Sociology | Introduction to Social Organization
S510 | 11774 | Brooks

This course is an advanced introduction to the study of political,
economic, organizational, and comparative-historical sociology. This
broad scope means that we will have ample opportunity to survey some
key works and debates in the study of institutions, stratification,
politics, and social change. One goal of this seminar is to provide
us with some overview of theory, research, and key controversies in
these fields of contemporary sociology. A second is to identify some
analytical themes and tools that are increasingly common to work
done by political, historical, economic, and macro-sociologists.

Scholarly activity of this sort is the very stuff of graduate
school, but we should not rule out the possibility that it can be
intellectually fun as well! Indeed, precisely because this is a
seminar, and a particularly wide-ranging one at that, we will have
ample opportunity to sink our teeth into a host of intriguing
disciplinary controversies, picking apart their analytical as well
as personal relevance. Among our topics will be the place of
institutional, economic, and network models of organizations; the
powerful linkages between welfare states and class, gender, and
racial inequalities; tensions between convergence, embeddedness, and
regime-clustering in national development; the ubiquity and
complexity of political processes in democracies; and the challenge
of developing adequate micro-foundations for understanding macro-
level outcomes.