Department of Sociology

Rui Jie Peng

MA, University of Texas at Austin, Department of Sociology

Rui Jie Peng



labor, gender, political sociology, race and ethnicity, development, global and transnational sociology, contemporary China, global China


Rui Jie Peng is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. Rui Jie gained her M.A. in Latin American Studies at the Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies. She is an ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellow (2020-2021), and Graduate Fellow of the Urban Ethnography Lab and the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice.

Rui Jie’s research interests include labor, gender, political sociology, development, global and transnational sociology. She has been studying labor and social inequality among diverse groups through a variety of lenses. Rui Jie’s dissertation project examines how China’s rapidly industrializing and globalizing development policies create a myriad of challenges and obstacles for ethnic-minority migrant workers and their rural families. While most research on labor migration in China focuses on Han majority migrant workers, her project turns toward ethnic-minority, non-migrant women often portrayed as passively left behind in the sending communities. She explores how older, ethnic-minority Qiang women, facing precarious socioeconomic situations and community disintegration, work to generate household income and even support migrant family members. In doing so, her project examines the oft-invisible labor for maintaining the social reproduction of migrant workers performed by older rural women. This project has received support from the American Council of Learned SocietiesNational Science Foundation, and International Journal of Urban and Regional Research Foundation. Her article, titled, "Rightful Bargaining: Rural Women Making Claims in China’s Targeted Poverty Alleviation Program" is forthcoming in the Sociological Forum.

Rui Jie has also conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Ecuador. She studied the social organization of work and workplace inequality in a Chinese-sponsored hydroelectric construction project where Chinese and Ecuadorian workers work together.

Rui Jie received her B.A. in English Language and Literature at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China.


SOC F302 • Intro To Study Of Society-Wb

83410 • Summer 2021
Internet; Asynchronous


This course offers an introduction to the theories, methodologies, vocabulary, and themes of the discipline of sociology. During the semester, we will explore the linkages between individuals and the larger cultures, contexts, and institutions in which they live their lives in order to better understand the structure and function of social interaction, human behavior, and the institutional frameworks of society. The overarching purpose of the course is to develop a “sociological imagination,” which students can then used to make sense of current social issues and patterns of everyday life.

The course is delivered completely online, which gives students more latitude in completing their work, though the class is NOT entirely self-paced. The course material is organized into sections by week, and students are expected to complete all of a section’s reading assignments, lecture videos (organized into “Modules”), quizzes, and discussion posts by Friday at 11:59 pm each week. See the course schedule below for due dates. This design allows students to complete the work within one week according to their own schedule.


Required Texts

Carr, Deborah, Anthony Giddens, Mitchell Duneier, and Richard Appelbaum. 2018. Introduction to Sociology, Seagull Version Eleventh Edition. New York: W.W. Norton and Company. ISBN: 978-0-393- 63945-2.

This version of the textbook is shorter and cheaper than the standard version. It should be purchased through the University Co-op. Purchase comes with free access to the ebook and other resources, which can be accessed through


Grading Policy

Attendance and participation (10%). All students are required to watch all of a section’s daily videos by Friday at 11:59 pm each week. Videos contain built-in instapoll questions to gauge if students are actually watching. (This means that you cannot simply play the video and then leave the room and do something else!)

Discussion posts (5%). In order to facilitate student interaction, we will have a running discussion blog throughout the semester on Canvas. Each week, students are required to write and post either a 100-200 word original discussion post, or a 100-200 word comment on another student’s discussion post. These posts are also due each Friday at 11:59 pm.

Daily quizzes (50%). Students are responsible for completing a daily quiz before watching the daily videos beginning on Tuesday, June 8th. The quizzes will be 5 minutes long and contain 5 multiple choice questions covering the previous day’s lecture and/or reading materials. The purpose of daily quizzes is to ensure that students keep up with course materials and are grasping the basic course content. Note that there will be no makeup quizzes. Instead, the two lowest grades on the daily quizzes will be dropped from the final average at the end of the course. Quizzes are also due each Friday at 11:59 pm.

Short papers (30%). Students must also complete TWO of the four short paper prompts during the semester (15% each). These papers will be 2 single-spaced pages in length and are intended to encourage you to think about current issues and events in a sociological way. More details are located on each of the paper prompts (located in the “Assignments” tab on Canvas). I will go over paper prompts at the end of each week, and papers you choose to complete should be uploaded on Canvas by 12:00 pm every Monday starting June 15th.

These due dates are:

Paper 1 due June 14th 

Paper 2 due June 21st  

Paper 3 due June 29th  

Paper 4 due July 5th  

Because students are only required to complete two of the four possible papers, there will be NO excused late or missing papers. This means that you should plan accordingly! If you already know that you will be particularly busy during one weekend of the course, make sure that you choose papers for different weeks. I also recommend that you do not choose to skip both of the first papers in case you get sick or have a family emergency later on in the semester. All four prompts are available on Canvas starting at the beginning of the course. I recommend that you take a look ahead of time to see which two you might be interested in completing so that you can plan ahead.

Reflection paper (5%). Students will complete a reflection paper to be turned in at any point during the semester (the absolute last day to turn in is July 10th at noon, no exceptions). For this paper, students will discuss one key concept from the course and apply it to analyzing current events in their communities, the wider society, and around the world. This means that you will be able to complete this paper any time after the first course lecture. These papers will be 2 pages single spaced in 12 pt. Times New Roman font with normal margins on all sides. Note: I recommend not leaving the reflection paper to the last minute. I would especially recommend turning the reflection paper in early if you have a final paper or exam due in your other courses.

We will not have daily videos posted for Fridays. Instead, Fridays will serve as a writing consultation day. I will hold an additional 2 office hours to address questions about papers.

Note, there will be no final given during finals week.

Curriculum Vitae

Profile Pages

  • Department of Sociology

    The University of Texas at Austin
    305 E 23rd St, A1700
    RLP 3.306
    Austin, TX 78712-1086