Summer 2023 Courses

Soc 1101 – Introduction to Sociology 

Instructor: Shelley Yan

May 30 - June 16, 2023 – Online

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.

Soc 1104 – Race and Ethnicity in the United States: Social Constructs, Real World Consequences 

Instructor: Katherine Zaslavsky

June 20 - July 7, 2023 – Asynchronous Distance Learning

July 10 - July 28, 2023 – Asynchronous Distance Learning

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.

Soc 2380 – Media and Society 

Instructor: Reid Ralston

May 30 - June 16, 2023 - Online

This course will examine the intersections of media, culture, and society. The goal of this course is for students to apply a sociological perspective to the production, content, and reception of various forms of media such as the news, television, film, social media, etc. Through this course students will gain a broad understanding of the role of media in our lives and engage in topics such as the social and power dynamics of the media, issues of consumption and status, the production and social organization of media, and representation in the media.

Soc 3390 – Diffusion of Innovations 

Instructor: Abdullah Shahid

June 23 - July 28, 2023 - Asynchronous Distance Learning

In this course, we will examine theories and empirical findings on diffusion of innovations. Through close reading of texts and research articles and analysis of cases, you will be introduced to major diffusion research traditions, with examples from anthropology, sociology, economics, communication, marketing, and geography. Then, you will examine various stages of the innovation development and innovation decision process. You will evaluate how the social and economic attributes of innovation affect the rate of their adoption across different units – ranging from individuals to various components of a social system. You will explore the prior empirical findings on the relationship between the diffusion process and the social and economic characteristics of the adopters, e.g., their innovativeness, adoption time, socioeconomic background, personality, communication pattern, and audience segmentation. Finally, you will learn some prominent aspects of diffusion networks, such as homophily, heterophily, opinion leaders, strength-of-weak ties, social learning, and critic mass.

Soc 4120 – Health and Social Context 

Instructor: Shelley Yan

June 20 - July 28, 2023 – Online

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.