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Department of Sociology

Chair

  • Linda Waite

Professors

  • Andrew Abbott
  • Luc Anselin
  • Kathleen A. Cagney, Health Studies
  • Terry N. Clark
  • Elisabeth S. Clemens
  • James A. Evans
  • Andreas Glaeser
  • Karin Knorr Cetina, Anthropology
  • Edward O. Laumann
  • John Levi Martin
  • Stephen W. Raudenbush
  • Ross M. Stolzenberg
  • Linda Waite
  • Kazuo Yamaguchi
  • Dingxin Zhao

Associate Professors

  • Omar M. McRoberts
  • Kristen Schilt
  • Jenny Trinitapoli

Assistant Professors

  • Rene Flores
  • Marco Garrido
  • Kimberly Hoang
  • Xi Song
  • Forrest Stuart
  • Robert Vargas

Visiting Professor

  • Hans Joas, Social Thought

Emeritus Faculty

  • William L. Parish
  • Richard Taub

Associated Faculty

  • Luis Bettencourt
  • Chad Broughton, Public Policy
  • Ronald S. Burt, Business
  • Angela Garcia, School of Social Service Administration
  • Sharon Hicks-Bartlett
  • Gary Herrigel, Political Science
  • Guanglei Hong, Comparative Human Development
  • Nicole Marwell, School of Social Service Administration
  • Susan E. Mayer, Public Policy
  • Anna Mueller, Comparative Human Development
  • John Padgett, Political Science
  • Elizabeth Pontikes, Organizations and Markets
  • Amanda Sharkey, Organizations and Markets

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.

Research

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.

Admission

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 ssd-admissions@uchicago.edu 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 107
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 30002 Principles of Sociological Research, and SOCI 30003 History of Social Theory.  First-year students are required to register for SOCI 60020 1st-Year Proseminar Research Questions and Design, a non-credit colloquium, in Autumn, Winter, and Spring.  Also required beginning in 2014-15 is SOCI 30006 Second/Third Year Writing Seminar-1 and SOCI 30007 Second/Third Year Writing Seminar-2 in Winter and Spring.

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.

Preliminary examination

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 first quarter 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.

Dissertation

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 (by the first quarter of the fifth year of study) 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.

Teaching Opportunities

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.

Graduate Workshops

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.

Sociology Courses

SOCI 30002. Principles of Sociological Research. 100 Units.

Explores how theoretical questions and different types of evidence inform decisions about methodological approach and research design. This course is required for first year Sociology PhD students.

Instructor(s): J. Martin     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Open only to 1st- and 2nd-year Sociology PhD students

SOCI 30003. History of Social Theory. 100 Units.

This course is an introduction to sociological theory. It will cover Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Simmel, Mead, Dewey, the Chicago School, Bourdieu, and possibly others.

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
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
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20004

SOCI 30005. Statistical Methods of Research-2. 100 Units.

A course about how to do theoretically informed quantitative social research with rigorous statistical techniques. The course concentrates on data analysis, and the way one links theory and data. Topics covered include tabular analysis, regression analysis, regression diagnostics, missing data, factor analysis and scale construction, measurement error, fixed and random effects models, propensity score matching, and related topics.

Instructor(s): S. Raudenbush     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): SOCI 30004

SOCI 30006. Second/Third Year Writing Seminar-1. 50 Units.

A required seminar that will meet over two quarters. Doctoral students in Sociology are required to take this seminar in both their second and third years. Second-year students will focus on developing a project for their Qualifying Paper. Third-year students will start from a completed Qualifying Paper and revise it for presentation at professional meetings and possible publication. Some students may move on to developing grant proposals or a first draft of a dissertation proposal.

Instructor(s): J. Trinitapoli, O. McRoberts     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Sociology PhD students only

SOCI 30007. Second/Third Year Writing Seminar-2. 50 Units.

A required seminar that will meet over two quarters. Doctoral students in Sociology are required to take this seminar in both their second and third years. Second-year students will focus on developing a project for their Qualifying Paper. Third-year students will start from a completed Qualifying Paper and revise it for presentation at professional meetings and possible publication. Some students may move on to developing grant proposals or a first draft of a dissertation proposal.

