Department of Sociology

SOC 302 • Intro To The Study Of Society

43310-43345 • Haghshenas, Mehdi
Meets TTH 12:30PM-1:30PM FAC 21
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Course Description

This course will closely examine how social forces in society shape our behavior and penetrate our being. After all, we are all the product of our society and vice versa. Our identities, hopes, fears, grievances and satisfactions derive from the patterns of socialization orchestrated within human groups. In this class, students will be introduced to the basic concept of sociological imagination and principles of sociological reasoning. Many societal issues will be examined through the practice of classical theories and sociological perspectives. As we journey through the course, students will become more familiar with the nature of sociology, social construction of reality, micro and macro sociological analysis, and concepts such as culture, socialization, social structures, self and society, stratification, gender inequality, love, marriage, and divorce. Finally, the course will explore the sociology of health, medicine, and the mind-body connection.

Grading Policy

Research paper 24% Three exams 60%Cass project and participation 8%Quiz 8 %

Texts

James M. Henslin, Sociology: A Down to Earth Approach (eighth or ninth edition), 2008Reading packet available at Paradigm (407 W. 24th St.)


SOC 302 • Intro To The Study Of Society

43350-43375 • Green, Penny
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:00PM JES A121A
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Description:  

This course introduces the science of Sociology by focusing on five broad topics: (1) What is Sociology? (2) The Individual and Society, (3) Social Institutions, (4) Social Inequality, and (5) Globalization and Social Change.  In the process, we’ll examine important concepts, theories, and methodologies used by sociologists working on both the micro and macro levels.  We’ll look at interconnections between social institutions (i.e., the family, education, the economy), as well as the way in which institutional change has caused widening income inequality in the U.S. and around the world.  Widening inequality has had particularly negative consequences for men of color and women of all races and ethnicities.  Finally, we’ll examine the process of globalization and some of its economic, political, and cultural consequences.  Much of the data that we look at will focus on the U.S., but given our increasingly interconnected world, other societies will be considered as well.  Class format will be primarily lecture, due to class size.  We’ll try to demonstrate Sociology’s relevance to everyday life, as well as public policy making.

 Required Readings: 

Introduction to Sociology (2018, 11th ed., Seagull) by Giddens, Duneier, Appelbaum, and Carr. W.W. Norton.

Any additional readings will be made available in a packet and/or on Blackboard

Attendance Policy:

Good academic performance requires regular attendance and punctuality.  Students are allowed three (3) non-penalized absences during the semester (excluding our introductory class meeting), regardless of whether these absences are from lecture or lab.  These non-penalized absences are intended to cover such circumstances as illness, family emergencies, university scheduled events, etc.  Students who miss more than three classes, regardless of the reason, will have their semester grades reduced by one full percentage points for each absence beyond the three allowed.  The one exception to this policy concerns absences for religious reasons, assuming advance, written notification is given. 

Grading Policy:

Exams (3-4)           70%               

Pop Quizzes:          15%               

Paper (2-3 pages)  15%                          


SOC 302 • Intro To The Study Of Society

43380-43405 • Pudrovska, Tetyana
Meets MW 2:00PM-3:00PM JGB 2.324
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COURSE DESCRIPTION

Sociology is the scientific study of human societies, human behavior, and social life. This course will introduce you to the major topics that sociologists study, including culture, socialization, social interaction, stratification, gender, family, medical sociology, crime, deviance, and social institutions. An introduction to the theoretical perspectives and research methods of sociology will enhance your critical reasoning about these social issues. Most importantly, this course intends to develop your sociological imagination, which is the ability to understand how private lives are linked to and influenced by larger social processes.

READINGS

Required textbook:

Giddens, Anthony, Mitchell Duneier, Richard P. Appelbaum and Deborah Carr. 2014.

Introduction to Sociology, 9th ed. New York: Norton.

REQUIREMENTS

Students are expected to keep up with the required readings, attend lectures and discussion

sections, take notes in class, and participate in group discussions and exercises. You will have three closed-book exams that together will constitute 85% of your final grade (Exam 1 = 30%, Exam 2 = 35%, Exam 3 = 20%). Attendance and active participation in your discussion section is required and will account for 15% of your final grade.

GRADING POLICY

Exam 1 30%

Exam 2 35%

Exam 3 20%

Attendance and participation 15%

Extra credit up to 2%


SOC 302P • Physical Activity/Society

43410 • Twito, Samuel
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM RLP 0.112
(also listed as H S 310P)
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COURSE DESCRIPTION

The principle objective of Physical Activity in Society is to understand the way in which people are physically active in a social context - primarily in the United States.  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 benefits and barriers to activity through the social context.

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. 
  • Use autoethnography to understand contemporary issues.

 REQUIRED READING

A reading schedule and associated assignments (see next section) is available on Canvas via weekly modules (including articles).  There is no required textbook for the course, but required articles can be purchased in a coursepack if students wish.

[See the preliminary reading list at the end of this document]

COURSE ASSIGNMENTS AND EVALUATION

This course is organized in both lecture and discussion formats. We will spend considerable time each week discussing the readings and our own related experiences, interests, and knowledge in this area.  Please remember that discussions will only be as rich as you all make them, so it is essential that everyone come prepared to speak about the readings thoughtfully and critically. Specific details on assignments (including rubrics) are available on Canvas.  Your course grade will be broken down as follows:

Class Preparedness (10%) 

Weekly reading checks will be due on Canvas 24 hours before class time.  These responses will cover class readings for that week.  They include two parts: 1) an open-book short reading comprehension quiz (one multiple-choice question per reading) and 2) a discussion question you will post about each reading.  You will receive credit for correct multiple-choice answers and for submitting your discussion questions.  This both serves to help orient you in the material as well as guide how I structure our lecture and discussions that week.

Short Exams (20% - 2 x 10% each)

Two short exams will be given throughout the semester.  They will cover reading and lecture material for the first and second half of the course.

Physical Activity Autoethnography Semester Project (70%)

Our class is built around analysis of physical activity in society through participant observation and reflection (in the form of an autoethnography).  You are required to participate in any physical activity of your choice (with my approval) at least twice a week for the duration of the semester and keep an electronic journal (shareable through Google Drive) of your experiences.  This activity can be done alone, with friends or classmates, but your analysis must be your own. 

Throughout the semester, we will introduce small assignments that focus on specific elements of the activity with an emphasis on critical critique of the activity (e.g. who participates, how is knowledge created and accessed, how is the activity represented historically and currently, etc.).  Furthermore, small assignments and the overall project should reflect an understanding of how your chosen activity is experienced across many people (the population and society) as well as how you or another individual experiences the activity.  Finally, you will assess yourself physically both objectively and subjectively at the start and end of the semester.

I will periodically check in on your journal and these small assignments to see how you are progressing.  Only the final report will be graded.  A hard copy of the final report is due one week from the end of class.  The last class days will be an opportunity for you to present your experience and findings to your peers.

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

 Course grades will be assigned strictly according to this scale, rounded to the tenth place (so 92.7 earns an A-, not an A; 89.9 earns a B+, not an A-).

 


SOC 308D • Ethncty & Gender: La Chicana

43425 • Rosas, Lilia
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM GEA 127
(also listed as MAS 311, WGS 301)
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COURSE DESCRIPTION

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).

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Students will improve their analytical abilities through reading, writing, presenting, and discussing class materials and related literature. As a course within the curriculum of MALS, students will learn about the complexities of the experiences of Chicanas/Xicanas, xicanindias, mestizas, indigenous, Mexican American, and brown women. Ultimately, they will learn to think critically, and develop and defend original arguments, investigate topics within of the scope of Chicana Studies and they will be able to:

Course Goals:

1. Achieve a basic understanding of key concepts, theories, and methods in Chicana feminist thought(s).

2. Analyze a diverse range of texts that portray the experiences, perspectives, and expressions of Chicanas or Mexican American women.

3. Identify and discuss the significance of these diverse experiences, perspectives, and expressions that exist among Chicanas.

4. Use and prioritize the analytical lenses of gender and sexuality, along with race, ethnicity, class, religion, region, language, and so on, to understand the identity formations, subjectivities, and the multiple oppressions confronted by Chicanas or Mexican American women.


SOC 308D • Ethncty & Gender: La Chicana

43420 • Rosas, Lilia
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM GEA 127
(also listed as MAS 311, WGS 301)
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COURSE DESCRIPTION

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).

