The course catalog is constantly evolving. For more detailed scheduling information about these courses, please visit the registrar's office.

 

2020-21 TENTATIVE  COURSE  OFFERINGS

SOCI 30002  Principles of Sociological Research. Explores how theoretical questions and different types of evidence inform decisions about methodological approach and research design.  This course is required for first year Sociology PhD students. Trinitapoli. Autumn.

SOCI 30003  History of Social Theory. This course is an introduction to sociological theory.  It will cover Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Simmel, Mead, Dewey, Bourdieu, and possibly others. Glaeser. Spring.

SOCI 30004  Statistical Methods of Research 1. This course provides a comprehensive introduction to widely used quantitative methods in sociology and related social sciences.  Topics covered include analysis of variance and multiple regression, considered as they are used by practicing social scientists. Raudenbush. Winter.

SOCI 30005  Statistical Methods of Research 2. Social scientists regularly ask questions that can be answered with quantitative data from a population-based sample. For example, how much more income do college graduates earn compared to those who do not attend college? Do men and women with similar levels of training and who work in similar jobs earn different incomes? Why do children who grow up in different family or neighborhood environments perform differently in school? To what extent do individuals from different socioeconomic backgrounds hold different types of political attitudes and engage in different types of political behavior? This course explores statistical methods that can be used to answer these and many other questions of interest to social scientists. The main objectives are to provide students with a firm understanding of linear regression and generalized linear models and with the technical skills to implement these methods in practice. Wodtke. Spring.

SOCI 30006, 30007  Second Year Writing Seminar-1, 2. A required seminar that will meet over two quarters. Doctoral students in Sociology are required to take this seminar in their second year as they develop their Qualifying Paper (a full draft, at minimum, must be turned in to the department by June 11). In addition to providing a framework for these individual writing projects, the seminar will address norms of professional publishing, including professional peer review, as well as strategies for argumentation and analysis. Clemens. Winter, Spring.

SOCI 30103  Social Stratification. Social stratification is the unequal distribution of the goods that members of a society value -- earnings, income, authority, political power, status, prestige, etc. This course introduces various sociological perspectives about stratification. We will look at major patterns of inequality throughout human history, how they vary across countries, how they are formed and maintained, how they come to be seen as legitimate and desirable, and how they affect the lives of individuals within a society. The readings incorporate classical theoretical statements, contemporary debates, and recent empirical evidence. The information and ideas discussed in this course are critical for students who will go on in sociology and extremely useful for students who want to be informed about current social, economic, and political issues. Stolzenberg. Winter.

SOCI 30104  Urban Structure & Process. This course reviews competing theories of urban development, especially their ability to explain the changing nature of cities under the impact of advanced industrialism. Analysis includes a consideration of emerging metropolitan regions, the microstructure of local neighborhoods, and the limitations of the past American experience as a way of developing urban policy both in this country and elsewhere. Garrido. Spring.

SOCI 30106  Political Sociology. This course provides analytical perspectives on citizen preference theory, public choice, group theory, bureaucrats and state-centered theory, coalition theory, elite theories, and political culture. These competing analytical perspectives are assessed in considering middle-range theories and empirical studies on central themes of political sociology. Local, national, and cross-national analyses are explored. The course covers readings for the Sociology Ph.D. Prelim exam in political sociology. Clark. Spring.

SOCI 30112  Applications of Hierarchical Linear Models. A number of diverse methodological problems such as correlates of change, analysis of multi-level data, and certain aspects of meta-analysis share a common feature--a hierarchical structure.  The hierarchical linear model offers a promising approach to analyzing data in these situations.  This course will survey the methodological literature in this area, and demonstrate how the hierarchical linear model can be applied to a range of problems. Raudenbush. Spring.

SOCI 30116  Global-Local Politics. Globalizing and local forces are generating a new politics in the United States and around the world. This course explores this new politics by mapping its emerging elements: the rise of social issues, ethno-religious and regional attachments, environmentalism, gender and life-style identity issues, new social movements, transformed political parties and organized groups, and new efforts to mobilize individual citizens. Clark. Winter.

