of U.S. society. No country accepts more immigrants than the United States; yet, the history of US immigration is dotted with policies to restrict immigration. In the 1990s, the United States experienced a record number of new legal immigrants, primarily from Asia and Latin America (Mexico), breaking the 1900 – 1909 record, and in 2000 – 2009 the number of immigrants admitted again set a new record. But at the same time, the United States deported record numbers of migrants. This course uses a sociological perspective to gain an understanding the social forces that drive migration to the United States, how migrants organize their migration, how immigration affects US society, and US policies towards immigration patterns. II.

 

Course Aims and Objectives
Aims

This course is designed to provide a sociological understanding concerning the nature of immigration in U.S. society, including an understanding of how immigration affects large (macro) and small (micro) social units in the society, and contributes to social diversity in our country. The course also provides an understanding of the social – structural nature of international migration (migration in the world system). 

Specific Learning Objectives

  • Gain background information on the development of immigration patterns in U.S. society and discuss the social forces that affect these patterns from the perspective of historical and recent immigration trends. 
  • Review and discuss different perceptions about immigration patterns, and how these perceptions vary as the immigrant groups come from different cultural backgrounds. 
  • Review and use government online sources concerning annual immigration numbers and characteristics. 
  • Develop an awareness of the significance of immigration for the development of U.S. society, including impacts on social and cultural diversity. 
  • Review major laws affecting migration patterns to U.S. society 

Cultural Diversity Objective Flag:
“This course carries the flag for Cultural Diversity in the United States. Cultural Diversity courses are designed to increase your familiarity with the variety and richness of the American cultural experience. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one U.S. cultural group that has experienced persistent marginalization.” 


Format and Procedures
The course is designed with the expectation that it will follow an intertwined format of lectures and class discussions. A key expectation is that students will come to class prepared to discuss issues covered in the class, or at least come to class with a curious and critical predisposition to become intellectually engaged in the class. All students are expected to contribute to class discussion, with a high regard for an open academic dialogue, which values respect for the ideas, opinions, and views of others. Class attendance is required (but not graded) and highly encouraged.

 


SOC 325L • Soc Of Criminal Justice-Wb

43275 • Kelly, William
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM • Internet
(also listed as URB 325L)
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Course Description

This course is in two parts. The first will provide an introduction to the American criminal justice system, its policies and procedures. The primary focus will be on how criminal justice operates. This will include some discussion of crime and its correlates, crime prevention, law enforcement, courts and corrections. The second part traces where criminal justice policy has been, what it has accomplished, and where it should go in order to effectively reduce crime, recidivism, victimization and cost. The primary focus of where do we go from here is on prosecution, sentencing and corrections.

The required texts are Experiencing Criminal Justice by Nicole Hendrix and The Future of Crime and Punishment: Smart Policies for Reducing Crime and Saving Money by William Kelly (2019, Updated Version). Both are available at the coop or Amazon. The class periods will be devoted to lectures and discussion. We may have guest speakers and probably a video or two just depending on schedule. The lecture material will sometimes correspond closely with the material in the texts and sometimes it will not. Also, the class lectures may not stay on schedule with the dates on the syllabus, but you should read the assigned material on schedule. I encourage class discussions and questions and hope that the material will be sufficiently interesting and controversial to motivate discussion.

There will be four exams. The first two are multiple choice/true false. The second two are multiple choice and short answer. Each exam constitutes 25% of the course grade. The exams will cover all of the material - assigned readings, lectures, guest speakers and videos. There is no final exam.

The policy regarding make-up exams is as follows with no exceptions. You will be permitted to take the essay make-up exam, which will be given at the end of the semester, if you have a valid excuse. A valid excuse is illness or death in the family. Having an airline reservation or being in someone’s wedding party (along with a very long list of other matters) do not constitute valid reasons for missing an exam. If you have a valid excuse for missing an exam, you must notify me or the TA within 24 hours after the exam.

There is no extra credit and it is not possible to change the exam dates. Finally, I am teaching two sections of this course. You are only permitted to take exams in the section for which you are enrolled.

Grades for the course are determined in the following manner. If you are taking the course pass/fail, a pass is 60 or above. I round up if your average is .5 or above. FYI, .1, .2, .3 and .4 aren’t .5, so please don’t ask.

