Sociology (SOCY)

* SOCY 081a / ER&M 081a / MUSI 081a, Race and Place in British New Wave, K-Pop, and BeyondGrace Kao

This seminar introduces you to several popular musical genres and explores how they are tied to racial, regional, and national identities. We examine how music is exported via migrants, return migrants, industry professionals, and the nation-state (in the case of Korean Popular Music, or K-Pop). Readings and discussions focus primarily on the British New Wave (from about 1979 to 1985) and K-Pop (1992-present), but we also discuss first-wave reggae, ska, rocksteady from the 1960s-70s, British and American punk rock music (1970s-1980s), the precursors of modern K-Pop, and have a brief discussion of Japanese City Pop. The class focuses mainly on the British New Wave and K-Pop because these two genres of popular music have strong ties to particular geographic areas, but they became or have become extremely popular in other parts of the world. We also investigate the importance of music videos in the development of these genres. Enrollment limited to first year students. Pre-registration required: see under First Year Seminar Program.  SO
MW 4pm-5:15pm

SOCY 103a, Sports and SocietyAlex Manning

Society’s love of sport is matched only by the belief that it is an area not worthy of deeper thought, inquiry, or critique (this especially applies in the United States). This course seeks to understand this seemingly paradoxical notion that sport is both one of most powerful and least respected and unserious institutions in the modern world. To do so we begin by working through theoretical approaches that give us a way to make social sense of these paradoxes and the phenomenon of sport itself. We read, watch, and discuss a wide range of sports and physical practices and interrogate sport from varying analytical levels. We cover modern sport’s historical foundations and deep cultural meaning. Then we focus on sport’s connection to colonialism, nationalism, and broader global and economic systems. We then shift our attention to youth sports culture in the United States and how family life and childhood are intimately connected to sport. In the second half of the course, we center gender and race in order to understand how sport serves as a contested social terrain that both reproduces and challenges systems of patriarchy and racism.   SO
MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

SOCY 112a / AMST 115a / EDST 110a, Foundations in Education StudiesStaff

Introduction to key issues and debates in the U.S. public education system. Focus on the nexus of education practice, policy, and research. Social, scientific, economic, and political forces that shape approaches to schooling and education reform. Theoretical and practical perspectives from practitioners, policymakers, and scholars.  SO0 Course cr

SOCY 127a / ER&M 127a / EVST 127a / WGSS 127a, Health and Illness in Social ContextStaff

Present-day medicine and health care provide solutions to an ever-increasing array of human problems. Yet the achievement of health can be elusive. This course provides a broad introduction to the domains of health and illness in the U.S., with some coverage of international trends and topics. Students analyze how our personal health and public health are shaped by social structures, political struggles, expert knowledge, and medical markets. Topics include the cultural and social meanings associated with health and illness; inequalities in health and health care access and provision; controversies surrounding healthcare, medical knowledge production, and medical decision-making; and the social institutions of the health care industry. None  SO0 Course cr

SOCY 133a, Computers, Networks, and SocietyStaff

Comparison of major algorithm-centered approaches to the analysis of complex social network and organizational data. Fundamental principles for developing a disciplined and coherent perspective on the effects of modern information technology on societies worldwide. Software warfare and algorithm sabotage; blockmodeling and privacy; legal, ethical, and policy issues. No prior experience with computers required.  SO0 Course cr

SOCY 141a, Sociology of Crime and DevianceStaff

An introduction to sociological approaches to crime and deviance. Review of the patterns of criminal and deviant activity within society; exploration of major theoretical accounts. Topics include drug use, violence, and white-collar crime.  SO0 Course cr

SOCY 144a / EDST 144a / ER&M 211a / EVST 144a, Race, Ethnicity, and ImmigrationStaff

