My goals in teaching are to encourage students to think logically and critically about the social world, analyze high-quality empirical evidence, and form and express their ideas in a sound, coherent manner. In each of the classes I teach, I present cutting-edge empirical research for students to consider.
Sociology of Education
Sociology M175/Education M108 is a cross-listed undergraduate lecture course on the Sociology of Education. This course meets the UCLA Diversity Requirement for Undergraduates in the College of Letters and Sciences. The primary focus of this course is how the educational system both promotes socioeconomic opportunities and maintains socioeconomic inequalities. I encourage students to develop their own arguments based on empirical evidence presented in readings and lectures. We begin by examining historical and theoretical perspectives on the role of education in U.S. society. We then assess the way in which class, race, and gender affect educational achievement and attainment, and consider stratification between and within schools. Thereafter, we explore the effects of education on socioeconomic attainment, family, health, and civic engagement. We conclude with an examination of trends in education, and educational reforms to improve school quality and address socioeconomic inequalities. Some of the questions addressed throughout the course are: How much equality of opportunity is there? Does education equalize opportunities or widen the gap between the advantaged and the disadvantaged? How likely is it that individuals end up in the same social stratum as their parents? What role does education play in the process of intergenerational mobility? How does one’s class, race, or gender constrain his or her ability to secure societal rewards via the educational system? What consequences does schooling have for life chances? What educational policies or reforms should we seek? The course typically enrolls 150 students. I have taught this course in 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2011-12, 2013-14, and 2015-16, typically in the winter quarter.
Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility
Sociology 239A and 239B is a two-quarter co-taught graduate seminar on Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility. This course is an introduction to the modern research literature on social stratification, social mobility, and inequality in the U.S. and abroad, as represented in journal articles and research monographs. The course is a reading course, not a research seminar. It focuses on concepts, data, methods, and facts about: occupational and class structure; the intergenerational transmission of socioeconomic status; the effects of family, school, and labor market on socioeconomic achievement, careers, and inequality; earnings, income, and wealth distribution; poverty; social mobility; socioeconomic factors and marriage; gender and ethnic stratification; and health disparities. The course prepares sociology students to take the field exam in social stratification and mobility. I have taught this sequence in 2007-08, 2009-10, 2011-12, 2013-14, and 2015-16, typically in the winter and spring quarters.
Quantitative Data Analysis
Sociology 212A and 212B is a two-quarter graduate methods sequence on Quantitative Data Analysis, one of the options for the graduate methods requirement in the Sociology department at UCLA. This is a two-quarter course in how to do theoretically informed quantitative social research. The course concentrates on data analysis, and the way one links theory and data. By the end of the course, students should have a good idea of how to make sociological sense out of a body of quantitative data. Toward this end, we cover a variety of techniques, including tabular analysis, regression analysis, regression diagnostics, missing data, logistic regression, factor analysis and scale construction, measurement error, fixed and random effects models, propensity score matching, and related topics. But this is not a statistics course; the emphasis is on using these procedures to draw substantive conclusions about how the social world works, and how to present those results. We also discuss how to develop an efficient workflow. We focus on the quantitative analysis of data from probability samples of well-defined populations. I have taught this sequence in 2008-09, 2010-11, 2012-13, and 2014-15, typically in the fall and winter quarters.