SOCI 30118  Survey Research Overview. This course is designed to walk students through the many phases of interview-based research projects, with an emphasis on overall research design and linking each design decision to the student's research question within the limits of budget and time constraints. The course should give students a basic understanding about how sampling, questionnaire or interview guide construction, and actual data collection fit together in practical terms. The final product for the course is a research proposal that provides a clear research question and a plan of action for collecting original data by interview (including open-ended, qualitative, interviews, focus groups, or fixed-choice, standardized surveys or some combination of interview/survey with other data). Proposals to collect data by observational checklist or rating scale or a content analysis are also acceptable for this course, but proposals for secondary analysis of existing data are not. Students in the course turn in 8 weekly assignments that are pieces of the final proposal and get back comments and suggestions to help revise these for the final, integrated proposal. Van Haitsma. Autumn and Winter.

SOCI 30120  Urban Policy Analysis. This course addresses the explanations available for varying patterns of policies that cities provide in terms of expenditures and service delivery. It also covers urban and ethnic reading materials for the Ph.D. Prelim exam in Sociology. Topics include theoretical approaches and policy options, migration as a policy option, group theory, citizen preference theory, incrementalism, economic base influences, and an integrated model.  Also examined are the New York fiscal crisis and taxpayer revolts, measuring citizen preferences, service delivery, and productivity. Clark. Autumn.

SOCI 30125  Rational Foundations of Social Theory. This course introduces conceptual and analytical tools for the micro foundations of macro and intermediate-level social theories, taking as a basis the assumption of rational action.  Those tools are then used to construct theories of power, social exchange, collective behavior, socialization, trust, norm, social decision making and justice, business organization, and family organization. Yamaguchi. Spring.

SOCI 30179  Labor Force and Employment. This course introduces key concepts, methods and sources of information for understanding the structure of work and the organization of workers in the United States and other industrialized nations. The course surveys social science approaches to answering key questions about work and employment, including: What is the labor force? What determines the supply of workers? How is work organized into jobs, occupations careers and industries? What, if anything, happened to unions? How much money do workers earn and why? What is the effect of work on health? How do workers and employers find each other? Who is unemployed? What are the employment effects of race, gender, ethnicity, religion and other ascribed characteristics? Stolzenberg. Spring.

SOCI 30192  The Effects of Schooling. From at least the Renaissance until sometime around the middle of the 20th Century, social class was the pre-eminent, generalized determinant of life chances in European and, eventually, American societies. Social class had great effect on one’s social standing, economic well-being, political power, access to knowledge and even longevity, health and height. In that time, there was hardly an aspect of life that was not profoundly influenced by social class. In the ensuing period, the effects of social class have receded greatly, and perhaps have even vanished. In their place formal schooling has become the great generalized influence over who gets access to the desiderata of social life, including food, shelter, political power, medical care, etc. So it is that schooling is sociologically interesting for reasons that go well beyond education. The purpose of this course is to review what is known about the long term effects of schooling. Stolzenberg. Spring.

SOCI 30224  Topics in Sociology of Culture. This class surveys the historical bases and current extension of core readings in the sociology of culture.  These works will be investigated not only in their own terms, but their position in central issues revolving around the independence (or lack of same) of cultural production communities; the omnivore/unibrow question; the role of culture in larger (and smaller) political and social environments; the use of hierarchical as opposed to non-hierarchical models of social structure; and the location of meaning. Clark. Spring.

SOCI 30233  Race in Contemporary American Society. This survey course in the sociology of race offers a socio-historical investigation of race in American society. We will examine issues of race, ethnic and immigrant settlement in the United States. Also, we shall explore the classic and contemporary literature on race and inter-group dynamics. Our investigative tools will include an analysis of primary and secondary sources, multimedia materials, photographic images, and journaling. While our survey will be broad, we will treat Chicago and its environs as a case study to comprehend the racial, ethnic, and political challenges in the growth and development of a city. Hicks-Bartlett. Spring.

SOCI 30253  Introduction to Spatial Data Science. Spatial data science consists of a collection of concepts and methods drawn from both statistics and computer science that deal with accessing, manipulating, visualizing, exploring and reasoning about geographical data. The course introduces the types of spatial data relevant in social science inquiry and reviews a range of methods to explore these data. Topics covered include formal spatial data structures, geovisualization and visual analytics, rate smoothing, spatial autocorrelation, cluster detection and spatial data mining. An important aspect of the course is to learn and apply open source software tools, including R and GeoDa. Anselin. Autumn.

