Courses

Courses by semester

Courses for Fall 2022

Complete Cornell University course descriptions are in the Courses of Study .

Course ID Title Offered
SOC1101 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.

Full details for SOC 1101 - Introduction to Sociology

Fall, Spring, Summer.
SOC1130 FWS: Social Networks in a Global World

Full details for SOC 1130 - FWS: Social Networks in a Global World

SOC1190 FWS: Call in Experts: How Social Science Research Influences Policy

Full details for SOC 1190 - FWS: Call in Experts: How Social Science Research Influences Policy

SOC1290 American Society through Film 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.

Full details for SOC 1290 - American Society through Film

Fall.
SOC2070 Social Problems in the United States "Social Problems in the U.S." teaches students how to think like a social scientist when encountering claims about major contemporary issues. Through readings and assignments, students develop an analytical toolkit for evaluating the scope, causes, consequences, and proposed solutions to a wide range of complicated social problems, such as: childhood poverty, racial segregation and discrimination, job insecurity, family instability, discrimination by sexual identity, unequal pay for women's work, gender imbalances in family life, health disparities, food insecurity, drug abuse, and educational inequality. Rather than cover all of these (and other) social problems in depth, the course emphasizes a conceptual framework that can be applied broadly. The semester culminates with a written proposal examining a social problem and developing an approach to address it with public policy.

Full details for SOC 2070 - Social Problems in the United States

Fall.
SOC2090 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.

Full details for SOC 2090 - Networks

Fall.
SOC2150 Introduction to Organizations In modern society, we all spend much of our lives participating in or interacting with organizations. Most of us are born in organizations, educated in organizations, and work in organizations. The ubiquity and variability of organizations result in a myriad of organizational challenges we regularly face. The goal of this introductory course is to help students gain understandings of the origins, structure, and dynamics of organizations and their relationships to their environment. It is designed to provide an exposure to multiple theories of organizations and within the context of changing technological, social, and political/legal environments and the globalization of the world economy. We will also apply organizational theories to a variety of empirical cases.

Full details for SOC 2150 - Introduction to Organizations

Fall, Summer.
SOC2220 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.

Full details for SOC 2220 - Controversies About Inequality

Fall.
SOC2810 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.

Full details for SOC 2810 - Migration: Histories, Controversies, and Perspectives

Fall or Spring.
SOC3010 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.

Full details for SOC 3010 - Statistics for Sociological Research

Fall.
SOC3360 Evolving Families: Challenges to Public Policy Examines the social institution of the family, challenges to the institution's well-being and stability, and the role of public policy in these transformations. Topics include family structure and responsibilities; marriage as a traditional building block of the family and challenges to the institution of marriage, including divorce, nonmarital childbearing, cohabitation, and same-sex unions; children, and the impact of family change on their wellbeing, including the effects of child poverty, maternal employment, and paternal involvement. The role of public policy in managing and shaping these developments is discussed.

Full details for SOC 3360 - Evolving Families: Challenges to Public Policy

Fall.
SOC3710 Comparative Social Inequalities 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.

Full details for SOC 3710 - Comparative Social Inequalities

Fall.
SOC3750 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.

Full details for SOC 3750 - Classical Sociological Theory

Fall.
SOC4370 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.

Full details for SOC 4370 - Sociology of Sex and Gender

Fall.
SOC4540 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.

Full details for SOC 4540 - Fascism, Nationalism and Populism

Fall.
SOC4850 Business and Inequality Through discussions, presentations, and research papers, we will examine increasing US inequality, and the interaction of business's role and impacts, alongside potential policy prescriptions (UBI, tax policy, job guarantees, etc.). Topics will also include potential sources of inequality. Areas explored include: Can public policy blunt inequality without unduly harming markets?  What are the responsibilities of private sector companies to society, and what are their incentives? How does inequality affect business (through customers, workers – human capital), how does business exacerbate and exploit inequality? Does inequality reduce economic growth and productivity (due to rent-seeking activities, reduced opportunity)? Does corporate influence on the political system reinforce inequality? Is labor disadvantaged by social safety net structures, such as policies tying benefits to work requirements? Does inequality destabilize financial markets and fuel speculation ((e.g., 1920's margin investing, GameStop, etc.)? Additional readings and in-depth research paper required of Master's students.