Exploration of sociological studies and theoretical and empirical analyses of race, ethnicity, and immigration, with focus on race relations and racial and ethnic differences in outcomes in contemporary U.S. society (post-1960s). Study of the patterns of educational and labor market outcomes, incarceration, and family formation of whites, blacks (African Americans), Hispanics, and Asian Americans in the United States, as well as immigration patterns and how they affect race and ethnic relations.  SO0 Course cr

SOCY 151a / PLSC 290a, Foundations of Modern Social TheoryStaff

Major works of social thought from the beginning of the modern era through the 190s. Attention to social and intellectual concepts, conceptual frameworks and methods, and contributions to contemporary social analysis. Writers include W.E.B. Du Bois, Simone De Beauvoir, Adam Smith, Thomas Hobbes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, and Karl Marx.  SO0 Course cr

* SOCY 162a / EDST 162a, Methods in Quantitative SociologyDaniel Karell

Introduction to methods in quantitative sociological research. Topics include: data description; graphical approaches; elementary probability theory; bivariate and multivariate linear regression; regression diagnostics. Students use Stata for hands-on data analysis.  QR, SO0 Course cr
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

* SOCY 167a, Social Networks and SocietyMattias Smangs

Introduction to the theory and practice of social network analysis. The role of social networks in contemporary society; basic properties of network measures, matrices, and statistics. Theoretical concepts such as centrality and power, cohesion and community, structural holes, duality of persons and groups, small worlds, and diffusion and contagion. Use of social structural, dynamic, and statistical approaches, as well as network analysis software. No background in statistics required.  SO
Th 3:30pm-5:20pm

* SOCY 169a, Visual SociologyPhilip Smith

Introduction to themes and methods in visual sociology. The role and use of visual information in social life, including images, objects, settings, and human interactions. Ethnographic photography, the study of media images, maps and diagrams, observation and coding of public settings, unobtrusive measures, and the use of internet resources.  SO
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

SOCY 170a / AFAM 186a / LAST 214a / PLSC 378a, Contesting InjusticeStaff

Exploration of why, when, and how people organize collectively to challenge political, social, and economic injustice. Cross-national comparison of the extent, causes, and consequences of inequality. Analysis of mobilizations for social justice in both U.S. and international settings. Intended primarily for first years and sophomores.  SO0 Course cr

* SOCY 201a / PLSC 397a, Right-Wing Extremism, Antisemitism, & TerrorismLiram Koblentz

This course has been specially created to provide students with an in-depth understanding of far-right extremism, with a detailed focus on examining the current state of antisemitism. Students learn about the profound connections between these two phenomena and obtain a wide-ranging perspective on the underlying dynamics and factors, many of them born of the digital age, that increase the danger that these two phenomena pose.  SO
Th 9:25am-11:15am

* SOCY 202a, Cultural SociologyYagmur Karakaya

Study of "irrational" meanings in supposedly rational, modern societies. Social meanings are symbolic, sensual, emotional, and moral. They affect every dimension of social life, from politics and markets to race and gender relations, class conflict, and war. Examination of century old counter-intuitive writings of Durkheim and Weber, breakthroughs of semiotics and anthropology in mid-century, creation of modern cultural sociology in the 1980s, and new thinking about social performance and material icons today. Topics include: ancient and modern religion, contemporary capitalism, professional wrestling, the Iraq War, impeachment of Bill Clinton, Barack Obama's first presidential campaign, and the new cult of vinyl records.  SO0 Course cr
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

* SOCY 210a / EVST 210a / GLBL 210a, The State and its EnvironmentJonathan Wyrtzen and Benjamin Kaplow

This course engages two core entwined questions: How does the state impact its surroundings and  environment? And, how do these impact the state? The goal of this course is to give students a grounding in an interdisciplinary range of relevant social science literatures that help them think through those questions and how they relate to each other. The course addresses how states interact with and impact their ecological environment, but centers broader questions of how states relate to space, resources, populations, and to the socially constructed patterns of their physical, cultural, and economic environments. In doing so, the course aims to bridge discussions of state politics with political questions of the environment. In broadening the topic from only ecology, the class aims to help students develop a portable lens with which to examine state formation and its past and present impact in a variety of contexts: economic planning, systems of land management, military rule, taxation, and population control.   SO
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* SOCY 215a, Popular Culture and MemoryYagmur Karakaya

