Contacts | Program of Study | Course Requirements for the Major in Sociology | Qualifying Courses, Academic Year 2023–2024 | BA Project Guidelines | Grades | Honors | Research Funding | Questions? | Sociology Courses
Department Website: http://sociology.uchicago.edu
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.
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.
Course Requirements for the Major in Sociology
|Inroduction to Sociology
|Logic of Social Inquiry
|Four Courses in Sociology
|BA Project (optional - see description below under 7)
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 2023–2024
1. INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY
|One of the following courses:
|Invitation to Sociology (Spring)
|Society, Power and Change (Autumn)
|Urban Structure and Process (Spring)
|Morrissey's America: Contemporary Social Problems (Spring)
|Any theory course (in addition to the course taken to fulfill the Sociological Theory requirement)
2. SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY
|One of the following courses:
|Sociological Theory (Winter)
|Sociology Structure and Agency (Spring)
|Social Theory for the Digital Age (Spring)
|Introduction to Critical Social Theory (Spring)
3. QUANTITATIVE METHODS
|One of the following courses:
|Statistical Methods of Research (Winter)
|Introduction to Computational Sociology (Winter)
Upper-level statistics courses generally count toward this requirement. Check with the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
4. QUALITATIVE METHODS
|One of the following courses:
|Qualitative Field Methods (Spring)
|Working with Found Data: Library/Internet Research (Autumn)
|Digital Media & Social Life: Contemporary Methods (Winter)
|Involved Interviewing: Strategies for Interviewing Hard to Penetrate Communities and Populations (Autumn and Winter - third- and fourth-years only)
|Coding & Analyzing Qualitative Data using MAXQDA (Winter and Spring - instructor consent required)
5. LOGIC OF SOCIAL INQUIRY
|One of the following courses:
|Sociological Methods (Not offered in 2023–24. Students should take SOCI 20575 to fulfill this requirement.)
|Logic of Social Inquiry (Winter)
6. FOUR COURSES IN SOCIOLOGY
|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.
7. BA PROJECT (OPTIONAL)
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—no later than the Autumn Quarter of their fourth year.
|Sociology BA Thesis Seminar
Students who choose to write a BA thesis are required to participate in the BA Thesis Seminar throughout their fourth year (Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters). Registration for SOCI 29998 will occur in the Spring quarter, as will the assignment of a course grade. See course description below.
The BA Thesis Seminar typically has three sections: two sections for students writing BA theses and one section for students doing internships/apprenticeships.
This is not a course but simply an entry on the student's transcript reflecting their BA Project grade. Students should register for SOCI 29999 in the Spring Quarter of their fourth year (or final quarter in the College).
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.
Thesis research efforts are structured by the BA Seminar. Students should enroll for the seminar in the Autumn Quarter of their fourth year and take it all three quarters. They will receive their course grade at the end of the Spring Quarter. Additionally, 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 seminar (i.e., if planning to conduct qualitative research for their thesis, they will have already completed the Qualitative Methods requirement) and 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, and 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 Internship/Apprenticeship tab in the Department of Sociology’s website.
- We encourage students interested in pursuing this track to consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Marco Garrido firstname.lastname@example.org, and the BA Seminar preceptor handling internships, Pranathi Diwakar email@example.com, by the Spring Quarter of their third year.
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.
We hope to make available five small grants of $1,000 each to students conducting research associated with their BA project through a competitive process. Students will complete the application in the Autumn Quarter. Their preceptors will recommend a set of applications to the Director of Undergraduate Studies. The Director will review the applications and determine which merit funding. Students may also apply to the Dean’s Fund for research funding: https://college.uchicago.edu/student-life/deans-fund.
For substantive questions, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Marco Garrido firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also save your questions for the quarterly town halls. For administrative matters, email Pat Princell email@example.com.
SOCI 20000. Invitation to Sociology. 100 Units.
What do sociologists do all day? This course introduces students to the vast terrain of contemporary sociology, including: culture, deviance, economic life, education, family, health and the body, politics, population, professions, race, science and knowledge, and sex/gender, employing institutionalization as a basic lens that leads sociology to have a somewhat different approach from other social sciences. Why an invitation? Unlike introductory courses that cover 10 topics in 10 weeks with an emphasis on foundational texts, students will get to know sociology by reading and analyzing a rotating selection of books and articles that exemplify the field today. Students will complete exercises and write-ups that link claims about the social world to evidence. Throughout the quarter, class format takes a variety of forms, including lectures, informal presentations, student-led discussions, debates, and guest speakers.
