Department of Sociology

Chair: Jason Konefal (936) 294-1511

Information:  Tamara Draper (936) 294-1512; CHSS 270X

Website: Department of Sociology

Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts. The subject matter of sociology ranges from the intimate family to the hostile mob, from organized crime to religious cults, from the divisions of race, gender and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture, and from the sociology of the environment to the sociology of sports. Because sociology addresses the most challenging issues of our time, it is a rapidly expanding field whose potential is tapped by those who craft policies and create programs.

Mission

The Department of Sociology’s mission is to acquire and disseminate knowledge on social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. SHSU Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies and how people interact within these contexts. The primary objective of the curriculum is to provide students with the scientific tools to understand the functioning of society and study and understand social phenomena. The Sociology Department is committed to fairness, equality, and justice.  This includes building a program that reflects the diversity of the world today, and fostering an inclusive department, learning environment, and community that is supportive of all peoples. 

Highlights

  • The Sociology Department focuses on excellent teaching. 
  • The sociology faculty collaborate with undergraduates on research and the Sociology Department sponsors undergraduate research, including presentations at regional and national conferences.  
  • The Sociology Department offers an internship program that provides students with hands-on experience and work experience.  
  • Members of the Sociology Department have published books, textbooks, and journal articles, as well as, maintain active research programs in diverse areas.

Suggested Minors

  • Communication Studies
  • Criminal Justice
  • English
  • Health Education
  • History
  • Human Services 
  • Middle Eastern Studies
  • Political Science
  • Psychology

Career Opportunities

Sociology graduates find successful employment in the private sector (management, human resources, public relations), public sectors (Federal, State and Local Government agencies) and in non-profit organizations (NGOs) particularly in the areas of social services and analysis of social trends.

Program Specific Requirements

Students must successfully complete SOCI 1301 before taking additional sociology courses with the exception of SOCI 2319, SOCI 1306, SOCI 2366, SOCI 3324, SOCI 3381, and SOCI 3341. In order to graduate with a major or minor in Sociology, students must successfully complete all the Sociology requirements with a 2.5 GPA.

Required Courses
SOCI 1301Principles Of Sociology3
SOCI 2399Writing in Sociology3
SOCI 3443Social Statistics4
SOCI 4340Rsch Methods In Sociology3
SOCI 4344Sociological Theory3
SOCI 4399Senior Seminar In Sociology3
Total Hours19

In order to graduate with a Sociology major or minor, students must maintain a 2.5 GPA in Sociology. The only substitution permitted is Psychology Statistics (PSYC 3402) for Social Statistics (SOCI 3443). 

Curriculum

Students receive instruction in classical and contemporary sociological theory, qualitative and quantitative techniques of sociological investigation, and major substantive areas in the field. The primary objective of the curriculum is to provide students with the scientific tools to understand the functioning of society, study social phenomena, and acquire the necessary skills to enter the global labor market. The department focuses on the study of Inequality, Social Institutions, and Social Change. Students are encouraged to participate in research projects and extra-curricular activities designed to foster critical sociological thinking and knowledge of today’s world.

Instruction in general sociology is complemented by specialization in three substantive areas. Students can select to concentrate their undergraduate curriculum in Change, Economy and Society, Culture and Social Institutions, or Inequality and Society.  Change, Economy and Society explores the relationships between society and the economy, patterns of change in the global society, the environment, social movements, and the organization of urban and rural societies. Culture and Social Institutions focuses on culture, social institutions such as the family and religion, and courses which analyze the most relevant social problems in today’s society. Inequality and Society examines social inequality, gender and inequality, age and inequality, race and ethnic inequality, and complex organizations.

SOCI Core Courses
SOCI 1301Principles Of Sociology3
SOCI 2399Writing in Sociology3
SOCI 3443Social Statistics4
SOCI 4340Rsch Methods In Sociology3
SOCI 4344Sociological Theory3
SOCI 4399Senior Seminar In Sociology3
Total Hours19

Areas of Specialization

Change, Economy and Society

Course Requirements
SOCI 3305Intro to Community Leadership3
SOCI 3336Social Change And Development3
SOCI 3376Rural And Urban Sociology3
SOCI 3384Economy And Society3
SOCI 3392Social Movements3
SOCI 4332Soc Of Demography & Migration3
SOCI 4334Sociology Of Disaster3
SOCI 4337Environment And Society3
SOCI 4330Sociology of Migration3
Total Hours27

