Spring 2020

Emory Sociology provides an extensive curriculum for our graduate students. Below are the topical courses and individualized programs offered in Spring 2020

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

Applied Regression (SOC 506) - Timothy J. Dowd

Friday 1:00-4:00 pm

Tarbutton Hall 206

Course Description:

This course covers the topic of regression analysis in sociology. This includes the basics of diagnostics, errors, and dealing with collinearity. After covering ordinary least squares, the class moves into nonlinear dependent variables, including regression models for categorical dependent variables like logistic regression and poisson regression. The course focuses on the interpretation of results, with particular emphasis on visualization to aid understanding of complex statistical models and nonlinear relationships.

Perspectives on Mental Health (SOC 532) - Corey Keyes

Monday 1:00-4:00 pm

Tarbutton Hall 206

Course Description:

This course entertains two broad questions within which numerous models, theories, and empirical studies are employed. First, what is the nature and burden of mental illnesses and the benefits of mental health? Second, what are the causes of mental illnesses and mental health? This course employs a bio–psycho–social causal model of health. It therefore examines mental health and illness in terms of their proximal (biological), medial (psychological), and the distal (sociological) causes. This course is intended to train students to be theoretically–driven, interdisciplinary scholars of ‘public’ mental health.

Race/Ethnicity/Politics in US (SOC 585) - Andra Gillespie

Tuesday 1:00-4:00 pm

Tarbutton Hall 206

Course Description:

This course is a survey of American politics as viewed through the lens of race and ethnicity. Given student interest, this course will focus mostly on African American politics, though we will read studies of other racial and ethnic minority groups for comparison. The themes of the course will cover the standard questions of American institutions and political behaviors.

Recommended Texts:

  1. ISBN:978-0415520317 Michael Omi and Howard Winant. Racial Formation in the United States.
  2. ISBN:978-0814736944 Ian Haney Lopez. White by Law.
  3. ISBN:978-0691149264 Michael Minta. Oversight.
  4. ISBN:978-0472119059 Katherine Tate. Concordance.
  5. ISBN:978-0226241319 Richard Fenno. Going Home.
  6. ISBN:978-1526105028 Andra Gillespie. Race and the Obama Presidency.
  7. ISBN:978-0887065460 Ronald Walters. Black Presidential Politics.
  8. ISBN:978-1107566613 Daniel Gillion. Governing with Words.
  9. ISBN:978-1479819256 Melanye Price. The Race Whisperer.
  10. ISBN:978-0199325238 Frederick Harris. The Price of the Ticket.
  11. ISBN:978-0226435749 Donald Kinder and Lynn Sanders. Divided by Color. 
  12. ISBN:978-0226353012 Michael Tesler. Post-Racial or Most Racial?
  13. ISBN:978-0691025438 Michael Dawson. Behind the Mule.
  14. ISBN:978-0226112893 Cathy Cohen. The Boundaries of Blackness.
  15. ISBN:978-1316615959 Tasha Philpot. Conservative but Not Republican.
  16. ISBN:978-0691023311 Edward Carmines and James Stimson. Issue Evolution.
  17. ISBN:978-0674325401 Katherine Tate. From Protest to Politics.
  18. ISBN:978-1604267273 Gary Segura and Shaun Bowler. The Future is Ours.
  19. ISBN:978-0873959919 Hanes Walton. Invisible Politics.
  20. ISBN:978-1108465922 Bernard Fraga. The Turnout Gap.
  21. ISBN:978-0691163611 Christopher Parker and Matt Barreto. Change They Can't Believe In.
  22. ISBN:978-1108725330 Davin Phoenix. The Anger Gap.
  23. ISBN:978-1108468602 Ashley Jardina. White Identity Politics.
  24. ISBN:978-0814732458 Andra Gillespie. The New Black Politician. 
  25. ISBN:978-0199352432 Nadia Brown. Sisters in the Statehouse.
  26. ISBN:978-1479805310 Candis Watts Smith. Black Mosaic.
  27. ISBN:978-0199989317 Christina Greer. Black Ethnics.
  28. ISBN:978-0190053543 Niambi Carter. American While Black.
  29. ISBN:978-0814789384 Sekou Franklin. After the Rebellion.
  30. ISBN:978-1608465620 Keeanga-Yamahta Taylor. From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation.

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

Tuesday & Thursday 4:00-5:15 pm

Tarbutton Hall 111

Course Description:

The course deals with new tools of data analysis and visualization, especially for text data (Natural Language Processing, NLP). The course does NOT require any prerequisites or prior knowledge of computational tools. The only requirement is that students come to the class with a corpus of data as txt formatted files (e.g., newspaper articles, books, blogs, websites) that they wish to analyze.

The course is based on a set of specialized NLP tools, written in Java and Python, designed for the analysis of small/large corpora of text. The tools are all wrapped in Python with a convenient Graphical User Interface (GUI) to make things easy for the non-expert.

The course relies on the Stanford parser CoreNLP as the main NLP engine (with the option of running co-reference resolution), but a number of other NLP tools will also be used to investigate the CoNLL table created by the CoreNLP parser for specific relationships between specific words, verb and noun density, “function” words, and automatic extraction of SVO's (Subject, Verb, Objects). Two specific tools for passive/active verb forms and nominalization allow to focus on the “denial of agency” at the linguistic level. Other tools focus on the sentiment and language concreteness of a text. The two tools of N-grams and word co-occurrences viewers mimic the behavior of Google N-Grams Viewer but with a personal corpus. Topic modeling, via Mallet or Gensim, allows users to find the main topics in a large set of documents. Word2Vec (via Gensim), a vector representation of words, can help capture the semantic regularities of a corpus.

