Fall 2020 Course Offerings
Prof. Frank Heiland-
Soc. 81900/ DCP 70200: Methods of Demographic Analysis
Wednesdays, 4:15-6:15pm, 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.
Prof. Deborah Balk-
Soc. 72200 / DCP 80300: Population Dynamics and Climate Change
Mondays, 4:15-6:15pm, 3 credits
This course will examine two hallmark characteristics of the 21st century: demographic change and climate change. We will examine demographic behavior and population dynamics (urbanization, migration, fertility, mortality, age and aging, and household size and formation) in the context of climate change. Further, we will explore the role that population dynamics play in climate models and scenarios, as well as in climate adaptation and mitigation strategies. We will consider policies and programs that address these issues. The course will be global in nature, although many examples will be drawn from a developing-country context as well as from the United States. Students will learn to examine theory and evidence (data and methods) at the local, national, and international levels to understand populations at risk in the short and long run, internal and international migration flows, city growth and urban dynamism, and fertility and mortality responses tin the context of short- and long-term climate change and related hazards (e.g., increased storms and associated flooding, sea-level rise, drought, and changes in disease vectors). Prerequisites: None.
Prof. Jack Hammond- firstname.lastname@example.org
Soc. 85600: Social Movements in Latin America
Thursdays, 2:00-4:00pm, 3 credits
This course will examine social movements in Latin America since the wave of democratization following the authoritarian period of the 1970s and 1980s. We will highlight the period of democratization, neoliberalism and austerity and the following period a return to developmental populism the 21st century, emphasizing the Pink Tide, horizontalism, resistance movements, digital organizing, globalization and transnational movements. In studying these movements, we will examine the applicability of North- based theories of social movements and the alternatives which have been proposed or may be needed.
Prof. David Halle- email@example.com
Soc. 82301: Computer Mapping for LA & NY, and Global Cities GIS with Mapinfo: Basic and Advanced Techniques
Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30pm, 3 credits
An introduction to computer mapping (Geographic Information Systems), using the software Mapinfo. We will learn the techniques of computer mapping to analyze the latest developments in New York and Los Angeles, both the cities and regions, and other global cities. We will analyze the most recently available census data, and the decennial census data for 2020, 2010, 2000, 1990, 1980 and 1970 for New York and Los Angeles. We will map such topics as the distribution of income, occupations, racial and ethnic groups, and foreign-born. We will also map crime at the level of the police precinct, political data including Presidential, mayoral and congressional elections, city and county boundaries, world cities, environmental data, the Corona virus, transportation, housing, schools and education data, and zoning matters including historic districts. We will map, and discuss, such key topics as the decline of the classic “ghetto” and the Latinization of inner city neighborhoods, the movement of ethnic groups to the suburbs, gentrification, the 2007- financial crisis including the housing bubble, the affordable housing crisis, the ecology and “green” movement, flooding including Hurricane Sandy, attempts to reform the school systems, arts and cultural institutions, and de Blasio’s impact and policies. Students are encouraged to bring to class, and develop during the semester, any ongoing research they are doing.
Prof. Jayne Mooney- firstname.lastname@example.org
Soc. 85000: Gender and Crime
Mondays, 6:30-8:30pm, 3 credits
This course explores the relationship between gender, crime and the criminal justice system. It focuses on feminist historical, sociological and socio-legal scholarship to examine the ways in which gender affects patterns of offending, victimization, and imprisonment. It critically engages with the intersections between gender, race, class and sexuality and analyzes how these impact on the treatment of women, as victims, survivors and offenders. It provides an overview of the historical neglect of women’s contributions to sociological and criminological theory.
Cultural representations of masculinity and femininity are considered throughout. Debates are explored on the construction of masculinit(ies) in contemporary society, and recent work on transfeminism and non-binary gender identities. Specific topics to be covered include: violence against women, fear of crime, sex work, war, gangs, serial killing, imprisonment, immigration and feminist research methods.
