Department of Sociology
- Elisabeth S. Clemens
- Andrew Abbott
- Gary S. Becker, Economics
- Terry N. Clark
- Elisabeth S. Clemens
- Andreas Glaeser
- Karin Knorr Cetina, Anthropology
- Edward O. Laumann
- John Levi Martin
- Stephen W. Raudenbush
- Mario Luis Small
- Ross M. Stolzenberg
- Richard P. Taub, Comparative Human Development
- Linda Waite
- Kazuo Yamaguchi
- Dingxin Zhao
- Kathleen A. Cagney, Health Studies
- James A. Evans
- Omar M. McRoberts
- Michal Engelman
- Ryon Lancaster
- Cheol-Sung Lee
- Kristen Schilt
- Forrest Stuart
- James Davis
- Hans Joas, Social Thought
- Charles E. Bidwell
- Donald J. Bogue
- Donald N. Levine
- William L. Parish
- Martin Riesbrodt
- Gerald D. Suttles
- Ronald S. Burt, Business
- Bernard E. Harcourt, Law School, Political Science
- Susan E. Mayer, Public Policy
- John Padgett, Political Science
- Dan Slater, Political Science
The Department of Sociology, established in 1893 by Albion Small and Charles A. Henderson, has been centrally involved in the history and development of the discipline in the United States. The traditions of the Chicago School were built by pioneers such as W. I. Thomas, Robert E. Park, Ernest W. Burgess, and William F.Ogburn. It is a tradition based on the interaction of sociological theory with systematic observation and the analysis of empirical data; it is interdisciplinary, drawing on theory and research from other fields in the social sciences and the humanities; it is a tradition which seeks to fuse together concern with the persistent issues of social theory and attention to the pressing social and policy problems of modern society.
Continuous developments in social research have marked the department’s work in recent years. The department has pursued a balance in effort between individual scholarship and the development of group research approaches. Faculty members have been engaged in the development of systematic techniques of data collection and in the statistical and mathematical analysis of social data. Field studies and participant observation have been refined and extended. There has been an increased attention to macrosociology, to historical sociology, and to comparative studies. The staff is engaged in individual and large scale group projects which permit graduate students to engage in research almost from the beginning of their graduate careers. The student develops an apprenticeship relation with faculty members in which the student assumes increasing amounts of independence as he or she matures.
The study of sociology at the University of Chicago is greatly enhanced by the presence of numerous research enterprises engaged in specialized research. Students often work in these centers pursuing collection and study of data with faculty and other center researchers. Students have the opportunity for experience in the following research enterprises: the Ogburn-Stouffer Center for the Study of Social Organizations; the Population Research Center; the Committee on Demographic Training; NORC Research Centers; the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality; the Center for the Study of Race, Culture, and Politics; the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory; the University of Chicago Urban Network; the Center for Health Administration Studies; the Rational Choice Program; and the Center on Demography and Economics of Aging. These provide an opportunity either for field work by which the student brings new primary data into existence or for the treatment of existing statistical and other data. The city of Chicago provides opportunities for a variety of field investigations, and the department also encourages cross national and foreign studies.
The Social Sciences has a strong tradition of comparative and international research, with area studies centers focused on East Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and Eastern Europe and Russia. In addition, graduate students may benefit from activities at the University of Chicago centers in Paris and Beijing as well as the deep roster of language training opportunities available on campus. There are equally diverse training opportunities and infrastructure to support quantitative research including the Survey Laboratory, the training program in Demography, course offerings in Statistics and a number of professional schools as well as a growing interdisciplinary community in computational research methods.
The Department of Sociology offers a program of studies leading to the Ph.D. degree. It does not have a master’s degree program (students interested in a one-year master's program should consider the Divisional Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences or MAPSS). Students ordinarily earn a master’s degree as part of the Ph.D. program upon successful completion of the first year of coursework and the preliminary examination. The department welcomes students who have done their undergraduate work in other social sciences and in fields such as mathematics, biological sciences, and the humanities. The department also encourages students who have had work experience, governmental or military service, or community and business experience to apply.
