Sociology

Undergraduate Program Information

The undergraduate major in sociology is broad in scope. It prepares students for a variety of public and private sector employment opportunities including market research, personnel management, human relations, law enforcement and health services. Successful students often use their major as pre-professional preparation for advanced degrees in law, business, education, counseling and other social science based careers. Courses are offered both online and on campus.

Graduate Program Information

The program is designed to prepare students for doctoral study in sociology as well as employment in research and applied areas of the field. In addition to the on-campus program, we also offer an online MA for students who are unable to attend in person. Through small seminars, on campus graduate students engage in discussions of subjects that often result in thesis and internship topics. In online seminars, small classes allow for in-depth discussions that can generate ideas for research as well as knowledge for applied work environments. In both online and on-campus settings, faculty members and students work toward the mutual goal of developing the full potential of each student.

The Southwest and Border Region

Our unique location attracts faculty and students who are interested in peoples of the southwest, particularly Hispanics/Latinos and Native Americans. In addition, our proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border provides an ideal laboratory for the examination of such issues as globalization, transnational migration and the consequences of border development.

Social Inequality

Our faculty members examine the intersection of race, class and gender oppression in their teaching and research, with special attention to educational, rural/urban, ecological and global disparities. One goal of this examination is to address social problems such as poverty and racial/ethnic inequality.

Program Options and Requirements

Students seeking a master’s degree in sociology should have taken undergraduate courses in methods and statistics or their equivalent. Students who have not taken these courses should complete them before beginning their graduate study or as soon as possible in consultation with the sociology graduate director.

Graduate students in sociology have two program options, thesis or non-thesis. Faculty consider the students special interests and career plans in advising regarding their choice of program options. The thesis option is typically selected by students who intend to pursue a Ph.D. degree, while the non-thesis option is commonly pursued by those desiring immediate employment in research and applied areas in business, government, education, social welfare and health. The non-thesis, coursework only option is currently the only option available for on-line MA students. All students must pass a final master’s examination.

Minors for the Department

Sociology - Undergraduate Minor

TBA Department Head

Professors LoConto, Rice; Associate Professors Ortiz, Pelak, Steinkopf, Way; Assistant Professors Arnett, Newby; Taylor; Emeritus Professor Hoffman, Loustaunau

S. Arnett, Ph.D. (University of Notre Dame)– education, race and ethnicity, social inequalities; D. LoConto, Ph.D. (Oklahoma State University)– classical American social thought, popular culture, social psychology; C. A. Newby, Ph.D. (University of Texas at Austin)– race/ethnicity/minority relations, immigration, demography; D. Ortiz, Ph.D. (University of Notre Dame)– social movements, political sociology, Latin America; C. Pelak, Ph.D. (Ohio State University)– social inequalities, race and ethnicity, sociology of sport; J. Steinkopf-Rice, Ph.D. (Washington State University)– gender, globalization, communities; J.C. Rice, Ph.D. (Washington State University)– environment, society and technology, political sociology; M. Taylor, Ph.D. (University of Notre Dame)- computational/quantitative methods, culture, cognitive sociology; S. Way, Ph.D. (University of Arizona)– education, gender, juvenile delinquency.

Sociology Courses

SOCI 1110G. Introduction to Sociology

3 Credits (3)

This course will introduce students to the basic concepts and theories of sociology, as well as to the methods utilized in sociological research. The course will address how sociological concepts and theories can be utilized to analyze and interpret our social world, and how profoundly our society and the groups to which students belong influence them. Students will be given the opportunity to challenge their “taken­for­granted” or “common sense” understandings about society, social institutions, and social issues. Special attention will also be paid to the intimate connections between their personal lives and the larger structural features of social life. In addition, the implications of social inequalities, such as race/ethnicity, gender, and social class will be central to the course’s examination of social life in the United States.

SOCI 2230. Sociology of Sexuality

3 Credits (3)

This course explores all aspects of human sexuality from a sociological perspective. Topics include, but are not limited to, sex work, intimate relationships, sexual response, political movements, power, and the social construction of sexuality. The course also considers how various social statuses such as ethnicity, gender, and social class intersect with sexuality.

SOCI 2240. Sociology of Intimate Relationships and Family

3 Credits (3)

This course provides an overview of contemporary intimate relationships and families from sociological perspectives. We will examine intimate relationships and families as social constructions whose meanings have changed over time and from place to place. This course will aid students in developing a greater understanding of intimate relationships and families as institutions in contemporary U.S. society. Intersections of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, and other factors within these institutions will be addressed. Community Colleges only.

