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Graduate Courses

SOC 63239 Sociology of Education: Ascriptive Sources of Inequality

Sociologists of education espouse the ideal of meritocracy: ascribed characteristics should have little to no relationship with either educational opportunities or outcomes.  In this course, we will examine two main ascriptive characteristics that affect both educational opportunities and outcomes: social class and race-ethnicity.  In particular, we will focus primarily on the importance of families and peers in creating class and race-ethnic inequality.

SOC 63281 Sociology of Higher Education

This graduate seminar provides an overview of key topics in the contemporary study of the sociology of higher education. We will begin by examining the purposes of higher education and its basic institutional and demographic contours over time. In the remainder of the course, we will focus our attention on understanding a number of aspects of this system given its purposes and broad characteristics. Topics will include perspectives on decision‐making in higher education; the college career and its linkages before and during post‐secondary school; race, class, immigration, and gender in higher education including affirmative action policies and the female college completion advantage; intergenerational mobility in higher education; and labor market‐education linkages. The course will mainly draw from research on the U.S. but will use international examples when applicable. 

SOC 63242 Sociology of Education II: School and Classroom Effects

A primary focus of this course will be on school and classroom effects on educational outcomes.  We will cover topics in the sociology of education related to school effects, sector effects, tracking and ability grouping, and classroom and teacher effects.  We will look at the structure, practices, content, and outcomes of schooling, primarily in the light of their relationships to the wider society in which schools are situated.   As part of the course, we will also consider the social and organizational context of contemporary education reforms in the United States—particularly test-based accountability for schools, teachers, and students.