Contacts | Program of Study | Course Requirements, Academic Year 2024–25 | Course Requirements for the Major in Sociology | Qualifying Courses, Academic Year 2024–2025 | BA Project Guidelines | Grades | Honors | Research Funding | IRB Approval | Study Abroad  | Policy for Students Pursuing a BA/MA Thesis | Questions? | Sociology Courses

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Program of Study

The discipline of sociology explores the nature, structure, and dynamics of social life, and also its causes and consequences for the world. With this broad mandate, sociology encompasses a diversity of substantive interests, methodological approaches, and theoretical orientations. Sociologists study diverse social phenomena ranging from online conversations, friendship, and families to neighborhoods, governments, and global markets. They study cities and communities, inequality, social mobility and social class, patterns of population change and migration, social identities such as race, class, and gender, ethnic relations and social conflict, social media and digital interaction, and social dimensions of sex, health, business, education, law, politics, religion, and science. Sociologists study the emergence, stabilization, disintegration, and wide-ranging implications of these social institutions, behaviors, and meanings. Methodologies of the field range from ethnography, interviews, and historical research to surveys, computational modeling, and big data analysis.

The University of Chicago’s sociology department was the first in the United States, and it stewards the American Journal of Sociology, the discipline’s longest running sociology journal. Chicago sociology builds on these legacies by continuing to sponsor pathbreaking research. Chicago training in sociology confers deep understanding of social organization and human relations, along with skill in drawing inferences from data, which has made it attractive for students considering careers in business, social media, data science, education, law, marketing, medicine, journalism, social work, politics, public administration, and urban planning. Chicago’s sociology education forms an excellent basis for specialized graduate work and affords entry to careers in federal, state, and local agencies, as well as into business enterprises, private foundations, and research institutes.

Course Requirements, Academic Year 2024–25

The curriculum has been carefully designed to provide students with instruction on essential aspects of the discipline: theory, research logic, methods, and real-world applications. To preserve its coherence, we discourage petitions to get out of taking a course requirement or to substitute a non-SOCI course for a required SOCI course.

Please plan ahead! Because several course requirements are offered concurrently, it will be difficult to take them all in one year without overloading.

Finally, please join our undergraduate listserv so that you don't miss important news and reminders. 

Course Requirements for the Major in Sociology

Introduction to Sociology (choose one)100
Sociological Theory (choose one)100
Quantitative Methods (choose one)100
Qualitative Methods (choose one)100
Logic of Social Inquiry (choose one)100
Four Courses in Sociology (i.e., prefaced by SOCI)400
BA Project (optional - see description below under 7)
Total Units900

For a list of which courses satisfy these requirements, see the Department of Sociology curriculum page.

It is strongly recommended that the requirements be taken in the following sequence:

(1) Introduction to Sociology, (2) Sociological Theory, (3) the two Methods courses, (4) Logic of Social Inquiry, and (5) the BA Project (seminar and paper), with the four electives taken throughout. 

Complete this checklist of requirements. It must be submitted for inspection in order to graduate as a sociology major.

Qualifying Courses, Academic Year 2024–2025


One of the following courses:100
Society, Power and Change (not offered in 2024–25)
Immigrant America (Autumn)
The Sociology of Deviant Behavior (Autumn)
Cities, Space, Power: Introduction to urban social science (Winter)
The Sociology of Work (Winter)
Morrissey's America: Contemporary Social Problems (Spring)
Maverick Markets: Cultural Economy and Cultural Finance (Spring)
Any theory course (in addition to the course taken to fulfill the Sociological Theory requirement)


One of the following courses:100
Sociological Theory (Autumn)
How to Think Sociologically (Winter)
Social Theory for the Digital Age (Spring)
Introduction to Critical Social Theory (Spring)


One of the following courses:100
Statistical Methods of Research (Autumn )
Introduction to Computational Social Science (Autumn)
Social Networks: How Networks Shape Integration and Inequality in Diverse Societies (Spring)

 Students may also take STAT 22000, STAT 23400, and above to satisfy this requirement. Note that this is the only requirement that can be satisfied with a non-SOCI course.


One of the following courses:100
Involved Interviewing: Strategies for Interviewing Hard to Penetrate Communities and Populations (Autumn - fourth- and third-year sociology majors only)
The Logic and Methods of Historical Research (Winter)
Coding & Analyzing Qualitative Data using MAXQDA (Winter - fourth- and third-year sociology majors only)
Qualitative Field Methods (Spring)


One of the following courses:100
Logic of Social Inquiry (Winter)
Sociological Methods (not offered in 2024–25)


These electives can be satisfied by taking any four courses in the major, including cross-listed ones, i.e., they must have a course number prefaced by SOCI.400


Students pursuing this option must register for the BA Seminar and BA Project in their fourth year. They should have fulfilled their Methods and Logic requirements beforehand—ideally, no later than the Autumn Quarter of their fourth year.