Instructor(s): J. Trinitapoli, O. McRoberts     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Sociology PhD students only

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. Social network analysis will inform much of the discussion.

Instructor(s): E. Laumann     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): PBPL 23000, SOCI 20101

SOCI 30103. Social Stratification. 100 Units.

Social stratification is the unequal distribution of the goods that members of a society value - earnings, income, authority, political power, status, prestige etc. This course introduces various sociological perspectives about stratification. We look at major patterns of inequality throughout human history, how they vary across countries, how they are formed and maintained, how they come to be seen as legitimate and desirable, and how they affect the lives of individuals within a society. The readings incorporate classical theoretical statements, contemporary debates, and recent empirical evidence. The information and ideas discussed in this course are critical for students who will go on in sociology and extremely useful for students who want to be informed about current social, economic, and political issues.

Instructor(s): R. Stolzenberg     Terms Offered: Spring. Cancelled - Not offered in 2018/19
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 American experience as a way of developing urban policy both in this country and elsewhere.

Instructor(s): F. Stuart     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): SOSC 25100, SOCI 20104, GEOG 32700, CRES 20104, GEOG 22700

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 (including AIDS); sexual partner choice and turnover; and the incidence/prevalence of selected sexual practices. Network analytic approaches will be introduced.

Instructor(s): E. Laumann     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Introductory social sciences course
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20107, GNSE 27100

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. entativley
Equivalent Course(s): MAPS 30900, SSAD 53200, SOSC 30900

SOCI 30125. 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 20125

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 well 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: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20126

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: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20157

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: Spring. Cancelled - Not offered in 2018/19
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20192

SOCI 30233. 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
Equivalent Course(s): MAPS 30233, SOCI 20233

SOCI 30253. 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 software tools, including R and GeoDa.

Instructor(s): L. Anselin     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): STAT 22000 (or equivalent), familiarity with GIS is helpful, but not necessary
Equivalent Course(s): GEOG 30500, MACS 54000, SOCI 20253, GEOG 20500

SOCI 30263. 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: Winter. Cancelled - Not offered in 2018/19
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20263

SOCI 30264. Wealth. 100 Units.

Wealth is the value of a person's accumulated possessions and financial assets. Wealth is more difficult for social researchers to measure than earnings and income, and wealthy people are notoriously uncooperative with efforts to study them and their assets. Further, wealth data conveys less information than income data about the lives of the middle- and lower-classes -- who tend to have little or no wealth at all. However, information about wealth gives fundamentally important insight into the values, attitudes, behavior, consumption patterns, social standing, political power, health, happiness and yet more characteristics of individuals and population subgroups. This course considers the causes and consequences of wealth accumulation for individuals, the social groups to which they belong, and the societies in which they dwell.

Instructor(s): R. Stolzenberg     Terms Offered: Winter. Cancelled - Not offered in 2018/19
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20264

SOCI 30273. Urban Spatial Archaeology I. 100 Units.

Space and time are fundamental concepts in urban spatial science. In this course, students will gain substantive and technical knowledge on how to analyze space and time through the tools of urban spatial archaeology. Specifically, this course will introduce students to various historical data sources on Chicago and New Orleans to digitize, then conduct a spatial historical analysis of any topic of their choice. By taking a historical approach to the study of time and space, students will walk away from the course with (1) ways to conceptualize time and space when studying urban issues, and (2) skills for designing a project to empirically demonstrate the workings of time and space in the real world. At the end of this course, students will be expected to have produced a historical dataset for a research paper that will be completed in the next course sequence.

Instructor(s): R. Vargas     Terms Offered: Winter. Cancelled - Not offered in 2018/19
Prerequisite(s): GEOG 20500 and GEOG 28201
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20273, GEOG 20273, GEOG 30273

SOCI 30274. Urban Spatial Archaeology II. 100 Units.

This course builds off Urban Spatial Archaeology I, by focusing on more specific ways to apply the concepts of space and time to contemporary urban research issues. Students will also learn methods for analyzing the data they chose to digitize in the previous quarter, which will culminate in a research paper on a topic of their choosing. Students will walk away from this course with a deeper understanding of how researchers and policy makers think of space and time with respect to a particular urban issue. In addition, students will have produced a research paper and data visualization that would critique the ways researchers have traditionally conceptualized time and space.

