Spring 2020 Course Offerings
Prof. Juan Battle - firstname.lastname@example.org
Soc.82800: Refugees & Forced Migration
Mondays, 4:15-6:15 pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
Over the past decade, the global population of forcibly displaced people – as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations – grew substantially from 43.3 million in 2009 to 70.8 million in 2018, reaching a record high. This course is designed to give students an understanding of the major causes of contemporary migration and population displacement. Global, regional, and national processes contributing to and driving refugee and migration flows will be examined. Students will consider a range of critical issues and factors contributing to displacement, particularly under conditions of poverty, uneven development, competition for resources, political instability, weak governance, violence, environmental degradation, and natural disasters. International challenges including human rights, human trafficking, citizenship, and statelessness will be addressed as well.
Prof. Katherine K. Chen – email@example.com
Soc. 84700: Organizations, Markets, & the State
Wednesday 11:45-1:45, Room TBA, 3 credits
How can people coordinate action across growing groups in creative versus conventional ways?
How can people organize in ways that widen versus reduce power differentials among members?
How do people and organizations hoard advantages for a select few versus ensuring more equal access to all?
How do organizations fend off versus embrace market ideology, and how do organizations encourage members to adopt these perspectives?
Organizations are crucial actors in contemporary society, and they are also sites where many of us expend significant efforts connecting with or coordinating collective action. Despite their central role in shaping our experiences from education to the workplace to governance, organizations are often overlooked or taken-for-granted among researchers and laypersons. When researchers do study organizations, they typically pay little critical attention to power dynamics and organizing possibilities.
Building upon more critical perspectives, participants will learn why organizations form, how they develop, and how they can exacerbate or alleviate inequalities. We will also discuss organizations’ relations with the state and markets, and how these relations affect action. We will cover a variety of organizational forms, from conventional bureaucracies to networked firms to democratic organizations, with a focus on participants’ organizational fields of interest. Theories studied incorporate the classics, as well as cutting edge synthetic work like Strategic Action Fields (SAFs), racialized organizations, and relational inequality theory (RIT)'s inequality-generating mechanisms. Methodological approaches covered include ethnography, interviews, and other qualitative methods, and quantitative analyses.
This course supports deepening participants’ substantive knowledge, including preparing for comprehensives, extending cross-over expertise in a substantive area (i.e. social movements, urban sociology, stratification, education, cultural sociology, etc.), and designing and carrying out research. In addition, this course aims to both promote professional development and forming a community of supportive scholars for emerging research.
Prof. Jessica Halliday Hardie- firstname.lastname@example.org
Soc. 83300: The Ties that Bind: Family Demography in a Global Context
Monday, 2:00-4:00pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
Family demographers study the composition of families and patterns of movement into and out of family structures, as well as what drives these patterns. We seek to understand how and why families change over time in response to economic, social, and cultural forces. This seminar offers the opportunity to learn about prevailing theories of family change, trends in family behavior, and analytic techniques common in family demography. Throughout the semester, we will seek to explain the role of family in individuals’ lives, the precursors and consequences of family change, and how the family intersects with other social institutions both in the United States and abroad. The course materials draw on a variety of theoretical, historical, cultural, and methodological perspectives to examine topics such as romantic relationship formation and dissolution, family relationships, childbearing and fertility, intergenerational exchanges, and family health.
Prof. William Helmreich- email@example.com
Sociology 82301: Sociology of New York City
Thursdays, 4:15- 6:15pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
This is an ethnographic fieldwork course on the neighborhoods of New York, for it is here that the intricate and crucial features of social and cultural life are played out. Capturing this reality requires an understanding of the social, racial, ethnic, religious, and other groups in the city, its spatial and geographical characteristics, and their architectural attributes. We will also be examining issues like gentrification, community life, immigration, homelessness, etc. A neighborhood’s social life cannot be fully grasped and appreciated through readings and photographs. Thus, there will be five full-day walking/riding trips on mutually-agreed upon days through each of the five boroughs with a strong focus on its unknown aspects, followed by a free dinner at an ethnic restaurant. For more info about whether or not this course is what you’re looking for, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The course is limited to 8 students.
