This course provides an overview of sociological approaches to big data, with a specific focus on the analysis of large textual corpora. Covered topics include obtaining data from online sources through web scraping, APIs, and crowdsourcing; reserch ethics; data storage and pre-processing; and a range of analytical methods, including dictionary approaches, supervised machine learning, topic modeling, sentiment analysis, word embeddings, and network analysis. Students will learn how to program in Python, how to parse data in HTML, JSON, and XML formats, and how to properly document and... Read more about Introduction to Computational Text Analysis
Politics is a struggle for power—power over access to and the distribution of resources, over personal and collective status, and over the ability to define legitimate categories of thought. While politics can be found in all domains of social life, the ultimate site of political contestation is the state, which holds the legitimate monopoly on physical and symbolic violence. Hence, much political sociology is concerned with the relationship between the state and society: how the modern state came to exist, how it came to be viewed as legitimate, what factors shaped processes...
In this required third-year seminar, graduate students develop original empirical research projects on topics of their choosing. In-depth weekly discussions ensure that students are making satisfactory progress on their work and that they receive extensive feedback from their peers in the process. The resulting papers serve as first drafts of qualifying papers, which are due in the spring semester.
This course examines the role of meaning-making in political life, focusing on how people's understandings of political phenomena affect their political choices, how political actors frame their claims in order to mobilize public support, and how political institutions and bureaucratic classification systems shape inequality. The material will prepare students for developing their own research projects, which will be collaboratively workshopped in class.
This course offers an overview of the growing field of network research with a particular focus on how patterns of social interaction shape and are themselves shaped by cultural preferences and meaning making processes. The material covers a variety of substantive topics, including musical tastes, romantic relationships, organizational collaboration and competition, and social movement mobilization, while paying particular attention to the increasingly important role of social media in establishing and maintaining social ties.
This course examines power relations between (and within) society and the state. We will focus on nation-state formation, revolutions, social movements, ideology and political attitudes, welfare state policies, and globalization, while interrogating the major theoretical traditions that have shaped the sociological study of politics.
In the context of recent theoretical advances in cultural sociology, the course considers how culture can be systematically compared across populations. While carrying out independent empirical studies, students will navigate the central problems associated with comparative cultural research: defining and measuring cultural phenomena, identifying appropriate units of cultural variation, understanding between- and within-unit heterogeneity, and demonstrating culture’s causal effects.