Courses and Workshops
Yearly Course Schedule
300-Level Course Descriptions
SOCIOL 301 The City: Urbanization and Urbanism:
Theories of urbanization, housing, jobs, race and class, segregation, community and social networks politics, reform policies
and planning. Research projects.
SOCIOL 302 Sociology of Organizations: Structure and function of formal organizations, especially in business and government. Stratification, social control, and con- flict. Discretion, rules, and information in achieving goals. Modes of participation. Development of informal norms.
SOCIOL 305 Population Dynamics: Population dynamics Social causes and consequences of population dynamics (fertility, mortality, marriage, divorce, migration) and population structures (age, sex, size, density). Relationship between population changes and health, environmental, and economic outcomes.
SOCIOL 307 School and Society: Reciprocal influences between formal educational institutions and society, from various theoretical perspectives. Emphasis on internal organization of schools, the relationship between education and inequality, and problems of contemporary urban education.
SOCIOL 308 Crime, Politics, and Society : Politics of defin- ing, counting, explaining, and responding to crime, with emphasis on the social organization of crimes of the streets and crimes of the suites; also, domestic and international war crimes.
SOCIOL 309 Political Sociology: Selected topics in political economy and sociology: revolutions, the development of the modern state, third world development, international conflict, politics of memory and civil society.
SOCIOL 310 Tthe Family and Social Learning : Influence of socio- economic and other structural and cultural resources and constraints on family structure and dynamics. Historical and comparative perspectives on the modern family.
SOCIOL 312 Social Basis of Environmental Change: The ways social patterns of production and consumption affect the natural environment, such as climate and biodiversity. Roles of social actors and structures in shaping environ- mental problems and policies.
SOCIOL 314 Sociology of Religion: Sociological approach to the study of American religion. Communities, practices, race, gender, and politics in the shaping of religion.
SOCIOL 315 Comparative Industrialization: The British Industrial Revolution as a benchmark revolution in Western societies; technological innovation, entrepreneurship, labor relations, class structure, and culture in industrialized and industrializing societies; industriallization as an engine of globalization.
SOCIOL 318 Sociology of Law : Sociological analysis of legal institutions such as courts, the police, and lawyers. Law, inequality, and social change. Taught with LEGAL_ST 308; students may not receive credit for both courses.
SOCIOL 319 Sociology of Science: Science as social system. Personality, class, and cultural factors in scientific develop- ment, creativity, choice of role, simultaneous invention,
and priority disputes. Social effects on objectivity and bias.
SOCIOL 321-0 Numbers, Identity, and Modernity: Investigation of how we make and use numbers, how we know ourselves through numbers, the kinds of authority we grant to numbers, and how numbers inform our ethics.
SOCIOL 323 American Subcultures and Ethnic Groups: Differentiation, organization, and stratification by ethnicity, race, lifestyle, and other traits. Maintenance of subgroup boundaries and distinctiveness. Development and continuity of American society as a system of subgroups. Consequences of difference: identity; political and economic participation; group solidarity.
SOCIOL 325 Global and Local Inequalities: Inequalities in economic and social status, including in income, health, politics, social policy, the family, gender, and race. Contem- porary US focus but also historical and global trends.
SOCIOL 326-0 Politics, Society, and Public Policy: Social and political determinants of public policy in the United States from the New Deal to the present, including industrial relations, social policy, healthcare, and banking and financial
SOCIOL 327 Youth and Society: How modern definitions of childhood and adolescence have evolved. Diversity across the lives of young people today and the develop- ment of social networks and transitions to adulthood.
SOCIOL 328-0 Inequality and American Society Introduces research on social stratification and inequality with a focus on American society. Includes theories of distributive justice, trends, intergenerational mobility, gender and race inequality, causes and consequences of inequalities.
SOCIOL 331 Markets, Hierarchies, and Democracies: Forms and social structures for making economic decision in modern societies. Theories on their purposes, conditions of their occurrence, and types of outcomes produced.
SOCIOL 332 Work and Occupation: Sociological perspec- tives on work. Work, class, status, and power. Society, econ- omy, technology, and occupational structure; organization of workplace. Work in the global economy.
