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


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. Martin. Winter.

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. Abbott. Autumn.

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  Second-Year Writing Seminar. 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. Zhao, Linda. Spring.

SOCI 30008  Third-Year Dissertation Proposal Seminar. 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. Go. Winter.

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. Autumn.

SOCI 30112 Appl 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 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 30150 Consumption. The modern period was associated with industrial production, class society, rationalization, disenchantment, the welfare state, and the belief in salvation by society. Current societies are characterized by a culture of consumption; consumption is central to lifestyles and identity, it is instantiated in our technological reality and the complex of advertising media, structures of wanting and shopping. Starting from the question “why do we want things” we will discuss theories and empirical studies that focus on consumption and identity formation; on shopping and the consumption of symbolic signs; on consumption as linked to the re-enchantment of modernity; as a process of distinction and of the globalization of frames; and as related to time and information. The course is built around approaches that complement the “productionist” focus of the social sciences. Students interested in economic sociology and anthropology can supplement this course by one on Markets and Money. Knorr. Autumn.

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, manipulation, 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 GeoDa software. Anselin. Autumn.

SOCI 30258. Maverick Markets: Cultural Economy and Cultural Finance. What are the cultural dimensions of economic and financial institutions and financial action? What social variables influence and shape 'real' markets and market activities? 'If you are so smart, why aren't you rich?' is a question economists have been asked in the past. Why isn’t it easy to make money in financial areas even if one knows what economists know about markets, finance and the economy? And why, on the other hand, is it so easy to get rich for some participants? Perhaps the answer is that real markets are complex social and cultural institutions which are quite different from organizations, administrations and the production side of the economy. The course provides an overview over social and cultural variables and patterns that play a role in economic behavior and specifically in financial markets. The readings examine the historical and structural embeddedness of economic action and institutions, the different constructions and interpretations of money, prices and other dimensions of a market economy, and how a financial economy affects organizations, the art world and other areas. Knorr. Spring.

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. Autumn.

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 rearrange 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 30292 The Social Psychology of Inequality. Social inequalities hinge to a significant degree on perceptions and beliefs, fears and desires, and antipathies and affections. This course explores questions related to social inequality that lie at the intersection of sociology and psychology. How and why do individuals identify themselves with different social groups? How do beliefs, values, and norms shape social interactions? How do intergroup stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination develop and evolve? What engenders social conflict and aggression? In this course, we will explore how social psychological theory and research might help to explain a range of different social inequalities. Wodtke. Spring.

SOCI 30506 Cities, Space, Power: Introduction to urban social science. This lecture course provides a broad, multidisciplinary introduction to the study of urbanization in the social sciences.  The course surveys a broad range of research traditions from across the social sciences, as well as the work of urban planners, architects and environmental scientists.  Topics include:  theoretical conceptualizations of the city and urbanization; methods of urban studies; the politics of urban knowledges; the historical geographies of capitalist urbanization; political strategies to shape and reshape the built and unbuilt environment; cities and planetary ecological transformation; post-1970s patterns and pathways of urban restructuring; and struggles for the right to the city. Brenner. Winter.

SOCI 30551 Data Analysis with Demographic & Health Surveys Program Data. Across the globe, maternal-health outcomes are improving, enrollment goals for universal primary education goals are being met, and attitudes about gender equity are being transformed. How do we know these facts? How do we know that they are true? This class is designed to introduce students to the production of scientific knowledge using one of the most trusted data resources for demographic and global-health research. The Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) Program has collected, analyzed, and disseminated accurate and representative data on population, health, HIV, and nutrition through more than 400 surveys in over 90 countries. Students will learn about the nuts-and-bolts of producing high-quality quantitative data in a variety of socio-cultural contexts and will analyze publicly available survey data to answer questions at the intersection of demography, health, and environment. The course begins with a brief history of survey practices; students will read and digest technical material, including questionaries, sampling protocols, scientific reports, and the exemplary secondary literature; students will quickly move to quantitative data analysis using model and actual DHS datasets. This is not a statistics class, but students are expected to use Stata or R independently for data analysis; basic statistical knowledge is required. Evaluation is based on participation in weekly tutorials and a final scientific poster and oral presentation. Trinitapoli. Winter.

SOCI 30559 Spatial Regression Analysis. This course covers statistical and econometric methods specifically geared to the problems of spatial dependence and spatial heterogeneity in cross-sectional data. The main objective for the course is to gain insight into the scope of spatial regression methods, to be able to apply them in an empirical setting, and to properly interpret the results of spatial regression analysis. While the focus is on spatial aspects, the types of methods covered have general validity in statistical practice. The course covers the specification of spatial regression models in order to incorporate spatial dependence and spatial heterogeneity, as well as different estimation methods and specification tests to detect the presence of spatial autocorrelation and spatial heterogeneity. Special attention is paid to the application to spatial models of generic statistical paradigms, such as Maximum Likelihood and Generalized Methods of Moments. An import aspect of the course is the application of open source software tools such as various R packages, GeoDa and the Python Package PySal to solve empirical problems. Anselin. Spring.

