Fall 2019

Emory Sociology provides an extensive curriculum for our graduate students. Below are the topical courses and individualized programs offered in Fall 2019

Use the sidebar options to see our graduate course offerings in other semesters.

Research Methods/Models: Statistics (SOC 500) - Timothy J. Dowd

Thursday 3:00pm-6:00 pm


This course is an introduction to descriptive and inferential statistics for bivariate and multivariate analyses. The coursewill 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 in your future career. It is also a valuable set of skills for virtually everyone in modern society, as statistical knowledge (and numerical literacy more broadly) is key for making sense of the growing amounts of information that we encounter in a digital world.

Grading: Computer-based assignments and work on collaborative projects

Main Texts: 

  • Whitney Battle-Baptiste and Britt Rusert, Editors. 2018. W.E.B. Du Bois’s Data Portraits: Visualizing Black America. NY: Princeton Architectural Press.
  • Kieran Healy. 2019. Data Visualization: A Practical Introduction. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Gareth James, Daniela Witten, Trevor Hastie, and Robert Tibshirani. 2017. An Introduction to Statistical Learning with Applications in R. Eighth printing. New York: Springer.
  • Matthew J. Salganik. 2019. Bit by Bit: Social Research in the Digital Age. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Wendy Zeitlin and Charles Auerbach. 2019. Basic Statistics for the Behavioral and Social Scientists Using R. New York: Oxford University Press.

Research Methods & Models: Design (SOC 501) - Irene Browne

Tuesday/Thursday 8:30am-9:45am

Tarbutton Hall 206


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:

  1.  ISBN: 9780534528614 Analyzing Social Settings, Lofland, Lofland and Snow. 4th Edition. (Wadsworth)
  2.  ISBN: 9780226891286 The Total Survey Error Approach, Herbert Weisberg. (University of Chicago)

Religion & Public Health (SOC 534) - Ellen Idler

Wednesday 9:00am-12:00pm

Tarbutton Hall 206


This course will provide masters and doctoral level students with an interdisciplinary survey of research and writing on the public health implications of religious practices, beliefs, and institutions.  The course will emphasize evidence from quantitative social science and epidemiology and the role of religion in the historical development of public health institutions to identify religion’s role as a social determinant of health.

Required Text:

  1. ISBN: 9780199362219: Religion as a Social Determinant of Public Health, Ellen Idler, Editor. 2014. (New York: Oxford University Press)  

Sociology of the Arts (SOC 561) - Timothy J. Dowd

Fridays 1:00pm-4:00pm

Tarbutton Hall 206


Sociological consideration of the arts has a long history. It extends back to the works of such classical writers as Max Weber and W.E.B. Du Bois and has burgeoned in recent times with the contributions of such scholars as Pierre Bourdieu, Wendy Griswold, and Damon Phillips. In studying realms of creativity, such scholars have connected those realms to key concerns in sociological theory – such as commodification, inequality, legitimation, and racialized hierarchies – while also drawing recently upon a host of cutting edge methodologies related to multiple correspondence analysis, social network analysis, topic modeling, and so forth. Put another way, this graduate seminar on a specialized topic also ties directly to the core of sociology.   

In this advanced seminar, we seek a purchase on this sociological work by discussing these classic works in class and by reading contemporary works addressing themes that currently enliven the sociology of the arts. As a result, we will explore such topics as artistic careers, fields of artistic production, aesthetic boundaries, the audiences for artistic works, and the import and impact of critics. Besides providing students with grounding in the sociology of the arts, this advanced seminar will also prepare them for doing their own research in this area of scholarship, as well as in sociology more broadly. In particular, we will give special attention to methods and designs employed in current research, and each student will also embark upon their own empirical project. Thus, by the end of the semester, all will have a grasp of the field and an understanding of how to conduct research in the sociology of the arts. 


All readings will be available on the class Canvas site

Final grades will be based upon class participation and a final paper

Intersectionality (SOC 585) - Irene Browne

Thursday 11:00am-2:00pm

Tarbutton Hall 206


This course is an overview of the sociological approaches to the topic of “intersectionality.” We explore the differences and debates in the sociological literature, as scholars address key questions regarding intersectionality perspectives, including, “What is intersectionality?” “How should we define key dimensions of intersectionality -- race, gender, class and sexuality?” “How do institutions and interactions influence the construction of intersectional systems and identities?” “How do intersecting social systems and identities influence social institutions, social interactions, and individual experiences?” We will discuss the challenges that intersectionality theories pose for research methods, and interrogate the range of empirical approaches to meet those challenges. We will also look at how sociologists apply specific theories and methods to understand intersectionality within specific social institutions and arenas, including schools, families and relationships, work and organizations, immigration and social movements. 


Ethnoraciality and Ethnoracisms (SOC 585) - Abigail Sewell

Monday/Wednesday 2:30pm-3:45pm

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. In this course, we do away with a singular notion of race, ethnicity, and racism and embrace the colonialist, imperialist function of the terminologies in both the U.S. and abroad. This course highlights key theoretical, methodological, and empirical readings in the sociology of race, ethnicity, and nation. We enter as equal partners into important, ongoing debates surrounding the relationship of race, ethnicity, and nation to each other and to society. We will discuss the biological myth, the social reality, and the structural construction of race and ethnicity. In particular, we will focus on the social significance of race by examining the reality of ethnoracial stratification, the reality of the experience of race, and the rationality of those who study ethnoracial dynamics and processes. During this course you will learn the origins of the concept race, explore the historical science and statistics used to justify racial thinking, clearly distinguish among dominant sociological theories of race and ethnicity, and review several empirical works on race in Sociology. As an end product, you will produce a term paper that engages an important debate within the field of race, ethnicity, and nation through critical review and/or analytical inference.

