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Course Descriptions 2019-2020

Courses primarily for:

Courses Primarily for Undergraduate Students

SOCIOL 101-6 – First Year Seminar: Animals and Society

This seminar explores the relationship between humans and non-human species from a sociological viewpoint.  Topics include: the history of animal-human relations; the moral status of animals; how gender, class, and race-ethnicity impact our dealings with animals; zoos and shelters; the relationship between violence toward animals and toward people; animal rights movements; animal therapy; and the question of whether animals are part of society.

SOCIOL 101-6 – First Year Seminar: Teens, Tweens and Adolescents

This course examines the experiences of young people today and how the experience of being a young person varies greatly by socio-economic status, gender, and race/ethnicity. We will also spend time looking at how life stages associated with youth (such as tween, teenager, and emerging adulthood) have evolved and why the road to adulthood is often longer today. We will also think about how the media shapes societal views of young people and how young people use social media. Finally, we will consider how the lives of young people today (Millenials) compare to earlier generations (including Baby Boomers and Generation X) and we will look at intergenerational interactions at home, in school, and in the workplace.

SOCIOL 110-0 – Introduction to Sociology

Sociology is a field of study that examines how people and groups interact, navigate, and make decisions within the structure and constraints of their social world. Often these social processes go unobserved or unacknowledged, and sociologists treat it as their job to shed analytical light on how people experience and participate in society. Through sociological analysis, we can answer questions like: How did Evanston become largely segregated by race? Why is it illegal for people to sell their kidneys? Is suicide contagious? Why would someone pay for Instagram followers?

Sociology is a huge field of study, and includes and enormous variety of topics and methods. Each week, we will focus on a specific area of sociological study (Culture, Gender, Race, Family, Money, Deviance, etc.) with the goal of offering you a general overview of the types of questions sociologists ask and how they answer them. By the end of the quarter, you will be able to think sociologically about your own world, and hopefully develop a budding interest in one or more of the areas we discuss in class.

SOCIOL 201-0 – Social Inequality: Race, Class, and Power

This course examines causes and consequences of inequality in American society. Lectures emphasize the mechanisms through which inequality develops and comes to be seen as legitimate, natural, and desirable. We will also examine the economic, social, and political consequences of rising inequality.

SOCIOL 202-0 – Social Problems

How issues emerge. Rules, rule enforcers, rule breakers; advocates, opponents, and victims of problems. Blame, help, and entitlement. Current problems and systemic contradictions.

SOCIOL 206-0 – Law and Society

Law is everywhere. Law permits, prohibits, enables, legitimates, protects, and prosecutes. Law shapes our day-to-day lives in countless ways. This course examines the connections and relationships of law and society using an interdisciplinary social science approach. As one of the founders of the Law and Society movement observed, "law is too important to leave to lawyers." Accordingly, this course will borrow from several theoretical, disciplinary, and interdisciplinary perspectives (such as sociology, history, anthropology, political science, critical studies, and psychology) in order to explore the sociology of law and law's role primarily in the American context (but with some attention to international law and global human rights efforts). The thematic topics to be discussed include law and social control; law's role in social change; and law's capacity to reach into complex social relations and intervene in existing normative institutions and organizational structures.

SOCIOL 208-0 – Race and Society

This class will explore the nature of race in an effort to understand exactly what race is. It seeks to understand why race is such a potent force in American society. Close attention will be paid to the relationship between race, power, and social stratification. The course will examine the nature of racial conflict and major efforts to combat racial inequality.

SOCIOL 212-0 – Environment and Society

Overview of the interactions between societies and the natural environment. Examines both key environmental problems, like climate change and oil spills, and possible solutions, and the roles played by different social structures and groups in shaping both issues.

sociol 215-0 – Economy and Society

Introduction to sociological approaches to economic life. Topics include property rights, illegal markets, money, economic inequalities, direct sales, and boycotts.

SOCIOL 216-0 – Gender and Society

The course introduces students to the sociological analysis of gender as a central component of social organization and social inequality primarily in the contemporary US context.  We start by reviewing key sociological concepts that will guide the rest of the course including the social construction of gender, how people “do gender,” gender binaries and borders, intersectionality, and sexualities.  Next, we explore the causes and consequences of gender inequalities in key social institutions (e.g family; education; the labor market). We conclude by considering gender inequality in an international comparative context to understand cross-cutting similarities and differences between the US and both high- and low-income contexts.  This will also allow us to highlight of role social policies in the social construction of gender and in perpetuating and/or mitigating gender inequalities.

sociol 217-0 – Global Perspectives on Education

SOCIOL 218-0 – Education and Inequality: Focus on Chicago

SOCIOL 226-0 – Sociological Analysis

Logic and methods of social research, qualitative and quantitative analysis of social data, and ethical, political, and policy issues in social research. Foundation for further work in social research.


