Courses - Fall 2019

SOC 1101 Introduction to Sociology

This course is a broad introduction to the field of sociology.  Course materials are designed to illustrate the distinctive features of the sociological perspective and to start you thinking sociologically about yourself and the broader social world.  To think sociologically is to recognize that being embedded in the world constrains behavior, and that individuals are both social actors and social products.  To think sociologically is also to recognize that our contemporary world, with its enduring cultural, political, and economic institutions, is as much a social product as we are.  We will begin by covering theoretical and methodological foundations of the sociological perspective.  We will go on to explore the concept of social stratification and will survey primary axes of social difference.  In the second half of the course we will look more closely at how individuals relate to each other, how social inequality is enacted and reinforced in everyday life, and at the way in which the organization of social life shapes individuals and groups, such as through social networks, residential neighborhoods, schooling, families, and on-line communication.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Kendra Bischoff (kb536)
Full details for SOC 1101 : Introduction to Sociology
SOC 1900 Discussions of Justice

This course will address questions of justice posed by current political controversies, for example, controversies over immigration, economic inequality, American nationalism, the government's role in healthcare and the environment, racial inequality, the political power of elites, populism, authoritarianism, globalization, and the proper use of America's global power. Brief readings in political philosophy and social science will be starting points for informal discussion and mutual learning among diverse perspectives.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Avi Appel (aa2263)
Full details for SOC 1900 : Discussions of Justice
SOC 2070 Social Problems in the United States

"Social Problems in the U.S." introduces the causes, consequences, and possible solutions of major issues facing U.S. society today. Students learn how social problems are defined and contested in the public sphere, and how various perspectives reflect underlying debates about social norms and values. Through readings, lectures, in-class discussion, and writing assignments, students explore a range of social problems in depth, such as: childhood poverty, racial segregation and discrimination, crime, civil and human rights abuses, job insecurity, family instability, discrimination by sexual identity, unequal pay for women's work, and gender imbalances in family life. Students study the historical and social roots of these various issues, bringing into focus how individual experiences and choices are embedded within a broader social structure.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Peter Rich (pmr86)
Full details for SOC 2070 : Social Problems in the United States
SOC 2090 Networks

This interdisciplinary course examines network structures and how they matter in everyday life. The course examines how each of the computing, economic, sociological and natural worlds are connected and how the structure of these connections affects each of these worlds. Tools of graph theory and game theory are taught and then used to analyze networks. Topics covered include the web, the small world phenomenon, markets, neural networks, contagion, search and the evolution of networks.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Austin Benson (arb393)
David Easley (dae3)
Full details for SOC 2090 : Networks
SOC 2190 Introduction to Economic Sociology

Economic sociology extends the sociological approach to the study of the economy.  The goal is to understand the relationship between social structure and economic action. We explore how people find jobs, rely on social networks to share knowledge and information, acquire and utilize cultural, social and political capital, establish trust, sustain cooperation, and start up firms in the American and global economy

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Victor Nee (vgn1)
Full details for SOC 2190 : Introduction to Economic Sociology
SOC 2202 Population Dynamics

Introduction to population studies. The primary focus is on the relationships between demographic processes (fertility, mortality, and immigration) and social and economic issues. Discussion covers special topics related to population growth and spatial distribution, including marriage and family formation, population aging, changing roles and statuses of women, labor force participation, immigrations, urban growth and urbanization, resource allocation, and the environment.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Alaka Basu (ab54)
Full details for SOC 2202 : Population Dynamics
SOC 2206 International Development

International development concerns the gains, losses and tensions associated with the process of social change - as it affects human populations, social institutions and the environment. This course considers development as an evolving world project and from the perspective of its social and ecological impact: asking questions about costs and benefits of economic growth, about the global context (geo-political, institutional, production, consumption, and discursive relations), and the sustainability of various models. We relate development trends in the South/Third World with those in the North/First World. We also examine shared, global issues, such as the environment, human rights, security, and their condition in different parts of the world. In examining development historically, we encourage students to situate trends shaping the twenty-first century world, and how they can contribute, as global citizens, to the ongoing debate about how to reformulate development as an inclusive an empowering social process. This course combines Lectures with discussion, and uses films and section discussions to promote reflection on diversity of cultures and understandings of human development. It also includes a special component (access by instructor permission), in conjunction with Cornell's Writing in the Majors Program. This is worth an additional credit hour, and is for advanced students. These students will meet additionally in weekly Sections with a Writing Instructor from Development Sociology for a special topic focus to enhance understanding of course material as well as writing skills.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Philip McMichael (pdm1)
Full details for SOC 2206 : International Development
SOC 2220 Controversies About Inequality