SOCI 29998Sociology BA Thesis Seminar100
This course is taken throughout the senior year. Students should register for it in the Spring Quarter, but take it all three quarters (Autumn, Winter, and Spring). They will receive their course grade in the Spring. See description below.

BA Project Guidelines

The BA project is optional. Students traditionally write an academic thesis for their project, but also have the option to complete an internship or apprenticeship.

Track 1: Thesis

The thesis option allows students to complete a 30-40-page paper based on substantial research. This track is recommended for most students and especially those pursuing academic or research-based professions.

Their research efforts are structured by the BA Thesis Seminar. Typically, students should enroll for the seminar in the Spring Quarter of their fourth year and take it all three quarters. (This is so that they can drop the seminar without penalty should they change their minds about writing a thesis.) Students will receive their course grade at the end of the Spring Quarter. 

Students will need to secure a faculty advisor from within the Department of Sociology. 

Ideally, students will have taken the relevant Methods course before taking the BA Thesis Seminar (i.e., if planning to conduct qualitative research for their thesis, they will have already completed the Qualitative Methods requirement). 

Students will have started doing research in the summer before their fourth year. In order to prepare them to do so, the Director of Undergraduate Studies will hold a meeting in the Spring Quarter for all sociology third-years interested in pursuing a BA project.

Track 2: Internship/Apprenticeship

Students may complete a BA project in the form of an internship in an organization or an apprenticeship with professionals in various fields. They may work in non-profits or government agencies or apprentice with policymakers, journalists, lawyers, doctors, artists, investors, or others. The goal of this track is to engage students in thinking about these endeavors sociologically. To this end, they will be required to produce a review of the “literature” on their chosen field or organization, a series of sociologically minded reflection papers, and a final report considering their activities from a sociological perspective.

  • Students pursuing this track must take SOCI 29998 Sociology BA Thesis Seminar. They will be grouped into a particular section.
  • They must obtain two advisors: a faculty advisor from within the Department of Sociology and someone to advise their internship or apprenticeship from within their chosen organization or field.
  • Their internship/apprenticeship will last for a period of six months, typically beginning in mid-October and ending in late April.
  • Students may enroll for the BA Seminar without having secured an internship/apprenticeship, but they should have a good idea of the organization or field they want to work in. The first month of the seminar will be devoted to securing an internship/apprenticeship.
  • For more information, see the BA seminar/internship curriculum and sample syllabus on the Department of Sociology’s website.
  • We encourage students interested in pursuing this track to consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Marco Garrido, by the Spring Quarter of their third year.

Want to get an idea of previous BA projects? Visit BA Thesis Symposium.


Students will receive a grade on their transcript for SOCI 29998 Sociology BA Thesis Seminar. This grade will reflect the faculty advisor’s evaluation of the student’s thesis.


To attain honors in the major, students will need to meet all four conditions: (1) a GPA of 3.25 in the College, (2) a GPA of 3.5 in the major, (3) completing a BA project, and (4) their advisor’s determination that the project merits honors.

Research Funding

The Department of Sociology is able to make available seven to ten small grants of around $1,000 each to students conducting research associated with their BA project during the summer months. Students will complete a brief application in the Spring Quarter of their third year. Their preceptors will recommend a set of applications to the Director of Undergraduate Studies. The Director of Undergraduate Studies will review the applications and determine which merit funding. Students may also apply to the Dean’s Fund for research funding. For research grants and opportunities, see the Department of Sociology web page.

IRB Approval

If you aim to eventually publish results from your BA thesis in a peer-reviewed academic journal, you will need to obtain approval from the Social and Behavioral Sciences Institutional Review Board (IRB) before commencing data collection. The IRB oversees research ethics. You can learn how to navigate the IRB at How to IRB.

Study Abroad 

We support sociology students wishing to study abroad during their time at the University of Chicago. However, if you plan to study abroad in your fourth year, we ask that you participate in the BA Thesis Seminar remotely. This means keeping up with the readings via Canvas, completing assignments on time, participating in the discussion boards, and attending office hours with your assigned preceptor as needed. 

Policy for Students Pursuing a BA/MA Thesis

Undergraduate sociology majors enrolled in the four-year BA/MA program typically write an MA thesis in their fourth year. They cannot also write a BA thesis. The reasoning is as follows: To preserve the integrity of the BA and MA programs, the BA and MA theses must be distinct intellectual products. It is very difficult, and, in any case, ill-advised, to pursue two separate research projects in the same year. Thus we ask students to choose: pursue the BA thesis for honors in the major or the MA thesis for an MA degree.

Students enrolled in a five-year BA/MA program (such as MACSS and CMES) may, if they so choose, write a BA thesis in their fourth year and then an MA thesis in their fifth. But again, the two theses should represent distinct research projects. While the two projects may be related, the MA thesis should not be a duplication of BA work.

Students must complete all BA/MA requirements, including the MA thesis, by June in order to graduate by August.


For substantive questions, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Marco Garrido ( You can also save your questions for the quarterly town halls (pizza with the DUS!). For administrative matters, email Pat Princell (

Sociology Courses

SOCI 20001. Sociological Methods. 100 Units.