SOCI 2261. Issues in Death and Dying

3 Credits (3)

Major personal and social issues related to the process of dying in our culture. Community Colleges only.

SOCI 2310G. Contemporary Social Problems

3 Credits (3)

This course studies the nature, scope, and effects of social problems and their solutions. The course will concentrate on sociological perspectives, theories, and key concepts when investigating problems, such as inequality, poverty, racism, alienation, family life, sexuality, gender, urbanization, work, aging, crime, war and terrorism, environmental degradation, and mass media. This course is designed to build students’ sociological understanding of how sociological approaches attempt to clarify various issues confronting contemporary life, as well as how sociologists view solutions to these problems.

SOCI 330V. Introduction to Religious Studies

3 Credits (3)

Provides an overview of old and new methods and theories for the study of religion. Exposure to the ways groups of people in diverse cultural systems construct and change their religious traditions to serve practical and meaningful ends. Same as ANTH 330V and HIST 330V.

SOCI 336V. Sociology of Pop Culture

3 Credits (3)

This course will provide students with a sociological look at creation, distribution, and effects of popular culture that have shaped, preserved, and conveyed distorted images of social class, race, gender and history to unwary consumers.

SOCI 350. Sociological Foundations

3 Credits (3)

Focus is on becoming a sociologist including career opportunities, thinking critically about society, and conducting sociological inquiry. Emphasis is on identifying and using resources available to sociologists, communication skills for sociologists and acquisition of basic analytic techniques. Restricted to BA Sociology majors.

Prerequisite(s): SOCI 1110G or consent of instructor.

SOCI 351. Sociological Theory

3 Credits (3)

Analysis of the main historical themes underlying contemporary sociological theory. May be repeated up to 3 credits.

Prerequisite(s): SOCI 1110G.

SOCI 352. Social Research: Methods

3 Credits (3)

An introduction to research design and data collection strategies commonly employed in the social sciences. Topics include experiments, survey research and various other quantitative and qualitative methods. May be repeated up to 3 credits.

Prerequisite(s): SOCI 1110G.

SOCI 353. Sociological Research: Analysis

3 Credits (3)

Elementary data analysis class emphasizing descriptive and inferential statistical techniques commonly employed in the social sciences. Topics range from one variable analysis through regression and correlation analysis of two variables. May be repeated up to 3 credits.

Prerequisite(s): SOCI 1110G.

SOCI 357. Gender and Society

3 Credits (3)

Overview of issues related to gender, including how gender is constructed and reproduced in our society. Gender is examined from social psychological and institutional perspectives.

SOCI 359. Sociology of the Family

3 Credits (3)

Family patterns, dynamics, and processes in North American and other contemporary families. Emphasis on diversity.

SOCI 360V. Introduction to Population Studies

3 Credits (3)

Determinants and consequences of changes in fertility, mortality and migration patterns. Introduction to techniques of demographic analysis. Focus on U.S. and world population issues and their relation to social, cultural, and economic systems.

SOCI 361V. Social Issues in the Rural Americas

3 Credits (3)

Discussion of the major social issues facing the rural United States and borderland areas. Topics include the social history, governmental policies, water rights, land issues and labor. May be repeated up to 3 credits.

SOCI 362. Urban Society in a Global World: Problems, Prospects, and Promises

3 Credits (3)

Identification and analysis of the causes and consequences of social issues in urban environments including poverty, crime, terrorism, urban social policy, suburban flight, disinvestment, and deindustrialization. Special emphasis on global forces affecting global urban environments around the world.

SOCI 365. Environmental Sociology

3 Credits (3)

Societal responses to environmental problems including social adjustments to natural and technological hazards, socio-cultural aspects of technological risk and impact assessment, and emergence of environmental social movements.

SOCI 371. Race and Ethnic Relations

3 Credits (3)

Dynamics of racial prejudice and patterns of racial and ethnic interaction in the United States.

SOCI 374V. Comparative Family Systems

3 Credits (3)

A comparative analysis of family forms and characteristics in various societies. An examination of the diversity of family practices among ethnic and class groups in the United States.

SOCI 375. Social Inequality

3 Credits (3)

Analysis of the social distinctions arising from sex, age, occupation, and ethnicity. Emphasis on indicators of social class and patterns of social mobility.

SOCI 376V. Social Change

3 Credits (3)

Explanations of autonomous and directed social change as occurring at the individual, organizational, societal, and international levels. Case studies from around the world.

SOCI 390. Sociology of Childhood

3 Credits (3)

This course examines theories, methods, and empirical research in several areas of the sociology of childhood. Major themes are: (1) how social structure constrains children's lives, (2) how children negotiate, share, and create culture, and (3) how children's experiences vary within and across societies.