Profs. Lynn Chancer/Van Tranemail@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Soc. 72000: Qualifying Paper Seminar I
Thursdays, 2:00-4:00pm, 3 credits
This year-long seminar is an opportunity to conduct original research that will result in a journal article (i.e. The Qualifying Paper) that is of publishable quality in a peer-reviewed academic journal. This seminar is required of all PhD students during the second year in the program. Over the course of two semesters, you will formulate a research question, develop a theoretical argument, design a research strategy, collect and analyze your data, interpret the results, and present your argument and findings in a precise and compelling narrative form. At the end of the Fall term, you will hand in a clearly developed research proposal with a research plan. At the end of Spring term, you will hand in a complete research paper that contributes to sociological knowledge and this draft will form the basis for your first single-authored peer-reviewed article for submission. The article can be based on either an empirically-oriented or a theoretically-oriented research project, as long as it is deemed to be of publishable quality. (For second year students only.)
Prof. Philip Kasinitz- email@example.com
Soc. 72500: Urban Sociology
Tuesdays, 4:15-6:15, 3 credits
This course will examine the city, both as a spatial location and a social institution. We will look at both the micro level interactions that create communities in the city, as well as larger structural forces such as racial segregation, migration and public policy which shape how urban communities are created, change and how they are sometimes destroyed. We will discuss the relationship of urbanism and modernity, debates over the role of “community” in urban life, ghettos, ethnic enclaves, gentrification, LGBT communities, the sociology of the built environment, the role of public space, the role of gender in urban life, the importance of culture and consumption in shaping the urban experience and the impact of globalization on contemporary cities. We will conclude by examining how the withdrawal from public space during the Covid 19 crisis, has impacted social life in New York. Readings will include works by Georg Simmel, Walter Benjamin, W.E.B. Dubois, Jane Jacobs, Marshall Berman, Herbert Gans, Richard Sennett, Mike Davis, Loic Wacquant, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Mitchell Duneier, Elijah Anderson, Min Zhou, Alejandro Portes, David Harvey, Suzanne Hall and Sharon Zukin, among others.
Prof. Jeremy Porter- firstname.lastname@example.org
Soc. 81900: Quantitative Research Methods
Mondays, 6:30-8:30pm, 3 credits
This course will cover issues pertaining to the applied research process in the collection, management, and analysis of quantitative data. Methods covered are intended to give students experience with a broad array of specific quantitative methods and a directed focus on the perspectives that underlie the application of such methods. The explicit goal of the course is to give students the foundational tools necessary to do high quality quantitative research in applied and academic settings. A sample of topics covered include; the science of science, the politics and ethics of research, developing novel research ideas, item measurement, instrumentation, sampling, understanding statistical inference, and a wide variety of topics associated with the collection, management, and analysis of quantitative data.
Prof. Branko Milanovicemail@example.com
Soc. 84600: Within-National Inequalities: From Pareto to Piketty
Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30pm, 3 credits
The objective of the course is to review and analyze different theories about the forces that influence inter-personal income distribution within a single policy-making unit (that is, within a nation-state).
The first such theory was developed by Vilfredo Pareto more than 100 years ago. Pareto believes that income distribution does not change regardless of a social system and level of development. Simon Kuznets, in the 1950s, posited, on the contrary, a theory where income inequality evolves as societies get richer. Jan Tinbergen, in the 1970s, argued that the level of inequality is determined by the two opposing forces of education and technological change. More recently, Thomas Piketty argued that low growth combined with high returns to capital predisposes advanced economies to high levels of inequality. In 2016, Milanovic introduced “Kuznets waves” claiming that structural transformations (from agriculture to manufacturing, and more recently from manufacturing to services) are associated with increases in inter-personal inequality.
These theories will be considered on the real-world examples of inequality changes in the United States and other rich OECD countries, China and Brazil. The class shall focus especially on the recent evolution of income and wealth inequality in the United States and Piketty’s analytical contributions.
The class is empirical, and at times mathematical, but does not require any prior specific knowledge of the issues nor techniques. It is recommended for students of economics, political science, and sociology.