Prof. Pyong Gap Min – (347)287-5961, email@example.com
Sociology 85403: Japanese Military Sexual Slavery and the Global Responses to the Redress Movement for the Victims
Monday, 2:00- 4:00pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
Approximately 50,000-200,000 Asian women suffered sexual slavery at Japanese military brothels during the Asian-Pacific War (1931-1945). The majority of them died or were killed, unable to endure the ordeal. Those survivors who came back home after the end of the war kept silent in their home country due to strong stigma attached to sexual victims. However, Korean women’s leaders started the redress movement for these victims in the late 1980s. The emergence of many victims in South Korea and other Asian countries for testimonies and the discovery of Japanese historical documents demonstrating the Japanese military government’s involvement in establishing and managing comfort stations in the early 1990s accelerated the redress movement. The redress movement has received positive responses not only from Asian countries, but also, and more importantly from the UN human rights bodies, international human rights organizations, and the United States. However, the Japanese government has not acknowledged the crime (military sexual slavery) committed by its predecessor yet, made no sincere apology and compensation to the victims, and has not taken other necessary measures to bring justice and honor to the victims.
This course focuses on the comfort women issue and the global redress movement for the victims of Japanese military sexual slavery, using lectures, readings and documentary films/movies. It covers not only Japanese military sexual slavery, but also other forms of sexual violence in military camps and at war, such as prostitutions in European and U.S. military camps, the rape of Nanjing, ethnic cleansings in Bosnia, and rapes in the Pakistani-Bangladeshi War. It will also cover important historical issues, such as Japan’s colonization and occupation of Asian countries during the Asian-Pacific War, the 1945-1948 Tokyo War Crimes Trial, and the 2000 Women’s International War Crimes Tribunal on Japanese military Sexual Slavery. It will also cover the redress movement for the victims of Japanese military sexual slavery in South Korea, Japan, and the U.S. in detail, which used the strategies of comfort women’s testimonies, getting resolutions, urging the Japanese government to take responsible actions, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and state and city legislative branches, and building comfort women memorials.
Students’ three take-home essays based on reading assignments (30%), a term paper (30%), and attendance/class discussions (40%) will determine their grades. If any students have questions about this course, they can call Professor Pyong Gap Min at 347/287-5961.
Prof. Carolina Bank Muñoz - firstname.lastname@example.org
Sociology 85200: Transnational Social Movements
Thursdays, 2:00- 4:00pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
In this course, we will explore the global response to the rise of neoliberalism and austerity politics. While social movements in the U.S. are significantly weaker than they were in the 1960s and 1970s, there has been an explosion in global and transnational movements. We will largely focus on labor, human rights, climate change and anti-globalization movements. In analyzing transnational social movements, we will consider such questions as: How did these movements arise? Are transnational social movements effective responses to globalization and neoliberalism? What are the limitations of transnational social movements? How do transnational social movements negotiate race, class and gender ?And how have the rise of South-South movements challenged the power imbalances in transnational organzing?
Prof. Charles Post- email@example.com
Soc.82800: Capitalism, Race and Class
Mondays, 6:30-8:30 pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
The dominant “common sense” in the United States holds that this country, unique among all industrialized capitalist countries, has no fixed and permanent social classes and affords equal opportunity for social advancement to all its citizens. However, the reality is quite different. Social class divisions and racial inequality have marked US society from its birth in the 17th century, and these divisions grow sharper today. The problem of the relationship between these two fundamental forms of social inequality and power in the US has long been the subject of theoretical and historical controversy. In this seminar, we will assess some of the extensive literature on race and class in the US. Among the questions we will grapple with over the course of the year will be: What is the theoretical status of “race”? How do different sociologists understand social class? How were the racial categories “black” and “white” socially constructed alongside plantation slavery during the 17th and 18th centuries? How were these racial categories preserved and transformed as slavery was abolished, new immigrants arrived in the US and new forms of class inequality evolved over the course of the 19th century? How have racial categories been transformed as African-Americans have become an overwhelmingly urban people who compete as legal equals for jobs, education and housing with European-Americans? What is the current relationship of race and class in the US? Readings will be substantial, varied and historical in perspective.
