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School of Graduate Studies

MA in Sociology (in English)

Why Sociology at Ibn Haldun University?

The discipline of sociology aims to analyze social, cultural, political, economic, and legal problems that have arisen since people started living together, as well as to make comparative analyzes and offer solutions. Today, globalization, ethnic, religious, and regional wars, and economic, environmental, legal, and social crises have increased the importance of sociological research data. Ibn Haldun University Graduate Program of Sociology aims to create a new understanding, conceptualization, and research space at the point of understanding, analyzing, and proposing solutions for various problems regarding human beings and society both in our country and in the world. Our graduate program, which is both theoretical and methodologically nourished from the different sociological and social science traditions in the world, is also claiming to create a new tradition of sociology from the perspective of civilization.

About Program

Head of The Department:

Prof. Dr. Ramazan Aras

Purposes of the Program:

The Master’s program in Sociology aims to train highly competent sociologists, intellectuals, and researchers at the international level in the context of today’s local and global processes and crises. In line with the vision of our university, educating experts, administrators, and diplomats equipped with knowledge and skills that can meet the needs of our country and the institutions and organizations operating in the world are among the important missions of our program.

The very objective of the program is to improve research in the field of Sociology in our country and to train sociologists who can identify and solve problems to the needs of the country so that important contributions can be obtained from this research activities both at national and international level and their effects can be disseminated.

The fact that the language of education in the program is English makes it possible for our graduates to work and conduct research all over the world.

Scope of the Program:

The master’s program in Sociology combines different theoretical and methodological approaches to researching, understanding, and proposing solutions for social, cultural, political, environmental, and economic crises and problems in today’s societies by examining the traditions of thought in different civilizations and cultures basins comparatively.

The knowledge and skills that the graduates of the program will acquire can be listed as follows:

  • Providing specialization in specific areas
  • To be preferred in national and international business environments and in management levels
  • Working on joint projects with experts from different disciplines
  • To be able to interpret social processes as a whole with an interdisciplinary perspective
  • Having a wide perspective and high analytical power
  • To be able to bring effective and practical solutions to social/cultural and political problems
  • Efficient use of time and all resources at hand
  • To be able to observe and analyze social and political dynamics

Target Audience:

Individuals who want to increase or improve their knowledge and skills in sociological thinking, theory, and research methods targeted by the program are as follows:

  • Individuals wishing to pursue an academic career
  • University graduates from any discipline who are looking for a career in the public or private sector
  • Employees of companies who have experience in different organizations and want to acquire the equipment that will carry it to the next level
  • Individuals who are struggling to understand and analyze the society and environment to which they belong in connection with the developments in historical, local, and international spheres.

Application Requirements

Visit the MA Programs Application Requirements page.

Teaching Staff

Visit the department page for Teaching Staff.

Curriculum

Visit the curriculum page.

Course Contents

SOC 500 Seminar

This course is a non-credit one that aims to encourage students to re-interrogate and analyze sociological and ethnographic theories, ideas and methods through an example of their research projects. During the semester, it is also aimed to help students to draw a road map for their research projects, as well as to carry out discussions about preparing, conducting, and writing a sociological and ethnographic project. Students of the course are encouraged to get involved in productive discussions during which the draft, raw data, field experiences, or main frameworks of the projects to be carried out are exchanged amongst them.

SOC 501 Research Methods and Publication Ethics

This course aims to provide students with the ability to participate and contribute to scientific research processes at an advanced level. The course consists of two sections. The first section will deal with basic scientific approaches. From positivism to Popperian falsification to Kuhn’s paradigm, to Feyerabend against method, approaches with their basic assumptions and realities based on those assumptions, will be discussed. In the second section, qualitative and quantitative methods and their use will be thought.  Students taking this course will become competent about methodologies and the research techniques in social sciences and will be able to apply his or their research design for a specific problem. In addition to research methods in social sciences, ethical principles to which research results and publications should be subject will be discussed.

