Department of Sociology

Yu Chen

M.A. in Latin American Studies, University of Texas at Austin

Doctoral Student, PRC Graduate Student Trainee
Yu Chen



Urbanization, housing, informal economy, comparative and historical sociology; China, Mexico, Cuba


Yu Chen is a doctoral student in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin. He obtained his master degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011. His research interests include urbanization, low income housing, informal economy, urban poverty and violence, comparative and historical sociology, etc. He has conducted fieldwork in Mexico, Cuba, China and Texas-Mexico border region. His research on self-employment in Havana won the second place in the Jorge Pérez-López Graduate Student Paper Award Competition in the 2012 Annual Conference of the Association for the Studies of the Cuban Economy. His current research project is a comparative study of low-income housing policy in China and in Mexico. 


SOC F302 • Intro To The Study Of Society

85365 • Summer 2017
Meets MTWTHF 10:00AM-11:30AM GDC 4.304

Course Description

As human being we are all shaped by social forces, and at the same time we interact actively with the social structure imposed to us. Throughout this course you will learn basic and important sociological concepts. We will review the contribution of great sociologists and thinkers such as Karl Marx, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim and Georg Simmel. You will get familiar with sociological debates on issues such as gender, race, ethnicity, poverty, immigration, family, violence etc. You will also practice your “sociological imagination and learn to understand social phenomena from sociological perspectives. Finally, this course will introduce you how to conduct basic social research. This course strongly encourages critical thinking and student participation. By the end of this course, you will be able to summarize, compare, and critique the predominant theories and paradigms of sociology, applying them to current social issues and patterns of everyday life.

Required Readings

Text book: Henslin, James M. (2016). Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach (13th Edition). Pearson.

Additional readings will be posted on Canvas.

Grading and Evaluation Policy

Your evaluation will be based on the following three components:

  • Attendance and in-class participation: 10%;
  • 3 In-class Quizzes: 5%*3=15
  • 3 Exams: 25%*3 = 75%

Your grades are assigned based on a minus/plus grading system: 93-100% = A; 90-92.99% = A-; 87-89.99% = B+; 83-86.99% = B; 80-82.99% = B-; 77-79.99% = C+; 73-76.99% = C; 70-72.9% = C-; 67-69.99% = D+; 63-66.99 = D; 60-62.99% = D-; <60 = F.

Attendance Policy

Regular attendance is required. Please note that: unexcused absences will count against your grade. Being absent a total of 4 or more classes for the entire summer session without justifiable reason will automatically lower your grade by one letter. If you know that you will miss a class you should let your TA know 

Curriculum Vitae

Profile Pages

  • Department of Sociology

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