Introduction to Sociology
Description. This course is designed to provide a systematic introduction to sociology in a six-week-long summer schedule. The course begins with introductory lectures on the promise(s) of sociology; an overview of classical and contemporary theories; and major methods in sociological research. The introduction is followed by an overview of three major sociological tools employed to understand social inequalities: class, race/ethnicity, and gender. After delineating each concept, the course moves into a discussion of the intersections of those.
Description. This course is designed to provide a systematic introduction to classical sociological theory. The course begins with introductory lectures on modernity, with a focus on Rousseau and Kant, and lays the ground for an exploration of classical sociological theory and of the emergence of society as an object of social scientific investigation. The course then moves into a detailed exploration of the basic concepts, methods, and arguments in the social theories of Marx, Durkheim, and Weber. This part is followed by lectures on the theories of Georg Simmel, George Herbert Mead, W.E.B. Du Bois, and the Frankfurt School thinkers. The course ends with a lecture on the critique of classical sociological theory, focusing on black feminist epistemology.
Description. This course is designed to provide a systematic introduction to sociological studies of economic phenomena. The course begins with introductory lectures on the gaze of economics and introductions to the sociological critique of that gaze. It then moves into a survey of major theories in economic sociology, from structural to institutional, cultural to relational, and performativity approaches. The theoretical part is followed by (1) empirical studies on markets for sushi; cotton; finance; (2) selected topics in economic sociology such as money; price and pricing; value and valuation; and morality; (3) and economic sociology of peculiar goods such as cadavers; arts; looks; eggs and surrogates; sex work and intimacy. The last part of the class will focus on a selection of topics in late modern capitalism such as digital platforms and inequalities on the basis of class, race, and gender.
Social Problems and Change
Description. This course is designed to provide a systematic introduction to social problems and change with a focus on power and inequality in modern societies. The course begins with introductory lectures on equality as a concept, as an idea, and as an ideal in the historical context of capitalism and modernity. It moves into structures of inequality with a survey of the theories of class, race, ethnicity, and gender. It then goes into an extensive discussion of the concept of power by visiting some of the major theoretical accounts of power and stresses the question of change with reference to those theories. Though it is theory-focused, the course also offers empirical applications through movies, videos, and analyses of empirical cases to help students decode the theories covered in class.