Faculty in sociology have expertise across diverse subject matter but concentrate on one or more of the department's three core concentrations: race, ethnicity and gender; global, transnational and comparative; and health and illness.
Race, ethnicity and gender (REG)
This research area focuses on how race, ethnicity and gender serve as principles of social organization that shapes individual experiences and reproduces social inequalities. Faculty in these areas examine how structural and individual sexism and racism impact both objective (e.g., educational attainment, earnings, career advancement) and subjective (e.g., racial identity, political attitudes, work-family conflict) outcomes. Recent student projects in this area have explored a broad range of substantive topics such as race and gender disparities in health and school discipline, the experiences of women and racial and ethnic minorities in the workplace and the role of sexuality in shaping experiences of criminal victimization.
Global, transnational and comparative sociology (GTC)
This focus prepares students to conduct theoretically grounded, methodologically sound, empirically rigorous research from a comparative perspective that addresses global and transnational social, political, economic and cultural phenomena.
GTC focuses on how fundamental macro-level structures and processes shape individual and group experiences, as well as relationships among nation-states. GTC research also evaluates micro- and meso-level processes across subnational and national units of analysis. Our GTC faculty conduct quantitative and qualitative research on a wide variety of topics such as international development, health disparities, migration, international political economy and work and labor. Many of these substantive areas overlap with the department's two other core areas, the sociology of health and illness and race, ethnicity and gender. Students are encouraged to undertake research that engages two or more areas.
Sociology of health and illness (SOHI)
The sociology of health and illness examines the interaction between society and health. In particular, sociologists within this specialty area examine how social factors impact health and illness and how health and illness impact society.
This specialty also looks at health and illness in relation to social institutions such as the family, work, school, politics and religion as well as the fundamental causes of disease and illness, the organization and operation of the health care system, behaviors of health care providers and patients, provider-patient relationships, access to care, etc. In all of these analyses, sociologists in this specialty area explore health disparities by race/ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, age, ability and nationality.