GRADUATE COURSES IN SOCIOLOGY
Following are descriptions of courses offered in the graduate sociology program on a regular or periodic basis. Please consult with the department for information about courses offered during any given semester: (718) 817-3850.
SOCI 5401 Gender Ethnicity & Migration
This course examines gender issues within the concept of migration and settlement among immigrants and minority groups, with emphasis given to the experience of recent migrant groups. Questions explored include: how is gender related to the decision to migrate; what are the causes and consequences of female and male dominated flows of migration; what are the patterns of incorporating women into labor markets; what is the relationship of women's working and family roles? Also explored is the literature on the experiences of "minority women," including African-Americans and the relationship of "minority immigrants" and "majority women."
SOCI 5507 Immigration: Contemporary Issues
This course begins with an overview of theoretical perspectives on the experience of immigrants and the factors which facilitate or hinder their adaptation. Both historical and international experiences are examined with a critical focus on issues relating to race, gender, nationalism, and citizenship.
SOCI 5508 Transnational Migration Development
This course focuses on the burgeoning literature on transnational migration in the United States. It explores conventional theories of migration and incorporation as a base for examining the growing interest in transnational trends and processes. The contexts of transnational migration, including globalization, technological change, and regional and market integration are considered. The course explores reasons for transnationalism in the form of retention of strong ties to origin countries by immigrants, and explores the growth of transnational structures including dual citizenship.
SOCI 5520 Development & Cultural Change
The course will assess the impact of development on both local cultures as well as on the intricate system of the global economy. For this endeavor, we will particularly, although not exclusively, focus on Latin American and Caribbean scenarios. The course will also address issues of globalization, power, and cultural survival by examining case studies in the shift of domestic/household arrangements, issues of westernization and loss of cultural authenticity, the impact of capitalist and alternative economic strategies, and the role of first and third world nationalism.
SOCI 5525 National Identity & Development
The course will explore the manners in which the development discourse is interrelated with contemporary issues of nation-building and identity production. In this regard, we will look closely at Third World countries whose identities have been closely aligned to issues of national development, globalization, post-colonial politics, and national liberation movements. A large emphasis will also be placed upon the development dynamics between First and Third World nations themselves, and how this political discourse actively contributes to contemporary forms of social movement and identification in both geographical locales. Within this larger paradigm of development and nationalism, issues such as racialization, ethnic cleansing, fundamentalist movement, NGOs and the human rights agenda will also be addressed.
SOCI 5530 Global Civil Society
This course examines theory and research pertaining to the development of global civil society. We will focus on issues of culture, power, and accountability as they apply to various transnational actors, including nongovernmental organizations, social movements, religious groups, and crime networks. We will discuss the impact of these various actors on such issues as sovereignty, labor, environment, human rights, and global justice.
SOCI 5605 Sociology of Minorities
Structural and cultural integration of minorities in the United States will be considered, with emphasis on the assessment of the structural position of diverse minorities, the evaluation of changes in their position, and examination of theories of ethnic stratification. Some attention is given to the comparative analysis of ethnic stratification.
SOCI 5608 Race & Ethnicity in the Media
An introduction to the analytical study of the (re)presentation of ethnic and racial "others" in the media, including an examination of theoretical and empirical perspectives. There is a major emphasis on the media of film and television. While the focus is on U.S. minority group representations, participation, and employment, international comparisons are also developed.
SOCI 5614 Hispanic Policy Issues: Formulation and Evaluation
Critical policy issues impinging on Hispanics in major social institutions, including the criminal justice system, educational institutions, and health and social services systems, the polity, and the economy.
SOCI 5615 Urban Poverty in the United States
The problem of inner-city poverty in the United States, including discussions of the differential risk of poverty experienced by racial and ethnic groups, with special reference to persistent poverty. The course examines the validity of the term "underclass," along with the social, behavioral, and spatial dimensions of the term. Other topics covered include the factors that lead to extreme-poverty neighborhoods, and how these environments impact the life chances of residents, as well as the policy implications of these matters.
SOCI 5705 Race, Gender, and Crime
Race, ethnicity, gender, and social class in the context of criminological theories, victimization and offending rates, and criminal justice processing. The course investigates and challenges in readings, discussions, and lectures underlying assumptions about race, gender, and class that are implicit in theories of crime and criminal practices.
