Topics in Quantitative Sociology

Fall 2020 ENSAE


The rationale of this course is to expose students to the leading quantitative approaches in contemporary sociology. Some methods are at the frontier of neighboring disciplines like history, economics, psychology, biology and physics. The emphasis is on international, mostly American research. Each session introduces the class to a new approach with a brief overview of the techniques and concepts. The main work consists of the reading, critical commentary and discussion of applied research articles, published in top social science journals in the last 5 to 10 years. In addition to their methodological novelty, the articles are selected for their variety of subject areas (gender stereotyping, racial discrimination, climate change, cultural transmission, innovation, collective action, urban development, etc.). The goal is to expose students to some of the most up-to-date findings of the discipline and to enrich your research tool-set by stimulating your thinking with original takes on classic questions.

For the many economists and few statisticians in the class, the originality of sociology lies in its diversity of methods and subject areas. For the sociologists in the class, contemporary American research offers a good number of approaches that appear rarely in the French curriculum.