Graduate Courses

GRADUATE SOCIOLOGY COURSES FOR FALL 2014

Seminars

509 Sociological Research Methods

Sociology 509 is the second semester of the Chicago Area Study practicum in survey methods.  This course will focus on analyzing the 2014 Chicago Area study data, which will be collected over the summer via a web survey. The 2014 CAS covered a range of issues, including political participation, political knowledge, racial attitudes, and attitudes toward immigration, policing, and gun control  This is not a statistics course, but rather a data analysis course, in which students will have access to the 2014 CAS survey data, and will write an empirical paper that addresses a research question of interest to the student.  The course format will include both group lectures/discussions that focus on the mechanics of analyzing these data (coding, scale construction, etc.) as well as individual meetings with the professor to discuss the student's own research project.  Students interested in a course that will help them learn to formulate a research question, craft a literature review, conduct an analysis, and interpret the results by doing all of these things in their own research paper will benefit from this class.  Students will be required to analyze the 2014 CAS in this course--the instructor will not provide support for data analysis of other datasets.

520 Gender, Sexuality, and Health 

This seminar is a graduate-level introduction to the interdisciplinary field of social disparities in health, with a particular focus on the relationships between gender, sexuality, and both health behaviors and outcomes.  Explanations for relationships will be discussed as well as policy implications. The reading list will be comprised of both qualitative and quantitative literature (roughly 50% split) and the majority of the readings will be based on U.S. context. 

A tentative list of topics to be covered includes:

  • How do gender and sexual orientation influence decisions to seek health care services and treatment in the health care settings?
  • What is the effect of gender/sexual orientation-based discrimination (interpersonal and structural) on health behavior decision-making?
  • What are the effects of discrimination on mental and physical health?
  • What are the biological, psychological, and social processes related to fertility and reproduction?
  • How does sexual orientation influence decisions about reproduction and reproductive experiences?
  • How does gender influence the process of aging, incidence of chronic disease and mortality?
  • What factors explain gender differences in health at older ages?

540 Critical Approaches to Bureaucracy & Management

Are we witnessing the creeping managerialization and corporatization of everything? Or can we safely declare that bureaucracy and managerial jobs are dead? This seminar will give us an opportunity to inquire how organization scholars think about these and other related questions. After orienting ourselves to some of the classic and mainstream contemporary work on bureaucracy and management, we will take up a number of specific topics. A tentative list includes:

  • The institutional history of bureaucracy and the corporation
  • (Neo-)institutional thinking on organizations
  • Network/relational thinking on organizations
  • Alternatives to bureaucracy, hybrids, corporate social responsibility & social enterprise
  • Critiques of bureaucracy based on gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity and empire
  • Critiques of management education and the professionalization of management

 

Required Courses

500 Research Methods I
This class is designed to orient you to the process of doing social research. We will explore a variety of issues, including the logic of inquiry, the relationship between theory and evidence, ethical responsibilities of the social researcher, and the production of knowledge as a collective process. We will also examine a number of the technical issues that go into selecting an appropriate match between a research question and the method used to attempt to answer it. Each student will also gain direct experience with a specific experimental method – the audit study – and complete multiple assignments discussing this data collection effort. For the final project, you will develop a written proposal for a research project.

541 Social Stratification
This course examines theories, concepts, issues and empirical research relating to inequality and social stratification in contemporary society.  The course will discuss and critique the competing views that sociologists and social scientists in related fields have put forth to account for the origins, persistence, consequences and future of inequality in the U.S. and globally.  The objective of this course is to give students a thorough grounding in the major theories, concepts, and empirical research in social stratification, an understanding of contemporary debates in the field, an appreciation of how those debates have evolved over time. Students also get a sense of the degree of flux in a core area of sociology that dominated the discipline in the second half of the 20th century and is being transformed and reinvented in this century as inequality is increasingly debated in public discourse, politics, and policy realms.

585 Classical Theory

Sociology 585 is the first semester of a year-long course surveying the theories and practices of sociology. The course is organized historically, insofar as the first semester begins with the 'founding fathers' and ends exploring theorists prevalent in the US in the 1930s and 1940s. Rather than offering a strict linear history, however, the course is organized around substantive themes and focuses on the ways in which theories build upon and debate one another. The course attempts to teach you the canon while simultaneously calling the very notion of a 'canon' into question. Theory is abstract by definition, but it is meant to provide us with the tools we require to better understand our empirical worlds. We will analyze the context out of which these theories developed, the uses to which they have been put, the debates they have sparked, and the influences they have had on the development of later theories. In addition to introducing you to an array of theoretical ideas which spawned and shaped the discipline of sociology, this course is meant to show you what it means to think theoretically and provide you with an opportunity to try out your own theoretical chops.

595 Proseminar

This course serves incoming graduate students and is designed to introduce them to a graduate level understanding of sociology and the graduate program at UIC. We will use this as an opportunity to cover issues concerning students' integration into the department and the discipline, including degree requirements, department resources, and professional activities.