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Spring 2014 Course Offerings

 
 

Spring 2014 Course Offerings

   
MONDAY
 
 
TUESDAY
 
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
11:45 – 1:45  
 
 
 
 
 
Turner: Soc. 83000 
Sociology of Comparative Religion
{23374}
 
Eisenstein: Soc. 83300 
Gender & Globalization
{23377}
 
 
Smith: Soc. 85800
 Second  plus Generations and American Immigrant Integration
{23373}
 
Heiland: Soc. 81900
Methods of Demographic Analysis  
{23369}
(Qualify for Methods Requirement)
2:00 - 4:00
 
 
 
 

Chen: Soc. 84700 

Organizations and Collective Action  {23984}

KatzRothman: Soc. 83100
Social Construction of Illness
{23378}

Torpey: Soc.80000 
Great Transformations: Comparative-Historical Sociology
{23364}
 
See Also
SSW 71100 at School of Social Work
Heilman: Soc. 83105
Sociology of Death & Dying
Cancelled
 
Vesselinova: Soc. 83000 
Comparative Urbanization
{23370}

Marwell: Soc74500 
Public Organizations
Cancelled
Alba/Duneier: Soc. 82800 
The Ghettos & the Enclave
{23371}
 
Attewell/Haralick: Soc. 81900   
Data Mining Methods
{23366}
(Qualify for Methods Requirement)
 
Zukin: Soc. 86800 
Consumer Society & Culture
{23372}
 
See Also
DCP80300 – Big Data and Population Processes
4:15 - 6:15
 
 
 
Battle: Soc. 71600 
Sociological Statistics II
{23365}

Mollenkopr: Soc. 82800
Public Policy Research Seminar: The Politics of Urban Inequality
{23876}
Chancer: Soc. 70200  
Contemporary Theory
{23361}
 
Font: Soc. 85600 
Development & Social Change
{23709}
 
 
 
Aronowitz: Soc. 80700    
Georg Lukacs & Frankfurt School
{23363}
 
Duneier/Kasinitz: Soc. 81200 
Urban Ethnography
{23367}
(Qualify for Methods Requirement)
 
Goode:Soc. 80000 
Sociology of Total Institutions
Cancelled
6:30 - 8:30
 
 
 
 
Treitler: Soc.85800 
Race Theory
{23708}
 
Brotherton: Soc. 85000 
Youth Marginalization & Subculture of Resistance 
 
See Also
DCP80300- The Philosophy of Karl Marx
Milanovic: Soc. 84600  
Income Inequality: From National to Global
 {23379}
 
Min: Soc. 82800
Changing American Families {23822}
 
 
 
Click on link in schedule to be brought to course description.

Professors Richard Alba/Mitchell Duneier
ralba@gc.cuny.edu; mduneier@princeton.edu  

Soc. 82800 – The Ghetto and the Enclave {23371}
Thursdays, 2:00 – 4:00 pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
 
"The Ghetto and the Enclave."  The course will an historical and international survey of ghettoes and enclaves and address how they come about and what consequences they have for the lives of their residents.  It will cover the gamut of methods that are currently used to study these topics, from ethnography to geographic information systems. 

Professor Stanley Aronowitz: Soc. 80700    
Georg Lukacs & Frankfurt School {23363}
Thursdays 4:15-6:15pm, 3 credits
 
Georg Lukacs is undoubtedly a major influence in the emergence of critical social and cultural theory and a key inspiration for what has been termed Western Marxism. This course will explore  his contributions in both literary and social theory and his influence on the Frankfurt School, especially Herbert Marcuse Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno.  These were all trans-disciplinary writers who spanned the humanities and social studies. The term ‘critical’ connotes their rejection of positivism and other scientistic methodologies The pedagogic style will combine lectures, close textual readings and class presentations by students. 
Click For Reading List

Professors Paul Attewell/Robert Haralick
pattewell@gc.cuny.edu;
rharalick@gc.cuny.edu 
Soc. 81900 – Data Mining Methods  {23366}
Thursdays, 2:00 – 4:00 pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
 
Data mining (DM) is the name given to a variety of new analytical and statistical techniques that are already widely used in business, and are starting to spread into social science research. Other closely-related terms are ‘machine learning’ 'pattern recognition' and ‘predictive analytics.’  Data mining methods can be applied to visual and to textual data, but the focus of this class is on the application of DM to quantitative or numerical data. In this area, DM offers interesting alternatives to conventional statistical modeling methods such as regression and its offshoots.
This class is taught jointly by a professor of computer science and a professor of sociology and typically enrolls a mix of computer science and social science doctoral students. It aims to provide an introduction to data mining methods and their application to data analysis. The course reviews the main DM techniques and explains the logic of each. It emphasizes contrasts between conventional statistical analyses and DM approaches. Students work with each technique using JMP Pro software, in a computer classroom. Each student will undertake a DM analysis project as a final paper, typically analyzing a dataset chosen by the student.