All applicants for admission are required to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores. Foreign students must provide evidence of English proficiency by submitting scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). A writing sample is required for all applications.
The application process for admission and financial aid for all Social Sciences graduate programs is administered through the divisional Office of the Dean of Students. The Application for Admission and Financial Aid, with instructions, deadlines, and department specific information is available online at https://apply-ssd.uchicago.edu/apply/ .
Questions pertaining to admissions and aid should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or (773) 702-8415. Most materials in support of the application can be uploaded through the application. Other correspondence and materials sent in support of applications should be mailed to:
The University of Chicago
Division of the Social Sciences
Admission Office, Foster 105
1130 East 59th Street
Chicago IL 60637
For additional information about the Sociology program, please see http://sociology.uchicago.edu/ or call (773) 702-8677.
The Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
The doctoral program is designed to be completed in five to seven years of study by a student entering with a bachelor’s degree. Satisfactory completion of the first phase of the Ph.D. program also fulfills the program requirements for the M.A. degree.
Common core course requirements
To complete the requirements for the M.A. And Ph.D. degrees, students are required to complete a set of required courses for credit in the first phase of the program. These include SOCI 30001 Sociological Inquiry-1, SOCI 30002 Sociological Inquiry-2, and SOCI 30003 History of Social Theory.
Methodology and statistics requirement
For the Ph.D. degree, also during the first year, students are required to complete for credit SOCI 30004 Statistical Methods of Research and SOCI 30005 Statistical Methods of Research-2. For students entering with a strong quantitative background, the department may approve alternative sequences.
This is an M.A. final/Ph.D. qualifying written examination designed to demonstrate competence in several major subdisciplines of sociology. The examination is based on the first-year common core courses, Sociological Inquiry 1 and History of Social Theory, and a special supplementary bibliography. The preliminary examination is normally taken at the beginning of the second year of residence. On the basis of the student’s performance on this examination and in course work during the first year, the department determines whether the student is allowed to continue for the Ph.D.
The Qualifying paper
This paper should represent an original piece of scholarship or theoretical analysis and must be written in a format appropriate for submission to a professional publication. Note that the requirement is "publishable," not "published." The paper is to be prepared under the direct supervision and approval of a faculty member and may be written or revised in connection with one or more regular courses. Students entering with M.A. papers may submit an appropriate revision to meet the qualifying paper requirement. Students should formulate a proposal for the paper early in their second year. The qualifying paper should be completed by the beginning of the third year of study.
Special field examinations
Ph.D. students are required to demonstrate competence in two special fields. The Special Field Requirement is generally met during the second, third, and fourth years of graduate study. Students must pass the Preliminary Examination at the Ph.D. level before meeting the Special Field Requirement. An examination or review essay is prepared on an individual basis in a field of sociology in which the student wishes to develop research competence. One special field is ordinarily closely related to the subject matter of the subsequent dissertation. The examination will cover both theoretical and substantive materials and the methods required for effective research in those fields. Preparation takes the form of specialized courses and seminars, supplemented by independent study and reading. The fields most commonly taken are community structure; demography; economics and work institutions; culture; educational institutions; family and socialization; formal organizations; mathematical sociology; methodology; modernization; political organization; race and ethnic relations; social change and social movements; social stratification; and urban sociology. One of the two Special Field requirements may be met with an approved sequence of methodology courses.
The student prepares a research plan under the guidance of a designated faculty committee. The plan is subject to review by the faculty committee organized by each student to determine whether the project is feasible and to assist in the development of research. Upon approval of the dissertation proposal and completion of the other requirements listed above, the department recommends that the Division of the Social Sciences formally admit the student to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. When the dissertation is completed, an oral examination is held on the dissertation and the field to which it is related. The Ph.D. dissertation is judged by its contribution to sociological knowledge and the evidence it shows of ability to carry out independent research.
The Department of Sociology offers opportunities for campus teaching which give graduate students increasing responsibility for classroom instruction. After completing the second year of study, students may apply to the department to become course assistants with the opportunity to discuss course design, teach under supervision of a faculty member, and review student work. There are also many opportunities to teach in the social science courses included in the College Core Curriculum. Typically, students apply for positions as teaching interns in their 3rd or 4th year. Upon successful completion of an internship, graduate students are eligible for consideration as independent instructors of College level courses. Please note that many offers of admission and fellowship include a teaching requirement and that completion of a specified number of teaching appointments is a divisional requirement for the doctorate.