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Students will improve their analytical abilities through reading, writing, presenting, and discussing class materials and related literature. As a course within the curriculum of MALS, students will learn about the complexities of the experiences of Chicanas/Xicanas, xicanindias, mestizas, indigenous, Mexican American, and brown women. Ultimately, they will learn to think critically, and develop and defend original arguments, investigate topics within of the scope of Chicana Studies and they will be able to:

Course Goals:

1. Achieve a basic understanding of key concepts, theories, and methods in Chicana feminist thought(s).

2. Analyze a diverse range of texts that portray the experiences, perspectives, and expressions of Chicanas or Mexican American women.

3. Identify and discuss the significance of these diverse experiences, perspectives, and expressions that exist among Chicanas.

4. Use and prioritize the analytical lenses of gender and sexuality, along with race, ethnicity, class, religion, region, language, and so on, to understand the identity formations, subjectivities, and the multiple oppressions confronted by Chicanas or Mexican American women.


SOC 308S • Intro To Health & Society

43430 • Osbakken, Stephanie
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM SAC 1.402
(also listed as H S 301)
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COURSE DESCRIPTION

The principle objective of H S 301/SOC 308S is to offer students a broad overview of health and society from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. We will examine how social forces influence health and disease in U.S. society, including cultural, economic, and demographic considerations. We will explore why rates of disease vary among different populations and how cultural and structural inequalities shape access to healthcare and affect morbidity and mortality. How do economic factors, politics, public perceptions of morality, and historical biases against specific populations shape our modern-day understandings and experiences of health and illness? We will also examine how social forces shape the very definitions of health, illness, and disease categories, and thereby medical diagnoses and treatments. We will consider the social consequences of the commodification of healthcare and how new technologies are transforming our current healthcare system and the nature of the patient/physicianrelationship. 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. This course is built around lectures (including guest lectures), class discussion, and film screenings and discussion.

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 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.

COURSE MATERIALS

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

Marmot, Michael. 2005. The Status Syndrome: How Social Standing Affects Our Health and Longevity. New York: Holt.

Course readings also include scholarly articles, book chapters, and other required readings available on Canvas.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND EVALUATION

This course is organized in a lecture format, but it is greatly enhanced by your participation. For variety’s sake, I will often incorporate short video-clips, group activities, and/or writing exercises in our class session. We will also spend considerable time each week discussing the readings and our own experiences, interests, and knowledge in this area. Please remember that discussions will only be as rich as you all make them, so it is essential that everyone come prepared to speak about the readings thoughtfully and critically. Your final evaluation for the course will be broken down as follows:

Attendance and Preparedness (10%)

Students are expected to attend class, read assignments before each class, and actively participate in classroom discussions during the week. Eight times during the semester the instructor will have students sign in on a class roster or complete a group assignment in the first few minutes of class. Students will be granted one unexcused absence with no penalty. If you have a university-related conflict or medical or family emergency that prevents you from attending class, alert your TA (providing relevant documentation) and you will not be penalized for a particular absence, but you must contact your TA in advance of missing class. NOTE: Tardiness will adversely affect your grade; students who arrive late risk missing this activity or sign-in sheet and will not be allowed to receive credit for the day.

Reading responses (10%)

Students are expected to keep up with the reading for the class. Six times during the course of the semester, I will pose a reading question on the course Canvas page relevant to recent reading. The questions will be posted on Sunday evening and students are expected to write a reading response of one page, double-spaced (between 250 and 350 words) and upload a copy to the Canvas page by 5pm on the Thursday that they are due. Responses will be graded as meets/exceeds expectations (100), meets minimum expectations (70), no credit (0). See course schedule for Reading Responses (marked RR).

Exams (60%)

Two exams (worth 30% each) will be given to assess your level of mastery of the course material, including assigned readings, lectures (including guest lectures), and in-class films and other media presentations. . Both exams will be a combination of multiple choice, true-false, fill-in-theblank, short answer, or short essay items.

Essay (20%)

Students are required to write one of two essay assignments offered during the term. The paper will be approximately 5 pages in length (not to exceed 6 double-spaced pages), and will answer a specific prompt related to course topics. Specific assignments will be posted to Canvas on the dates indicated below. Papers are due in class; electronic submissions of papers will NOT be  accepted. Due dates are firm. Five points will be deducted each day the paper is late, but papers will not be accepted if they are more than five days late. Late papers cannot be emailed or posted to Canvas, so it a student’s responsibility to submit a hard copy of his/her paper to the appropriate TA.

 


SOC 309C • Creating Sustainable Socty

43435 • Swearingen, William
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM RLP 0.102
(also listed as GRG 309C)
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Description:

The course will offer students an overview of sustainability as something human beings must strive to create in an era of global warming and ever greater social inequalities; both between countries and within countries.   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.

 Required Texts

 Carolan, Micheal,  Society and the Environment; Pragmatic Solutions to Ecological Issues. Westview Press, 2013.

 Grading Policy

There will be three essay assignments and one group project.  Each will count 25% of the grade


SOC 317L • Intro To Social Statistics

43450 • Coffey, Diane
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM RLP 0.118
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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

43455 • Coffey, Diane
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM RLP 0.118
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Description:

The news is full of statistical claims: in one October morning, I read that the brains of people with opioid addictions are less likely to respond to pictures of cute babies than the brains of people who are not addicted to opioids; that 50% more people in India become infected with tuberculosis each year than the World Health Organization previously thought; and that Hillary Clinton had an 89% chance of winning the November 2016 election. 

Where do the numbers come from?  What can they really tell us about the world?  These are the sorts of questions we ask in Introduction to Social Statistics.  Answering them is going to involve doing some math.  And while understanding the math behind the statistical concepts we will study is very important, it is even more important that you leave the course with a conceptual understanding of the most commonly used statistical tools. 

Here are three reasons why statistics is one of the most important courses you’ll take in college:

  1. The increasing availability of all kinds of data gives us an unprecedented ability to understand how humans behave.  Using numbers to describe the world can help us figure out what is true and important.
  2. Statistics are often used to make false or misleading claims: it is important to be able to identify false claims and explain what the numbers can and can’t tell us.
  3. Statistical and analytic skills are marketable: across the government, non-profit, and private sectors, a solid foundation in quantitative reasoning and computing skills are assets in employment settings.

Texts and required materials:

Main textbook: Please note we will use the 5th edition which is from 2006.

McCabe & Moore.  Introduction to the Practice of Statistics, McCabe & Moore, 5th Edition.  We will cover (approximately) Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

Supplementary problems: Please note we will use the 1st edition which is from 2011.

Frankfort-Nachmias, C., & Leon-Guerrero, A. (2011). Social statistics for a diverse society. Sage Publications.  1st edition.

I will use Canvas to post homework, data, and additional readings.

Grading and Requirements:

Although grading policies and course requirements are subject to change from year to year, prior students have completed 14 assignments for 30% of the grade, done 5 in-class exercises for 5% of the grade, and taken 3 exams for 35% of the grade.  Attendance and class participation were worth 30% of the grade.


SOC 317L • Intro To Social Statistics

43440 • Powers, Daniel
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM JGB 2.202
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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

43445 • Lin, Ken-Hou
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM RLP 1.404
show description

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 317M • Intro To Social Research

43460 • Osborne, Lynette
Meets TTH 9:30AM-10:30AM RLP 1.404
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Course Description

This course will center on the topic of research methods and data analysis associated with gender and human sexual behavior for the purposes of prediction, explanation and decision-making. Students will be exposed to the process of quantitative and qualitative research including development of research questions, variables for investigation, conducting a content analysis, development of a database, and using basic statistics to answer hypotheses. 

Grading and Requirements:

How to Earn Points:

1. Quizzes – 50 (5 points each)

Quizzes over the readings/assignments will be administered during the first 5 minutes of each class meeting that a chapter begins (as designated by an * on the schedule). There will be 11 quizzes, 10 count for credit so no late or early quizzes are offered for any reason. If you miss class or arrive late on a quiz day, please to use that as your dropped score. No early or late quizzes will be offered for any reason.

2. Homework/Activities – 100 (weighted)

Homework assignments and/or in-class activities are geared to help students master concepts. HW must be turned in at the beginning of class to earn credit. Arriving to class after HW collection or not uploading HW to Canvas (when appropriate) will result in a zero for the assignment. Note that late assignments are not accepted for credit, but all assignments in this course are required. Assignments are not accepted via email. Attendance and participation in the in-class activities is required to earn credit. If you miss a HW or in-class activity, take the first one as your drop option; any others missed will result in a reduced course score.

3. Exams - 150 (50 points each)

Each exam is worth 10% of the total points for the course. Exams will take place during the normally scheduled class time. Late exams will be scheduled ONLY in the case of an emergency and under the following circumstances: 1) you email must me at least 24 hours prior to the exam AND 2) valid documentation must be provided to support your emergency request. Note that weddings, family vacations, work, and the like are not valid excuses for missing an exam.