Prof. Marnia Lazreg-
Soc.8000: Foucault, Bourdieu and Baudrillard: Culture, Power, and Sexuality in the Global Era
Mondays, 4:15-6:15 pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
Bourdieu as well as Baudrillard expressed reticent admiration for, and skepticism about Foucault’s critical theoretical insights. They both struggled with the same issues that are central to Foucault’s work: power, changing cultural practices as well as sexuality. By the same token, they sought to distinguish themselves from Foucault’s approach. Have they, as sociologists, transformed or extended Foucault’s analyses in grappling with the global contemporary challenges of culturalism, identity politics, social and racial strife, and sexual diversity?
Using methods borrowed from the history of ideas as well as the sociology of knowledge, this course examines Bourdieu’s and Baudrillard’s efforts to build a critical sociology with practical applications for social change as they struggled with Foucault’s conceptual innovations. Special attention will be given to the meanings and articulations of key concepts and issues, including structure and event/history; language, rules and discourse; power and subjectivation; body, sex/sexuality and gender; biopolitics and racial supremacy; (non-Western) revolutions and political spirituality; security/war and self-defense. The course will further examine the degree to which the concrete socio-political activities in which each author engaged informed his theoretical commitment.
The class will be conducted as a seminar that encourages an in-depth exploration of the multifaceted relationship between culture, power, and sexuality in various settings. It will emphasize reading primary sources as much as possible, and thinking critically and boldly. Students are expected to immerse themselves in the works of these authors, and write a paper focusing on two critical issues with which one of them engaged. Selecting current socio-political events or issues as testing ground for the three theorists’ ideas is strongly encouraged. The paper will be elaborated in stages to be discussed in class until its completion.
Foucault, excerpts from a selection of Lectures at the College de France, “Security, Territory and Population,” (1977-78); Birth of Biopolitics (1978-79); “On the Government of the Living” (1979- 1980); History of Sexuality, II and II; Herculine Barbin.
Bourdieu, Outline of a Theory of Practice; Masculine Domination; Acts of Resistance; The Bachelors’ Ball; excerpts from On the State: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1989-1992.
Baudrillard, Seduction; Symbolic Exchange and Death; Simulacra and Simulation.
Prof. Anahi Viladrich - firstname.lastname@example.org
Sociology 72200: Immigration and Health
Wednesday, 4:15- 6:15pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
This course offers a comprehensive overview of the intertwining fields of immigration and global health with a particular focus on the United States. During the semester, we will discuss theoretical concepts of sociological significance to be applied to health-based case studies involving immigrants and refugees in contemporary societies. We will also critically examine the epidemiological literature on immigrants’ health risk factors by addressing the root causes of disease, health disparities and the social determinants of health. Health outcomes will be explored along the intersections of class, race/ethnicity, legal status, region and country of origin, age, and gender, among other key dimensions. The course will also analyze health policy issues and programs by studying the impact of U.S. federal and state law on immigrants’ health coverage, health interventions targeting vulnerable populations (including refugees and their children) and community organizing around work-related injuries. For their final projects, students will choose a conceptual issue of empirical significance, such as the impact of structural violence on post-traumatic stress among border crossers; social determinants of chronic disease (e.g., the obesity epidemic) among second-generation immigrant children; or cultural explanatory models of immigrants’ folk healing practices.
Course Structure: The course will primarily be conducted as a seminar. The instructor’s presentations will be followed by students’ questions and group discussion. For each class, students will read journal articles, evaluations of public health interventions and other research pieces based on sociological theory and methods that critically examine public health issues.
Assessment: Students’ understanding of the course material will be evaluated through class participation, group work, short reflection papers, and a term paper. This paper (a draft and a final version) will be based on case studies on a specific health issue involving a particular immigrant or refugee population.
Prof. John Torpey - email@example.com
Sociology 81100: Comparative Sociological Methods
Tuesday, 2:00- 4:00pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
This course explores comparative methods in sociology by analyzing patterns of difference and inequality at the global, national, and regional levels. It will seek to make sense of the historical roots of these patterns in political, economic, ethnoracial, religious, and demographic arrangements. The course will explore diverse times and places in order to understand contemporary patterns of difference and inequality in comparative and historical perspective.