In recent years, poverty and inequality have become increasingly common topics of public debate, as academics, journalists, and politicians attempt to come to terms with growing income inequality, with the increasing visibility of inter-country differences in wealth and income, and with the persistence of racial, ethnic, and gender stratification. This course introduces students to ongoing social scientific debates about the sources and consequences of inequality, as well as the types of public policy that might appropriately be pursued to reduce (or increase) inequality. These topics will be addressed in related units, some of which include guest lectures by faculty from other universities (funded by the Center for the Study of Inequality). Each unit culminates with a highly spirited class discussion and debate.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Cristobal Young (cy469)
Full details for SOC 2220 : Controversies About Inequality
SOC 2560 Sociology of Law

This course provides an introduction to the sociological perspective of law and legal institutions in modern society. A key question is the extent to which the law creates and maintains social order. And, what is its role in social change? We will review theoretical perspectives on the reciprocal relationship between law and society, and consider how this relationship is reflected in contemporary legal issues. Empirical research covered in this course will examine social interactions among actors within legal institutions (including the criminal courts, law school classrooms, and the jury room), and how individuals experience and utilize the law in everyday life.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Erin York Cornwell (eyc46)
Full details for SOC 2560 : Sociology of Law
SOC 2580 Six Pretty Good Books: Explorations in Social Science

This course is modeled after "Great Books" literature courses in the humanities, but with two important differences: we read non-fiction books in the social sciences rather than the humanities, written by highly prominent contemporary social scientists. The course title refers to the fact that the books are new, hence their potential greatness has yet to be confirmed by the test of time. We choose living authors to give students a unique opportunity: to interact with each of the six authors in Q&A sessions in person or via video conferencing. This fall some of the authors will appear in person for Q&A and the others will Skype with the class.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Stephen Ceci (sjc9)
Michael Macy (mwm14)
Full details for SOC 2580 : Six Pretty Good Books: Explorations in Social Science
SOC 2810 Migration: Histories, Controversies, and Perspectives

This introductory course introduces students to issues and debates related to international migration and will provide an interdisciplinary foundation to understanding the factors that shape migration flows and migrant experiences.  We will start by reviewing theories of the state and historical examples of immigrant racialization and exclusion in the United States and beyond.  We will critically examine the notions of borders, citizenship/non-citizenship, and the creation of diasporas.  Students will also hear a range of perspectives by exposing them to Cornell guest faculty who do research and teach on migration across different disciplines and methodologies and in different world areas. Examples include demographic researchers concerned with immigrant inequality and family formation, geographic perspectives on the changing landscapes of immigrant metropolises, legal scholarship on the rights of immigrant workers, and the study of immigrant culture from a feminist studies lens.  Offered each fall semester.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Shannon Gleeson (smg338)
Full details for SOC 2810 : Migration: Histories, Controversies, and Perspectives
SOC 3010 Statistics for Sociological Research

This course will introduce students to the theory and mathematics of statistical analysis. Many decisions made by ourselves and others around us are based on statistics, yet few people have a solid grip on the strengths and limitations of these techniques. This course will provide a firm foundation for statistical reasoning and logical inference using probability. While there is math in this course, it is not a math class per se, as a considerable amount of attention is devoted to interpreting statistics as well as calculating them.

Distribution: (MQR-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Vida Maralani (vm343)
Full details for SOC 3010 : Statistics for Sociological Research
SOC 3080 Social Networks and Power

In this course, we will consider the role social networks play in the genesis and perpetuation of power, influence, and control in society. We will read and discuss some key sociological theories of power as it manifests in a variety of formal, informal, individual and organizational contexts. We will then explore network methods for analyzing power. The course culminates in individual or group projects that involve network analyses of power in society.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Benjamin Cornwell (btc49)
Full details for SOC 3080 : Social Networks and Power
SOC 3130 Sociology of Medicine

