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Fall 2021 Course Offerings









Xu: Soc. 81900
Advanced Methods of Demographic Analysis

(Qualify for Methods requirement)


Opotow: Soc. 85000
Using archives in social justice research



Steele: Soc.74400
Global Social Stratification 


See Also: EES 79903- Immigration and State



Smithsimon/Tran: Soc. 72100
Qualifying Paper Seminar II
(*For Second Year Students only)

Trimbur: Soc. 70100
Development of Sociological Theory (Theory I)

Daniels: Soc. 82800
Writing for Publication

Torpey: Soc. 82200
Comparing Pandemics: A Social and Historical Examination 

Ocejo: Soc. 72500
Urban Sociology 


Pan: Soc. 74100
Diversity in Professions 

Mollenkopf: Soc 82800
Government & Politics of New York City

Kasinitz: Soc. 82800
International Migration

Gornick: Soc. 85902
Social Policy and Socio-Economic Outcomes in Industrialized Countries

Zukin: Soc 82800
Urban Workshop:Space and Power

McCall: Soc.71500  
Sociological Statistic I  

Hammond: Soc. 84510
Environmental Sociology


Chancer/Jacobson: Soc. 85000
Criminology & Critical Criminology 

Balk: Soc. 81900 
Spatial Demography 
(Qualify for Methods requirement)


Porter: Soc.81900 
Quantitative Research Methods
(Qualify for Methods requirement)

Bologh: Soc 74600
Capitalism, Culture and Crisis

Bilici: Soc. 82907
Islamophobia in America

Halle: Soc. 82301 
Computer Mapping for Los Angeles, New York, & Global Cities  

Milanovic Soc. 84600
Global inequality: Measurement, analysis and political implications

Miller & Toor: Soc. 84000
American Social Institutions

Min: Soc. 85800
Asian Americans


Prof. Yung-Yi Diana Pan -
Soc. 74100:
 Diversity in Professions 
Mondays, 4:15-6:15, 3 credits
The professions is often considered an elite space, and once one secures entry, there are few concerns. This course will interrogate those notions by exploring how diversity – gender, race, immigrant background, class – is understood and practiced within the professions. We will engage with both classical and contemporary work on sociology of the professions, from Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s Men and Women of the Corporation(1977), to CUNY’s own Margaret Chin’s STUCK: Why Asian Americans Don’t Reach the Top of the Corporate Ladder(2020). We will consider the processes of professional socialization, the cultural structures of professions, and whether diversity is a part of professional agenda. 
Students are required to critically engage with readings and actively participate in seminar discussions.

Prof. Liza G. Steele -
Soc. 74400: 
Global Social Stratification 
Mondays, 11:45-1:45, 3 credits
This course explores economic inequality and social stratification in global perspective. Students analyze economic and social inclusion and exclusion, with a particular focus on cases from the Global South. Sample topics include human rights, development, race in Brazil and South Africa, gender and Islam, the welfare state, and basic income.

Prof. Leslie McCall -
Soc. 71500: Sociological Statistic I

Wednesdays, 4:15-6:15, 3 credits
This course provides an overview of introductory statistics as applied to sociological and other social scientific research. Topics covered include single-variable data description (measures of central tendency, measures of variability, and graphing), fundamentals of inferential statistics (probability and the normal curve, samples and populations, hypothesis testing), and associations between two variables (ANOVA, Chi-square, correlation, and bivariate linear regression analysis). The course will also introduce students to the software package R for the analysis of social science data. No prior knowledge of statistics or R is necessary.
Prof. Richard Ocejo -
Soc. 72500: Urban Sociology 
Thursdys, 2:00-4:00, 3 credits
This course will introduce students to a variety of sociological theories and approaches for studying cities and urban life. The aim is to cover as much of the canon as possible and expose students to current explanations and debates. We will start with early theorizing and empirical research on the relationship between modernity and urbanism and proceed to discuss some of today’s most important discourses and studies for understanding space, inequality, segregation, and growth in an era of extreme globalization. The course will look at such topics as urban political economy, race and space, racial capitalism, gentrification, cities and climate change, culture and placemaking, housing, and global urban sociology. It will also consider sociology’s contribution to the larger field of urban studies.
Finally, since City & Community, the official journal of the Community and Urban Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association, is now based at the Graduate Center, it will serve as key source for many of our readings and discussions. Students will also gain meaningful insight into the backstage workings of an academic journal, learn how to frame their work as an article, and engage in some journal-related activities.  