SOCIOL 227-0 – Legal Studies Research Methods

SOCIOL 232-0 – Sexuality and Society

SOCIOL 276-0 – Introductory Topics in Sociology

SOCIOL 288-0 – Institutions and Society

SOCIOL 301-0 – The City: Urbanization and Urbanism

Learn different sociological theories about cities and social life and about research that supports or revises those theories. Topics include physical ecology of cities, political economy of cities, social life among social groups, and the question of community, deviance and social control, and planning for the future.

SOCIOL 302-0 – Sociology of Organizations

We all interact with organizations. You are interacting with an organization right now. Much of everyday life, whether it is school, work, shopping, or eating occurs within the context of organizations. The goal of this course is to teach you to think analytically about the organizations you interact with. Throughout the quarter, we will examine why organizations are the way they are, how scholar’s understandings of organizations have changed over time, and how scholars today think about organizations.

SOCIOL 303-0 – Analysis and Interpretation of Social Data

SOCIOL 304-0 – Politics of Racial Knowledge

On a daily basis we consume?often without notice or concern?a substantial amount of racial knowledge. We routinely ingest, for example, infographics about demographic trends, media coverage on crime and undocumented immigration, and advertisements for group-specific medicines. In complex and contextually specific ways, this diet shapes our personal and collective identities, social interactions and relationships, and political aspirations and anxieties. In this course, we endeavor to study the politics of racial knowledge?that is, the ways in which categories, measurements, and other techniques of knowledge production have helped to constitute "race" as a seemingly objective, natural demarcation among human populations as well as legitimate and, in some cases, contest, forms of racial domination and inequality. Drawing on diverse historical, anthropological, sociological, and philosophical texts, this course explores of the emergence, evolution, and effects of scientific forms of racial knowledge. This exploration will begin by discussing the historical relationship between the modern concept of race and European colonialism and slavery. Subsequently, we will track several major developments in the history of racial knowledge, from Enlightenment philosophy to contemporary genomics research. In these travels we will pose and ponder on the following questions: How have scientists?independently and in conjunction with governments and corporations?conceptualized, measured, and described race? What instruments have been used to demonstrate the so-called objectivity of race and racial hierarchy? How has the human body been made both an object and product of racial knowledge? How have political and intellectual movements and the media advanced or contested the production of essentialist, race-based explanations of human difference? Finally, what role can (and should) racial knowledge play in addressing racial inequality and exclusion in the present?

SOCIOL 306-0 – Sociological Theory

The main emphasis in this course is on how sociological theory informs social research. We will read selections of classical social theory and then look at how various scholars have used that theory to help them analyze some aspect of society. We will keep moving between theoretical statements and applications or refinements of that theory. The course will be a mix of lectures and discussion.

SOCIOL 307-0 – School and Society

This course is a critical sociological look at education in the United States with a focus on contemporary debates and issues. The course will cover how sociologists have both theoretically and empirically looked at schooling practices, what students learn, and how schools fit into the larger society including how the educational system in the U.S. interacts with political, economic, familial, and cultural institutions. We will also spend much time examining how educational experiences and opportunities are shaped by multiple social statuses including gender, socioeconomic status, race and ethnicity. We will focus on K-12 and higher education including the transition to higher education. Throughout all of these issues and topics, we will consider how schools both challenge and support existing systems of inequality.

SOCIOL 310-0 – Sociology of the Family

SOCIOL 312-0 – Numbers, Identity, and Modernity

Our world is awash in numbers. In this class we will consider how we make and use numbers, how we know ourselves through numbers, andthe particular kinds of authority we grant to numbers. Using a range of examples including the SAT, college rankings, and statistics about raceand sexuality, this class will examine what prompts people to producenumbers, what causes them to spread, how they intervene in the worldsthey measure, how they inform our ethics, and how we think about ourselves and others differently as a result

SOCIOL 316-0 – Economic Sociology

Sociological approach to production, distribution, consumption, and markets. Classic and contemporary approaches to the economy compared across social science disciplines.