SOC 503 Social Theory I

The purpose of this course is to examine a wide range of classical social theorists in the Muslim world as well as in the West,  from Farabi to Ibn Khaldun to Marx and Weber. The main task is to make classical social theories relevant to the present understanding of human society. In other words, the course’s primary goal is to help students to develop a way of looking at past and contemporary issues “sociologically”.  In doing so, the theory will be discussed as a tool for organizing existing knowledge in the generation of  “new knowledge. Each theorist will be understood within their own time so that specific social and historical contexts, which gave rise to their particular theory,  can be thoroughly understood.

SOC 504 Social Theory II

This course aims to recognize, interpret and criticize the current theories that are raised by different thinkers and social scientists, claiming to grasp, analyze and present solutions to the various problems encountered by different societies in the modern era. The post-modern, post-structuralist, colonial, post-colonial, and post-Marxist theories that emerged in the last period constitute the main discussion topics. Globalization, orientalism- Occidentalism, ecological problems, political violence, changing social classes and structures, neo-colonial politics, the quest for new sovereignty and politics, and crises that are confronted in modern nation-states will be discussed through different theoretical approaches.

SOC 506 Ibn Khaldun and Contemporary Issues

It aims to analyze contemporary sociological issues with the tools of analysis of Ibn Khaldun's sociology. In this framework, modern social theories will be discussed in the light of concepts and approaches such as asabiyyah, badawah, hadarah, and umran developed by Ibn Khaldun. It is intended for students to acquire a deep understanding and analytical ability of such comparisons.

ELECTIVE COURSES

ANTH 509 Ethnography of Muslim Societies

Islam and Muslim societies and cultures have been some of the most attractive subjects for researchers in social sciences. The current continuation of this interest has expanded the literature in this area of research. Nevertheless, from past to present, the labor of production of knowledge on Islam and Muslim societies has carried out diverse epistemological, methodological, and theoretical problems and concerns. The fact that these problems are seen not only in the works of foreign (outsider) ethnographers but also in local (insider) researchers makes the issue more complicated. Despite all these critical concerns and problems, a wide variety of research on Muslim societies and cultures has been constantly put forward by the different social scientists. This course aims to read, understand and at the same time criticize various theoretical, methodological, and epistemological issues in those studies through come case studies.

ANTH 512 Ethnography of Turkey

Understanding Turkey with its multi-cultural, lingual, and religious structures as a legacy of the Ottoman requires a comparative, analytical, historical, and inter-disciplinary perspective. From the past to the present, there have been, changes, transformations, conflicts, breaking points, fragmentation, and integrations with diverse politics in this heterogeneous social entity. This course aims to explore modern Turkish history and society from different angles and to critically examine the sociological as well as anthropological studies that have emerged in this area. In addition, recognizing and understanding the different religious and ethnic identities of the Turkish society in terms of history, identity, language, belonging, and social memory, and analyzing the dynamics generating this plural structure are among the objectives of this course.

ANTH 520 Political Border and Border Regions

With the advent of modern nation-states after the First and Second World wars, political borders have become one of the important areas-places where existing states have exercised sovereignty. The aim of this course will examine the political-territorial boundaries on the axis of ethnicity, economy, memory, and imagined nation. In this approach, the theoretical framework developed by Benedict Anderson in his book Imaginary Communities will be utilized. It aims to analyze what kind of tools nation-states use in the process of building political borders and the forms of resistance and disruption that the local has shown against this construction process from an anthropological perspective. Finally, attention will be drawn to how the political corresponds to the reality after the boundaries have been formed, and how the new borders distinguish societies that were similar to each other.

