SOCI 038C 01 Sociology of Economic Life
Fall Semester 2014

Mike Reay

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:15-2:30, Kohlberg 238

This class covers a range of topics concerning economic life broadly defined. It doesn’t focus on the way markets work – which is the main strategy of the discipline of economics. Instead it looks at how other phenomena might also be important, especially network connections, hierarchies, and cultural biases. In the second half it looks at a number of different kinds of work as experienced by people in the United States, and ends by focusing on finance.

Class Requirements

(1) Doing the readings and participating in class. If you miss classes your grade will suffer. If you contribute constructively to the class discussions your grade will improve.

(2) Writing THREE 6-8 page double-spaced papers in response to topics/questions. There will be one paper at the end of each of the three sections, i.e. scheduled as follows;

One handed out in class Friday of week 3, due at the end of Monday of week 5.

One handed out in class Friday of week 9, due at the end of Monday of week 11.

One handed out in class Thursday of week 14, due Saturday December 20.

The grading breakdown will be as follows;

Participation 10%
First Paper 30%
Second Paper 30%
Third Paper 30%


All readings are required. They are all on the class Blackboard website as pdfs or links to electronic journals, except for the one book you will have to buy (available at the bookstore);

Charles Wheelan Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science