SOCIOL 317-0 – Global Development

This course explores the economic and social changes that have constituted "development," and that have radically transformed human society. The course focuses on both the historical experience of Europe and the contemporary experience of countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. In the historical discussion, we explore the birth of the "nation state" as the basic organizing unit of the international system; the transition from agrarian to industrial economic systems; and the expansion of European colonialism across the globe. In our discussion of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, we consider the legacies of colonialism for development; the ways in which countries have attempted to promote economic development and industrialization; and issues of inequality and human welfare in an increasingly globally connected world.

SOCIOL 318-0 – Sociology of Law

This course examines the relationship between law and the distribution of power in society, with a particular emphasis on law and social change in the United States. Readings will be drawn from the social sciences and history, as well as selected court cases that raise critical questions about the role of race, gender, and sexual orientation in American society. Among the material we will examine are the documents made public in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Students should be aware that some of this material is graphic and disturbing.

SOCIOL 319-0 – Sociology of Science

SOCIOL 321-0 – Numbers, Identity & Modernity

Our world is awash in numbers. In this class we will consider how we make and use numbers, how we know ourselves through numbers, and the particular kinds of authority we grant to numbers. Using a range of examples including the SAT, college rankings, and statistics about race and sexuality, this class will examine what prompts people to produce numbers, what causes them to spread, how they intervene in the worlds they measure, how they inform our ethics, and how we think about ourselves and others differently as a result.

SOCIOL 322-0 – Sociology of Immigration

At a time when borders between nations are so heavily defended, how do we understand the flow of people across those divides? This course considers the recent sociological literature on immigration, with a particular emphasis on the transnational movement of Latin Americans. We will examine how sociological scholarship has incorporated changing understandings of Latinx migration, based on consideration of immigrants’ demographics and motivations for relocating, the factors in sending and receiving countries that foster or hinder migration, the processes of incorporation (or rejection) of immigrants in their destinations, and immigrants’ ability to maintain close ties with their countries of origin while simultaneously participating in the social life of their new locations. Finally, we will discuss these various issues in the broader context of shifting U.S. immigration policies and politics.

SOCIOL 323-0 – American Subcultures and Ethnic Groups

SOCIOL 325-0 – Global and Local Inequalities

Bases of social stratification. Effects on life conditions and social organization. Theoretical, methodological, and empirical dimensions. Emphasis on advanced industrial societies.

SOCIOL 327-0 – Youth and Society

SOCIOL 329-0 – Field Research and Methods of Data Collection

The goal of this course is to give students experience in qualitative research methodologies. Qualitative methods are a primary way that sociologists learn about the larger social world, test and develop theories and hypotheses, and make sense of complex situations and interactions. Qualitative methods allow sociologists to understand the world from the perspective of the individual and gain a better understanding of how the social world operates.

SOCIOL 330-0 – Law, Markets and Globalization

SOCIOL 332-0 – Work and Occupations

Sociological perspectives on work. Students view their own occupational futures in the context of the changing social relations of production.

SOCIOL 333-0 – Sociology of Gender and Sexuality in the Middle East

SOCIOL 336-0 – Climate Change, Policy, and Society

Climate change is the worst environmental problem facing the earth. Sea levels will rise, glaciers are vanishing, horrific storms will hit everywhere. After looking briefly at the impacts of climate change on natural and social environments both in the present and near future, we then consider how to best reduce climate change and how to adapt to its impacts. Issues of climate justice, divides between the global North and South, social movements, steps taken in different countries and internationally, and the role of market and regulations are addressed.

SOCIOL 355-0 – Medical Sociology

SOCIOL 356-0 – Sociology of Gender

SOCIOL 376-0 – Race/Gender/Sex & Science: Making Identities & Differences

How do scientific claims and technological developments help transform cultural understandings of race, gender, and sexuality? Conversely, how do cultural beliefs about race, gender, and sexuality influence scientific knowledge and medical practice? This class will take up a series of controversies from the recent past and present to explore the dynamic interplay between expert findings, social identities, and political arguments.

SOCIOL 376-0 – Gangs

This course explores the modern American urban street gang. It looks at the long sociological tradition of theory and research on such gangs, much of it conducted right here in Chicago. It looks at the structure and activities of such gangs and the response of local community institutions including the police, and national urban and criminal justice policy with respect to street gangs.

SOCIOL 376-0 – Charts, Graphs, Data

SOCIOL 376-0 – Heterosexualities

SOCIOL 392-0 – Seminar

SOCIOL 398-1 – Senior Research Seminar

SOCIOL 398-2 – Senior Research Seminar

Courses Primarily for Graduate Students

SOCIOL 400-0 – Introduction to Statistics and Statistical Software

This course is designed to teach students the basics of single variable calculus, probability, set theory, random variables, and hypothesis testing. The course prepares students for the next class in the statistics sequence. The fundamental math used in this course will be covered in a review course prior to the start of the quarter. By the end of the course, students will understand the intuition behind statistical analysis, have practice applying the statistical techniques covered, and be familiar with different types of statistical analysis.