A = 94-100

A- = 90-93

B+ = 87-89

B = 84-86

B- = 80-83

C+ = 77-79

C = 74-76

C- = 70-73

D+ = 67-69

D = 64-66

D- = 60-63

F= 0-60


SOC 330P • Sociology & Social Psychol-Wb

43295 • Rose, Mary
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM • Internet
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COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course is designed to give you a broad introduction to the field of social psychology, a topic that is investigated in both psychology and sociology departments. I have three aims for the course: (1) I want to provide you with an overview of the field of social psychology; (2) by discussing research, I want to introduce you to the various research methodologies that social psychologists use to investigate a phenomenon empirically; and (3) I want you to be able to spot applications to the “real world” of the material we discuss. Students enrolled in this course should have upper division standing, and, ideally, they should have taken courses in either sociology or psychology. This course is not cross-listed with psychology, which means that it does not count towards the requirements for a degree in psychology (but of course you still get credit for it as an upper-division sociology course). This course is part of the curriculum in the Human Dimensions of Organizations major.

Even in a class of this size, please speak up with commentary or questions (I’ll let you know if it’s too often or too disruptive; otherwise, let me know your thoughts). I also reserve the right to, on occasion, call on people and ask them questions or have them give their input into a topic we are discussing. Although I do not restrict lecture topics to what appears in the text, the most effective discussions – and the way for you to get the most out of this class in general – is to do your readings prior to the class for which they are assigned. This will help you immensely with lectures and ultimately with the tests.

REQUIRED TEXT

John D. DeLamater, & Jessica Collett, Social Psychology (9th edition). Routledge (2018). [PLEASE NOTE: This version of the book is a restructured one; do not rely solely on older editions without a close comparison to the 9th] 


SOC 333K • Sociology Of Gender-Wb

43300 • Williams, Christine
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM • Internet
CD (also listed as WGS 322C)
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Course Description

This course is an introduction to the sociological study of gender in U.S. society. Gender structures the experiences of people in all major social institutions, including the family, the workplace, and schools. We will explore how gender impacts our lives and life chances. The central themes of the course are historical changes in gender beliefs and practices; socialization practices that reproduce gendered identities; how race/ethnicity, class, and sexuality shape the experience of gender; and the relationship between gender, power, and social inequality. 

The goals of the course are:

  • To understand the sociological perspective as it relates to gender. What are gender stereotypes? How do social institutions, including schools, the mass media, families, and work organizations, treat men and women? You should be able to discuss how the social environment influences the behavior and experiences of men and women.
  • To understand how gender is related to other forms of social inequality. How do men and women from different racial/ethnic groups, social class positions, and sexual orientations, experience gender inequality? You should be able to discuss hegemonic, marginalized, and alternative definitions of masculinity and femininity.
  • To understand how and why gender norms change over time. Why are behaviors that were considered “masculine” at one time now considered “feminine”?  What role do social movements (including feminism) play in changing society’s expectations of appropriate behavior for men and women? How has globalization altered relationships between men and women?
  • To develop a deeper appreciation of how your own experiences, views, choices, and opportunities have been shaped by gender.

 

This course carries the UGS flag for Cultural Diversity in the United States, which means that it is “designed to increase your familiarity with the variety and richness of the American cultural experience. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one U.S. cultural group that has experienced persistent marginalization.”

This course does NOT carry a writing flag. However, you are required to write several essays. 


SOC 335 • Society Of Modern Mexico-Wb

43305 • Ward, Peter
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM • Internet
CDGC (also listed as LAS 325, URB 338S)
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COURSE AIMS AND PURPOSE

This course seeks to understand Mexico through three lenses. First to introduce students to modern Mexico - its geography, economy, polity and society, and to examine in detail the nature and the forces of change that have impacted so dramatically upon the country during the past three decades (Global Cultures “flag”). Second, we will examine Mexico-US bi-lateral relations both historically as well as in the contemporary sphere. Third, our lens will focus attention upon “Mexico Here”, and will analyze the dramatic Hispanic “rise” in the USA since 1990, with a special emphasis upon the ways in which the majority minority of Mexicans and Mexican Americans are shaping our own society, economy and polity of central Texas (Cultural Diversity “flag”), and to discuss the policy and representation implications arising from their rise.

