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SOCIOL 120 Economy and Society

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    • Profile picture
    Jan 03, 2017
    | Would highly recommend.

    Not too easy. Not too difficult.

    Course Overview:

    You’ll learn how to approach things like a sociologist - you’ll be able to look at the realistic and practical and be able to analyze it critically and with much depth. You’ll go through economic theories that economists have come up with, but Professor Fligstein will debunk some and look at what actually really happened in the economy that led to things like the 2007 recession. But he won’t just skim through these theories and give you his answer. He will make you answer it yourself - and trust me, you’ll do these in papers and in your exams.. And there’s no way there’s 1 exact answer to everything. Though that’s the most frustrating part of Economics for me, personally, this class reconciled that for me as I felt the independence and freedom to go out of my comfort zone and expand and be creative with my thoughts.

    Course highlights:

    I had taken a Sociology course before (SOCIOL 110) with Dr. Linus Huang, who is another one of my favorite professors, and we had touched on managerial wealth and shareholder value in that class - but in SOCIOL 120, we applied this to further analysis with other instances, like Financialization. We expanded onto the 2007 recession and the sub-prime market crisis. I learned about this part of the economy - the true, raw, and fully exposed part of the economy that we often overlook with certain theories. This isn’t to put down Economics and its theories and its theorists - not at all. But it is to see how these theories have had a certain kind of perspective to certain financial crises of the economy in a sociological point of view, and to challenge the students in the room to think critically - what exactly happened? What theories overlooked certain important aspects, if any? Instead of thinking “the economy could have been better…” the class trained the students to think, “okay, this happened - so what? Why? How? Which factors? Which players? How was the market?” I learned to think of all aspects about this - the players, the field, the market, the financial instruments, the overall economy; we went from big to small, from small to big.

    Hours per week:

    3-5 hours

    Advice for students:

    Go to lecture! The professor uploads very long lecture slides that he breezes through really quickly during lecture. He’s super engaged and very colloquial when teaching - it’ll make studying for you 150 times easier. Pay attention in Section - your GSIs will help you understand the detail-heavy stuff with topics like the 2007 recession and the financial instruments. They will also go over the readings, which are very dense as well. Oh, and don’t wait until the last minute to finish your papers - they’re at least 4 pages long, but you’ll want to write even more than that. Trust me! So clean out your thoughts consistently and with a good pace, and you’ll be good. The midterm and the final exams will be very doable if you pay attention to your essays. Read the lecture slides, ask questions, and participate in Section to fully engage and excel in the class!

    • Fall 2016
    • Neil Fligstein
    • Yes
    • Great Intro to the Subject Great Discussions

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