Department of Sociology

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Combining Basic Social Science and Real-World Change

Sociology is a field that studies basic human and social processes in the context of the complex realities of a rapidly changing world. Sociologists investigate many important and fascinating questions. Especially with the notable increase in diversity in our society and the fast-moving realities of a globalizing world, the breadth of knowledge and perspective provided by majoring in sociology has been looked upon favorably by employers in many fields. Sociologists are trained to study many aspects of social life: issues of peace and war; labor force and corporate downsizing; gender, work and the family; crime and delinquency; education reform; inequality and medical sociology. The department encourages interaction between students and faculty by offering many opportunities for individualized study and research. Graduates of our program are working in many interesting jobs in research, in fields such as management and industry, health care, human resources, social work and education. Sociology is also excellent preparation for graduate school in multiple fields. In addition to pursuing doctoral study in sociology, many of our recent graduates are now in graduate school in fields like medicine, law and social work.


Combining Strength in Research and Learning

The Department of Sociology is nationally and internationally known for its leadership and strong programs of research and graduate education in the sociology of health and medicine and the sociology of age and the life course. Our undergraduate program also offers concentrations in Crime, Law and Justice, Gender Work and Family, Health, Medicine and Aging, and Social Inequality. Many sociology majors have the opportunity to participate in research projects and other field-based learning experiences, both through activities built into regular course experiences, and by working on ongoing faculty research projects. The Department has a long history of combining leadership in research with a friendly, student-centered culture, for both graduate and undergraduate students.


Three sociology faculty promoted to the rank of professor

Date posted: August 22nd, 2017

Professors Mary Erdmans, Brian Gran and Jessica Kelley have been promoted to the rank of Professor in the Department of Sociology.   Congratulations all !!

Sociology students present at three major conferences

Date posted: August 22nd, 2017

Ten sociology graduate students and one undergraduate sociology major presented papers and posters at three major conferences this summer: the combined meeting of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA)/International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG) in San Francisco in July and at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) and the American Sociological Association (ASA), both in Montreal, in August. …Read more.

Dale Dannefer delivers two keynote addresses on inequality over the life course

Date posted: August 22nd, 2017

Dale Dannefer delivered an invited keynote address at the combined meeting of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG) and the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) in San Francisco in July, entitled “History, Biography and Age: Multiple Levels of Social Inequality.” The second, a lecture at the Conference on the Human Ecology of Social Inequality at the University of California, Davis, in May, entitled “Inequality in Human Development: Historical Trends, Life Course Processes.”

Cassi Pittman featured in People Magazine for “presidentially inspired” engagement photos

Date posted: August 21st, 2017

Soon-to-be newlyweds, Professor Cassi Pittman and her fiance Adam Claytor, were featured in People Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Glamour and numerous other media outlets for their “Obamaesque” engagement photo shoot. The couple recreated several poses inspired by Barack and Michelle Obama’s romantic photographs taken during his presidency.

On Becoming a Teen Mom by Mary Erdmans and Timothy Black receives award from ASA Section on Race, Gender and Class

Date posted: July 17th, 2017

Professors Mary Erdmans and Timothy Black have just received notice that their recent book On Becoming a Teen Mom received Honorable Mention for the Distinguished Book Award from the ASA Section on Race, Gender, and Class. Over 60 books were nominated for this award. This is the third prestigious award received by their book.

Brian Gran invited to serve on the 2018 ASA Annual Meeting Program Committee

Date posted: July 13th, 2017

Brian Gran has been invited to serve on the Program Committee for the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association.


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Page last modified: August 22, 2017