SOCIOL 334-0 Social Protest & Social Change Addresses how and why social prostests are sometimes able to initiate major social change within societies and social groups. Attention also on social media and its influence on social protest.
SOCIOL 345 Class and Culture: The role that culture plays
in the formation and reproduction of social classes. Class socialization, culture and class boundaries, class identities and class consciousness, culture and class action.
SOCIOL 350 Sociology of the Arts: Art as a collective activity. Conventions in artistic activities and aesthetic responses. Training of professionals and audiences. Relation of artistic works to other aspects of culture.
SOCIOL 355 Medical Sociology: Social construction of health and illness; inequalities in distribution of illness and health care; organization of health care work and occupations.
SOCIOL 376 Topics in Sociological Analysis: Topics in sociology. Content varies. May be repeated for credit with change of topic.
400-Level Course Descriptions
SOCIOL 400 Introduction to Statistics and Statistical Software: Introduction to basic social science statistics, with applications using current computer software. Practical issues of data collection, coding, data entry and dataset management.
SOCIOL 401-1 Statistical Analysis of Social Data: Applied Regression Methods I: Introduction to the theory, methods, and practice of linear regression analysis: descriptive statistics, analysis of variance, ordinary least squares (OLS), regression diagnostics. STATA used for computation. For first-year graduate students in sociology.
SOCIOL 401-2 Statistical Analysis of Social Data: Applied Regression Methods II:
Regression models with categorical and discrete outcomes: categorical variables, maximum likelihood estimation (MLE), probit and logistic regression, logit models, tobit models, and advanced STATA techniques. For first-year graduate students in sociology.
SOCIOL 402 Event-History Analysis: Introduction to event-history (survival) analysis: common non-parametric, semi-parametric and parametric models for both continuous and discrete time intervals; practical data management techniques in STATA. Prerequisite: SOCIOL 401-2 or permission of instructor.
SOCIOL 403 Field Methods: Application of the methods of case study, interviewing, and participant observation.
SOCIOL 404 Designs for Descriptive Causal Research in Field Settings: Theories of causation. Analysis of the ability of various experimental and quasi-experimental designs to promote the end of two types of causal inference.
SOCIOL 405 Research Methods: Fundamentals of research design, sampling, data collection, and data analysis. May include questionnaire design, aspects of archival research, content analysis, and the relationship between methods, analytic techniques, and the building and confirming of theoretical models.
SOCIOL 406-1 Classical Theory in Sociological Analysis: Marx and Weber: comparison and contrasts of their theories. Also, theorists such as Lukacs and Gramsci, who combine elements from both.
SOCIOL 406-2 Modern Theory in Sociological Analysis: Major theorists after World War II. Functional theorists, symbolic interactionists, development theorists, the debate over consensus and conflict. The 1950s and 1960s as background for the social theory movements of the 1970s and 1980s.
SOCIOL 406-3 Contemporary Theory in Sociological Analysis: Contemporary approaches to important theoretical issues. Emphasizes the relationship between theory and current research. Content varies. Topics may include functionalism, neo-Marxism, rational action, feminism, or symbolic interactionism. May be repeated for credit with change in topic.
SOCIOL 408 Sociology of Law: Classical and modern theories of law. Modes of inquiry in sociolegal research. Patterns of legal development; comparisons among capitalist, socialist, customary, and indigenous legal systems. The relationship of law to social control, inequality, and social change. Social organization of legal institutions, including systems of dispute resolution and litigation, the legal profession, and regulatory and enforcement agencies.
SOCIOL 410 Comparative Methodology: The logic of comparative methods practiced in the social sciences today; contrast with other analytic logics and comparative designs for different types of investigation. Analytic tolls needed to link case-oriented and variable-oriented discourse in comparative social research. Advanced introduction.
SOCIOL 416 New Perspectives on Gender in Society: Importance of gender in paid work, feminist revisions of mainstream theory in the social sciences, gender and power, the roles of Third World women under colonialism and after independence, and the relationship of work to the family. Content varies. May be repeated for credit with change of topic.
SOCIOL 420 Cultural Sociology and the Sociology of Culture: Production, distribution, reception of culture; culture and meaning; cultural approaches to social boundaries, social problems; local and global cultures.
