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SOC 1101 : Introduction to Sociology
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Filiz Garip
Xuewen Yan
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.
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SOC 1290 : American Society through Film
Crosslisted as: AMST 1290 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
David Strang
Introduces students to the sociological analysis of American society through the lens of film. Major themes involve race, class, and gender; upward and downward mobility; incorporation and exclusion; small town vs the big city; and cultural conflicts over individualism, achievement, and community. We match a range of movies like American Graffiti (Lucas), Ace in the Hole (Wilder), The Asphalt Jungle (Houston), Do the Right Thing (Lee), The Heiress (Wyler), High Noon (Zinnemann), Mean Streets (Scorsese), Nashville (Altman), The Philadelphia Story (Cukor), and A Streetcar Named Desire (Kazan). Each film is paired with social scientific research that examines parallel topics, such as analyses of who goes to college, the production of news, deviant careers, urban riots, the gendered presentation of self, and the prisoner's dilemma.
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SOC 1900 : Discussions of Justice
Crosslisted as: GOVT 1901, PHIL 1901, GOVT 1901, PHIL 1901, GOVT 1901, PHIL 1901, GOVT 1901, PHIL 1901 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Alex Esposito
August Faller
Matthew Paskell
John Proios
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.
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SOC 2190 : Introduction to Economic Sociology
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Victor Nee
What is the driving force behind economic growth? How do people find jobs? Does culture matter for economic action? What exactly is a market? Why is there a concentration of high-tech firms in Silicon Valley? Why has entrepreneurial capitalism emerged in China? These are some of the questions that this course will explore through the theoretical lens of economic sociology. Economic sociology has sought to understand the beliefs, norms, and institutions that shape and drive the global economy. It has sought to extend the sociological approach to the study of economic life by studying the interactions between social structure and economic action. The systematic application of sociological reasoning to explain economic action involves analysis of the ways in which social networks, norms, and institutions matter in economic transactions. The goal of this course is to provide an introduction to economic sociology as an approach and research program to understand and explain the relationship between economy and society in the modern era.
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SOC 2206 : International Development
Crosslisted as: DSOC 2050 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Philip McMichael
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.
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SOC 2208 : Social Inequality
Crosslisted as: DSOC 2090, PAM 2208 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Kim Weeden
This course reviews contemporary approaches to understanding social inequality and the processes by which it comes to be seen as legitimate, natural, or desirable.  We address questions of the following kind:  What are the major forms of stratification in human history?  Are inequality and poverty inevitable?  How many social classes are there in advanced industrialism societies?  Is there a "ruling class?"  Are lifestyles, attitudes, and personalities shaped fundamentally by class membership?  Can individuals born into poverty readily escape their class origins and move upward in the class structure?  Are social contacts and "luck" important forces in matching individuals to jobs and class positions?  What types of social processes serve to maintain and alter racial, ethnic, and gender discrimination in labor markets?  Is there an "underclass?"  These and other questions are addressed in light of classical and contemporary theory and research.
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SOC 2250 : Schooling and Society
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Kendra Bischoff
The primary goal of this course is to understand the relationship between education and society, with an emphasis on exploring educational inequality. To accomplish this, we will ask questions such as: What is the purpose and product of schools? How do schools reproduce social class, racial, and gender inequality? What is the relationship between education and future success? How are schools structured? What factors increase educational success? To answer these, and related questions, we will use classical and contemporary sociological theory and research. The course culminates in a research project of each student's own choosing.
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SOC 2320 : Social Identities and Interaction in Everyday Life
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Melissa Pirkey
How do we develop and manage our identities in an increasingly complex world? How are our identities formed through interactions with other people, the groups to which we belong, and the groups from which we may be excluded? How has social media changed the way that we that develop our l identities and present them to others? Why do some identities become stigmatized, and what are some ways that people who have stigmatized identities manage that stigma in interactions with others? We will address these, and related, questions about l identity and interaction using the insights of the theoretical, experimental, survey-based, and qualitative sociological literatures.
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SOC 2330 : Religion and Social Life
Crosslisted as: RELST 2330 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Rick Moore
Global conflicts, raising children, electing presidents, praying for a loved one: from the mundane to the extraordinary, religion plays a significant role in social life, regardless of whether or not one considers oneself "religious." In this course we will investigate religion and its impacts in society from a sociological perspective. Questions we will ask include: How does religion "fit" into society? What are the contours of contemporary religion in the United States and around the world? How do religious identities interact with other aspects of social life, including gender, race and politics? In what ways have religions and religious life changed over time? As social scientists, how can we best study religion? The course will use examples from a variety of religious and secular traditions to help us understand religion's sociological significance in the contemporary world.