Is consuming the past liberating or mind-numbing? To answer this question, this class examines memory from a sociological perspective while interrogating the intersections between popular culture, populism, and politics of history. As movements like MAGA or Hindutva have shown, the struggle to “own,” and “define,” the past is a social issue that shapes the contemporary world. These populist uses of the past exist in an environment where entrepreneurs of pop culture, historians, and citizens compete to have a say in what yesterday looked like. For example, the 1619 Project and Get Out both came out during the height of a populist presidency and defined the past in their own terms. Primarily relying on TV and film as data, we think about the current boom in memory content, the fight to control it, and question the outcomes of mass exposure to different pasts.  First, we delve into the origins of collective memory situating the nation-state as the main actor in narrating the past. In doing this we trace the move from triumphalist to apologetic approaches. Second, we learn how globalization and mass media opened up pathways to diversifying state-controlled collective memory. We explore the populist response to this development by looking at Turkey and United States. We end the course by studying the relationship between race and memory in the context of remembering the Civil Rights Movement and the political upheaval surrounding the 1619 project.  SO
Th 3:30pm-5:20pm

* SOCY 221b / MGRK 236b / PLSC 138b, The Euro CrisisParis Aslanidis

Examination of how Europe continues to struggle with the social and economic repercussions of the Great Recession and the impact of socioeconomic asymmetries in countries such as Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Italy, and Greece. Topics include the euro as a viable common currency; why and how the Euro crisis erupted and spread; how the COVID-19 fallout will impact the Union.  SO
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

SOCY 223b / PLSC 437b, Nationalism and Ethnic PoliticsMaria Jose Hierro

Introduction to the study of nationalism and ethnic politics. The course examines how ethnic and national identities are shaped, how the nation emerged and became the main form of political organization, and how nationalism and ethnic conflict drive politics in the world.  SO

SOCY 230a / GLBL 287a / PLSC 387a, Capitalism and CrisisStaff

This course provides an introduction to the study of comparative capitalism. We examine how institutions organizing labor markets, finance and the welfare state differ systematically across advanced industrialized countries and the consequence of these differences for a variety of economic and policy outcomes. These include economic growth, unemployment, levels of inequality and so on. Can we meaningfully talk about a German or Swedish model and if so, what are the main institutional arrangements that differ across these economies? How do institutions in these countries differ from more liberal capitalist economies, such as the United States? In the second part of the course, we examine the responses of different countries to a variety of economic shocks. These include the stagflation crisis of the 1970’s, the slowdown in economic growth, deindustrialization, the rise in unemployment and inequality and the migration crisis. We examine how existing political and economic institutions have shaped the policy trade-offs encountered by different countries and we explain the different political responses taken in response to these crises. During the period between November 14 and November 24, enrollment will be limited to majors. After November 24, registration will be opened to all Yale College students. Please register your interest via the Yale Course Search website.  SO0 Course cr

* SOCY 266a, Tragedies of Social Life and Methods to Address ThemEmily Erikson

When attempting to solve many social problems, good intentions are not enough. It is necessary to understand the interdependencies and secondary consequences of action. This class is premised on the idea that there is often (not necessarily always) an underlying structural aspect to social problems and that understanding the structural aspect can improve our ability to successfully deal with these problems. Everyone sees the forest, but it is harder to see the roots. We are going to try to see the roots of social processes–not in the sense of origins but instead in the way in which they are interconnected. The issues covered by the class are relevant to policy making, law, activism, governance, and management.  SO
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

* SOCY 305a / ER&M 285a / LAST 305a, Latin American Immigration to the United States: Past, Present, and FutureAngel Escamilla Garcia

