2011-2013 Undergraduate Catalog

Course Descriptions

Sociology, Political Science, Native American Studies & Environmental Studies
(406) 657-2311

* SOCI 101 Introduction to Sociology
[formerly SOCL 101 Introduction to Sociology]
3 cr.  Introduces concepts and principles of sociology.  Surveys the discipline’s basic ideas and orientation.

* SOCI 201 Social Problems
[formerly SOCL 221 Social Problems]
3 cr.  Provides key sociological concepts and theoretical perspectives in the study of social problems.  Examines certain selected major U.S. social problems from the perspective of cultural values and social structure.  Different possible solutions to the problems will also be explored.

SOCI 221 Criminal Justice System
[formerly CRIM 221 Criminal Justice System, CRIM/SOCL 225 Introduction to Crime and Justice]
3 cr.  Familiarizes students with the phenomena of crime and the formal mechanisms of crime control.  Uniform Crime Report and National Crime Survey will be used as the primary crime database for examination.  Special attention will be paid to study police, their organization and function, as the first-line agent of crime control.

SOCI 294 Seminar/Workshop
[formerly SOCL 292 Seminar]
V1-3 cr.  Provides freshmen and sophomores an opportunity to investigate intensively topics pertinent to the field of Sociology.

SOCI 294 Seminar/Workshop
[formerly SOCL 293 Workshop]
V1-6 cr.  Provides freshmen and sophomores an opportunity for experimental study in an area of Sociology.

SOCI 298 Cooperative Education/Internship
[formerly SOCL 296 Cooperative Education/Internship]
V1-9 cr.  Provides university credit for a sophomore work experience in the area of Sociology, supervised by faculty.  Learning agreement must be completed prior to registration (restricted).

SOCI 311 Criminology
[formerly CRIM 311 Criminology, CRIM/SOCL 324 Criminology]
3 cr. Prerequisite: SOCI 221.  Explores the legal aspects of crime by examining the sociological aspects of making of law.  Major contemporary theories in crime as well as criminal behavior systems will be discussed.

SOCI 318 Sociological Research Methods
[formerly SOCL 305 Principles and Methods of Social Science Inquiry]
3 cr. Prerequisite: SOCI 101. Corequisite: SOCI 319.  Using a philosophy of science approach, this course introduces the basic elements of methodologies used in the social sciences.  Qualitative as well as quantitative methodologies are both emphasized.  Students will be introduced to computer analysis of social science data in this course.

SOCI 319 Sociological Research Methods Lab
[formerly SOCL 306 Principles and Methods of Social Science Inquiry Laboratory]
1 cr.  Prerequisite: SOCI 101. Corequisite: SOCI 318.  Includes interviewing, written exposition, and computer analysis of social data.  Students will work with the computer program SPSS on MSU Billings’ computer system.

SOCI 327 Sociology of Deviance
[formerly CRIM 327 Sociology of Deviance, CRIM/SOCL 325 Sociology of Deviance]
3 cr. Prerequisite: SOCI 101.  Examines deviant behavior in contemporary society.  Explores why certain people and types of behaviors come to be defined as deviant.  Introduces students to theoretical explanations of deviance.

SOCI 330 Juvenile Delinquency
[formerly SOCL 326 Juvenile Delinquency]
3 cr. Prerequisite: SOCI 221.  Considers the structure and function of the juvenile court system in its relation to the societal definition of delinquent behavior and the young people designated as delinquents.  Covers the relationship among delinquency and family, school, peer group and social class.  Societal reactions to delinquency in terms of mechanisms of social control are also studied.

SOCI 332 Sociology of the Family
[formerly SOCL 332 Sociology of the Family]
3 cr. Prerequisite: SOCI 351 or consent of instructor.  Examines the basic structures and functions and the family, male-female differences, love and sexuality, types of marital relationships and the family and child raising in different cultures.  With the work of John Bradshaw the course also examines family systems theory, dysfunctional family paradigm and the relationships between the family of origin and compulsive behavior.

