Courses

Graduate – Fall 2018-19

Applied Social Statistics
A rigorous first course in regression with applications to social science. Assuming only basic math, the course covers probability, inference from random samples and multiple regression. Throughout we provide an introduction to programming with the open-source statistical package R, provide examples from current social science research and give an introduction to modern causal inference techniques.
Instructors: Brandon Michael Stewart
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: Miguel Angel Centeno
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.
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
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: Robert J. Wuthnow
Sociology of Education (Half Term)
Poor students lag academically behind their more advantaged peers, and explanations for this achievement gap are hotly debated. While some have pointed to the quality of education offered in public schools as the primary culprit, others have drawn attention to the role of out-of-school factors in creating and exacerbating these gaps. In this course, which is a graduate-level introduction to the sociology of education, we make sense of competing explanations of pre-K-12 educational performance through a sociological lens, and evaluate the possibilities for and barriers to closing achievement gaps.
Instructors: Jennifer L. Jennings
Ethnography for Sociologists I (Half-term)
This is a course for graduate students in sociology. It is intended specifically for students currently or previously enrolled in the department's sociological theory and methods courses. It is open to a range of sociology graduate students, from those who plan to do primarily quantitative research to those who are considering undertaking ethnography in their dissertations. Part One focuses on getting into a field site, describing a setting, and the ethics of ethnographic research. We also read recently published ethnographies that emerged from doctoral dissertations.
Instructors: Mitchell Duneier
Social Organization of Cities
A review of the historical emergence and social evolution of cities and urban life. Course presents current theories regarding the ecological and social structure of urban areas, and how urban social organization affects the behavior and well-being of human beings who live and work in cities.
Instructors: Douglas S. Massey
Economic Sociology (Half-Term): Social Ties, Culture, and Economic Processes
An introduction to economic sociology seen not as a subordination of sociology to economics but as the sociological explanation of economic phenomena. It focuses on alternative accounts of phenomena that most specialists have explained using economic concepts and theory. In particular, it seeks sociological explanations of production, consumption, and distribution, and transfer of assets. After a general orientation to economic sociology as a whole, the course explores economic activities in an unconventionally wide range of settings including households, informal sectors, gift economies, and consumption.
Instructors: Viviana Adela Zelizer
Advanced Sociological Fieldwork I (Half-Term)
This course is intended specifically for students who are currently conducting sociological fieldwork or writing up empirical papers on the basis of fieldwork. Students who are currently in the field are encouraged to participate remotely. Part one deals mainly with issues of writing.
Instructors: Matthew Desmond, Mitchell Duneier
Technology Studies (Half-Term)
This half-semester graduate course introduces you to basic concepts, theoretical frameworks, and empirical studies in the sociology of technology. The course draws largely on science and technology studies, a hybrid field with tools optimized for the study of science and technology in social context; it also draws related materials from recent literature in the sociology of work, technology and organizations, media studies, anthropology, and communication.
Instructors: Janet Amelia Vertesi
Topics in Policy Analysis (Half-Term): Surveys, Polls and Public Policy
Course aims to improve students' abilities to understand and critically evaluate public opinion polls and surveys, particularly as they are used to influence public policy. Course begins with an overview of contrasting perspectives on the role of public opinion in politics, then examines the evolution of public opinion polling in the US and other countries. Class visits a major polling operation to get a firsthand look at procedures used for designing representative samples and conducting surveys by telephone, mail and Internet.
Instructors: Edward Patrick Freeland

Undergraduate – Fall 2018-19

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
Race and Ethnicity
Our goal in this course is (a) to understand various definitions of race and ethnicity from a theoretical perspective and in a plurality of contexts and (b) to account for the rise of ethnicity and race as political and cultural forces in the age of globalization. Why are ethnic and racial delimitations expanding in areas of the world where such distinctions were formerly muted? Is race and racial discrimination all the same regardless of geographical region? What are the main theories and methodologies now available for the study of race and ethnicity from a comparative point of view? These are among the questions our course aims to answer.
Instructors: Patricia Fernández-Kelly
The Western Way of War
A historical and analytical overview of war focusing on the origins and consequences of organized violence, the experience of battle, the creation and behavior of warriors, and the future of such conflicts.
Instructors: Miguel Angel Centeno
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
Studying Local, Writing Ethnography
Students will be introduced to the practice of doing ethnographic fieldwork in the local community and to the reflective process of writing ethnography. Students will select a local field site within reach of their daily lives, engage in fieldwork and participant observation, write field notes, experiment with interpreting their data and discover their research question. In the readings and in class discussions we will talk about social explanation and interpretation, and focus on field notes and the process of writing ethnography. Field notes will be turned in weekly. A final paper based on field research is due at the end of the semester.
Instructors: Carol B. Stack
Sociology of the Cubicle: Work, Technology, and Organization
This course focuses on technology in organizations to explore classic and contemporary issues in organizational sociology. We'll discuss entrepreneurship, engineering cultures, innovation, risk and failure in the context of the dot com boom, flat hierarchies, and how office technologies enter the workplace. As companies pick up, produce or respond to technological change, we'll witness and discuss some of the great questions and theories of social organization: what makes an organization tick, what makes certain social forms endure, and where does change come from?
Instructors: Janet Amelia Vertesi
Applied Social Statistics
A rigorous first course in regression with applications to social science. Assuming only basic math, the course covers probability, inference from random samples and multiple regression. Throughout we provide an introduction to programming with the open-source statistical package R, provide examples from current social science research and give an introduction to modern causal inference techniques.
Instructors: Brandon Michael Stewart