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Pamela Oliver
Sociology Dept
1180 Observatory Dr. Madison, Wisconsin



Professor Pamela Oliver

Department of Sociology


Fall 2003 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.

Soc 875:
Special Topics: Agroecosystem Evaluation.
Instructors: Michael Bell (rural sociology), Bill Bland (soil science), Nelson Balke (agronomy)

An interdisciplinary, team-taught course on evaluating and resolving social and environmental conflicts in agroecosystems. Agricultural systems provide benefits and incur costs to society that cannot be compared using any single performance indicator. This course explores alternative methods of evaluating these diverse qualities, in order to provide the information needed for high-quality public debate and decision-making surrounding agriculture. Course website

Soc 651: Foundations of Economic Sociology
James Montgomery

Although its history may be traced back to the classical sociological theorists, economic sociology has experienced a rebirth over the past several decades as sociologists have expanded their study of economic behavior, organizations, and institutions. Given this encroachment onto terrain long held by economists, economic sociologists have been forced to consider how their subfield should relate to economics. While some economic sociologists define themselves as opponents of economics, others argue that greater understanding will emerge through closer engagement with economics. In any case, whether one wishes to engage and extend economics or to critique and replace it, all economic sociologists need to understand contemporary economic theory. Thus, the present course will review some of the central concepts of economics such as rationality, exchange, strategic interaction, evolution, and information. Along the way, we will also consider various critiques and alternatives offered by sociologists, economists, and other social scientists.

This course is intended primarily for graduate students, though undergraduates may enroll in exceptional cases with permission of the instructor. The course is quite demanding, both in terms of the amount of weekly reading and the intellectual difficulty of some of the material. It is designed to provide students specializing in economic sociology with a stronger understanding and better appreciation of economic perspectives. Other economic sociology courses offered at UW provide a more substantive review of economic institutions at the micro/meso level (Sociology 652, The Sociology of Economic Institutions) and the macro level (Sociology 918, The Sociology of Comparative Capitalisms).

For further information and course readings, see www.ssc.wisc.edu/~jmontgom

Soc. 960
4:15-6:45 Monday
Doug Maynard

Sociology 960 is a seminar on ethnomethodology, taught by Doug Maynard, with three interrelated objectives. (1) We will obtain a grasp of basic ethnomethodological issues by reviewing Garfinkel's early (1967) as well as recent (2002) writings. We will also examine ethnomethodology in relation to social theory more generally. (2) We will engage in "demonstrations" and other ethnographic experiences that help reveal structures of daily life. (Be prepared to look at the world upside down.) (3) We will explore various contemporary directions in which the ethnomethodological enterprise has gone, including studies of work and conversation analysis. Authors to be considered in these various areas include Schutz, Merleau-Ponty, Gurwitsch, Dewey, Mead, and a variety of more current figures. Topics to be covered are commonsense, cognition, rationality, "practices," phenomenology, pragmatism, trust, gender achievement, science and technology, autism, news deliveries and meaning, survey research, jury deliberation, and others. Along the way, we will consider misconceptions and also critiques of ethnomethodology. A background in sociology is sometimes helpful, sometimes not, which means that there are no real prerequisites. This is not a course in methods. Although we will use and read some ethnography and some conversation analysis, these are not the topics of the course.


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.