Culture and Social Institutions

Course Requirements
SOCI 1306Social Problems3
SOCI 2366Sociology Of Sport3
SOCI 3327Sociology of Popular Culture3
SOCI 3335Sociology of Food and Society3
SOCI 3338Soclztn,Soc Cntr,Devnt So Bhvr3
SOCI 3341Marriage And The Family3
SOCI 3342Sociology Of Religion3
SOCI 3365Sociology Of Health & Illness3
SOCI 3381Cultural Anthropology3
SOCI 4338Social Gerontology3
SOCI 4327Sociology of Everyday Life3
Total Hours33

Inequality and Society

Course Requirements
SOCI 2319Introduction To Ethnic Studies3
SOCI 3324Social Inequality3
SOCI 3325Gender And Inequality3
SOCI 3354Age And Inequality3
SOCI 3355Race/Ethnic Inequality3
SOCI 4336Social Organization3
Total Hours18

Arranged Courses

Arranged Courses
SOCI 4075Rdgs in Sociology1-3
SOCI 4379Internship In Applied Sociolgy3
Total Hours4-6

Student Organizations and Activities

Students in the Sociology Club and Alpha Kappa Delta, the Sociology professional honor society, are introduced to the profession of Sociology through activities including: research opportunities, volunteer work, organization of special events, participation in professional meetings, and programs highlighting speakers of note in the many interest areas of Sociology.

Internships

Internship opportunities are available for junior and senior Sociology majors and minors. Interns are placed with employers, including social service organizations, government agencies, healthcare facilities, and in private companies. Interns may also complete a summer internship in rural locations through a partnership with the Texas Department of Agriculture. More information about the Internship Program can be found online at Department of Sociology: Internships.  

The department offers several scholarships. For information contact the department or visit Sociology Department.

SOCI 1301. Principles Of Sociology. 3 Hours.

Students are introduced to the discipline with a focus on the concepts and principles used in the study of group life, social institutions and social processes. This course is a prerequisite to many other courses taught in the department. It is required of all Sociology majors and minors.

SOCI 1306. Social Problems. 3 Hours.

Students apply sociological principles to the major problems of contemporary society. Topics may include mental disorders, use and abuse of drugs and alcohol, sexual deviance and crime and delinquency, problems of youth and the family in contemporary society, institutionalized aspects of inequality, prejudice and discrimination, and/or population and environmental concerns.

SOCI 2319. Introduction To Ethnic Studies. 3 Hours.

Students investigate the field and problems of Ethnic Studies from an interdisciplinary perspective. Major considerations of the entire Ethnic Studies field will be defined and analyzed, including the topics of prejudice and discrimination. Students are strongly urged to take this course before attempting other Ethnic Studies courses.

SOCI 2320. Intro To Ethnic Studies-Honors. 3 Hours.

HONORS COURSEStudents investigate the field and problems of Ethnic Studies from an interdisciplinary perspective. Major considerations of the entire Ethnic Studies field will be defined and analyzed, including the topics of prejudice and discrimination. Students are strongly urged to take this course before attempting other Ethnic Studies courses.

SOCI 2366. Sociology Of Sport. 3 Hours.

Students apply the social science mode of inquiry to study the sociocultural characteristics of sport. Topics may include the examination of the cultural, economic, political and structural factors (i.e., gender, race, etc.), which form salient aspects of today?s sport activities at various levels. Focus is placed on the characteristics of sports and how these characteristics both reflect and have impact upon the social climate of a given society.

SOCI 2399. Writing in Sociology. 3 Hours.

Students learn the writing skills needed for advanced courses in Sociology. Topics may include: the structure and style in writing; citations and American Sociological Association stylebook; how to conduct library and internet research as a basis for research writing; and specialized techniques for quantitative research papers, qualitative research papers, book reviews, compare and contrast papers and essay exams.
Prerequisite: SOCI 1301.

SOCI 3305. Intro to Community Leadership. 3 Hours.

Students learn the definitions, types, and theories of community. Topics may include how to conduct basic community needs assessment, strengthen communication skills, and explore resource mobilization strategies through applied community experiences. Community leaders facilitate conversations about leadership techniques and challenges.

SOCI 3324. Social Inequality. 3 Hours.

Students learn the three primary resources of social inequality: class, status and power. Topics may include the way birth-ascribed statuses such as age, sex and race interact with class, status and power stratification systems. Special attention is also given to the popular and scientific explanations of inequality, especially with respect to the high and low ends of the distribution of income and wealth.

SOCI 3325. Gender And Inequality. 3 Hours.