Professor Juan Battle           
jbattle@gc.cuny.edu

Soc. 71600 – Sociological Statistics II {23365}
Mondays, 4:15 – 6:15 pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
 
This course will instruct students in file management and the statistical techniques used for the analysis of survey data.  Students will further develop their skills in computer programming, file handling, data transformation, index creation, and multivariate statistics.  Each student will undertake an individual project and will work on every aspect of the research endeavor from identifying a topic for investigation to writing and presenting a final project.  The final project will employ hierarchical multiple regression analysis with interaction terms.  The goal of the individual project is for the student to use quantitative research methodologies to develop the core of a publishable paper.  For this course, each student will use Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) to analyze a large dataset, provided by the instructor.

Professor David C. Brotherton
dbrotherton@jjay.cuny.edu
Soc. 85000 – Studies of Youth, Marginalization and Subcultures of Resistance

Tuesdays, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Room TBA
In the current period a plethora of youth resistance actions, movements and subcultures have developed in response to socio-economic dislocations on a global scale. From rebellious students, youth riots in England to graffiti writers in Rio de Janeiro to politicized gangs in Quito and New York and the globalized Occupied Wall Street movement an endless range of symbolic and substantive responses by youth to their felt conditions of marginality can be observed and studied. In this seminar we will excavate this dynamic and fluid social field through focusing on theories and empirical studies that help to explain the continuity and discontinuity of youth social and cultural resistances over time. Questions of race/ethnicity, class, gender and age will be addressed as we trace the meanings and representations of youth reactions to industrial and post-industrial societies within and across their highly ambiguous political and cultural locations. Students will be expected to carry out small research projects that in some way reflect the transgressive practices, rituals and possibilities of youth in the late modern metropolis. 
 
The seminar has two major goals: (i) to explore the range of sociological theories that explain youth social and cultural resistance, and (ii) to critically interpret the different forms that this resistance takes in the context of an evolving and highly contradictory transnationalist capitalist order. We will focus in particular on the origins of youth subcultures as they emerge during both modernity and late modernity and their construction within changing notions of criminal and non-criminal deviance.

Click for Syllabus


Prof. Katherine Chen         
kchen@ccny.cuny.edu
Soc. 84700 – Organizations and Collective Action {23984}
Mondays, 2:00 – 4:00 pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
 

Organizations are one of the main "building blocks" of contemporary society.  Despite their central role in shaping our experiences from education to the workplace to governance, these actors and their form of collective action are often overlooked or taken-for-granted among sociologists and laypersons. Learn why organizations form, how they develop, and how they can exacerbate inequality or improve individuals' life chances.  The content will cover a variety of organizations, from conventional bureaucracies to alternative, democratic organizations.  Theories studied will include classics, as well as cutting edge synthetic work like Strategic Action Fields (SAFs). 
Participation in this course could be helpful for preparing for comprehensives, widening cross-over expertise in a substantive area (i.e., ideal for social movements, urban sociology, etc.), designing and carrying out research, and professional development.  One of the aims will be developing a community of supportive scholars for emerging research.
 


Prof. Hester Eisenstein       

hester1@prodigy.net
Soc. 83300 – GENDER and GLOBALIZATION {23377}
Tuesdays, 11:45 – 1:45 pm,  3 credits
 