This course provides an introduction to the ways in which medical practice, the medical profession, and medical technology are embedded in society and culture. We will ask how medicine is connected to various sociocultural factors such as gender, social class, race, and administrative cultures. We will examine the rise of medical sociology as a discipline, the professionalization of medicine, and processes of medicalization and demedicalization. We will look at alternative medical practices and how they differ from and converge with the dominant medical paradigm. We will focus on the rise of medical technology in clinical practice with a special emphases on reproductive technologies. We will focus on the body as a site for medical knowledge, including the medicalization of sex differences, the effect of culture on nutrition, and eating disorders such as obesity and anorexia nervosa. We will also read various classic and contemporary texts that speak to the illness experience and the culture of surgeons, hospitals, and patients, and we will discuss various case studies in the social construction of physical and mental illness.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Christine Leuenberger (cal22)
Full details for SOC 3130 : Sociology of Medicine
SOC 3250 Neighborhoods, Housing, and Urban Policy

This course considers the dynamics of housing markets and neighborhoods in American metropolitan areas and the public policies designed to regulate them.  In the first part of the course, we examine the social and economic forces at work in metropolitan neighborhoods, focusing on trends in spatial inequality, segregation, and neighborhood effects. In the second part of the course, we examine the historical evolution of federal and local policies related to subsidized housing, homeownership, and land regulation and analyze empirical debates surrounding the effectiveness of such policies.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Laura Tach (lmt88)
Full details for SOC 3250 : Neighborhoods, Housing, and Urban Policy
SOC 3380 Urban Inequality

This is a seminar course on urban inequality in the United States.  The first half of the semester will be dedicated to understanding the political, historical, and social determinants of inequality in America's cities. Politically and socially, cities face unique challenges. Municipalities lack much formal authority to resolve issues that arise within their borders, and their populations are highly heterogeneous in terms of ethnicity, race, and social class. In the second half of the course, we will investigate a number of contemporary facets of urban inequality in-depth, such as residential segregation, urban schooling, immigration, and suburban sprawl.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Kendra Bischoff (kb536)
Full details for SOC 3380 : Urban Inequality
SOC 3430 Transformation of Socialist Societies

Three decades from the fall of the Berlin Wall, we have gained broad perspective on the challenges of societal transformations away from socialism.  This course explores the process and social consequences of opening the economies of Eastern Europe, Eurasia, and China to market forces.  We will answer questions about how individuals and social systems respond to the particular challenges of rapid economic and political openings, including growing inequality, demographic challenges, and corruption.  We will compare the Eastern European and Post-Soviet experiences of these issues with the Chinese experience, and highlight the similarities and distinctions between transformations in these societies.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Patricia Young (pty6)
Full details for SOC 3430 : Transformation of Socialist Societies
SOC 3580 Big Data on the Social World

This course showcases frontier research that uses big data and graphical analysis to understand our social world. Topics include inequality and opportunity, success in higher education, the gender wage gap, taxing the rich, Chinese censorship, the spread of false news, online dating, and other issues relevant to contemporary society. Although this is not a statistical methods course, prior training in data science (e.g., CS 1380/ORIE 1380/STSCI 1380) or quantitative methods for the social sciences is highly recommended.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Cristobal Young (cy469)
Full details for SOC 3580 : Big Data on the Social World
SOC 3680 Comparative Corruption

Corruption, and the perception of corruption, pervades many aspects of society and has become a source of political protest around the world. This course focuses on the similarities and differences between forms, causes, and effects of corruption in various environments. The course starts with a discussion of the definitions, causes, and effects of corruption across countries, and then turns to particular forms and contexts where corruption is observed: for example, developed and developing countries, conflict-ridden societies, and international investment. We will also discuss some of the potential solutions to corruption and their costs and benefits for political and civil society.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Patricia Young (pty6)
Full details for SOC 3680 : Comparative Corruption
SOC 3750 Classical Sociological Theory

Introduction to the classics in sociology, primarily works by Karl Marx, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, and Georg Simmel. Students also study the works of Alexis de Tocqueville, Montesquieu, and Joseph Schumpeter. Special emphasis is put on the concepts, ideas, and modes of explanation that characterize the classics. Students also look at these writers' empirical material, and what may be termed the social construction of the classics. Course requirements include active class participation and three tests in class.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Mabel Berezin (mmb39)
Full details for SOC 3750 : Classical Sociological Theory
SOC 4370 Sociology of Sex and Gender

This course provides an introduction to the theoretical and empirical literature on the sociology of sex and gender. The readings cover theory and methods, feminism, masculinity, intersectionality, international/comparative perspectives, gender roles, and recent sociological research in this area.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Vida Maralani (vm343)
Full details for SOC 4370 : Sociology of Sex and Gender
SOC 4540 Fascism, Nationalism and Populism

