George Mason University


Shannon N. Davis

Associate Professor of Sociology



Courses Taught

Curriculum Vitae


Professional Associations and Organizations

Teaching Philosophy


Courses I have taught at GMU


SOCI 101 – Introductory Sociology - Introduction to basic sociological concepts. Examines aspects of human behavior in a cultural framework including: individual and group interaction, social mobility and stratification, status and class, race and gender relations, urbanism, crime and criminology, and social change and reform. [Spring 2013]


SOCI 303 – Methods and Logic of Inquiry - Introduction to empirical design in sociological research. Actively engages students in original inquiry meaningful to themselves and their communities. Demonstrates the reciprocal relationship between theory and empirical research. Explores the complementarity of interpretive and explanatory logics, employing basic sociological methods.  Guides students to formulate research problems; design research; gather and analyze evidence; and organize, frame, and revise arguments, culminating in a public presentation of their projects to the sociology faculty.  [Fall 2013]


SOCI 309 – Marriage, Families, and Intimate Life - Focuses on family in history and family forms in contemporary societies. Looks at interaction within families and relationship between society and families. [Fall 2011]


SOCI 605 –Gender and Social Structure - Reviews theories explaining the development and maintenance of gender. Using historical and comparative data, examines perceived, prescribed, and actual sex differentiation in social, political, and economic roles. Begins with gender as a social structure and then examines contemporary research as support or refutation for variety of theoretical paradigms. Includes discussion of gender in intimate relationship and the public sector. [Fall 2015]


SOCI 620 - Methods and Logic of Social Inquiry - Emphasizes the gathering, interpretation, and evaluation of scientific evidence. Course develops critical-thinking skills by using a set of rules and logical criteria for the evaluation of social science research. Covers the logic of scientific inquiry, including various data collection methods, such as observational research and experiments, types of variables, causality, and how to distinguish between good and bad research in the published literature. [Fall 2013]


WMST 410/610 – Feminist Approaches to Social Research - Introduction to feminist approaches to social research for advanced undergraduate students. Students learn the techniques for collecting, analyzing, and writing-up research data as they examine many of the central methodological issues and questions raised by feminist scholars undertaking social research. Because an understanding of how to conduct social research is best gained through experience in the social world, this course emphasizes a learning-by-doing approach. [Fall 2014]


WMST 411/611 – Feminist Research Practice - Undertake a semester-long research project investigating an issue of importance to feminist scholarship utilizing a variety of methods typically used by feminist scholars, including quantitative, qualitative, historical, or textual.  Enhance understanding of techniques for collecting, analyzing, and writing up empirical material as well as critical engagement with ethical, interpretive, and representational considerations relating to feminist research. [Spring 2015]


PROV 601 – Thriving in Your Graduate Program: Fostering Graduate Student Success - PROV 601 has been designed for students to explore the opportunities and challenges of graduate school with an eye toward facilitating their success as graduate students at Mason and in their career. The seven seminar sessions encourage students to begin thinking about where they want to be after completing their degree program, and how to position themselves to get there by improving the visibility and impact of their research in scholarly and professional communities. [Spring 2014]


PROV 701 - Preparing for Careers in the Academy Program - Chosen participants will join a select cohort of Mason PhD and MFA students who are preparing to go on the academic market. This program offers students the opportunity to prepare for a career in academia by developing teaching and mentoring expertise, drafting important components of the academic job application, and exploring different types of academic careers. In particular, participants will learn about best practices in teaching and learning, enhance their understanding of the academic job search process, and develop strategies for mentoring graduate students. [Fall 2013]