Prof. John Mollenkopf-
Sociology 82800: Immigrant Communities & Politics in New York City
Mondays, 4:15- 6:15 pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
The vast flow of immigrants into New York City (and the surrounding metro area) since 1965 has reshaped the composition of its population and potential electorate, altered neighborhood dynamics, and created new ethnic political constituencies over the last several decades. Caribbean, Latin American, East and South Asian, European, and African immigrants and their native-born children are making our already cosmopolitan mix of racial and ethnic groups even more varied, posing new challenges for inter-group relations and the fair and vigorous political representation of all groups. The emerging new immigrant communities are now contending for power not just against older native-born white political elites, but also against native-born minority groups. They are redefining what it means to be a New Yorker, and, ultimately, to be American. Such a profound transformation raises many major research questions for social scientists.
This seminar uses New York City as a laboratory to analyze the political changes brought about by the new immigration. It will cover the existing theoretical and empirical literatures on racial and immigrant ethnic political incorporation and will enable you to do a “hands on” research project for the immigrant-origin constituency of your choice.
Students will use quantitative data provided by the instructor (Census data, election results), secondary sources (such as the immigrant and neighborhood press), and their own interviews to describe and analyze the civic and political engagement of an immigrant ethnic group in the process, students will study the patterns of political activism within the group (in terms of developing political goals and strategies and tactics to realize them) and how they interact with other racial/ethnic groups in their environment (with attention to patterns of conflict and/or cooperation.
The goal of this research is to understand how leadership is developing within your study group, how those leaders seek to promote group identity and activism, and how they become elected or appointed office holders as the larger civic and political culture gradually integrates them.
Class members will pursue these goals by: 1) reviewing key studies on the overall process of immigrant political incorporation in New York and other cities, 2) reading studies about political participation within the major immigrant groups, 3) analyzing Census data, election results, and voter history, and available public opinion polls regarding the political engagement and leanings of your chosen group, and 4) undertaking interviews of political elites from your group, focused on the coming 2020 and 2021 state and local elections. (We will hold a workshop for students who lack basic quantitative skills and may also substitute further qualitative work for the quantitative analysis).
Prof. Janet Gornick -
Sociology 84001: Social Policy and Socio-Economic Outcomes in Industrialized Countries
Tuesdays, 4:15- 6:15 pm, Room TBA, 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 will draw heavily on research based on data available through LIS, a data archive located in Luxembourg, with a satellite office here at the Graduate Center. (See https://www.lisdatacenter.org for details).
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 5000 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 immigration, child well-being, health status, political attitudes and voting behavior.
The course has two goals: (1) to review and synthesize 30+ years of research results based on the LIS data; and (2) to enable students with programming skills (in SAS, SPSS, Stata, or R) to carry out and complete an original piece of empirical research. (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 will require a semester-long research project. Students with programming skills (which will not be taught in the course) will be encouraged to complete an empirical analysis, reported in a term paper. Ideally, these term papers will be circulated as LIS/LWS Working Papers – and ultimately in published venues. Students without programming skills will have the option to write a synthetic research paper. A minimum requirement is the capacity to read articles that present quantitative research results.
Prof. Leslie Paik -
Sociology 85000: Foundations of Legal Thought: Theory & Practice of Justice
Tuesdays, 4:15- 6:15 pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
This course introduces students to the basic methods of legal and social science analysis/research to study law and the legal system. It focuses on specific substantive topics (e.g., access to justice and reform in the civil, criminal and juvenile justice systems). As part of the course, we will do site visits to justice institutions, policy agencies and innovative programs; we also would have speakers present their work and agencies’ missions during class. The goal of the course is to provide students with the legal knowledge and real-world encounters to support their pursuit of jobs and careers in justice reform, in government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and firms.
Prof. David Hallefirstname.lastname@example.org
Soc 82800 – Global Immigrant Cities
Mondays, 6:30 - 8:30 pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
This course asks the question of how various migrant-receiving global cities experience, respond to, and are transformed by the changing composition of their ethnic populations. Looking at several European, North American, Latin American, and Asian cities, it will explore their histories of ethnic and racial difference; the ways in which their ideologies about diversity, pluralism, and multiculturalism have evolved and changed over time; the extent to which they incorporate (or do not incorporate) their migrants; and the different economic, cultural, and political impacts that migration has had on these global immigrant cities. The main focus will be on international comparison, and students will be trained in the use of comparative perspectives to illustrate similarities and differences between cities. Global immigrant cities are crucial research sites for exploring the possibility of going “beyond” the nation-state-society focus of most mainstream American research. Also, while opening the door to a crucial dimension of globalization, the comparative study of migration opens up a fresh comparative and international perspective on the urban experience. Taking advantage of our location and extensive local knowledge, the course will use New York as the basis of comparison with other major global cities, such as Los Angeles, Paris, London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Toronto, Shanghai, and Buenos Aires.