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SOC 2340 : Culture and Consumption
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Melissa Pirkey
This course explores how the goods and experiences we consume hold meaning within a culture and, as a result, affect our social lives. Readings and course discussion will focus on how consumption practices — what we consume and how we consume it — offer clues into our social position, communicate our values, identify those who are similar and those who are different from us, establish subcultural boundaries, and help us form and maintain social relationships. We will also discuss divesting practices — that is, getting rid of our stuff -- and alternatives to consumerism such as anti-consumerism, post-consumerism, and prosumerism. The course will focus primarily on the culture of consumption in the United States, but integrates scholarship on other countries and geopolitical contexts when possible.
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SOC 2390 : Modern Romance: Sex, Love, and Union Formation in the Internet Age
Crosslisted as: PAM 2390 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Sharon Sassler
Looking for love in the digital age is quite different from the ways our ancestors met and found mates in previous generations.  Today's young adults are delaying marriage and embarking on new ways of meeting partners, and entering into different types of unions.  This course draws from the demographic, sociological, economic, and psychological literature to explore changes in sexual and romantic attachments, and how they vary across time, and over the life course.
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SOC 2460 : Drugs and Society
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Douglas Heckathorn
The course focuses on drug use and abuse as a social rather than as a medical or psychopathological phenomenon. Specifically, the course deals with the history of drug use and regulatory attempts in the United States and around the world; the relationship between drug use and racism/class conflict; pharmacology and use patterns related to specific drugs; perspectives on the etiology of drug use/abuse; AIDS prevention and harm reduction interventions; drug-using subcultures; drug policy, drug legislation, and drug enforcement; and the promotion and condemnation of drug activities in the mass media.
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SOC 2560 : Sociology of Law
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Erin York Cornwell
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.
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SOC 2650 : Latinos in the United States
Crosslisted as: AMST 2655, DSOC 2650, LSP 2010 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Hector Velez
Exploration and analysis of the Hispanic experience in the United States. Examines the sociohistorical background and economic, psychological, and political factors that converge to shape a Latino group identity in the United States. Perspectives are suggested and developed for understanding Hispanic migrations, the plight of Latinos in urban and rural areas, and the unique problems faced by the diverse Latino groups. Groups studied include Mexican Americans, Dominicans, Cubans, and Puerto Ricans.
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SOC 3080 : Social Networks and Power
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Benjamin Cornwell
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.
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SOC 3190 : Contemporary Sociological Theory
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
David Strang
Introduction to the main ideas and lines of research in contemporary sociology, from the emergence of the field in the American academy to the present. We read the work of seminal theorists and researchers such as Robert Merton, Erving Goffman, James Coleman, Harrison White, and Theda Skocpol. Topics include the development of distinctive lines of argument in areas like the study of the face-to-face group, the modern organization, social movements and social revolutions, inequality, and social mobility. The course considers the relationship between intellectual challenges, techniques of social inquiry, and the social context within which ideas are put forward and take hold.
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SOC 3240 : Environmental Sociology
Crosslisted as: DSOC 3240, STS 3241 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
John Zinda
Humans have fraught relationships with the animals, plants, land, water—even geological processes—around us. We come together to revere, conserve, protect the things many call nature. We struggle over who gets to use what, which resources to use or to keep intact, which scientific claims are true and worthy of action. Every environmental concern is on some level a social concern, and more social concerns than we often realize are environmental concerns. In this course, we will examine how people make and respond to environmental change and how groups of people form, express, fight over, and work out environmental concerns. We will consider how population change, economic activity, government action, social movements, and changing ways of thinking shape human-environmental relationships. The fundamental goal of this course is to give you knowledge, analytical tools, and expressive skills that make you confident to address environmental concerns as a social scientist and a citizen. 
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SOC 3570 : Schooling, Racial Inequality, and Public Policy in America
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Steven Alvarado
After examining alternative explanations for why individuals obtain different amounts and types of educational training, the course focuses on how an individual's family background and race affect his or her trajectory through the educational system. The course covers the specific challenges that have confronted urban schooling in America since the 1960s, including the classic literature on the effects of school and community resources on student achievement as well as the development and later evaluation of school desegregation policies. The course also considers case studies of current policy debates in the US, such as housing segregation and school resegregation, voucher programs for school choice, the motivation for the consequences of the establishment of state-mandated testing requirements, and the prospects of charter schooling.
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SOC 3580 : Big Data on the Social World
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Cristobal Young
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.
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SOC 3680 : Comparative Corruption
Crosslisted as: GOVT 3683 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Patricia Young
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.
