Courses

Graduate – Spring 2021

Contemporary Sociological Theory
This course focuses on major contributions to social and political thought from mid-century to the present day. Wrestling with questions about violence, capitalism, everyday life, racism, democracy, and culture, Arendt, Fanon, Bourdieu and other key thinkers helped to develop a set of intellectual concerns, concepts, and methods we now know as "sociology." Engaging with their most enduring ideas is not only an exercise in intellectual history that illuminates modern-day lines of thought; it also is an aspirational exercise that reveals the power and promise of asking and answering big questions about social life.
Instructors: Matthew Desmond
Techniques and Methods of Social Science
This is a course on research methods for sociology PhD students. The seminar has four objectives: 1) to review foundational principles of research design and contemporary debates in sociological methodology; 2) to introduce students to the practice of different research methods (e.g., survey research, experiments, in-depth interviews, ethnography) while considering the strengths and limitations of various approaches; 3) to familiarize students with the components of a strong empirical paper and prepare them to identify a topic and data for their empirical paper; and 4) to train students in the conduct of responsible research.
Instructors: Kathryn Jo Edin, James M. Raymo
Advanced Social Statistics
Introduces theories of inference underlying most statistical methods and how new approaches are developed. The first half of the course covers maximum likelihood estimation and generalized linear models. The second half covers a number of topics useful for applied work including missing data, matching for causal inference and, others. The course concludes with a project replicating and extending a piece of work in the scholarly literature.
Instructors: Yu Xie
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
Sociology of Culture (Half-Term)
The course provides an introduction to how sociologists study culture, drawing on different theoretical traditions, different scales of analysis, and a variety of different research methods.
Ethnography for Sociologists II (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 Two focuses on quoting, depicting variation, and searching for inconvenient facts.
Instructors: Mitchell Duneier
Topics in Economic and Organizational Sociology (Half-Term): Sociology of Organizations
This course covers selected topics in the sociology of organizations. We first undertake a brief introduction to organizational theories. We then consider empirical applications across an array of domains and sub-fields, including work and labor markets, politics and social movements, education, and social stratification.
Instructors: Adam Michael Goldstein
Economic Sociology (Half-Term): Social Ties, Culture, and Economic Processes
Twenty-first century economic sociology is flourishing with fresh theoretical approaches and significant empirical discoveries. This six-week course provides an introduction to the field and its efforts to develop sociological explanations of economic phenomena. After a general orientation to the subject, the course explores economic activities in an unconventionally wide range of settings including households, informal sectors, gift economies, and consumption. The course culminates with the analysis of compensation systems as a point of confrontation between conventional and alternative accounts of economic phenomena.
Instructors: Viviana Adela Zelizer
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 Social Stratification (Half-Term): Race and Racism in the Contemporary World
Racism, xenophobia, and ethno-national chauvinism can be found in most of the world. This seminar compares past forms of popular and state racism, such as fascism, to current ones, such as the neo-fascism and white supremacism of grassroot organizations in such disparate places like Greece, Britain, the United States, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand. Students are introduced to concepts of race and racism, methodologies, and social and political theory designed to make sense of racism.
Topics in Migration and Development (Half-Term): Human Mobility in a Global Context
This course offers an introduction to the inter-disciplinary research on drivers and consequences of human mobility in a historical and global context. The growth in migrant populations over the last decades has spawned heated public, political and academic debates on the processes and impacts of mass human mobility. In this course, we consider various mechanisms underlying migration, such as economic differentials between regions, political upheavals, and climate change, as well as the conditions for immigrant integration.
Instructors: Filiz Garip
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
Sociology of Law
No description available
Instructors: Paul Elliot Starr
Social Stratification
No description available
Instructors: Yu Xie
Work and Labor under Capitalism
No description available
Instructors: Patricia Fernández-Kelly