Approximately one half of the course will offer an overview of the modern Mexico – its economic and political opening, challenges of overcoming poverty, and more recently the instability born of the drug cartels. Included here we will also examine the key bilateral issues between the two countries: immigration reform; insecurity; and economic integration. The other half of the course is designed to analyze the demographic and socio-cultural changes and policy challenges that Mexican-origin populations confront today in here Central Texas: in education, health care, citizenship aspirations, access to housing, justice and human rights and wellbeing. The aim is to gain a more sensitive and nuanced awareness of how Mexican populations specifically, and Hispanic populations more generally, are transforming the cultural and political landscape of Texas and the US, in order to offer a broad-brush introduction that will allow us consider the public policy dilemmas and imperatives that we have to confront today.

As well as contributing to your Global Cultures and Cultural Diversity (flags) learning experience, the course will comprise a substantial writing component built around three essays. In-class participation is important, and an important element of the class assessment will comprise group projects about how Mexicans and Mexican-American identities are shaping politics, society & culture (broadly defined) here in Central Texas. In addition there will be one midterm.

Assessment: Essays and Papers 45%; Participation 25%; Mid-term 15%; Group Project 15%


SOC 336D • Race, Class, And Health-Wb

43310 • Jeon, Jiwon
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM • Internet
CD
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Course Description

This course examines health status and health care disparities among racial/ethnic minority groups in the United States. We will review the complex relationship between social class (socioeconomic status) and health, social class and race, the effect of race/ethnicity on health outcomes and access to healthcare, and specific health issues for major racial/ethnic minority groups in the U.S. Course topics include: conceptual issues central to understanding how low socioeconomic status leads to poor health, understanding how conscious, unconscious, and institutionalized racial bias affects medical care and health outcomes, and addressing ideas for reducing health disparities among racial/ethnic minorities. Health and health disparities are analyzed from biosocial and life-course perspectives. Social determinants of health and health equity provide the underlying conceptual frameworks for this class.

This course carries the flag for Cultural Diversity in the United States. Cultural Diversity courses are designed to increase your familiarity with the variety and richness of the American cultural experience. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one U.S. cultural group that has experienced persistent marginalization.

Course Objectives

At the completion of this course, the student will learn and understand: •

  • patterns of racial/ethnic differences in health status, access to health care, and quality of health care 
  • hypotheses and theories that seek to explain health disparities among different racial/ethnic minorities •
  • social and environmental factors that are prominent in the perpetuation of health disparities across the life span •
  • cultural factors that may contribute to health disparities among different racial/ethnic minority groups •
  • policies and programs that may reduce health disparities 2

How to succeed in this course

Active class participation is key to learning as well as obtaining a good semester grades. In order to be able to participate, reading the material each week and being prepared is critical.

Required Readings

  • Barr, Donald A. 2014. Health Disparities in the United States: Social Class, Race, Ethnicity, and Health. 2nd Ed. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
  • Journal Articles: In addition to the above textbook, other course materials including additional readings will be posted to Canvas each week. Readings should be completed for the week they are assigned.

Recommended Readings

  • Hummer, Robert A. & Erin R. Hamilton 2019, Population Health in America, University of California Press.
  • LaVeist, Thomas A. & L. Issac. 2013. Race, Ethnicity, and Health: A Public Health Reader. JosseyBass, A Wiley Imprint.
  • Fadiman, Anne. 1997. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Course Requirements

Your grade will be determined by three criteria: exams, assignment and class participation. •

  • Exams (225 points) There will be three in-class exams worth 75 points each. The in-class exams will cover the readings and lecture materials covered prior to that exam. The format of the in-class exams will be multiple-choice, true and false, and short/medium-answer questions. Missed exams will be counted as zero unless arrangements are made two-weeks in advance. Make-up exams will be given only if a physician’s note or other verifiable document is provided.
  • Assignment (45 points) Each student is required to write a paper designed to assess understanding of current health status and causes of health disparities among racial/ethnic minorities in the U.S. and the complex relationship between socioeconomic status and race in U.S. health care systems. The paper assignment is due by the beginning of class on the due date and students should submit a hard copy in class. Late papers will not be accepted. Information and guidelines for the assignment will be posted on Canvas.
  • Class Participation: In-class discussions and participation (30 points) Students are expected to attend class, read assignments before each class, and actively participate in classroom discussions during each week. The in-class component will be measured by in-class discussion and class participation. During the semester, students will engage in short discussions or working sessions as a group during class and will submit a written report. This report will include the discussion results and the names of students who participated in the discussion sessions and ten of these activities will count towards your participation grade. (3 points each). There will be NO make-up opportunity for in-class discussion reports regardless of the reasons for absence. Each student is strongly encouraged to participate in class discussions, raising well informed and interesting questions to enhance our learning experiences.
  • Extra credit: In-class quizzes There will be several pop quizzes given periodically at the instructor’s discretion based on weekly readings, class discussions, and short films shown during class. You will earn 2 points for each complete/correct answer and the accumulated points will be added to your semester total. The pop quizzes will be given at the beginning of the class and there is NO make-up opportunity for in-class quizzes regardless of reasons.