This course introduces the approach and practice of social research. This course explores questions of causality in social research and the limits of knowledge. It then covers the basic practices that are a component of all methods of social research through an in-depth examination of interviews, ethnography, surveys, archival, online and computational research. Students spend the quarter working on a series of assignments that culminate in a research proposal for the BA thesis.

Terms Offered: Winter. Not Being offered in 2024-25
Note(s): Required of students who are majoring in Sociology

SOCI 20002. Society, Power and Change. 100 Units.

The central objective of this course is to introduce students to some key themes of sociological thought and research relating to social structures, power relations and social transformation. Themes include but are not restricted to the relationship of the individual to society, the social construction of societal institutions and identities, social cleavages such as race, gender and class, and social movements and revolution.

Instructor(s): J. Go     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Required of students who are majoring in Sociology

SOCI 20004. Statistical Methods of Research. 100 Units.

This course has two purposes. First, using nationally representative US surveys, we'll examine the early emergence of educational inequality and its evolution during adolescence and adulthood. We'll ask about the importance of social origins (parent social status, race/ethnicity, gender, and language) in predicting labor market outcomes. We'll study the role that education and plays in shaping economic opportunity, beginning in early childhood. We'll ask at what points interventions might effectively advance learning and reduce inequality. Second, we'll gain mastery over some important statistical methods required for answering these and related questions. Indeed, this course provides an introduction to quantitative methods and a foundation for other methods courses in the social sciences. We consider standard topics: graphical and tabular displays of univariate and bivariate distributions, an introduction to statistical inference, and commonly arising applications such as the t‐test, the two‐way contingency table, analysis of variance, and regression. However, all statistical ideas and methods are embedded in case studies including a national survey of adult labor force outcomes, a national survey of elementary school children, and a national survey that follows adolescents through secondary school into early adulthood. Thus, the course will consider all statistical choices and inferences in the context of the broader logic of inquiry with the aim of strengthening our understanding of that logic as well as of the statistical methods.

Instructor(s): S. Raudenbush     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Priority registration for Ugrad Sociology majors and Sociology PhD students. No prior instruction in statistical analysis is required. Others by consent of instructor.
Note(s): Students are expected to attend two lectures and one lab per week. Required of students who are majoring in Sociology. Substitutes for this course are STAT 20000 Elementary Statistics or higher.
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 30004

SOCI 20005. Sociological Theory. 100 Units.

This course provides a general introduction to theory and theoretical thinking in sociology. The readings include both classical and contemporary theoretical works and arguments. Since the course emphasizes theoretical thinking, it also involves papers applying theoretical ideas from the readings to social situations familiar to any student.

Instructor(s): A. Abbott     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Required of students who are majoring in Sociology.

SOCI 20103. Social Stratification. 100 Units.

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 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.

Instructor(s): R. Stolzenberg      Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): KNOW 30103, SOCI 30103

SOCI 20112. Applications of Hierarchical Linear Models. 100 Units.

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.

Instructor(s): S. Raudenbush     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Applied statistics at a level of multiple regression
Equivalent Course(s): PPHA 44650, EDSO 30112, SOCI 30112

SOCI 20116. Global-Local Politics. 100 Units.

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.

Instructor(s): T. Clark     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): GEOG 30116, SOCI 30116, HMRT 20116, LLSO 20116, HMRT 30116, PBPL 27900, GEOG 20116

SOCI 20120. Urban Policy Analysis. 100 Units.

Cities are sites of challenge and innovation worldwide. Dramatic new policies can be implemented locally and chart new paths for national policies. Five main approaches are compared: Leadership patterns: are business, political, or other kinds of leaders more important--and where, when, and why do these matter? Second do capitalism, or more recently, global markets, make specific leaders irrelevant? Third: leaders like mayors are weaker since citizens, interest groups, and media have grown so powerful. Fourth innovation drives many policy issues. Fifth consumption, entertainment, and the arts engage citizens in new ways. Can all five hold, in some locations? Why should they differentially operate across big and small, rich and poor neighborhoods, cities, and countries? The course introduces you to core urban issues, whether your goal is to conduct research, interpret reports by others, make policy decisions, or watch the tube and discuss these issues as a more informed citizen. Chicago, US and big and small locations internationally are considered; all methods are welcome.

Instructor(s): T. Clark     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): GEOG 30120, PBPL 24800, SOCI 30120, GEOG 20120

SOCI 20125. Rational Foundations of Social Theory. 100 Units.

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.

Instructor(s): K. Yamaguchi     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 30125

SOCI 20140. Qualitative Field Methods. 100 Units.

This course introduces techniques of, and approaches to, ethnographic field research. We emphasize quality of attention and awareness of perspective as foundational aspects of the craft. Students conduct research at a site, compose and share field notes, and produce a final paper distilling sociological insight from the fieldwork.

Instructor(s): O. McRoberts     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): RDIN 20140, CHDV 20140

SOCI 20175. The Sociology of Deviant Behavior. 100 Units.