4. Methods Section - 100 (50 points each)

We will be engaging in a research methods project gathering data from Craigslist personals ads. All major components of a Methods section will be due as you final paper for this class. The specific instructions for the semester-long project will be provided and discussed in class. 


SOC 317M • Intro To Social Research

43470 • Osborne, Lynette
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:00PM RLP 1.404
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Course Description

This course will center on the topic of research methods and data analysis associated with gender and human sexual behavior for the purposes of prediction, explanation and decision-making. Students will be exposed to the process of quantitative and qualitative research including development of research questions, variables for investigation, conducting a content analysis, development of a database, and using basic statistics to answer hypotheses. 

Grading and Requirements:

How to Earn Points:

1. Quizzes – 50 (5 points each)

Quizzes over the readings/assignments will be administered during the first 5 minutes of each class meeting that a chapter begins (as designated by an * on the schedule). There will be 11 quizzes, 10 count for credit so no late or early quizzes are offered for any reason. If you miss class or arrive late on a quiz day, please to use that as your dropped score. No early or late quizzes will be offered for any reason.

2. Homework/Activities – 100 (weighted)

Homework assignments and/or in-class activities are geared to help students master concepts. HW must be turned in at the beginning of class to earn credit. Arriving to class after HW collection or not uploading HW to Canvas (when appropriate) will result in a zero for the assignment. Note that late assignments are not accepted for credit, but all assignments in this course are required. Assignments are not accepted via email. Attendance and participation in the in-class activities is required to earn credit. If you miss a HW or in-class activity, take the first one as your drop option; any others missed will result in a reduced course score.

3. Exams - 150 (50 points each)

Each exam is worth 10% of the total points for the course. Exams will take place during the normally scheduled class time. Late exams will be scheduled ONLY in the case of an emergency and under the following circumstances: 1) you email must me at least 24 hours prior to the exam AND 2) valid documentation must be provided to support your emergency request. Note that weddings, family vacations, work, and the like are not valid excuses for missing an exam.

4. Methods Section - 100 (50 points each)

We will be engaging in a research methods project gathering data from Craigslist personals ads. All major components of a Methods section will be due as you final paper for this class. The specific instructions for the semester-long project will be provided and discussed in class. 


SOC 320C • Cancerland

43475 • Osbakken, Stephanie
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM BUR 214
(also listed as H S 340)
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Course Description 

This course will allow students to explore the social and cultural terrain of cancer research, treatment, and public policy in the United States.  We will begin the course by asking, “what is cancer,” and what shapes our collective understandings of it as a disease in American society?  As we begin our exploration, we will read historical accounts of cancer, review epidemiologic and demographic data, and consult biomedical and oncological frameworks to set the stage for our social scientific investigation.   

 We will then consider how social, cultural, economic, and political forces shape the incidence and prevalence of cancer, as well as how these social forces shape research, diagnosis, and treatment of various manifestations of this disease.  To this end, we will spend several weeks exploring how the social determinants of health influence cancer in society.  How do race/ethnicity, social class, gender, and sexuality shape our collective conversations about cancer, individual and group cancer risk, cancer research agendas, and individual experiences of cancer diagnosis and treatment?  We will also consider how the broader forces of environmental deregulation and economic inequality exacerbate cancer risk for different individuals and groups.

At the same time, research continues to show that lifestyle factors and behavioral choices shape cancer risk across socio-demographic groups in the United States. How does stress increase one’s risk for cancer, and what dietary and exercise choices help reduce one’s risk of cancer?  We will explore these questions from a sociological perspective, ever mindful of the structural constraints that make healthy choices easier for certain demographic groups.  

 Next, we will investigate how cultural ideas and social norms shape our understanding of different cancer diagnoses, treatment options, and the experience of cancer.  We will examine how the politicization of health care in contemporary society shapes our understandings of cancer and cancer treatment. Specifically we will consider how cervical cancer prevention efforts have been politicized in the HPV vaccine debates and how defunding Planned Parenthood would have effect of decreasing access to routine cancer screenings for many poor and minority women.  

 We will conclude the class by exploring how a cancer diagnosis shapes one’s identity or sense of self by considering how the newly diagnosed experience the “sick role” both in biomedical arenas and in their social circles.   By the end of the course, students will not only be well versed in recent cancer scholarship from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, but they will also be well prepared to ask and answer their own social research questions about cancer and other medical conditions as they pursue their scholarly interests in the health sciences. 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND EVALUATION

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 in Class (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 post two discussion questions to Canvas each week on weeks when readings are assigned. 

Leading Discussion (10%)

Students will be asked to co-facilitate a discussion once during the semester.

Short Writing Assignment (5%)

Students will write a 2-3 page (double spaced) short paper as a response to a cancer-related news article, drawing on specific sources assigned for the course. 

Paper #1 First draft (15%)

Students will write a 5-6 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%)

Paper #1 Revised Draft (20%)

Paper # 2 (20%)

Students will write a 5-6 page paper (double-spaced) that applies course concepts and theories to a social or cultural issue relating to the experience of cancer. 

 

 

 


SOC 321C • Consumption In Latin Amer

43480 • Fridman, Daniel
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM SRH 1.313
(also listed as LAS 325)
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Description

Consumption is at the same time an economic, political and cultural phenomenon. During the twentieth-century and the beginning of the twenty first, in many parts of the world the promise of extending mass-consumption became a central part of political discourses about the rights and benefits of citizens. In Latin America, the goal of achieving a vibrant internal consumer market was conflated by many with the idea of development, progress, and modernity. Conceptually, consumers have been seen alternatively as the sovereigns of markets, as victims of manipulation, or as a locus of resistance and expression. In this course, we will study the place of consumption in social, economic, and political relations in Latin America. We will read recent literature from various disciplines (sociology, history, anthropology, etc.) on consumer culture in the region, with a special focus on Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Brazil. We will deal with a variety of topics and consumption goods, including consumer policies, popular consumption, advertising, neoliberal consumption, middle class consumer culture, home appliances, jeans and tupperware.

Grading 

Students are expected to attend all classes and complete all assigned work, are responsible for ensuring they are properly registered in all their courses, and that they have officially dropped any courses which they do not plan to include in their program. All written work will be graded on the quality of content as well as writing skills. 

Your grade will be calculated as follows: 

First Exam: 25% 

Paper: 25% 

Second Exam: 30% 

Class participation and forum responses: 20% 


SOC 321E • Economy, Culture, & Society

43485 • Fridman, Daniel
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM RLP 1.104
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Description:

This class introduces students to the study of the intersections between economy and culture. ster.

Gift-giving seems to be at first sight a trivial topic for sociology. Like many other phenomena that happen in our everyday life, gifts appear to vanish into what Erving Goffman once called the ‘dust’ of social life. Yet, the gift is a true mystery that social scientists are still trying to uncover. Why and how do we give and receive gifts? Is a gift an act of pure generosity? Do you think of gifts received before giving one? The latter question brings up a set of more uncomfortable questions: Is a gift a simple act of exchange? What is the difference between a gift and a mercantile exchange? Our answers to the questions above will lead us to explore some of the core issues that sociology has dealt with: social organization and social structure, social norms, the relation between individual and society, the nature of economic and non-economic exchange, reciprocity, obligation, cultural meanings and power, among others. Our answers will have an impact on our ideas of who we are: Are we altruistic and generous? Are we selfish and self-interested? What are the conditions under which generosity and self-interest work or do not work? These questions have also timely political relevance. With the recent expansion of neoliberalism, market arrangements based on rational and self-interested individuals have been posed as an efficient and desirable form of organizing social life in various realms. An exploration of the nature of gift-giving and its workings in current contexts may help us evaluate those neoliberal claims and explore alternative arrangements.

The readings will take us from pre-modern to current societies; from the potlatch in Western Canada to understanding who pays for dinner or drinks; from the decoration of gifted money to charity and philanthropy; from economies of care to organ and blood donation; from garage sales to State Diaspora bonds; from expressing gratitude to tipping. I expect that, in our discussions, we will broaden even more the repertoire of social phenomena that involves some form of gift-giving.

Readings (tentative)

  • Marcel Mauss, The Gift: The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies, W.W. Norton, 1990 [1923].
  • Jacques Godbout and Alain Caille, The World of The Gift, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2000.
  • Kieran Healy, Last Best Gifts: Altruism and the market for human blood and organs, University of Chicago Press, 2006.
  • Michael Sandel, What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2012.
  • Online readings.

