Quantitative Analysis for Publication (SOC 3400) [in development for fall 2019]
This course is a research practicum, where students work intensively on a research project using quantitative methods. Students may enter the class with their own research question and data to analyze, or they may work with other students and/or the instructor on a collaborative project. This course is designed to advance students' skills in research design, data analysis, and writing up quantitative results. The course goal is for students to develop a sole- or co-authored manuscript for publication.
Gender Equality and the United Nations (SOC 2432) [in development for fall 2019-spring 2020]
In this year-long transdisciplinary course, students will collaborate directly with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other partner institutions on policy-relevant research on gender inequality in public institutions worldwide. Students will develop their skills in data collection, analysis, and reporting. Students’ research will feed into an ongoing Pitt-UNDP collaboration and support gender equality as part of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Students will have professional opportunities to interact with policymakers and practitioners at international and national levels, and are expected to present their research at the UN Secretariat in New York City during the spring semester. This course operates in conjunction with an internship program that places select students as junior researchers in partner institutions during the summer following the course.
Course Description: This course studies the set of statistical methods called regression analysis. It solidifies and extends students’ quantitative and statistical data analysis skills. The course focuses primarily on linear regression, including modeling techniques for continuous, binary, ordinal, and count data. Students will leave the course with the tools necessary to analyze a variety of social science data. This course assumes some knowledge of statistics (descriptive statistics, frequency distributions, hypothesis tests, and bivariate associations). To register, students must have taken Introduction to Social Statistics (SOC 2201) or an equivalent class.
Course Description: This collaboratively taught seminar exposes students to interdisciplinary and evolving methods for discovery and knowledge construction in the humanities and social sciences. In particular, it focuses on how information flows in and out of sociotechnical systems, the ways that researchers access, arrange, organize and describe information for use in their disciplinary context and how that shapes critical inquiry. Students will do hands-on work with data and methods and interrogate their affordances and limitations. Mini units in this course will be led by faculty from History, Political Science, Economics, English, Sociology, Information Science, History and Philosophy of Science, and History of Art and Architecture who are involved in the Mellon grant-funded Sawyer Seminar, “Information Ecosystems: Creating Data (and Absence) From the Quantitative to the Digital Age,” which will feature invited speakers and support several post-docs and grads in AY 2019-2020.
Course Description: The term ‘intersectionality’ was coined in 1989 by Kimberlé Crenshaw to theorize the experiences of Black women in the U.S. In the years since, intersectionality has spread, taking root in a wide range of disciplines and parts of the world. Yet, what intersectionality means, to whom it should be applied, and how it should be studied all are hotly contested. In this course, we will examine intersectionality today, engaging with current thinking, research, and debates. Drawing on a range of materials such as scholarly texts and film, we will investigate intersectionality in its different representations, including perspectives of anti-racist feminists from the global South. We will also touch on a wide range of ways of “doing intersectional scholarship,” including textual analysis, visual arts, ethnography, archival research, and quantitative analysis. Although attention will be paid to a wide range of identities and social locations (for example, race, ethnicity, class, religion, language, and disability), this is a GSWS course, so gender and sexuality are foregrounded. In addition to completing course reading and participating in class discussions, students are expected to develop projects in their home discipline(s). This course is designed to introduce students to intersectionality beyond the canonical texts, and thus Introduction to Feminist Theory (or Theories of Gender and Sexuality at the graduate level) is a recommended pre- or co-requisite.
Course Description: This course examines central topics in the study of gender and politics, covering such issues as women's activism in social movements, gender gaps in ideology and partisanship, the ways that government bureaucracies are gendered, the ways that executive leaders "do masculinity," and the roads women take to local and national political office. The course is global in its focus, but students will also be introduced to research on gender and politics in American society. Whenever possible, we will be attentive to the ways in which gender intersects with other social identities, such as race, ethnicity, and social class.
