— Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Amherst
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 512-471-9412
- Office: CLA 2.702D
- Campus Mail Code: G1800
Ken-Hou Lin is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Faculty Research Associate of the Population Research Center at the University of Texas Austin. His interests include inequality, finance, organization, race, and quantitative method. His research examines the connection between the rise of finance and growing inequality in the United States. His other projects explore how race, gender, education, and sexual orientation jointly shape the interaction among millions of internet daters on a mainstream dating website. His work has appeared in the American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, and Social Science Research and has been supported by the Institute of New Economic Thinking. He received his B.A. in sociology from National Taiwan University and M.A. and Ph.D from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
SOC 396L • Income Inequality
W 1200pm-300pm CLA 3.106
This interdisciplinary graduate seminar examines the growing income inequality in the U.S. and around the world. We start with a survey on the recent trends of income inequality, which includes the decline of labor's share of income, the concentration of income at the top, the growth of college premium, and the slow job recovery since the Great Recession. We then proceed to an extensive investigation on the various causes of the growing social inequality, particularly skill-biased technological change, globalization, the decline of union, ascriptive discrimination, the rise of finance, and shareholder value movement.
Class reading material will be provided either through the course webpage or available on the web (e.g. JSTOR). Students should arrange access to a high speed computer in order to download and print files efficiently, as some of them may be quite long. I will add selected articles or monographs to the course webpage as quickly as possible, but certainly no later than the date on which they are introduced (a week before discussion).
Course Format and Requirements
Each week, several leading articles or chapters dealing with a particular topic are to be read and discussed in class. Students must come prepared to analyze the week’s reading with respect to BOTH substance and method and must participate actively in the discussion. At each class period, 1 or 2 students, depending on class size, will serve as discussion leaders. The responsibilities of the leaders include preparing a brief oral introduction of the group of readings for the purposes of initiating the class discussion. In addition, the leader(s) will lead the discussion through the use of discussion questions. For the most part, it is NOT the responsibility of the leaders to lecture to the class. Rather, the leaders’ responsibility is to keep the discussion going and to make sure that the key aspects of the reading material are covered. Conversely, students who are not discussion leaders in a given week have the same responsibility as the leaders to read and be prepared for class. In addition to occasionally leading discussions and always being prepared for class, each week, students are expected to provide the class and me with a synthesis of what the week’s reading material is about. For 5 or 6 articles, a 2 page single-spaced synthesis will suffice. These responses are NOT summaries, but are synthetic responses to the core ideas of the readings, with some critique included. The synthesis should be sent via e-mail to the other students and to me by 1:00 PM on the day prior to each class meeting.
Furthermore, each student will work on a paper or proposal relevant to social inequality during the semester. Students should orient their work toward either a publishable paper or a research grant proposal. Papers or grant proposals begun previously may be used if substantial progress is made on the paper/proposal during the semester. Projects begun during the semester should culminate in an all-but-the-data-analysis term paper (with proposed plan for conducting the research). Each student will also write a review of two other students' drafts of their term papers. As a cover to your final draft, you will write a revision memo where you respond to the points made by the reviewers. This will count as 10% of your final grade.
One-page Summary of the Term Paper
Class Presentation & First Draft
Peer Review of Two Papers
Note: The grade “incomplete” will not be given. All students must finish the course.
SOC 317L • Intro To Social Statistics
TTH 330pm-500pm JES A203A
This course presents a general overview of the statistical methods used in the social sciences. While it’s important that you gain an understanding of the mathematical concepts behind the statistical analyses, it is of even greater importance that you leave this course with a conceptual and rational understanding of today’s most commonly used (and useful) statistical methods.
Truth claims made with statistics are abundant and often have the quality of facts in U.S. social and political life. Unfortunately, because many people do not understand the statistics undergirding these claims, they receive less scrutiny than they deserve. It is my primary goal to ensure that students learn the basic statistical literacy they need to be smart consumers of information. Our increasing reliance on statistics to understand the social world means that statistical and analytic skills are marketable skills. In fact statistics is one of very few classes that sociology majors take that provides them with concretely marketable skills. I believe that giving undergraduates a solid understanding of statistics is a way of democratizing knowledge and its production. In teaching statistics my goals are:
To demystify statistics so that every student can be a smart consumer of quantitative information.
- To teach students to think sociologically with and about quantitative information.
- To provide students with a solid foundation of quantitative skills that could serve as assets in subsequent employment and academic settings.
- To demonstrate to students that learning statistics has practical applications outside of the classroom in everyday life.
Neil J. Salkind. 2010. Statistics for People Who (Think They) Hate Statistics, 4th edition, SAGE.
Other materials will be available on the Internet.
6 homeworks , five points each--30 points total
On-line participation, 3 points each--9 points total
Introductory Survey--3 points
EXAM 1--25 points
EXAM 2--25 points
Research Report--8 points
TOTAL POINTS POSSIBLE 100 POINTS
SOC 321K • Social Inequality
TTH 1230pm-200pm UTC 4.104
Social inequality is the study of the unequal distribution of resources that are scarce but commonly desired, and of the processes by which these resources are allocated to individuals and groups. It encompasses the study of income and wealth inequality, occupational and class hierarchies, inequality of educational opportunity, poverty, social mobility between and within generations, gender and racial/ethnic inequality, and the consequences of inequality. We ask questions such as: How likely are individuals to end up in the same social stratum as their parents? How much inequality of opportunity is there and is this inequality increasing over time? Does education equalize opportunity or widen the gap between more or less successful people? Is there growing inequality in the U.S. and, if so, why? In this class, we cover the concepts, theories, facts, and methods of analysis used by sociologists to understand the social production and reproduction of inequality.
Beeghley, Leonard. 2008. The Structure of Social Stratification in the United States. 5th Edition.
Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Other reading material will be available on the Internet.
I will use a non-competitive grading scale. In other words, the grade you receive will not depend on how well others have performed in class. Your grade will be based on your mastery of each of the required tasks in the class:
Two (2) Thought/Reaction Papers – 40% (20% each)
Two (2) Exams – 40% (20% each)
Discussion Section Participation – 20%