Instructor(s): J. Martin Terms Offered: Spring
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.
Instructor(s): L. Waite Terms Offered: Winter
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: Winter
Note(s): Required of students who are majoring in Sociology.
SOCI 20104. Urban Structure and Process. 100 Units.
This course reviews competing theories of urban development, especially their ability to explain the changing nature of cities under the impact of advanced industrialism. Analysis includes a consideration of emerging metropolitan regions, the microstructure of local neighborhoods, and the limitations of the past American experience as a way of developing urban policy both in this country and elsewhere.
Instructor(s): R. Vargas Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 30104, ENST 20104, GEOG 32700, GEOG 22700, ARCH 20104, CHST 20104, CRES 20104, SOSC 25100
SOCI 20106. Political Sociology. 100 Units.
This course provides analytical perspectives on citizen preference theory, public choice, group theory, bureaucrats and state-centered theory, coalition theory, elite theories, and political culture. These competing analytical perspectives are assessed in considering middle-range theories and empirical studies on central themes of political sociology. Local, national, and cross-national analyses are explored.
Instructor(s): T. Clark Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Completion of the general education requirement in the social sciences
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 23500, PBPL 23600, SOCI 30106
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): SOCI 30112, EDSO 30112, PPHA 44650
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): HMRT 30116, GEOG 30116, SOCI 30116, GEOG 20116, LLSO 20116, PBPL 27900, HMRT 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 20120, PBPL 24800, SOCI 30120, GEOG 30120
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 20138. Politics/Participation/Organization. 100 Units.
When and why do citizens participate in politics? What skills do they bring to that participation? And why should we care? These questions are central to debates in both democratic theory and political sociology. Through case studies of voluntary associations and social movements, the course explores how participation is shaped by distinctive organizational cultures that create both opportunities and constraints for political actions.
Instructor(s): E. Clemens Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 20138
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
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 20175
SOCI 20179. Labor Force and Employment. 100 Units.
This course introduces key concepts, methods, and sources of information for understanding the structure of work and the organization of workers in the United States and other industrialized nations. We survey social science approaches to answering key questions about work and employment, including: What is the labor force? What determines the supply of workers? How is work organized into jobs, occupations, careers, and industries? What, if anything, happened to unions? How much money do workers earn and why? What is the effect of work on health? How do workers and employers find each other? Who is unemployed? What are the employment effects of race, gender, ethnicity, and religion?
Instructor(s): R. Stolzenberg Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 30179
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: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): EDSO 30192, EDSO 20192, SOCI 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): RDIN 20233, MAPS 30233, SOCI 30233
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): ARCH 20252, SOCI 30252, ENST 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): Staff Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): STAT 22000 (or equivalent), familiarity with GIS is helpful, but not necessary
Equivalent Course(s): CEGU 20253, GISC 30500, SOCI 30253, GISC 20500, ENST 20253, 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): SOCI 30258, ANTH 35405, ANTH 25440
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 20269. Policing the City. 100 Units.
This course explores the historical origins, evolution, and current manifestations of policing the United States. Using a political sociological perspective, this course explores policing in ways that will provide broader lessons about societal issues of social control, social order, race, class, crime, social psychology, and politics. The course examines key issues in policing, such as police brutality, racial profiling, and the management of social protest. It also reviews the historical origins of the policy in order to understand that modern day policing issues is much more of a continuation of the past than most think. Reading and course material will be discussed in relation to current events.
Instructor(s): R. Vargas Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 30269
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 2023-24
Equivalent Course(s): GISC 28702, PPHA 38712, SOCI 30283, GISC 38702, ARCH 28702, CEGU 28702, ENST 28702
SOCI 20290. Theories of Sexuality and Gender. 100 Units.
This is a one-quarter, seminar-style course for undergraduates. Its aim is triple: to engage scenes and concepts central to the interdisciplinary study of gender and sexuality; to provide familiarity with key theoretical anchors for that study; and to provide skills for deriving the theoretical bases of any kind of method. Students will produce descriptive, argumentative, and experimental engagements with theory and its scenes as the quarter progresses.
Instructor(s): Kristen Schilt Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Prior course experience in gender/sexuality studies (by way of the general education civilization studies courses or other course work) is strongly advised.
Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 20001, CHDV 20001
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 2023-24
Equivalent Course(s): CHST 23005, EDSO 23005, CHDV 23005, CRES 23005
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. Autumn quarter graduate level restricted to Sociology PhD students, Ugrads doing a BA paper require permission of instructor; Winter quarter restricted to MAPSS students only
Note(s): Autumn quarter graduate level restricted to Sociology PhD students, Ugrads doing BA paper require permission of instructor; Winter quarter restricted to MAPSS students only
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 30508
SOCI 20515. Virtual Ethnographic Field Research Methods. 100 Units.
"Virtual worlds are places of imagination that encompass practices of play, performance, creativity and ritual." - Tom Boellstorff, from Ethnography and Virtual Worlds: A Handbook of Method This course is designed to provide students in the social sciences with a review of ethnographic research methods in an online environment, exposure to major debates on virtual ethnographic research, and opportunities to try their hand at practicing fieldwork virtually. We will analyze and problematize enduring oppositions associated with ethnographic fieldwork - field/home, insider/outsider, researcher/research subject, expert/novice, 'being there'/removal-and we will debate epistemological, ethical, and practical matters in online ethnographic research. Mirroring the complexities and opportunities of research in virtual worlds, this course will alternate between in-person and online instruction, and will combine synchronous and asynchronous opportunities for conversation, work, and play."
Instructor(s): Caterina Fugazzola Terms Offered: Summer
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 31432, ANTH 21432, GLST 26220, SOSC 20224, SOSC 30224, ENST 20224
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, GISC 30519, DATA 20519, GISC 20519, MACS 30519, MACS 20519
SOCI 20523. Digital Media & Social Life: Contemporary Methods. 100 Units.
Digital and networked media include forms and social phenomena such as memes, social media, live-streaming platforms, video games, virtual worlds, electronic literature, and online communities. What methods taken from the humanities and social sciences enable the study of these digital media forms and cultures? In order to model a series of methods, this course runs one shared media object (this term, the video game Stardew Valley) through a series of research methods, one per week, taken from the humanities (e.g., close reading, critical theory, response theory, and critical making) and social sciences (e.g., interviews, digital ethnography, discourse analysis, and quantitative analysis) methods. At the end of the course, students will compose a research paper or create a digital project that uses one or more of these methods to analyze a digital or networked media case of their choosing.
Instructor(s): K. Schilt, P. Jagoda Terms Offered: Winter. Not Offered in 2023/2024
Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 27808, MAAD 10523, ENGL 20523, CMST 27808
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 2022-23
Prerequisite(s): Priority registration will be given to MAPSS students seeking the Education and Society certificate.
Equivalent Course(s): RDIN 33002, SOCI 30530, CHDV 23003, EDSO 33002, EDSO 23002, 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): SOCI 40177, MAPS 40177
SOCI 20552. Undergraduate research seminar: Chicago Urban Morphology. 100 Units.
This seminar is open to Seniors and Juniors, particularly for but not necessarily limited to those in the fields of geography, environmental science, and urban studies. It is designed for students to undertake original research on a topic of their own choosing within the broad scope of Chicago's built environment. Following a brief reading course in the theoretical literature of urban morphology, each student will identify and select a topic of interest to research using Chicago sources, with the objective of a formal written research paper. Discussions will center around formulating research questions, theoretical underpinnings, suitable methodology, modes of writing, appropriate presentation of evidence, and effective illustration. Sessions will combine open discussion with a rotating series of periodic individual progress reports to the group, reflecting an interesting diversity of topics and mutual support in gaining experience in the research process.
Instructor(s): Michael Conzen Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Restricted to 3rd and 4th years This course counts towards the ENST 4th year Capstone requirement.
Equivalent Course(s): PBPL 25012, ENST 25012, CEGU 25012, GEOG 25012, ARCH 25012, CHST 25012
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
Equivalent Course(s): PBPL 20555, GNSE 20555, CHDV 24711
SOCI 20557. Sociology of Money. 100 Units.
This course serves as an introduction to the study of money in both the public sphere and private domains. By surveying the work of economic sociologists, anthropologists, geographers, legal scholars, and historians the goal is to provide students with and introduction so economic theory by prominent social theorists. The first part of the course focuses on classical theories such as Smith, Marx, Simmel, Polyani, Veblen, and Mills. The second part of the course will look at how money shapes gendered relations in the private domain through the works of Hochschild, Zelizer, Parrenas and several others. The third part of the course addresses how current theories are insufficient for explaining the rise of new money forms such as mobily money, cryptocurrencies, NFT's and the ways that new money fundamentally transforms social relations, politics, and society.
Instructor(s): K. Hoang Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 30557, GLST 24557
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): SOCI 30559, GISC 30559, DATA 20559, GISC 20559
SOCI 20564. Religion and Abortion in the United States. 100 Units.