Grading Scale

  • A: 280-300
  • A-: 270-279.9
  • B+: 260-269.9
  • B: 250-259.9
  • B-: 240-249.9
  • C+: 230-239.9
  • C: 220-229.9
  • C-: 210-219.9
  • D+: 200-209.9
  • D: 190-199.9
  • D-: 180-189.9

Attendance and Participation Policy

  • Attendance: While I will not take daily attendance in class, consider that attendance is mandatory. Please be warned that chronic absence will affect your grade since class meetings will always include content not included in the reading or contents in PowerPoint slides posted on Canvas. In addition, you will miss the in-class activity (including pop quizzes), which do not have make-up opportunities. If you are unable to attend class, it is your responsibility to approach other classmates to find out what you might have missed.
  • Tardiness: Show up to class on time. Being tardy is not only disruptive, but may also affect your class participation grade since students who arrive late risk missing the class discussions or in class quiz activities.
  • Student Conduct and Participation: Students will complete each week’s reading before class and prepare to learn and contribute to the class discussion. Every student will be actively involved in classroom discussions. In order for everyone to feel comfortable voicing opinions or asking questions, a climate of tolerance and respect is essential.
  • Use of laptops in class for taking notes: To maintain an engaged and focused classroom without distractions, use of laptops and cell phones in class is not permitted. The use of laptop (or tablet) during class is restricted to those students who receive permission from the instructor. The instructor reserves the right to revoke this permission at any point if a student is using an electronic device during class for any activity besides note-taking.
  • Students with documented disability: It is your responsibility to inform me during the first two weeks of class of any disability that would interfere with your ability to complete course work in a timely and scholarly manner. A meeting in person during office hours is required.
  • Plagiarism: The Oxford dictionary defines ‘to plagiarize’ as to ‘take and use (the thoughts, writings, inventions, etc., of another person) as one’s own. In student writing, plagiarism can be quite subtle (e.g., not citing sources that one has carefully summarized and synthesized) or quite blatant (copying sentences of paragraphs directly from a source without using quotation marks or an appropriate citation, or even submitting others’ entire papers as one’s own). It is against UT policy to submit the same paper for two courses without the prior permission of both instructors. For more information on UT policies, see http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/sjs.

SOC 369K • Population And Society

43354 • Cavanagh, Shannon
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM JGB 2.324 • Hybrid/Blended
GC (also listed as WGS 322D)
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Course Objectives

Population studies or demography is an interdisciplinary field, encompassing the study of the size, distribution, and composition of human populations, and the processes of fertility, mortality, and migration through which populations’ change. These processes are closely connected to many of the pressing problems facing contemporary societies. For instance, the funding of health care in developed countries is a major issue because of population aging and declining fertility. Civil unrest in parts of Africa and the Middle East are, in part, a function of persistently high fertility rates. These processes are also important drivers of many contemporary environmental problems. Finally, a grasp of population processes is important for a deeper understanding of the population explosion in urban areas and the higher transmission and impact of AIDS in the developing world.

This course provides an overview of the field of population studies. A sociological approach is emphasized, but economic, geographic, anthropological, and biological perspectives will also be used. Attention will be given to a) the demographic concepts needed to objectively evaluate population issues and b) the substantive content of the population issues. Emphasis will be given to evaluating the evidence regarding debates on population topics.