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SOC 3710 : Comparative Social Inequalities
Crosslisted as: DSOC 3700 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Tom Hirschl
This course offers a sociological understanding of social inequality and the social construction of difference. Designed from the perspective of comparative historical analysis, we will examine the ways in which class, gender, race/ethnicity, religion, and sexuality differences work across place and time within a shared set of global dynamics. The course will pay special attention to how difference is constructed, institutionalized, and experienced. Thus, the course will not only address inequality based on economic and labor relations, but also emphasize complicated notions of difference and identity to offer an analysis that links inequality to power and forms of rule.
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SOC 4120 : Health and Social Context
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Erin York Cornwell
This course examines how the social world gets "under the skin." We'll examine the associations between various aspects of social context – including stratification and inequality, social networks and support, and social environments – and physical health. There are two main components of this course. First, we'll read and discuss previous research on the health effects of social status, patient-physician interactions, employment/work, stress, social networks, social support, loneliness, culture and religion, and the neighborhood context. We'll consider both qualitative and quantitative research on social life and health, with an eye toward identifying the strengths and weaknesses of various methodological approaches and gaps in current knowledge. The second component of this course is focused on the development of your own research regarding the relationship between social context and health. You'll explore this using data from a population-based social survey. Class instruction for this portion of the course will cover research question development, the statistical analysis of survey data, and social scientific writing. Three research reports written during the semester will provide you with a foundation from which you will write and present a final paper that considers how health is shaped by the social world.
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SOC 4390 : Social Dynamics and Computational Methods
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Michael Macy
This course is intended for a select group of highly motivated undergraduates with a keen interest in computational social science. The course provides an opportunity to participate in on-going research in the Social Dynamics Lab. Projects range from online experiments to computer simulations to collection and analysis of data from social media. Students in this course bring a range of skills and experience to the lab, including coding, data analysis, modeling, and running experiments, and the research affords an opportunity to develop these skills further. In rare cases, students bring a project with them to the lab to work on for the semester. In most cases, however, students work in small teams as research assistants for ongoing research projects. In short, the course is an opportunity for "interdependent study" — a team version of the more familiar "independent study." The research projects often lead to papers for submission to academic journals and/or conferences, but most projects are on-going and not completed during the semester. Students also occasionally develop a senior honors thesis from the research in the lab. Weekly meetings provide an opportunity for the projects featured that week to get feedback and suggestions from lab members. On occasion, we have collaborators from other universities Zoom/Skype in as well. Reading assignments are used to get background on a project and as part of the literature review that is needed to identify the project's particular contribution. However, most of a student's time will be spent actively participating in research, not just reading about previous studies. Students keep a weekly log of their activity that is submitted at the end of the semester.
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SOC 4430 : Topics in Social and Political Philosophy
Crosslisted as: AMST 4655, AMST 6656, GOVT 4655, GOVT 6656, PHIL 4470, PHIL 6430, SOC 6430 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Richard Miller
Advanced discussion of topics in social and political philosophy.
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SOC 4560 : Stars, Scores, and Rankings: Evaluation and Society
Crosslisted as: INFO 4561, STS 4561 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Malte Ziewitz
Evaluation is a pervasive feature of contemporary life. Professors, doctors, countries, hotels, pollution, books, intelligence: there is hardly anything that is not subject to some form of review, rating, or ranking these days. This senior seminar examines the practices, cultures, and technologies of evaluation and asks how value is established, maintained, compared, subverted, resisted, and institutionalized in a range of different settings. Topics include user reviews, institutional audit, ranking and commensuration, algorithmic evaluation, tasting, gossip, and awards. Drawing on case studies from science, technology, culture, accounting, art, environment, and everyday life, we shall explore how evaluation comes to order our lives – and why it is so difficult to resist.
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SOC 4750 : Careers and Social Mobility and Knowledge Economy
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Victor Nee
Specialized knowledge and know how underlie the division of knowledge in the technology sectors of advanced economies, yet we know surprisingly little about the institutional properties of how knowledge and opportunity are organized. In the global economy entrepreneurs are reshaping regional economies and structures of opportunity. Knowledge economies have emerged as regional centers of innovative activity and knowledge spillover. Understanding jobs, careers and social mobility in the knowledge economy involves a focus on social networks and institutions. The course will draw on evidence from New York City's emergent knowledge economy, Silicon Valley and the Boston area. Enrollment limited to a seminar course.
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SOC 4910 : Independent Study
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Kendra Bischoff
Kelly Nielsen
Kim Weeden
Michael Macy
Erin York Cornwell
Steven Alvarado
Benjamin Cornwell
David Strang
Filiz Garip
Anna Haskins
Vida Maralani
Victor Nee
This is for undergraduates who wish to obtain research experience or to do extensive reading on a special topic.