ANTH 611 Ethnography of Space and Place

With an emphasis on spatial relations, the course would focus on the intertwined relations between the everyday practices of subjects, the spatial transformations, the re-constructed discourses, and the effects in which the various “cultural” forms of gender, class, race, ethnicity, and religion are experienced, conceptualized and reproduced. In this sense, rather than taking “social space” as an isolated vacuum this course aims to show the reciprocal reproduction processes between places, spaces, subjects, bodies, affects, discourses, and “cultures” and their relations to macro processes. The subsequent weeks explore different comparative theoretical dimensions of space and place theories with an emphasis on embodiment, social production, construction, effects, and discourses. For demonstrating these relations this course especially aims to cover ethnographic fieldwork methods at an advanced level with fieldwork excursions in which the engaged participation of the study can provide the researcher with productive research techniques and an understanding of social theories to illuminate the way they work on certain spaces and places in their projects like cities, villages, associations, institutions, gated communities, leisure places, political parties, social media, etc. Thus as a theory and method course, this seminar would provide the graduate students with the abilities of participant observation, interviewing, social mapping, and visual analysis besides the advanced theoretical framework to research certain spaces and places.

ANTH 613 Anthropology of Islam

Islam has been one of the most prominent religions in the history of the world. It has shaped and determined social, cultural, economic, psychological-spiritual, political, legal, and many other aspects of diverse societies in different geographies. That is why it has also captured the gaze of many social scientists, particularly sociologists and anthropologists. This course aims to scrutinize sociological and anthropological studies on Islam and Muslims with a critical perspective through some selected theoretical and ethnographic works. It is aimed to participate in the former discussions of “Anthropology of Islam” and “Islamic Anthropology” and to encourage students to deal with new epistemological, ontological, and methodological analyses and move toward new ways of critical thinking on the subject matter.

ANTH 618 Ethnography of the State

This course examines the nation-state structures and the state machine in the axis of political violence and hegemony. In this course, where the effort to understand the construction process of the modern state through thinkers such as Weber, Gramsci, Althusser, Foucault, and Agamben will be introduced, the thinkers such as Benjamin, Arendt, Sartre, and Fanon will be added to the archeology of how political violence turns into one of the basic tools of the modern state. It will also be emphasized how the state manifests as an effect in everyday life, through social policies, the state exists and legitimizes itself in the minds of citizens. This course will encourage students to rethink concepts such as the modern state, political violence, sovereignty, power, and legitimacy.

ANTH 622 Anthropology of Emotions

Emotion(s), one of the most important features of human nature, has been one of the neglected subjects until recently in social sciences and especially sociology-anthropology circles. Are emotions universal or do they differ from culture to culture? Are emotions cultural-collective phenomena beyond their psychological-individual aspects? This course aims to analyze emotions (love, hate, joy, anger, fear, etc.) as individual and collective experiences from an anthropological perspective. In addition, during the course, the relationship between emotion and mind, how innate emotions are innate, and how socially constructed are discussed.

CULT 510 Readings in Orientalism

Starting with Edward Said’s critique of the production of knowledge about the ‘Orient’, this course will look at the trajectory of Orientalism, including the criticism of Said’s work, exposing areas of inquiry that have been neglected by his volume. The second part of the course will then look at the lasting effects of certain texts written about the Middle East in particular, and their use in recent and ongoing conflicts in the region. Special contemporary genres such as travel writing will be explored to see how orientalist approaches can take new forms. Text from the East as well as from the US and Europe will be examined to explore how orientalist approaches can be reproduced in the East as well.

CULT 617 Genealogies of Multiculturalism

This course aims to investigate the practice and social phenomenon of multiculturalism through different periods and geographies, and seeks to establish a genealogy of multiculturalism, particularly in Europe. Starting with approaches of contemporary social and political theory’s take on multicultural practices, it will then move on to its history. The course takes Islamic Spain as a starting point, and then moves on to medieval Venice, to Ottoman Empire, and then to modern-day London. Seeking the roots of multicultural practices of civilizations, there will be readings of foundational texts such as the Madina Charter, along with historical monographs that depict the social relations of the periods and geographies concerned. There will then be readings of fictional texts that re-imagine the different multiculturalism that has already been studied, to see what contemporary authors make of these historical experiences.