SOCI 5706 Sociology of Organized Crime
Organized crime occurs when a group of people engages in a continuing conspiracy to create and control illegal markets, or use illegal means to control legitimate markets. This includes such forms of criminality as trafficking in proscribed goods (drugs, arms, etc), labor racketeering, price-fixing conspiracies, organized illegal gambling, and extortion. The course will examine particular organized formations in historical and cross-cultural perspective, and consider theories of the relationship between organized crime and other political and economic institutions.
SOCI 5709 Foundations: Law/Ethics
This course is organized around seven questions about law and ethics that have intrigued citizens and scholars, illuminated by real cases and controversies. We will survey utilitarian, intuitionist, and contractarian theories of justice using John Rawl's A Theory of Justice as the main text. We will then examine the natural law jurisprudential theories of Fuller and Dworkin, and the positivist jurisprudential theory of H.L.A. Hart, and attempt to understand the relationships among the theories of justice and the theories of jurisprudence.
SOCI 5710 Theoretical Criminology
The historical development of theories of crime causation. The influence of values and interests in the acceptance of theory.
SOCI 5715 Polemics of Justice & Crime Control
Contemporary criminal justice policy debates will be examined. This course will focus on how these debates inform and are informed by broader political and ideological processes and perspectives. Emphasis also will be placed on how these processes have led to the vilification of certain groups, e.g., women who use drugs while pregnant, young black men, violent juvenile offenders, and persons with HIV.
SOCI 5720 Sociology of Imprisonment
This course introduces students to the history and current practice of imprisonment. Students will mainly discuss the situation in modern-day USA, although some comparative information will be given about other penal systems. Students will learn about a range of issues concerning imprisonment from supermax facilities, to religion and children in prison to HIV/AIDS. As part of the course, students may be able to sign up for prison visits.
SOCI 5803 Understanding Modern Islam
This course will address key background issues in the history of Islam that deal with several related current issues such as Islam and nationalism, and charismatic force, especially in potentially radical and violent social movements. (Weberian perspectives on the sociology of religion will be stressed in understanding the above.)
SOCI 5804 Anthropology of Religion
This course considers major classic and modern anthropological approaches to the origins and nature of religion as an element of human society. We will read ethnographic descriptions, but we will emphasize issues of definition and theory, including problems in cross-cultural comparison, in order to consider how the term "religion" may best be understood. Theoretical issues will include the relation of religion to other modes of human thought and action, such as science, magic, and common sense. Related issues to be explored include the competing claims that religious thought and action are rooted in human social relations, that they are rooted in emotional needs, and that they are rooted in perceptual and cognitive processes. Readings will include the work of such writers as Tylor, Durkheim, Freud, Malinowski, Evans-Pritchard, Turner, Geertz, Horton, and Saler.
SOCI 5806 Religion and Globalization
This course begins with an overview of the core theoretical debates within the sociology of religion, and then considers them in light of globalization. Issues under consideration include religion's relationship to the global expansion of a free-market economic system, the institutionalization of an international development regime, transnational migration, international institutions, human rights, war, and the global response to HIV/AIDS. The primary course objectives are to understand the implications of these processes for religion and for theory and research on such issues as secularization, religious competition, and religious conflict.
SOCI 5807 Global Discontents
This course examines the relationship between culture and globalization. In particular, we will examine the ideological underpinnings that support globalization, such as rationalism and consumerism, as well as alternative ideologies and social movements, both religious and secular, against globalization in its current forms. In addition to cultural and ideological content in its own right, considerable attention will be given to the institutional structures through which competing ideologies proliferate. Among the more obvious are information and communications technologies such as television and internet. But also, we will examine less obvious “culture carries” such as religious and development organizations and international institutions.
SOCI 6025 Work & Family
This course will examine the causes and consequences of the conflict between work and family obligations. Our discussion of the causes will include topics such as family structure, the gender-based division of labor within families, and the nature of jobs, as well as the broader social context, including globalization and other changes in the economy. The consequences of work-family conflict to be discussed include effects on individual workers, their families, and their workplaces. Individual effects include physical and psychological well-being. Family effects include relationship quality and child development and well-being. Workplace outcomes include issues related to productivity, recruitment, and retention. Finally, we discuss policies that might ameliorate work-family conflict, considering their benefits and drawbacks. This discussion, as with the rest of the course, will consider the perspective not only of the individuals and families but also workplaces and human resources/management concerns. We also consider the overall societal implications of increasing work-family mismatch.