This course examines how distinctions between "normal" and "deviant" are created, and how these labels shift historically, culturally, and politically. We analyze the construction of social problems and moral panics (e.g., smoking, "satanic" daycares, obesity) to explore how various moral entrepreneurs shape what some sociologists call a "culture of fear." Additionally, we investigate the impact on individuals of being labeled "deviant" either voluntarily or involuntarily, as a way of illustrating how both social control and social change operate in society.

Instructor(s): K. Schilt     Terms Offered: Autumn. Not Being offered in 2024/25
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 20175

SOCI 20192. The Effects of Schooling. 100 Units.

From at least the Renaissance until some time around the middle of the twentieth 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, and medical care. 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.

Instructor(s): R. Stolzenberg     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): EDSO 20192, SOCI 30192, EDSO 30192

SOCI 20233. Race in Contemporary American Society. 100 Units.

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.

Instructor(s): S. Hicks-Bartlett     Terms Offered: Autumn Spring. Autumn quarter offered at the Undergraduate level only and Spring offered at the Graduate level only
Equivalent Course(s): MAPS 30233, SOCI 30233, RDIN 20233

SOCI 20252. Urban Innovation: Cultural Place Making and Scenescapes. 100 Units.

Activists from Balzac, Jane Jacobs, and others today seek to change the world using the arts. Ignored by most social science theories, these new cultural initiatives and policies are increasing globally. Urban planning and architecture policies, walking and parades, posters and demonstrations, new coffee shops and storefront churches reinforce selective development of specific cities and neighborhoods. These transform our everyday social environments into new types of scenes. They factor into crucial decisions, about where to work, to open a business, to found a political activist group, to live, what political causes to support, and more. The course reviews new case studies and comparative analyses from China to Chicago to Poland that detail these processes. Students are encouraged to explore one type of project.

Instructor(s): T. Clark     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 20252, SOCI 30252, ARCH 20252

SOCI 20253. Introduction to Spatial Data Science. 100 Units.

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 GeoDa software.

Instructor(s): Y. Lin     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): STAT 22000 (or equivalent), familiarity with GIS is helpful, but not necessary
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 20253, CEGU 20253, GISC 30500, SOCI 30253, GISC 20500, MACS 54000

SOCI 20258. Maverick Markets: Cultural Economy and Cultural Finance. 100 Units.

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 hand, is it so easy to get rich for some participants? Perhaps the answer is the real markets are complex social and cultural institutions which are quite different form 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 and other areas.

Instructor(s): K. Knorr     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 25440, SOCI 30258, ANTH 35405

SOCI 20261. Demographic Technique. 100 Units.

Introduction to methods of demographic analysis. Topics include demographic rates, standardization, decomposition of differences, life tables, survival analysis, cohort analysis, birth interval analysis, models of population growth, stable populations, population projection, and demographic data sources.

Instructor(s): L. Luciana and J. Trinitapoli     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): One Introductory statistics course. No Auditing
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 40212

SOCI 20263. Human Migration. 100 Units.

At any moment, spatial location is a fixed, essential characteristic of people and the places they inhabit. Over time, individuals and groups of people change places. In the long run, the places themselves move in physical, social, economic and political space. These movements can be characterized by their origins and destinations, as intentional or accidental, forced or voluntary, individual or collective, within political borders (e.g. the farm-to-city migration of the 1940's in the U.S), migration across political boundaries (e.g. "displacement" of pariah ethnicities after World War II), and by other criteria. All of these phenomena are aspects of migration This course reviews contemporary demographic research and theory concerning the nature of migration, and its extent, causes and consequences for individuals and collectivities. The demographic perspective absorbs a wide range of disciplinary perspectives, including those of psychology (e.g. individual decision-making), sociology (collective behavior, stratification, race and ethnicity), economics (rational behavior, macroeconomic conditions), and more.

Instructor(s): R. Stolzenberg     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 30263

SOCI 20264. Wealth. 100 Units.

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.

Instructor(s): R. Stolzenberg     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 30264

SOCI 20282. Immigrant America. 100 Units.

Nearly 60 million immigrants have arrived in the U.S. in the past 50 years, mostly from Latin America and Asia, but also from Africa and the Middle-East. Today, a near-record 14% of the country's population is foreign born compared with just 5% in 1965. These profound demographic changes raise critical questions: Why do immigrants come to the U.S.? What impact do they have on U.S. society? Are today's immigrants fundamentally different from previous waves of immigrants? Are these immigrants assimilating to the U.S. or retaining their culture? Why do some immigrant groups appear to fare better than others? This course will expose students to the latest social science research on contemporary immigration to the United States. We will explore its origins, adaptation patterns, and long-term effects on American society.

Instructor(s): R. Flores     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): CRES 20282

SOCI 20283. Introduction to GIS and Spatial Analysis. 100 Units.