SOCI 344 Sociology of Race and Ethnicity
[formerly SOCL 344 Minority Groups in America]
3 cr. Prerequisite: SOCI 101 or consent of instructor.  The first part of the course is devoted to an examination of prejudice and discrimination as characteristics of human societies.  The second part of the course examines a number of socially recognized and in some cases, culturally distinct minority groups in the United States with particular attention given to their histories, problems and the degrees to which each, where it applies, has assimilated with the dominant American society.

SOCI 345 Sociology of Organizations
[formerly SOCL 401 Formal Organizations]
3 cr. Prerequisite: SOCI 101.  Provides insights into social institutions and formal organizations as the most visible core of social life in human cultures and societies.  The concept of bureaucracy as a way of organizing social life in modern times is emphasized.

SOCI 351 Dating & Mate Selection
[formerly SOCL 333 Dating and Mate Selection]
3 cr.  Examines the social and historical contexts of dating and mate selection, the role of intimacy, and considers marriage as a process involving both unity and conflict.

SOCI 352 Diseases & Society
[formerly SOCL 352 Diseases and Societies]
3 cr.  Examines the interactions between diseases and societies, historically and contemporarily.  The course provides a framework for understanding the role diseases have had in shaping society and explores the history of humans’ relationship with diseases and anticipates what the future may be, given current disease outbreaks.

SOCI 355 Social Demography and Population Studies
[formerly SOCL 342 Social Demography and Population Studies]
3 cr. Prerequisite: SOCI 101 or consent of instructor.  Provides an introduction to the field of demography.  Emphasis is placed on understanding components of population change, and theories and methods of demography.

SOCI 380 Sociology of Health and Medicine
[formerly SOCL 380 Sociology of Health, Healing and Illness]
3 cr. Prerequisite: SOCI 101 or SOCI 318 or consent of instructor.  Considers the application of sociology to the field of health and medicine.  Topics include: the relationship between sociology and health/health care; the development of scientific medicine; the influence of the social environment on health and illness; health care practitioners and their relationship with parents and each other; and the health care delivery system.

SOCI 382 Social Psychology and Social Structure (crosslisted with PSYX 360)
[formerly SOCL/PSYC 471 Social Psychology]
3 cr. Prerequisite: SOCI 101 or PSYX 100, or consent of instructor.  Studies how thoughts, feelings, and behavior of individuals are influenced by the actual, implied, or imagined presence of others.  Emphasis is given to the symbolic interactionist perspective and the relationship between culture and cognitive processes.

SOCI 423 Sociology of Corrections
[formerly CRIM 423 Sociology of Corrections]
4 cr. Prerequisite: SOCI 101.  Examines philosophies of punishment and provides an introduction to institutional and community corrections.  Topics include prisons, jails, and probation.  Field work is a required feature of this course and will consist of field trips to local correctional facilities.

SOCI 425 Crime Prevention and Victimology
[formerly CRIM 425 Crime Prevention and Victimology]
3 cr. Prerequisite: SOCI 311 or SOCI 330.  Applies theoretical understandings gained in Criminology and Juvenile Delinquency to construct and evaluate programs in crime prevention.  The primary objective is to familiarize students with major prevention strategies, both criminalization (becoming a criminal) and victimization (becoming a victim), as well as certain operational mechanisms.

SOCI 431 Sociology of Gender Roles
[formerly SOCL 431 Sociology of Gender Roles]
3 cr. (It is desirable if students enroll in SOCL 431 after taking SOCI 351 and before enrolling in SOCI 432.) Covers the fundamental importance of gender roles as a structural component of social interaction, social structure, and social organization in the face of shifting role responsibilities.

SOCI 432 Human Sexual Behavior
[formerly SOCL 432 Human Sexual Behavior]
3 cr. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.  Explores human sexual behavior on a continuum ranging from normal to deviant.  The structure of the course permits opportunity for both subjective and objective analyses of a variety of ways in which human sexuality is expressed.