In American public discourse, it is common to hear abortion referred to as a "religious issue." But is abortion a religious issue? If so, in what ways, to whom, and since when? In this course we will answer these questions by tracing the relationship between religion and abortion in American history. We will examine the kinds of claims religious groups have made about abortion; how religion has shaped the development of medical, legal, economic, and cultural perspectives on the topic; how debates over abortion have led to the rise of a certain kind of religious politics in the United States; and how issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, and the body are implicated in this conversation. Although the course will cover a range of time periods, religious traditions, and types of data (abortion records from Puritan New England, enslaved people's use of root medicine to induce miscarriage, and Jewish considerations of the personhood of the fetus, among others), we will give particular attention to the significance of Christianity in legal and political debates about abortion in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. There are no prerequisites for this course and no background in Religious Studies is required. However, this course may be particularly well-suited to students interested in thinking about how their areas of study (medicine and medical sciences, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, political science) converge with religion and Religious Studies.
Equivalent Course(s): HLTH 26304, CCTS 21015, HIPS 26304, HMRT 26304, RLST 26304, GNSE 12115, HIST 28008, PBPL 25304
SOCI 20567. Introduction to Computational Sociology. 100 Units.
Advances in machine learning, high performance computing, and big data are opening exciting new ways of doing social science. This course introduces students to the burgeoning field of computational sociology, emphasizing both conceptual understanding and hands-on training. The course does not require any prior experience with coding, computer science, or statistics. The only requirement is that students have fluency in high-school mathematics (pre-calculus) and an interest in acquiring computational skills. Students will learn the basics of R and Python, and will gain practical experience with simulation modeling, computational text analysis, and neural networks. This course will pair a practical training in computational methods with a critical examination of how these technologies are being deployed in the real world and their roles in reproducing systems of power and inequality. This class is recommended for students who want a basic introduction to "data science" and who are seeking the conceptual knowledge necessary to participate in current debates over information technology in contemporary society.
Instructor(s): A. Kozlowski Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): HIPS 20567, MAAD 10567
SOCI 20568. Historical Methods in the Social Sciences. 100 Units.
This course is designed to introduce students to the methods, theories, and problems encountered in research utilizing historical methods in the social sciences. The course pairs readings that address theoretical and ethical issues in historical methods-such as for and by whom history is written- with practical instruction in using common sources such as archives, oral histories, newspapers, and non-textual evidence. Drawing from diverse readings across the social sciences, we will examine some of the ways scholars from different fields have approached problems of structure, agency, and method; in the process, we will explore the relationship between theory and methods in our own projects. Throughout the course, students will have the opportunity to practice their skills through hands-on assignments that make use of the materials at University of Chicago and beyond.
Instructor(s): M. O'Shea Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): GLST 20568, SOCI 30568
SOCI 20569. Music, Society, and Politics. 100 Units.
Course description: Music is related to acts of listening, producing, circulating, composing, dancing, humming, aestheticizing, resisting, relating, coping--all of which put the individual in conversation with the social world. Music "gets into life" by allowing individuals to make meaning of the social world and form social relations of taste, aesthetics, and politics with one another. In this course, "musicking" is taken as a sociological site to interrogate the roles that sound, music, and noise play in ordering or disrupting social norms, constituting identities, and organizing political action and social movements. Taking a global perspective, this course traverses cultural sociological reading selections to introduce themes of taste, group boundary-making, and (counter)cultural capital, investigating how music allows individuals to constitute the self and negotiate identity-making with respect to race, class, nationality, ethnicity, caste, gender, and sexuality. These themes are then brought in conversation with the role of music--especially protest music, hip-hop, and other musical genres of resistance--in effecting social change. Finally, with the impact of digitalization and globalization, how do seemingly "local" musical genres enter global circuits of taste, aesthetics, and politics? This course will be of interest for students curious about how music mediates the relationship between individuals and the social world, especially in this present political moment.
Instructor(s): P. Diwakar Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): MUSI 22322, CHST 20569, ANTH 20569
SOCI 20574. Sociology Structure and Agency. 100 Units.
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.
Instructor(s): M. Garrido Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 30574, HIPS 20574, CHSS 30574
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: Autumn
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): SOCI 30576, HIPS 20576, CHSS 30576
SOCI 20580. Health and Society. 100 Units.