Immigration from Latin America is the one of the most important and controversial issues in the United States today. The family separation crisis, the infamous border wall, and the Dream Act dominate political debate. Latinos—numbering more than 60 million in the U.S.—are a large, heterogeneous, and growing group with a unique social, political, and cultural history. This course explores key current issues in immigration, as well as the history of Latin American migration to the U.S., with the aim of providing students the tools necessary to thoughtfully participate in current debates.  SO
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

* SOCY 307b / ER&M 376b / MGRK 304b / PLSC 376b, Extreme and Radical Right MovementsParis Aslanidis

Extreme and radical right movements and political parties are a recurrent phenomenon found in most parts of the world. Discussion of their foundational values and the causes of their continuous, even increasing, support among citizens and voters.    SO
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* SOCY 318a / ANTH 321a / MMES 321a / WGSS 321a, Middle East Gender StudiesMarcia Inhorn

The lives of women and men in the contemporary Middle East explored through a series of anthropological studies and documentary films. Competing discourses surrounding gender and politics, and the relation of such discourse to actual practices of everyday life. Feminism, Islamism, activism, and human rights; fertility, family, marriage, and sexuality.  SO
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

SOCY 331a / HIST 240a / RLST 347a / WGSS 291a, Sexual Minorities from Plato to the EnlightenmentStaff

This interdisciplinary course surveys the history of homosexuality from a cross-cultural, comparative  perspective. Students study contexts where homosexuality and sodomy were categorized, regulated, and persecuted and examine ancient and medieval constructions of same-sex desire in light of post-modern developments, challenging ideas around what is considered normal and/or natural. Ultimately, we ask: what has changed, and what has remained the same, in the history of homosexuality? What do gays and lesbians today have in common with pre-modern sodomites? Can this history help us ground or rethink our sexual selves and identities? Primary and secondary historical sources, some legal and religious sources, and texts in intellectual history are studied. Among the case studies for the course are ancient attitudes among Jews, early Christians, and Greeks; Christian theologians of the Middle Ages; Renaissance Florence; the Inquisition in Iberia; colonial Latin America; and the Enlightenment’s condemnation of sodomy by Montesquieu and Voltaire, and its defense by Bentham.  HU0 Course cr

* SOCY 342a / AFAM 329a, Managing Blackness in a "White Space"Elijah Anderson

White space” is a perceptual category that assumes a particular space to be predominantly white, one where black people are typically unexpected, marginalized when present, and made to feel unwelcome—a space that blacks perceive to be informally “off-limits” to people like them and where on occasion they encounter racialized disrespect and other forms of resistance. This course explores the challenge black people face when managing their lives in this white space.  SO
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

* SOCY 344a / ER&M 344a / URBN 318a, Informal CitiesLeigh-Anna Hidalgo Newton

The informal sector is an integral and growing part of major global cities. With a special focus on the context of U.S. cities, students examine where a burgeoning informality is visible in the region’s everyday life. How planners and policymakers address informality is an important social justice challenge. But what is the informal sector, or urban informality, or the informal city? This class addresses such questions through a rigorous examination of the growing body of literature from Sociology, Latinx Studies, Urban Planning, and Geography. We reflect on the debates and theories in the study of informality in the U.S. and beyond and gain an understanding of the prevalence, characteristics, rationale, advantages and disadvantages, and socio-spatial implications of informal cities. More specifically, we examine urban informality in work—examining street vendors, sex workers, and waste pickers—as well as housing, and the built environment.  SO
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

* SOCY 351a, Race, Medicine, and TechnologyAlka Menon

Medicine and technology are important sources of authority and institutionalization in modern societies. Drawing insights from across sociological subfields, the course offers an in-depth investigation of race, medicine, and technology in the 20th and 21st centuries. This course examines the role of medicine and related technologies in defining race and perpetuating racism. We trace how race became an important component of biomedical research in the U.S. We also follow particular medical technologies across borders of time and space, using them to understand race and nationhood in transnational perspective. Taking a broad view of technology, we analyze cutting-edge, state-of-the art technologies alongside older, more mundane technologies and infrastructures. Ultimately, we consider how medical technologies are not just treatments for individual patients but also windows into broader social and cultural structures and processes. Prerequisite: Introductory social science or ER&M course.  WR, SO
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* SOCY 352a / HUMS 247a, Material Culture and Iconic ConsciousnessJeffrey Alexander