Full details for SOC 4850 - Business and Inequality

Spring.
SOC4910 Independent Study This is for undergraduates who wish to obtain research experience or to do extensive reading on a special topic.

Full details for SOC 4910 - Independent Study

Fall, Spring, Summer.
SOC4950 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.

Full details for SOC 4950 - Honors Research

Multi-semester course: (Fall, Spring).
SOC4960 Honors Thesis: Senior Year Continuation of SOC 4950.  Continue to work with honors supervisor and work on and write an honors thesis.

Full details for SOC 4960 - Honors Thesis: Senior Year

Fall, Spring.
SOC5010 Basic Problems in Sociology I  

Full details for SOC 5010 - Basic Problems in Sociology I

Fall.
SOC5190 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.

Full details for SOC 5190 - Workshop on Social Inequality

Fall, Spring.
SOC5850 Business and Inequality Through discussions, presentations, and research papers, we will examine increasing US inequality, and the interaction of business's role and impacts, alongside potential policy prescriptions (UBI, tax policy, job guarantees, etc.). Topics will also include potential sources of inequality. Areas explored include: Can public policy blunt inequality without unduly harming markets? What are the responsibilities of private sector companies to society, and what are their incentives? How does inequality affect business (through customers, workers – human capital), how does business exacerbate and exploit inequality? Does inequality reduce economic growth and productivity (due to rent-seeking activities, reduced opportunity)? Does corporate influence on the political system reinforce inequality? Is labor disadvantaged by social safety net structures, such as policies tying benefits to work requirements? Does inequality destabilize financial markets and fuel speculation ((e.g., 1920's margin investing, GameStop, etc.)? Additional readings and in-depth research paper required of Master's students.

Full details for SOC 5850 - Business and Inequality

Spring.
SOC6010 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.

Full details for SOC 6010 - Statistics for Sociological Research

Fall.
SOC6080 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.

Full details for SOC 6080 - Proseminar in Sociology

Fall, Spring.
SOC6150 Qualitative, Survey, and Mixed Method Approaches to Policy Research Introduces students to theories and methods of data collection techniques such as in-depth interviews, ethnography, focus groups, and surveys as well as mixed-method approaches used in policy and evaluation research. Addresses the strengths and weaknesses of various methods and the design of qualitative and mixed-method studies. Covers epistemology, ethics, induction and deduction, measurement, validity, and triangulation. Also discusses more concrete issues such as gaining access to a field site, developing a qualitative interview guide and survey questionnaire, conducting a qualitative interview, managing data, and assessing data quality.

Full details for SOC 6150 - Qualitative, Survey, and Mixed Method Approaches to Policy Research

Fall.
SOC6340 Sociology of Education This course serves as an introduction to sociological theories and research on schooling, education systems, and the interaction between schools and other dominant social institutions, such as the family. In this course, we will explore variation in the context of schooling, the social organization of schools, and a range of topics linking schooling to social stratification. Although this course will primarily focus on elementary and secondary education in the United States, we will also cover topics in higher education and from an international comparative perspective.

Full details for SOC 6340 - Sociology of Education

Fall.
SOC6660 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. 

Full details for SOC 6660 - Event History Analysis

Fall.
SOC6910 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.

Full details for SOC 6910 - Independent Study

Fall or Spring.
SOC8910 Graduate Research Work with a faculty member on a project that is related to your dissertation work.

Full details for SOC 8910 - Graduate Research

Fall.
SOC8950 Thesis Research Work with chair of your committee on your dissertation work.

Full details for SOC 8950 - Thesis Research

Fall.
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