Grading policy (tentative):

Exams: 60%

Short Paper: 25%

Participation/online responses: 15%


SOC 321G • Global Health Issues/Systems

43490 • Jeon, Jiwon
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM BUR 214
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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 and 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 inequity 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 on critical thinking skills and understanding of global health issues as well as to improve on 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

Required Text and Readings

Farmer, Paul, J.Y. Kim, A. Kleinman and M. Basilico. 2013. Reimagining Global Health: An Introduction, University of California Press

Journal Articles: In addition to above textbook, other course materials including additional readings will be posted on Canvas each week.  Readings should be completed for the week they are assigned.

Course requirements

There are three paper assignments and two quizzes. The assignments are due at the beginning of class and must be turned in as hard copies. E-mail attachments will not be accepted. Late papers will not be accepted without prior approval.

Assignment 1: Short papers (10%)

These writing assignments are intended to encourage understanding of the assigned readings, develop critical analytic skills for understanding 21st century global health issues, enhance in class discussions and refine writing skills.  Instruction and criteria for evaluation will be posted on Canvas.

 Assignment 2: Individual paper (30%)

Each student is required to write a research paper (5-6 pages) about a global health issue. This assignment should allow the student to critically examine a global health issue in depth.  There will be peer reviews as well as instructor comments on this assignment.  You will submit a memo detailing your revisions with the final draft.  Detailed instructions and criteria for evaluation will be posted on Canvas.

Assignment 3: Group project paper & presentation (25%)

Students are required to form a group to prepare a short presentation at the end of the semester and to write a research paper (not more than 10 pages). Students should work together as a team to analyze the political, social and economic determinants of health and analyze how delivery systems for preventive and curative health services might be strengthened in developing countries. Group members will conduct an evaluation of their fellow group members for the final project and presentation. Detailed instructions and criteria for the group project and criteria for evaluation will be posted on Canvas.

 Two quizzes (20%)

 Class participation (15%)

There will be weekly small group discussions. Each group member will be required to participate and contribute substantially to small group discussions. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in in-class discussions as well.

Course policies

 Attendance:  

You are allowed three non-penalized absences during the semester.  Students who miss more than three classes, regardless of the reason, will have their semester grades reduced by one grade.

Make-up quizzes:

I will allow make-up quizzes for pre-approved reasons (e.g., observing religious holidays) or in the case of documented medical or other emergencies (death of significant others, job interviews, etc.). If you anticipate missing a quiz, please make an arrangement with me at least two weeks in advance. Students who miss quizzes without prior approval or without a documented emergency will receive zero points on that exam.

Student conduct:

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:  Use of laptops and cell phone in class is not permitted.

 Grading Scale

A         93-100  %        B+        87-89.9 %        C+        77-79.9 %        D+       67-69.9%

A-        90-92.9 %        B          83-86.9 %        C          73-76.9 %        D         63-66.9%

                                  B-        80-82.9 %         C-        70-72.9 %        D-        60-62.9%

 


SOC 321L • Sociology Of Education

43500 • Fulton, Kelly
Meets MW 11:30AM-1:00PM JES A203A
(also listed as AFR 321L, WGS 345)
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This course examines education from a sociological perspective. We will use various theories to explore the institution of education, going beyond our own individual experiences with education. Specific topics include public education; stratification within and between schools; and educational reform. The primary focus will be K-12 education in the United States.


SOC 321R • Sociology Of Race And Work

43510 • Bhalodia, Aarti
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM CMA 5.190
(also listed as AAS 330, WGS 322)
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Course Description

Work is a central activity in the lives of most people. Along with providing an income, the type of work one does shapes the worker’s sense of personal identity. Social interaction in the work place provides workers with a set of skills, values, and mindset that influences how the work is done. Structure of a society determines the kind of work it does, who does what type of work, and how much people are paid for their efforts. In the United States, individuals’ racial and gender characteristics deeply shape how labor markets emerge and how skills are evaluated. Jobs are often gender segregated and men and women are remunerated differently. This course is a critical examination of work through a gendered and racial lens. The purpose of this course is to examine concepts such as labor markets, globalization, racial segregation, and gendering of the work place. This course is cross-listed with Asian American Studies and Women’s Studies. This course carries the Cultural Diversity in the United States flag. 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

Students will be able to sociologically identify concepts such as global markets, transnational labor, care work, service industry, gendered work, and racial segregation in the work place. A majority of the readings, films, and class meetings will focus on contemporary work environment. Students will examine workers in the retail industry, care workers such as nannies, maids, and nurses, transnational workers in the STEM fields, and migrant labor. We will start the class with a survey of different forms of labor throughout the United States’ history. Students will be able to make historical connections between American citizenship, work, and value of one’s labor.


SOC 322F • Mental Hlth In Social Context

43525 • Pudrovska, Tetyana
Meets MW 11:30AM-1:00PM BUR 216
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COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course will focus on the social antecedents and consequences of mental health and illness with respect to key variables reflecting individuals’ social experiences: gender, race/ethnicity, social class, sexual orientation, marital status, and age. We will combine sociological, psychological, epidemiological, and biological approaches to understand how the social aspects of mental health and illness interact with individual processes. At the end of this course you will be able (1) to apply a sociological perspective to mental illness as a social phenomenon, and (2) to understand the social etiology of and social inequality in mental health.

READINGS

Required textbook: William C. Cockerham. (2010). Sociology of Mental Disorder, 9/E. Pearson.

REQUIREMENTS

You will have three exams that will contribute a combined 60% to your final grade. You will also complete a course project that will contribute 30% to your final grade. The project is based on applying theories of mental illness to the movie “The Silver Linings Playbook.”

Attendance is required and will contribute 10% towards your final grade.

GRADING POLICY

Exam 1 25%

Exam 2 20%

Exam 3 15%

Course project 30%

Attendance 10%

 


SOC 322J • Economic Sociology Of Hlth

43530 • Palmo, Nina
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM RLP 3.106
(also listed as H S 340)
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Description  

This course provides a look at the economics of health and health care through a sociological lens. In neoclassical economics, rational behavior and market transactions provide an efficient allocation of goods and services. From a sociological perspective, markets are social institutions that are shaped by the cultural, political, and historical environments in which they operate.   This course will examine how the multidimensional nature and distribution of health and health care are shaped by a variety of social and economic factors. Throughout the course, students will gain an understanding of the power of incentives, markets, and cost-benefit analysis, as well as the limits of these tools, in creating effective health care policy.     The first part of the course will examine how social environment shapes health and health behaviors and how health disparities are viewed from sociological and economic standpoints. The second part of the course will focus on the institutions that regulate access to health care and the historical developments that led to these arrangements.   Topics include:   - Gender, race, and class differences in health - The creation and reproduction of health disparities - Health behavior and externalities - The demand and supply of health care - Moral hazard, adverse selection, and health care insurance - Health insurance and the labor market - Problems of uninsurance - History of health care reform - Comparative health policies.


SOC 322V • Race/Gender/Surveillance

43535 • Browne, Simone
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM RLP 0.130
(also listed as AFR 372C, AMS 321, WGS 322)
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Drawing from social science readings, science fiction (Gattaca, THX-1138, Ex-Machina, Grounded), documentaries, and popular media (24South Park, Orange is the New Black, The Bachelor, Cheaters), this course introduces students to the emerging field of Surveillance Studies.

We examine: slavery, reality TV, sports, Google, trolling + social media, borders, airports, biometric technology, whistleblowers, drones, wearables + fashion, among other topics.


SOC 323 • The Family

43540 • Fulton, Kelly
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM RLP 0.128
(also listed as WGS 345)
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Description

This course analyzes the family as a social institution, using the sociological perspective. 

Studying the family can be tricky in that we all have our own experiences being part of families.  It is important, then, to go beyond our own experiences to explore both the private aspects of the family as well as public aspects of the family using various kinds of empirical data.  Shifting definitions of the family are the context for a brief history of the family.  Throughout the course we will explore family change. Specific topics will include dating, “hooking up” and marriage; parents and children; cohabitation, divorce and stepfamilies; and how the family intersects with, is shaped by, and shapes other social institutions, with particular attention to the economy and the world of work as well as state and social policies.

 Grading Policy

Students will be evaluated via short papers, in-class short answer and essay examinations, a group project, and class participation. 

 Texts: (subject to change)

Bogle, Kathleen.  2008.  Hooking Up: Sex, Dating and Relationships on Campus.  NYU Press.       

Coontz, Stephanie.  2006.  Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage. New York: Penguin.                

Ferguson, Susan J. (ed.).  2010.  Shifting the Center: Understanding Contemporary Families, Fourth Edition.  Boston: McGraw-Hill. 

Lareau, Annette.   2011. Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life, Second Edition with an Update a Decade Later.  Berkeley: University of California Press.

