Sociology of Luck (SPS-RESFB-SOC-21)
||SPS Foundation Seminar
||20 (EUI SPS Department)
| Course materials
27/10/2021 11:00-13:00 @ Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana
27/10/2021 14:00-16:00 @ Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana
29/10/2021 11:00-13:00 @ Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana
29/10/2021 14:00-16:00 @ Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana
12/11/2021 11:00-13:00 @ Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana
12/11/2021 14:00-16:00 @ Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana
18/11/2021 15:00-17:00 @ Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana
19/11/2021 11:00-13:00 @ Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana
19/11/2021 14:00-16:00 @ Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana
PRELIMINARY COURSE DESCRIPTION
This course is dedicated to a fundamental but largely neglected question in life course research: "How predictable is success in life?" The purpose is to review the scant work there is and stimulate new research in this area. The course consists of a compact schedule: Five 2-hour morning and five 2-hour afternoon sessions spread over six days. Among the topics we discuss are cumulative advantage / Matthew effect, compensatory advantage, the notion of critical period, predictability in cultural markets, self-correcting vs. self-reinforcing processes, being born at the right time in the right place, historical contingency, chance and vacancy chains, categorizing chance events, predicting cascade size, perceptions of chance and support for redistribution. The primary mechanism for evaluation is response papers which are to be shared the day before class.
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Upon concluding the course, students will be well-versed in how chance has been theorized in sociology and related disciplines, know what evidence has been gathered pertaining to its role in explaining success and life-courses outcomes, and be familiar with research methods that can be used to disentangle chance from determinism in data. We are exploring a topic that is vast and not yet well defined as field in sociology and social sciences. The course aims to provide insights into this new topic, broaden students’ perspective, foster their sociological imagination, and encourage them to consider possible connections with their individual research themes.
Be familiar with key definitions of luck in sociology. Understand key social-science theories and arguments about the role of chance in explaining success and life-course outcomes. Know key empirical results regarding the importance of chance in career and life course success. Be able to devise an effective research design for assessing the role of chance in a given empirical context.
Page last updated on 21 September 2018