This course a offers comparative political sociology of democratic and non-democratic institutions in the United States and beyond. Topics will include nationalism, fascism and populism. My focus will be contemporary politics but we will also look at historical fascism. Students will write seminar papers that are based on class exercises.  It will be a hands-on seminar with multiple course materials—scholarly articles, films, novels, and the occasional guest lecturer.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Mabel Berezin (mmb39)
Full details for SOC 4540 : Fascism, Nationalism and Populism
SOC 4580 The Science of Social Behavior

This is a capstone seminar for seniors who are interested in graduate or professional study in scientific disciplines that focus on human behavior and social interaction. The intent is to provide seniors with an opportunity to summon, integrate, and apply insights that they have acquired over the course of their undergraduate education, and give prospective graduate students the opportunity to lead discussions in a large introductory lecture course, "Six Pretty Good Books" (HD/ILRLR/SOC 2580). Each seminar member is part of a two or three-person team that leads the discussion together, under the supervision of a graduate teaching assistant. Seminar meetings are devoted to building lesson plans for leading an effective discussion of each of the six books. The authors vary from year to year but include Malcolm Gladwell, Michelle Alexander, Nate Silver, and Nicholas Christakis. All authors have agreed to participate in a "Q&A" session with the students which seminar members are required to attend. The course meets Cornell's SBA distribution requirement.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Stephen Ceci (sjc9)
Michael Macy (mwm14)
Full details for SOC 4580 : The Science of Social Behavior
SOC 4910 Independent Study

This is for undergraduates who wish to obtain research experience or to do extensive reading on a special topic.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Mabel Berezin (mmb39)
Full details for SOC 4910 : Independent Study
SOC 4950 Honors Research

Students choose a sociology faculty member to work with on research to write an honors thesis. Candidates for honors must maintain a cumulative GPA at least an A- in all sociology classes.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Erin York Cornwell (eyc46)
Full details for SOC 4950 : Honors Research
SOC 4960 Honors Thesis: Senior Year

Continuation of SOC 4950.  Continue to work with honors supervisor and work on and write an honors thesis.

Academic Career: UG Full details for SOC 4960 : Honors Thesis: Senior Year
SOC 5010 Basic Problems in Sociology I

Analysis of theory shaping current sociological research. Examination of several central problems in sociological inquiry provides an occasion for understanding tensions and continuities between classical and contemporary approaches, for indicating the prospects for unifying microsociological and macrosociological orientations, and for developing a critical appreciation of efforts to integrate theory and research.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Victor Nee (vgn1)
Full details for SOC 5010 : Basic Problems in Sociology I
SOC 5180 Social Inequality: Contemporary Theories, Debates, and Models

This course serves as an introduction to contemporary theories, debates, and models regarding the structure of social classes, the determinants of social mobility, the sources and cases of racial, ethnic, and gender-based inequality, and the putative rise of postmodern forms of stratification. The twofold objective is to both review contemporary theorizing and to identify areas in which new theories, hypotheses, and research agendas might be fruitfully developed.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Kim Weeden (kw74)
Full details for SOC 5180 : Social Inequality: Contemporary Theories, Debates, and Models
SOC 5190 Workshop on Social Inequality

This course provides a forum in which students and others can present, discuss, and receive instant feedback on their inequality-related research. Its primary goals is to help students advance their own research; its secondary goal is to introduce selected debates in the contemporary inequality literature in a more comprehensive fashion that is possible in the introductory graduate-level seminar on inequality.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Kim Weeden (kw74)
Full details for SOC 5190 : Workshop on Social Inequality
SOC 6010 Statistics for Sociological Research

Sociological theory relies on the analysis of data to make claims about how the world works. This course will provide students with a firm understanding of how to analyze data quantitatively to inform theory. Although this is not a mathematics course, students will learn about the concepts and mechanics that underlie statistical procedures and regression models that are prominent in quantitative sociological research. Students will also have a first-hand opportunity to analyze data that speaks to questions that they are interested in.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Vida Maralani (vm343)
Full details for SOC 6010 : Statistics for Sociological Research
SOC 6080 Proseminar in Sociology