Course Description: Political sociology recognizes that political actors, including political parties, interest groups, and social movements, operate within a wider social context. Political actors shape, and are shaped by, social structures such as race, class, gender, and nationality. This course considers how the relationships between politics and society are mediated through social identities, for example, Muslim, working class, woman, or immigrant. The first part of the course focuses on how identities influence all stages of the political process, from the construction of political interests, to social movement participation, to engagement in electoral politics. We focus explicitly on power, evaluating how identities affect the capacity of individuals and groups to pursue their interests. In the second part of the course, we evaluate different types of social identities in turn and how identities intersect to shape politics.
Course Description: Complementing the required course on qualitative methods, this course will provide an introduction to quantitative research methods in the social sciences. As a graduate level course, students are expected have some prior elementary knowledge of statistics and research methods. This course will build on that knowledge, providing students with the necessary foundation to produce quantitative research. Emphasis will be placed on the underlying assumptions and statistical principles of multiple regression analysis. But, the skills acquired throughout the course will enable students to understand and critically evaluate several of the advanced quantitative methodologies employed in the social sciences.
Course Description: In this course we will explore how gender shapes our lives and the world around us. The course begins with the distinction between one's sex, which is biologically determined, and one's gender, which is learned, socially constructed, context specific, and malleable. Through scholarly research, theory, and class discussion, we will explore the social forces that shape our perceptions of sex, gender, and sexuality. We will focus on the gendering of institutions, such as education, media, work, politics, and the family. We will also be attentive to the ways in which gender intersects with other social identities, such as race, ethnicity, class, and sexual orientation. Although the primary context for this course is contemporary American society, issues and examples from other cultures will be introduced.
Course Description: This course provides an overview of the diversity of women's lived experiences around the world. The course begins with the distinction between one's sex, which is biologically determined, and one's gender, which is learned, socially constructed, context specific, and malleable. Throughout the course, students will learn about subjects such as women's bodies and health, women's participation in social movements, and violence against women, each from a comparative perspective. A central focus of the course is the impact that various social institutions--education, religion, work, politics, and family--have on the lives of women. This course introduces gender as a system of stratification worldwide. Yet, the course will also be attentive to the ways in which gender intersects with other social identities, such as race, ethnicity, class, and sexual orientation.
Course Description: Much of what we know about the social world is based upon our own experiences and the experiences of those around us. Sociological knowledge, however, is a product of a more rigorous and systematic way of generating information that relies on principles from the scientific method. Throughout this class, students will be introduced to the components of sociological research, including 1) the construction of research questions; 2) the ways in which researchers design their measures and draw their samples; 3) quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis; 4) the reporting of research results; and 5) research ethics. Because the best way to learn is through doing, students will learn about sociological research by designing and completing a sociological study on a topic of their choice.
Course Description: This course is an upper-division research practicum focused on integration of women into the political elite worldwide. In addition to learning about the topic substantively, students will conduct individual research projects on the consequences of women's incorporation into politics. The course will provide students with experience using sociological research tools. Students will collect, analyze, and display data, as well as to communicate research findings in verbal and written form. Overall, this course aims to make students more knowledgeable practitioners of social science research.
Course Description: This course is an upper-division research practicum focused on the changing composition of the political elite in America. In addition to learning about the topic substantively, students will conduct individual research projects using data on the sex and race/ethnicity of U.S. politicians. While the primary context for this course is American society, issues and examples from other cultures will be introduced. The course will provide students with experience using sociological research tools. Students will learn to collect, analyze, and display data, as well as to communicate research findings in verbal and written form. Overall, this course aims to make students more knowledgeable practitioners of social science research.
Gender and Health Worldwide (SOC 1370)
Course Description: Gender disparities in health exist throughout the world. Yet, the degree and nature of sex differences in health outcomes vary dramatically both across and within geographic regions. This course will cover some of the diverse threats to women’s health and well-being that are common in different parts of the world such as maternal mortality, HIV/AIDS, female genital cutting, and cervical cancer. Centrally, the course will explore how gender inequalities in other areas of social life (for example, family, work, religion, and politics) influence women’s health outcomes, sometimes in unexpected ways. We will also consider efforts by women’s movements and policymakers to address social problems related to women’s health.