Students in sociology are invited to participate in the program of Graduate Workshops in the Humanities and Social Sciences, a series of interdepartmental discussion groups that bring faculty and advanced graduate students together to discuss their current work. At the workshops, Chicago faculty and students or invited guests present portions of books or other projects in which they are currently engaged. Workshops in which students and faculty in the department participate include those addressed to the following topics: City, Society, and Space; Computational Social Science; Demography; East Asia: Politics, Economy, and Society; Education, Gender and Sexuality; History, Philosophy, and Sociology of Science; Money, Markets, and Consumption; Reproduction of Race and Racial Ideology; Semiotics: Culture in Context; and Social Theory and Evidence.
SOCI 30001. Sociological Inquiry-1. 100 Units.
Introduces students to an active and critical engagement with research traditions in sociology. The course will address the structure of major debates, the characteristics of fruitful lines of research, and the qualities of questions that are worth asking. This course is required for all first-year students.
Instructor(s): E. Laumann, L. Waite Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Open to only 1st-year Sociology PhD students
SOCI 30002. Sociological Inquiry-2. 100 Units.
Gives an overview of the major methodological approaches in sociology, focusing on how theoretical questions and different types of evidence inform research design. This course is required for all second-year students.
Instructor(s): K. Cagney, E. Clemens Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Open only to 2nd-year Sociology PhD students
SOCI 30003. History of Social Theory. 100 Units.
This course is a basic introduction to classical social theory. It considers Marx, Weber, Durkheim, and Simmel. Other authors are read as well.
Instructor(s): A. Glaeser Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Open only to 1st-year Sociology PhD students
SOCI 30004. Statistical Methods of Research. 100 Units.
This course provides a comprehensive introduction to widely used quantitative methods in sociology and related social sciences. Topics include analysis of variance and multiple regression, considered as they are used by practicing social scientists.
Instructor(s): S. Raudenbush Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Students are expected to attend two lectures and one lab per week. UG Sociology majors and Sociology PhD students only. Others by consent of instructor
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20004
SOCI 30005. Statistical Methods of Research-2. 100 Units.
The course covers generalized linear models, particularly logistic and Cox regressions, as well as ways of addressing confounding and identifying possible effect modification and mediation.
Instructor(s): M. Engelman Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): SOCI 30004
SOCI 30101. Organizational Analysis. 100 Units.
This course is a systematic introduction to theoretical and empirical work on organizations broadly conceived (e.g., public and private economic organizations, governmental organizations, prisons, professional and voluntary associations, health-care organizations). Topics include intraorganizational questions about organizational goals and effectiveness, communication, authority, and decision making. Using recent developments in market, political economy, and neoinstitutional theories, we explore organizational change and interorganizational relationships for their implications in understanding social change in modern societies.
Instructor(s): E. Laumann Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20101,PBPL 23000
SOCI 30102. Social Change. 100 Units.
This course presents a general overview of causal processes of macro-institutional level social changes. It considers a variety of types of cross-national, over-time changes such as economic growth, bureaucratization, revolutions, democratization, spread of cultural and institutional norms, deindustrialization, globalization and development of welfare states. It also covers various forms of planned changes in oppositional social movements (civil rights, environmental, women’s, and labor movements).
Instructor(s): C. Lee, D. Zhao Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20102
SOCI 30103. Social Stratification. 100 Units.
Social stratification is the unequal distribution of the goods that members of a society value (e.g., earnings, income, authority, political power, status, prestige). 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.
Instructor(s): R. Stolzenberg Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20103
SOCI 30104. 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 U.S. experience as a way of developing worldwide urban policy.
Instructor(s): O. McRoberts Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20104,CRES 20104,GEOG 22700,GEOG 32700,SOSC 25100
SOCI 30105. Educational Organization and Social Inequality. 100 Units.
