Spring 2021

Emory Sociology provides an extensive curriculum for our graduate students. Below are the topical courses and individualized programs offered in Spring 2021

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

Epidemiology of Aging (EPI 567 ) - Ellen Idler

Monday 1:00-2:50 pm


Course Description:

Description: Multidisciplinary survey of epidemiology relevant to the rapidly aging populations of the world. Topics include: age-related conditions (chronic & infectious diseases + important non-disease-specific syndromes, including falls, frailty, etc.); social, policy, and environmental factors associated with aging outcomes; and more.

Format: Online; 1 hour lecture/1 hour discussion of relevant literature

Assessments: Weekly written article extracts, final exam, class participation

Other pertinent information:

No formal pre-requisites

Some guest lectures (public health, sociology, medicine)

Applied Regression (SOC 506) - Heeju Sohn

Wednesday 2:40-5:40 pm


Course Description:

This course builds upon the statistical toolkit from SOC 500 Linear Regressions and provides a foundation for conducting and evaluating regression-based works in the social sciences. The first part of the course will cover the topics in conducting transparent and reproducible research. Students will be expected to adopt these research practices throughout the semester. The second part of the course will cover generalized linear models (GLM) that examine non-linear outcome variables. The readings, lectures, and in-class discussion will address each method's mathematical justification, execution, and interpretation using statistical software and application in published articles. The third component of the course will focus on students' in-class presentation and discussion of their research projects. The primary goal of this course is for students to gain fluency in the foundational statistical methods in the social sciences. Fluency denotes the ability to 1) to assess the methods' appropriateness to address sociological questions, 2) to provide thoughtful reviews to works using these methods, and 3) to actively engage in collaborations that use statistical methods. This course aims to provide a broad survey of the most commonly used generalized linear models.

Required Texts:

1) ISBN: 978-0520296954 Christensen, G., J. Freese and E. Miguel. 2019. Transparent and Reproducible Social Science Research: How to Do Open Science: University of California Press. 

2) ISBN: 978-0520289291 Hoffmann, J.P. 2016. Regression Models for Categorical, Count, and Related Variables: An Applied Approach: University of California Press. 

3) ISBN: 978-1597180474 Long, J. Scott. 2009. The Workflow of Data Analysis Using Stata: Stata Press. 

4) ISBN: 9781597181112 Long, J.S., J. Freese and StataCorp LP. 2006. Regression Models for Categorical Dependent Variables Using Stata, Second Edition: Taylor & Francis.

5) ISBN: 978-1498715379 Gandrud, C. 2016. Reproducible Research with R and R Studio: CRC Press. 

Sociology of Culture (SOC 560) - Timothy Dowd

Thursday 4:20-7:20 pm


Course Description:

The course (1) provides students with grounding in cultural sociology and (2) prepares students for doing their own cultural research.

To facilitate the first objective, we survey major themes and issues in the sociology of culture. We begin this survey by considering the sociological approach to culture, which entails answering the following questions: “What is culture and what does it do?” and “How are we to study culture?” We get at these broad questions via the case of music. We next turn to issues that Marx, Du Bois, Weber, and Durkheim respectively raised. In particular, we inspect how current scholars (from a variety of theoretical perspectives) approach these seminal issues. Examples of issues that spring from the work of classical sociologists include the following: “How does racial-ethnic hierarchy get built into organizations as a type of systemic racism?, “Do media messages shape our view of reality? If so, how?” and “How do class and lifestyle intertwine to reproduce inequality?” Finally, we turn to substantive questions that have come to the fore in recent decades, including “How is market activity undergirded by cultural assumptions?” and “How does social context shape the production and consumption of expressive goods?” 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.  

Ethnoracial Health Disparities (SOC 585) - Alyasah Sewell

Monday/Wednesday 6:00-7:15


Course Description: 

This course is designed to provide a broad overview of racial and ethnic health disparities in the United States.

Despite medical advances over the past century, racial and ethnic disparities persist. People of color in the United States carry an unequal burden of chronic disease and have higher mortality rates compared to their white counterparts. Since the publication of the Institute of Medicine’s report, Unequal Treatment, health disparities have been a fixture on the “front-burner” of America’s health policy agenda. Moreover, the U.S. is in the midst of massive demographic changes; for instance, Census projections indicate that ethnoracial minorities will become the numerical majority before mid-century. In light of these changes, health inequities pose certain problems that threaten the economic vitality of our nation.

As the United States continues to diversify, it will become increasingly important that we, as a nation, begin to address racial and ethnic inequities in health. In order to do so, it is necessary to increase our understanding of the multiple pathways by which race and ethnicity enter the body and produce disparate health outcomes. During the course of the semester, students will examine health inequities; how race, ethnicity and health intersect; explore the nature of racial and ethnic categories; and learn about current US demographic trends. Students will also explore approaches for addressing health inequity, including health care inequities. Students are encouraged to pay critical attention to the multiple pathways by which race and ethnicity enter the body, and how they lead to negative health consequences for people of color in the United States.

Comparative Perspective on Race, Ethnicity, and Colorism (SOC 585) - Angela Dixon

Wednesday 11:20-12:35 pm


Course Description: 

This course provides a comparative study of race, ethnicity, and colorism in various societies around the world, with a particular focus on Afro-descendant populations. Although the vast majority of sociological research has focused on race within the U.S. context, a comparative lens allows us to contextualize the U.S. experience by drawing on an increasingly global literature. We will compare and contrast the ways race, ethnicity, and colorism function in different societies. This is a reading course, not a research seminar. We will discuss key theoretical and empirically-based readings in the literature on race, ethnicity, and colorism.

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

Tuesday/Thursday 8:00-9:15 am


Course Description:

The course deals with new tools of data analysis and visualization, especially for text data (Natural Language Processing, NLP).

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 SVOs (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

Tuesday/Thursday 1:00-2:15 pm


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 an initial experience in qualitative research methods as well as a draft of a grant proposal for the National Science Foundation or other equivalent 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.

Second Year Seminar (SOC 590) - Karen Hegtvedt

Tuesday 9:40-12:40 pm


Course Description:

The primary goal of this seminar is to facilitate 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) provide a means for students to improve their projects and make the expected substantial progress toward the completion of their research papers.


Reading’s TBA (Near) Weekly assignments focused on components of research papers

Peer feedback on other students’ assignments

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)

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.

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.