Prof. John Torpey- firstname.lastname@example.org
Soc. 81100: Comparative Sociological Methods
Tuesdays, 2:00-4:00pm, 3 credits
This course explores patterns of difference and inequality at the global, national, and regional levels. It seeks to make sense of the historical roots of these patterns in political, economic, ethnoracial, religious, and demographic systems. The course will explore diverse times and places in order to make sense of contemporary patterns of inequality in comparative and historical perspective. The emphasis throughout is on comparison across time and place as a distinctive method in the social sciences. Students will gain an appreciation for the centrality of comparison to all sociological understanding.
Profs. Richard Alba and Nancy Foner - email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Soc. 82800 - International Migration
Thursdays, 4:15- 6:15pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
This course offers a comprehensive overview of key current topics and issues in the field of international migration. While the course will aspire to incorporate the experiences of major immigrant receiving countries around the world, the main focus will be on Europe and North America, where the major theories and key concepts are most fully developed. The emphasis is on examining both the theoretical debates in the field and the empirical data and case studies that address and, in some cases, have stimulated the debates. Among the issues in migration studies that will be explored: theories about the causes of international migration; theories of assimilation; the construction of ethnic and racial identities and group boundaries; and comparative integration of immigrants and their children in Europe and North America. As the field of international migration is inherently interdisciplinary and methodologically eclectic we will be looking at a wide variety of studies, including those that use various kinds of quantitative data and qualitative techniques as well as some that draw on historical analyses.
Prof. Roslyn Bologh-Roslyn.Bologh@csi.cuny.edu
Soc. 74600: Capitalism and Crisis
Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30pm, 3 credits
This course will focus on the relationship between capitalism, culture and crisis. We will examine the current historical moment -- focusing on political economy, ideology and other aspects of social life and culture.
How does this crisis affect particular communities? What kinds of changes are we seeing? Is the crisis merely hastening changes that were already underway? Will the crisis radically change our world? How do critical political economic analyses address the contemporary crisis? What accounts for the different trajectories of the U.S. (F.D.R. and the New Deal) and Germany (Hitler and the Nazis) during the Great Depression? How does that relate to today's crisis?
These are some of the questions I hope we can address as events unfold. How is capitalism directly implicated in this health crisis and the responses to it. Public Health specialists knew what needed to be done to be prepared for a pandemic. How were economic interests related to the failure to be prepared? What had been happening to our economy before this crisis? What was causing the huge inequalities within particular societies and within the global economy? What was causing the socio-cultural changes like the decline of marriage in the U.S. among the middle classes as well as middle aged people returning to live with their parents? Why were Central Banks foreseeing even before this crisis a global recession that they said Central Banks could not handle. Why are publications like the Wall Street Journal and Forbes publishing articles about the possibility of "populist backlash?" Why do they connect public backlash to the Government providing billions to corporations that had been using their profits for "buybacks?" What are corporate "buy backs?" How is the Federal Reserve implicated in all of this?
What will be the outcome of this global crisis? In sum, I hope to provide students with a background in critical theory and political economy in order to address the question: how does the current crisis relate to radical social change?
Prof. Pyong Gap Minemail@example.com
Soc. 82800: Capitalism and Crisis
Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30pm, 3 credits
The vast majority of post-1965 immigrants have originated from Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, and the Caribbean Islands. Asian and Middle Eastern immigrants have transplanted Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and other “Oriental” religions to the United States. Latino, Caribbean, and some Asian immigrant groups have brought with them Third World versions of Catholicism that put more stress on syncretic family and small-group rituals combining Catholic beliefs and local folk culture than on worship in a congregation. Many Caribbean and Asian immigrants have also transplanted new versions of Protestantism. After more than 50 years of enforcement of the Immigration Act of 1965, many second-generation Americans of post-1965 immigrants have grown up, participating in the labor market and establishing their own families.
