Courses

Graduate – Fall 2021

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
Topics in Economic and Organizational Sociology (Half-Term): Culture and Economic Sociology
Twenty-first century economic sociology is flourishing as a new generation of scholars develops fresh theoretical approaches and makes startling empirical discoveries. In compressed form, this course provides an introduction to the field and its efforts to develop sociological explanations of economic phenomena. In particular, we focus on the place of cultural meanings and social ties in accounting for economic activity. After a general orientation to the field the course explores a wide range of economic activities, including household finances, credit and debt, migrant transactions, payment systems, and consumption.
Instructors: Filiz Garip, Frederick Wherry, Viviana Zelizer
Topics in Social Stratification (Half-Term): Racial and Ethnic Classification and Identity
This seminar explores the formation of racial and ethnic identities and groups and the rules of racial and ethnic classification for such purposes as official statistics (e.g., censuses) and law (e.g., civil rights enforcement); recent changes in the U.S. ethno-racial order, including the emergence of pan-ethnic categories (e.g., Hispanic/Latino/Latinx; Asian American; people of color; BIPOC); whiteness and white identity politics; and controversies over the future course of racial and ethnic change in the U.S. population and politics.
Instructors: Paul Starr
Text as Data: Statistical Text Analysis for the Social Sciences (Half-Term)
A survey of approaches to statistical text analysis with a focus on applications in the social sciences. We take a task-based approach learning techniques for representation, discovery, measurement, prediction and causal inference.
Instructors: Brandon Stewart

Undergraduate – Fall 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 Nelson
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 Wherry
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, HIV/AIDS, and social fads.
Instructors: Matthew Salganik
The Sociology of the Internet
You're likely reading this course description online. Next, you'll check your Gmail account, scroll through Instagram, and send a few messages over WhatsApp. The internet permeates our jobs, friendships, finances, politics, family ties and intimate relationships today. How do sociologists analyze activity online, and determine the internet's role in society? We'll develop a toolkit for studying social worlds online, ask which aspects of society have truly changed because of the internet, and return to basic sociological concepts as they play out on the web, as we ask and answer meaningful questions about the sociology of the internet.
Instructors: Janet Vertesi
Inequality: Class, Race, and Gender
Widening inequality is a key challenge of the 21st Century. This course introduces students to the sociological study of inequality and stratification, motivated by the question of how disparities of wealth, income, and life chances have variously grown, shrunk, and transformed in the United States during recent decades. Distributional inequality and race/class /gender gaps will be examined amid changing systems of education, work and labor markets, housing, healthcare, wealth/financial security, and criminal justice/policing.
Instructors: Bonnie Thornton Dill
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 Edin, James Raymo
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 Hamilton
Sexuality in Global Contexts
Sexuality is fundamental to the organization of society -- both in the U.S. and across the world. Though sexuality carries important personal significance, the understanding of why and how it influences our lives is inextricably woven into a complex, global fabric. The aim of this course is to unravel this fabric and reveal the deeply globalized nature of sexuality in the modern era and how this shapes understandings of sexuality, the sexual identities available to us, and how the state regulates it -- especially from a global, comparative perspective.
Instructors: Kristopher Velasco
Genomics and Society
Over the past 20 years, we have witnessed rapid advances in our ability to collect and analyze human DNA. For the first time, social scientists can integrate molecular genetic data into studies of the processes that shape social and behavioral outcomes like education and BMI. How do genes affect a person¿s chances of developing depression? Do genetic influences vary across environments? What is the difference between race and genetic ancestry? We review the ugly history surrounding genes and social outcomes, introduce the key concepts of molecular genetics, and explore recent discoveries in human genomics and their implications for society.
Instructors: Sam Trejo