SOCI 30264  Wealth. Wealth is the value of a person’s accumulated possessions and financial assets. Wealth is more difficult for social researchers to measure than earnings and income, and wealthy people are notoriously uncooperative with efforts to study them and their assets. Further, wealth data conveys less information than income data about the lives of the middle- and lower-classes -- who tend to have little or no wealth at all. However, information about wealth gives fundamentally important insight into the values, attitudes, behavior, consumption patterns, social standing, political power, health, happiness and yet more characteristics of individuals and population subgroups. This course considers the causes and consequences of wealth accumulation for individuals, the social groups to which they belong, and the societies in which they dwell. Stolzenberg. Winter.

SOCI 30291 Contemporary Social Theory. This course is about how contemporary theorists and those interested in a theoretical sociology, anthropology or related fields think about societies, how they rearranges themselves, and how social and cultural forms and relations can be analyzed. It addresses connections that transcend national borders and connections that require us to dig deeper than the person and look at the brain. We address different theoretical traditions, including those attempting a diagnosis of our times, and mechanism theories. The overall focus is on defining and agenda setting paradigms in the second half of the 20th century and some new 21st century theorizing. Knorr. Autumn.

SOCI 30298  Schooling and Social Inequality. How and why do educational outcomes and experiences vary across student populations? What role do schools play in a society's system of stratification? How do schools both contribute to social mobility and to the reproduction of the prevailing social order? This course examines these questions through the lens of social and cultural theory, engaging current academic debates on the causes and consequences of social inequality in educational outcomes. We will engage these debates by studying foundational and emerging theories and examining empirical research on how social inequalities are reproduced or ameliorated through schools. Through close readings of anthropological and sociological case studies of schooling in the U.S, students will develop an understanding of the structural forces and cultural processes that produce inequality in neighborhoods and schools, how they contribute to unequal opportunities, experiences, and achievement outcomes for students along lines of race/ethnicity, class, gender, and immigration status, and how students themselves navigate and interpret this unequal terrain. We will cover such topics as neighborhood and school segregation; peer culture; social networks; elite schooling; the interaction between home, society and educational institutions; and dynamics of assimilation for students from immigrant communities. Rosen. Autumn.

SOCI 30326  Digital Ethnography.  How can one complete an ethnographic project during a pandemic? What does it mean to do participant observation online? What changes when interviews move to a digital format?  This methods course prepares graduate students for ethnographic research in an online environment. We will discuss practical steps to put together a research project—from research design to data collection and analysis. We will cover epistemological, ethical, and practical matters in online ethnographic research, and read articles and books showcasing methods for the study of virtual worlds (both game and nongame). Students will be required to formulate a preliminary research question at the beginning of the course and will conduct a few weeks of ethnographic research in a virtual field site of their choosing. Each week students will produce field notes to be exchanged and discussed in class, and as a final project they will be asked to write a research proposal or a short paper based on their observations. This is an online course which features a blend of synchronous discussions and asynchronous ethnographic assignments.  Fugazzola. Autumn and Winter.

SOCI 30504  Professions, Organizations, and Machines: Expertise and Power. CANCELLED. Expertise is rapidly moving from professionals to organizations and machines/artifacts. This process is fed by changes in technology as well as by economic pressures and educational trends. It has consequences for employment patterns, for expertise institutions like universities and consulting firms, for old and new professions, and for the future structure and content of knowledge itself. This lecture course will provide an overview of all aspects of this social transformation, tracing developments through the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Abbott. Winter.

SOCI 30508  Working with Found Data: Library/Internet Research. This course is an introduction to the methods involved in "research with found data:" that is, found material like manuscripts, books, journals, newspapers, ephemera, and government and institutional documents. (Such materials can be found both in print and on the Internet.) The course covers the essentials of project design, bibliography, location, access, critical reading, source evaluation, knowledge categorization and assembly, and records maintenance. The course is a methodological practicum organized around student projects. The texts are Thomas Mann's Oxford Guide to Library Research and Andrew Abbott's Digital Paper. Abbott. Autumn. This offering of the course is for Sociology PhD students and undergraduates. 