SOCI 6100 Classical Social Thought
This course examines the classical theorists, including Durkheim, Weber, Marx, and Simmel in relation to their historical period and relevance for contemporary scholarship.
SOCI 6101 Contemporary Social Theories
Recent perspectives on the theoretical approaches of the social sciences in the US and Western Europe, including Marxism, behaviorism, phenomenology, and structuralism.
SOCI 6102 Social Theory Today
This course brings contemporary theory alive through past and present examples. The traditions of Marx, Weber, and Durkheim are linked with interactionism, the Frankfurt School, cultural studies including structuralism and post-structuralism, and feminist theory. Readings include Foucault, Fromm, Goffman, Bourdieu, and Butler. The paper assignment encourages students to apply these theories to illuminate contemporary social issues and problems.
SOCI 6116 Theories of Culture and Knowledge
An introduction to the expanding field of the sociology of knowledge and culture, including a discussion of the reasons for the resurgence of culture into the forefront of our understanding. Also considered are the "problems" of culture in our society and internationally: "culture wars," globalization, multiculturalism, racial conflicts, and identity politics, among other matters, as well as the importance of religion and nationalism in both national and international politics and social movements.
SOCI 6119 Sociology of the Arts
The study of culture generally, and art worlds more specifically, allows us to understand art and culture not only as aesthetic experiences, but also as institutional, economic, social and political phenomena. Incorporating methods and insights from sociology and anthropology, and drawing on the resource of the immediate context of New York City's cultural communities and institutions, this course will introduce graduate students to issues in and methods for cultural analysis. The analysis of art worlds will be understood as necessarily inclusive of: (1) a consideration of the intentions of creative agents or producers; (2) the distribution of these objects or experiences within particular systems; and (3) the reception and interpretation of these objects by and within particular social groups or communities. The classical categories of production, reproduction, distribution, and consumption/reception will be complicated by an ongoing consideration of the reconfiguration of public and private spheres in a post-industrial context. This course would be of interest to graduate students of culture in sociology and anthropology, as well as to graduate students in art history, cultural studies, and American studies.
SOCI 6102 Sociology and the Self
This course is designed to provide an interdisciplinary understanding of a topic of interest to sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, and political theorists: the relationships between individuals and the social environments in which they live. The study of the reciprocal interactions between self and society help explain: (1) the impact of one individual on another individual, (2) the impact of a group on its individual members, (3) the impact of individual members on their group, and (4) the impact of groups on one another. An understanding of the processes that link the priorities of individuals with those of the social systems into which they are socialized helps explain varied social phenomenon including social problems, social norms and values, moral and political change, identity politics, organizational practices, and interpersonal and cross-cultural conflict.
SOCI 6200 Research Design I
Training in the method of stating a question for research, setting up the research design, organizing and interpreting evidence, and deriving hypotheses and conclusions. The course includes a review of classical research studies undertaken in this area with particular attention to issues of operationalization of key concepts.
SOCI 6201 Research Design II
Practical research issues and methods in the social sciences, emphasizing quantitative analysis using computers. Issues addressed include causation and model building, sampling data management, descriptive and inferential analysis of secondary data.
SOCI 6209 Fieldwork in Religious and Ethnic Communities
The techniques of field research including participant observation, knowledge of group processes, interviewing, the writing and use of field notes and other techniques of recording data. Ethical issues (informed consent, Institutional Review Boards) are also examined. Special emphasis on ethnographic studies of religious groups and movements.
SOCI 6215 Justice Policy & Evaluation
This course examines the role of research in criminal justice administration and is offered in conjunction with a research internship in a criminal justice agency. Students already involved in criminal justice careers have the option of utilizing the course content to analyze their own work. The course begins with a consideration of the logic and methodological issues involved in tailoring research to different administrative and policy objectives. Case studies illustrate how research is used to address policy issues, to assist in planning criminal justice operations and programs, and to evaluate the implementations and effectiveness of criminal justice programs.
