Highlighted Courses Taught
Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity (Grad Course) (syllabus)
In this course students will be introduced to some of the major understandings of racial inequality in social science discourse and in the general public. These understandings can be summarized in this way:
- Scholars have demonstrated at both the individual and institutional levels of analysis that racial background has a considerable impact on an individual’s outcomes. We will discuss research done at both the individual level and institutional level that demonstrates the links between racial inequality and various social outcomes. These social outcomes include educational achievement, incarceration rates, and employment.
- The general public disagrees on how to understand and address these demonstrated links. One perspective views racial inequality as rooted in social institutions and social patterns that create an uneven playing field for many racial minorities. Another perspective views racial inequality as rooted in the cultural behaviors of racial minorities that lowers academic achievement and increases deviant behavior. We will explore writings from both perspectives.
Students will explore these ideas through several major texts and articles from well-regarded opinion outlets. They will be asked to demonstrate their knowledge through participation in class discussions
and through writing short essays.
Cybercrime and Cybersecurity (syllabus)
This course has five objectives:
- Explore the history of the Internet and other related computer technologies, along with the basic technical and legal characteristics that govern these technologies.
- Discuss the more prevalent types of cybercrime and the response by law enforcement. These crimes include hacking, phishing, and cyberbullying, and the use of malicious code (viruses, malware, etc.).
- Discuss how criminological theory is applied to the explanation of crime and victimization.
- Introduce students to peer reviewed criminological research on cybercrime.
- Provide students the opportunity to research a case of cybercrime, and write for a general audience a journalistic account of the crime, a theoretical explanation, and the responses by society and law enforcement.
Race and Cyberspace (syllabus)
This course explores how race and ethnicity structures online behavior. Three major questions form the foundation of this course: (1) How can differences in how whites and minorities use the Internet lead to differences in economic opportunities? (2) What are some ways in which ethnoracial identity is constructed online? (3) Does the Internet provide a space that is “post-racial”, or does the Internet magnify ethnic and racial differences between people? These questions will be addressed through readings, class discussions, and a semester long project in which students develop a research project and actively participate in online communities.
Internet and Society (syllabus)
There are three main goals for this course. First, students explore the relationship between the Internet and the social phenomena that sociologists traditionally explore. These “social phenomena” include the development of communities, political participation, deviance, and the reproduction of social inequality. Second, students explore the social implications of the Internet on a personal level. We will work directly with Internet applications and reflect upon how these application alter or modify our everyday activities. Third, students explore how social scientists conduct research on the Internet, reading literature on the Internet, developing a research question, gathering data from the Internet, and drawing conclusions based upon this data.