Stone, Pamela.  2007. Opting Out? Why Women Really Quit Careers and Head Home. Berkeley: University of California Press.


SOC 323F • Food And Society

43545 • Fulton, Kelly
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM RLP 0.118
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Descriptons 

In this course we will explore the social context of food. Topics will include food and identity, social class and culture.  We will also investigate who plans, purchases, and prepares food for our families, including discussion of the recent debates about the value of a home-cooked meal.  We will take a tour through the alphabet soup of government assistance for the hungry, including SNAP, WIC and NSLP.  Finally, we examine food production and policies in the US. 

 This course carries the Writing Flag. Writing Flag courses are designed to give students experience with writing in an academic discipline. 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. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from your written work. Writing Flag classes meet the Core Communications objectives of Critical Thinking, Communication, Teamwork, and Personal Responsibility, established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Readings will include:

Nestle, Marion. 201313.  Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health

Pilcher, Jeffrey.  2012.  Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food

 Pollan,  Michael.  2006.  The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals.

Grading:

Portfolio 25%

     A series of short assignments including research article analyses, video analyses, discussion synthesis

Papers 30%

     Food diary analysis

    Literature review

Peer review 10%

Group Presentation  15%

   Groups will research, present findings and lead discussion

Participation 10%

Class synthesis assignment 10%

     Drawing on the themes from the class and current research, explore possibilities for improving food policy


SOC 325L • Soc Of Criminal Justice

43550 • Kelly, William
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM RLP 0.102
(also listed as URB 354)
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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 class periods will be devoted to lectures and discussion. We may have guest speakers and probably a video or two.  The lecture material will sometimes correspond very closely with the material in the texts and sometimes it will not.  I encourage class discussions and questions and hope that the material will be sufficiently interesting and controversial to motivate discussion.

Texts

Experiencing Criminal Justice by Nicole Hendrix

Criminal Justice at the Crossroads; Transforming Crime and Punishment by William Kelly

Grading and Requirements

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.

 


SOC 330P • Sociology & Social Psychology

43555 • Rose, Mary
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM RLP 0.112
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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) 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). 

Even in a class of this size, I will occasionally call on people and ask them to give me their understanding of 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. 

Texts

John D. DeLamater, & Daniel J. Myers, Social Psychology (7th edition). Thompson/Wadsworth (2010). [PLEASE NOTE: This version of the book is a restructured one; do not rely solely on older editions without a close comparison to the 7th] 

Grading

Final grades are based on three exams, in-class exercises, and a brief writing assignment. 


SOC 335 • Society Of Modern Mexico

43560 • Ward, Peter
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM RLP 1.104
(also listed as GRG 356T, LAS 325, URB 354)
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COURSE AIMS AND PURPOSE

Mexico “There” and Mexico “Here”: Understanding Mexico and the Hispanic Rise in the USA

 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 336C • American Dilemmas

43565 • Green, Penny
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM RLP 1.108
(also listed as URB 354, WGS 345)
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Description:  

This course examines critical American social problems that threaten the very fabric of our collective life as a nation.  These include problems in the economy and political system, social class and income inequality, racial/ethnic inequality, gender inequality and heterosexism, problems in education, and problems of illness and health care.  The course has three main objectives.  One involves providing students with the theoretical and methodological tools needed to critically analyze these problems from a sociological perspective.  A second involves providing students with current data and other information documenting the seriousness of these problems.  The final objective focuses on evaluating social policies addressing these problems (e.g., welfare-to-work programs, pay equity legislation), with special reference to questions of social justice, the common good, as well as public and individual responsibility.  Class format will be a mixture of lecture and discussion, with a strong emphasis upon the latter. 

Required Readings: 

A packet of readings to be purchased from Austin Text Books at 2116 Guadalupe (i.e., the Drag)

Additional readings will be made available on Blackboard

Attendance Policy:

Regular attendance and punctuality are expected.  You’re allowed three absences without penalty during the semester (excluding our introductory class meeting).  The nonpenalized absences are intended to cover such situations as illness, family emergencies, university sponsored trips, etc.  Students who miss more than three classes, regardless of the reason, will have their semester grades reduced by one full percentage points for each absence beyond the three allowed.  The one exception to this policy concerns absences for religious reasons, assuming advance, written notification is given.

Tentative Grading Policy:

Four Short Papers (2-3 pages)            65%

Class Participation                              20%

Pop Quizzes                                        15%

 


SOC 336G • Gender Pol In Islamic World

43575 • Charrad, Mounira
Meets MW 5:00PM-6:30PM RLP 0.122
(also listed as MES 341)
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Course Description

The course is devoted to the study of gender politics in the Islamic world. It is designed to help students gain a better knowledge of the Islamic world and, at the same time, increase their understanding of major sociological concepts such as gender, social organization, culture, and politics. It shows how culture is mediated by politics, resulting in diverse interpretations of the cultural tradition and in different policies with respect to gender. We start by examining the themes and issues that are part of the common denominator of the Islamic tradition.  We then consider how the diversity can be explained and what factors contribute to it.  The focus is on women’s rights, which have been a key political issue in several countries and internationally.  We examine the issue historically and up to the time of the Arab Spring.

Global Cultures Flag:  

This course carries the Global Cultures Flag. Global Culture 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 assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one non-U.S. cultural group, past or present.

Writing Flag:

This course carries the Writing Flag. Writing Flag courses are designed to give students experience with writing in an academic discipline. 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. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from your written work. Writing Flag classes meet the Core Communications objectives of Critical Thinking, Communication, Teamwork, and Personal Responsibility, established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

 

 


SOC 345D • Inequality In US Educ Sys

43585 • Pikus, Monique
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM RLP 2.606
(also listed as LAH 350)
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Course Description

For centuries many have seen the United States as the land of opportunity. Free public education is often viewed as one of the key pillars of opportunity in the U.S. Yet, the quality of public education varies greatly depending on the neighborhood and characteristics of the student. In this class, we will examine how inequality has developed and is maintained within the American public education system. We will learn and critique existing theories of educational inequality such as meritocracy, stereotype threat, and oppositional culture. Next, we will explore the effect of students’ traits on how they interact with and experience school in the U.S. Race/ ethnicity, gender, social class, and special educational needs are just a sample of the attributes that we will investigate. In addition, we will pay particular attention to the role of school funding and residential segregation in maintaining disparities in educational quality. We will conclude by exploring current efforts to combat inequality within the public education system through school choice, accountability campaigns, community-based school reform, and other efforts.

Course Objectives

It is my hope that students will set their own goals for the course. Nevertheless, by the end of the course, all students should be able to:

  • Analyze existing theories of educational inequality. 
  • Understand the different relationships between inequality, education, and students’ characteristics. 
  • Recognize the mechanisms through which inequality is perpetuated within the U.S. public education system. 
  • Outline and critique existing reform efforts to reduce educational disparities within the U.S. public education system.                                                                                        
  • Be able to communicate orally and in writing the complexity and difficulty in developing reforms designed to eliminate inequality among all students within the American public education system.

Course Requirements

Class Participation (20%). I believe that learning is an interactive sport. Therefore class participation is critical to the success of the course for the class will consist mainly of guided discussion with brief lectures as needed. Students are expected to attend every class on time prepared to discuss the materials assigned for that date. Students are allowed two unexcused absences without penalty. However, students’ class participation grade will decrease with each additional absence. If a student has more than 10 unexcused absences, they will automatically fail the course. Students are also expected to participate fully in any class activities that occur. Finally, peer review (50% of participation grade) is an important part of the class. Students are expected to provide written feedback and a rating in Canvas on fellow classmates’ school reform proposal presentations. In addition, students will be divided into small peer review teams and provide written feedback on each other’s first position paper.  

Position Papers (25%). Writing is an essential way to assist students in engaging in the reading materials on a deeper level. Students are required to write four 700-800 word essays in Canvas summarizing and responding to the major argument(s) of the readings. Students are required to revise one of their position papers based on the feedback provided by their peer review team and the instructor. The total number of position papers submitted will be four original and one revised paper.

School Reform Proposal and Presentation (Total: 55%). It is not only important to understand the disparities within the current public education system, but we must also try to develop solutions to these problems. Therefore each student is required to write their own school reform proposal based on independent research of one of the many school reform efforts discussed in class (or one approved by the instructor).

Abstract and Annotated Bibliography (10%). Students are required to submit a 500 word abstract of their school reform proposal in which they briefly outline the theories to be examined, the proposed school reform, and how it will alleviate inequality for at least one traditionally disadvantaged group. The abstract will include an annotated bibliography (50 word summary each) of at least 5 outside sources.