Prof. Erica Chito Childs – email@example.com
Soc. 76900: Media and Popular Culture Analysis
Thursdays, 11:45-1:45 pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
This course will explore the myriad of theoretical approaches and methods used to analyze the content, structure, and contexts of media and popular culture in society. In particular we will explore how cultural meanings convey specific ideologies of gender, race, class, sexuality, nation, and other ideological dimensions. We will focus on three inter-related dimensions of cultural analysis including the production and political economy of culture, the reading of cultural texts (film, TV, video games, news coverage music, social media, etc.), and the audience reception of those texts (including social media responses). Students will produce an original research paper employing one of the theoretical frameworks and methodologies of cultural analysis for publication.
Prof. Van C. Tran – firstname.lastname@example.org
Soc. 82901: Urban Poverty and the City
Wednesdays, 2:00-4:00pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
The study of neighborhoods, urban poverty and the city holds a distinctive place in the birth and development of American sociology as a discipline, tracing back to the heyday of the Chicago School of Sociology. This course engages with some of the most central debates within the field. We will focus on both structural and cultural approaches to understanding urban inequality.
The course will proceed in two parts. In the first part, we will look at how sociologists have approached the study of urban communities and neighborhoods. In the second part, we will pay attention to the experiences of living in a highly disadvantaged neighborhood, the consequences of growing up in them, and the social and spatial context that shapes individuals’ life chances.
There are no prerequisites to the course. Preference for enrollment will be given to PhD students in Sociology and related disciplines from the Graduate Center or other doctoral programs within the Interuniversity Doctoral Consortium, followed by students from the IMS or QMSS programs.
Prof. Ruth Milkman – email@example.com
Soc. 84511-The Sociology of Labor and Labor Movements
Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30 pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
This course offers an overview of key debates about the U.S. labor movement, with an emphasis on historical and comparative perspectives. It is a reading course with a seminar format, devoted to intensive study and discussion of key texts on the topic. The primary focus is on the causes and consequences of the rise of union power in the mid-20th century, and of its decline in the neoliberal period that began in the 1970s. We will also examine labor market transformations and their impact on the labor movement, and the dynamics of the political-economic context in which labor struggles are situated. Requirements include short weekly papers on the assigned texts and a research paper on a topic related to the course content.
Prof. Leslie McCall – firstname.lastname@example.org
Soc. 84600 – Politics of Inequality, Opportunity, and Redistribution: Theory, Empirics, Methods, and Analysis
Wednesdays, 4:15-6:15 pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
This course will cover substantive developments, measurement issues, and analytic approaches in the political study of economic inequality across the social sciences. The main objective is to become familiar with (1) the multiple levels of analysis involved in the political study of inequality, opportunity, and redistribution, namely, the role of political institutions (i.e., parties, electoral systems, policy regimes, etc.) on the one hand, and behavioral dynamics (e.g., individual and group beliefs, policy preferences, and political participation) on the other hand, in shaping political and economic outcomes, and (2) the strengths and weaknesses of various methodological approaches to analyzing institutional and behavioral processes, such as political economy, public opinion and survey research, experimental research, ethnography, and discourse/textual analysis. Readings will be interdisciplinary and include mostly empirically-based, substantive studies employing quantitative (including experimental) and qualitative data and methods, though the balance will tilt toward quantitative studies. While we will focus substantively on trends in class inequality in the U.S., we will also examine other dimensions of inequality, such as racial/ethnic and gender inequality, as well as inequality outside of the U.S.
Prof. Paul Attewell – email@example.com
Soc. 71600: Sociological Statistics II
Mondays, 4:15-6:15 pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
This course is the second part of a two-semester sequence aimed mainly at QMSS students. It will begin by reviewing earlier lectures on ordinary least squares regression and logistic regression, including the use of margins and margins plots to interpret complex interactions from such models. It will next cover several specialized forms of regression modeling, including negative binomial regression for count data, and methods for predicting rates or fractional dependent variables.