Students learn about the influence of gender on socialization and placement in class, status and power stratification systems. Topics may include the analysis of institutional discrimination against women in major social institutions such as religion, education, family, heath care and work, and an examination of the feminization of poverty.
Prerequisite: SOCI 1301 or SOCI 2319 .

SOCI 3327. Sociology of Popular Culture. 3 Hours.

Students engage in a critical analysis of popular culture in its cross-cultural and historical perspectives with the main focus on the role and character of popular culture in American society. Topic may include the different forms and aspects of popular culture in their dynamic relation to the cultural "mainstream", to everyday life of Americans, and to the core values of American society.
Prerequisite: SOCI 1301 or SOCI 2319.

SOCI 3335. Sociology of Food and Society. 3 Hours.

Students examine food from a sociological perspective. Topics may include the production, distribution, and consumption of food in today's globalized society.
Prerequisite: SOCI 1301 or SOCI 2319.

SOCI 3336. Social Change And Development. 3 Hours.

Students analyze world population growth and the associated problems of social development. Topics may include urbanization, unemployment, secularization, hunger, and war.
Prerequisite: SOCI 1301 or SOCI 2319 and Junior standing .

SOCI 3338. Soclztn,Soc Cntr,Devnt So Bhvr. 3 Hours.

Students examine the structures and processes through which social systems (e.g., groups, institutions, organizations, and societies) secure and maintain order and social control. Topics may include the sociological concepts, principles and theories used to explain sanctioning in various social systems whereby people are socialized to behave in ways that maintain social order.
Prerequisite: SOCI 1301 or SOCI 2319.

SOCI 3341. Marriage And The Family. 3 Hours.

Students engage in a sociological examination of marriage and family life. Topics may include the problems of courtship, mate selection, and marriage adjustment in modern American society.

SOCI 3342. Sociology Of Religion. 3 Hours.

Students identify and compare religious beliefs and practices of peoples of the world. Topics may include the archaeological and ethnographic problems in the study of religion and the examination of the relationship between religious beliefs and other institutions in selective social systems.
Prerequisite: SOCI 1301 or SOCI 2319 or consent of instructor.

SOCI 3344. Sociology of Education. 3 Hours.

Students examine the relationship between the educational system and society. Topics may include education and inequality, the relationship between education and different social institutions, educational experiences and the life course, and schooling experiences. Credits 3.

SOCI 3354. Age And Inequality. 3 Hours.

Students learn the influence of age on income and wealth, status and power. Topics may include the examination of institutional discrimination against the young and the old, as well as individual discrimination, such as child and elder abuse. Students analyze the relationship between life-cycle changes and changes in placement in the class, status and power stratification system.
Prerequisite: SOCI 1301 or SOCI 2319.

SOCI 3355. Race/Ethnic Inequality. 3 Hours.

Students examine racial and ethnic stratification in its various dimensions. Topics may include the placement in the class, status and power stratification systems on the basis of birth ascribed and socially defined race/ethnicity, and the ideologies which serve to rationalize these inequalities. Other topics may address the study of institutional discrimination and racial/ethnic stratification in major social institutions such as education, health care, religion and work.
Prerequisite: SOCI 1301 or SOCI 2319.

SOCI 3365. Sociology Of Health & Illness. 3 Hours.

Students investigate the processes by which persons assume, act, and relinquish the sick role. Topics may include the interrelationships between patient and family, doctors, and hospital; the quality and quantity of health services distributed by class and race; and the problems posed by mental illness, such as diagnosis, treatment, and involuntary commitment.
Prerequisite: SOCI 1301 or SOCI 2319.

SOCI 3376. Rural And Urban Sociology. 3 Hours.

Students examines the human community in its ecological, cultural, and associational aspects. Topics may include the folk, rural, and urban community considered from the standpoint of various sociological perspectives. Special attention is given to social change, including decision-making as it affects local life.
Prerequisite: SOCI 1301 or SOCI 2319.

SOCI 3381. Cultural Anthropology. 3 Hours.

Students investigate the cultural and social organization of preliterate societies. Topics may include marriage, property, religion, magic, and tribal control.
Prerequisite: SOCI 1301 or SOCI 2319.

SOCI 3384. Economy And Society. 3 Hours.

Students investigate the relationship between economy and society. Topics may include employment opportunities for college graduates; blue collar, white collar, and professional lifestyles; origins of industrial society and effects on social stratification, minorities, and the family. Students may learn about workers? control of industry, relationships between industry and government, the sociology of labor relations and personnel management.
Prerequisite: SOCI 1301 or SOCI 2319.

