Courses - Fall 2020

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, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Kendra Bischoff (kb536)
Full details for SOC 1101 : Introduction to Sociology
SOC 1104 Race and Ethnicity in the United States: Social Constructs, Real World Consequences

This course will examine race and ethnic relations between Whites, Blacks, Latinos, and Asians in the United States. The goal of this course is for students to understand how the history of race and ethnicity in the U.S. affects opportunity structures in, for example, education, employment, housing, and health. Through this course students will gain a better understanding of how race and ethnicity stratifies the lives of individuals in the U.S.

Distribution: (SBA-AS, SCD-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Steven Alvarado (sa792)
Full details for SOC 1104 : Race and Ethnicity in the United States: Social Constructs, Real World Consequences
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, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: David Easley (dae3)
Eva Tardos (et28)
Full details for SOC 2090 : Networks
SOC 2100 What Is Science? An Introduction to the Social Studies of Science and Technology

This course introduces some central ideas in the field of S&TS. It is aimed at students from any background who are challenged to think more critically about what counts as scientific knowledge and why, and how science and technology intervene in the wider world. It also serves as an introduction to majors in Biology and Society or in Science and Technology Studies. The course mixes lectures, discussions, writing, and other activities. The discussion sections are an integral part of the course and attendance is required. A series of take-home written assignments and quizzes throughout the semester comprise the majority of the grade.

Distribution: (CA-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Stephen Hilgartner (shh6)
Full details for SOC 2100 : What Is Science? An Introduction to the Social Studies of Science and Technology
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, SSC-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, SSC-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, GLC-AS, SSC-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, SCD-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Anna Haskins (arh96)
Full details for SOC 2220 : Controversies About Inequality
SOC 2390 Modern Romance: Sex, Love, and Union Formation in the Internet Age

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.

Distribution: (SBA-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Sharon Sassler (ss589)
Full details for SOC 2390 : Modern Romance: Sex, Love, and Union Formation in the Internet Age
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, SDS-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Barum Park (bp522)
Full details for SOC 3010 : Statistics for Sociological Research
SOC 3040 Immigration and Public Policy

This course provides a broad overview of the major public policy issues concerning immigration to the U.S. The course reviews demographic, sociological, and economic perspectives on both the cause and consequences of international migration and consider the role that federal, state, and local policies play in altering immigration flows and the incorporation of immigrants.

Distribution: (SBA-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Matthew Hall (msh284)
Full details for SOC 3040 : Immigration and Public Policy
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, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Christine Leuenberger (cal22)
Full details for SOC 3130 : Sociology of Medicine
SOC 3150 Research Design, Practice, and Policy

Examines systematic approaches for addressing questions about poverty, family life, racial inequality, and a range of other issues central to public policy. It emphasizes the logic and methods of social science research, including the measurement of social phenomena, generalizing results to groups of interest, establishing cause and effect, social experiments, survey research, and qualitative methods. It develops skills to critically evaluate the research of others and provides hands-on experience applying research methods to policy-related problems.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: William Trochim (wmt1)
Full details for SOC 3150 : Research Design, Practice, and Policy
SOC 3190 Contemporary Sociological Theory

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.

Distribution: (SBA-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: David Strang (ds20)
Full details for SOC 3190 : Contemporary Sociological Theory
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, SSC-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, HST-AS, SSC-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, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Patricia Young (pty6)
Full details for SOC 3430 : Transformation of Socialist Societies
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, GLC-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Patricia Young (pty6)
Full details for SOC 3680 : Comparative Corruption
SOC 3770 Money, Work and Social Life

Through a diverse set of readings and other media, this course offers a multi-disciplinary account of how our economic life (money and work) is intertwined with our social life (networks and culture). Examining different sectors of the economy from corporations and finance to households, informal and illegal markets, we explore how in all areas of economic life people are creating, maintaining, symbolizing and transforming meaningful social relations. Economic life, from this perspective, is as social as religion, family, or education.

Distribution: (SBA-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Filiz Garip (fg266)
Full details for SOC 3770 : Money, Work and Social Life
SOC 3850 Mass Incarceration and Family Life Course

Given the dramatic rise in mass incarceration over the last 40 years, understanding the spillover consequences of this uniquely American phenomenon has become increasingly important as a growing number of American families have now had direct experience with imprisonment. The goal of this course is to provide a broad overview of the ripple effects of mass imprisonment on family life and how it shapes opportunities and disadvantage for communities, families, and especially children. This will be done through: 1) the close analysis of empirical research on the spillover and intergenerational consequences of incarceration across a range of outcomes, as well as 2) a consideration of broad accounts of how imprisonment affects family life. With the concentration of imprisonment often falling among poor, minority families, much of the readings in this course will focus on family life in urban communities, however, we will spend a little time exploring broader accounts, including those of rural communities and encourage students to consider impacts for families exposed to incarceration due to white-collar crimes.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Anna Haskins (arh96)
Full details for SOC 3850 : Mass Incarceration and Family Life Course
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, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Mabel Berezin (mmb39)
Full details for SOC 4540 : Fascism, Nationalism and Populism
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: Kendra Bischoff (kb536)
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

 

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Victor Nee (vgn1)
Full details for SOC 5010 : Basic Problems in Sociology I
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: Barum Park (bp522)
Full details for SOC 6010 : Statistics for Sociological Research
SOC 6030 Graduate Research Practicum

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.

Academic Career: GR Full details for SOC 6030 : Graduate Research Practicum
SOC 6040 Advanced Statistics for Sociological Research

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.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Cristobal Young (cy469)
Full details for SOC 6040 : Advanced 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 6420 Sociology of Diffusion

Diffusion - the spread of social practices - is of central interest for the way it combines attention to social structure and social change. The course reviews theory and method in both classic and contemporary diffusion studies. Theoretical perspectives include choice-theoretic ideas about the gains to mimicry under uncertainty, network analysis of the relational structures that facilitate diffusion, and institutional accounts of the way actors interpret and normalize social practices. Methodological approaches include analysis of the distribution of adoption times, event history models of individual adoption, spatial correlation, simulation, and process tracing. Discussion of statistical methods is introduced with a focus on concepts, and is designed to be accessible to doctoral students regardless of prior coursework in multivariate data analysis.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: David Strang (ds20)
Full details for SOC 6420 : Sociology of Diffusion
SOC 6460 Seminar in Economic Sociology

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.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Filiz Garip (fg266)
Full details for SOC 6460 : Seminar in Economic Sociology
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)
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