SOCI 6300 Graduate Statistics I
An introduction to statistics, including descriptive stats for one variable, descriptive bivariate measures of association, the logic of hypothesis testing, and significance tests related to the above descriptive statistics for both one and two variables. The course introduces the computer, emphasizing the use of SPSS to analyze real data focusing on software procedures relevant to the course material.
SOCI 6301 Graduate Statistics II
Multiple regression/correlation (MRC) as a general data analytic system incorporating features of analysis of covariance and analysis of variance as well as exposure to path analysis. Substantive articles from major sociological journals illustrating the diversity of uses of MRC are covered. Coursework includes a research paper using SPSS.
SOCI 6401 Sociology of Religion
The central theoretical perspectives in the sociology of religion (Weber, Durkheim, Marx, Freud, Parsons, Bellah, Berger) as applied to contemporary analysis of American religion. This mixture of theory and contemporary analysis makes the course a useful overview for students from a variety of academic disciplines.
SOCI 6404 Contemporary Issues in Sociology of Religion
The issues that make religion most problematic in contemporary society, including abortion, feminism, economic injustice, and social conflict, all of which have dimensions that inevitably involve religious consciousness and institutional life. Sociological perspectives and a wealth of empirical data give these topics the context and depth they deserve.
SOCI 6408 Religious & Social Movements
This course covers intersecting sociological literatures on religion and social movements. Substantive topics under consideration include: religious movement influence on secular politics, new religious movements, social movements with religious institutions and traditions, fundamentalism, and religions as frameworks for pacifism, violence, and non-violent direct action.
SOCI 6480 Current State of American Catholicism
After a succinct review of core social science approaches to religion, we examine, always from an empirical base, the contemporary state of (mostly) North American Catholicism. Topics will include internal matters (rates of participation, morale, attitudes toward teaching/authority, clergy studies, etc.) and external (culture war issues, voting patterns, challenges to and from American culture, etc.). We can think of the course as a sociological profile of American Catholicism. No prerequisites, save an interest in the future of Catholicism.
SOCI 6500 Population
Determinants and consequences of changes in the basic demographic variables of fertility, mortality, and migration. Composition and distribution of population throughout the world with emphasis on the relationships among population, development, and other social, economic, and political forces.
SOCI 6504 International Population Dynamics
This course is an examination of cross-national levels and trends in fertility and mortality. A main concern is understanding the determinants—social, economic, and biological—and demographic, social, and economic consequences. Prospects for future changes in mortality and fertility are discussed.
SOCI 6506 Population Processes and Development Issues
The relationships among population processes and the major sectors of development, including economic and socio-cultural development, politics, and government, natural resource management, rural development, the status of women, health and nutrition, and development planning and policies in the developing countries.
SOCI 6507 Topics in Immigration Research
The course seeks to familiarize students with major issues and controversies in immigration research, with the goal of encouraging students to undertake research in the field. The readings reflect the inter-disciplinary and pluralistic nature of immigration research.
SOCI 6509 Postcolonial Developments
This course will explore the nature of the development enterprise both in historical and contemporary terms. As a postcolonial enterprise, development discourses have allowed for "old new" ways of interactions between the global north and south to be carried out, replacing the colonial ventures in myriad ways. To this degree, the course will explore how issues of race, gender, nationalism, and popular culture are intertwined in the development discourse, and ultimately affect the manner in which people, communities, and nations identify themselves. The ultimate objective will be for students to reflect upon a case study that expresses the conflicting interest of development and the integral manner in which the enterprise defines our current postmodern understanding of the world.
SOCI 6518 Urban Community Development
Community development in the American urban setting. Special emphasis on theories underlying urban community development and their consequences for program planning.
SOCI 6519 Comparative Urbanization
Analysis of demographic and sociological factors associated with urbanization and their relation to development. Emphasis on “Third World” areas.
SOCI 6552 Demography: Family/Households
This seminar focuses on trends in family and household structures, including changes in marriage, divorce, cohabitation, and non-marital fertility. Students will examine the causes of variation in family and household structure, such as race, immigration status, and social class, as well as causes of historical trends, such as changes in gender roles and women’s labor force participation. The course also examines the impact of family and household composition on social demographic outcomes, including fertility and economic well-being. A number of current, policy-relevant topics will be covered, including welfare, work-family balance, and the role of fathers.