HIST 508 Oral History

This course aims to inform students about the theoretical and methodological debates that have arisen in the field of oral history research. Oral histories are the result of verbal expressions of events, memories, and experiences in the past. Oral historians do not only investigate and analyze past events through these different narrative types; they also analyze how these historical events are remembered and perceived today. In the context of historiography, this course will discuss the place and importance of oral history studies. It will also focus on how oral history has developed as a method and a sub-discipline in the field of History. In addition, the methodological contributions of oral history to other disciplines will be discussed and several examples will be studied together. At the same time, document fetishism will be considered a methodological flaw and it will be emphasized what the oral history provides in this regard.

SOC 505 Political Sociology

This course aims to make students have advanced theoretical equipment in the analysis and understanding of society, politics, authority, power, and power relations. Students in this course will have the opportunity to discuss various themes, such as state structures, the emergence of nation-states, the state’s relation to other social institutions, social movements, civil society, and democracy. These discussions will be held from a historical perspective, supplemented by different examples.

SOC 508 Religion in Modern Turkey

This course aims to underline the relationship between experiences of religion, the state-making process, and the reproduction of secularism and modernity in Turkey. Besides the historical view of the production of state in Turkey, we will examine religion in “modern” Turkey with a sociological and anthropological perspective related to the spatial dimension. This course is an examination of the social and political dynamics shaping the management of religions in the public sphere of Turkey. The focus will be particularly on the intertwined relationship between modernity, nation-state building, secularism, and religion. In this relation, the question “how the “modern” Turkey is constructed and experienced concerning religion?” is very crucial in terms of analyzing and illustrating the everyday practices of people within a relational perspective in which the “modern,” “religious” and “secular” takes various forms in different contexts. It aims to comparatively introduce and analyze the theoretical debates, concepts, and methods put forward in this field with a critical perspective and discuss the examples from historical, anthropological, and sociological studies. Especially, anthropological works on Turkey will be analyzed to understand the transformation in Turkey in terms of religion, modernity, and conceptualization of state. In addition, as the practice part of the course, we will also have ethnographic fieldwork experiences in the city of Istanbul to understand the daily life practices and experiences of religion as a citizen in a “modern” state to illuminate the way the students develop their research projects and methodologies.

SOC 510 Gender and Society

The course aims to examine, discuss and analyze the phenomenon of gender within the framework of theoretical debates, concepts, and theories presented in this field with a critical perspective. Human sexuality and gender will be explored in different social and cultural settings. Family and marriage systems, expectations, and norms will be investigated. The categories of gender and sexuality will be treated in an interrelated manner to understand social behavior. An anthropological approach will facilitate the discussions and students will be encouraged to study and present real-life case studies and their impact on political and social debates.

SOC 514 Urban Sociology

To explore the relationship between city and society, urban sociology will be handled under the following topics: Development of cities (in general & in Turkey), classical and contemporary urban theories, the relationship between values, stratification and city, cities and urban transformation processes (through modernization, globalization, segregation, poverty, othering, etc.), urban utopias, differences between the cities in the West and Muslim world, Istanbul (from past to the day) and Istanbul Studies.

SOC 515 Historical Sociology

Historical sociological research examines the long-term social processes that have an impact on contemporary societies. It also comprises the study of many other issues such as modernization, social change, trends and effects of globalization, integration and separation, continuity and rupture, religious and cultural pluralism, and linking the global to the local. The theoretical and methodological tools necessary to understand all these issues will be introduced to students of this course.

SOC 521 Discourse Analysis

This course deals with how the language differs according to the workplace, the social environment, the purpose of communication, and social roles and identities. It examines the different forms of speech and writing. Daily conversations, interviews, interrogations, public speaking, emailing, messaging, and posts on social media can be mentioned as examples. In this course, the students will discuss the nature of the meaning, how the individuals convey what they say and write, the kind of courtesy in verbal communication, and what makes a text consistent. They will also have the ability to analyze the characteristics of various texts, characterize the interpersonal stances adopted by the speaker and the author, and identify and classify different text styles that function in specific social settings.