How and why contemporary societies continue to symbolize sacred and profane meanings, investing these meanings with materiality and shaping them aesthetically. Exploration of "iconic consciousness" in theoretical terms (philosophy, sociology, semiotics) and further exploration of compelling empirical studies about food and bodies, nature, fashion, celebrities, popular culture, art, architecture, branding, and politics.  HU, SO
W 4pm-5:50pm

* SOCY 362a / S&DS 178a, SociogenomicsRamina Sotoudeh

Since the first human genome was sequenced in 2003, social and behavioral data have become increasingly integrated with genetic data. This has proven important not only for medicine and public health but also for social science. In this course, we cover the foundations of sociogenomics research. We begin by surveying core concepts in the field, from heritability to gene-by-environment interactions, and learning the computational tools necessary for producing sociogenomics research. In later weeks, we read some of the latest applied work in the field and discuss the value and limitations of such research. The course culminates in a final project, in which students are tasked with using empirical data to answer a social genetics question of their own.  SO
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* SOCY 383a / ER&M 383a, Central Americans in the U.S.Leigh-Anna Hidalgo Newton

This course is an interdisciplinary survey of the social, historical, political, economic, educational, and cultural experiences of Central American immigrants and their children in the United States. The primary objective of the course is to introduce students to several contemporary experiences and issues in the U.S. Central American community. Focusing mostly on Guatemalan, Honduran, and Salvadoran immigrants—the three largest groups in the United States—we explore the social structures that constrain individuals as well as the strategies and behaviors immigrants and their communities have taken to establish their presence and make a home in U.S. society and stay connected to their countries of origin. Students gain a critical understanding of Central American identities, particularly as these have been constructed through the intersection of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and legal status.  SO
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* SOCY 389a / GLBL 215a / LAST 386a / MGRK 237a / PLSC 375a, PopulismParis Aslanidis

Investigation of the populist phenomenon in party systems and the social movement arena. Conceptual, historical, and methodological analyses are supported by comparative assessments of various empirical instances in the US and around the world, from populist politicians such as Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, to populist social movements such as the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street.  WR, SO
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* SOCY 410a / PLSC 410a, Political ProtestsMaria Jose Hierro

The 2010s was the “decade of protest,” and 2019 capped this decade with an upsurge of protests all over the world. In 2020, amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, the US is witnessing the broadest protests in its history. What are the roots of these protests? Under what conditions does protest start? Why do people decide to join a protest? Under what conditions do protests succeed? Can repression kill protest movements? Focusing on recent protest movements across the world, this seminar addresses these, and other questions related to the study of political protest.   SO
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* SOCY 471a, Individual StudyStaff

Individual study for qualified juniors and seniors under faculty supervision. To register for this course, each student must submit to the director of undergraduate studies a written plan of study that has been approved by a faculty adviser.

* SOCY 491a and SOCY 492b, Senior Essay and Colloquium for Nonintensive MajorsStaff

Independent library-based research under faculty supervision. To register for this course, students must submit a written plan of study approved by a faculty adviser to the director of undergraduate studies no later than the end of registration period in the term in which the senior essay is to be written. The course meets biweekly, beginning in the first week of the term.
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* SOCY 493a and SOCY 494b, Senior Essay and Colloquium for Intensive MajorsRourke O'Brien

Independent research under faculty direction, involving empirical research and resulting in a substantial paper. Workshop meets biweekly to discuss various stages of the research process and to share experiences in gathering and analyzing data.
W 1:30pm-3:20pm