2011-2012: Undergraduate Catalog

Sociology Download PDF Version

Academic Year



School of Humanities and Social Science School Web site

School Dean

Janet Dizinno, Ph.D. hssdean@stmarytx.edu



Department Chair

Janet Armitage, Ph.D. jarmitage1@stmarytx.edu

Description of Program/Major

Sociology is the social science that studies human groups and society. It explores the multiple influences that groups exert in our personal lives: friendships, marriages, families, work units, businesses, schools, neighborhoods, organizations, communities, churches and clubs, among others.

In addition, sociology analyzes how and why groups form, hold together, and sometimes break up. It seeks an accurate and scientific understanding of society and of social life.

Likewise, sociology explores the many social and cultural forces that operate throughout society— forces that form individual persons, shape their attitudes and behaviors, and determine social events.

Sociology students learn countless applied and practical ways to change and to improve human life. Through the study of society, students learn how to deal more effectively with others while developing their thinking, analytical, problem-solving, research and communication skills.

Degree Requirements

Core Curriculum (SMC)
St. Mary's University Core (30 Hours)
All St. Mary's Core SMC13## "Reflection" courses must be completed before registering for SMC23## "Practice" courses. "Reflection" courses can be taken in any order followed by "Practice" courses in any order.
SMC 1301Foundations of Civilization3
SMC 1311Foundations of Reflection: Self (Formerly PL 1310)3
SMC 1312Foundations of Reflection: Nature3
SMC 1313Foundations of Reflection: Others3
SMC 1314Foundations of Reflection: God (Formerly TH 2301)3
SMC 2301Foundations of Practice: Ethics (Formerly PL 2332)3
SMC 2302Foundations of Practice: Civic Engagement and Social Action3
SMC 2303Foundations of Practice: Fine Arts and Creative Process (Formerly FA 1101, FA 1102, FA 1103)3
SMC 2304Foundations of Practice: Literature3
SMC 4301Capstone Seminar: Prospects for Community and Civilization3

School Specific Core (SSC)
School of Humanities and Social Sciences School Specific Core (30 Hours)

SpeechSE 1321 (for international students), SE 1341, SE 2333, SE 33913
Composition and Rhetoric (grade of "C" or better)EN 1311, EN 1313 (for international students)3
Mathematics MT 1301, MT 1302, MT 1303, MT 1305, MT 1306, MT 1411, MT 24123
Foreign LanguagesSix hours at the sophomore level (2311, 2312) in a Foreign Language previously studied for a minimum of one year;
Or, 6 hours of introductory level (1311, 1312) in a Foreign Language not previously studied;
Or, 12 hours of CLEP credit for a language previously studied.
HistoryHS 1301, HS 1302, HS 1303, HS 1351, HS 1352, HS 3312 (or any HS courses pending AC approval)3
ScienceBL 1301, BL 1302, BL 3311, BL 3312, CH 1303, CH 1304, CH 1401, CH 1402, EG 2300, ES 1300, ES 1303, ES 1304, ES 1373, PY 1300, PY 1310, PY 1401, PY 14023
TheologyAdvanced Theology 33XX, HU 33033
Fine ArtsAR, DM, MU3
LiteratureEN 23XX3

Four Year Degree Plan

Department Courses and Descriptions

Department Courses and Descriptions
SC 1311 Introductory Sociology (3)
An introduction to the scope and methods of sociology, emphasizing the concepts of social structure, organization, institution, culture and socialization, and including analyses of primary and secondary groups, sex roles, social control, stratification, minorities, collective behavior, and population dynamics. Prerequisite for all courses in the Criminology program.

SC 2331 Cultural Anthropology (3)
An examination of the unity and diversity of cultural patterns in both simple and complex societies, including consideration of their political, intellectual, technical, aesthetic, and other social institutions in cross-cultural perspective.

SC 2332 Introduction to Archaeology (3)
Introduction to scientific study of material remains (fossil relics, artifacts, monuments, tools, pottery, graves, buildings, etc.) of past human life and activities. How archaeologists retrieve, process, analyze, interpret surviving prehistoric materials. Insights into cultural values, symbols, norms, customs, traditions, etc.

SC 3300 Special Topics in Sociology (3)
Topics will vary from semester to semester. May be retaken for additional credit when a different topic is offered.

SC 3301 North American Indians (3)
Survey of Indians from the time of European contact through the present, emphasizing the situation of contemporary Native Americans.

SC 3305 Interviewing Techniques (3)

SC 3306 Qualitative Research Methods (3)
An introduction to the methods used to conduct qualitative research in natural social settings. An examination of the methods of ethnography, participant observation/non-participant observation, focus group, interview, and use of documentary sources will be included. Students may have the opportunity to engage in hands-on research. Additional topics include data coding, data analysis, and research ethics. Prerequisite: Junior standing and have completed nine hours of pscyhology or sociology related courses.

SC 3308 Sociology of Religion (3)
An introduction to basic issues in the sociology of religion, including alternative definitions of religion, the relationship of religion to economic, political and other social institutions, and the influence of religion on personal development, social order, conflict, and change. Religious institutions are viewed in historical and cross-cultural perspective.