SOCI 391. Crime and Society

3 Credits (3)

Analysis of crime at the interpersonal, organizational, and social structure levels in society. Exploration of contemporary images of crime in mass media. Examination of connections between race, class, gender, and crime in U.S. society.

SOCI 392. Juvenile Delinquency

3 Credits (3)

Nature, extent, and causes of juvenile delinquency; juvenile justice; modern methods of treatment; programs of prevention.

SOCI 393. Youth and Society

3 Credits (3)

Comparative historical analysis of social, economic and cultural forces affecting young people. Emphasis on organizational and institutional effects on the well being of children and young adults.

SOCI 394V. Sports and Society: A Global Perspective

3 Credits (3)

A critical examination of sports in a global context, emphasizing the social and cultural factors that shape the world of sports and the consequences of sports for societies. Course examines issues of social inequality, violence, media and corporate influence, religion and sports, and the student-athlete experience.

SOCI 401. Introduction to Sociological Practice

3 Credits (3)

The application of sociological theory and research method. May be taught as service learning course. May be repeated up to 3 credits. Restricted to: SOC majors.

Prerequisite(s): SOCI 1110G, senior standing or consent of instructor.

SOCI 409. Community Development

3 Credits (3)

This is a holistic view of community development with an emphasis upon how economic development efforts can become more inclusive and sustainable. Topics include examining what 'community' means, community development versus economic development, and alternative economic activities.

Prerequisite(s): SOCI 1110G.

SOCI 430. Collective Behavior and Social Movements

3 Credits (3)

An overview and exploration of the key concepts of collective behavior and social movements as they apply to both historical and contemporary trends and movements. We examine also social movement tactics and their effectiveness in shaping policy and social norms. May be repeated up to 3 credits.

SOCI 444. Social Networks

3 Credits (3)

Introduction to social network analysis in sociology. First half of the course focuses on understanding the structure of social networks. Second half of the course involves examining real-world social networks ranging from romantic relationships to political parties.

SOCI 445. Textual Analysis of Digital and Social Media

3 Credits (3)

Introduction to some of the methods that social scientists use to analyze digital and social media. Focus is on developing the fundamentals for designing and conducting text analysis projects.

SOCI 446. Visualizing Social Life

3 Credits (3)

Introduction to how to communicate sociological findings using graphics. Emphasis is on finding meaningful trends in real-world social science data and creating graphics that best communicate those associations or trends.

SOCI 448. Special Topics

3 Credits (3)

Specific subjects to be announced in the Schedule of Classes. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits.

SOCI 449. Directed Readings

1-3 Credits

Individual readings or research for either majors or nonmajors. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits.

Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

SOCI 458V. Comparative Global Family Systems

3 Credits (3)

The study of families around the world. The comparison will include how capitalism and power differentials have affected the course of family history, gender relations, and family life today.

SOCI 460. Sociology of Religion

3 Credits (3)

Examination of religion in its social context to understand the intricate relations of religion, culture and U.S. society. Recommended preparatory courses: SOCI 1110G, SOCI 2220, SOCI 376, ANTH 1140G.

SOCI 464. Human Society and the Environment

3 Credits (3)

This course explores the relationship between human societies and the natural environment, with an emphasis on both sustainable human and environmental relationships.

Prerequisite(s): SOCI 1110G.

SOCI 465V. Environmental Sociology

3 Credits (3)

Advanced examination of societal responses to environmental problems including social adjustments to natural and technological hazards, sociocultural aspects of technological risk and impact assessment, and emergence of environmental social movements.

SOCI 470. Sociology of Latinos/as in the United States

3 Credits (3)

In-depth examination and comparative analysis of political and economic issues affecting Latino/a culture and behavior. Includes the Chicano/a and larger Latino/a movements, the border, immigration, language policies, education, religion, labor, and Latina women s issues. Recommended preparatory courses: SOCI 1110G, SOCI 371, or HIST 367.

SOCI 473. International Migration

3 Credits (3)

This course examines international migration as a social process, focusing on the American experience. Students will examine historical and comparative literature on immigration that puts contemporary questions about policy and immigrant assimilation into a broader sociological perspective.

Prerequisite(s): SOCI 1110G.

SOCI 477. Sociology of Education

3 Credits (3)

Socio-political and economic factors that shape the structure and operation of educational institutions in modern complex societies. Socio-historical development of the school as a microcosm of society, with examples from American and other school systems.

