Fall 2016

Emory Sociology provides an extensive curriculum for our graduate students. You will find below the topical courses and individualized programs offered in Fall 2016. Click on each one to see additional information, such as the course description.

You can also click on the links in the sidebar to see our course offerings in other semesters.

Research Method/Models: Statistics (SOC 500) - Jeff Mullis

Tuesday 1:00-4:00 pm


Course Description:

This course is an introduction to descriptive and inferential statistics for bivariate and multivariate analyses.  The course will help you understand statistics reported in social science publications and in the news media as well as help you conduct original research.  The overall goal is to increase your statistical literacy – your ability to create, interpret, and critically evaluate statistical evidence.  This is a set of skills that you will find highly useful in your current academic life and future careers.  It is also a valuable set of skills for virtually everyone in modern society.  As the pioneering health care reformer Florence Nightingale put it over 100 years ago, statistics "is the most important science in the whole world: for upon it depends the practical application of every other science and of every art; the one science essential to all political and social administration, all education, all organization based upon experience, for it only gives the results of our experience."

Required Text:

ISBN: 9780130272959: Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences, 4th edition (2009).  Alan Agresti and Barbra Finlay. Prentice Hall.


Take-home computer assignments; in-class exams; comprehensive take-home final

Research Methods/Models: Design (SOC 501) - Irene Brownec

Monday/Wednesday 10:00-11:30 am

Tarbutton Hall 206

Course Description:

The aim of this course is to teach the fundamentals of research design and the techniques of data collection used in sociological research. By the end of the course, students should be able to:1) design and execute their own research projects and 2} understand, analyze and critique empirical studies in the sociological literature.

With attention to the debates over social science methodologies, the course takes a practical, "hands-on" approach to research methods. As a class, we will construct a study to assess the TATTO program for the Laney Graduate School. Through in-class exercises and assignments, we will collect and analyze the data and produce a report for the Laney Graduate School. Students in the course will also be required to design and implement their own study. Regular assignments throughout the semester will assist you in following the steps of the research process for your own research so that you can produce an empirical paper at the end of the semester. You will also be required to become certified in human subject’s research at Emory by taking the on-line CITI course.

Required Texts:

ISBN: 9780534528614 Lofland,Lofland and Snow. Analyzing Social Settings, 4th Edition. 

ISBN: 9780226891286 Herbert Weisberg. The Total Survey Error Approach

Sociology of Health & Illness (SOC 531) - Ellen Idler

Tuesday 9:00-12:00 pm

Tarbutton Hall 206

Course Description:

This course will provide graduate students with a survey of research on the social origins of the health and illness of individuals and populations.  Students will be introduced to the process of formulating important social research questions in health and illness, including attention to major theoretical perspectives, measurement of concepts, the merits of various study designs, and both qualitative and quantitative approaches to data collection and analysis.  The sociology of health and illness is a large and historically important subdiscipline within the field, distinctively sociological, but with important links to public health, social epidemiology, and health psychology.  

Regular class sessions will include: an introductory lecture on background concepts, theory, or methods; discussion of assigned chapters or articles that have been read by the class and are critiqued by individual students; a “Minute for Books” with a focus on nonfiction accounts of illness; and a “Minute for Media”, with a focus on recent health news.  The final two weeks of the semester will be devoted to the presentation of student projects.

Controlling Crime (SOC 555) - Robert Agnew

Thursday 1:00-4:00 pm

Tarbutton Hall 206

Course Description:

This course is in three parts.  The first provides an overview of the nature, extent, and causes of crime.  With this as background, the remaining two parts focus on controlling crime.  A central theme of the course is that efforts to control crime are effective to the extent that they address the causes of crime.  The second part begins by examining how researchers determine whether programs and policies are effective in controlling crime (evaluation research).   We then briefly review the efforts of the police, courts, and correctional agencies to control crime.  This review examines how these agencies operate, their effectiveness, and how they might increase their effectiveness.  Special attention is devoted to several promising crime control strategies, including community policing, police crackdowns focused on “hot spots,” and restorative justice.  Special attention is also devoted to the extent to which these agencies discriminate and the police use of deadly force.  The third section focuses on the four major strategies for controlling crime: the “get tough” strategies of deterrence and incapacitation, which have dominated crime control efforts in recent decades; and the strategies of rehabilitation and prevention, which have attracted increased attention over the last few years.  We examine how these strategies have been implemented, their effectiveness, and what might be done to make them more effective. 


There will be a midterm exam, a final paper, and a series of short assignments, including brief classroom presentations.  

