Courses

Graduate – Fall 2019

Applied Social Statistics
An introduction to basic concepts in probability and statistics with applications to social research. We cover descriptive statistics, sampling distributions, statistical inference for means and proportions (including point estimation, confidence intervals and tests of hypotheses), the comparison of two or more groups, and an introduction to analysis of variance and linear regression. Throughout the course we use the open-source statistical package R to illustrate and apply the techniques. The course is intended to prepare students to take Advanced Social Statistics the following term.
Instructors: Matthew J. Salganik
Classical Sociological Theory
Sociology as a discipline was not institutionalized until the early 20th century, but sociological thinking predates the discipline by at least a century. In this course, we examine the development of social thought through the writings of sociology's founders as they developed the idea of the social and its relationship to the development of the individual and to economic and political transformation. While the course lingers on Marx, Weber, Durkheim and Simmel, it also explores their intellectual contexts, their interlocutors and their legacies up through the middle of the 20th century.
Instructors: Kim Lane Scheppele
Research Seminar in Empirical Investigation
Preparation of quantitative research papers based on field experiments, laboratory experiments, survey procedures, and secondary analysis of existing data banks.
Instructors: Dalton Conley
Proseminar
This course introduces sociology graduate students to the discipline of sociology and to departmental faculty. Student work is evaluated by class participation and attendance. There are no prerequisites.
Instructors: Mitchell Duneier, Tod G. Hamilton
Seminar in Sociogenomics (Half-Term)
The cost of genotyping is dropping faster than Moore's law is bringing down the price of computing power. As a result, genetic data is pouring into social scientific studies, raising old debates about genes and IQ, racial differences, criminal justice, political polarization and privacy. The goal of this course is to provide foundational knowledge of social genetics research, provide a survey of the core concepts within the subfield, and give students the basic tools they need to pursue research in this line of inquiry.
Instructors: Dalton Conley
Religion and Public Life
Presentation and critical discussion of empirical research in progress by participants working on dissertation-related projects. Focuses on the use of interdisciplinary social science methods in the study of religion in its various manifestations in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Instructors: Timothy J. Nelson
Topics in Economic and Organizational Sociology (Half-Term): Financialization
This course considers the growing role of financial actors, institutions, and transactions in capitalist societies during recent decades. We will first review the financialization concept's scope, history, and use within economic sociology. The course then surveys research on the consequences of financialization for organizations, work, politics, stratification, culture, housing, and education. Studies will be drawn from the U.S. and internationally.
Instructors: Adam Michael Goldstein
Workshop on Social Organization
A one-semester course for graduate students whose work falls within one or more of several related fields: economic sociology, organizations and institutions, historical sociology, sociology of culture, and social network analysis. The workshop provides opportunities for students to develop research projects and presentation skills, and to read the work of and interact with scholars brought to campus by the Center for the Study of Social Organization.
Instructors: Paul Elliot Starr
Urban Sociology: Changing Cities in the Global Age (Half-Term)
For the first time in history, more than half of the world's population lives in cities. By 2030 that figure may rise to 60 percent. Such telluric transformations are taking place amidst (1) global economic integration; (2) rapid climatic and environmental change; and (3) rising levels of migration both internal and across international borders. The course provides a sketch of urban evolution prior to the onset of modernity. It then examine urbanization in the United States and selected locations in Latin America, Europe, and Asia with special attention to spatial reconfigurations, population shifts, and challenges faced by urban dwellers.
Instructors: Patricia Fernández-Kelly

Undergraduate – Fall 2019

Introduction to Sociology
This course will introduces students to the discipline of sociology (the systematic study of human groups, institutions and societies). Students will learn the major theoretical approaches within the field as well as the diverse research methods used in sociological investigations. These tools will be applied to a wide variety of special topics studied by sociologists, including family, work, education, religion and social movements, as well as dynamics of class, gender, race and ethnic inequalities within and across countries.
Instructors: Timothy J. Nelson
Poverty in America
This course investigates poverty in America in historical and contemporary perspective. We will explore central aspects of poverty, including low-wage work and joblessness, housing and neighborhoods, crime and punishment, and survival and protest. Along the way, we will examine the cause and consequences of poverty; study the lived experience of severe deprivation and material hardship; evaluate large-scale anti-poverty programs with an eye toward what worked and what didn't; and engage with normative debates about the right to housing, living wages, just punishment, and other matters pertaining to American life below the poverty line.
Instructors: Matthew Desmond
Claims and Evidence in Sociology
This course is an introduction to the logic and practice of social science research. The goal is to provide methodological training that will enable students to design and execute successful independent research projects. We review a range of approaches used by sociologists to answer research questions, including field experiments, surveys, observation, in-depth interviews, and mixed method research.
Instructors: Kathryn Jo Edin, Jennifer L. Jennings
Statistical Methods in Sociology
Most research in sociology is quantitative, and it is important for students to be able to critically evaluate published quantitative research. Ideally, students should also be able to conduct empirical research involving statistical methods. This course provides the foundation for both goals. The course focuses specifically on how to determine, apply, and interpret statistical methods appropriate for answering a sociological research question given a particular set of data. Basic probability theory is introduced as a building block of statistical reasoning, and a variety of commonly-used statistical methods are covered in the course.
Instructors: Tod G. Hamilton