Instructor(s): R. Vargas     Terms Offered: Spring. Cancelled - Not Offered in 2018/2019
Prerequisite(s): SOCI 20273/30273 and GEOG 20273/30273
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20274, GEOG 30274, GEOG 20274

SOCI 30279. Historical Sociology of Racism Latin America. 100 Units.

The course will examine the discourse on race, racism, and racial inequalities through the available sociological literature. Special emphasis will be placed on the emergency of social movements and collective agencies that have shaped the present racial order in the region. This course will first present how racialization processes intermingled with the formation of mestizo nation-states in Latin America, and, by doing so, establishing racial democracy as the corner stone of modern democracies (1920s to 1960s). Second, examine how authoritarian regimes promoted economic development but were incapable of curtailing social inequalities in the region, eventually dismantling the international perception of these countries as racial democracies (1960s to 1980s). And, finally, explore how processes of racial formation operated in the whole region, giving way to the formation of multiracial nations and to the visibility of racism as a structural component of these societies (1990s to 2010s).

Instructor(s): Antonio Sergio Guimarães     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 35118, LACS 25118, SOCI 20279

SOCI 30303. Urban Landscape As Social Text. 100 Units.

The seminar explores conceptually how urban landscapes are formed (literally) and reciprocally how they inform social perceptions of community settings (figuratively). This is done through an initial program of reading and discussion, as well as pursuit of individual student projects, discussed as they progress, leading to a final research paper. The course serves students searching for and defining possible thesis and dissertation topics, as well as those interested in exploring an intellectual curiosity for its own sake. - CONZEN Fall Quarter

Instructor(s): M. Conzen     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Advanced standing and consent of instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): GEOG 42400

SOCI 30315. Introduction to Causal Inference. 100 Units.

This course is designed for graduate students and advanced undergraduate students from the social sciences, education, public health science, public policy, social service administration, and statistics who are involved in quantitative research and are interested in studying causality. The goal of this course is to equip students with basic knowledge of and analytic skills in causal inference. Topics for the course will include the potential outcomes framework for causal inference; experimental and observational studies; identification assumptions for causal parameters; potential pitfalls of using ANCOVA to estimate a causal effect; propensity score based methods including matching, stratification, inverse-probability-of-treatment-weighting (IPTW), marginal mean weighting through stratification (MMWS), and doubly robust estimation; the instrumental variable (IV) method; regression discontinuity design (RDD) including sharp RDD and fuzzy RDD; difference in difference (DID) and generalized DID methods for cross-section and panel data, and fixed effects model. Intermediate Statistics or equivalent such as STAT 224/PBHS 324, PP 31301, BUS 41100, or SOC 30005 is a prerequisite. This course is a prerequisite for "Advanced Topics in Causal Inference" and "Mediation, moderation, and spillover effects."

Instructor(s): K. Yamaguchi     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Intermediate Statistics or equivalent such as STAT 224/PBHS 324, PP 31301, BUS 41100, or SOC 30005 is a prerequisite.
Note(s): Graduate course, open to advanced undergraduates. CHDV Distribution: M, M*
Equivalent Course(s): MACS 51000, PLSC 30102, STAT 31900, CHDV 30102, PBHS 43201

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 40133. Computational Content Analysis. 100 Units.

A vast expanse of information about what people do, know, think, and feel lies embedded in text, and more of the contemporary social world lives natively within electronic text than ever before. These textual traces range from collective activity on the web, social media, instant messaging and automatically transcribed YouTube videos to online transactions, medical records, digitized libraries and government intelligence. This supply of text has elicited demand for natural language processing and machine learning tools to filter, search, and translate text into valuable data. The course will survey and practically apply many of the most exciting computational approaches to text analysis, highlighting both supervised methods that extend old theories to new data and unsupervised techniques that discover hidden regularities worth theorizing. These will be examined and evaluated on their own merits, and relative to the validity and reliability concerns of classical content analysis, the interpretive concerns of qualitative content analysis, and the interactional concerns of conversation analysis. We will also consider how these approaches can be adapted to content beyond text, including audio, images, and video. We will simultaneously review recent research that uses these approaches to develop social insight by exploring (a) collective attention and reasoning through the content of communication; (b) social relationships through the process of communication; and (c) social state

Instructor(s): James Evans     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): MACS 60000

SOCI 40142. Library Methods for the 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 Andrew Abbott's Digital paper.

