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Robert Crosnoe, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Ken-Hou Lin

Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Amherst

Assistant Professor
Ken-Hou Lin

Contact

Biography

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 317L • Intro To Social Statistics

46125 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 930am-1100am CLA 1.402
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Description:

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 and computing 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.

Texts:

Salkind, Neil J.. 2012. Statistics for People Who (Think They) Hate Statistics: Excel 2010 Edition. 3rd Edition. SAGE Publications. 

Grading and Reqirement:

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. You can earn a maximum of 115 points in this class. Your grade will be based on your mastery of each of the required tasks in the class. The grading scale for the final course grade is as follows: 115-94=A; 90-93=A-; 87-89=B+; 83-86=B; 80-82-B-; 77-79=C+; 73-76=C; 70-72=C-; 67- 69=D+; 63-66=D; 60-62=D-; 59 & below=F.

I do not give incomplete and will not change the final grade for whatever reason. You have plenty of opportunities to do well in this class. Use them.

If you receive a final grade of B+ or higher, I will write a personal recommendation for you in the future, stating that you have significant quantitative and computing skills.CLASS & LAB ATTENDANCE 10 PTS

As will be addressed later in detail, you have two free absences you can choose. However, I’d recommend you to use them only for emergencies. More than two absences will affect your class attendance grades negatively.

COLLABORATIVE LEARNING 10 PTS

You will be assigned to a team with two or three other students. Team members should meet weekly and collaboratively learn the materials, practice how to use Excel, and prepare for the exams. At the end of the semester you will be asked to evaluate other team members on a 0 to 10 scale based on their contribution to the team.

THREE (3) EXCEL EXAMS 15 PTS (5 PTS EACH)

You will be given 3 Excel exams during the lab hours to increase your Excel proficiency. These exams should be done independently without the help from other students.

THREE (3) STATS EXAMS 65 PTS (20/20/25 PTS)

You will be given three exams (which will be cumulative). These exams will consist of multiple-choice questions as well as short-answer question.

EXTRA CREDITS #1: PODCAST 5 PTS

You have two opportunities to earn extra credits. The first opportunity is to listen and review two Radiolab podcasts:

Numbers http://www.radiolab.org/2009/nov/30/

Stochasticity http://www.radiolab.org/2009/jun/15/

To earn the extra credits, you should listen to the two podcasts carefully and write a 1-page single-space review, which talks about what you learn from the podcasts. 

EXTRA CREDITS #2: BOOK REVIEW 10 PTS

The second opportunity is to review the book Numbers rule your world: the hidden influence of probabilities and statistics on everything you do by Kaiser Fung. An electronic version of this book is available at the library, so you do not have to purchase this book or wait in line to borrow it. To earn the extra credits, you should read this book thoroughly and write a 2-page single-spaced review, which includes 1) a brief summary of the book, 2) a more in-depth discussion on your favorite chapter, and 3) a discussion on how you view certain things differently after reading the book. 

 

SOC 321Q • Social Inequality

46195 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CLA 0.102
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Description;

Social inequality is the study of the unequal distribution of resources that are scarce (but are 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 opportunities, poverty, social mobility within and across generations, gender and racial/ethnic inequalities, and the consequences of various forms of inequalities. The class would articulate questions such as: How likely are children to end up in the same social stratum as their parents? What is the extent, and how widespread is the inequality of opportunity, and is this inequality increasing over time? Does education equalize opportunity or widen the gap between more or less successful people? Is the inequality growing in U.S, and if so, why? As a part of the course, concepts, theories, facts, and methods of analysis used by sociologists to understand the social production and reproduction of inequality, would be covered.

Texts:

TBD

Grading and Requirement:

A non-competitive grading scale would be used. In other words, the grade received will not depend on how well others perform in class. A maximum of 115 points can be earned in the course.

The final grade will be based on the mastery of each of the required tasks in the class. The grading scale for the final course grade is as follows:

115-94=A; 90-93=A-; 87-89=B+; 83-86=B; 80-82-B-; 77-79=C+; 73-76=C; 70-72=C-; 67-69=D+; 63-66=D; 60-62=D-; 59 & below=F.

I do not give incomplete and will not change the final grade for whatever reason. You have plenty of opportunities to do well in this class. Use them.

 

SOC 396L • Income Inequality

46665 • Spring 2014
Meets W 1200pm-300pm CLA 3.106
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Course Description

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.

 

Reading Material

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.

 

Grading

 

Items

Due dates

Weights

Weekly Synthesis

 

25%

Discussion Leader

 

10%

One-page Summary of the Term Paper

W10

5%

Class Presentation & First Draft

W15

10%

Peer Review of Two Papers

W16

10%

Final Paper

TBD

30%

Revision Memo

TBD

10%

 

 

 

Note: The grade “incomplete” will not be given. All students must finish the course.

 

SOC 317L • Intro To Social Statistics

46120 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm JES A203A
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Course description:

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.

  1. To teach students to think sociologically with and about quantitative information.
  2. To provide students with a solid foundation of quantitative skills that could serve as assets in subsequent employment and academic settings.
  3. 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.

Grading Policy

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

46163 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm UTC 4.104
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Description

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.

Required Texts

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.

Grading Policy

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%

 

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