In this course we will examine the relationship between the phenomenon now widely termed “globalization,” and the changes in gender relations that have taken place since the rise of the second wave of the women’s movement in the 1960s.
Since the end of the “long boom” (starting after World War II and lasting through the mid-1970s), academic and mainstream feminism have enjoyed enormous success, during a period of economic, social, and political restructuring that has created an intensified polarization between rich and poor, and an ever-growing mass of desperately impoverished people around the globe. This course will examine this paradox.
We will seek to define globalization, starting from the premise that this is a stage in the development of the international capitalist system, under the economic and military domination of the world’s only remaining superpower. More specifically, we will look at the “Washington consensus,” under which developing countries have been forced to open their borders to the free flow of capital from the rich countries. Among other changes, “globalization” involves the intensive use of female labor, from maquiladoras to electronics factories to textile factories.  It has also produced an acceleration of “informal” work for women. 
While educated women can now walk through many doors previously closed to them, in the worlds of business, sports, and politics, the majority of women in the world are increasingly impoverished, overworked and exploited, and subject to a wide variety of forms of violence, sexual, military, and economic.  The majority of the world’s refugees are now women and children.
We will address these issues by posing a number of questions. Where does the ideology of globalization come from? How has globalization affected the conditions of women and children in the developed and the developing world?  How has contemporary feminism been shaped by the workforce participation of women?  What is the role of class and race in the women’s movement, domestically and internationally? Why are issues of gender, sexuality, and race so central to the culture wars being waged at home and abroad by religious fundamentalist leaders?  How does the association of “liberated women” with modernity affect the process of globalization? In the revived social movement that has placed the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other international financial institutions at the center of an intensified campaign for social justice, what is the place for organized women’s activism?

Click for Syllabus


Prof. Mauricio Font         
mfont@gc.cuny.edu
Soc. 83000 - Social Change and Development: Theoretical, Historical and Global Contexts{23379}
Wednesdays, 4:15 – 6:15 pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
 
Human society is increasingly interconnected, yet it remains characterized by great diversity in in levels of well-being between and within countries. This seminar examines major approaches and strategies seeking to explain or guide social change and transformation and thus address existing disparities and inequalities. It focuses on changing, developing, and transitional societies. After exploring the various meanings and historical attached to the concept of development, the course reviews main theoretical perspectives: modernization and dependency theory, new forms of political economy, institutionalism and economic sociology, market vs. state-based approaches, and yet others. The seminar pays particular attention to the on-going debates about the development state, market reforms, and alternative strategies. In particular, the course reviews contemporary debates on reforms toward and away from markets, statism, the “institutional turn,” and globalization. This social science course draws from mainstream and critical literature in sociology, development and transitions studies, geography, and economic anthropology. Though the instructor will draw heavily from contemporary Latin America & the Caribbean and East Asia (including China), student projects are welcome to other regions (e.g., Central and Eastern Europe, comparative historical works on the rise of modernity, Africa, the Middle East, and the rest of Asia).
As a major form of social change, development is not static. It has been and remains a contested terrain driven by the confrontation between different doctrines, assumptions, geopolitical interests, and social science trends. In this rich context, practitioners and analysts seek practical approaches that provide answers to key social, economic, and political issues. In the process, they refine the meaning of development.  How have ideas about development, its causes, and its objectives changed over time? Why, after decades of development, are so many people still suffering from poverty, economic decline, and major disparities? Where should we focus our development efforts in the future? What does development mean in the 21st century – after three decades of transitions and the collapse of seemingly stable communist systems, market reforms, globalization, a series of global economic crises, and the search for alternative models?
The seminar explores views of development and globalization as inter-related sets of historical processes and mechanisms that continue to revolutionize human society. It will explore complex contemporary consequences of development and globalization across a range of issues: culture, migration, gender relations, state building, contentious politics and social movements, urbanization, poverty and inequality, civil society, democracy and human rights, and the environment.
The course will provide students will a deep and broad interdisciplinary understanding of development and social change, appreciate the alternative concepts and measures of development, and think critically about the ways in which intellectuals assess and effect change. As it surveys approaches and places them in historical and theoretical context, the course will help students prepare their own research projects in this exciting field. Send inquiries and request updates to mfont@gc.cuny.edu.

Prof. David Goode  Cancelled          
goodedog1@hotmail.com  
Soc. 83000 - The Sociology of Total Institutions: The Case of Willowbrook State School, Staten Island, New York{23362}
Thursdays, 4:15 – 6:15 pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
 
At one time the study of total institutions was central to sociology but more recently this topic has been overlooked. Given the increasing role of institutional control of daily life, and the continued existence of total institutions in society that house various devalued groups, this ignoring by the discipline is a notable sociological phenomenon. This course will examine the history of a particularly important New York City institution, Willowbrook State School (WSS). WSS is notable as a symbol for human abuse and neglect and, because of the expose by Geraldo Rivera and other factors, as a symbol of social victory over the governmental and political indifference and abuse. This course is based upon a book by the instructor and three other authors, two of whom worked at WSS. It examines the history of institutions for the care of persons with intellectual disability, the history of these institutions in the United States and New York State and City, the case of WSS, and the history of sociological studies of total institutions beginning in the 20th century. In their work for the course, students are encouraged to select topics related to any kind of total institution (see Goffman, 1961 for a list of types) or on the increasing control of institutions on daily life. Basic text: Goode, Hill, Reiss & Bronston, A History and Sociology of Willowbrook State School, 2013, Washington, D.C.: American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disability.