Revised Abstract and Annotated Bibliography (5%). Students will submit a revised abstract based on the instructor’s feedback.

Presentation (10%). Students will give an 8-10 minute class PowerPoint presentation of their school reform proposals. Presentation slides should be posted to Canvas by 5pm the day before the class presentation. Presentations will be evaluated based on classmates’ written feedback and rating (50% of grade) on a form provided online and the instructor’s evaluation (50% of grade).

Final Proposal (30%). Students are expected to complete an 8-10 page double spaced school reform proposal. The proposal should develop the theories outlined in the abstract, describe the school reform effort they support, provide evidence of the effectiveness of their proposed reform, and explain how their plan will alleviate inequality for at least one traditionally disadvantaged group. The proposal should also incorporate the presentation feedback provided by fellow classmates and the instructor.

 


SOC 352 • Social Movements

43595 • Young, Michael
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM RLP 0.102
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DESCRIPTION

Protests and social movements are vital to public life.  They are important sources of social change.  They may even be prophetic.  This course explores why people rebel, demonstrate, occupy public spaces, riot, bomb buildings, sign petitions, organize trade unions, demand equal rights, save baby seals, block abortion clinics, and burn draft notices.  In this course, we will ask what are protests and social movements?  Why do people start them and join them?  What are protesters motivated by?  Are they after personal or group rewards?  Do protesters act rationally or emotionally?

We will also ask what triggers protests or movements? What structures or shapes them?  Do they follow regular patterns of development?  What is the relationship between different movements? What affect do protests and movements have on society?  Do they provide valuable insights into society? Do they advance social justice? Do they contribute to our social wellbeing? Or do they lead to disorder and exact costs that outweigh benefits?  Might they foreshadow the future?

We will explore these many questions and look for answers in an historical sociology of collective efforts to change America. This course will track American protests and social movements from the 18th century to the present.  In short, this course surveys the history of American protest and theories trying to explain their emergence, development, and impact.

REQUIREMENTS

There will be a midterm examination (40% of grade), a final examination (50%), and a field report on an event of activism or protest.  The two exams will cover material from lectures, readings, and a series of documentaries that will be viewed throughout the semester.  Although there is some overlap among these three components of the course, a thorough familiarity with each will be crucial to the doing well in the two examinations.


SOC 366 • Deviance

43600 • Osborne, Lynette
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM MEZ B0.306
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This course examines deviant behavior in the US.  The course begins by defining different types of deviance (negative and positive).  Discussions of types of deviance, how/why we define certain activities as deviant, how deviance changes over time, and how we understand deviant behavior through theories will be the main focus of the course. Empirical, peer reviewed journal articles will be used to learn about current deviance research findings.  Theory articles will be used to demonstrate core theories and how they can be used to understand and predict behavior.

Learning Objectives

By the end of a successfully completed term, students will be able to:

  • define deviance and understand the difference between positive and negative deviance;
  • explain how ideas about what counts as deviance changes over time and how these changes are reflected in society;
  • discuss current research on deviance in the US; 
  • explain and apply various theoretical approaches to deviant behavior.

Additional Objectives

This course is also designed to teach and/or improve the following skills:

  • critical thinking
  • professional/academic writing
  • comprehension of challenging material

Required Materials:                 

Articles:  required articles will be posted on Bb as .pdf or .doc attachments.

Films:  viewing several films is also required.  Titles are on the schedule.  You may find them online or order them from a source like Netflix or iTunes.

Grading:

In class participation  75 point

Reading Briefs           50 points

Journal Analysis         25 points

Three exams             50 points each

Project                     100 points

Grading scale

100-90 = A, 89-88 = B+, 87-80 = B, 79-78 = C+, 77-70 = C, 69-68 = D+, 67-60 = D, below 59 = F

As a general rule, I do not assign minuses (-).  If you earn an 80%, you get the B.  However, in circumstances when the grade is earned by rounding up, a minus will be assigned (e.g.:  79.9=B-).


SOC 369K • Population And Society

43605 • Cavanagh, Shannon
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM RLP 0.102
(also listed as WGS 322)
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Description

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 declining fertility and population aging. 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: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, 10th edition, John R. Weeks. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co. ISBN-10: 0495096377 

On-line Readings: There are a number of short reading assignments, marked with an [EL]. These readings can be found in External Links section of the class Blackboard site and should be read prior to class period. 

Grading and Requirement:

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 20% 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 TWO assignments and ONE short paper during the semester. The assignments—on mortality and fertility—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 and that you will explore in more detail in the short paper. Each assignment is worth 15% of your final grade. The short paper is worth 25% of your 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.


SOC 384L • Socl Stat: Basic Conc And Meth

43650 • Glass, Jennifer
Meets MW 3:00PM-4:30PM RLP 0.106
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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.


SOC 385K • Socl Stat: Dis Multivar Models

43655 • Powers, Daniel
Meets MW 3:00PM-4:30PM BEN 1.126
(also listed as SDS 385)
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Course Description

This course deals with regression models for discrete and categorical dependent variables. Regression-like models for discrete and categorical outcomes are widely used in applied research. Students in this course should have some prior exposure to linear regression models. This class serves a wide range of students; the material presented here aims to be useful for students at all levels. In keeping with the applied nature of this course, we will provide examples drawn mainly from sociological and demographic research.

Course Requirements

Grades are based on scores from approximately 5 assignments or problem sets (50%) and a 10-15-page (double spaced) methodologically-focused research paper (50%). Students who are enrolled in the MS in Mathematical Statistics program must complete the extra credit problems in the assignments. Paper proposals must be submitted for approval midway through the course. In lieu of a substantive paper, students may undertake an in-depth exploration of any methodological issues pertaining to the analysis of categorical data (i.e., a methods or applied statistics paper).

Topics

 Topics covered in this course will include:

  • an overview of the classical linear regression model
  • models for binary data
  • models for count data and contingency tables
  • models for ordered and unordered categorical data

Extensions to the models above will also be examined, such as hierarchical/multilevel models for categorical responses, as well as treatment-effect and selection models.

Required Text

Powers, Daniel A., and Yu Xie (2008) Statistical Methods for Categorical Data Analysis, 2nd Edition, London: Emerald.

Recommended Text

Long, J. Scott, and Jeremy Freese (2001/2005) Regression Models for Categorical Dependent Variables Using Stata, College Station: Stata Press. 


SOC 387J • Fundamentals Of Research Meths

43665 • Pettit, Elizabeth
Meets T 3:30PM-6:30PM RLP 3.106
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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 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 387L • Qualitative Meths For Socl Sci

43670 • Ward, Peter
Meets T 9:00AM-12:00PM SRH 3.124
(also listed as GRG 396T, LAS 381, P A 397C)
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COURSE AIMS AND PURPOSE

This graduate class is designed to complement existing courses on methods and quantitative techniques of data collection and analysis that already exist at the LBJ School, as well as in the Sociology, Geography and several other departments and programs across campus. A methods course, it also forms part of the extended core curriculum in the Masters’ programs (MPAff. & GPS) at the LBJ School of Public Affairs.  Prospective students should note that the sometimes large class size requires that the class be taught in a lecture rather than seminar format although much of the work will be conducted in small groups. (This has worked reasonably well in the past even when there were as many as 30+ students.)  Specifically the aim of this course is to develop familiarity and expertise in mobilizing and analyzing data and information gathered through a range of more qualitative survey research methods, approaches and designs, ranging from participant observational techniques, ethnography, case studies, content analysis, focus groups, and various forms of interviewing.  The course will address issues of qualitative methods’ theory, research project design and targeting, field insertion, IRB requirements, reflexivity and writing and presentation skills.  The final outcome is a final report based upon application of a number of methods to a group research design. Participants will be required to undertake IRB training at the outset.

The class is designed for two principal constituencies: first, for Ph.D. students who are (usually) in the earlier stages of their doctoral programs; and second, for Master students especially those engaged in preparation of Policy Reports or theses.  Each class will comprise a lecture and class discussion based upon readings and will require students to work in small groups on a real research design that will be used throughout the semester, and upon which they will apply and gather data using each of the methods in turn. Thus, a primary element of the course is to develop "hands-on" experience in adapting a range of qualitative research techniques to that group’s research design. The research question identified usually will be a project for which no definitive outcome (other than the Report) is expected, other than that of developing the training exercises itself.

Most classes will involve a mixture of formal lecture and pre-circulated lecture notes that are designed to both cover the ground as well as foster class discussion. This year I propose to request that you NOTopen computers, tablets and handhelds during the lecture part of class. You will be expected to look over the lecture notes and your readings beforehand.