Instructor(s): A. Abbott     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Advanced undergrads by consent
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20281

SOCI 40156. Hermeneutic Sociology. 100 Units.

The core ideas of a social hermeneutics (as distinct from, yet building on the classical traditions of textual hermeneutics) were developed in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. They can be roughly summarized in a few intertwining propositions: First, discursive, emotive and sensory modalities of sense making (interpretation, world making…), conscious and unconscious are a key differentiator of human life forms across time and space. Second, sense making is acting and as such dialectically entangled with acting more generally. Third, sense making necessarily proceeds in diverse media whose structures and habits of use deeply shape the sense making process whence the necessity to attend to form and style. Fourth, sense making is a social activity structured by the relationships within which they take place. Fifth, the sense making activities actually performed are crucial for the reproduction of structures of media and life forms. Sixths, sense making, life forms, and media are dialectically (co-constitutively) intertwined with each other. And finally, seventh, social hermeneutics is itself sense-making. The course will explore these ideas by reading classical statements that highlight the core analytic concepts that social hermeneuticists employ such as symbolization, interpretation, mediation, rhetoric, performance, performativity, interpretive community, institutionalization. Every session will combine a discussion of the readings with an analytical practicum using

Instructor(s): A. Glaeser     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Fulfills part of the KNOW Core Seminar req for SIFK Dissertation Research Fellowship; PhD students must register under KNOW 31407 for this course to meet req.
Equivalent Course(s): KNOW 31407, ANTH 40150

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
Equivalent Course(s): MAPS 40164

SOCI 40176. Computing for the Social Sciences. 100 Units.

This is an applied course for social scientists with little programming experience who wish to use computational analysis in their research. After completion of this course, students will be able to write basic programs that fulfill their own research needs. Major topics to be covered include data wrangling, data exploration, functional programming, statistical modeling, and reproducible research. Students will also learn how to parse text files, scrape data from other sources, create and query relational databases, implement parallel processes, and manage digital projects. Class meetings will be a combination of lecture and laboratory sessions, and students will complete weekly programming assignments as well as a final research project. Assignments will be completed primarily using the open-source R and Python programming languages and the version control software Git.

Instructor(s): Benjamin Soltoff     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): MACS students have priority. Others admitted with instructor consent.
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 30235, SOCI 20278, MACS 30500, MAPS 30500

SOCI 40177. Coding & Analyzing Qualitative Data: Using Open-Source Computer Asst. Qualitative Data Analysis. 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.

Terms Offered: Spring Winter
Equivalent Course(s): MAPS 40177

SOCI 40217. 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 of 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, Generalized Methods of Moments and the Bayesian perspective. An important aspect of the course is the application of open source software tools such as R, GeoDa and PySal to solve empirical problems.

Instructor(s): L. Anselin     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): MACS 55000, GEOG 40217

SOCI 40225. Sociology of Education. 100 Units.

Education plays a fundamental role in society, both because it determines individuals' life chances and because it has the power to reproduce or ameliorate inequality in society. In this course, we will discuss theoretical and empirical research that examines how schools both perpetuate socioeconomic inequality and provide opportunities for social mobility. We will pay particular attention to the role of schools in the intergenerational transmission of social status, especially based on race, class, gender, and immigrant status and with an emphasis on the U.S. We will also discuss the social side of schools, delving into (1) the role of adolescent culture(s) in youths' educational experiences and human development and (2) social psychological aspects of schooling. Schools are the primary extra-familial socializing institution that youth experience; thus, understanding how schools work is central to understanding the very structure of societies as well as the transition from childhood to adulthood.

Instructor(s): A. Mueller     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: 2*
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 40128

SOCI 40233. Sociology of Immigration. 100 Units.

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

Instructor(s): R. Flores     Terms Offered: Autumn

SOCI 40234. Race and Ethnicity in Comparative Perspective. 100 Units.