SOCI 480. Diversity in Alternative Families

3 Credits (3)

Cross-cultural examination of diversity among and within families: analysis of family diversity includes consideration of the theoretical frameworks, ideological commitments, personal experiences, and methodological approaches to examine family life.

SOCI 481. Social Deviance

3 Credits (3)

Theoretical approaches to the study of social deviance with emphasis on critical theories. Exploration of forms of deviance in society. Examination of social construction of deviance within mass media and systems of social control.

SOCI 482. Advanced Individual and Society

3 Credits (3)

Examines reciprocal relationship between individual and society. Topics include socialization, social influence and persuasion, group structure and performance, altruism, aggression, interpersonal attraction, group cohesion and conformity, and inter-group conflict.

SOCI 486. Power and Politics in America

3 Credits (3)

This course provides an introduction to the study of Political Sociology with a focus on the United States. Political Sociology studies the social bases of politics and political systems and facilitates the understanding of the processes and consequences of power distributions in the United States.

Prerequisite(s): SOCI 1110G.

SOCI 489. Globalization

3 Credits (3)

Analysis of the globalization process. Covers theories of globalization, the global economy, political globalization, global culture, transnational social movements, transnational migration and world labor market, global cities, and local-global linkages. Same as POLS 469.

SOCI 491. Criminological Theory

3 Credits (3)

Schools of thought, contrasting approaches, and contemporary efforts in theory construction relevant to adult and juvenile offenders.

SOCI 496. Internship

1-6 Credits

Supervised participation in an appropriate community setting. Taught with SOCI 596. May be repeated up to 9 credits. Consent of Instructor required. Graded: S/U Grading (S/U, Audit).

SOCI 501. Perspectives on Sociology

3 Credits (3)

Overview of Sociology and development of students' sociological imaginations. Understanding the place of sociology in career development and the application of Sociology and sociological concepts to the real world. May be repeated up to 3 credits. Restricted to: SOC majors.

SOCI 509. Advanced Seminar in Community Development

3 Credits (3)

This is in an advanced seminar addressing a holistic view of community development with an emphasis upon how economic development efforts can become more inclusive and sustainable.

Prerequisite(s): Graduate student standing.

SOCI 530. Advanced Collective Behavior and Social Movements

3 Credits (3)

An advanced exploration of the key concepts of collective behavior and social movements as they apply to both historical and contemporary trends and movements. We examine also social movement tactics and their effectiveness in shaping policy and social norms. May be repeated up to 3 credits.

SOCI 544.  Advanced Seminar in Social Networks

3 Credits (3)

Advanced introduction to social network methods. First half of the course focuses on understanding the structure of social networks. Second half of the course involves examining real-world social networks ranging from romantic relationships to political parties. Includes hands-on experience with the R statistical computing environment

SOCI 545. Advanced Seminar in Text Analysis for the Social Sciences

3 Credits (3)

Advanced exploration into some of the methods that social scientists use to analyze digital and social media. Focus is on developing the fundamentals for designing and conducting text analysis projects. Includes hands-on experience with the R statistical computing environment.

SOCI 546. Advanced Seminar in Data Visualization

3 Credits (3)

Advanced exploration into how to communicate sociological findings using graphics. Emphasis is on finding meaningful trends in real-world social science data and creating graphics that best communicate those associations or trends. Includes hands-on experience with the R statistical computing environment, especially the ggplot2 package.

SOCI 548. Graduate Special Topics

3 Credits (3)

Specific subjects to be announced in the Schedule of Classes.

SOCI 549. Special Research Problems

1-3 Credits

Individual analytic or experimental investigations. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits.

Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

SOCI 551. Issues in Advanced Quantitative Analysis

3 Credits (3)

Advanced methods of sociological analysis are examined in detail. Restricted to: SOC majors.

SOCI 552. Seminar in Classical Social Theory

3 Credits (3)

Analysis of classical social thought within the discipline. Restricted to: SOC majors.

SOCI 553. Seminar in Sociological Research

3 Credits (3)

Exploration of research methods, issues, and practical application. May be repeated up to 3 credits. Restricted to: Soc majors.

SOCI 558. Seminar: Sociology of the Family

3 Credits (3)

The family in various societies; evolution of the American family.

SOCI 559. Graduate Seminar in Sex and Gender

3 Credits (3)

Comprehensive examination of current gender identity and gender stratification issues.

SOCI 560. Advanced Sociology of Religion

3 Credits (3)

Examination of religion in its social context to understand the intricate relations of religion, culture and U.S. society.

SOCI 561. Seminar in Qualitative Research Methods

3 Credits (3)

This course provides an in-depth examination of qualitative research methods, including the logic, time, and purpose of using such methods.