The latter part of the class will involve in-group work and preparation to apply the various techniques.  Thus, there will be a substantial practical component to this course outside of class hoursas each group develops and applies each technique as part of its own mini-research design agenda.  Please note that the 9:00-12:00 time slot has been selected deliberately in order to allow participants to occasionally continue their group work through the lunch period (or beforehand!), so to the extent possible, please allow for that flexibility as you prepare your fall schedules.

 All students will need to log onto CANVAS, since this will be the principal mechanism for information dissemination, and group liaison.


SOC 388J • Readings In Ethnography

43675 • Williams, Christine
Meets W 12:00PM-3:00PM RLP 3.106
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Course Description

 This course is an in-depth analysis of ethnographic research methods in sociology. The goals of this course are: (1) to examine the theory and epistemology of ethnographic methods, (2) to explore the strengths and limitations of ethnographic research methods; (3) to familiarize students with classic and contemporary ethnographies; and (4) to develop skills to design and conduct ethnographic research.

 Course Requirements

 Students are required to attend class, complete all reading assignments on time, participate in class discussion, and lead one class discussion.  Course grades will be based on the following:

 1. Attendance, participation, and presentation (10%).

 2. Assignments (15%). These assignments require students to practice field observations, interviews, and other ethnographic techniques.

3. Group Presentation (25%).All students will participate in a student-directed group project.  You will be required to conduct fieldwork and qualitative interviews in collaboration with a group of fellow students.  Each group will make a formal presentation to the class, discussing the methodological and practical issues they confronted in designing a study, gathering data, and analyzing results.

4. A final 10-15 page proposal (50%).The final paper requires students to design their own qualitative research study, but not carry it out. 

 Course Readings:  TBA


SOC 389K • Human Mortality

42949-43689 • Hayward, Mark
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM RLP 3.214F
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Course Description

Demographers’ interest in mortality has mushroomed over the past several decades. The advent of long time series of mortality data has facilitated research on trends, while major longitudinal surveys have fueled research examining the life course origins of mortality. Population health surveys increasingly include biomarkers of biological risk and physiological dysregulation, facilitating bio-social studies of mortality. The inclusion of genetic data and twin-designs similarly has allowed demographers to probe the causes of mortality by adding a genetic lens. This course will touch on most of these developments, introducing you to major debates and issues that characterize much of mortality research. Necessarily, not all topics will be covered given the time constraints of the semester. The primary focus of the course is on US mortality, often introducing international comparisons and also examining disparities within the US.

Coure Requirements

The course is organized as a seminar. Although I will provide overviews and/or supplemental material in lecture, much instruction takes place in the context of guided discussion and exchanges focused on the readings. Students are expected to attend each class and to have read all of the assigned material thoroughly and critically before the class meeting. Reading critically means not only being able to describe the content of an assigned piece, but also to evaluate the scientific issues motivating the research question, the conceptual/theoretical strengths of the research, the adequacy of the study’s methods, the scientific implications of the study’s findings, and the study’s relation to other course material). Students are strongly encouraged to contribute to the discussion both their insights and/or questions from the readings and their own experiences.

 There are three major tasks to be accomplished in this graduate seminar:

 1) The first task involves preparation of the reading for class presentation and discussion (20% of grade).  All students are responsible for all of the assigned readings. Class discussions will be oriented around informal student presentations based on the assigned readings. For each class meeting, a student will be assigned an article, and the student will informally present the scientific factors motivating a study, the key gaps in knowledge being addressed, the major findings, and the conceptual/methodological strengths and weaknesses of the study.You may use powerpoint if you want. An outline of the presentation’s key points (1 page) should be distributed to the class on the date prior to class. The informal presentations should not be longer than 15 minutes – and 10 minutes is desirable!

2) The second task is an empirical study or a thesis/dissertation proposal on a topic that is relevant to the course’s overall aim (50% of grade). Final papers are due December 12.

  • The empirical study may overlap with research being done either as part of a student’s thesis/dissertation research, in conjunction with work being done in another course (with the professor’s permission), or as part of a student’s RA assignment (with the professor’s permission). The study should be original research, with the aims of making a scientific contribution to the literature andpublication in a scientific outlet. Please do not feel constrained by the topics covered in the course. As I mentioned, it is impossible to completely cover the body of mortality research. Given the time constraints imposed by the semester, I recommend that students rely on publicly accessible datasets (e.g., the Health and Retirement Survey, the National Health Interview Surveys, MIDAS, the National Longitudinal Surveys, and Americans’ Changing Lives, and Aging. Other rich datasets are available from NACDA and ICPSR, two major electronic data archives.
  • For those pursuing an MA thesis or considering a PhD thesis on mortality, this course offers an opportunity to draft a proposal. This option is not simply a literature review. The proposal should layout specific aims (testable questions/hypotheses), discuss the importance of the work and its contribution to the literature, and provide a discussion of the data to be collected/analyzed and the methods to be used. This should follow the general format of an NIH R03 submission. I will provide the guidelines for the format.
  • Regardless of which written option is chosen, students should submit 1-page abstract by October 16. All students should meet with me sometime during October 16-18. Please contact me as soon as possible to set up a time to meet.

3) Powerpoint presentation: I have scheduled presentations for the last class session, December 5(30% of grade). This session will give students a chance to present their work to their colleagues, to field comments, and to refine their ideas and analysis prior to submitting the term paper. Presentations should follow the format that one would use if presenting the results at a major scientific meeting such as the Population Association of America. 

READING LIST

Some readings can be found on Canvas or are accessible via Google Scholar through the UT library. A few readings have hyperlinks to the article.


SOC 389K • International Migration

43690 • Rodriguez, Nestor
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM BUR 214
(also listed as LAS 381, MAS 392)
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Course Rationale

International migration patterns have become highly dynamic since the late twentieth century.  The UN Population Division estimates the number of international migrants grew from 156 million in 1990 to 214 million by 2010.  This seminar uses a sociological approach to focus on the social organization of international migration and effects (including social and policy reactions) this migration has on settlement areas and communities of origin.  

The seminar is intended to consider and review cases and issues of migration across different countries and world regions, and not just patterns that affect the United States.

Course Aims and Objectives

Aims

 This seminar is designed to survey social research conducted across various topics (gender/women, policies, labor market integration, restrictions, etc.) of international migration, and concerning different national populations.

Specific Learning Objectives

Become familiar with conceptual and theoretical perspectives in international migration research

Become familiar with leading research issues and questions in international migration research

Become familiar with research methods and findings in prominent topics of international migration research.

Format and Procedures

 The course will follow a format in which reading, writing, and group discussion compose the central ctivities of the seminar. Graduate student participation is essential for the operation of the seminar.  

Assumptions

My assumptions of international migration are that it a) follows an historical course, b) flows from the interaction between human agency and social structures, c) takes normal paths of social division/tension and degrees of social incorporation, d) is affected by social constructions regarding different national-origin groups, and e) has a significance of being a resource for social reproduction within large social structures.

Religious Holidays

UT Austin policy requires that you notify course instructors at least 14 days in advance if you plan to be absent due to a religious holiday. You will be given an opportunity to make up activities (exams, assignments, etc.) that you miss because of your absence due to a religious holiday.  You will be given a reasonable time to make up an exam or assignment after your absence.

Seminar Books 

Castles, Stephen, Hein De Hass, & Mark J. Miller.  2014.  5th edition. The Age of Migration: International Population Movements in the Modern World.  New York: Guilford Press. 

Hernández-León, Rubén.  2008.  Metropolitan Migrants: The Migration of Urban Mexicans to the United States. Berkeley: UC Press.

United Nations.  2009.  Human Development Report: 2009, Overcoming Barriers:  Human Mobility and Development. United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Palgrave Macmillian. (FREE on-line!)

http://hdr.undp.org/en/reports/global/hdr2009/papers/

Zhang, Li.  2001.  Strangers in the City:  Reconfigurations of Space, Power, and Social Networks within China’s Floating Population.  Stanford: Stanford University Press. 

Websites to keep in mind: 

UC-Davis, Migration News: http://migration.ucdavis.edu/mn/

Census Bureau: http://www.census.gov/

Population Reference Bureau: http://www.prb.org/

Office of Immigration Statistics: http://www.dhs.gov/ximgtn/statistics/

Migration Policy Institute: http://www.migrationpolicy.org/

Pew Hispanic Center: http://pewhispanic.org/

United Nations: http://www.un.org/

International Organization for Migration: http://www.iom.int/jahia/Jahia/lang/en/pid/1

Seminar Requirements

Seminar attendance and participation policy:  Attendance is required at every seminar meeting; moreover, graduate students are expected to do the assigned weekly readings and come to the seminar prepared to engage in discussion about the topic covered for the week.  Seminar participation accounts for 10 percent of the final grade.  In addition, unexcused absences will reduce the grade average grade by three points for each absence. 