Reading Materials

Required text:

  • Population and Society: An Introduction to Demography, 2nd edition Dudley Poston and Leon Bouvier. Cambridge University Press: New York.
  • On-line Readings: There are a number of short reading assignments, marked with an [Readings]. These readings can be found in Readings folder in the Course Document section of the class Canvas site and should be read prior to class period. http://canvas.utexas.edu

To access the class home page, go to this link and log into the Canvas system with your UT EID. You will find a link to this course under the heading “My Courses”. All course material will be posted on this web page, including announcements and grades. In addition, readings can be accessed through this web page.

Course Requirements

You are expected to complete all readings for the day's class before coming to class. Read as actively as possible. Class time will be an opportunity to discuss and further explore the readings, so it is essential that everyone comes prepared to participate. Our class periods will be more productive and enjoyable when we all begin with the same materials.

There will be TWO examinations during the semester, each worth 25% of your final grade. The exams will draw from both readings and class discussions. The exams are not cumulative. Each will include multiple choice and short answer questions. Make-up examinations will not be administered except in extreme circumstances and only if I am notified beforehand. All make-up examinations are 100% essay.

You must also complete THREE written assignments. The assignments—on mortality , fertility, and migration—are designed to familiarize you with demographic data on the web, give you an overview of your country of choice, and help you identify your country’s population angle that most interests you. Each assignment is worth 15% of your final grade.

The final 5% of your grade is based on attendance/class participation. I expect you to show up and engage (i.e., not text, sleep, or read the newspaper) with classmates, the TA, and me in the class.

  • Exam 1 - 25%
  • Exam 2 - 25%
  • Fertility Analysis Assignment - 15%
  • Mortality Analysis Assignment - 15%
  • Migration Analysis Assignment – 15%
  • Attendance - 5%

Regarding all class assignments and examinations, students who violate University rules on scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and/or dismissal from the University. Since such dishonesty harms the individual, other students, and the integrity of the University, all policies on scholastic dishonesty will be strictly enforced. For more information on University policies, see www.utexas.edu/depts/dps/sjs.

The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. To determine if you qualify, please contact the Dean of Students at 471-6259. If they certify your needs, I will work with you to make appropriate arrangements.

Grading

Grading will reflect each individual's mastery of the material, without comparison to other students on a "curve". It is my hope that you will work with others to optimize your learning experience.

  • A (94-100): Excellent grasp of subject matter; provides relevant details and examples; draws clear and interesting connections, exceptionally original, coherent and well‐organized; explains concepts clearly; ideas clearly written/stated, outstanding classroom participation.
  • A- (90-93): Very good grasp of subject matter; provides relevant details and examples; draws clear connections; explains concepts clearly; ideas clearly written/stated.
  • B+ (87-89): Good grasp of some elements above, others need work. B (83-86) Satisfactory grasp of some elements above.
  • B- (80-82): Uneven, spotty grasp of the elements above.
  • C+ (77-79): Limited grasp of the above.
  • C (73-76): Poor grasp of the above.
  • C- (70-72): Very poor grasp of the above.
  • D (60-69): Limited evidence of grasp of material, having done readings, attended class, or completed assignments.
  • F (0 – 59): Insignificant evidence of having done readings, attended class, or completing assignments

SOC 384L • Socl Stat: Basic Conc And Meth

43395 • Glass, Jennifer
Meets MW 3:00PM-4:30PM JGB 2.202 • Hybrid/Blended
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Course Description

This course covers basic statistical methods in the social sciences to give graduate students a foundation in quantitative sociological methods in preparation for more advanced quantitative methods courses in sociology and other fields. Topics include: frequency and probability distributions, sampling distributions, estimation, and hypothesis testing. The first section of the course deals primarily with the concepts and theoretical foundations of inference. The rest of the course focuses on statistical techniques and various applications including the use of t-tests for comparing means and proportions, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) for understanding the relationship between categorical factors and a continuous dependent variable, contingency tables and measures of association for categorical and ordinal data, and simple and multiple regression techniques for the analysis of the relationship between continuous independent variables on a continuous dependent variable. Emphasis will be placed on understanding which method to use for a given problem and how to interpret the results of statistical tests. Students will be required to learn how to manipulate statistical formulas and to work with STATA.

Assignments

There will be 10 homework assignments distributed throughout the semester on the course website. These will not be given a letter grade but they must be done satisfactorily in order to receive a grade in the course. They will be turned in at the end of the semester, but students are advised to complete them in a timely manner to assist in exam preparation. Some of the exam questions may be remarkably similar to questions on the homework problems. 10% of the final grade will come from homework assignments turned in at the end of the semester.