This course takes an overview of a growing body of the social science literature on the religious experiences of the new immigrant groups and their children. It will examine not only immigrants’ and children’s participation in religious institutions, but also their practices of religious rituals at home. As a sociology course, it will pay special attention to the relationships between immigrants’ religious practices and ethnicity, gender, race, class, globalization, and transnationalism. It will also look at the intergenerational transmission of religion to their 1.5- and second-generation adults and the transmission of ethnicity through religion.
We will discuss 2-3 articles/book chapters for each class. Students need to read in advance the articles, books chapters, and/or a book assigned for each class and to participate in discussions. I will provide lectures whenever necessary to help students better understand particular pieces of assigned reading materials related to concepts, theories and new development in research. Attendance and classroom discussions are very important for this course. Since I give no final test, I put a great weight on attendance and classroom discussion in evaluating students’ performance. Good writing skills are also important for this course, as well as for any other graduate courses. Students need to complete 4 writing assignments and a term paper (that can be sent to me by the end of the year as an e-mail attachment).
Prof. Juan Battle - firstname.lastname@example.org
Soc. 82907 - Black America
Mondays, 2:00- 4:00 pm, 3 credits
“One ever feels his two-ness – an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body.” So wrote WEB Du Bois in 1897. Black history, Du Bois maintained, was the history of this double-consciousness. Black people have always been part of the American nation that they helped to build. But they have also been a nation unto themselves, with their own experiences, culture, and aspirations. Black-American history cannot be understood except in the broader context of American history. Likewise, American history cannot be understood without Black-American history.
--- excerpt from Hines, et al.’s (2014) preface
This course will serve as a broad, historical survey of the Black experience (mainly) within the United States. Because students will be exposed to (and contribute from) a wide variety of perspectives on the subject, this course is appropriate for students in the traditional social sciences (e.g. sociology, anthropology, psychology, urban education, and history) as well as more contemporary ones (e.g. women’s studies, race studies, American studies, cultural studies, lesbian and gay studies).
Profs. John Mollenkopf and Robert Smith- email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Soc.82800 Ethnography of Public Policy
Mondays, 4:15pm–6:15pm, 3 credits
Most approaches to the study of public policy use statistical analysis to address questions of efficiency and effectiveness and/or institutional analysis to understand how actors form coalitions to advance their policy agendas (or block someone else’s). This course takes a different approach: using the tools of ethnography and qualitative analysis (participant observation, in-depth interviewing) to investigate how the participants in a given policy domain formulate, adopt, and most importantly carry out public policies. This approach begins with a focus on the “front line workers” who actually do the work of delivering public policies through their every-day interactions with clients. We will learn how to apply tools of ethnography to study and understand how front line workers “socially construct” clients in the process of co-producing public services and how the clients react to being processed.
From this focus, we will widen our focus to using these tools to examine how managers, policy decision-makers, and the broader environment try to shape or reshape the public service production process. Actors within this larger environment include agency managers and leaders, mayors and their administration, legislative elected officials, and the broader civic realm of press, policy scholars, advocacy organizations, lawyers, consultants, and the concerned public. We will begin with a close reading of Michael Lipsky’s classic Street Level Bureaucracy, then move through a series of policy case studies. Seminar participants will learn how to design and carry out a policy ethnography by constructing and developing case comparisons, tracing actors and processes, and articulating the empirical, analytical, and policy stories behind their research. If the seminar takes place on line, it will focus on readings and exercises. If personal meetings and field work are possible, they will also be included.
Prof. Paul Attewell- email@example.com
Soc. 71500: Sociological Statistics I
Mondays, 4:15-6:15pm, 3 credits
This is a first course about quantitative methods for social scientists. It presumes no previous coursework, so it is suitable for beginners. However, since most QMSS Masters students do have some background already, the course will move fairly quickly from basic to more advanced topics and go as far into the latter as time and the semester permit. The main focus will be on quantitative methods as tools for interrogating data, rather than on the mathematical or statistical underpinnings. Considerable emphasis will be placed on understanding what statistical tools to use in what contexts, and how to interpret results and how to reconfirm/test findings.