SC 3309 Medical Anthropology (3)
This course examines a variety of issues related to health, illness, and health care from an anthropological perspective. It explores how people in various cultures, both Western and non-Western deal with illness, disease, birth, death, curing and maintaining health.

SC 3310 Sociology of Sex Roles (3)
An examination of the process of learning male and female roles. Topics include sexual identity, gender stereotypes, cross-cultural differences in gender roles and socialization, and changes in these roles in contemporary society.

SC 3312 Language and Culture (3)
Examines the dynamics between language and culture in cross-cultural perspective. It explores the functions and use of language in society, the symbolic nature of language, theories regarding the evolution of human language, linguistic change, and how humans use language in social contexts.

SC 3315 Future Societies (3)
An introduction to social forecasting and the sociology of the future. This course explores a range of alternative possibilities for the future of human societies, including both optimistic and pessimistic scenarios. Topics include the impact of technology on social relations, the future of major social institutions, and prospects for the solution of global problems.

SC 3320 Social Stratification (3)
An analysis of social stratification utilizing social class as the unit of study. The course will focus on the structure of social classes in the U.S. as a major factor influencing individual and group life chances with regards to education, crime, health, and disease, world views and life styles.

SC 3321 Social Issues (3)
Current discussions of contemporary social problems, including issues related to family and sexuality, health and substance abuse, education, poverty, prejudice and discrimination, population and environment, war and peace.

SC 3324 Juvenile Delinquency (3)
An examination of juvenile delinquency in the U.S.: its nature, extent, causes, effects, prevention and rehabilitation. Sociological approaches to delinquency are em phasized, but psychological and legal approaches are also considered.

SC 3325 Criminology (3)
An overview of the study of crime and the development of criminology. The nature, extent, causes, effects, rehabilitation and prevention of crime are examined from a sociological perspective. Psychological, legal, and philosophical approaches to crime are also considered.

SC 3342 Social Organization & Social Systems (3)
An analysis of human behavior in organizations viewed as social systems. Topics include formal and informal structures, corporate cultures, organizational goals and problems, communication, interpersonal relations, adaptation, and change.

SC 3343 The Family (3)
A study of the family as an institution and social system, including discussions of dating and mate selection, premarital and extramarital sex, birth control, abortion, illegitimacy, family planning, spousal relationships, interracial and interfaith marriages, socialization, social control, and change.

SC 3352 Group Dynamics (3)
An analysis of the structure, functions and processes of small groups from a social-psychological perspective. Practical applications are explored for education, counseling, social work, business, and law.

SC 3353 Public Opinion and Propaganda (3)
An examination of the nature, extent, and purposes of propaganda and of other social and psychological influences on public opinion. Topics include techniques of persuasion and the role of mass media and advertising in shaping public attitudes.

SC 3355 Internship in Sociology (3)
Experiential education related to the theoretical and researcch topics studied in sociology. The experience consists of pre-professional work in social agencies, community programs, and other appropriate settings approved by the department. Junior/Senior status and at least 9 hours of upper-division sociology are prerequisites. Involves written sociological analysis. 3 to 6 semester hours of credit, with a maximum of 3 hours per semester.

SC 3361 Urban Sociology (3)
An analysis of cities, their historical development and social organization. Topics include urbanization in developed and developing societies, urban stratification and lifestyles, and urban, metropolitan and regional planning.

SC 3362 Demography and Ecology (3)
The demographic study of human populations, including fertility, mortality, migration, age, sex, class composition. The ecological study of relations between human societies and their environments. Analysis of environmental problems and proposed solutions.

SC 3371 Minority Relations (3)
A study of et nic, religious and racial relations in the U.S. and other countries. Topics include power relationships, prejudice, discrimination, ethnic stratification, migration, assimilation and pluralism. Minorities to be considered include Blacks, Mexican-Americans and Native Americans.

SC 3381 Introductory Statistics (3)
An introduction to descriptive and inferential statistics designed for the student of behavioral sciences. (same as AN, SE 3381)

SC 4300 Social Gerontology (3)
A study of the aging process, with emphasis on its social, cultural and psychological aspects. Topics include the effects of aging on personality, intelligence, sexuality and maturity; family relationships; the demography of aging; and the relevance of gerontology theory and research for social policy.

SC 4305 Death and Dying (3)
A holistic treatment of the dying person and his/her environment. Topics include cross-cultural differences in grief and mourning behaviors, psychological process of the terminally ill, funeral practices, hospice alternatives, and ethical problems related to the medical extension of life.

SC 4383 Sociological Research (3)
An introduction to the history and methods of sociological research. Topics include the logic of scientific research, observation, questionnaires, interviews, content analysis, experiments, descriptive statistics, sampling, computerized data analysis and presentation. Students conduct actual research project.

SC 4384 Sociological Theory (3)
An overview of major European and American social theorists and their influence on current sociological research and applications.

Department Faculty

Sociology Faculty Website

Department Website

Sociology Website