Prof. Susan Opotow -
Soc. 85000: Using Archives in Social Justice Research

Tuesdays, 9:30-11:30, 3 credits
Archives offer rich textual and material data that can deepen our understanding of societal issues. They can place individual and collective social justice efforts within particular socio-political and historical contexts. The graduate course is designed to foster students’ knowledge, skills, and strategies for using physical, digital, or hybrid archives to study research questions of interest to them. The course, grounded in the social science and humanities literatures on archival theory and practice, will deepen students’ knowledge of archive as a construct, a societal resource, and a repository vulnerable to politicization. To learn how social science and humanities scholars use archives to advance social justice, we read, for example, about community-based archives; archives documenting oppression and human rights; and archival ethics. Alongside our attention to theory and method, this is also structured as a studio course in its attention to the empirical development of students’ ideas and research. By the course's end, students will have begun and progressed on their own archival projects.

Prof. John Torpey -
Soc. 82200: Comparing Pandemics: A Social and Historical Examination 

Wednesdays, 2:00-4:00, 3 credits
This course examines epidemic diseases and their social consequences across historical time and geographic space.  We will focus primarily on the Black Death of the mid-fourteenth century, smallpox and its role in the conquest of the Americas, the “Spanish” flu pandemic of 1918-1919, and the coronavirus pandemic of 2020-2021(?). We will seek to understand how different societies were affected by these plagues, how they responded to them, and the consequences of these public health and social crises for the societies in question.

Prof. Pyong Gap Min -
Soc. 85800: Asian Americans

Thursdays, 6:30-8:30, 3 credits *Online
This course intends to examine several important aspects of Asian American experiences. They include (1) Asians’ immigration to the U.S. and their settlement patterns, (2) their socioeconomic attainments, (3) their family and marital patterns, (4) second-generation Asians’ ethnic identity formation, (4) their religious affiliations and practices, and (5) their transnational linkages to the homeland. Major Asian ethnic groups include Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, Filipino, and Vietnamese groups. Reading materials will cover these six major Asian groups. Teaching will be conducted virtually in the 2021 fall semester. In a virtual class, students can learn most from reading assigned materials. So, I will put emphasis on students’ reading of assigned materials for each class in evaluating their performances.

Prof. Sharon Zukin -
Soc. 82800/EES 79903: Urban Research Seminar: Space and Power
Tuesdays, 4:15-6:15, 3 credits *Hybrid

Today’s intertwined crises of economy, public health, and climate change challenge us to develop new research models to interpret and enact multiple forms of diversity, equity, and empowerment.  How are social barriers being reshaped by new discourses, organizations, and geographies?  Will agglomerations like New York City survive in their current form or break apart into disparate communities and metropolitan colonies?
Unpacking the social construction of space and power in distinctive urban forms, this workshop will introduce two New York-based projects—one on rezoning in SoHo and Gowanus and the other on the city’s tech ecosystem—and invite students to collaborate in developing their own research.  We will read a small number of case studies and follow media coverage and social media accounts, make ethnographic observations of meetings (on Zoom or in person, according to public health restrictions), analyze specific questions by constructing large databases, and, if possible, carry out interviews.  The final product will be the write up of an individual case study or a part of a larger research project that can lead to a dissertation, journal article, video, or podcast.
Students who want to ask about a specific research project should email Sharon Zukin ( in advance.

Prof. Roslyn​ Bologh -
Soc 74600: Capitalism, Culture and Crisis 

Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30, 3 credits *Online
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 are different individuals, groups and  communities as well as nation states and regions affected and how are they reacting; what kinds of changes are occurring; what kinds of developments are taking place?  How can we understand these changes?  What are the current debates and theories?  How are they related to capitalism, culture and crisis?  How can a background in critical theory and political economy provide a basis for critically addressing the issues of today? 

Profs. Gregory Smithsimon and Van Tran -;
Soc. 72100: Qualifying Paper Seminar I
Mondays, 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. David Halle -
Soc. 82301:Computer Mapping for LA & NY, and Global Cities GIS with Mapinfo: Basic and Advanced Techniques
Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30, 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, restaurants, and zoning matters including historic districts. We will map, and discuss, such key topics as ethnic and demographic changes in the inner city, various waves of suburbanization including the latest Covid related, 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, protest movements including Black Lives Matter, 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. Jeremy Porter-
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. Jack Hammond -
Soc. 84510: Environmental sociology
Wednesdays, 4:15-6:15pm, 3 credits

This course will cover the relation between human communities and the biophysical environment. We will examine that interaction and its benefits and burdens for human communities and for other species.  We will consider the political-economic base of these interactions and the meanings attributed to them in different cultures. Theories in environmental sociology: ecocentrism, political economy, ecomodernism, degrowth. Environmental justice within and between nations. The effect of production processes, energy use, technology, and consumption patterns on the environment. Environmental harm as a byproduct of everyday interaction processes. Methods of ecological analysis.
We will study the environmental crisis, though that will not be the main focus of the course. We will examine recognition and denial of human-made climate change and the reception and rejection of science in politics and in the public. Movements to protect the environment; movements for environmental justice to hold perpetrators accountable and to secure environmental equity for marginalized groups.