SOCI 30508  Working with Found Data: Library/Internet Research. This course is an introduction to the methods involved in "research with found data:" that is, found material like manuscripts, books, journals, newspapers, ephemera, and government and institutional documents. (Such materials can be found both in print and on the Internet.) The course covers the essentials of project design, bibliography, location, access, critical reading, source evaluation, knowledge categorization and assembly, and records maintenance. The course is a methodological practicum organized around student projects. The texts are Thomas Mann's Oxford Guide to Library Research and Andrew Abbott's Digital Paper. Abbott. Winter. This offering of the course is for MAPSS students. Sociology students should enroll in Autumn offering.

SOCI 30519 Spatial Cluster Analysis. This course provides an overview of methods to identify interesting patterns in geographic data, so-called spatial clusters. Cluster concepts come in many different forms and can generally be differentiated between the search for interesting locations and the grouping of similar locations. The first category consists of the identification of extreme concentrations of locations (events), such as hot spots of crime events, and the location of geographical concentrations of observations with similar values for one or more variables, such as areas with elevated disease incidence. The second group consists of the combination of spatial observations into larger (aggregate) areas such that internal similarity is maximized (regionalization). The methods covered come from the fields of spatial statistics as well as machine learning (unsupervised learning) and operations research. Topics include point pattern analysis, spatial scan statistics, local spatial autocorrelation, dimension reduction, as well as spatially explicit hierarchical, agglomerative and density-based clustering. Applications range from criminology and public health to politics and marketing. An important aspect of the course is the analysis of actual data sets by means of open source software, such as GeoDa, R or Python. Anselin. Spring.

SOCI 40112  Ethnographic Methods. This course explores the epistemological and practical questions raised by ethnography as a method -- focusing on the relationships between theory and data, and between researcher and researched.  Discussions are based on close readings of ethnographic texts, supplemented by occasional theoretical essays on ethnographic practices. Students also conduct original field research, share and critique each other's field notes on a weekly basis, and produce analytical papers based on their ethnographies. McRoberts. Winter.

SOCI 40164  Involved Interviewing. Subtitle: Strategies for interviewing hard to penetrate communities and populations.  Imagine that you must interview someone who hails from a background unlike your own; perhaps you need to interview an incarcerated youth, or gather a life history from an ill person. Maybe your task is to conduct fieldwork inside a community that challenges your comfort level. How do we get others to talk to us? How do we get out of our own way and limited training to become fully and comfortably engaged in people and the communities in which they reside?  This in-depth investigation into interviewing begins with an assumption that the researcher as interviewer is an integral part of the research process. We turn a critical eye on the interviewer’s role in getting others to talk and learn strategies that encourage fertile interviews regardless of the situational context. Weekly reading assignments facilitate students’ exploration of what the interview literature can teach us about involved interviewing. Additionally, we critically assess our role as interviewer and what that requires from us. Students participate in evaluating interview scenarios that are designed to explore our assumptions, sharpen our interviewing skills and troubleshoot sticky situations. We investigate a diversity of settings and populations as training ground for leading effective interviews. The final project includes: 1) a plan that demonstrates knowledge of how to design an effective interviewing strategy for unique field settings; 2) instructor’s feedback on students’ personal journals on the role of the interviewer. Hicks-Bartlett. Autumn and Winter.

SOCI 40177  Coding and Analyzing Qualitative Data: Using Open-Source Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software (CAQDAS). This is a graduate level course in coding and analyzing qualitative data (e.g., interview transcripts, oral histories, focus groups, letters, and diaries, etc). In this hands-on-course students learn how to organize and manage text-based data in preparation for analysis and final report writing of small scale research projects. Students use their own laptop computers to access one of two free, open-source software programs available for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.  While students with extant interview data can use it for this course, those without existing data will be provided text to code and analyze.  This course does not cover commercial CAQDAS, such as AtlasTi, NVivo, The Ethnograph or Hypertext. Hicks-Bartlett. Winter and Spring.

