Sociology | Political Sociology
S660 | 10434 | Brooks

There has been considerable progress in understanding political
processes and their foundations in the United States and other
developing democracies.  This progress has also generated new and
exciting controversies, and a wide array of unresolved questions
confronts a new generation of analyst.  In this seminar, we consider
some highlights of this scholarship.  Key  questions  and  themes
include  the  comparative diversity  of  political  economies;  the
nature  and  measurement  of  mass  opinion;  this historical
interrelationship between political ideas and social groups; and
linkages  between  voters,  political  parties  and  social
movements,  and  policy outputs.

Our  topical  focus  is  driven,  in  part,  by  the  2009  Social
Research  Practicum  and the  upcoming  collection  of  computer]
assisted  telephone  interviews  with approximately 1,200  adult
Americans  in  May/June.  Our  readings,  discussions,  and  the
required  paper  provide the  background  for  understanding  the
research  goals,  methods,  and  theoretical payoff  of  the
project.  For  first]year  graduate  students  in  Sociology,  the
seminar paper  will  form  the  front]end  of  the  M.A. thesis.
For graduate students with general interests in political sociology,
survey research, or American politics, this seminar provides an
introduction to these fields.