Professor Frank Heiland
Soc. 81900 – Methods of Demographic Analysis {23369}
Thursday, 11:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m., 3 credits
 
This course gives students an overview of some of the major demographic methods used in the study of population, and includes the standard procedures for the measurement of fertility, mortality, natural increase, migration, and nuptiality. Students will learn how to construct demographic rates, life tables, and population projections, and how to carry out standardization, decomposition of differences, analysis of fertility and nuptiality patterns, analysis invoking model life tables and stable population theory, and analysis of nonstable populations.

Professor Samuel Heilman: Cancelled
Soc. 83105 Sociology of Death & Dying {23710}
Wednesdays, 2:00-4:00pm, 3 credits


The course will explore such issues as  death and dying in history, the anthropology of death, death in cultural context, bereavement, mourning, the politics of the right to die debate, reversing death, death and war, and the the medicalization of death.

Prof. Nicole Marwell: Cancelled          
nicole.marwell@baruch.cuny.edu
Soc. 74500 – Public Organizations { 24044}
Wednesdays, 2:00 – 4:00 pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
 
A critical examination of organization theory, blending classical and contemporary perspectives, with a focus on the application of theoretical principles to public organizations.  Organizational studies is a vast, interdisciplinary field encompassing micro- and macro-level research in cognitive psychology, social psychology, anthropology, sociology, political science, public administration, history, and economics.  This course focuses on concepts applicable to the study of individual organizations, populations of organizations, inter-organizational relations, and the structure of organizational systems.  It will cover key works by major theorists in these areas; the historical development of this field of inquiry in the U.S.; relations among public, private, and hybrid organizations; and issues of research design and methodology.  By the end of the course, students should be able to: explain the arguments of leading organizational theorists; trace a basic timeline of the key developments in the history of organizational theory; apply insights from general organizational theory to public organizations; productively compare private, public, and hybrid organizational forms and operations; and design a quality empirical research study on private, public, and/or hybrid organizations.


Professor Branko Milanovic   
bmilanovic@gc.cuny.edu
Soc. 84600 – Income Inequality: from National to Global{23379}
Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 PM, Room 3207, 3 credits
 
The objective of this course will be to analyze inequality from an inter-disciplinary perspective. The course will first review varied approaches that aim to explain the movement of within-national inequalities: from Pareto's "iron law" (which was anything but "iron"), Kuznets' inverted U-curve,  and Tinbergen's "race" between education and technology, to Piketty's "political theory of income concentration".  The second part of the course will assess the evolution of income differences across countries in the world, and in particular between developed and developing countries. In the third part, these two types of inequalities (i.e., within-national and cross-national) will be considered jointly as global inequality. We will review the evolution of global inequality from the Industrial Revolution until today, and see how the changing composition and magnitude of global inequality affects politics, economics, and  migration. The class will end with an overview of positions of various political philosophers  (e.g., Rawls, Pogge, Nagel) about  global inequality. The course will be fairly empirical but does not require any prior specific knowledge of the issues nor techniques. It is recommended for students of economics, political science, and sociology.

Professor Pyong Gap Min   
PyongGap.min@qc.cuny.edu  
Soc. 82800 – Changing American Families {23822}
Thursdays, 6:30-8:30 PM, Room TBA, 3 credits
 
