Selected workshops in which sociology students participate are listed below. Students in sociology are invited to participate in a program of Graduate Workshops in the Humanities and the Social Sciences, a series of interdepartmental discussion groups that bring faculty and advanced graduate students together to discuss their current work. Please click on the title of each workshop to see thier schedule for the current term.
Chicago faculty as well as outside speakers often present portions of books or other projects in which they are currently engaged while students frequently present portions of their dissertations and other research. Some examples of the workshops which draw students from sociology are:
This workshop is sponsored by the Committee on Demographic Training in collaboration with the Population Research Center of NORC and the University. Visitors from other campuses as well as Chicago faculty discuss current research activities in population studies.
East Asia: Society, Politics, and Economy
This workshop focuses on current social science research on East Asian societies, including the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea. Presentations are by University faculty and advanced graduate students who conduct research on these societies.
The Workshop on Education
This interdisciplinary workshop alternates between two types of sessions: 1. Methodology and 2. New Findings in Education. The Methodology sessions focus on methodological problem solving and works in progress for individuals seeking guidance on methodological problems. The New Findings in Education section functions as a typical University of Chicago workshop with detailed discussions regarding student and faculty papers. Open discussion is encouraged after each workshop.
Gender and Sexuality Studies
This workshop provides an interdisciplinary forum for the development of critical perspectives on gender and sexuality. Its primary purpose is to promote analyses of the ways in which these categories intersect with other practices, constructs, or systems of domination. In bringing together readings in queer and gender theory, workshop members will build a vocabulary and analytical tools to evaluate presentations with informed perspectives on how gender and sexuality theories inform and constitute one another. Graduate student presentations may focus on any area of gender and sexuality studies, with gender and sexuality understood as always already embedded in other social practices and categorizations. Workshop participants will share responsibility for choosing readings and speakers and for evaluating the effectiveness of the workshop's interdisciplinary process.
Money, Markets, and Governance
The workshop provides an interdisciplinary forum with focus on economic sociology and political economy, for scholars whose work engages social issues involving money and similar methods of exchange, markets, law, policy, regulation and governance, and their functioning within the global economy. By and large, the workshop aims to complement the modest amount of spaces available to discuss heterodox approaches to economy and governance within established disciplinary communities on campus. The workshop aims for involvement of students from various disciplines, mainly from the social sciences, including sociology and political science, as well as history and anthropology. In addition, we are open to contributions from and welcome the participation of scholars from other areas, such as the the humanities, marketing and business management, public policy, and law.
Organizations and Markets
This workshop focuses on the sociology of organizations, networks, and markets. A wide variety of topics are addressed, including how organizations operate, why they differ, how they emerge from prior organizations, how future growth depends on position in a structure of other organizations and how people survive and thrive within organizations.
Politics, History, and Society
The Politics, History, and Society (PHS) Workshop aims to provide an intellectual home for graduate students and faculty utilizing historical, comparative, and/or institutional case-study methods. Our regular attendees' substantive interests range from political sociology, sociology of the state, and social movements, to law and society, sociology of knowledge, and sociology of religion. PHS’s primary purpose is to provide detailed feedback on working papers, thus PHS sessions are characterized by lively, extended discussion of pre-circulated papers and do not include formal presentations.
This workshop explores issues in social theory across a variety of disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. The emphasis is less on developing social theory than on exploring in a sustained fashion the social theoretical implications of the participants’ work. Themes to be addressed are likely to include the relationship between social and cultural transformations; questions of the public sphere, civil society, and democracy; the relations between modernist and postmodernist forms of social theory; and conceptual issues posed by globalization.
Social Theory and Evidence
Social scientists continue to struggle over the relative merits of their many enterprises: explanation versus interpretation, causal versus descriptive analysis, the development of theories versus the testing of hypotheses. Two questions are foundational: What constitutes a good theory? And at what point does the evidence for an argument turn from plausible to compelling? These problems, present from the birth of social science, have grown no less thorny, but also no less critical, since how we choose to solve them informs the evidence we believe and the theories we generate. This workshop focuses on the clarity and cogency of social theories and the logic and effectiveness of evidence in social research.
The social organization of urban environments has always held a prominent place in the social sciences and at the University of Chicago in particular. This workshop carries on that tradition, providing an interdisciplinary forum for faculty and graduate students to present current research. Participants contribute to the development of new understandings of the social structures and processes within a city. This workshop hosts a lively and interactive series of presentations covering such topics as political economy, culture, social organization, globalization, crime, and urban history.