A long and healthy life is a widely sought after human goal. But not everyone has equal chances of achieving this goal. This course focuses on the role played by society in differential access to physical, psychological, cognitive health and well-being. We will discuss the role of parental characteristics and childhood circumstances in later-life health, differences in health and well-being for men and women, for racial and ethnic groups, by sexual minority status, by characteristics of our neighborhoods and communities, and by regions or countries. We will examine the role of social policies. The format will be lectures and a series of short exercises.
Instructor(s): L. Waite Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HLTH 20580, GNSE 20580
SOCI 20581. Gender, Sexuality and Sport. 100 Units.
This course will examine how the categories of gender and sexuality have shaped the contemporary life of sport. We will begin by unpacking the complexity of gender and sex as concepts in the study of sport while also considering the origins of gender-based segregation in sport. Major topics in this course include: Title IX protections; intersectionality and race; sexuality, homophobia, and sport; hyperandrogenism; trans inclusion; and cultural nationalism and sport. This is an interdisciplinary course that will draw on methods in philosophy, history, bioethics, and the study of gender and sexuality. Our texts will comprise of readings as well as visual media across multiple regions, including India, South Africa, and the United States. Students will broadly learn to critically think about sport in relation to concepts of gender, sexual orientation, and race along with the ideals of law, social justice, and inclusivity.
Instructor(s): Zoya Sameen Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): This course counts as a Foundations course for GNSE majors
Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 12120, HIST 18502
SOCI 20585. Organizational Analysis. 100 Units.
Organizations - NGOs, corporations, social movement organizations, governments, etc. - impact almost every aspect of social life; in addition, organizations have become some of the most significant actors in modern society. The course will provide a grounding in the sociological literature on how organizations function as well as the dynamics that govern both their internal structures and how they interface with society. We will cover rational, ecological, and resource-based approaches, as well as others. We will study organizations in local and global contexts, their role in economic production, their impact on members and non-members, as well as public policy. Throughout, we will engage questions pertaining to where organizations come from, how they function, when they 'succeed' and 'fail', as well as their social consequences. At the completion of the course, students will apply the concepts covered in class to a final project.
Instructor(s): Arroyo, Pedro Alberto Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): MAPS 30617, PBPL 23002, MACS 30617, MACS 20617, SOCI 30337
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 2022-23
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 30588, PBPL 23011, EDSO 33011, HIST 37718, CHDV 23011, HIST 27718, CHDV 33011, EDSO 23011
SOCI 20591. Introduction to Critical Social Theory. 100 Units.
This course introduces graduate and advanced undergraduate students to a tradition of social thought and research called "Critical Social Theory." As opposed to Traditional Social Theory, Critical Social Theory questions inherited theoretical frameworks and conceptual formations in an attempt to reconstruct social theory and harness it for its liberatory potential. It offers alternative theories and concepts to inform social research that exposes and questions rather than assumes existing social institutions, inequalities and power relations. Examples of readings are works by the Frankfurt School, Marxist theorists of hegemony (e.g. Antonio Gramsci, Stuart Hall), theorists of power and agency (Michel Foucault, Pierre Bourdieu), Feminist Standpoint Epistemology/Theory, Black Marxism, Black Feminist Thought, Queer Theory, and Decolonial/Postcolonial Theory - among other possible schools of theorizing. Rather than a detailed examination of any one of these schools of theorizing, the course offers a broad overview, locating shared and contrasting themes and lines of argumentation.
Instructor(s): J. Go Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 30591, CCCT 20591, CCCT 30591
SOCI 20592. Monuments & Memory. 100 Units.
Twice in the last decade have there been mass removals of monuments in the United States; first in 2015-2017, and again starting in 2020. However, the construction and removal of monuments has a long political and cultural history in the US and in other countries. In this this course we will explore concepts of monument and monumentality, and their connection to politics and memory primarily in two geographical cases-the USA and the former Soviet Union-to consider how and why monuments are built, when they are used by political regimes and for what purpose (including when they are removed). What might be considered a monument and how do monuments change over time? Lastly, how can understandings of monuments and monumentality help us understand ourselves, our histories, and our visions for the future? This course offers an introduction to a variety of theories and methods for approaching monuments and monumentality, using case studies from different countries. Over the course of the semester, you will have the opportunity to build skills in cultural, historical, and visual analysis and to apply these skills toward the development of an original project.
Instructor(s): M. O'Shea Terms Offered: Spring
SOCI 20593. Housing, Inequality, and Society. 100 Units.