This course reviews the major theoretical approaches to the organizational analysis of school districts, schools, and classrooms and to the relationship between education and social stratification. It gives particular attention to ways in which the organization of education affects students' life chances.
Instructor(s): C. Bidwell Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20105
SOCI 30106. 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 social sciences
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20106,ENST 23500,PBPL 23600
SOCI 30107. Sociology of Human Sexuality. 100 Units.
After briefly reviewing several biological and psychological approaches to human sexuality as points of comparison, this course explores the sociological perspective on sexual conduct and its associated beliefs and consequences for individuals and society. Substantive topics include gender relations; life-course perspectives on sexual conduct in youth, adolescence, and adulthood; social epidemiology of sexually transmitted infections (e.g., AIDS); sexual partner choice and turnover; and the incidence/prevalence of selected sexual practices.
Instructor(s): E. Laumann Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Introductory social sciences course
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20107,GNSE 27100
SOCI 30111. Survey Analysis I. 100 Units.
This course covers how to analyze and write up previously collected survey data: the basic logic of multivariate causal reasoning and its application to OLS regression. We emphasize practice in writing. This is not a course in sampling methods.
Instructor(s): J. Davis Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20111
SOCI 30112. 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 20112
SOCI 30116. 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): SOCI 20116,HMRT 20116,HMRT 30116,PBPL 27900
SOCI 30118. Survey Research Overview. 100 Units.
The course provides an overview of interview-based data collection methods. Each student must develop a research question to guide their research design. Students get an overview of different interview-based data collection methods (focus groups, key-informant interviews, large-N sample surveys), how to sample and design a questionnaire or interview guide for their project, and the nuts and bolts of actual recruitment, receipt control and survey administration. The instructor provides feedback for proposed elements of each student's research plan through weekly assignments. The final paper is a research proposal that outlines a plan for research to address the student's research question.
Instructor(s): M. Van Haitsma Terms Offered: Autumn, Winter
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20118,MAPS 30900,SOSC 20200,SOSC 30900,SSAD 53200
SOCI 30120. Urban Policy Analysis. 100 Units.
This course addresses the explanations available for varying patterns of policies that cities provide in terms of expenditures and service delivery. Topics include theoretical approaches and policy options, migration as a policy option, group theory, citizen preference theory, incrementalism, economic base influences, and an integrated model. Also examined are the New York fiscal crisis and taxpayer revolts, measuring citizen preferences, service delivery, and productivity.
Instructor(s): T. Clark Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20120,PBPL 24800
SOCI 30126. Japanese Society: Functional/Cultural Explanations. 100 Units.
The objective of this course is to provide an overview of social structural characteristics, and the functioning of contemporary Japanese society by a juxtaposition of universalistic functional (or rational) explanations and particularistic cultural (and historical) explanations. As will become clear as complementary to each other. Substantively, the course primarily focuses on 1) the forms of social interaction and structure, 2) work organization and family, and 3) education, social inequality and opportunity. The course also presents discussions of the extent to which Japan is "unique" among industrial societies. In covering a broad range of English-language literature on Japanese Society, the course not only presents reviews and discussions of various alternative theoretical explanations of the characteristics of Japanese society, but also a profound opportunity to critically review and study selected sociological theories.
Instructor(s): K. Yamaguchi Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20126
SOCI 30156. Sociology of Law. 100 Units.
This course is an introduction to the sociology of law and broader issues of law and society. After reviewing the major classical perspectives in the sociology of law, we examine the sociological perspective on the relationship between social structure and legal systems and action. Substantive topics include the structure of the legal profession, law and organizations, inequality and the law, law and social reform, and the structure of disputes. This is not a course on criminology.
Instructor(s): R. Lancaster Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20156
SOCI 30157. Mathematical Models. 100 Units.
This course examines mathematical models and related analyses of social action, emphasizing a rational-choice perspective. About half the lectures focus on models of collective action, power, and exchange as developed by Coleman, Bonacich, Marsden, and Yamaguchi. Then the course examines models of choice over the life course, including rational and social choice models of marriage, births, friendship networks, occupations, and divorce. Both behavioral and analytical models are surveyed.
