Sociologists are a diverse group but they are all bound by one common goal: a desire to understand how society works. Although sociologists adopt a multitude of approaches to understand the social world, they all ask a similar basic question: How and why are patterns of social organization created, maintained, and changed? In their quest to explain why events in the social world occur and why social forms should exist, sociologists develop theories—attempts to understand those properties of, and processes involved in, creating, maintaining, and changing patterns of social organization. Read more about Sociology 97: Tutorial in Sociological Theory
The Culture and Social Analysis (CSA) Workshop is a forum where sociologists and others who study culture from a sociological perspective discuss their work and reflect on the field as a whole. The workshop meets on average nine times a semester. The interest in studying culture sociologically – which is to say systematically, with careful attention to questions of measurement and to culture’s causal role in a variety of social outcomes – has been growing dramatically within the discipline, and Harvard has emerged as a leading center for cultural sociology. It is a vital site for graduate Read more about Sociology 304: Culture and Social Analysis Workshop
This seminar focuses on selected research areas in cultural sociology and sociology more broadly that may be helpful for developing our understanding of the cultural processes in the production of social inequality. Topics include: microsociology, the production of social and symbolic boundaries, ethno-racial and class cultures, evaluation and more.
This course analyzes the markers of societal success and the social conditions that sustain it. We will discuss various indicators ranging from the standard economic measures to the human development index, inequality, resilience to shocks, educational, child development and health measures. We will consider the role of cultural and institutional buffers (how cultural repertoires and myths feed strong collective identities, cultural and institutional resources provide support for coping with stigma, models of citizenship and immigration, and multi-level governance and their impact on Read more about Sociology 164: Successful Societies: Markers and Pathways
The empirical focus of this seminar will be the frameworks through which members of various racial groups understand their experiences with racism and discrimination, and how they respond to such experiences. We will also consider the broader context in which groups experience racial equality and inequality. This requires delving into the sociological literatures on stigma, collective identity, group formation, symbolic boundaries, class cultures, and a range of other topics.
The course will cover the basic techniques for collecting, interpreting, and analyzing qualitative data. Throughout the semester, the course will operate on two interrelated dimensions, one focused on the theoretical approaches to various types of qualitative research, the other focused on the practical techniques of data collection, such as identifying key informants, selecting respondents, collecting field notes, analyzing data, writing, and presenting findings.
Sociology 209 is organized with the following four objectives in mind:
This seminar offers an introduction to classical sociological theory. We will explore several topics, namely: 1) what are the major themes of the foundational texts of sociology; 2) how these texts were shaped by the social context in which they were produced; 3) how do these texts connect with broader development in social and economic thoughts in the nineteenth and early twentieth century; 4) how do the key authors compare with one another; and 5) how do they influence sociological theorizing today. The more general objective is to learn about and reflect on the role of theory in Read more about Sociology 204: Sociological Theory