This course considers the way US society has approached housing and inequality in the past and present - from public housing and homelessness to suburbia, mobile homes, and beyond. Housing is the site and subject of policies, profit, ideologies, biases, regulations, activism, and reputations. The course overviews how each of these shape housing, which in turn shape inhabitants - particularly along lines of race, class, gender -, and what we can do to intervene. Drawing on theoretical approaches and empirical studies from the social sciences, this course offers an advanced focus on the inequality that pervades contemporary US housing, enabling students to understand how people are impacted by their homes.
Equivalent Course(s): SSAD 21750, ANTH 21750, SSAD 41750, SOCI 30593
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: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 30594
SOCI 20598. Slavery and Emancipation: Caribbean Perspectives. 100 Units.
This graduate-level reading colloquium explores the interpretive problems and perspectives critical to understanding the historical dynamics of slavery and emancipation in the Caribbean. Between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, over five million African men, women, and children were trafficked to the Caribbean as enslaved captives. During this period, Africans and their descendants, as well as the tens of thousands of slaveholders, indentured laborers, Indigenous peoples, and free people in the region, forged the political, economic, social, and cultural dynamics that arguably made the Caribbean the birthplace of the modern world. Through course readings in foundational and emerging scholarship, we will examine how slavery and emancipation underlined crucial historical transformations and problems in the Caribbean, with attention to their global repercussions. Students will also have the opportunity to draw comparisons with other regions in the Atlantic World. Upper-level undergraduates may enroll with instructor consent.
Instructor(s): Lyons, Deirdre Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 39006, HIST 29006, MAPS 33505, ANTH 26452, SOCI 30598, ANTH 46452
SOCI 20600. The Political Sociology of Religion. 100 Units.
By combining the two fields of political sociology and sociology of religion, political sociology of religion seeks to investigate and analyze religious phenomena with a political nature and political phenomena with religious-spiritual approaches.The main aim of this course is to investigate the mutual influence of political forces and religion. Therefore, one of the most important concepts to be considered is "political religion" and the way to construct identity and social-political actions at micro and macro levels. This course seeks to answer these questions: What is political religion, and how is it constructed and represented in different contexts? What political definitions of salvation, sin, suffering, liberation, and spirituality have been presented by world religions? How are these definitions represented in social reality by actors and political systems? How do religious fundamentalist approaches represent the political issue? How is politicized religion represented in everyday life?
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 30600
SOCI 28091. Brains, bodies, and culture: An introduction to the sociology of culture. 100 Units.
Culture"-a loaded and thorny term for many sociologists. Used differently by scholars within the subfield and across social science disciplines, the term escapes easy definition. In this course, we will attempt to arrive at a working definition of culture that considers cognitive science and psychological research, and that is consistent with what we know to be the case about how bodies and brains work. To do this, we will remain in dialogue with research in cognitive science and use this work to inform our reading and evaluation of key theoretical and empirical texts in the sociology of culture. Over the course of the quarter, we will cover major sociological treatments of culture, debates within the subfield regarding what culture properly "is," enculturation processes, and contemporary empirical and theoretical treatments. The following two questions will guide us: "What do we mean-and what should we mean- when we talk about culture?" and "How does culture intersect with sociopsychological processes of fundamental importance to sociologists like inequality, power, perception, interpretation, and action?" Through a range of topics like gender, the workplace, political orientations, and music and fashion, we will explore how our environment interacts with our bodies and brains to produce our particular experience of the world. The focus of the course is on reading and discussion; although not required, prior experience with sociology's "greatest hits" may be helpful.
Instructor(s): A. Lembo Terms Offered: Autumn
SOCI 28092. Nations and Nationalism. 100 Units.
What is a Nation? How do nations come into being? What does it mean to be a part of a national group? These questions will be explored over the quarter through close readings and discussions of both classical theories of nationalism as well as the critiques that have been leveled against them. Studying both classical and contemporary approaches to nationalism, the class will consider how scholars have grappled with the from whence and how a nationalism over time. Over the course of the quarter we will critique ideas of nationalism; consider the efficacy of nation and nationalism as categories of analysis; and will use cases from post-Soviet and post-socialist spaces to ground our discussions in the later part of the quarter, exploring narrative, performative, and material aspects of nationalism in the contemporary period.
Instructor(s): M. O'Shea Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): GLST 28092
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
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
Prerequisite(s): Open only to students who are majoring in sociology.
Note(s): Must be taken for a quality grade.
SOCI 29999. BA Project. 000 Units.
This is not a course. Students pursuing a BA project must register for it in the Spring quarter of their final year in the College to receive a BA project grade.
Instructor(s): M. Garrido Terms Offered: Spring