This course provides an introduction and overview of how spatial thinking is translated into specific methods to handle geographic information and the statistical analysis of such information. This is not a course to learn a specific GIS software program, but the goal is to learn how to think about spatial aspects of research questions, as they pertain to how the data are collected, organized and transformed, and how these spatial aspects affect statistical methods. The focus is on research questions relevant in the social sciences, which inspires the selection of the particular methods that are covered. Examples include spatial data integration (spatial join), transformations between different spatial scales (overlay), the computation of "spatial" variables (distance, buffer, shortest path), geovisualization, visual analytics, and the assessment of spatial autocorrelation (the lack of independence among spatial variables). The methods will be illustrated by means of open source software such as QGIS and R.

Instructor(s): Crystal Bae     Terms Offered: Spring Summer. Offered 2024–25
Equivalent Course(s): CEGU 28702, SOCI 30283, PPHA 38712, ENST 28702, GISC 38702, ARCH 28702, GISC 28702

SOCI 20295. Morrissey's America: Contemporary Social Problems. 100 Units.

What are the most pressing social problems in the U.S.? What do we know about them and what can we do to address them? We will use the life and music of Morrissey, the controversial former frontman of The Smiths, as a lens through which to explore our country's most critical social issues. An outspoken defender of animal rights and disaffected youth's preeminent lyricist, Morrissey has also increasingly flirted with nationalist policies. As such, he embodies the tensions, complexities, and ambiguities around critical topics that characterize our time. Guided by sociological theory, we will examine the latest social science evidence on race, immigration, gender and sexuality, health, poverty, segregation, crime, and education as they are key sites in which social inequality is produced and reproduced today. Finally, we will discuss potential solutions to these problems.

Instructor(s): R. Flores     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 22295

SOCI 20297. Education and Social Inequality. 100 Units.

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 historical, 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.

Instructor(s): Lisa Rosen     Terms Offered: Autumn. Offered autumn 2024
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 23005, CHST 23005, EDSO 23005, CRES 23005

SOCI 20506. Cities, Space, Power: Introduction to urban social science. 100 Units.

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.

Instructor(s): N. Brenner     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 20506, CCCT 30506, CEGU 20506, KNOW 30506, CHSS 30506, HIPS 20506, PLSC 30506, SOCI 30506, PLSC 20506, CHST 20506, ARCH 20506

SOCI 20508. Working with Found Data: Library/Internet Research. 100 Units.

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.

Instructor(s): A. Abbott     Terms Offered: Winter. Restricted to MAPSS Student Only.
Note(s): Only offered at the graduate level and restricted to MAPSS Students Only
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 30508

SOCI 20519. Spatial Cluster Analysis. 100 Units.

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.

Instructor(s): L. Anselin and P. Amaral     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): STAT 22000 or equivalent; SOCI 20253/30253 (or equivalent) Introduction to Spatial Data Science required.
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 20519, SOCI 30519, MACS 20519, GISC 30519, MACS 30519, DATA 20519, GISC 20519

SOCI 20530. Schooling and Identity. 100 Units.

This course examines the dynamic relations between schooling and identity. We will explore how schools both enable and constrain the identities available to students and the consequences of this for academic achievement. We will examine these relations from multiple disciplinary perspectives, applying psychological, anthropological, sociological, and critical theories to understanding how students not only construct identities for themselves within schools, but also negotiate the identities imposed on them by others. Topics will include the role of peer culture, adult expectations, school practices and enduring social structures in shaping processes of identity formation in students and how these processes influence school engagement and achievement. We will consider how these processes unfold at all levels of schooling, from preschool through college, and for students who navigate a range of social identities, from marginalized to privileged.

Instructor(s): Lisa Rosen     Terms Offered: Winter. Offered winter 2025
Prerequisite(s): Priority registration will be given to MAPSS students seeking the Education and Society certificate.
Equivalent Course(s): EDSO 33002, SOCI 30530, CHDV 23003, EDSO 23002, RDIN 33002, RDIN 23002

SOCI 20547. Involved Interviewing: Strategies for Interviewing Hard to Penetrate Communities and Populations. 100 Units.

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.

Instructor(s): S. Hicks-Bartlett     Terms Offered: Autumn Winter. Autumn-restricted to 4th and 3rd year Sociology Majors ONLY. Winter restricted to graduate students ONLY.
Prerequisite(s): Ugrad Level restricted to 4th and 3rd year Sociology Majors ONLY
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 40164, MAPS 40164

SOCI 20548. Coding & Analyzing Qualitative Data using MAXQDA. 100 Units.

This focus of this course is on 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.

Instructor(s): S. Hicks-Bartlett     Terms Offered: Spring Winter. Winter restricted to 4th and 3rd year Sociology Majors only and MAPS students only. Spring restricted to graduate students only.
Prerequisite(s): Ugrad Level restricted to 4th and 3rd year Sociology Majors ONLY
Equivalent Course(s): MAPS 40177, SOCI 40177

SOCI 20555. The Sociology of Work. 100 Units.