The course also embeds easy tools of data visualization for a variety of Excel-type charts, network graphs, and Geographic Information System (GIS) maps. The course focuses on freeware software, from Gephi to Cytoscape, Palladio, Google Earth Pro, QGIS, Carto, TimeMapper.

Qualitative Methods (SOC 585) - Cassidy Puckett

Monday 9:00 am-12:00 pm

Tarbutton Hall 206

Course Description:

In this course, we will investigate what it means to utilize qualitative methods in social science research. To do so, we will

  1. examine the epistemological underpinnings of qualitative research;
  2. consider issues such as subjectivity, ethics, validity, rigor, and causality;
  3. practice various qualitative data collection and analysis methods; and
  4. discuss practical issues such as framing and operationalizing research questions, designing feasible projects, selecting samples, managing data collection and analysis, presenting and publishing findings, and pursuing funding for qualitative research.

The goal of the course is for students to develop the skills, techniques, and knowledge necessary to design and undertake independent qualitative research (or mixed methods research) or to be conversant in qualitative methods to engage with qualitative scholarship in the social sciences.

The final outcome of the course is that students walk away with initial experience in qualitative research methods as well as a draft of a grant proposal for the National Science Foundation or other equivalents that uses qualitative or mixed methods.

The course begins with present-day and past debates about how to best conduct qualitative research and its place in the social sciences.

We then move into an overview of qualitative methods and doing qualitative research.

We will explore research design issues including developing research questions and selecting samples.

We will then examine the collection, analysis, and presentation of qualitative data, using exercises and your own research projects to illustrate these processes including observations, interviews, and content analysis.

We will be concerned with practical issues that arise during the research process.

We will close with a discussion of major issues in qualitative research including subjectivity, ethics, IRB, causality, validity, rigor, as well as touch upon how to conduct mixed-methods research.

Required text:

ISBN: 978-0226180311 Tavory, Iddo, and Stefan Timmermans. 2014. Abductive Analysis: Theorizing Qualitative Research. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Second Year Research Paper (SOC 590R) - Karen Hegtvedt

Wednesday 1:00-4:00 pm

Tarbutton Hall 206

Course Description:

The primary goal of this seminar is to facilitate the completion of the second-year research paper requirement. Towards that end, the seminar instructs students regarding conceptual and pragmatic issues associated with empirical research.

We will address fundamental issues of the construction of literature reviews; development of a theoretical argument; the translation of theoretical questions and concerns into empirical projects; design and implementation of empirical studies; analyses and presentation of results; and discussion of the implications of results.

Assignments pertaining to students' own empirical research projects will complement dialogue about each issue to ensure progress on their respective projects. Feedback on the assignments (from classmates and the instructor) provides a means for students to improve their projects and make the expected substantial progress toward the completion of their research papers.


Readings TBA

(Near) Weekly assignments focused on components of research papers.

Peer feedback on other student assignments.

Directed Studies (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.

M.A. 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. Ellen Idler (our Director of Graduate Studies) about enrollment.

Recent Theoretical Orientations (SOC 742) - Timothy J. Dowd

Monday, Wednesday & Friday 12:00-12:50 pm

Tarbutton Hall 111

Course Description:

Sociological theory sometimes has the unfortunate reputation of being (a) removed from empirical matters and (b) done by people who are now long dead. That reputation cannot be further from the truth. In fact, sociological theory remains vibrant in the present and, in both its classical and contemporary formulations, it has remained tied to understanding the world in which we live. One thread that runs through sociological theory is the concern with inequality- both in terms of understanding why it occurs and what needs to be done to eliminate it. To that end, sociologists have put forward theories that address inequality by emphasizing race, gender, class, status and the like (as well as the interplay and intersections found between them). We take that thread as the organizing principle of this theory class. Indeed, we focus on sociological theory on the mechanisms by which inequality is produced and reproduced, as well as sociological theory that offers solutions about those mechanisms. In the process, we will show, on the one hand, how sociological theory is firmly linked to empirical research and, on the other hand, how sociological theories are formulated and refined by people addressing the present world -both in understanding and improving it.


Course Readings will be posted on the Canvas class site. As a result, no textbook purchases are required.

Assignments involve a final paper written in four installments across the semester.

Seminar in Social Psychology (SOC 759R) - Karen Hegtvedt & Cathy Johnson

Thursday 1:00-4:00 pm

Tarbutton Hall 206

Course Description:

This course is a research practicum. Students will first examine theories and empirical work that address how justice, power, and status processes affect the legitimacy of authorities in organizations. After a general review of key theoretical and empirical works in each of these areas, we will specifically emphasize procedural justice, benevolent power, and status characteristics. Then, using data available through the instructors NSF project, we will collaborate on an empirical paper. The class will develop a research question and then draw upon relevant theories to derive clear and testable hypotheses. Discussion will then focus on the design/methods of the study, and determine the appropriate analyses to test the hypotheses. Finally, as a class, we will draft a paper, from introduction to conclusion, with the intent to submit for publication. Students must have sufficient background in the group processes literture to participate.

Teaching Sociology (SOC 767) - Frank Lechner

Wednesday 2:00-5:00 pm

Tarbutton Hall 206

Course Description:

Through discussion of major issues in teaching and with a variety of exercises, this seminar will help you prepare for your first teaching assignment and enhance your effectiveness as a teacher.

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.