SOC 530 Sociology of Disaster

This course aims to give students the ability to examine sociological aspects of disasters. Disasters are natural phenomena. At the same time, they are social events that reflect the lives of our communities and groups as much as they are natural. Throughout the term,  the course attention will focus on how culture, inequality, social structure, and processes affect the way how people face disasters, how they respond and how they recover or fail, and how disasters may lead to rapid social change. Utilizing the theories of sociology of disaster, students will be able to examine the social, economic, geographical, political, and cultural factors that place people at different risk levels before, during, and after the disaster in the case of major natural disasters in our country.

SOC 538 Nation-State and Nationalism

What is the nation? Is there only one definition of the concept? Can nations be traced back to the beginning of history? Or are they invented? Are they imagined or real? What is the relationship between secularization and nationalism? Are individualism and nationalism necessarily at odds with each other? In this course, in the light of these and these kinds of questions, the human communities, so-called nations, and the ideology of nationalism will be deeply discussed. Starting from the enlightenment, after going into details of the modernization and secularization process, the relationship between these processes and the rise of nationalism will be elaborated. Regarding theories of nationalism, the approaches to nations as something deeply rooted in history and the perspectives treating them as modern phenomena will be compared and contrasted. In this regard, students will be expected to read the works of critical scholars of the field namely, Ernest Gellner, Ellie Kedourie, Benedict Anderson, Eric Hobsbawm, and Benedict Anderson. Lastly, the complicated and ambiguous relationship between religion and nationalism will be discussed in light of different perspectives.

SOC 540 Colonialism and Postcolonialism

This course covers major theories and approaches to colonialism and post-colonialism. It pertains to socio-political and cultural changes in the colonized world particularly taking into consideration the regions around the Indian Ocean and East Indies. The students will comprehend the social processes occurring in various institutional domains during the colonial and post-colonial times in relevant geographies and their impacts on the current societies. Furthermore, the students are expected to acquire skills such as acquiring an analytical perspective and critical approach through a general look at the interactions between colonizers and colonized societies. In addition, the interactive/transmissive method will be implemented in the teaching-learning sessions between students and materials, students, and instructor/facilitator. And this process will also be supported by the direct method. This course will lead students to acquire significant knowledge about the social changes via modernization processes in larger sectors in societies throughout the colonial period and nation-state establishment. Students’ performance will be appraised through classroom activities including individual presentations, and written assignments. Finally, students will have the capacity and capability to conduct research and write academic articles in particular domains.

SOC 542 Civilizations

It is designed for students to comprehend the dynamic processes of the region in conceptual and empirical ways; achieve a contextual and theoretical understanding of Southeast Asian societies; compare the historical and cultural connectivity of the region within the geographical context of the Indian Ocean and China Sea. This course aims for the students to explore the dynamic processes of the region in conceptual and empirical ways. Throughout the methodological and theoretical issues, the students are expected to have a contextual and theoretical understanding of Southeast Asian societies and their cultures embedded with the Indian and Chinese spheres. The subject will also open the doors to understanding both the historical and contemporary developmental stages in the region. Concerning this, the civilizational processes of various societies will be dealt with in a comparative approach.

SOC 607 Sociology of Religion

This course aims to study and discuss religions as a social institution. Using the possibilities of historical sociology, it will be discussed whether there are meaningful relationships between the emergence of religions and some social factors. By drawing attention to the time and place dominated by various religions, the relations between these religions and their nature and context will be tried to be understood. In addition, the birth, spread, institutionalization of religions throughout history, the different institutional abilities of religions and their relations with other social institutions, the possibilities and limits of these differences, the position of religions in the process of modernization, the process of religions in the context of secularism of modernity will constitute the main discussion axis of this course.

