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oliver at ssc dot wisc dot edu

Pamela Oliver
Sociology Dept
1180 Observatory Dr. Madison, Wisconsin



Professor Pamela Oliver

Department of Sociology


Fall 2002 Courses For Graduate Students

More detailed course descriptions submitted by faculty. Not everyone submitted a description. Consult instructor for any questions not answered here. Courses are sorted by number.

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Link to the Official Fall Timetable for Sociology showing times & rooms 

Sociology 327: Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy in America since 1890
Instructor: Chad Alan Goldberg

The principal goals of this course are: (1) to critically examine a range of different ideas and debates about the meaning and desirability of capitalism, socialism, and democracy in the United States and the relations among them (2) while situating these ideas and debates in their historical and social context and (3) understanding the contemporary relevance of the historical conflicts and debates that we examine. The course will be organized chronologically, beginning with the turn of the nineteenth century and ending with turn of the twentieth century.

Sociology 623 Gender, State and Society
Myra Marx Ferree

Examines how gender constructs and symbolizes power. Intersections of gender, race, nation, class in comparative international perspective. Topics include gender and nationalism, gender and the welfare state, gendered mobilization for political action, and the gendering of specific political issues (militarization, environment, globalization). Special attention (meetings and assignments) for grad students.

Soc 648: Sociology of Education
Shelley Correll

This course examines sociological theories and empirical evidence relevant to answering the following questions: Why does everyone go to school? Why do some students learn more than others? How do American schools help maintain our capitalist system? Do schools increase opportunity for all or reproduce existing patterns of inequality? How can American schools be more effective?

We will begin by exploring the relation between types of societies and systems of schooling. We will examine the rise of the modern school system in the United States, comparing it to the rise of school systems in other modern and developing nations. We will then study the connection between schools and societal stratification, focusing on how schooling contributes both to social mobility and to the reproduction of the prevailing social order. Next, we will consider how the outcomes of schooling are produced, paying special attention to students' experiences in schools and classrooms and what they get out of schooling. We will conclude with a brief sociological examination of current educational reform movements.

751 Survey Methods in Social Research
Schaeffer, Nora Cate

This course is about survey data and where it comes from. The course examines the principal features of survey design and how they contribute to total survey error. Topics include: mode of interview, basic sampling concepts, effects of nonparticipation, issues in instrumentation, interviewing, and computer assisted data collection. Most of the course is spent reviewing research that describes the effects of features of survey design on survey error. This course is pre-statistical in the sense that it considers issues that are dealt with before statistical analysis of data begins and in the sense that course assignments require no statistical analysis. But the exercises and readings require familiarity with principles of research design. The conceptual and practical tools introduced in this course may be useful in planning and executing your own research. Course Assignments include five exercises and a course project.

This course is open to new grads, but students without previous research experience would do better to complete 750 before 751.

Sociology 875 - Special Topic - Sociology of Reproductive Rights
Myra Marx Ferree

Advanced work for students of gender, sexuality, political sociology, law, or demography. Uses the issue of abortion to examine the different conceptions of women's reproductive capacities and the political regulation of fertility -- internationally (in Germany, Japan, Romania and at least one Latin American country) and in struggles in the United States historically and today (the politics of pro-life and abortion rights movements, political parties and transnational organizations). Can be done as a seminar (with a research proposal or data analysis project) or reading course.

Sociology 912. Sociology of Knowledge'
Paul Lichterman

This seminar's two main goals are: to engage students with theoretical schools and debates in cultural sociology; to make students conversant with prominent modes of cultural research in sociology. Thus, the focus is mostly analytical. We will learn different ways of conceiving and studying culture. We will learn different ways of relating culture to other orienting concepts, such as power, structure, solidarity, and difference. Discussion will be central in our work together; this is not a lecture course.

Sociology 915. "Self, Culture and Society: The Continental Tradition"
Phil Gorski

This course will explore several distinct traditions of European sociological theory. We will begin with philosophical background (Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche), move on to various classical theorists (Freud and Simmel, as well as Durkheim and Weber), and conclude with various modern and contemporary theorists (including Levi-Straus, Foucault, and Bourdieu).

This course will be co-taught with Prof. Emirbayer. It will be followed by a second course, "Self, Culture and Society: The American Tradition", top be taught in the spring.

Sociology 924: Theories of the State
Erik Olin Wright

The central task of this seminar is to explore a range of theoretical and empirical issues concerning the complex interconnections between class, the economy, and the state. To develop the theoretical tools to approach these issues we will have to grapple with some fairly abstract of conceptual questions: what does it mean to say that the state has a "class character"? What is the difference between an external constraint on state actions imposed by class relations and an internal institutionalization of class constraints within the state itself? What does it mean to describe the state as having "autonomy" -- relative, potential, limited or absolute? The seminar, however, will not primarily grapple with these issues at a purely abstract conceptual level. Rather, in most of the sessions we will focus on specific historical/empirical problems through which we will refine the conceptual tools and build our theoretical understanding.

Sociology 927 Contemporary Institutions: Sociology of the University.
Professor Daniel Kleinman.
Mondays, 2:25-5:25.

Drawing on literature from several disciplines, this course will explore the social organization and character of the university. Attention will be directed at the United States, but higher education in other countries will also be a focus of conversation. In the US and around the world, the university is in the process of transition. What factors are prompting this transformation? What is the place of the academy in an era of globalization, concern about economic competitiveness, and state fiscal belt-tightening? In this seminar, we will aim to understand the current status of academe, exploring such topics as the changing character of scholarly knowledge production, the politics of disciplines and interdisciplinarity, stratification among the professoriate, the role of public intellectuals and academic activists in civil society, on-line higher education, and the commercialization of the university. This course will be of interest to graduate students from a variety of disciplines for whom universities and intellectuals are normally a focus of study as well for students who simply want an opportunity to analytically reflect on the institution in which they are being trained and where they hope to make their careers. For more information, contact Daniel Kleinman (5-3289 or dlkleinman@facstaff.wisc.edu).

Sociology 929: Reinventing Social Emancipation
Boaventura Santos

As we enter a post-Washington Consensus and a post-Seattle period, neoliberal globalization is confronted by alternative forms of globalization, what I call globalization from below or counter-hegemonic globalization. Throughout the world, socially excluded groups and their allies are developing alternatives to the hegemonic forms of sociability generating new political cultures and new forms of law and legal activism. Out of these local initiatives and their transnational linkages a new solidarity internationalism is emerging and social emancipation is being reinvented. The seminar will group these initiatives and networks under the following headings: participatory democracy; alternative production systems; emancipatory multiculturalism; human rights,justices and citizenships; biodiversity, rival knowledges and intellectual property rights; new labor internationalism

Note: This seminar is being offerred by an extremely interesting and engaging visiting professor from the University of Coimbra in Portugal, Boaventura de Sousa Santos. This is an unusual opportunity for students to take a provocative, challenging and exciting seminar from a leading European social theorist.


Link to the Official Fall Timetable for Sociology showing times & rooms 

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Questions or Comments? Email Oliver -at- ssc -dot- wisc -dot- edu. Last updated December 25, 2004 © University of Wisconsin.