From the Great Depression to the Great Resignation, paid work has played a central role in American life. The average American spends 1/3 of their life at work - making it an area of the social world heavily examined by politicians, journalists, and social scientists. In this course, we will look at the structural and interpersonal dynamics of work to consider the questions of what makes a "good job" in America and who gets to decide? Our topics will include low-wage work, the stigma of "dirty jobs," gender and racial inequality at work, physical and emotional labor on the job, side hustles and the gig economy, and life after retirement. Students will be required to write a 15 page research paper that draws on interview data they will collect over the quarter. No prior background in doing interviews is required!

Instructor(s): K. Schilt     Terms Offered: Winter. Not Being offered in 2024/25
Equivalent Course(s): PBPL 20555, GNSE 20555, CHDV 24711

SOCI 20559. Spatial Regression Analysis. 100 Units.

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.

Instructor(s): L. Anselin     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): An intermediate course in multivariate regression or econometrics. Familiarity with matrix algebra
Equivalent Course(s): GISC 30559, GISC 20559, SOCI 30559, DATA 20559

SOCI 20574. How to Think Sociologically. 100 Units.

This course tackles the "big problem" of low sociological literacy. When faced with the problems of the world, people usually resort to economic, biological, or ideological explanations. They cite self-interest, genetically encoded drives, or some pre-given understanding of how the world works. The price of such simple frameworks is an impoverished view of the world, a lack of understanding and empathy, and a predisposition to orthodoxy or ideology. In this sense, low sociological literacy is a big problem in the world today. This course was developed in the belief that the capacity to think sociologically-that is, to understand people as socially embedded, or shaped by the situations in which they find themselves-can enrich our understanding of the world immeasurably. It can give us analytical purchase on a number of social problems, including poverty; social inequality; racial, class, and gender discrimination; urban segregation; populism and political polarization; and organizational wrongdoing (we'll discuss each of these topics in class). A sociological perspective can also transform how we engage with the world, promoting an ethics of understanding and empathy--as opposed to the ethics apparently prevalent today: judging people and insisting they change.

Instructor(s): M. Garrido     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 30574, CHSS 30574, HIPS 20574

SOCI 20575. Logic of Social Inquiry. 100 Units.

This course is intended to cultivate deeper thinking about research practice. We will talk about different methods of sociological research, quantitative and qualitative, including surveys, interviews, systematic observation, and archival research. In particular, we will discuss the logic underlying each method, exploring questions such as What kind of data can we get at using this method? How do we know our findings are valid? To what extent are they generalizable? On what basis can we make causal inferences? Is my research ethical? and How does my positionality matter? In addition to research logic, our other focus will be on research design. Here we want to get students to think about the many choices they have to make in pursuing a research project; choices about what aspect of reality to focus on and how to construct a research question in order to get at it, which methods to employ, and which case(s) to investigate. We see this course as a necessary bridge between theory and research, believing that good sociology lies precisely in the ability to bridge this gap. Suffice it to say, it will better prepare students to write an academic paper for their capstone projects. We recommend that sociology majors take the course in their third year.

Instructor(s): Staff     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Priority registration for Sociology 3rd year majors
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 30575

SOCI 20576. Social Theory for the Digital Age. 100 Units.

Society rearranges itself, though we don't always know where it is heading. When the postmodern moment had arrived in the 1980s it perplexed social theorists, hence its characterization as simply a "post"-stage of modernity. Digitization is one answer to the question of direction of change in the last decades. In this class, we take the ongoing transformations that we attribute to digital media as a starting point to ask what challenges they provide to social theory that may force us to reconsider some of our most basic concepts and premises. We will understand the term digital age broadly to refer to the rise of algorithms, sensors, (big) data, machine learning, and computational methods, all developments that swirl in and around the Artificial Intelligence scene and intersect with and replace purely human relations. The class gives particular attention to concepts such as action and interaction, embodiment, social situations, subjectivity and autonomy, as wells as society as communication.

Instructor(s): K. Knorr     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HIPS 20576, CHSS 30576, SOCI 30576

SOCI 20588. Beyond the Culture Wars: Social Movements and the Politics of Education in the U.S. 100 Units.

Passionate conflicts over school curriculum and educational policy are a recurring phenomenon in the history of US schooling. Why are schools such frequent sites of struggle and what is at stake in these conflicts? In this discussion-based seminar, we will consider schools as battlegrounds in the US "culture wars": contests over competing visions of national identity, morality, social order, the fundamental purposes of public education, and the role of the state vis-à-vis the family. Drawing on case studies from history, anthropology, sociology and critical race and gender studies, we will examine both past and contemporary debates over school curriculum and school policy. Topics may include clashes over: the teaching of evolution, sex and sexuality education, busing/desegregation, prayer in schools, multiculturalism, the content of the literary canon, the teaching of reading, mathematics and history, and the closure of underperforming urban schools. Our inquiry will examine how social and political movements have used schools to advance or resist particular agendas and social projects.

Instructor(s): Lisa Rosen     Terms Offered: Spring. Offered spring 2025
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 27718, SOCI 30588, EDSO 33011, PBPL 23011, EDSO 23011, HIST 37718, CHDV 23011, CHDV 33011

SOCI 20594. Sociology of religion in everyday life. 100 Units.