SOC 616 Social Movements

This course aims to address social movements from a sociological perspective. First, key concepts, theoretical approaches, and methodological tools will be discussed through many case studies. To what extent theories about social movements explain modern societies and in which parts they are missing will be discussed. Special attention will be given to the following topics throughout the course: Democracy, religion, identity, globalization, civil rights, environmentalism, class, race, and ethnicity. While social movements in Turkey are more intensely covered, the other major social movements around the world will also be the subject of the course.

SOC 625 Modernity, Post-modernity and Beyond

This course aims to analyze, understand and make sense of the common basic transformations that societies have undergone since the 1970s. Theories regarding the origins of modernity, different reflections of enlightenment thought, discussions of modernism and modernity, globalization, post-industrial society, postmodernism, and postmodernity will be discussed through their reflections in daily life. In addition, paradigm changes between modernity and postmodernity will be discussed. The axis that shifts from certainty to uncertainty, from knowability to obscurity, from positivism to agnosticism will be handled within the framework of the concepts of modernity – postmodernity.

SOC 636 Advanced Comparative Theories and Methods

The course will primarily focus on the epistemological, ontological, and methodological assumptions behind the various research approaches. The main aim of this course is to provide students with information about paradigms developed on the nature of research in social studies. We will focus on the ontological, epistemological, and methodological approaches of various methodological approaches in social sciences, mostly under the surface. The course has both theoretical and practical purposes. The theoretical aim is to give students information about the state of knowledge and the possibility of obtaining information through different research paradigms. During the course we will read and discuss the case studies intensely and ask the following basic theoretical question: Can we understand the social world? If yes how? The question “how” brings us to our practical purpose: to learn how to conduct scientific research.

SOC 637 Sociology of Southeast Asia

In this course, we will first discuss why Southeast Asian societies and cultures can be evaluated sociologically as one unit. Within the framework of this assumption, we will focus on the common social dynamics that cut across different cultural, national, and social structures in the region, and which are valid in all these different elements. On the other hand, in this great totality, we will draw attention to the sociological differences between various nations, tribes, and cultures. Topics such as power relations, ethnic identity transitions and transformations, violence, crime, and local manifestations of the state and global religions will be discussed with a comparative perspective throughout the course.

SOC 639 Selected Topics in Sociology

This course is a special subject that deals with current debates in sociology. Topics may include discussions and new trends in the discipline in general or maybe more specifically related to sub-disciplines in the discipline.

SOC 641 Sociology of Literature

The course of the sociology of literature emphasizes the close relationship between two subjects. The general aim of the course is to study literary works produced in distinct societies to comprehend the social conditions in each social reality. Since literary works are considered creations built upon certain social phenomena differentiated in time and space, they are useful for sociological studies. In this regard, studying literature reveals close attention to the socio-economic and political situations around an apparent weltanschauung. Literature as observed in its style and form reflects the social change as well.

SOC 643 Social Inequality

This course aims to focus on the forms and contents of social inequalities. Especially the inequalities which are based on gender, class, race, and ethnicity will be deeply analyzed. In this context, classical and contemporary sociological theories of stratification, types, and regimes of stratification, indicators of stratification, new forms of stratification/inequality, inequality in the world and Turkey, and similar topics will be handled in this course.

SOC 644 Sociology of Labor and Work

This course will deeply focus on the articulation of work and labor within the social structure. Beyond the idea of understanding labor and work only on an economic basis, this course will underline the different meanings and ways of labor within different contexts. This course is crucial to examine the conceptualization of labor and work within different spaces which are described as private and public like the workplace and household. The question “how labor and work are related to the micro-level experiences, understanding of self and identity, and family structure?” and “how they are intertwined with other social institutions, social structures, and social processes?” will be answered through the discussions of social inequality, discrimination, exclusion, and power relations. By discussing the diverse approaches to labor and work, we will theoretically tackle the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, and social class.