Prerequisite(s): Graduate standing.

SOCI 564. Seminar in Human Society and the Environment

3 Credits (3)

This is an advanced seminar exploring the relationship between human societies and the natural environment, with an emphasis on both sustainable human and environmental relationships.

Prerequisite(s): Graduate Student Status.

SOCI 565. Advanced Environmental Sociology

3 Credits (3)

Advanced examination of societal responses to environmental problems including social adjustments to natural and technological hazards, sociocultural aspects of technological risk and impact assessment, and emergence of environmental social movements.

SOCI 569. Advanced Issues in Sexualities

3 Credits (3)

Various issues in sexualities are addressed through a wide range of theoretical and empirical sociological literatures that involve quantitative and qualitative data. Advanced examination of the ways in which sexuality is constituted in local, cultural and institutional environments.

SOCI 570. Advanced Sociology of Latinos/as in the United States

3 Credits (3)

In-depth examination and comparative analysis of political and economic issues affecting Latino/a culture and behavior. Topics include the Chicano/a and larger Latina/o movements, the border, immigration, language policies, education, religion, labor and Latina women s issues.

SOCI 571. Advanced Race and Ethnic Relations

3 Credits (3)

In-depth analysis of the dynamics of prejudice/discrimination and patterns of intergroup interaction in the U.S.

SOCI 572. Advanced Sociology of Medical Ethics

3 Credits (3)

Major issues in the roles and relationships of health care providers and consumers, problems in communication, malpractice, patients rights, and ethics. Taught with SOCI 472 with additional work required at the graduate level.

SOCI 574. Sociology of Organizations

3 Credits (3)

Sociological models of formal organizations relevant to business, education, government, healthcare, military, and religion. Focus on internal organizational structure and dynamics plus the reciprocal relationship between organizations and their operating environment.

SOCI 575. Graduate Social Stratification

3 Credits (3)

Advanced examination of theories of stratification and current methods of stratification research. Focus on differences by ethnicity, race, class and gender.

SOCI 577. Advanced Sociology of Education

3 Credits (3)

Socio-political and economic factors that shape the structure and operation of educational institutions in modern complex societies. Socio-historical development of the school as a microcosm of society, with examples from American and other school systems.

SOCI 578. Advanced Sociology of Development and the World System

3 Credits (3)

Sociological approach to development and the global system. Theories of development, and underdevelopment; world poverty/inequality; Latin America; Africa and Asia in comparative perspectives; transnational borders/U.S.-Mexico border; current topics.

SOCI 579. Advanced Sociological Perspectives on the U.S.-Mexico Border

3 Credits (3)

Theoretical perspectives and current research on U.S.-Mexico border region, including migration, identity, health, gender, and environment.

SOCI 581. Issues in Social Deviance

3 Credits (3)

Selected forms of deviant behavior, social issues, and social problems.

SOCI 582. Individual and Society

3 Credits (3)

Examines reciprocal relationship between individual and society. Topics include socialization, social influence and persuasion, group structure and performance, altruism, aggression, interpersonal attraction, group cohesion and conformity, and intergroup conflict.

SOCI 583. Symbolic Interaction

3 Credits (3)

This seminar will provide you a backdrop on Symbolic Interactionism, focusing on the direct and indirect antecedents of the theory, as well as current research and theoretical development up to the present. May be repeated up to 3 credits.

SOCI 586. Advanced Seminar in Power and Politics in the United States

3 Credits (3)

This is an advanced seminar addressing the study of Political Sociology with a focus on the United States. Political Sociology studies the social bases of politics and political systems. it facilitates an understanding of the processes and consequences of power distributions in the United States.

Prerequisite(s): Graduate student standing.

SOCI 587. Advanced International Migration

3 Credits (3)

This course examines international migration as a social process, focusing on the American experience. Students will examine historical and comparative literature on immigration that puts contemporary questions about policy and immigrant assimilation into a broader sociological perspective.

Prerequisite(s): Graduate student standing.

SOCI 589. Advanced Issues in Globalization

3 Credits (3)

Analysis of the globalization process. Covers theories of globalization; global economy; political globalization; global culture; transnational social movements; transnational migration and world labor market; global cities; local-global linkages. Same as POLS 569.

SOCI 596. Internship

1-6 Credits

Supervised participation in appropriate occupational setting. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Taught with SOCI 496 with additional work required at the graduate level.

SOCI 599. Master's Thesis

6 Credits

Thesis. Consent of instructor required. Restricted to: Main campus only. Restricted to SOC majors.

Phone: (575) 646-3448

Website: http://sociology.nmsu.edu