We will then move to several more recent computationally-intensive approaches to predictive modeling (i.e., data mining) including classification and regression trees (CART), neural networks, Kernel regularized least squares (KRLS), clustering methods, partial least squares regression (PLS regression), and latent class regression.
The class will consists of a mix of lectures, demonstrations of software, and in-class computer exercises. The main software will be Stata and JMP Pro. These are installed on lab PCs and other machines at GC. The goal of the course is to familiarize students with some of the more recent quantitative methods, when they should be used, and how to interpret their output. The emphasis is on developing hands-on skills.
Prof. Hester Eisenstein- firstname.lastname@example.org
Soc. 73200 – Sociology of Gender
Tuesdays, 2-4pm, Room TBA, 3Credits
In this course we look a range of issues in the sociology of gender. To define this field briefly, the sociology of gender looks at the beliefs, interests and structures that tend to preserve the traditional relations between the sexes, and those which contest them. Among other areas, the field considers the process of socialization into masculine and feminine roles in childhood, through education, and into the public worlds of work and politics.
In recent years sociological inquiry has moved beyond the original concept of “sex roles” to look at gendered structures in institutions, the significance of gender in politics, economics, and social movements, nationally and internationally, and the complex relationships among gender, race, and class. What was seen as a “natural” and biologically based dichotomy of male/female has been questioned through the study of gender as performance, and the critical challenge to traditional femininity and masculinity from “queer” and transgendered folk.
My own research has focused on what we can term the political economy of gender, in relation to the changes within capitalism with the rise of neoliberalism over the past few decades. The topics covered in this course are a selection reflecting my interests, and should by no means be considered comprehensive. Therefore I include a list of alternative topics in this syllabus that students can pursue on their own, for their final research papers, and for future study.
The framework of this course is influenced by what I see as the political history of gender studies. The establishment of the category of sex and gender in the official canon of the profession of sociology is the outcome of a renewed wave of feminist activism that swept society, and therefore the academy. In the 1960s and 1970s, massive social movements for Black civil rights, women’s rights, ending the war in Vietnam, lesbian and gay rights, and environmentalism in the United States and internationally shook the economic and social status quo. Today we are witnessing another wave of social movements across the globe, from the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt to Occupy Wall Street, and from Turkey to Brazil.
The passion and breadth of social movements can become ossified and de-politicized, as the ideas and issues are translated into formal academic inquiry. I hope therefore in this course to convey the connections to politics and activism behind these topics, so as to keep the links between academic research and social change fresh and vibrant. Students are encouraged to pursue their own interests in the class, and to develop their own frameworks for research and activism.
Prof. Philip Kasinitz- Pkasinitz@GC.CUNY.EDU
Soc. 85800- Race and Ethnicity
Race and ethnicity are constantly changing and evolving, yet they remain among the most persistent and pernicious forms of structured social inequality. Focusing on the United States, but with reference to other multi-ethnic and multi-racial societies, we will examine the evolution of the concept of “race” and its relationship to racism; the heritage of slavery and segregation and their impacts contemporary life; the origins of modern racism and anti-Semitism, “scientific racism, ” why and how the salience of ethnic identity increases and decreases at particular historical moments, the relationship of race and ethnicity to migration, colonialism and class and the growth of the Latino and Asian American populations and what that means for American notions of race. In addition we will take an in depth look at how racial boundaries change, competition and cooperation between ethnic groups in contemporary America and how “racialized” minorities are (and are not) incorporated into different societies. Readings will include works by W.E.B. Dubois; Jean Paul Sartre, George Fredrickson; William Julius Wilson, Michele Alexander, Ibram Kendi, Richard Alba, Alejandro Portes, Douglas Massey and Mary Waters.
Prof. Barbara Katz Rothman – email@example.com
Soc. 83100 – Social Construction of Health and Illness
Wednesdays, 2:00-4:00pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
This course offers an introduction to the field classically known as medical sociology, with an emphasis on newer qualitative, critical and theoretical work.
