Course Readings

Part I: Foundations of Sociological Thought


2/13: C. Wright Mills. 1959. “The Sociological Imagination.”Mills, Sociological Imagination

Erik Olin Wright. 2009. What Kind of a Society is “American Society?”:– %20what%20kind%20of%20society%20–%20Norton%20August.pdf

Week 2—
2/18: Emile Durkheim. 1893. Selections from The Division of Labor in Society (skip pages 34-38 and 50-59)Durkheim, Division of Labor in Society

Keiran Healy. 2019. Rituals of Childhood:

Malcolm Gladwell. 2015. “Thresholds of Violence: How School Shootings Catch On.” The  New Yorker:        violence?verso=true

2/20: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. 1848. “Chapter 1, Bourgeois and Proletarians” in The Manifesto of the Communist Party:

Robin Kelley in the Boston Review “What did Cedric Robinson mean by racial capitalism?”: capitalism

Week 3—
2/25: Max Weber. 1904-1905. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of CapitalismWeber_Spirit_of_Capitalism

Eva Illouz. “Making Love into a Science.” in Why Love Hurts: A Sociological Explanation

2/27: W. E. B. Du Bois. 1903. The Souls of Black FolkDu Bois, The Souls of Black Folks

Raewynn Connell. 2018. Decolonizing Sociology:

3/:1 Assignment #1 due 11:59pm

Part II: American Political Economy

Week 4—
3/3: M Hacker & Pierson. 2010. “How the Winner-Take-All Economy was Made,” in
Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer — and Turned
Its Back on the Middle Class. Hacker_Pierson_Ch2

Erik Olin Wright and Joel Rogers. “Democracy: How it Works:”             Chapter 16 — Democracy-how it works — Norton August

John Cassidy. 2014. “Is America an Oligarchy:”

Is America an Oligarchy The New Yorker

3/5: Collins and Mayer. 2010. “Introduction” in Both Hands Tied: Welfare Reform and the Race to the Bottom in the Low-Wage Labor Market (Stop at page 20) Both Hands Tied Intro

Erik Olin Wright and Joel Rogers. Ending Poverty in America.Chapter 13 — Solutions to poverty — Norton August

Week 5—
3/10: Jake Rosenfeld’s. “Chapter 7” in What Unions No Longer Do


Schor-The Overworked American Chpt 3

3/12: No Class

Week 6—
3/17: Arlie Russell Hochschild. 2016. The Ecstatic Edge of Politics: Sociology and Donald Trump:


Week 7—

Part III: Distance Learning

3/31: Welcome back

4/2: Discussion Question: How is this moment similar and different from the one that confronted AIDS activists?

Watch “How to Survive a Plague” rented from Amazon

Andrew Sullivan,

Piven and Cloward – Structuring of Protest Piven and Cloward–Structuring of Protest

Week 9 —

Naomi Klein on Coronavirus Capitalism and the Shock Doctrine:

Naomi Klein on Shock Doctrine:

Eric Klinenberg on solidarity:

Bill Scher argues against:

4/9: Rebecca Solnit. A Paradise Built in Hell. Prelude, Ch 4 to end

Week 10—
4/14: Rebecca Solnit. A Paradise Built in Hell.

4/16: Arlie Russell Hochschild. 2016. The Ecstatic Edge of Politics: Sociology and Donald Trump:





Ezra Klein,

4/28 : White Noise

4/30: White Noise

Week 13—
5/5: Masha Gessen,


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