Teaching

Soc 010: Statistics for Sociology

Statistics is a research method, a system of logic, a tool for comparing things, a language. It is increasingly used in media, technology, education, social work, government policy, politics, and business. People also misuse statistics in all of these fields. In this course, students learn to understand statics in daily life, use statistics for practical analysis and research, use spreadsheets, and use “R”, a statistical software language.

Soc 115: Political Sociology

In her book, What is Political Sociology?, Elizabeth Clemens differentiates this subfield from the work of political scientists, who she says focus on “the workings and consequence” of “elements of formal government (e.g. the legislative, the executive, the judiciary).” In contrast, political sociologists ask “why power is organized in one way rather than another… expanding our field of vision to think about the relationship of formal politics to economic conflicts, religious beliefs, family practices, and a wide range of social identities.” By studying these relationships, students learn how nation states have developed into various forms and how these differences shape variations in social inequality and opportunity.

Soc 116: Inequality & Public Policy

From Occupy Wall Street to the Bernie Sanders movement, there has been rising anger against big banks and Wall Street financiers over economic inequality in America. But is finance really to blame? Political sociology and economic sociology are used to ask how the growing power of finance relates to longstanding inequalities involving race, gender, and class in the U.S. Potential public policy solutions to these inequalities are explored.