Assigned readers/textbooks (also available at the Library)

  1. ISBN: 9780415412544 Beck, Les and John Solomos (2001). Theories of Race and Racism: A Reader. New York: Reader.
  2. ISBN: 9780190663780 Golash-Boza, Tanya. 2017. Race and Racisms: A Critical Approach. New York: Oxford University Press. Second Edition.
  3. ISBN: 9781516512423 Ray, Rashawn. 2010. Race and Ethnic Relations in the 21st Century: History, Theory, Institutions, and Policy. San Diego, CA: University Readers.

Assigned Books (also available at the Library)

  1. ISBN: 9781442276239 Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo (2010) Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield. Third Edition.
  2. ISBN: 9780199383702 Du Bois, W.E.B. (1899 [1996]) The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.
  3. ISBN: 9781138645226 Elias, Sean and Joe R. Feagin. (2016) Racial Theories in the Social Science: A Systemic Racism Critique. New York: Routledge.
  4. ISBN: 9780813528472 Graves, Jr., Joseph L. 2001. The Emperor’s New Clothes: Biological Theories of Race at the Millennium. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
  5. ISBN: 9780801484636 Mills, Charles W. The Racial Contract. Cornell University Press, 2014.
  6. ISBN: 9780415913751 Oliver, Melvin and Thomas Shapiro (1995) Black Wealth, White Wealth: A New Perspective on Racial Inequality. New York: Routledge.
  7. ISBN: 9780415520317 Omi, Michael and Howard Winant (1994) Racial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1990s. 2nd Edition. New York: Routledge.
  8. ISBN: 9780226901411 Wilson, William J. (1978) The Declining Significance of Race: Blacks and Changing American Institutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  9. ISBN: 9780816639090 Zuberi, Tukufu (2001) Thicker than Blood: How Racial Statistics Lie. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Big/Small Data & Visualization (SOC 585) - Roberto Franzosi

Tuesday/Thursday 4:00pm-5:15pm

Tarbutton Hall 206


The course deals with new tools of data analysis and visualization, especially for text data (Natural Language Processing, NLP). It is a very demanding 4-credits course, fulfilling the writing requirement since it requires extensive weekly writing.

The course relies on the Stanford parser CoreNLP as the main NLP engine, but a number of other NLP tools will also be used: topic modeling with Mallet and Stanford Topic Modeling Toolbox, Word2Vec, vectors representations of words, shown to capture many linguistic regularities of a corpus, N-grams and word co-occurrences viewers, sentiment analysis. Through these tools, the course will show how to analyze small/large corpora of text. While we have a series of tools (in Java and Python) that can be run from command line, students would greatly benefit to use the freeware software PC-ACE. The software runs under Windows only. Mac users will have to install Windows and MS ACCESS (both free for Emory students) on their machines via Virtualbox (free for Emory students).

The course will also show how to use different tools of data visualization, especially network graphs dealing with relationships between objects (social actors, concepts, or just words), both static and dynamic (changing with time), and spatial maps dealing with objects in space (and time, dynamic maps) through Geographic Information System (GIS) tools. We will focus on freeware software, from Gephi to Cytoscape, Palladio, Google Earth Pro, QGIS, Carto, TimeMapper.

Students are required to come to the class with a corpus of textual data (e,g,, newspaper articles, books, blogs, websites) that they wish to analyze.

Punishment, Politics and Culture in U.S. History (SOC 585) - Daniel LaChance

Tuesday 4:15pm-7:15pm

230-C Cox Hall


“Other than war,” legal studies scholar Austin Sarat reminds us, “punishment is the most dramatic manifestation of state power. Whom a society punishes and how it punishes are key political questions as well as indicators of its character and the character of the people in whose name it acts.” This interdisciplinary graduate seminar will assess the role that technologies of power and poetics have played in shaping the political and cultural life of punishment in the United States, with a particular focus on the past forty years. We will begin by surveying the broader theoretical debates about the place of punishment in society, examining, in particular, tensions between the theories of Michel Foucault and Emile Durkheim. We will then move into historical and literary representations of punishment since the 1930s, asking how they support, qualify, and contest the claims of sociological theories of punishment. Equal attention will be given to work from sociological, historical, and cultural-critical perspectives.


Potential readings may include David Garland, The Culture of Control; Michelle Brown, The Culture of Punishment, Philip Smith, Punishment and Culture, Loic Wacquant, Punishing the Poor, David Oshinsky, Worse Than Slavery, Marie Gottschalk, The Prison and the Gallows, Robert Perkinson, Texas Tough, Naomi Murakawa, The First Civil Right, Michael Fortner, Black Silent Majority, Michael Hames-Garcia, Fugitive Thought, and Russell Banks, Lost Memory of Skin.

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. Ellen Idler, our Director of Graduate Studies), about enrollment.

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

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

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

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.