Religion is a non-material social fact that has been one of humankind's most important collective meaning systems. Although this social fact changes, it survives as a meaning system in different societies with different forms, representations, and functions. The survival of religion, even in the face of change, is due to its collective meaning functions, like forming and maintaining a collective conscience and social solidarity (in the Durkheimian approach). In this course, the primary purpose is to investigate religion as a social current and collective fact in the context of the everyday life of ordinary people (even in student's life experiences) and try to achieve these goals: to investigate the religious meanings in everyday life, to get an analytical view of religious phenomena as social facts, to get a sociological viewpoint about regular religious events, to differentiate analytically between positivistic and post-positivistic approaches, to provide concrete examples of religious contexts like Iran for a better understanding of students.

Instructor(s): Z. Khoshk Jan     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 30594

SOCI 20595. Topics in Spatial Regression Analysis. 100 Units.

This course covers methodological issues that affect the specification and estimation of spatial regression models. The course is organized as a seminar, with a combination of brief lectures, discussion of recent article and lab exercises. Topics will vary. Examples are spatial specification search, spatial effects in models for discrete dependent variables, spatial effects in count models, semi-parametric spatial models, spatial panel data models, spatial treatment effect analysis, spatial interaction models, endogenous regimes, regularization in spatial models, spatial feature engineering, and endogenous spatial weights. An important aspect of the course is the application of open source software tools, specifically those contained in the Python package PySAL.

Instructor(s): L. Anselin     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): An intermediate course in multivariate regression or econometrics. Familiarity with metrix algebra; SOCi 20559/30559 or equivalent is desired, but not required
Equivalent Course(s): DATA 20595, SOCI 30595

SOCI 20596. Social Networks: How Networks Shape Integration and Inequality in Diverse Societies. 100 Units.

Social networks are all around us. Our social ties and interpersonal connections both reflect and influence our preferences, attitudes, decisions, and relationships. This course offers an introduction to theories of how our interpersonal networks form, what they typically look like, how they are changing, and what this means in diverse societies. When can we expect networks to build bridges and offer opportunities, or when can we instead expect them to exacerbate inequality and reinforce social divides? This course will offer theoretical frameworks for social network analyses alongside an introduction to the practical implementation of social networks analyses using R. At the completion of the course, students will apply the concepts covered in class to a final project. Prior coding experience is suggested but not required.

Instructor(s): L. Zhao     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Prior coding experience is suggested but not required
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 30596

SOCI 20599. The Logic and Methods of Historical Research. 100 Units.

This seminar introduces students to some of the major epistemological and methodological challenges confronting qualitative historical research in the social sciences. It is divided into two parts. The first half tackles key issues regarding the logic and reasoning of historical research, including causality, contingency, temporality, narrativity and the use of comparisons. The second half delves into the practical and minute complexities of historical research methods - particularly archival research and oral histories - and their epistemological roots. This seminar is NOT a substantive introduction to the vast body of work produced under the rubric of comparative historical sociology and historical social sciences, but rather familiarizes students with problems concerning the "logic of historical inquiry" as well as equips students to conduct actual historical research.

Instructor(s): Y. Zhang     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 30599

SOCI 20601. Gender, Violence, and the Carceral State. 100 Units.

What is the relationship between gender-based violence and the carceral state? This course will explore the role of gendered violence in the formation, expansion, and legitimation of the carceral state. It will look at how state institutions, like policing, criminal courts, and prisons react to, utilize, and, in some cases, perpetrate gendered violence. This course is organized thematically, using theoretical texts, empirical sociological work, and on-the-ground communiques to illuminate the gendered facets of carceral institutions. Ultimately, we will consider how normative gender regimes may shape the carceral state, and vice versa.

Instructor(s): A. Fox     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 23177

SOCI 20602. Introduction to Computational Social Science. 100 Units.

The movement of much of our social lives online has created exciting new opportunities for social science research. This course provides a broad survey of computational methods used to make sense of this data. Students will learn how to collect online data, and analyze this data using contemporary techniques from natural language processing, supervised/unsupervised machine learning, and generative machine learning. Students will also cultivate analytical skills through formal paper presentations, oral exams, and an original research project. The course will be taught in Python. This is an intuitive introduction without prerequisites, although previous experience with probability, statistics, and/or programming will be helpful.

Instructor(s): B. Koch     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 40267

SOCI 20603. The Sociology of Racism. 100 Units.

This course seeks to give students a rigorous introduction to the sociological subfield of the study of race over the last roughly 100 years - with a specific focus on how scholars have theorized racism(s). Moving chronologically, we will begin in the early to mid 20th century with ideas of race relations and race as a social construction, move to ethnic assimilation and racial formation, racial attitudes, and then to racialized social systems and colorblind racism. Alongside this trajectory, we will read critical scholarship that troubles the more mainstream scholarly understandings of racism in each period. We will end by exploring contemporary ways scholars are pushing the subfield forward.

