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sociopolitic last won the day on February 11 2019

sociopolitic had the most liked content!


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  • Gender
  • Interests
    cultural sociology, public opinion, political sociology
  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
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  1. Social network theory was actually initially developed by a physicist and his very mathematically-inclined sociology students. It doesn’t sound to me like OP wants to be an ethnographer To OP: Your GRE scores are generally excellent and provided that your SOP and writing sample are clearly written and you applied to enough programs with strong fit, you’ll probably get at least an offer or two. Your publications will (hopefully) do great things for your chances, too.
  2. I think content is the most important thing. If the admissions committee isn’t interested after the first however-many words, they’ll stop reading. If they are, they’ll continue. My SOP was nearly twice the length it should have been for my NYU application, and somehow I still got in. But to answer your question more directly: you probably don’t need to worry. I was accepted to UCLA last cycle and my SOP was definitely definitely definitely longer than 500 words.
  3. I'm a bit confused. Hadn't you said this summer that your scores were 164 160 5? Or perhaps I have you confused with someone else.
  4. If they're good letters, I think this can only help you. One of my letter writers had just started a job at one of the programs to which I was applying, and he was CC'd in my acceptance email. (Then again, he was one of the people I'd mentioned in my SOP.)
  5. Interviews are a valid form of qualitative field research. You likely weren't using them in as rigorous a manner as qualitative sociologists tend to, but neither do most people as undergrads. But yeah, not all research requires statistical modeling in sociology. So the short answer is yes, you do have undergraduate research experience. And not an insignificant amount of it either. What you really need to focus on now is demonstrating that you can think like a sociologist (or at least a social scientist, more broadly conceived). Letters could help with this, but the best way to do it is to read the sociological literature that's most relevant to your interests and be able to explain in your SOP how you want your work to fit into it.
  6. May I ask what your goal after attaining a PhD is? I ask only because sociology of religion has for a while been the area with the fewest tenure-track job openings. (That's to say, the fewest jobs looking specifically for someone who studies religion; religion scholars are still able to apply to open specialization positions too.) I'm not familiar with anthropology's job market, but you may actually be better served by an anthropology PhD. Of course, I'm not saying that sociology wouldn't welcome you with open arms; it just might not be the optimal fit for you.
  7. Just want to point out that while this may be true in STEM, it is untrue in the social sciences.
  8. By the way, since your AW score is a tad low, make sure that your writing sample really shows that you know how to write! From what I understand, writing samples tend to mostly be skimmed to verify that the faculty won't have to teach you how to write. For domestic applicants, this usually means that their samples aren't looked at very long; international applicants tend to have these scrutinized a bit more closely, though.
  9. Hm, I'm not sure whether it is or not. It's probably about the same? But I'm pretty sure you can send both scores, which I think I definitely would in your case.
  10. If your goal is really social work, I'm not sure that it's worth applying to sociology PhD programs. The focus there is pretty much exclusively on social science research; if you're sure you want an MSW and the career paths that come with it, a sociology PhD will do almost nothing to get you there. That said, you could absolutely be competitive at PhD programs, but only if you're applying with a clear vision of the kind of research agenda you might wish to develop. Anyway, chances are that if you write an SOP talking about how you want to use your degree to work in the nonprofit sector, you won't be accepted by the PhD programs. They're looking for young researchers to train (which you definitely have the experience for, if not the desire); their aim isn't to train social workers. TL;DR: if you want to learn how to develop a research agenda, go for the PhD. Otherwise I'd recommend staying in nonprofits and applying exclusively to MSW programs. A sociology PhD just won't further your career unless you're deadset on being a researcher.
  11. It should be noted that MAPSS is a bit of an afterthought for Chicago faculty, who are occupied with students in their own departments first and foremost. That's not to say that MAPSS isn't worth it -- you just have to be a self-starter and make it worth it. Go to talks, really take the chance to think through your interests and ask faculty good questions, and it can absolutely be worthwhile. I have friends who came out of the program and benefitted greatly from it.
  12. Typically programs in the USNWR top 20-40 offer funding to students, at least in my field.
  13. This is extremely true. With a background like yours, you'll likely be a desirable prospect at a number of departments that have at least a couple folks working in computational social science. Places like UCLA, Cornell, Duke, Columbia, Michigan, Penn State, Chicago, UNC, Princeton, and even Harvard would look upon your work history and coding experience very favorably. That said, the computational folks at those institutions tend to very different things, so I recommend finding interesting work that was published in sociology recently and try to identify the departments with faculty who do the work that interests you most. Out of curiosity, what sorts of questions are you interested in answering within sociology?
  14. With regard to your first question: I, like you, became interested in sociology when I realized that the sorts of questions I'm interested in don't seem to be central to political science. (That said, since sociology is so broad, almost nothing is "central" to the field in any meaningful sense; there is much more consensus, at least among subfields, about what is "core" to political science as a discipline). In my case, I realized that political scientists (other than a handful of theorists) pay an inadequate amount of attention to the role culture plays in politics. Measuring the influence of meaning and systems of meaning simply isn't something political scientists are really concerned with (although in recent years there has been some political science research roughly in this realm). Anyway, based on what you identified as the thing drawing you to sociology (attention to social network influence), you should look into Harrison White's students. Breiger at Arizona, Granovetter at Stanford, Mische at Notre Dame, Laumann at Chicago, and Bearman at Columbia all play particularly close attention to networks in their social research. Bearman in particular has written about "analytical sociology" which is the approach that it sounds like you're most drawn toward.
  15. Fun fact: Harrison White (the sociologist who pioneered social network analysis, which has now been adopted across the social sciences) actually got his first PhD in physics. I know that sociology programs love being able to admit student with serious quantitative chops. I know more than a few sociology grad students with engineering degrees. I can't speak for political science, but you are extremely competitive at top 10 sociology programs with this background. If you provide a good writing sample, write a SOP in conversation with the contemporary academic literature of the field, and your GPA/GREs are good (and if you're at LSE for Econometrics, I expect they are), getting full funding at a top sociology PhD program will not be a problem. I imagine that this would be the same for political science programs, but I can't say for sure. If you're deciding between political science and sociology, I'd definitely concentrate on reading qualitative work that interests you in each field to see which you like more. There's a good bit of overlap between comparative political science and political sociology; a lot of quantitative work in each field can be found in the same journals, for instance. Message me if you'd like suggestions for where to start reading in sociology. How qualitative is the research you envision doing, though? I could give better advice if I knew that, I think. I'm also taking a class with a qualitative political scientist this coming semester, so hopefully I'm in a better position for advice then. Anyway, hope this helps!
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