Why Should Students Take This Course?
Families in the United States, as well as in other industrialized countries, have gone through radical changes over the past 50 years or so. The proportion of single-person households has increased greatly, with a much larger proportion of adults living outside of the family than before. The labor force participation of married women has increased radically, with government and social service agencies playing a far more important role in the care of children and the elderly. These days, despite the much greater public nature of families (affected by the intervention of governmental agencies, schools, and social-service organizations), contemporary families also put more emphasis on the more private and personal aspects of family life (including comfort, privacy, and intimacy) than before. This family course focuses on these changing aspects of family life in the twenty-first century.
Family studies have been considered a very important component of sociology. However, this specialty area has not been one of the strengths of our Ph.D. program. Thus, only a few of our sociology students may be interested in choosing marriage and the family as their primary or secondary specialty area. But I believe a background in family studies will be helpful in studying many other related specialty areas. For example, studying marriage and the family is useful to students specializing in gender and women’s studies, because gender inequality has much to do with child socialization and the gender role division in the family. Those students who specialize in education need to understand the class and racial differences in family resources for and values on children’s education, because the former have a significant effect on the latter. Studying marriage and the family is also useful in studying immigration and ethnicity, because family values and structure have a significant effect on second-generation children’s assimilation or ethnic retention. A background in family studies is also of great importance for students specializing in social work because social service agencies play an increasingly important role in the care of children, battered women, and the elderly.
I chose immigration and ethnicity as my primary specialty area for my Ph.D. program. I chose marriage and the family as my secondary specialty area to increase my chances of finding an academic position. For my family studies, I took only one family course and published an article in a journal, using a term paper written for the course. I taught a family course as a part-time instructor for one semester. However, this background in family studies has proven to have a very positive effect on my finding an academic position at the Queens College Department of Sociology. I was hired partly because the department needed a faculty member who could teach family-related courses. I taught two or three sections of the sociology of family course during my first several years at Queens College. 
Finally, a family course should be interesting and meaningful to all students because it deals with topics related to their personal lives. Whether they are married or not, all students are involved in family relations. Thus, information, interpretations, and explanations available in reading materials and class discussions will be helpful to their family and marital relations. This personal interest in the topics to be covered seems to be the main reason why undergraduate students take family courses.

Click for Syllabus

Prof. Barbara Katz Rothman         
Bkatzrothman@gc.cuny.edu
Soc. 83100 – Social Construction of Illness {23378}
Tuesdays, 2:00 – 4:00 pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
 
Illness writes the body: our sense of self, of health, of our physical being, takes meaning from the contrast with illness.  And the social world writes illness: what it is to be ill; what categories of illness are acknowledged; how illness is defined, treated, managed, and determined.  The study of illness places us at the intersection of agency and social control; body and society; the "natural" and the "technological"; the self and the social world. 
This course  is an introduction to some of the basic concepts of Medical Sociology, beginning with the theoretical perspective that grew out of Symbolic Interactionism and labeling theory to offer a sociological understanding of illness. In the years since, the process of medicalization (placing more and more arenas of life into a medical frame) has moved beyond being a program of professional domination, and become increasingly internalized as "patients" become self-diagnosing and self-medicating consumer/customers and as corporate dominance increases.   Starting with the specific management of birth and of death, we will move on to several case-studies of diseases including AIDS and SIDS.  With that base, we will more generally consider social epidemiology, the social causation of disease, or disease as written in race, sex, and class, including the historical uses of medicalization to label women as almost inherently pathologized; and moving to an understanding of illness as performance and as representation.


Professor Robert Smith      
Robert.smith@baruch.cuny.edu
Soc. 85800 – Second  plus Generations and American Immigrant Integration {23373}
Thursday, 11:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m., 3 credit, Room TBA
 
This course examines the ways that immigrants, and especially the second and subsequent generations are integrating into American society.  In particular, it asks how they engage with several American institutions: schools,  the political and voting systems,  socioeconomic and cultural institutions, and others.   It will look at schools as institutions for inclusion/exclusion;  will consider what political institutions and processes are working towards or against political incorporation of immigrants and later generations;   will review how assimilation is taking sometimes unexpected turns in various new immigration destinations in the northeast and southwestern US; and examine how other institutions, such as families and their internal dynamics, affect integration and mobility.   The course will give special consideration to the place of undocumented immigrants in American society.   Where appropriate, comparisons to European cases will be made. 

Prof. John Torpey    
jtorpey@gc.cuny.edu
Soc. 80000 – Great Transformations: Comparative-Historical Sociology {23364}
Tuesdays, 2-4 pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
This course introduces students to the field of comparative-historical sociology as well as to the increasingly prevalent idea of “world history.”  We will focus on approaches to making sense of major social change in the areas of religion, state formation and democratization, the uses of physical violence, revolution, and the economy.  As befits a course with these aims, readings will be substantial and will range widely across time and place.  We will emphasize especially major turning points and transformations in human history.