Instructor(s): Cuddy, Maximilian     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): RDIN 23510, SOCI 30603, RDIN 33510, MAPS 33510

SOCI 20604. Political Religion and Sociology. 100 Units.

In the era of post-secularism (with the reappearance of religion in the public arena), the contemporary world has witnessed the formation and growth of political religion approaches. Political religion has two aspects: a religion that is politicized (with non-political roots) and another with a political identity. Both elements of political religion, both in monotheistic and non-monotheistic religions, have significantly impacted the formation of movements, organizations, and fundamentalist approaches that have faced the modern world with serious challenges (especially in terms of national identity and security). The main problem of the current era of political religion is its characteristics, the roots of its formation and its different representations from a sociological perspective, and how to observe and analyze the representations of political religion even in our daily and ordinary lives.

Instructor(s): Khoshk Jan, Z.     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 30604

SOCI 20605. The sociology of revolution in the contemporary world. 100 Units.

The modern world is a complex world of technology, media, the internet, the economy, international relations, etc.. As time goes by, these complexities increase even in human relations. One of the complex and critical issues is the issue of revolution as the most radical form of the relationship between a government and the social-political forces of society. The contemporary world is full of surprises, and one of the most radical surprises is the occurrence of the revolution in an unexpected context. But there is no surprise because, Like the human body, society has warning mechanisms that ignoring by a government can cause it to be overthrown. In this course, we will investigate these alarms and conditions that can lead to revolution or any other challenging social practice by actioners and determine the answers to these critical questions: What are the differences between revolution, movement, coup, and rebellion? How can their occurrence be predicted and analyzed in a society? What is the Colour and Velvet Revolution? What is the approach of social psychology to the revolution?

Instructor(s): Khoshk Jan, Z.     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 30605

SOCI 20606. New Topics in Asian American Studies. 100 Units.

This course offers an introduction to new critical works of Asian American studies covering critical themes in an interdisciplinary fields including research from anthropology, cultural studies, gender and women studies, history, political science, psychology and sociology. This course will focus on new works published in recent years that showcase recent theoretical innovations and literary styles that will sharpen our analysis of both Asian and Asian American experiences in the United States and globally. We will cover topics as they relate to migration, war and empire, violence, race/class/gender/sexuality, and immigration integration in educational institutions and the labor market.

Instructor(s): K. Hoang     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): RDIN 20606

SOCI 20607. Sociology of the Arts. 100 Units.

How does the society shape the arts, and how do the arts in turn shape our society? In this course, we will examine the social role of the arts by looking at a wide range of artistic disciplines, including visual art, performance art, music, dance and literature. We will discuss important themes such as how the artistic field is defined by social structures, how the arts may reinforce or challenge social norms, as well as the social dimensions of artistic creation, production, consumption and appreciation.

Instructor(s): H. Xu     Terms Offered: Spring

SOCI 20608. The Social Life of Exchange. 100 Units.

How does the society shape the arts, and how do the arts in turn shape our society? In this course, we will examine the social role of the arts by looking at a wide range of artistic disciplines, including visual art, performance art, music, dance and literature. We will discuss important themes such as how the artistic field is defined by social structures, how the arts may reinforce or challenge social norms, as well as the social dimensions of artistic creation, production, consumption and appreciation.

Instructor(s): H. Xu     Terms Offered: Winter

SOCI 20609. Social Reproduction and Mobility in a Changing World. 100 Units.

In an era of rapid transformation, individuals navigate diverse pathways to enhance their socioeconomic status and opportunities. While some pursue higher education or migrate across borders seeking upward social mobility, entrenched social structures frequently perpetuate familial and socioeconomic statuses through various mechanisms. For example, the increasing international student mobility not only illustrates how individuals with resources seek to enhance their future prospects through education but also extends our understanding of social structures and processes on a global scale. Characteristics such as gender and race often serve as barriers, reinforcing existing inequalities.

Instructor(s): H. Jo     Terms Offered: Winter

SOCI 29997. Readings in Sociology. 100 Units.

Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form. With consent of instructor, students may take this course for P/F grading if it is not being used to meet program requirements.

Terms Offered: Autumn Spring Summer Winter
Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor and program chair.

SOCI 29998. Sociology BA Thesis Seminar. 100 Units.

For students who choose to pursue a BA project, this course is required. It is designed to help students develop the project and provide them with opportunities to discuss their research. While it only counts as one course, students will participate in the course throughout their fourth year in the College with meetings held 3-4 times a quarter beginning in the Autumn and lasting through Spring. Students will formally register for the course and receive their grade in the Spring quarter.

Instructor(s): M. Garrido     Terms Offered: Autumn Spring Winter
Prerequisite(s): Open only to students who are majoring in sociology.
Note(s): Must be taken for a quality grade.



Undergraduate Primary Contact

Director of Undergraduate Studies
Marco Garrido
SS 317

Administrative Contact

Departmental Contact
Pat Princell
SS 307