SOCI 6553 Demography & Human Rights
The course examines human rights and ethical issues as they arise in the field of population studies. Within this broad area, emphasis will be given to population policies and programs related to abortion, eugenics, euthanasia, fertility regulation, and immigration; the use of population data systems to target individuals and vulnerable population subgroups for human rights abuses; the impact of national laws or policies prohibiting data collection and analysis related to specific topics or population subgroups; and the role of demographic analysis in documenting and studying genocide, discriminatory educational programs, or inequities in the criminal justice system. Many of these issues involve complex interactions among causes and impacts. The goal of the course is not to resolve the various issues examined, but to help us all think with greater clarity about these and related issues.
SOCI 6600 Sociology of Minorities
Structural and cultural assimilation of minorities in the United States. Emphasis is on the assessment of the structural position of diverse minorities and the evaluation of changes in position and theories of ethnic stratification; some attention is given to the comparative analysis of ethnic stratification.
SOCI 6603 Race: A Social Construct
This course concerns the evolution of racial typologies and classification system in the U.S. We will draw on a variety of texts from natural and social sciences, law, and literature to examine how “scientific” typologies of race are actually more reflective of power dynamics and social hierarchies than biological or genetic differences. Our goal is to understand the continuing significance of race in terms of social and economic power, as well as individual self-conceptualizations and identity politics.
SOCI 6618 Urban Sociology
This course surveys the field of urban sociology and current urban social problems. We begin with a review of the field as an intellectual tradition, from its roots in classical theory, the "Chicago School" and community ethnography to more contemporary concepts and approaches to urban and spatial analysis. Substantive topics include urban economic development, national and local politics and policy, and cultural processes of group formation, collective identity, and mobilization. Focus will be on the United States but in the context of an increasingly global system.
SOCI 6619 Class, Race & Gender
In this course, students identify and employ class, race, and gender as categories and descriptions for understanding group conflict in the U.S. today and the economic, political, and cultural features of these conflicts. How do these factors, independently and together, shape our ideas and images of America? How are they played in our most potent and visible conflicts of community, family, and nation?
SOCI 6625 Sociology of Gender
This course will provide students with a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the theoretical and empirical developments in the field of gender. The course will explore how gender is built into the structures, institutions, and ideologies of social life, and the interaction between gender and other axes of inequality, including race, class, and sexual orientation. The course will examine the experiences of men and women as well as those who do not fit into these gender categories.
SOCI 6701 Immigration & Crime
This course examines the involvement of immigrants in the criminal justice system as victims arrestees, defendants, and prisoners. The course examines the relationship between these types of involvement and the processes of immigration and assimilation. These considerations are then used to consider the appropriateness of alternative migration and crime control policies.
SOCI 6702 Punishment & Inequality
This course is an inquiry into punishment as a social institution, with a focus on formal mechanism of punishment, especially imprisonment and forms of community supervision. The first half of the course begins with an elaboration of the major theoretical approaches to punitiveness and penalty (e.g., Jeremy Bentham, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Norbert Elias, Michel Foucault) and follows with consideration of punishment from more recent criminological perspectives. These provide the framework for a dfiscussion of the expansion of prison, probation and parole as a mechanism of social control in modern society. We examine recent trends in the use of punishment and its reemergence, and are especially concerned with its relationship to the underlying components of various social divisions and inequalities: race, class, gender, and age, among others.
SOCI 6705 Race, Gender, & the Criminal Justice System
This course examines race, ethnicity, gender, and the intersections thereof in the context of criminal justice processing. Underlying assumptions about race, gender, and class that are implicit in theories of crime and criminal practices will be unearthed, and challenged in readings, discussions, and lecture.
SOCI 6707 Race, Gender, and Criminal Justice
This course examines race, ethnicity, gender and the intersections thereof in the context of criminal justice processing. Underlying assumptions about race, gender, and class that are implicit in theories of crime and criminal practices will be unearthed, and challenged in readings, discussions, and lecture.
SOCI 6717 Crime and Punishment
This course is an introduction to theories and practices of punishment. Contemporary and historical debates about crime, deviance, social control, and punishment will be addressed. The relationship of systems of punishment to race/ethnicity, socioeconomic class, and gender will be central to the course, as will the limitations of "justice" in any institutionalized system of punishment.
SOCI 6763 Theories of Crime and Criminality