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Sociology - Social Inequalities

PhD Qualifying Exam Study Guides in Sociology

Core/Essential Readings

Core/Essential Readings – These readings help students understand the relationship between power relations and knowledge production, including formal knowledge production as developed in social theories as well as informal knowledge as exists within popular culture.  It is important that students understand and can explain why certain groups’ ideas and experiences are valued over other groups’ ideas and experiences. 

Readings in the Core/Essential Readings and Secondary Theoretical Works categories are designed to help students understand the broad landscape of social theory. 

Classical Theorists

Theorists’ Original Works – Students are expected to engage with theorists’ primary writings and explain, in plain language, key ideas, concepts, and explanations of theoretical concepts and how these explanations contribute to our understanding of social inequalities. It is acceptable to use textbooks and other secondary sources to help aid your understanding of these original works; however, the original works need to be cited and engaged with throughout your exam responses.   

Contemporary Theorists

Contemporary Theorists: Students are expected to show expertise in areas more closely related to their research/teaching interests but do not need to include all theorists on this list in their exam.