SOCI 3392. Social Movements. 3 Hours.

Students examines the characteristics of social movements useful to the sociological study and interpretations of major social trends involving both social and cultural change in community and society. The theoretical frameworks for understanding the causes, types, and theories of social change in contemporary society are given special attention.
Prerequisite: SOCI 1301 or SOCI 2319.

SOCI 3443. Social Statistics. 4 Hours.

Students examine the basic concepts, techniques and data necessary for an adequate understanding of social structure and change. Topics may include observational, experimental, sample survey, and demographic analysis.
Prerequisite: SOCI 1301.

SOCI 4075. Rdgs in Sociology. 1-3 Hours.

Advanced students engage in independent study on a special topic approved by the chair of the department and the instructor directing the course. Variable Credit (1-3).

SOCI 4327. Sociology of Everyday Life. 3 Hours.

Students apply relevant sociological theories and concepts to interpret everyday life. Topics may include how the different aspects of social reality come together and become meaningful for individuals. Students focus primarily on contemporary US society with some cross-cultural and historical applications.
Prerequisite: SOCI 1301 or SOCI 2319.

SOCI 4330. Sociology of Migration. 3 Hours.

Students develop an in-depth understanding of the theoretical tools that sociologists use for studying international migration. Topics may include the sociohistorical context of modern-day migration and the institutional forces that drive it; the social and political processes by which legality and illegality are constructed; and the consequences for immigrants and communities. Consideration is also given as to how inequalities based on race, class, and gender shape immigrants' experiences and ability to integrate into their receiving communities and the implications of these processes for social change.
Prerequisite: SOCI 1301 or SOCI 2319.

SOCI 4332. Soc Of Demography & Migration. 3 Hours.

Students investigate the field of demography and explore the theories and processes of population movement and migration. Topics may include the effect of globalization on migration, migration streams, documented and undocumented migration, assimilation of migrants, and immigration policies in the U.S. Students gain an understanding of the similarities and differences among immigrant groups who migrate with different social and human capital.
Prerequisite: SOCI 1301 or SOCI 2319.

SOCI 4334. Sociology Of Disaster. 3 Hours.

Students investigate how culture, inequality, and social structure and processes shape how people face disasters, how they respond and the ways in which they recover or fail to do so. Topics may include how disasters may lead to rapid social change and the foundations of sociology of disaster theory.
Prerequisite: SOCI 1301 or SOCI 2319.

SOCI 4336. Social Organization. 3 Hours.

Students examine the structure and functioning of large-scale organizations and bureaucratic social systems in various institutional settings (e.g., business or industry, health, education, religion, military, prison and political). Topics may include the personal and social consequences of organizational involvement.
Prerequisite: SOCI 1301 or SOCI 2319.

SOCI 4337. Environment And Society. 3 Hours.

Students examine the environment as a social and cultural issue. Topics may include an overview of the field of environmental sociology, traditional sociological perspectives on environmental issues, paradigmatic implications of environmental sociology, the development of environmental movement, the rise of environmental deterioration, public attitudes toward environmental issues, national environmental policies, and social impact assessment.
Prerequisite: SOCI 1301 or SOCI 2319.

SOCI 4338. Social Gerontology. 3 Hours.

Students examine the current controversies in the field of Social Gerontology. Topics may include the various sociological theories and methods employed in the study of social gerontology, along with the biological and physiological changes related to aging. This course also explores the trends in the discipline of social gerontology, the impact of population aging on retirement patterns, income security, health care, long term care, and the politics of aging. Credit 3
Prerequisite: SOCI 1301 or SOCI 2319.

SOCI 4340. Rsch Methods In Sociology. 3 Hours.

Students learn the logic and character of scientific and alternative means of social inquiry. Topics may include the function of observation, concept formation, proposition arrangement and testing of theory as components of the scientific process in sociology.
Prerequisite: SOCI 1301.

SOCI 4344. Sociological Theory. 3 Hours.

Students engage in a historical survey of the development of sociological thought. Emphasis is placed upon the growth of Sociology as a discipline, major areas of interest and major contributors.
Prerequisite: SOCI 1301.

SOCI 4379. Internship In Applied Sociolgy. 3 Hours.

Students engage in an in-depth exploration of sociological issues in an applied setting. Students are required to complete a minimum of 120 hours in an approved host organization, plus complete appropriate academic requirements. Internships are unpaid. Internships are unpaid. Fall and Spring only.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior Sociology majors, minimum GPA 3.0 or through special petition.