Key themes in Medical Sociology have included the social construction of illness and its ongoing expansion into more areas of life; the medical gaze and the processes of medicalization; how the medicalized body is framed; representations of the body in medicine; cultural images, ethnographies and narratives of disease and illness; and cultural understandings of medical subjects.
When we take seriously the call to do a truly global sociology, we can see Biomedicine operating at a level and in a way in which national boundaries are but minor obstacles in organizing access – access of providers of services to their customers or to their research material, and access of customers to services. In that sense, the ‘social construction’ idea is too passive, and too limited in boundaries. Illnesses are being constructed not only ‘socially,’ in each society according to its own ideas about the body, but in the pursuit of industrial profit. While Foucault spoke of the state uses of bio power, we will also consider how biopower, as it is institutionalized in the Biomedical Empire, uses states.
Prof. Branko Milanovic – firstname.lastname@example.org
Soc. 84600 – Within-National Inequalities: From Pareto to Piketty
Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
The objective of the course is be to review, analyze, and allow students to develop a much better understanding of the theories and empirics of personal income distribution within a single policy-making unit (that is, normally 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 (increasing the supply of highly skilled workers) and technological change (increasing the demand for them). Most recently, Thomas Piketty argues that low growth combined with high returns to capital predisposes advanced economies to high levels of inequality. These theories will be considered on the real-world examples of movements of inequality in Brazil, China, “transition countries” and the United States and other advanced economies. We shall focus especially on the recent evolution of income and wealth inequality in the United States and Piketty’s analytical contributions. The class 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.
Prof. David Brotherton – email@example.com
Soc. 81500 – Deportation & Ethnographic Immigration
Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
This course is an overview of the fields of sociology and criminology that link deportation to processes of migration, social control, state formation, global political economy and social processes of inclusion and exclusion. The deportation of non-citizens has become a major issue in the United States as well as internationally. Literally millions of legal and "illegal" non-citizens have been removed from the U.S. during the past two decades in what is the largest and most enduring process of human expulsion from a Western country since the holocaust. A dramatic hardening of the U.S. immigration laws was enacted in 1996 and since then policies governing citizenship and residency have become increasingly punitive, tied to the moral crusades on drugs, terrorism, gangs and the immigrant and the economic paradigms of neo-liberalism. The erection of borders, both internal and external, symbolic and substantive, has been a key characteristic of these processes. Paradoxically, the United States has been "traditionally" viewed as a nation of immigrants, albeit a colonial settler one in which the indigenous populations were violently and systematically expelled from their ancestral lands only to be subsequently reincorporated and 'assimilated" as "minority" subpopulations. In this course we take a critical-ethnographic lens to the dynamics, practices and sociological contexts of the deportation regimes in the U.S. and beyond, focusing on both epistemological and methodological issues that are highlighted in the research literature. Students are also encouraged to experience the terrain of deportation first-hand with guidance from the instructor.
Prof. Jamie Longazel– firstname.lastname@example.org
Soc. 85700 – Migration Policy
Thursdays, 4:15-6:15pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
This class will study key issues surrounding migration policy from a critical, interdisciplinary perspective. While our primary focus will be on theoretical issues concerning contemporary policy patterns in the United States, we’ll also make it a point to consider practical issues, historical policy patterns, and international trends. We will explore the social forces that shape migration policy (e.g., race, political economy), the policy tools states use to control migrants (e.g., detention, deportation, devolution), and the ways in which migrants respond to and are affected by such policies.
Prof. Deborah Balk - email@example.com
Soc. 81900 Spatial Demography
Wednesdays, 4:15 p.m.- 6:15 p.m. 3 credits
This course provides an overview of spatial themes and techniques in demography. Examples will be drawn from many substantive areas (e.g., mortality, fertility, urbanization, migration, poverty and others in allied disciplines). Students will learn about the spatial construction of place, basic mapping skills and spatial data creation as well as statistical methods to explore and model spatially-referenced data to answer demographic (and allied) questions. In the most advanced topics, students examine the special difficulties that spatial data may create for standard regression approaches, and learn models and approaches for undertaking multivariate regression analysis in the presence of spatial heterogeneity and/or spatial dependence. Emphasis in the course is evenly split between learning how to make maps and spatial analysis. Pre-requisite: Introductory statistics including multiple linear regression, or permission of instructor.