SOCIOL 437 Economic Sociology: The sociological approach to production, distribution, consumption and markets. Comparison of microeconomic and sociological treatments of similar subjects. Topics may include labor markets, industrial organization, and comparative economic systems.
SOCIOL 439 Comparative and Historical Sociology: Theoretical and methodological issues in the comparison of whole societies and other macrosocial units. Contrasts approaches that emphasize variables with those that emphasize cases (i.e., countries) and their histories. Content varies. May be repeated for credit with change in topic.
SOCIOL 440 Stratification, Race, and Gender: Issues in current research and theory in stratification, race, and gender. Content varies. May be repeated for credit with change of topic. For graduate students.
SOCIOL 441 Social Movements : Issues in research and theory in organizations, institutions, and social movements. Content varies. May be repeated for credit with change in topic. For graduate students.
SOCIOL 476 Topics in Sociological Analysis: Advanced areas of graduate students' interest. Content varies. May be repeated for credit with change in topic.
SOCIOL 477 Research Methods in Law and Social Science: This course surveys the range of methodological approaches employed in social science studies of law and legal issues. Both qualitative (field observation, elite interviewing) and quantitative (sample surveys, content analysis) data collection procedures will be reviewed. A great deal of attention will be paid to research design issues, for they determine the strength of the causal claims that can be made about a set of findings.
SOCIOL 478 Perspectives on Law and Social Science: Surveys the range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of law in social and historical context. Topics include the history of law and society scholarship, paradigms of inquiry in law and social science, and contemporary trends in law and society research.
SOCIOL 479 Topics in Law and Social Science: Focuses on advanced special topics in law and social science. May be repeated for credit with change in topic.
SOCIOL 480 Introduction to the Discipline: Introduction to the department, faculty, and adjunct faculty. Faculty discuss their research and teaching interests. Mandatory two-quarter weekly seminar for first-year students.
SOCIOL 490 Research: Independent study for work on second-year paper.
SOCIOL 499 Independent Study: May be repeated for credit. Independent study in social theory, methodology, social change, and social institutions. Permission of instructor and department required.
500-Level Course Descriptions
SOCIOL 510 Seminar and Workshop in the Logic of Analysis: Current issues in research and theory in method and analytical strategies, including qualitative and quantitative methods. Presentation of second-year papers, thesis proposals, and other scholarly papers by students, faculty, and visitors in addition to reading seminar sessions. May be repeated for credit.
SOCIOL 511 Seminar on the Theory and Measurement of Social Change: Empirical and theoretical criteria employed in assertions of major changes; evidence required as bases for assertions.
SOCIOL 513 Urbanization and Social Structure: Causes and patterns of world urbanization. The nature of urban life in major regions; variations related to cultural and structural differences; focus on the question of community. Techniques for analysis and comparison of diverse theories.
SOCIOL 514 Sociology of Education: Education issues: stratification, social policy, and organizational changes. Chicago school systems are the focus. Fieldwork-oriented graduate seminar.
SOCIOL 570 Seminar on College Teaching: The art of undergraduate teaching. Explores the role of teaching assistant and teacher, methods, styles.
SOCIOL 576 Topics in Sociological Analysis: Seminar in areas of expressed student interest. Open to advanced graduate students. May be repeated for credit with change of topic.
SOCIOL 590 Research: Independent investigation of selected problems pertaining to thesis or dissertation. May be repeated for credit.
Need Expert Advice?
Our faculty advisers can help you select Sociology courses, even if Sociology isn't your major or minor.
Searle Center for Advancing Learning & Teaching provides a variety of programs and workshops for graduate students and faculty interested in developing their teaching practices. In addition, the Searle Center offers a variety of programs for graduate students seeking to develop their skills as Teaching Assistant (TA) and instructor , such as, a yearly conference for new TA's, a teaching certificate program and fellowship opportunities.
NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY's Department of Sociology invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track, Assistant Professor position to begin in the Fall of 2015. More information.
"The Humanities in the Age of Ecological Catastrophe” with Deborah Coen and Timothy Morton
November 4, 2014 • 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
"Borderlands” with Keller Easterling and Ramón Saldívar
January 20, 2015 • 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM