in the Classroom

When I teach, I aim to share the analytic logic of social science and sociology, not to convey raw information or provide content. When my students are lawyers or teachers, and the intellectual leaders of their community, I want them to understand and explain their world, and that is not something that can be accomplished simply by remembering who a famous sociologist was was, or memorizing the intellectual antecedents to conflict theory.

I especially enjoy introducing students to the logic of the everyday. Because I am convinced that social science explains almost every aspect of our social, political, and cultural worlds, my goal is to give students access to this insight. I am always excited when one of my students switches to major in sociology after taking one of my courses.

I thus have two primary goals as an educator. The first is to train students to use social science to understand their surroundings and experiences, and recognize how and why their perceptions of inequality may differ from others. The second is to help students develop skills that make them better thinkers, employees, and informed citizens.


course: Social Inequality

This course examines inequality in American society with an emphasis on race, class, and gender.  Lectures emphasize the mechanisms through which inequality develops and comes to be seen as legitimate, natural, and desirable.  We will also examine the economic, social, and political consequences of rising inequality.  We will place special […]


course: Class and Culture

Course covers economic, social, and political causes and consequence of class in America.  Topics include: class culture, education, recent social protests, including Occupy and Tea Party, and the 2016 presidential election.  Emphasizes ways that social class shapes the background and experiences of current Northwestern students and what their future will […]


course: Classics of Modern Social Theory

The course explores the modern social world and current economic, political and social debates. Students will use the foundations of social theory to analyze, discuss, and write well-reasoned arguments addressing large societal changes happening today. Essentially, students will learn to think like sociologists. Topics may include: the problem of social […]


course: Sociology of the Middle Class

Course covers economic, social, and political causes and consequences of class in America. Topics include: class culture; education; recent social protests, including Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party; and the 2012 presidential election. Emphasizes ways that social class shapes the background and experiences of current Stanford students and what […]


course: Sociology of the Great Recession

Course covers economic, social, and political consequences of the recession. Topics Include: inequality; job prospects for college graduates; marriage/divorce; immigration; the 2012 presidential election; and modern populist movements. (Stanford Summer 2012 and Fall 2013; instructor-designed course).   | Syllabus | Course Evaluations |