SOCI 4399. Senior Seminar In Sociology. 3 Hours.

Students engage in a capstone project which addresses special areas or issues in Sociology. Topics may include the career needs of Sociology majors and/or prospective teachers of Sociology.
Prerequisite: Advanced standing in Sociology and SOCI 1301 and SOCI 2399.

Faculty

Director/Chair: Jason Thomas Konefal

Alessandro A Bonanno, PHD, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, PHD, Univ of Kentucky; MA, Univ of Kentucky; BA, University of Messina

Emily R Cabaniss, PHD, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, PHD, North Carolina State Univ; MA, North Carolina State Univ; BA, North Carolina State Univ

Jin Young Choi, PHD, Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, PHD, Univ of Hawaii At Manoa; MA, Univ of Hawaii At Manoa; MPH, Univ of Hawaii At Manoa; MS, Ewha Women's University; BS, Ewha Women's University

Douglas H Constance, PHD, Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, PHD, Univ of Missouri-Columbia; MS, Univ of Missouri-Columbia; BS, Univ of Missouri-Columbia

Furjen Deng, PHD, Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, PHD, Purdue University; MS, Purdue University; BA, National Taiwan University

Karen M Douglas, PHD, Associate Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, PHD, Univ of Texas At Austin; MA, Univ of Texas At Austin; BBA, Univ of Texas At Austin

Jeffrey A Gardner, PHD, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, PHD, Univ of Georgia; MA, Univ of Georgia; BA, Brigham Young University-Idaho

Maki Hatanaka, PHD, Associate Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, PHD, Michigan State University; MA, Ohio University; BA, Kobe University

TzeLi Hsu, PHD, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, PHD, Florida State University; MS, Mississippi State University; BA, National Taiwan University

Jason Thomas Konefal, PHD, Associate Professor and Chair of Sociology, Department of Sociology, PHD, Michigan State University; BA, St. Lawrence University

Lee Mary Miller, PHD, Associate Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, PHD, Yale University; MPHIL, Yale University; MA, Yale University; AB, Smith College

Mary Larue Scherer, PHD, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, PHD, Univ of Massachusetts-Amherst; MA, Univ of Massachusetts-Amherst; BA, Warren Wilson College

James Bartlett Stykes, PHD, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, PHD, Bowling Green State University; MA, Bowling Green State University; BS, Austin Peay State University

Gene Louis Theodori, PHD, Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, PHD, Penn State Un-Univ Park; MS, Texas A&M University; BA, California Un of Pa

Interim Faculty

Crystal G Brown, MA, Lecturer of Sociology, Department of Sociology, MA, Sam Houston State University; BS, Sam Houston State University

Caron Charlton Cates, MA, Lecturer of Sociology, Department of Sociology, MA, Sam Houston State University; BS, Sam Houston State University

Joseph Ralph Gallo, PHD, Lecturer of Sociology, Department of Sociology, PHD, Texas Southern University; MA, Texas Southern University; MS, Texas Southern University; BS, Texas Southern University

Amy Manning Kirk, PHD, Lecturer of Sociology, Department of Sociology, PHD, LSU & A&M College; MA, LSU & A&M College; BS, Texas A&M University

Olena Viacheslavivna Leipnik, PHD, Lecturer of Sociology, Department of Sociology, PHD, Kharkiv VN Karazin Nat'l Univ; MA, Luhansk T. S. Pedagogical Univ; MA, Kyiv Taras Shevchenko Nat'l Un; BA, Kyiv Taras Shevchenko Nat'l Un

Haitrieu Thi Nguyen, MA, Lecturer of Sociology, Department of Sociology, MA, Sam Houston State University; BA, Southwestern University

April M Plemons, MS, Lecturer of Sociology, Department of Sociology, MS, Texas A&M University; BS, Texas A&M - Commerce

Elizabeth L Shively, PHD, Lecturer of Sociology, Department of Sociology, PHD, Ohio State Univ; MA, George Washington University; BA, Indiana University

Brooklynn Joy Wynveen, PHD, Lecturer of Sociology, Department of Sociology, PHD, Clemson University; MNRD, Texas A&M University; BA, Univ of Maryland-Univ Coll

Mariah Jade Zimpfer, PHD, Lecturer of Sociology, Department of Sociology, PHD, Univ of Edinburgh; MA, Rutgers, The St Un of Nj; BA, Sam Houston State University