SOCI 40202  Advanced Topics in Causal InferenceCANCELLED. This course is designed primarily for graduate students from the social sciences, education, public health science, public policy, social service administration, and statistics who are involved in quantitative research and are interested in studying causality. The goal of this course is to equip students with selected advanced and applied topic in causal inference. This course is a sequence to Introduction to Causal Inference (SOCI 30315 and CHDV 30102, which is cross-listed as PBHS 43201 and STAT 31900, and assumes basic knowledge of methods covered in that course, including Rubin’s causal models (methods based on propensity score matching, stratification and weighting, difference-in-difference estimator, regression discontinuity design, and basic instrumental-variable method).  While this introductory course is not a prerequisite for the course, a prior taking of any other course that covers similar topics is expected and assumed. The course covers a variety of advanced and/or applied topics in causal inference, which are not necessarily cumulative in content. Topics that will be covered include: the use of propensity-score weighting in the decomposition of inequality and the decomposition of positional segregation, extensions of the DID and generalized DID method with three-wave panel data, and loglinear causal analysis by Yamaguchi; and adaptive treatment regimes and methods for time-varying treatments by Hong.  There will also be an invited talk by a faculty member. Yamaguchi, Hong. Spring.

SOCI 40236  Panel Data Spatial Econometrics. CANCELLEDThis course covers econometric methods specifically geared to deal with the presence of spatial dependence and spatial heterogeneity in panel data models, i.e., models based on data with both a cross-sectional and time series dimension. Such data are increasingly common in many areas of empirical social science research. The main objectives of the course are to gain insight into the way spatial effects can be incorporated into panel data regression model specifications, what are the proper methods to carry out specification tests and to estimate such models, and how the results should be interpreted in terms of the implied dynamics across space and over time. Special attention is paid to the application to spatial models of generic statistical paradigms, such as fixed and random effects, maximum likelihood and quasi-maximum likelihood estimation, the generalized method of moments, and semi-parametric estimation. An important aspect of the course is an emphasis on computation and leveraging open source software tools such as R and Python to carry out estimation and simulation. Anselin. Spring.

SOCI 40237  Towards a Sociology of Democracy: Theories and Cases. What does a sociological approach to the study of democracy look like? How is it different from the dominant approaches in political science and political theory? The course takes up this question. We will consider relevant theories and examine several cases of democracy, particularly in the Global South. Garrido. Winter.

SOCI 40238  Making a Dissertation Project. This course is aimed primarily at third years in the Sociology department, although all pre-dissertation graduate students are welcome. We will intensively workshop each other’s dissertation projects, and students will be expected to produce a defensible proposal by the end. Garrido. Autumn.

SOCI 40239  Linear Models: From Principles To Practice. This course is designed as a hands-on practicum in the nuts and bolts of handling and analyzing quantitative data. Key topics include data management, sample definition, scale construction, treatment of missing data, and effective presentation of results. This course pre-supposes students have taken the first-year stats sequence in sociology (or some equivalent) and possess basic knowledge of the principles of sampling, mathematical statistics, and linear regression models. In this class we will solidify that knowledge by 1) examining several simple extensions of the GLM framework, 2) analyzing examples of recent, published work that executes these extensions for some sociological purpose, and 3) cultivating fluency in the exploration and manipulation of a variety of quantitative data sources through replication and extension.  Course examples will be done in Stata. Trinitapoli. Autumn.

SOCI 40240  Cities and their Global Connections. This course surveys the core traditions of critical urban social science that emerged since the 1970s and their major contributions to theory development and concrete research on contemporary urbanization.  We focus in particular on approaches to urban studies that explore capitalist forms of urbanization, their expressions in historical regimes of urban development, their implications for sociospatial configurations within and beyond metropolitan regions, their mediations through state institutions and sociopolitical contestation, and their connections to the remaking of nonhuman landscapes and ecologies.  The course will devote particular attention to research traditions that investigate processes of urban restructuring in relation to a range of contemporary global transformations—including geoeconomic restructuring; neoliberalization and the remaking of state power; financialization and cascading global financial crises; the consolidation of global supply chains and new patterns of industrial development in the global South; and the proliferation of planetary ecological crises under the “Anthropocene.”  This reading-intensive course is intended to introduce Ph.D. students to the foundations of critical urban studies and to provide a broad survey of major themes, methods and debates in this dynamic research field. Brenner. Autumn.