Math camp for course begins 9/16/19 - see instructor for details and schedule.

SOCIOL 401-1 – Statistical Analysis of Social Data: Applied Regression Methods I

SOCIOL 401-2 – Statistical Analysis of Social Data: Applied Regression Methods II

SOCIOL 403-0 – Field Methods

The problem with learning to do fieldwork is that you need to learn everything all at once. Fieldwork defies compartmentalization or much setting of priorities. For the most part, people learn to do fieldwork rather than being taught to do it. On the theory that learning to do fieldwork is more a matter of being socialized rather than of learning techniques, the course is arranged to provide a concentrated exposure to fieldwork. Through your own and your colleagues' field experiences and four quite different books by fieldworkers, you will be exposed to a wide variety of field settings. These monographs and your own experiences will also provide us with a common base to draw on in reflecting on the methodological and ethical issues addressed in the pieces on how to do fieldwork and ethnographic writing.

SOCIOL 406-1 – Classical Theory in Sociological Analysis

SOCIOL 406-3 – Contemporary Theory in Sociological Analysis

SOCIOL 420-0 – Cultural Sociology

This course introduces graduate students to the sociology of culture (understanding social influence on cultural formations) and cultural sociology (understanding cultural influences on social processes). Although the course has no prerequisites, some acquaintance with Weber, Durkheim, and Marx will be helpful.  Classes will be roughly half discussion, half lecture.  Students must come to class prepared to discuss the readings and their applications, and teams of students will lead each discussion.

SOCIOL 437-0 – Economic Sociology

SOCIOL 476-0 – Business and Society

SOCIOL 476-0 – Demographic Methods

SOCIOL 476-0 – Health, Illness, and Biomedicine

SOCIOL 476-0 – Methods for Cultural Analysis

SOCIOL 476-0 – Networks

SOCIOL 476-0 Race and Theory – Race and Theory

SOCIOL 476-0 – Research Design

SOCIOL 476-0 – TBA

SOCIOL 476-0 Theorizing Black Genders and Sexualities – Theorizing Black Genders and Sexualities

This graduate seminar engages critical texts in the fields of black feminist theory, black queer studies, and queer of color critique.  Our emphasis is on treating these fields as neither separate nor mutually constitutive, but instead as engaged in a long-standing rich dialogue.  We will read by work scholars including Cathy Cohen, Patricia Hill Collins, Mignon Moore, Marcus Hunter, Audre Lorde, Alice Walker, and Evelynn Hammonds.

SOCIOL 476-0 – Writing and Publishing

SOCIOL 476-0 – Microsociology

This seminar offers a broad and advanced introduction to the field of comparative and case study methodology. The emphasis is on what are conventionally regarded in political science as "qualitative" methods for the analysis of a relatively small number of cases. In sociology, this field is generally known as comparative-historical methodology. The course focuses on recent methodological writings, though a few classical pieces are also included. The readings are not specific to any substantive subfield in political science or sociology. The course assumes no prior background in qualitative methodology, but the material is advanced.

SOCIOL 476-0 – Political Sociology of the State

The seminar provides an overview of the theoretical and empirical debates focusing on states as institutions engaged in coercion and competition; regulation and redistribution; the classification, stratification and production of citizens/subjects; production and reproduction.  We discuss the emergence, development and futures of states and empires, and their (usually uncertain) boundaries. Sociology 476 is a seminar in which students are active participants in discussions of readings.

SOCIOL 476-0 – Sociology of Sexuality

This graduate seminar asks the following questions: What do we learn about society by studying sexuality? What do we learn about sexuality by studying society? We will focus on sociological approaches to studying sexuality and link sexuality studies to broader sociological questions about culture, social interaction, social inequality, globalization, social movements, science, health, political economy, and public policy. We will explore various theoretical and methodological approaches that have been used in sociological studies of sexuality—including those that guide sexuality-related analyses of meanings and identities, practices and behaviors, politics, power, relationships, population movement, collective identities and social movements, globalization, place and space, and morality and social control.

SOCIOL 476-0 – Teaching Practicum

SOCIOL 480-0 – 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 490-0 – Research: Second-Year Paper

Independent study for work on second-year paper.

Sociol 570-0 – Seminar on College Teaching

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