Instructor(s): K. Yamaguchi Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20157
SOCI 30179. 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: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20179
SOCI 30184. Political Culture, Social Capital, and the Arts. 100 Units.
New work finds that certain arts and cultural activities are rising, especially among the young, in many countries. This course reviews core related concepts (e.g., political culture, social capital, legitimacy) and how they change with these new developments. Scenes, nightlife, design, the Internet, and entertainment emerge as critical drivers of the post-industrial/knowledge society. Older primordial conflicts over class, race, and gender are transformed with these new issues, which spark new social movements and political tensions. After a focus on the discussion of readings, the second part of the course is conducted as a seminar.
Instructor(s): T. Clark Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20184
SOCI 30191. Social Change in the United States. 100 Units.
This course provides students with concepts, facts, and methods for understanding the social structure of the contemporary United States, recent changes in the U.S. social structure, survey data for measuring social structure and social change in contemporary industrial societies, and data analysis methods for distinguishing different types of change. This course is taught by traditional and nontraditional methods: traditional by a combination of readings, lectures, and discussions; and nontraditional by in-class, "live" statistical analysis of the cumulative file (1972–2004) of the NORC General Social Surveys (GSS).
Instructor(s): R. Stolzenberg Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Two prior sociology courses or consent of instructor
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20191
SOCI 30192. 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: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20192
SOCI 30204. Sociology of Civil Society. 100 Units.
This course examines how civil society interacts with the state and market. After a theoretical overview of classical theories of civil society and more modern theoretical variations, it explores the various topics of civil society from institutional, organizational, and cultural perspectives. Topics include: civil society and social movements, civil society and welfare states, civil society and identity politics, civil society and market, and transformation of civil society and public sphere.
Instructor(s): C.S. Lee Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20204
SOCI 30206. Demographic Methods: Measurement and Analysis. 100 Units.
This course introduces students to the analysis of population processes using demographic methods. It emphasizes formal theory and modeling assumptions as well as the practical estimation and interpretation of demographic measures. The course covers the construction of cohort and period life tables (including single, multiple-decrement, and multi-state examples) and analyses of changes in population size and composition. Students are introduced to demographic databases and develop skills in the manipulation of data using the statistical computing language R. Applications include international mortality and health trends, as well as fertility and population change.
Instructor(s): M. Engelman Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20206
SOCI 30207. Social and Cultural Organization of Non-Human Animals. 100 Units.
In the past few decades, there has been an explosion of rigorous work in ethology regarding social organization, cultural patterns, and cognition in non-human animals. The results have fundamentally overturned previous assumptions about animals; they also challenge and inspire sociological theory to encompass formations observed in non-humans. This course builds on classic theoretical approaches (of Chicago sociology and philosophy, of evolutionary theorists) and the examines the current state of knowledge about animal social organization, communication, and culture. Although there is a fair amount on primates, we will be examining work on a number of social species from ants to whales. Students will write a paper pursuing one theme of the course (e.g., social organization, learning) in one species (e.g., Ethiopian wolf, Octopus vulgaris).
Instructor(s): J. Martin Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20207
SOCI 30217. Introduction to Science and Technology Studies. 100 Units.
Science, technology and information are the ‘racing heart’ of contemporary cognitive capitalism and the engine of change of our technological culture. They are deeply relevant to the understanding of contemporary societies. But how are we to understand the highly esoteric cultures and practices of science, technology and information? During the twentieth century, sociologists, historians, philosophers, and anthropologists raised original, interesting, and consequential questions about the sciences and technology. Often their work drew on and responded to each other, and, taken together, their various approaches came to constitute a field, "science and technology studies." The course furnishes an initial guide to this field. Students will not only encounter some of its principal concepts, approaches, and findings, but will also get a chance to apply science-studies perspectives themselves by performing a fieldwork project. Among the topics we examine are the sociology of scientific knowledge and its applications, constructivism and actor network theory, the study of technology and information, as well as recent work on knowledge and technology in the economy and finance. Beginning with the second week of classes, we will devote the second half of the class to presentations and discussion.
Instructor(s): K. Knorr Cetina Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 32410,CHSS 30217,ANTH 22410,SOCI 20217
SOCI 30218. The Future of Knowledge. 100 Units.
This course will investigate various aspects of knowledge and its future. Topics to be considered will include amateur knowledge, economics of knowledge, changes in knowledge production and control practices, trends in education, and changes in habits of knowledge. Course format will be a seminar organized around individual research projects in the course area.
Instructor(s): A. Abbott Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): One course in sociological theory
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20218
SOCI 30219. Urban Ethnography. 100 Units.
The everyday experiences and cultural contours of urban life have long been a focal point for sociological study. Through weekly readings and discussion of influential texts, this course surveys the development of urban ethnography from the First Chicago School of the early twentieth century through current-day research. We will explore the substantive issues that have historically shaped urban life—from community dynamics to poverty to social control—as well as the epistemological and methodological concerns faced by those who study urban populations. The aim is to ground students in the foundational literature while preparing them to conduct their own urban ethnographies in the future.
Instructor(s): F. Stuart Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Third- and fourth-year undergraduates only
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20219
SOCI 30302. Problems of Public Policy Implementation. 100 Units.
Once a governmental policy or program is established, there is the challenge of getting it carried out in ways intended by the policy makers. We explore how obstacles emerge because of problems of hierarchy, competing goals, and cultures of different groups. We then discuss how they may be overcome by groups, as well as by creators and by those responsible for implementing programs. We also look at varying responses of target populations.
Instructor(s): R. Taub Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): One prior 20000-level social sciences course
Note(s): PBPL 22100-22200-22300 may be taken in or out of sequence.
Equivalent Course(s): PBPL 22300,CHDV 30302
SOCI 30303. Urban Landscapes as Social Text. 100 Units.
This seminar explores the meanings found in varieties of urban landscapes, both in the context of individual elements and composite structures. These meanings are examined in relation to three fundamental approaches that can be identified in the analytical literature on landscapes: normative, historical, and communicative modes of conceptualization. Emphasis is placed on analyzing the explicitly visual features of the urban landscape. Students pursue research topics of their own choosing within the general framework.
Instructor(s): M. Conzen Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Advanced standing and consent of instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): GEOG 42400
SOCI 30306. HUMAN CAPITAL. 100 Units.
This course covers both micro and macro aspects of human capital: investments by parents in the education and other human capital of their children, intergenerational transmission of inequality, links between specializations in particular types of human capital and coordination costs, general knowledge, and the extent of the market. The relation between human capital, population change, and economic growth is also emphasized.
Instructor(s): Gary Becker Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): ECON 34300
SOCI 40103. Event History Analysis. 100 Units.
An introduction to the methods of event history analysis will be given. The methods allow for the analysis of duration data. Non-parametric methods and parametric regression models are available to investigate the influence of covariates on the duration until a certain even occurs. Applications of these methods will be discussed i.e., duration until marriage, social mobility processes organizational mortality, firm tenure, etc.
Instructor(s): K. Yamaguchi Terms Offered: Autumn
SOCI 40112. Ethnographic Methods. 100 Units.
This course explores the epistemological and practical questions raised by ethnography as a method -- focusing on the relationships between theory and data, and between researcher and researched. Discussions are based on close readings of ethnographic texts, supplemented by occasional theoretical essays on ethnographic practices. Students also conduct original field research., share and critique each other's field notes on a weekly basis, and produce analytical papers based on their ethnographies.
Instructor(s): O. McRoberts Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Graduate students only
SOCI 40142. Library Methods for Social Sciences. 100 Units.
This course is a graduate introduction to the methods involved with "research with records" -- that is, material like manuscripts, books, journals, newspapers, ephemera, and government and institutional documents. (Such material has been typically printed but may now be stored electronically as well as physically.) The course covers the essentials of project design, bibliography, location, access, critical reading, source evaluation and provenance, knowledge categorization and assembly, and records maintenance. The course is a methodological practicum and will involve both small-scale exercises and a larger project. Major texts include Thomas Mann's Oxford Guide to Library Research and Booth, Colomb, and Williams, The Craft of Research.
Instructor(s): A. Abbott Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Advanced undergrads by consent
SOCI 40152. Survey Practicum: Qualitative Research for Questionnaire Design. 100 Units.