The software we will use is STATA. The class’ format, held in a computer classroom, will be a mix of lecture, demonstrations and student in-class exercises, so that students will have hands-on use of each statistical procedure as well as a theoretical understanding. Students will develop fluency in basic data management as well as in methods of analysis, using STATA.
Prof. Janet Gornickfirstname.lastname@example.org
Soc. 84600: Women, Work & Public Policy
This course will provide an overview of key issues affecting women in the contemporary workplace in the United States and other high-income countries. We will begin with an overview of women’s position in the labor market. Here we will take a multidimensional approach to capturing gender inequality at work, covering gender gaps in employment rates, in working time, in occupation, and in earnings. We will assess growing class inequalities among women, which have led to polarization in the labor market, especially between women with more and less education. We will consider divisions by, e.g., race, ethnicity, nativity, and sexuality. We will analyze the ways in which public policies have addressed these concerns, and evaluate their impacts.
The course also examines the effects on women workers of persistent inequalities in divisions of labor within households. Despite the enormous increase in women’s employment rates during the past half century, women continue to carry out the bulk of unpaid work in their homes. Altering these inequalities has proven even more challenging than transforming the structures that shape paid work. We will consider recent research on the effects of “work-family reconciliation policies”– that is, public policies aimed at supporting women (and men) as they balance the responsibilities of paid work and family care. The key question now under consideration is whether some of these policies – e.g., paid family leave, rights to part-time work, and flexible scheduling – create new forms of gender inequality. Students will complete weekly reaction papers and a semester-long research project.
Prof. Barbara Katz Rothmanemail@example.com
Soc. 86800 - Writing for Publication
Wednesdays 2:00 - 4:00pm, 3 credits
This course will have two components: one is a scholarly sociological study of publishing itself: an examination of the worlds and institutions of knowledge-production and dissemination. We will consider book publishing, following and more recent changes in the world of book publishing. Similarly, we will explore the contemporary issues in journal publication, including issues of copyright and new technologies, current debates and concerns about journal costs and distribution, and ongoing discussions of ethical concerns in academic publishing in an increasingly commercialized world.
The second component is more pragmatic, in which students take their own work thru the appropriate and necessary steps for publication in a variety of media. Topics we will cover include how to do book reviews, how to prepare a paper for presentation and then for publication, how to participate in anthology writing, how to prepare a book proposal, and how to construct a book out of a dissertation. Each student will (at minimum) and with the support of the instructor and class, write and publish two book reviews; submit papers to three academic meetings; prepare one journal article for submission; prepare and submit one article to a non-academic publication such as an op-ed article; and prepare a (draft) book proposal based on dissertation work.
Prof. Barbara Katz Rothman– firstname.lastname@example.org
Soc. 86800 Food, Culture, and Society
Wednesdays, 6:30 – 8:30pm, 3 credits
This course explores major issues in foodways—food habits from production through consumption—through readings and discussions as well as through primary research in food and society. The scholarly study of food invokes issues of gender, class, labor, and cultural identities and demands an interdisciplinary approach. Theoretical frameworks include the food voice (Hauck-Lawson), cultural studies, political economy, and symbolic interactionism.
The key focus in the course is going to be the application of theory and methods from the disciplines represented by students, faculty and invited guests in the course, to Food Studies.
Rather than a standard paper, each student will, in consultation with the professor and the other students, develop a project that best fits in with her/his own work –for example, a food-focused dissertation chapter, an internship, a series of published book reviews, or a paper presentation at a professional conference in the student’s home discipline.
Prof. Jeremy Porter- email@example.com
Soc. 81900: Spatial Analysis of Social Data
Thursdays, 6:30-8:30pm, 3 credits
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has emerged as an essential tool for public health researchers and practitioners. The GIS for Public Health course will offer students an opportunity to gain skills in using GIS software to apply spatial analysis techniques to public health research questions. The laboratory section of the course will give students the opportunity for hands-on learning in how to use GIS systems to analyze data and produce maps and reports. These laboratory exercises will be designed to increasingly challenge the students to incorporate the analytic skills and techniques they have learned in other courses with the geospatial and spatial statistics techniques commonly used in GIS.