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SOC 4950 : Honors Research
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
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.
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SOC 4960 : Honors Thesis: Senior Year
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Continuation of SOC 4950.  Continue to work with honors supervisor and work on and write an honors thesis.
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SOC 5020 : Basic Problems in Sociology II
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
David Strang
Continuation of SOC 5010. Emphasis is on the logical analysis of theoretical perspectives, theories, and theoretical research programs shaping current sociological research. The course includes an introduction to basic concepts used in the logical analysis of theories and examines their application to specific theories and theoretical research programs. Theoretical perspectives include functionalism, social exchange, and interactionism.
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SOC 5190 : Workshop on Social Inequality
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Kim Weeden
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.
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SOC 6020 : Intermediate Statistics for Sociological Research
Crosslisted as: PAM 6020 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Vida Maralani
This course provides the second part of a two-semester introduction to quantitative methods in sociological research. It is designed for first-year graduate students in sociology. The course covers intermediate topics in linear regression, and provides an introduction to models for categorical and count data, the analysis of time data, and longitudinal data. We'll also discuss data-related issues such as missing data and weighting, and data that are complicated by issues of non-random design. While statistical modeling is the focus of the course, we proceed with the assumption that models are only as good as the theoretical and substantive knowledge behind them. Thus, in covering the technical material, we will spend considerable time discussing the link between substantive knowledge and statistical practice.
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SOC 6030 : Graduate Research Practicum
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Victor Nee
This course is designed to assist the student's professional development on a "learning by doing and feedback" basis. The course is organized around presentation and discussion of ongoing research projects. The course is suitable for second and third year students who are writing or expanding their qualifying papers and for advanced graduate students who have dissertation results to share, as well as a venue for independent research pursued by individual or collaborating students. Weekly meetings are typically organized around a student paper draft distributed to the group. As a general rule the course welcomes auditors and all members of the sociology community interested in the variety of research being pursued at Cornell, though participation is with the permission of the instructor(s). In most semesters, two faculty members will jointly lead the course.
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SOC 6040 : Advanced Statistics for Sociological Research
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Cristobal Young
This course extends the study of quantitative methods beyond the required, two-semester graduate methods sequence. We will begin with an in-depth focus on graphical analysis, model uncertainty, techniques for analyzing big data and treating missing data, and issues of causal identification. We will then turn to discussions of specific models selected to complement those covered in existing graduate methods courses for social scientists. The core learning goal is crystal-clear intuitive understanding of these research methods and how they can be put into the service of learning about the social world. Students should have already taken SOC 6010 and SOC 6020 or their equivalents before enrolling in this class.
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SOC 6080 : Proseminar in Sociology
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Richard Swedberg
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.
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SOC 6310 : Qualitative Research Methods for Studying Science
Crosslisted as: STS 6311 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Trevor Pinch
In this Graduate seminar we will discuss the nature, politics and basic assumptions underlying qualitative research. We will examine a selection of qualitative methods ranging from interviewing, oral history, ethnography, participant observation, archival research and visual methods. We will also discuss the relationship between theory and method. All stages of a research project will be discussed - choice of research topic and appropriate methods; human subject concerns and permissions; issues regarding doing research; as well as the process of writing up and publishing research findings.
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SOC 6430 : Topics in Social and Political Philosophy
Crosslisted as: AMST 4655, AMST 6656, GOVT 4655, GOVT 6656, PHIL 4470, PHIL 6430, SOC 4430 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Richard Miller
Advanced discussion of a topic in social and political philosophy.
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SOC 6450 : Neighborhoods, Schools and Education
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Steven Alvarado
This course will examine the literature on social context effects on educational outcomes in the United States. Specifically, students will learn how residential neighborhoods, schools, and peer networks independently affect educational outcomes as well as explore the connections between these spheres of influence. The class will provide an overview of the most robust findings on educational outcomes such as ability scores, school dropout, and college application and enrollment. Students will also apply the major lessons from the literature to their own empirical  assessment of an educational outcome of their choice.
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SOC 6460 : Seminar in Economic Sociology
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Filiz Garip
Introduces the field of economic sociology and covers major topics addressed by sociologists studying the intersection of economy and society. We begin with classic statements on economic sociology and then move to the invigoration of the field in recent years, reading works that have been instrumental in this invigoration. Consideration is given to the several variants of "institutionalism" that have informed the sociological study of markets, organizations, and economic exchange.
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SOC 6910 : Independent Study
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
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.
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SOC 8920 : Graduate Research
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Work with a faculty member on a project that is related to your dissertation work.
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SOC 8960 : Thesis Research
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Work with chair of your committee on your dissertation work.
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