The survey practicum provides an opportunity for students to learn interviewing and questionnaire design methods with a real, hands-on project. The class is limited to 10 students to keep the team to a manageable size.
Instructor(s): M. van Haitsma Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Graduate students only
SOCI 40164. 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 the interviewer.
Instructor(s): S. Hicks-Bartlett Terms Offered: Autumn, Winter
Prerequisite(s): Graduate students only
SOCI 40168. Welfare States, Poverty, and Inequality. 100 Units.
This course gives an overview of the political economy of social policy in advanced industrial democracies. The course explores how organized social forces, partisan politics, business interests, international pressures, and demographic changes have shaped and transformed the welfare state regimes and how such processes have affected distributional outcomes in rich democracies and developing countries. Topics include: Theories of the Welfare State, Welfare State Regime Typology, Bargaining Regimes and Welfare Regimes, Development of American Welfare State, Post-industrial Economy and Welfare States, Globalization/Financial Crisis and Welfare States, Social Movements and Welfare States, Welfare States and Poverty, Welfare States and Income Inequality, Welfare States and Gender Inequality.
Instructor(s): C.S. Lee Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Graduate students only
SOCI 40172. 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 other hand, is it so easy to get rich for some participants? Perhaps the answer is that real markets are complex social and cultural institutions which are quite different from organizations, administrations and the production side of the economy. The course addresses these differences and core dimensions of economic sociology. This course provides an overview over social and cultural variables and patterns that play a role in economic behaviour and specifically in financial markets. We draw on the ‘New Economic Sociology’ which emerged in the late 70's and early 80's from the work of Harrison White, Marc Granovetter, Viviana Zelizer, Wayne Baker and others. We also draw on recent analysis of the relationship between knowledge, technology and economic and financial institutions and behaviour, and include an emerging body of literature on the financial crisis of 2008-09. The readings examine the historical and structural embeddedness of economic action and institutions, the different constructions and interpretations of money, prices and other dimensions of a market economy, and how a financial economy affects organizations, the art world and other areas.
Instructor(s): K. Knorr Cetina Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Open to advanced undergraduates
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 45405
SOCI 40177. Coding and Analyzing Qualitative Data: Using Open-Source Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software (CAQDAS) 100 Units.
This is a graduate level course in coding and analyzing qualitative data (e.g., interview transcripts, oral histories, focus groups, letters, and diaries, etc). In this hands-on-course students learn how to organize and manage text-based data in preparation for analysis and final report writing of small scale research projects. Students use their own laptop computers to access one of two free, open-source software programs available for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. While students with extant interview data can use it for this course, those without existing data will be provided text to code and analyze. This course does not cover commercial CAQDAS, such as AtlasTi, NVivo, The Ethnograph or Hypertext.
Instructor(s): S. Hicks-Bartlett Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Graduate students only
SOCI 40182. Causal Analysis. 100 Units.
Instructor(s): K. Yamaguchi Terms Offered: Spring
SOCI 40183. Do Ideas Evolve? 100 Units.
In the decades after Darwin, scholars from James to Simmel suggested that knowledge might evolve. The past 30 years have witnessed an explosion of related research, providing rigorous and empirically grounded theories of cultural and linguistic evolution. In this course, we will ask whether these insights extend to the world of ideas and knowledge. We begin by surveying key aspects of biological evolution. We then turn to cultural evolution, exploring issues like the units of selection and the mechanisms of cultural reproduction. We will spend the bulk of the course applying these insights to knowledge evolution. We will explore theories of innovation to assess where new ideas come from. We will investigate cognitive biases and heuristics to uncover regularities in the generation and selection of ideas. We will see how social context and economic incentives affect the “fitness” and fecundity of facts and theories. And we will develop an understanding of the interdependent “ecology” of ideas as constitutive of disciplinary formations. Where appropriate, we will introduce relevant empirical techniques. The course will be organized as a highly participatory seminar, focused on readings from diverse literatures. Students will also pursue projects of their own choosing in small groups.