Graduate students will write a series of five short papers (3-5 pages) reacting to the assigned weekly readings. Each student will prepare a reaction paper to present in the seminar every other week. Each paper will be worth 20 points for a total of 100 points.

Finally, graduate students are required to write a seminar paper on a topic of international migration. The paper may take one of the following three forms:  a) a new research proposal draft for a thesis or dissertation, b) a critical annotated bibliography with an evaluative section to be used in preparation for a comprehensive examination, or c) a paper for submission to a conference or a journal. This assignment is worth 100 points. Students will present their paper assignments in the last weeks of the semester, but are strongly encouraged to update the seminar members regarding the progress of their papers. 

Reaction Paper

The goal of the reaction papers is to stimulate thought about international migration research. Various approaches can be taken to accomplish this. One approach is to focus on only one reading, and a second approach is to focus on more than one reading. If the first approach is taken, the student can critique the reading by addressing problems with conceptualization, research methods, or inconsistencies in the reading, or the student can elaborate on points covered in the reading by taking different perspectives into account (gender, different regional context, etc.).  When the second approach is taken, the student can compare two or more readings, or use more than one reading to elaborate on a topic.  Students can also use the reaction papers to elaborate, from the perspective of the readings, on their own ongoing interest or work in international migration or other research topic.  Please remember that a reaction paper is not suppose to be a summary of the readings. (Format: 3-5 pages double space; 1.0 – to 1.25-inch margins, 12-point font) 

Use of Canvas

I plan to use Canvas to make announcements, distribute information, communicate with students, and post grades.  Students are encouraged to use Canvas to communicate and share comments and information.  Please check your Canvas site regularly to look for communications from me or from other students in the class.  Support for using Canvas can be obtained from the ITS Help Desk at 475-9400, Monday through Thursday, 8-10pm and Friday, 8am to 6pm.  ITS has a walk-in help desk on the first floor of the Flawn Academic Center.

Grading

 a) Five reaction papers (100 points; 45% of total grade)

b) Seminar paper (100 points; 45% of total grade)

c) Seminar participation (22 points; 10% of total grade)

d) Unexcused absences reduce course grade by 3 point for each absence

Letter grades (A, B, C, D, F) based on percentage of total points: A = 90%-100%, B = 80%-89.5%, C = 70%-79.5%, D = 60%- 69.5%, F = less than 60%.

Grades will be assigned a plus or minus sign based on score in the usual decile point intervals, for example, 80 – 82 = B-, 83 – 86 = B, and 87 – 89 = B+.

Note:  I am authorized by the University to discuss grades only with students.


SOC 391L • Basic Demograph Meth And Matls

43725 • Potter, Joseph
Meets MW 6:00PM-7:30PM RLP 1.302A
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Description:

This course provides grounding in the principal techniques of demographic analysis together with an understanding of how mortality and fertility determine the growth and structure of human populations.  Demographic methods and population dynamics are widely applied in sociology, economics, criminology, epidemiology, and public health--in almost every field where the growth and structure of population matters, or where there are duration dependent phenomena that are best handled with life table methodology.

 

You will learn to calculate demographic rates, construct a life table, and make population projections. We will have make intensive use of the time that we have available, and rely on frequent homework exercises.  The level at which the material can be covered depends, to some extent, on the interests and previous mathematical training of the participants in the course.  Although there is no mathematical prerequisite, there is ample use of algebraic notation.  While a previous course in calculus is not required, we will use this notation as well. Anyone wanting to refresh their mathematics is encouraged to do so with Quick Calculus, by D. Kleppner and N. Ramsey (John Wiley, 1972, 1985, ..., paperback).

 

Course Outline and Readings:

The text for this course is Demography: Measuring and Modeling Population Processes by Samuel Preston, Patrick Heuveline, and Michel Guillot (Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 2001).  In addition to chapters from this text, some journal articles will be assigned to complement the text, either as background, or as additional material.  A slightly more accessible basic text that corresponds fairly well to the subject matter we will cover is Colin Newell's Methods and Models in Demography, which participants may wish to consult for an alternative presentation of some material. 

 

The topics to be covered are:

  1. Population, Rates and Standardization
  2. The Life Table
  3. Population Dynamics
  4. Modeling Age Patterns of Mortality and Fertility
  5. Indirect Estimation

 

Grading Policy:

To check on everyone’s progress, there will be three review exercises or mid-terms for this course, as well as weekly or bi-weekly homework assignments or problem sets.   The homework will account for 40 percent of the course grade, and the mid-terms will account for 60 percent.  Much of the homework and some of the review exercises will be done in small groups of two or three participants.  Excelspreadsheets will be used extensively by all participants, and participants will also learn and use Mathcad, available in the PRC lab.


SOC 394K • Classical Social Theory

43730 • Rudrappa, Sharmila
Meets TH 12:30PM-3:30PM RLP 3.106
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Description:

In this course we review classic works in sociological theory. Focusing on the work of nineteenth-century and early-twentieth-century theorists, we take a critical look at the historical and theoretical context of sociology’s founding ideas.  Sociological theory and the modern era are, for better or worse, wedded.  Sociology is a historical product.  It emerged as part of the massive transformations of the nineteenth century.  It sought to explain that which shaped it.  This course explores the promises and problems of this relationship. The first part of this course is apportioned to an overview of the theories of Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber.  Over these 10 weeks, we will discuss theories of capitalism, modernization, rationalization, and institutional and value-sphere differentiation.  We will debate the centrality of these social processes to sociological thinking and to the modern world.  Have Marx, Durkheim and Weber accurately seized upon the life-character of the modern world?  Have they identified the central structures and developments? Do their accounts of these structures and processes pass the test of time?  Is modernity a salient and defensible periodization?  Does it hang together as a historical epoch?  Is it a sound sociological construct? The last part of the course introduces perspectives that depart and dissent from the concerns of Marx, Durkheim, and Weber.  In the works of Georg Simmel, Sigmund Freud, and George Herbert Mead we open lines of critical inquiry that can be followed into the present: lines of theory that complement but also undermine classical theories with relational, psychological, and interactionist perspectives. 

Required Books:

The Marx-Engels Reader, ed. Robert Tucker, (Norton)

Emile Durkheim, The Division of Labor in Society

Emile Durkheim, The Elementary Forms of Religious Life

Emile Durkheim, Moral Education

Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

From Max Weber, eds. Gerth and Mills (Oxford).Georg Simmel, On Individuality and Social Forms(Chicago)

Sigmund Freud, Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego

Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontent

George Herbert Mead, On Social Psychology, ed. Anselm Strauss (Chicago)

The books have been ordered through Monkey Wrench Books: 110 E. North Loop, Austin, TX 78751; http://www.monkeywrenchbooks.org/

Grading and Requirements:

Written Requirements: 

Over the 14 weeks of the semester, students must write five papers.  Each paper must tackle a key theoretical argument present in a given week of reading.  In four to five pages, the paper should present a concise but thorough development and critical review of the selected argument. The first three papers must be written by week 10.  One must be on Marx, one on Durkheim, and one on Weber.  For the remaining two memos, students may choose any two of the remaining weeks of reading. Papers must be handed in at the beginning of the class dealing with the particular reading reviewed. 

Class Participation: 

Each student will be responsible for leading the discussion of one class meeting.  For the first half of the meeting or so, the assigned student will introduce a number of issues of interest, difficult or important concepts, and critical questions to guide class discussion. These discussions only work if the leader divides some of the tasks among his or her classmates. An email assigning each member of the class a particular task—e.g., “explain this particular concept and/or argument”—will ensure that all are involved in the discussion. This requires the leader to have surveyed all the major points in the reading and to delegate authority early enough so that everyone can do a little preparation. An email sent out by Tuesday should be fine.After this student-led discussion, we will then take a short break. For the remainder of the meeting, I will provide an overview of major themes in the week’s readings not covered in our discussion and field questions.

 


SOC 398T • Supv Teaching In Sociology

43755 • Rose, Mary
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM RLP 3.106
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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) 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). 

Even in a class of this size, I will occasionally call on people and ask them to give me their understanding of 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. 

Texts

John D. DeLamater, & Daniel J. Myers, Social Psychology (7th edition). Thompson/Wadsworth (2010). [PLEASE NOTE: This version of the book is a restructured one; do not rely solely on older editions without a close comparison to the 7th] 

Grading

Final grades are based on three exams, in-class exercises, and a brief writing assignment. 



  • Department of Sociology

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