Three Special Sociology Offerings in 17F

Gender, Work and Family

Sociology 61/WGSS 33.05 at the 2A hour, Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

The nature of work, family life, and gender relations has changed dramatically over the last half century. This course examines these trends, with a focus on implications for gender inequality in society. We will focus on patterns in paid labor force participation and family life in the United States, and discuss the major debates surrounding the causes and consequences of such trends. We will also pay attention to how these patterns look across different races, ethnic groups, and socioeconomic status, as well as briefly examine how these trends compare to other countries. We will conclude by exploring the implication of gender inequality for families, as well as work-family policy debates. Lin.

Chasing the (Causal) Dragon: Intermediate Quantitative Data Analysis for Sociologists

Sociology 54 at the 10 hour, Dist: QDS.

Sociologists and other social scientists are often interested in understanding causal and dynamic social processes such as:

“How do the places we live, work, and play get under the skin and affect health and well-being across the life course?”
“Does upward social class mobility change one’s political attitudes?”
“What social currents are responsible for changes in support for same-sex marriage across historical time?”
“Are long-standing racial inequalities declining, persisting, or increasing in recent years?”

Many of these questions are methodologically difficult to answer with observational (non-experimental) data, and they require that we get a handle on the study of change, context, and causality. You likely have learned how to answer questions like these with standard OLS (linear) regression techniques and cross-sectional data, which remain useful tools in social scientists’ methodological toolbox. But these techniques are also quite limited, and impose strict assumptions that do not allow us to meet many of our goals, adequately answer our questions, or provide stringent tests of our theories and hypotheses.

In this course, we’ll pick up where introductory statistics courses leave off, and get an introduction to more advanced statistical methods for observational data, including but not limited to: regression for categorical dependent variables, fixed and random effects models, and hierarchical linear modeling. This course will be a mix of seminar and lecture, where we will be focused on understanding how we can use these methods to better meet our goals and answer our research questions. Put differently, this course is less focused on going “under the hood” and more focused on “how to drive”—specifically, we will interrogate the assumptions and use of these statistical methods in the social sciences and learn how to implement these methods using STATA. This will include: discussion of core methodological assumptions and limitations, how to apply these statistical methods in different settings, and learning when specific methods are appropriate tools and when they are not. We will explore these issues through student-led discussions, hands-on data analysis, and dissecting the application of these methods in academic journal articles. As part of this course, you will be exposed to (and critique) a wide range of sociological research published in our major disciplinary journals. The course will culminate in an independent research project where students will analyze data and use the one or more of the modeling techniques discussed during the term to answer a sociological research question of their choosing. Prerequisite: SOCY 10 or equivalent and a basic understanding of STATA is required to enroll in this course.  Houle.

Organizations in Society

Sociology 27 at the 10 hour, Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

Much of modern life takes place within a wide variety of complex, formal organizations, from multinational corporations, to churches, from social service agencies to volunteer organizations. In this course we will learn about the structure, internal processes, and environments of different forms of organization. Our focus is on sociological theories and empirical research, from a macrosociological perspective. Our objective will be to learn about how organizations work, as well as to gain an understanding of the impact of organizations on society and in our lives.  Anthony.