SOCI 30574 Social Structure and Agency. The course will unpack two fundamental concepts in sociology—social structure and agency—and examine how they relate to one another. In this endeavor, we will consult both classical and contemporary sources and discuss theoretical elaborations as well as empirical applications. We will pay particular attention to what may be the three most powerful social structures in America: gender, class, and race. The aim of the course is to impart a distinctly sociological perspective and equip students with sociological modes of explanation (as opposed to, say, economic or biological/evolutionary modes) in the belief that such a framework will enrich their understanding of the world. To this end, students majoring in other disciplines—in economics, STEM fields, and the humanities—are encouraged to enroll. While the readings will include dense social theory, every effort will be made to make the ideas at stake accessible to a non-specialized audience. Garrido. Winter.

SOCI 40164  Involved Interviewing. 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, Winter.

SOCI 40177  Coding and Analyzing Qualitative Data using MAXQDA. The focus of this 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, Spring.

SOCI 40192 Seminar: The Family. The family is a key social institution in all human societies, although its structure and functions vary over time and place. Families are responsible for producing, raising and socializing children into social roles. Families are often the site of religious practice, responsible for much of what is produced and consumed, provide shelter, transmit resources across generations and within them, inculcate members, especially the young, with values and beliefs, provide companionship and entertainment, and the location for much of the sexual activity that takes place. Changes in the structure of the economy, social policies, and social organization all affect the family, with demographic forces also playing a key role. We will discuss these issues through the lens of the classic and recent literature on the family as seen from a sociological perspective. PhD students in the Department of Sociology may use this course to satisfy the requirement for an exam in the family.  All students can develop a research paper based on course materials, which might serve as the basis for a thesis or qualifying paper. Waite. Autumn.    

SOCI 40233  Sociology of Immigration. This graduate seminar seeks to cover the main topics in this vast field. Topics include: determinants of migration, immigrant assimilation, transnationalism, immigration and race, immigration policies, immigration attitudes and public opinion, and illegality. We will also devote some time to immigrant-receiving contexts outside of the U.S. especially Western Europe. The purpose of the class is to encourage graduate students to develop their own immigration research projects. We will pay special attention to research design and methodological issues. Flores. Autumn.

SOCI 40242 Parametric and Semi-parametric Methods of Categorical Data Analysis. This course introduces various regression and related methods and models for the analysis of categorical data with an emphasis on their applications to social‑science research.  The course covers various regression models with a categorical dependent variable, including (1) logistic regression, (2) probit regression, (3) multinomial logit regression, (4) ordered logit regression, (5) nested logit regression, (6) bivariate probit regression, and (7) regression models with a latent-class dependent variable.   In addition, the course also tries to cover (8) the use of a categorical regression model for the estimation of propensity scores in causal analysis,  (9) the use of propensity scores in the statistical decomposition analysis of a categorical outcome variable, and (10) the use of propensity scores in segregation analysis with covariates.   The course also provides students with examples of various substantive social‑science applications of the categorical data analysis. 

The course employs STATA for models without using latent-class variable and employs LEM for models with a latent-class variable.  LEM is made available free of charge to students.   The course requires as a prerequisite only an introductory-level knowledge of regression analysis.   No prior knowledge in the use of STATA and LEM is required. Yamaguchi. Spring.

SOCI 40247 Policing and Social Control. This course covers advanced theory and research on modern policing, both present and past. Aimed at upper-level undergraduates and graduate students, the course explores among other things: the historical origins and development of policing, the entanglements of policing with racialization and other axes of social difference, the role of police in social control and social reproduction, the relationship between crime, policing, and punitive institutions, how policing is shaped by transnational and imperial relations, and critical theories of police power. The focus is mainly on policing in the US, however, as the course will show, understanding policing in the US also requires a global perspective. We will accordingly bring in discussions of policing in some European countries and colonial and postcolonial contexts. Go. Winter.

SOCI 40252 Researching Gender & Sexuality. The course is designed to aid graduate students and advanced undergraduates in developing a solid, executable qualitative research study focused on gender and sexuality. Over the ten-week course, students will read exemplary articles and books showcasing a variety of qualitative research methodologies in the social sciences. Additionally, they will read methodology articles that highlight the benefits and limitations of various methodologies and study designs. Students will be required to identify a research question at the beginning of the course.  The course assignments will build toward the formation of a final project. For students at the beginning stages of their research, the project will focus on building a research proposal. For students currently conducting research, the project will focus on building an article or thesis.  At the end of the course, students will not only have a deeper understanding of qualitative methods, but also gain experience in designing a viable research project. Schilt. Winter.