Required Texts: 

ISBN: 9780199388462: Juvenile Delinquency: Causes and Control by Robert Agnew and Timothy Brezina (2015, Oxford University Press);

ISBN: 9781412981804: Correctional Theory, by Francis Cullen and Cheryl Johnson (2012, Sage)

A set of reserve readings

Sociology of Mass Media (SOC 562) - Timothy J. Dowd

Wednesday 5:30-8:30 pm

Tarbutton Hall 206

Course Description:

The course (1) provides students with grounding in media sociology and (2) prepares students for doing their own media research. To facilitate the first objective, we survey the media literature that spans a number of disciplines, which includes (but is not limited to) sociology, communications, and history. In pursuing this survey, we touch upon the following themes: (a) We examine how various media industries (e.g., radio, TV, record, motion picture, print) are organized and how such organization is sometimes transformed by regulation, competition, and/or technology. (b) We focus on media content and investigate factors that promote stability, change, and diversity. (c) We address the consumers of mass media products and inspect how they utilize and are affected by media content. To facilitate the second objective (i.e., doing research), we give special attention to methods and designs employed in current research, and we heed how theoretical ideas are translated into empirical projects. Thus, by the end of the semester, each student will have a grasp of the field and an understanding of how to do media sociology. 

Required Texts:

All readings will be posted as PDFs in the Online Course Resersve system

Theories of Race and Racism (SOC 759R) - Abigail Sewell

Monday 1:00-4:00 pm

Tarbutton Hall 206


For years we have understood that race is, biologically speaking, an exceedingly complex matter and that preconceived biases much more than biology govern the way people think about race. More recently, social scientists have called for a closer examination of how the sociopolitical construct of racism both creates and perpetuates race schemas and racial thinking. In this course, we will discuss both the biological myth and sociopolitical reality of race. Specifically, this course provides an overview of the prominent theories and theorists of race, ethnicity, and racism, and is concerned with: 1) Understanding how the early science of race was used to justify racial classification and racial thinking; 2) Understanding the theories regarding the nature and persistence of race and ethnicity as meaningful social groupings in society; 3) Explaining the social significance of these group identities and 4) Examining how these group identities are informed by the sociopolitical construct of racism. 

Required Texts:

ISBN: 978-0415412544  Beck, Les and John Solomos (2001). Theories of Race and Racism: A Reader. New York: Reader. 

ISBN: 978-1138645226 Elias, Sean and Joe R. Feagin. (2016) Racial Theories in the Social Science: A Systemic Racism Critique. New York: Routledge. 

ISBN: 9781588263339 Blau, Judith (2003) Race in the Schools: Perpetuating White Dominance? Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

ISBN: 9781442202184 Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo (2003) Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

ISBN: 9781588260321 Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo (2001) White Supremancy and Racism in the Post-Civil Rights Era. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

ISBN: 9780199383702 Du Bois, W.E.B. (1899 [1996]) The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.

ISBN: 9780226253527 Emirbayer, Mustafa and Matthew Desmond (2015) The Racial Order. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

ISBN: 9780813533025 Graves, Jr., Joseph L. (2001) The Emperor's New Clothes: Biological Theories of Race at the Millennium. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

ISBN: 9780520043626 Lieberson, Stanley (1980) A Piece of the Pie: Blacks and White Immigrants, 1980-1930. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

ISBN: 9780415913751 Oliver, Melvin and Thomas Shapiro (1995) Black Wealth, White Wealth: A New Perspective on Racial Inequality. New York: Routledge.

ISBN: 9780415908641 Omi, Michael and Howard Winant (1994) Racial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1990s. 2nd Edition. New York: Routledge.

ISBN: 9780520239517 Royster, Deirdre A. (2003) Race and the Invisible Hand: How White Networks Exclude Black Men from Blue-Collar Jobs. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

ISBN: 9780226901411 Wilson, William J. (1978) The Declining Significance of Race: Blacks and Changing American Institutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

ISBN: 9781588263377 Yancey, George (2003) Who is White? Latinos, Asians, and the New Black/NonBlack Divide. London: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Teaching Sociology (SOC 767) - Karen Hegtvedt

Tuesday 1:00-4:00 pm

Tarbutton Hall 206

Course Description:

The seminar is designed to help prepare you for your first teaching assignment and to enhance your effectiveness as a teacher. These goals will be achieved through: a) reading the literature on teaching and learning; b) discussion of issues during seminar sessions;c) familiarization with technological tools that aid teaching; d) practice in lecture, discussion, and other classroom techniques; e) guest lecturing; and f) the preparation of your own course materials (e.g., syllabus, textbook selection, sample exam questions, sample lectures and discussions).

Directed Study (SOC 597R or SOC 797R)

These offer credit for individualized work with a given faculty member.

Please consult with your advisor and / or Dr. Robert Agnew, our Director of Graduate Studies), about enrollment.

MA Research (SOC 599R) or PhD Research (SOC 799R)

These offer credit for ongoing research overseen by a given faculty member.

Please consult with your advisor and / or Dr. Robert Agnew, our Director of Graduate Studies), about enrollment.

Teaching Assistantships (TATT 605SOC & TATT 610SOC)

These offer credit for participation in assistantships (TATT 605C) and for teaching one's own class (TATT 610SOC).

Read more about these credits here.