This graduate seminar seeks to cover the main topics in this vast field from an international comparative perspective. We will compare the U.S. context, where race is typically seen as the fundamental social division, to other societies in Latin America and Europe in which ethnoracial boundaries have also emerged. Topics include: conceptual foundations of race and ethnicity, racial and ethnic identities, racial classification, race and inequality, racial attitudes and public opinion, and race and public policy. Class is designed to encourage graduate students to develop their own race and ethnicity research projects. We will pay special attention to research design and methodological issues.

Instructor(s): R. Flores     Terms Offered: Spring

SOCI 50003. Sociology of the State. 100 Units.

Through taxation, regulation, redistribution, and the provision of services, modern states profoundly shape social life and constitute a principal form of political power. This seminar will survey major theories of the state, engaging with both comparative-historical questions (pre-modern state forms, the rise of nation-states, the development of welfare states and economic policy regimes) and contemporary challenges of governance. The course provides an overview of selected current research and an opportunity for those interested in political, historical, or macro-comparative sociology to develop empirical projects with the state as an important dimension of analysis.

Instructor(s): E. Clemens     Terms Offered: Winter

SOCI 50069. Seminar: Theorizing Gender. 100 Units.

The course provides an overview of sociological theories of gender. We begin by examining the discussion of women and gender in classic and contemporary sociological theory. Next, we move to theoretical interventions by women, including Marxist feminism, standpoint theory, Black feminist thought, and gender organization theory. We then explore the rise of theories of performativity and other "individual"-level approaches to gender. We conclude with an overview of recent scholarship in the sociology of gender theory.

Instructor(s): K. Schilt     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Consent of Instructor
Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 50900

SOCI 50076. Logic of Social Science Inquiry. 100 Units.

Largely drawing on the literature of social movement, revolution, and historical sociology, this seminar surveys the methodologies that social scientists use to construct stories for the cases that interest them, including deductive reasoning, simulation, correlative thinking, mechanism-based analysis, case-based comparison, historical method, dialectics, conceptualization, hermeneutics, and more. The course discusses the pros and cons of each of these methods and ways to combine these methods to achieve better strategies for telling stories about ourselves and about the past and present.

Instructor(s): D. Zhao     Terms Offered: Spring

SOCI 50110. Sem: Theories of Action. 100 Units.

An investigation of theories of when beginning with Aristotle concentrating on sociology but with limited attention to the philosophy of action.

Instructor(s): J. Martin     Terms Offered: Winter

SOCI 50112. Sem: 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 characteristics of our neighborhoods and communities, and by regions or countries. Each class meeting we will read and discuss three or four journal articles or sections of a book, with class participants presenting each reading, summarizing it, and then critiquing it. The class will then discuss. We will add to and subtract from the readings to match the interests of participants on each topic; the syllabus will list readings as a starting point for this process.

Instructor(s): L. Waite     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Some Social Science background

SOCI 50120. Sem: Ethnography-1. 100 Units.

In this two-quarter seminar practicum, students will gain first-hand experience in theoretically grounded and critically reflexive ethnographic research methods. This first quarter provides an overview of the key issues in the epistemology, practice, ethics, and the politics of participant observation. Through weekly readings and discussion students will be exposed to a variety of different techniques, traditions, and modalities for analyzing the everyday experiences and cultural contours of social life. This will include grounded theory, intuitive theorizing, the extended case method, abductive analysis, phenomenology, and processual sociology, among others. Through a series of preliminary field work exercises, students will learn how to propose a research question, formulate an empirical puzzle, determine the rationale for using ethnographic or interview methods, develop effective interview questions, write field notes, code observational and interview data, and satisfy human subjects review boards.

Instructor(s): K. Hoang and F. Stuart     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Open only to Sociology PhD students 2nd year and up; all others with consent of instructors. Students are required to register for both the Winter and Spring quarters.

SOCI 50121. Sem: Ethnography-2. 100 Units.

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

Instructor(s): K. Hoang and F. Stuart     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): PQ SOCI 50120; Open only to Sociology PhD students 2nd year and up; all others with consent of instructors

SOCI 60002. Workshop: Urban Policy. 000 Units.

The Workshop addresses current issues of urban policy in the Chicago area, elsewhere in the U.S., and internationally. It joins faculty and students once a week for two hours to discuss original research.