SOCI 40254 Politics and the Conditio Humana. Politics is an endlessly fascinating and deeply frustrating process for participants as much as for observers. As “the art of the doable” it seem mired in a swamp of necessity, contradicting its promise of freedom. How best then to understand politics? Is it a particular human existential, the result of the particular social nature of the species homo sapiens—as the anthropological record showing that all the social groups ever studied had some form of politics seems to suggest?  Or is it only a rare occurrence as for example Hannah Arendt argued by emphatically declaring “the meaning of politics is freedom”. If the former is right, then what are the dimensions of practice that are fruitfully called out by categorizing them as political? What does the emergence of formal political institutions (“states”) have to do with it?  And how could the understanding that such categorization provides be mobilized to institutionalize political practices such that they are answerable to ideals of equality, justice, and responsibility? Would that then lead to a revival of politics as Arendt imagined it? Glaeser. Spring.

SOCI 40256 Democratic Backsliding. In the first part of the course, we will review the literature on democratic backsliding, democratic transition, and democratic consolidation. In the second part, we will examine democratic backsliding in several countries, including India, Brazil, and the Philippines—and possibly the United States too. We may also take a look at what’s happening in China. The course is a seminar, and students will be strongly expected to complete all readings (a book a week) and participate actively in class discussions. Garrido. 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 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. Autumn.

SOCI 50110 Sem: Theories of Action. An investigation of theories of when beginning with Aristotle, concentrating on sociology but with limited attention to the philosophy of action. Martin. Spring.

SOCI 50121  Seminar: Ethnography-2. In this seminar practicum, students will gain first-hand experience in theoretically grounded and critically reflexive ethnographic research methods. This second quarter will provide students with a “hands-on” experience in the practical tasks, rules, and tricks of the trade in ethnographic research. Students will carry out an original research project requiring them to gain access, recruit respondents, build rapport, and collect and analyze data. As projects develop, students will learn how to use their intimate and embodied engagements in the field to generate rigorous theoretical contributions. We will discuss the range of “styles” of writing ethnographic research papers, as well as the varied ways that authors discuss, problematize, and “use” their positionality while in the field, as well as how they write up analyses and present their work to academic and public audiences. Hoang. Spring.

SOCI 50128  Seminar: Critical Race Theory. This is a readings course designed to be an introduction to Critical Race Theory (CRT). CRT is a school of thought that seeks to understand the relationship between race and the law, which grew out of the legal academy. Since its inception in the 1970s, the tenets of Critical Race Theory have gone on to inform theory and empirical research in many disciplines. In this course we will read several of the founding texts of CRT. We will then move into reading the kinds of race-based critical theory that sociologists have developed. On a rotating basis in different quarters we will be reading such authors as: Derrick Bell, Kimberly Crenshaw, Cheryl Harris, Richard Delgado, Mari Matsuda, Patricia Williams, W.E.B. Du Bois, Eduardo Bonilla Silva, Joe Feagin, Ian Haney Lopez, and Patricia Hill Collins, among others. Bell. Autumn.

SOCI 50130 Sem: The Sociology of Poverty. This course examines the empirics, causes, and consequences of poverty in modern societies from a sociological perspective. Wodtke. Winter.

SOCI 50131 Social theory, energy and capitalism. This interdisciplinary Ph.D. seminar considers some of the major theoretical approaches to energy as a formative dimension of global capitalism, with a particular emphasis on its political-institutional mediations, its spatial expressions, and its environmental dimensions, from the microbiological to the planetary scales. The seminar devotes particular attention to the problematique of “fossil capital” (Andreas Malm) and to the energetic dimensions of the Capitalocene, an epoch of historical time in which the dynamics, contradictions and crisis tendencies of capital have fundamentally reshaped planetary conditions. Part One considers various approaches to theorizing such issues. Part Two considers the historical-geographical dynamics of fossil capital as energy regime, politico-spatial project and socio-environmental force. Part Three considers contemporary debates on energy transitions and the historical political geographies of prospective “green” transitions. The seminar will cover key texts in this field in depth, introducing doctoral students to foundational perspectives, debates, methods and horizons for research, offering useful foundations for more specialized research.  Brenner. Autumn.

SOCI 50132 Sem: Causal Inference in Studies of Educational Interventions. This course will engage students in evaluating the validity of causal claims made in important educational studies conducted within multiple disciplines. A focus will be on what can be learned about the school as an organization and the work of teaching by evaluating attempts to improve education. Fellows will re-analyze data from such studies, write reports that critically evaluate published study findings, and consider implications for research on educational improvement. This course is required of second year Fellows in the Education Sciences. Otherwise, admission to the seminar requires permission of the instructor. Introductory coursework in applied statistics is a prerequisite; prior study of causal inference is recommended. Raudenbush. Spring.

SOCI 60020  1st-Year Pro-seminar: Research Questions and Design. A required, non-credit colloquium for first-year doctoral students in Sociology. The pro-seminar addresses how to generate research questions and design projects through the current work of department faculty. Staff. Autumn.