Professor Vilna Bashi Treitler      
vtreitler@gc.cuny.edu  
Soc. 85800 – Race Theory {23708}
Mondays, 6:30-8:30 PM, Room TBA, 3 credits
This is an advanced seminar for graduate students. This course is one that compares what I call "racial structures" across nations and time periods. (It focuses neither solely on the United States, nor on the contemporary moment.) In readings and classroom discussions we try to jointly discover and debate the meaning of race. To do so, we compare theoretical and empirical writings about race, racial categories, racial hierarchies, and racism as they are played out in political, cultural, and socioeconomic structures around the globe and in different historical periods. We will learn together in our attempt to answer these questions: What is race and how is it socially constructed? Given that definition of race, then what is racism? What is a racial structure? How do racial structures vary over time and across space? Given these newfound definitions of race, racism, and the structures in which race and racism are manifest, what insights do we have about doing research on race and racism? Students are required to complete a draft of a publishable paper that uses a social constructionist model of race (i.e., does not treat race as an essential 


Prof. Bryan S. Turner         
bturner@gc.cuny.edu
Soc. 83300 – Sociology of Comparative Religion {23374}
Tuesdays, 11:45 – 1:45 pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
 
The course attempts to do three things. The first is to provide you with a critical overview of the development of the sociology of religion and to explore key authors and works. This aspect of the course considers how ‘religion’ and the ‘sacred’ raise intellectual issues that are generic to sociology (explanation, understanding, interpretation, rational action, body, practice and so forth). The second is to consider the current debate about secularization and post-secularism, and its antecedents in such notions as civil religion, religious nationalism, popular religion and public religions. Finally the course looks at a range of problems concerning state-religion relations in multicultural, multi-faith, culturally hybrid societies. These issues will require us to consider such developments as fundamentalism, Pentecostalism, revivalism, religious radicalism, piety, conversion and so forth. Where possible, these considerations are pursued within a comparative and historical framework. However special attention is given to Islam and the issues in the West surrounding veiling, diet, and shari’a. 

Click for Reading List


Prof. Elena Vesselinov        
elena.vesselinov@gmail.com
Soc. 83000 – Comparative Urbanization {23370}
Wednesdays, 2:00 – 4:00 pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
 
The course aims to introduce graduate students to the complexity of urbanization in historical and comparative contexts. From Rome to Jerusalem, from Manchester to Beirut, from Mecca to Berlin, from Paris to New York, the course is a survey of historical and contemporary religious, territorial, political, economic and spatial divisions. Thus, throughout this introduction to comparative urbanization, the course will focus on urban inequality in cities around the world and is organized in five sections.
The first section, Comparative-Historical Perspectives in the Study of Cities, focuses on historical and theoretical evidence of city formation. The readings in this section examine the origins of cities and the origins of inequality, particularly in Middle Eastern and European cities. The second section then focuses on Middle Eastern cities in the context of religion and the contemporary uprisings, termed “Arab Spring.”
The readings in the third section contemplate the contemporary causes and consequences of social and spatial inequality in Paris and Berlin. The fourth section will take the students to Asia, and specifically to Chinese cities, where issues of population and economic growth will be explored. The fifth section of the course will take us from the Asian financial crisis to the continuous Great Recession and its impact on global cities.
The class will operate as a seminar in which every reading is introduced by one student (responsible also for 1-2 pages of written summary to be distributed in class). There will be two take home essays assigned during the semester, corresponding to major sections of the course. In addition, each student will prepare a final paper on comparative urban research based on scholarly research published in top sociological journals (also books). The final grade will be calculated as follows: class discussion - 20 percent; essays - 25 percent each; paper - 30 percent.

Prof. Sharon Zukin     
szukin@gc.cuny.edu
Soc. 86800 – CONSUMER SOCIETY AND CULTURE {23372}
Thursdays, 2:00 – 4:00 pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
 
Consumption is one of the three basic arenas of the modern public sphere.  It poses challenges not only to us in our everyday lives, but also to us as social researchers who study the critical practices of everyday life.  Following Weber, Veblen, Bourdieu, and Baudrillard, we will develop an institutional framework for understanding modern consumer society and the cultures that it spawns.  How does “consumer society” develop around the world?  What is the state’s interest in creating consumer-citizens?  How do ideologies and interests compete at each stage of the global commodity chain?  How does technology shape the life-cycle of commodities?
 
Drawing on social theories and empirical analyses, we will explore consumption in the global political economy through creative responses to weekly reading assignments and an individual research paper on a significant empirical question.  Issues to look for:  consumption and inequality, the global food economy, shopping as the default mechanism of social choice.