Courses - Spring 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)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Anna Haskins (arh96)
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)
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 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)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jeremy Trombley (jmt387)
Full details for SOC 2100 : What Is Science? An Introduction to the Social Studies of Science and Technology
SOC 2208 Social Inequality

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.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Steven Alvarado (sa792)
Full details for SOC 2208 : Social Inequality
SOC 2650 Latinos in the United States

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.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Hector Velez (hv13)
Full details for SOC 2650 : Latinos in the United States
SOC 2710 America's Promise: Social and Political Context of American Education

This course is a blending of the Sociology of Education and Public Policy. Front and center in this course is the question of why consistent differential educational and economic outcomes exists in American society. We explore the broad sociological functions of schooling (socialization, sorting, caretaking, training) as well as local, state, and federal policies and court decisions.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: John Sipple (jws28)
Full details for SOC 2710 : America's Promise: Social and Political Context of American Education
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)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Matthew Hall (msh284)
Full details for SOC 3040 : Immigration and Public 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)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: David Strang (ds20)
Full details for SOC 3190 : Contemporary Sociological Theory
SOC 3240 Environmental Sociology

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. 

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: John Zinda (jaz65)
Full details for SOC 3240 : Environmental Sociology
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 3710 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.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Tom Hirschl (tah4)
Full details for SOC 3710 : Comparative Social Inequalities
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 4120 Health and Social Context

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.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Erin York Cornwell (eyc46)
Full details for SOC 4120 : Health and Social Context
SOC 4290 Moving Pictures and a Changing Society

American society has evolved dramatically over the last century while retaining distinctive ideals and social tensions. Rural communities have given way to digital worlds, pork barrel politics to polarization, and fixed conceptions of sexuality to fluid ones. At the same time, the country is marked by a longstanding celebrity culture, frontier mindset, and enduring conflicts around class, race, and gender. The class seeks insight into complex patterns of social change through the lens of film. Each week we watch a movie made in a given historical period, and read from the sociological literature of that period. The course travels about a decade per week, covering films from the Silent Era up to the present, watching films such as Modern Times (1936), Double Indemnity (1944), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), The President's Analyst (1967), Taxi Driver(1976), She's Gotta Have It (1986),  American Beauty (1999), District 9 (2009), Her (2013).

Academic Career: UG Instructor: David Strang (ds20)
Full details for SOC 4290 : Moving Pictures and a Changing Society
SOC 4320 Culture Wars in the Age of Tribal Politics

Is there a "culture war for the soul of Amerca"? This seminar will explore the definition, types, causes, dynamics, diffusion, and consequences of partisan cultural alignment. Readings will include theoretical models and empirical studies of opinion cascades, identity politics, motivated reasoning, network homophily, echo chambers, filter bubbles, social contagion, conformity, and cultural cognition. What is polarization? Is it the disappearance of a consensual middle ground or the tendency for substantively unrelated opinions to become correlated? Did polarization emerge from the top down, beginning with political and cultural elites, or from the bottom up, through the self-reinforcing dynamics of network homophily and peer influence? Do social media and cable news contribute to polarization or merely reflect it? Can polarization be reversed, and if not, what are the implications for democratic institutions?

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Michael Macy (mwm14)
Full details for SOC 4320 : Culture Wars in the Age of Tribal Politics
SOC 4330 Seminar in Economy and Society

Economic sociology extends the sociological perspective to the study economic life. The seminar examines the view that social networks, norms, beliefs and rules motivate and enable economic action in market and nonmarket settings. It integrates the study of ideas and theory in economic sociology with a practicum providing training in the craft of research. Designed for advanced undergraduates interesting in research and graduate students who seek training in economic sociology, the seminar offers a year-long workshop environment enabling and guiding independent and collaborative research.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Victor Nee (vgn1)
Full details for SOC 4330 : Seminar in Economy and Society
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: Kendra Bischoff (kb536)
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 Instructor: Kendra Bischoff (kb536)
Full details for SOC 4960 : Honors Thesis: Senior Year
SOC 5020 Basic Problems in Sociology II

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.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Mabel Berezin (mmb39)
Full details for SOC 5020 : Basic Problems in Sociology II
SOC 5710 America's Promise: Social and Political Context of American Education

Examines the goals, roles, inputs, and outcomes of schooling in American society, and the policy environment in which schools operate. Analyzes controversies and tensions (e.g., equity, market forces, state control) surrounding public education at local, state, and federal levels. Includes current and historical, urban, and rural issues and problems.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: John Sipple (jws28)
Full details for SOC 5710 : America's Promise: Social and Political Context of American Education
SOC 6020 Intermediate Statistics for Sociological Research

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.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Vida Maralani (vm343)
Full details for SOC 6020 : Intermediate 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 6280 Family Demography

This graduate seminar explores changes in family behaviors and household relationships from a demographic perspective.  It focuses centrally on contemporary trends in the U.S., considering (often competing) interpretations of the causes and consequences of family change and variation. Emphasis will be placed on critically evaluating research in this area, including assessments of data quality, research design, and causal inference.  Topics include cohabitation and marriage, divorce, fertility, family structure, and the intersection of work and family.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Kelly Musick (kam386)
Full details for SOC 6280 : Family Demography
SOC 6310 Qualitative Research Methods for Studying Science

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.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Trevor Pinch (tjp2)
Full details for SOC 6310 : Qualitative Research Methods for Studying Science
SOC 6340 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.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Kendra Bischoff (kb536)
Full details for SOC 6340 : Sociology of Education
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 6440 Urban Structure and Process

This seminar will provide a graduate-level examination of the social organization of urban communities. We will begin with the classic urban sociological theories of the Chicago School and recent extensions and revisions of this perspective. Then, we will consider both qualitative and quantitative approaches to the study of topics including urban social networks, neighborhood social context, urban inequality and social problems, and processes of urban change. Class meetings will focus on discussion of readings with the aim of identifying directions for further research and, in the second half of the semester, the development of research papers.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Erin York Cornwell (eyc46)
Full details for SOC 6440 : Urban Structure and Process
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: Victor Nee (vgn1)
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 Full details for SOC 6910 : Independent Study
SOC 7350 Labor Sociology

The study of work - and specifically wage labor - has been integral to sociology from the earliest days of the discipline. Although capitalism has evolved over the past century+, work remains a prism that reflects various cleavages, inequalities, and possibilities that permeate society. In this sense, work is one of the key categories of sociological inquiry and can serve as an index of a broad array of structural conditions.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Eli Friedman (edf48)
Full details for SOC 7350 : Labor Sociology
SOC 8920 Graduate Research

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

Academic Career: GR Full details for SOC 8920 : Graduate Research
SOC 8960 Thesis Research

Work with chair of your committee on your dissertation work.

Academic Career: GR Full details for SOC 8960 : Thesis Research