Undergraduate – Spring 2021

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
Social Networks
This course provides students an introduction to the study of social networks. In the first half of the course we will learn the core theories that describe the structure of networks and the processes through which things, such as information and disease, spread through networks. Then, in the second half of the course, we will see these theories applied in a variety of areas such as online filter bubbles and social fads.
Instructors: Matthew J. Salganik
Urban Sociology: The City and Social Change in the Americas
By taking a comparative approach, this course examines the role of social, economic, and political factors in the emergence and transformation of modern cities in the United States and selected areas of Latin America. We consider the city in its dual image: both as a center of progress and as a redoubt of social problems, especially poverty. Attention is given to spatial processes that have resulted in the aggregation and desegregation of populations differentiated by social class and race.
Instructors: Patricia Fernández-Kelly
Sociology of Mental Health
In this seminar, we will explore sociological understandings of mental health and illness. First, we will discuss how mental illness is defined and measured, and how that changes across time and place depending on what societies construe as deviant behavior. Second, we will examine the social correlates of mental health, especially status characteristics (race, class, gender) and social situations (going to college). Finally, we will engage debates about mental health services, from psychiatric wards to community-based therapeutic practices. Throughout, we will pay special attention to the intersection of inequality and mental health
Instructors: Ekedi Amandine Mpondo-Dika
The Sociology of Crime and Punishment
This course seeks to provide a sociological account of crime and punishment. Why do people commit crime? How should we respond to crime? How has crime policy changed over the past several decades? What are the consequences of recent crime policy? By reading classic and contemporary sociological research, policy analysis, and media coverage, we will explore the themes of crime and punishment in contemporary society.
Instructors: Lynn S. Chancer
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
Sociological Theory
This course takes a close look at the foundational texts and critical concepts in the discipline of sociology, from the 19th century classics to contemporary theorists who have inspired important research agendas. Our two main goals will be to a) engage critically with authors and ideas and b) to develop your own 'sociological eye' and theoretical skills. Key authors will include Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Simmel, Dubois, Schutz, Goffman, Bourdieu, Foucault, Butler and Latour. We will put these authors in their historical contexts and also ask how they can be used now to interpret contemporary issues and events.
Instructors: Kim Lane Scheppele
Machine Learning with Social Data: Opportunities and Challenges
This is a class about using the tools of machine learning to study social data. The power of machine learning tools is their applicability around a wide range of tasks. There are huge opportunities for applying these tools to learn and make decisions about real people but there are also important challenges. This course aims to (1) show social scientists and digital humanities scholars the potential of machine learning to help them learn about humans, make policy and help people while also (2) showing computer scientists how a social science research design perspective can improve their work and give them new outlets for their skills.
Instructors: Brandon Michael Stewart
Contemporary China
This seminar provides an overview of contemporary Chinese society. Chinese society is best understood through a number of different intrinsically-linked and mutually-interdependent aspects. For this reason, we will explore its history, cultural practices, government, economy, and family structure.
Instructors: Yu Xie
Communism and Beyond: China and Russia
This course focuses on the communist experiment in the Soviet Union and China. The first half of the course presents the political, social and economic histories that characterize the USSR's and China's particular path to communism. The second half of the course focuses on the consequences of communism by examining each country's demographics, environment, social structures and so on. Readings include books, articles and primary documents.
Instructors: Deborah A. Kaple
The Orange Bubble
This seminar uses the lenses of race, class, gender, and sexuality to help students understand undergraduate life at Princeton. We will make sense of how the experiences you have had over the past four years are strongly influenced by historical, cultural, social, and technological forces. The aim is to develop a sociological understanding of the Princeton experience, and use that to reflect more generally on the organization of communities. Topics covered include Sports, Town-Gown relationships, Nightlife, Academics, Sexual Assault, Eating Clubs, Admissions, Systematic Racism, the concepts of merit, inclusion, and equality.
Instructors: Mitchell Duneier, Shamus Rahman Khan
Can We Build Anti-Racist Technologies?
From soap dispensers that don't see dark skin, to facial recognition tools that misidentify black faces, scholars and citizens have documented how the devices and tools we use compound inequalities in society. This Princeton Challenge intervenes in this trend by asking what would it look like to build explicitly anti-racist systems? Students will work in teams to design, build and test systems that embrace anti-racism as a core value, drawing on sociology of race, technology, and Human-Computer Interaction, and scholarship on anti-racism. Students from all sectors of campus, with or without technical backgrounds welcome.
Instructors: Janet Amelia Vertesi
Junior Independent Work
Senior Departmental Exam
No Description Available
Senior Thesis