SOCI 435 Law and Society
[formerly SOCL 465 Sociology of Law]
3 cr. Prerequisite: SOCI 101 or PSCI 220 or instructor consent.  Examines the relationship between the approaches by informal (cultural) and formal (legal) social institutions in attempting to define, organize, and ultimately to legitimately control human behavior in multicultural, historical, institutional, and constitutional contexts.  The dichotomy of social justice and inequality is of special concern, along with examining the social impact (or lack thereof) of different socially and/or legally-based institutional attempts at social change implementation.

SOCI 448 Sport and Society
[formerly SOCL 470 Sport and Society]
3 cr.  Employs sociology as a means to understand and analyze social issues related to sports.  Addresses both the positive and negative features of sport in society today, examines the current popularity of sports, the benefits they provide, and the problems they may pose.  Discusses how participation in sports can teach cultural values, encourage socially appropriate behavior, and foster community spirit and looks at how particular social problems such as economic inequality, sexism, and racism are handled with sport.

SOCI 455 Classical Sociological Theory
[formerly SOCL 481 History of Sociological Thought]
3 cr. Prerequisite: SOCI 101 or consent of instructor.  Introduces the major sociological theories associated with the founding of the discipline.  Focuses on theory as a set of tools to guide research.  The explanations provided by theorists are compared and their contributions to the study of selected social phenomena are discussed.

SOCI 461 Urban Society and Human Ecology
[formerly SOCL 461 Urban Sociology and Human Ecology]
4 cr. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.  Introduces basic concepts of human ecology and focuses on basic patterns of social life in urban areas and their effect on the society and culture which can be expressed by the
individual.  The urban area is presented in its communal, ecological and morphological aspects including planning for the future.

SOCI 470 Environmental Sociology
[formerly SOCL 442 Environmental Sociology]
3 cr.  Takes a holistic and systemic approach, applying sociological perspectives to environmental issues.  Emphasis on ecological, social-cultural, political-economic, and demographic interactions with the environment.

SOCI 482 Contemporary Sociological Theory
[formerly SOCL 482 Contemporary Sociological Theory and Theory Construction]
3 cr. Prerequisites: SOCI 455 or consent of instructor.  Examines the concepts and theories of recent and contemporary sociologists from 1940 to the present and the current emphasis for sociologists to bring together theory and empirical research at a level where there can be immediate, practical and needed results from their work.

SOCI 492 Independent Study
[formerly SOCL 491 Independent Study]
V1-5 cr. Prerequisites: consent of instructor and chairperson of department.  Provides outstanding students an individual opportunity to explore material not covered by regular Sociology courses.

SOCI 494 Seminar/Workshop
[formerly SOCL 492 Seminar]
V1-3 cr.  Provides advanced students an opportunity to investigate intensively topics pertinent to the field of Sociology.

SOCI 494 Seminar/Workshop
[formerly SOCL 493 Workshop]
V1-6 cr.  Provides an opportunity for experimental study in an area of Sociology.

SOCI 498 Internship/Cooperative Education
[formerly SOCL 490 Internship]
V3-12 cr. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.  Provides junior and senior Sociology majors with an opportunity to gain practical experience in sociological fieldwork.  Three credits are required in the Sociology BA or BS and six credits may be taken in the Extended Sociology BA/BS major.

SOCI 498 Internship/Cooperative Education
[formerly SOCL 496 Cooperative Education/Internship]
V1-9 cr.  Provides university credit for a work experience in the area of Sociology supervised by faculty.  Learning agreement must be completed prior to registration (restricted).

SOCI 499 Senior Thesis/Capstone
[formerly SOCL 499 Capstone Seminar]
3 cr. Prerequisite: Senior status.  Restricted-Consent of Selected Instructor.  Analyzes how sociologists ask and answer methodological and theoretical questions.  Guides the student in developing an understanding of the sociological profession and the tasks of the sociologist through the development of a research project including a literature review, designing a study, collecting data, writing a report, and making a presentation.

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