Sociology is a field that studies basic human and social processes in the context of the complex realities of a rapidly changing world. CWRU’s Department of Sociology offers undergraduate concentrations in Crime, Law and Justice, Gender, Work and Family, Health, Medicine, and Aging, and Social Inequality. The Department encourages interaction between students and faculty by offering many opportunities for individualized study and participation in research projects and other field-based learning experiences. The Department has a long history of offering a friendly, student-centered culture, for both undergraduate and graduate students.

In addition to pursuing doctoral study in sociology, many of our recent graduates pursued graduate studies in the fields of medicine, law and social work. The breadth of knowledge and perspective provided by majoring in sociology is viewed favorably by researchers and employers in many fields including management and industry, health care, human resources, social work and education.


Congratulations to all of this year’s graduates! Graduation ceremony is on 5/15. Summer break begins 5/16. Enjoy!

Please join us for Kaitlyn Barnes Langendoerfer‘s dissertation defense “Aging in Place through Urban Decline in Cleveland: How and Why Older African American Women Stayed.” Tuesday, 5/17/22 at 2 PM via zoom. Please contact the department for the zoom link.

Please join us for Danielle Sabo‘s dissertation defense “The Weight of Trauma: Exploring the Relationship Between Intimate Body Trauma and Disordered Eating Across the Early Life Course.” Tuesday, 5/31/22 at 10 AM via zoom. Please contact the department for the zoom link.

Visit Events for a complete listing of past and future events.

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2022 AKD Initiates and Undergraduate Award Recipients Recognized during Department Ceremony

Five Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD) International Sociology Honor Society initiates and 13 recipients of Undergraduate Awards were recognized in a department ceremony on April 22, 2022. We are very proud of their work!

The awards presentation was followed by The Gene S. Uyeki Memorial Lecture given by CWRU sociology alum Alicia Smith-Tran (’18). During her lecture, Private Troubles, Peer-Reviewed: On Personal Growth and Writing Sociologically, Dr. Smith-Tran discussed her personal journey and experiences as a sociology student and professor. Read more…

Colloquium Speaker Beth Richie Discusses Abolition Feminism

On April 8, 2022, the Department of Sociology hosted its second spring colloquium. Dr. Beth Richie delivered her lecture, Anti-Violence Scholarship and Racial Justice Activism: Reflections on Abolition Feminism, in the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Community Studies Center.

Dr. Beth Richie is Head of the Department of Criminology, Law and Justice and Distinguished Professor of Black Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is the author of several books, including the Abolition. Feminism. Now., Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence and America’s Prison Nation and Compelled to Crime: The Gender Entrapment of Black Battered Women. Read more…

Eroding Mass Incarceration: Pursuing Abolitionism in Ohio

The Western Reserve Abolitionist Project (WRAP), a new student group that emerged out of Professor Timothy Black’s course, Racial Inequality and Mass Imprisonment in the US, launched in Spring 2022. The group hosted their first event on April 11, 2022. The event, entitled Eroding Mass Incarceration: Pursuing Abolitionism in Ohio, centered on a panel discussion with representatives from five local and state organizations who spoke about their work to dismantle the carceral state. The panelists included Malika Kidd of Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry, Chazidy Bowman of Opportunities People’s Justice Leaders, Melekte Melaku of ACLU of Ohio, Chrissy Stonebraker-Martinez of Cuyahoga County Jail Coalition, and Damian Calvert of Reentry Bridge Network.

Colloquium Speaker Kamesha Spates Looks at Suicide in the Black Community

On February 25, 2022, the Department of Sociology hosted the first of the spring colloquiums. Professor Kamesha Spates delivered her lecture, Built for Pressure?: A Closer Look at Suicide in the Black Community, in the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Community Studies Center.

Professor Kamesha Spates is an Associate Sociology Professor at Kent State University and the founder and director for the Racial Justice and Health Equity Research and Education Collaborative. She published, “What Don’t Kill Us Makes Us Stronger: Black Women on Suicide” which revealed positive life strategies underlying black women’s resilience. Read more…

Socio-Technology of Cyber Security: An Experiential Learning Course

In November 2021, CWRU, member of the Public Interest Technology University Network (PIT-UN) initiative of New America, received $270,000 in grant awards. PIT-UN funding was awarded to Sociology Professor Brian Gran and An Wang, assistant professor in the Department of Computer and Data Sciences, to create a new, multidisciplinary course “Socio-Technology of Cyber Security: An Experiential Learning Course.” Click here to read more.

Professor Brian Gran Published Two Op-Eds in The Hill

Sociology and Law Professor Brian Gran was recently featured in TheDaily for two op-eds recently published in The Hill. Professor Gran shares addresses the radicalization of Syrian refugees and the role of hospitals in improving community health in November’s “How the world can stop the radicalization of innocents in Syria” and December’s “Hospitals can truly benefit communities by going beyond the IRS standard,” respectively. Click here to read more.

Karie Feldman Appointed Assistant Dean for CWRU Undergraduate Studies

Dr. Karie Feldman (PhD, 2010), full-time lecturer in Sociology, has accepted a position as Assistant Dean in CWRU’s Office of Undergraduate Studies. As a Sociology lecturer, she has been nominated for numerous awards in teaching and mentoring — all reflecting her dedication to students and the importance of sociology. Please join us in extending our thanks and congratulation to Dr. Feldman!

Sociology Fall Colloquium: Professional Work in a “Post-Racial” Era

During the Sociology Department’s colloquium in October 2021, Professor Adia Harvey Wingfield delivered her lecture, Professional Work in a “Post-Racial” Era: Black Health Care Workers in the New Economy and met with students and faculty. Professor Wingfield’s research examines how racial and gender inequality persists in professional occupations. She is the Mary Tileston Hemenway Professor of Arts & Sciences and Vice Dean for Faculty Development and Diversity at Washington University in St. Louis.