Prof. Branko Milanovic -
Soc. 84600: Global inequality: Measurement, analysis and political implications
Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30, 3 credits

The focus of the class is on global inequality which is defined as inequality between citizens of the world (as if they were members of a same nation). 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. Two types of inequalities, within-national (inequality among individuals within a single nation) and cross-national (inequality in mean incomes across nations) combine to determine global inequality. We shall thus also review the changes in within- and between-national inequalities. The class ends with an overview of positions of various political philosophers (e.g., Rawls, Pogge, Sen, Nagel) regarding global inequality and migration.
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. This class is a follow-up of the one on “The theories of income distribution: from Pareto to Piketty” but can be taken independently.  

Prof. Lucia Trimbur -
Soc. 70100: Development of Sociological Theory (Theory I)
Tuesdays, 2:00-4:00
, 3 credits
This graduate seminar is an introduction to the work of Marx, Weber, Durkheim, DuBois, and Freud, five major historical figures in the development of US sociology. Its overarching goal is to understand how theoretical arguments are made: their logics, underlying assumptions, contradictions, and use of evidence. To do this, we will (1) look closely at these classical theorists’ ideas, (2) examine how ideas emerge from various historical moments, and (3) consider how these ideas relate to current social circumstances and other theorists’ views. As these texts constitute common knowledge within our field, they will help you learn to theorize.

Prof. Philip Kasinitz -
Soc. 82800: International Migration 

Tuesdays, 4:15-6:15, 3 credits
This course offers an overview of the key current topics and issues in the burgeoning field of international migration. The course will aspire to incorporate the experiences of major immigrant-receiving countries around the world, but the main comparative focus will be on Europe and North America, where the major theories and key concepts are most fully developed. The course emphasis is on exploring both the theoretical debates in the field and the empirical data and case studies on which these debates hinge. Attention will be paid to detailed discussions of “classic” issues of immigration, such as assimilation, incorporation/integration, the labor market, race and ethnic relations, gender and the family, transnationalism, the second generation, and nativism/host hostility. Throughout, the course will take into account the way in which migrant-receiving cities, as contexts of reception, affect the immigrant experience, and in turn, are transformed by immigrants.

Profs. Lynn ​Chancer and Michael Jacobson -;
Soc. 85000: Criminology and Critical Criminology in Theory and Practice
Thursdays, 4:15-6:15, 3 credits

In the first half of this doctoral seminar, we provide an overview of theories of criminology as they have unfolded through the present including recent developments in critical criminology and cultural criminology; we will read about and discuss developments in older as well as newer theorizations.  In the second half of the course, we turn to applied issues in criminal justice practice spanning a range of topics from domestic violence policy through gun control policies, police and bail reform through efforts to reduce mass incarceration.  An emphasis will be replaced on how theories and practices interrelate and can inform each other.

Prof. Janet Gornick -
SOC 85902: Social Policy and Socio-Economic Outcomes in Industrialized Countries
Tuesdays, 4:15pm–6:15pm, 3 credits

This course provides an introduction to cross-national comparative research, with a focus on socio-economic outcomes and on the policies and institutions that shape those outcomes. The course is organized around two databases available through LIS, a data archive located in Luxembourg, with a satellite office here at the Graduate Center.

LIS contains two main micro-databases. The Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Database includes 300+ micro-datasets from over 50 high- and middle-income countries. These datasets contain comprehensive measures of income, employment, and household characteristics. A smaller, companion dataset – the Luxembourg Wealth Study (LWS) Database – provides microdata on assets and debt. Since the mid-1980s, the LIS data have been used by more than 8000 researchers – mostly sociologists, economists, and political scientists – to analyze cross-country and over-time variation in diverse outcomes such as poverty, income inequality, employment status, wage patterns, gender inequality and family structure.

Many researchers have combined LIS’ microdata with various macro-datasets to study, for example, the effects of national social or labor market policies on socio-economic outcomes, or to link socio-economic variation to national-level outcomes such as child well-being, health status, political attitudes and voting behavior. (The LIS and LWS data are accessed through an internet-based “remote-execution system”. All students are permitted to use the LIS microdata at no cost and without limit.)

The course has two main components:
1) Students will read and assess a selection of published studies based on the data.
2) Students will carry out an original piece of empirical research using the LIS or LWS microdata. That work will culminate in a term paper.

While there are no formal prerequisites, students must have a working knowledge of basic statistics, and beginner-to-intermediate capacity in one of these programming languages: SAS, SPSS, Stata, or R.
Neither statistics nor programming will be part of the course's curriculum. Extensive documentation about the data, self-teaching materials, and instructional videos are available on the LIS website.

Note:  All MA students must receive clearance from the professor before registering.

Prof. Jessi Daniels -
Soc. 82800, writing for publication
Tuesdays 2:00 - 4:00pm, 3 credits, *Hybrid

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.