SOCI 40241  Global Social Theory. Traditional sociological theory operates from a series of assumptions; e.g. that modernity originated in something called “Europe” and then spread to the rest of the world, that social relations are contained by nation-states, that social theories seeking to apprehend those social relations can best be developed through reference to European societies, and that such social theories represent universal principles, laws or forms applicable across different societies. This course, open to graduate students and advanced undergraduates, explores a variety of schools of thought that challenge and seek to transcend these assumptions, thereby generating alternative social theories, concepts, epistemologies and approaches. These schools of thought might be summarily under the label “Postcolonial Theory,” but more broadly they would include anticolonial thought (from W.E.B. Dubois to Aimé Césaire and Franz Fanon), Wallerstein’s world-systems analysis or dependista theory, “Black Marxism” (such as C.L.R. James), the “decolonial school” including Aníbal Quijano, postcolonial theory in the humanities (Edward Said, Homi Bhabha, Gayatri Spivak), “Southern Theory,” and a spate of recent sociological works dealing in these same themes. The point of this seminar is to introduce students to the key ideas, concepts and theories of these schools of thought and to critically assess their pitfalls and promise. Go. Spring.

SOCI 50003  Sociology of the State. Through taxation, regulation, redistribution, and the provision of services, modern states profoundly shape social life and constitute a principal form of political power. This seminar will survey major theories of the state, engaging with both comparative-historical questions (pre-modern state forms, the rise of nation-states, the development of welfare states and economic policy regimes) and contemporary challenges of governance. The course provides an overview of selected current research and an opportunity for those interested in political, historical, or macro-comparative sociology to develop empirical projects with the state as an important dimension of analysis. Clemens. Winter.

SOCI 50076  Logic of Social Science Inquiry. Largely drawing on the literature of social movement, revolution, and historical sociology, this seminar surveys the methodologies that social scientists use to construct stories for the cases that interest them, including deductive reasoning, simulation, correlative thinking, mechanism-based analysis, case-based comparison, historical method, dialectics, conceptualization, hermeneutics, and more. The course discusses the pros and cons of each of these methods and ways to combine these methods to achieve better strategies for telling stories about ourselves and about the past and present. Zhao. Winter.

SOCI 50092  Seminar: Religion and Politics. In this seminar we will consider meanings of religion and politics, and examine their interactions from a comparative perspective.  After digesting alternative theoretical understandings of the relationship between religion, states, and political processes, we will turn to empirical accounts that illuminate historical and local issues at points around the globe.  Among other phenomena, students will explore patterns of secularization, religious nationalism, fundamentalisms, and policy-oriented religious social movements. McRoberts. Winter.

SOCI 50106  Seminar: The Social Process. This course sets forth a general analysis of the social process, based on the exposition of a processual theoretical system. It begins with desiderata for the theory, then proceeds through the topics of orders, events, locality, lineage, stability, and entity processes to the usual micro and macro analyses of social life. Abbott. Winter

SOCI 50122  Seminar: Theories of Race & Racism. This course is designed for to provide an overview of sociological perspectives on race and racism in the US. While we will read classic and contemporary theory and research on race in the United States, our focus will be on getting up to date on the contemporary state of the study of race and racism in sociology and closely related fields. Throughout, our goal will be to consider race both as a source of identity and social differentiation as well as a system of privilege, power and inequality affecting everyone in society, albeit in different ways. By taking up several important debates in the literature, the course will offer you a solid entry point into the study of race and racism in the US. Bell. Autumn.

SOCI 50125  Seminar: Social Inequality. This course focuses on the role played by society in differential access to all the things society values-such as education, health, money, jobs, status, safety, and respect.  We will discuss key classic and modern theoretical perspectives on inequality, and review the literature on differentials by gender, race and ethnicity, family background, immigrant status.  We will look at differentials across neighborhoods, cities, regions and countries.  Each class meeting we will read and discuss three or four journal articles or sections of a book, with class participants presenting each reading, summarizing it, and then critiquing it.  The class will then discuss. We will add to and subtract from the readings to match the interests of participants on each topic; the syllabus will list readings as starting point for this process.  Waite. Spring