Discussion of the current state of sociology and of the research interests of members of the graduate field; taught by all members of the field.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Erin York Cornwell (eyc46)
Full details for SOC 6080 : Proseminar in Sociology
SOC 6110 Introduction to Network Theory and Methods

Social Network Analysis (SNA), or the mathematical analysis of webs of relationships, is a thriving part of sociology and an active research area for numerous other disciplines. This course is intended to introduce students to the basics of SNA and help them apply it to a variety of research questions. We will discuss the theoretical underpinnings of the area, basic concepts used in SNA analyses, and finally methods for describing and interpreting network data. At the completion of this course students should have a basic understanding of social networks and be able to carry out a variety analyses on their own. NOTE: This course is intended as an introduction for students who have not had exposure to network analysis previously or who are interested in the historical role of networks in sociology.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Benjamin Cornwell (btc49)
Full details for SOC 6110 : Introduction to Network Theory and Methods
SOC 6140 Immigrant Incorporation

Graduate seminar course on the incorporation of immigrants in host societies, including theoretical perspectives on assimilation and applications to labor markets, housing, schools, and other institutions. Course will also focus on broader social, economic, and political impacts of immigration. Lectures and discussions will mostly focus on research on immigrants to the US, drawing from work in sociology, demography, economics, and political science.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Matthew Hall (msh284)
Full details for SOC 6140 : Immigrant Incorporation
SOC 6200 Political Culture

This course will explore the relationship between popular belief, political action, and the institutional deployment of social power. The class will be roughly divided in three parts, opening with a discussion of how the material world influences the culture of a society. The middle section will connect culture to political ideology, including symbolism and the construction of group identity. The last part of the course will consider ways in which cultural symbols and ideology can be manipulated in order to legitimate government authority. We will then, coming full circle, trace how political regimes can influence the social practices from which culture originates.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Richard Bensel (rfb2)
Full details for SOC 6200 : Political Culture
SOC 6320 Inside Technology

Rather than analyze the social impact of technology upon society, this course investigates how society gets inside technology. In other words, is it possible that the very design of technologies embody assumptions about the nature of society? And, if so, are alternative technologies, which embody different assumptions about society, possible? Do engineers have implicit theories about society? Is technology gendered? How can we understand the interaction of society and technology? Throughout the course the arguments are illustrated by detailed examinations of particular technologies, such as the ballistic missile, the bicycle, the electric car, and the refrigerator.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Trevor Pinch (tjp2)
Full details for SOC 6320 : Inside Technology
SOC 6390 Social Dynamics and Computational Methods

This seminar addresses theoretical and empirical research topics related to the study of complex social networks, or as some have characterized the field, "the new science of networks." These can range from very large online networks to very small artificial networks. Priority is given to topics closely related to current research in the Social Dynamics Laboratory at Cornell.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Michael Macy (mwm14)
Full details for SOC 6390 : Social Dynamics and Computational Methods
SOC 6610 Text and Networks in Social Science Research

This is a course on networks and text in quantitative social science. The course will cover published research using text and social network data, focusing on health, politics, and everyday life, and it will introduce methods and approaches for incorporating high-dimensional data into familiar research designs. Students will evaluate past studies and propose original research.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Will Hobbs (wrh75)
Full details for SOC 6610 : Text and Networks in Social Science Research
SOC 6660 Event History Analysis

Event history analysis (also known as hazard or survival analysis) is a family of methods for the study of discrete outcomes over time. Typical sociological examples are demographic events (births, deaths), entry and exit from a social status (like marriage) and structural change (such as social revolutions). This class introduces main concepts, models, and measurement issues in event history analysis, and provides students with an opportunity to gain practical familiarity with these methods. 

Academic Career: GR Instructor: David Strang (ds20)
Full details for SOC 6660 : Event History Analysis
SOC 6910 Independent Study

For graduates who wish to obtain research experience or to do extensive reading on a special topic. Permission to enroll for independent study is granted only to students who present an acceptable prospectus and secure the agreement of a faculty member to serve as supervisor for the project throughout the semester.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Erin York Cornwell (eyc46)
Full details for SOC 6910 : Independent Study
SOC 8910 Graduate Research

Work with a faculty member on a project that is related to your dissertation work.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Erin York Cornwell (eyc46)
Full details for SOC 8910 : Graduate Research
SOC 8950 Thesis Research

Work with chair of your committee on your dissertation work.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Michael Macy (mwm14)
Full details for SOC 8950 : Thesis Research