Instructor(s): J. Evans and J. Foster Terms Offered: Spring 2013
Equivalent Course(s): CHSS 43500,CDIN 43500
SOCI 40185. Teaching Practicum. 100 Units.
This course is a teaching practicum designed for Sociology PhD students in their third year and beyond. Students will design their own syllabi over the quarter. Each student will gain experience in teaching sociological concepts and providing feedback to their peers. This class is most useful to students with minimal teaching experience.
Instructor(s): K. Schilt Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Sociology PhD students only
SOCI 50003. Sociology of the State. 100 Units.
Many modern nation states tax nearly half of the people's income. A nation state develops relationships with other states and takes charge of territorial defense. It monopolizes the use of violence within a territory. It also regulates many aspects of our lives from education, working, marriage, retirement, redistribution of wealth to daily activities such as parking, driving and garbage disposal. State power is, therefore, the principal dimension of political power. This course introduces theories of states with a comparative-historical perspective. It is organized around several empirical issues, including the origin and development of pre-modern state forms, the rise of nation states, state and economic development, state and social change, state-society relations and states in the post-industrial world. The course provides an overview on the cutting-edge research in the field. It is also intended to guide those who are interested in political sociology or macro-comparative sociology to develop empirical projects with the state as an important dimension.
Instructor(s): D. Zhao Terms Offered: Spring
SOCI 50017. Urban Field Research. 100 Units.
This course focuses on methods for collecting qualitative field data in urban settings from the ground up, so to speak, and to discuss some related methodological issues. In addition to readings, there are field assignments and students discuss each other's notes. (M)
Instructor(s): R. Taub Terms Offered: Spring 2013
Prerequisite(s): Graduate students in Social Sciences only.
Note(s): Offered every other year.
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 45700
SOCI 50022. Seminar: George Herbert Mead. 100 Units.
While George Herbert Mead's work has been a continual inspiration for sociology and social psychology in the last decades, it has not been appreciated in its full extension. The sociological reception has ignored large parts of Mead's philosophical writings; in philosophy Mead is counted among the most important pragmatists, but the revival of interest in pragmatist philosophy has hardly led to new interpretations of his work. This is particularly regrettable since there is considerable potential in his writings for contemporary questions in moral philosophy, the study of temporality, etc. The seminar starts with a close reading of Mead's best-known book Mind, Self, and Society. Since this book is based on notes taken in his classes, we will then continue with some of Mead's essays and selections from his other books. We should reserve some time for discussion about the relationship between Mead and contemporary social thought. Required reading: G. H. Mead, Mind, Self, and Society. University of Chicago Press 1934 (and many later editions); Hans Joas, G. H. Mead. A Contemporary Re-examination of his Thought. MIT Press 1985 and 1997 (second edition).
Instructor(s): H. Joas Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): SCTH 50200
SOCI 50087. Max Weber's Sociology of Religion. 100 Units.
Max Weber is perhaps the one undisputed classical figure in the discipline of sociology today. His reputation is to a large extent based on his historical and comparative studies of the "economic ethics" of the world religions and on the formulation of a systematic approach for the historical-sociological study of religion (in the relevant chapter of his "Economy and Society"). The seminar will start with a close reading of the religion chapter in "Economy and Society" and then continue with selections from his comparative studies. The focus of interest will not only be on Weber's theory, but also on the present state of research on the questions Weber was dealing with.
Instructor(s): H. Joas Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): AASR 50087,SCTH 50087
SOCI 50088. Axiality, Evolution, and Modernity. 100 Units.
This seminar will consider the current state of theoretical debate regarding two classic problematic notions in social theory–Evolution, and Modernity; how they relate to one another; and how both relate to the notion of Axiality as treated seminally in the latter writings of the late S. N. Eistenstald and in The Axial Age and its Consequences (2012) edited by Robert Bellah and Hans Joas. Highly recommended prerequisite: Familiarity with Max Weber's Sociology of Religion and/or participation in the course on that subject offered concurrently by Hans Joas. The seminar will meet once a week for 2 1/2 hours.
Instructor(s): D. Levine Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Familiarity with Weber's Sociology of Religion and/or participation in SOCI 50087
Equivalent Course(s): AASR 50088