Courses

Graduate – Fall 2020

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, multiple regression and modern causal inference. Throughout we provide an introduction to programming with the open-source statistical package R and examples from current social science research.
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: 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 (Half-Term)
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
Criminology (Half-Term)
This six week course approaches the problems of crime and violence from the perspective of social scientists. Students learn about the central concepts, findings, debates and questions in the study of crime, violence, and punishment over time, moving from explanations that focus on the individual criminal toward explanations that focus on contexts and situations that make violence more likely. The course ends by studying active policy debates in the United States. Throughout, the class spends a substantial amount of time thinking about how to understand crime and violence through the collection and analysis of data.
Instructors: Patrick Thomas Sharkey
Gender and Sexuality
This course offers an introduction to theory, perspectives, and empirical research in the Sociology of Gender and Sexuality. The course covers a combination of canonical and contemporary work, consider traditional and current debates, as well as cover US and cross-cultural material. This is a reading and writing intensive class.
Instructors: Sanyu A. Mojola
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
Topics in Social Stratification (Half-Term): Sociology of Elites
The seminar addressrd the means of access to elite positions, including inheritance, education, and employment; wealth concentration and corporate and financial elites; the relation of oligarchy and democracy; and elites and culture.
Instructors: Paul Elliot Starr
American Racism (Half-Term)
The course introduces students to foundational work on the sociology of race and racism in the U.S., lasting theoretical interventions and key historical research, and new empirical contributions by scholars at the vanguard of the field. The first two sessions set the stage with methodological debates and historical context for understanding modern-day racial disparities and how to study them. Then the course delves deeply into three substantive areas that recently have received considerable attention from sociologists of race: white threat; policing; and exploitation. We conclude with a consideration of the ends and means of racial justice.
Instructors: Matthew Desmond

Undergraduate – Fall 2020

Police Violence, #BlackLivesMatter, and the Covid-19 Pandemic
This course will examine the historic moment in which we are living in order to introduce students to the concept of race and discipline of sociology. Students will learn to study systematically how human groups interact with one another and how social networks and a variety of institutions help shape those interactions and outcomes. How are these interactions and outcomes categorized and understood? Where do different people fit into the social categories we use to make sense of our societies, and why? And how are different actors able to transform those spaces in which to fit?
Instructors: Frederick F Wherry
The Sociology of the Internet
You're likely reading this course description online. Next, you'll check your Gmail, scroll through Instagram, and reply to messages on WhatsApp. The internet permeates our jobs, friendships, finances, politics, family ties, education and intimate relationships, especially in the wake of the Coronavirus crisis. How do sociologists analyze activity online and ascertain the internet's role in society? We'll develop a toolkit for studying networked social worlds, ask which aspects of society are changing because of the internet, and examine how basic sociological concepts play out on the web as we explore the sociology of our online lives.
Instructors: Janet Amelia Vertesi
Gender and Society: U.S. and Global Perspectives
What is gender? Does it still matter in the 21st century? If so, how and why does it matter? And how does this vary around the world? This course will examine how gender shapes our identities (e.g. how we learn gender), how it shapes our interactions with others (e.g. within romantic relationships), and how it shapes and is shaped by institutions (e.g. the media, the workplace and college). We will look not only at how our gender privileges us, but also how we are both subject to and participate in producing gender inequality in our everyday lives. U.S and cross cultural readings and screenings will be used for the class.
Instructors: Sanyu A. Mojola
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: 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
Contemporary Japanese Society
In this course, students will develop a broad understanding of how Japanese society functions today by focusing on several key institutions and social domains: politics, the economy, education, employment, family, media, and the larger population. This understanding of contemporary Japanese society (1980s-present) will come through reading of Japan scholars in a range of fields, reading recent media portrayals of Japan, attending lectures designed to supplement and extend the readings, engaging in classroom discussion based on student-generated questions, and writing a research paper on a topic of student's choice.
Instructors: James M. Raymo
The Social Meaning of Money
Money seems to represent the ultimate symbol of economic rationality, a single, impersonal and totally interchangeable medium of exchange. Money is also feared as morally dangerous, replacing personal bonds with cold greed. This seminar will offer a fundamentally different sociological explanation of how money works. Examining different monetary worlds ranging from households and college campuses, to law firms and internet sites, we will explore how our multiple moneys are shaped by cultural meanings, moral concerns, and social relations. Our meetings will be run virtually, via Zoom.
Instructors: Viviana Adela Zelizer
Applied Social Statistics
A course in regression and causal inference with applications to social science. This course is co-taught with SOC 500, the first course in the Sociology graduate statistics sequence. The course covers probability, inference from random samples, multiple regression and modern causal inference (potential outcomes, directed acyclic graphs, instrumental variables etc.). Throughout we provide an introduction to programming with the open-source statistical package R and examples from current social science research.
Instructors: Brandon Michael Stewart
Critical Approaches to Human Computer Interaction
This senior seminar brings together students in the social sciences and computing to explore alternatives in home automation, from media streaming to calendars and intelligent assistants. Can design contemporary systems around the virtues of personal data ownership, instead of cloud-based data surveillance systems? Might we simultaneously engage non-expert users, keep local infrastructures secure, and aim for sustainability? As a hands-on introduction to qualitative studies in Human Computer Interaction, students will collaboratively examine, design, test, and evaluate research-based tools in a living laboratory setting.
Instructors: Janet Amelia Vertesi
Exploration of Transnational Identity-Making
No description available
Instructors: Patricia Fernández-Kelly