Examinations

There will be three open-book exams during the semester. The best two exam grades of the three taken during the semester will each count as 30% of the final grade.

Final Project

The remaining 30% of the final grade will come from a project paper due on the last day of classes. This project will count as your final exam in this course, and will consist of a brief statistical analysis on a question of your choice using the class General Social Survey data set. Your project question, operationalization of concepts, and measurement decisions will be developed through your joint enrollment in Prof. Mueller’s research methods course (I will not grade this part but Prof. Mueller will). However, the formal statistical analysis, presentation of results in tables and graphs, and discussion/interpretation of the findings should reveal your understanding of the material in this class, and will form the basis of your project/final exam grade. Any student not jointly enrolled in Prof. Mueller’s class has the option of taking an open book final exam instead of preparing a final project.


SOC 387C • Causal Inference

43405 • Weitzman, Abigail
Meets T 3:30PM-6:30PM RLP 0.104 • Hybrid/Blended
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Course Description

This course is designed to expose students to the key concepts and methods of causal inference, or, strategies for isolating the relationship between a given predictor and dependent variable of interest from potential confounders. For example, a person’s level of education is highly correlated with many other factors in her life, like her socioeconomic status, occupation, and timing of first birth. This presents certain problems when trying to understand whether increasing women’s education improves their health, or whether some other factor, like income, drives the observed positive association.

Fortunately, there exist many different strategies for causal inference. This course will expose students to a range of these methods. We will spend the first two weeks of the semester reviewing core, foundational concepts; we then move on to reviewing the nuts and bolts, pros, cons, and assumptions of individual methods. Each week students will be asked to read approximately three selected articles in-depth and then answer a series of questions about them. These articles are exemplary of how a particular method should work and offer a detailed description of the method’s underlying logic. In many weeks, these scientific articles will be supplemented with methodological critiques or chapters from a methodological textbook (Gelman and Hill (2006)) to better illuminate the potential complications that can arise when deploying a particular approach.

Course Objectives

By the end of the course, students should be able to 1) determine whether any quantitative social science study is employing causal inference or “naïve” methods; 2) articulate the pros, cons, and assumptions made by different causal inference strategies; and 3) understand how to engineer their own causal study.

Course requirements:

  1. Class attendance and participation (25%)
  2. Project idea memo (25%)
  3. Final presentation (50%)

Numbers to letter grades:

  • A = 94-100
  • A- = 90-93
  • B+ = 87-89
  • B = 84-86
  • B- = 80-83
  • C+ = 77-79
  • C = 74-76
  • C- = 70-73
  • D+ = 67-69
  • D = 65-66
  • F = 0-64

SOC 387J • Fundamentals Of Rsch Meths-Wb

43410 • Muller, Chandra
Meets TH 3:30PM-6:30PM • Internet
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Course Description

This course is designed to provide an introductory overview of sociological research methods. The course objectives are to develop your understanding of (1) the basic elements of an empirical sociological study, (2) how to produce and evaluate an empirical sociological study, (3) the major methodological approaches used by contemporary sociologists; and (4) think critically about research. We will cover research design and the structure of inquiry, the role of theory in empirical research, argument construction, causal inference, ethics, political and policy implications of research, approaches to inquiry (quantitative, qualitative and ethnographic, experimental, historical comparative), and reporting and reviewing research.


SOC 395L • Theories Of Race/Ethnicity-Wb

43470 • Irizarry, Yasmiyn
Meets TH 3:30PM-6:30PM • Internet
(also listed as AFR 381)
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Please check back for updates.


SOC 398T • Supv Teaching In Sociology

43495 • Rose, Mary
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM SZB 296 • Hybrid/Blended
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Course Description

This course introduces students to frameworks and ideas that may assist them as they develop their own courses or teach their own sections/lectures. We will review concepts about how college students learn, discuss the relationship between goals and content, and provide opportunities to brainstorm, practice, and critique best practices for teaching. Course is required by UT for students wishing to be an Assistant Instructor (AI) but is recommended for anyone who has responsibility for instructing undergrads. The course is offered only on a Pass/Fail basis.



  • Department of Sociology

    The University of Texas at Austin
    305 E 23rd St, A1700
    RLP 3.306
    Austin, TX 78712-1086
    512-232-6300