About the Department
Sociology is the study of how individuals and groups of people function within social contexts. Sociologists focus on:
- Individuals at all stages of the life course, from childhood to old age
- All types of groups, including family, peers, small groups and organizations
- Diverse social contexts, including schools, communities, cities, and entire societies
Sociological investigations draw from a large toolbox of research methods and diverse social theories to answer questions about the causes of crime, the course of illness, the bases of social conflict, the effects of inequality, the meaning of modernity, and many other issues. Learning sociological methods, theories and the findings of original research challenges you to improve your understanding of social phenomena like homelessness, immigration, child abuse, mental illness, job satisfaction, legal processes and even your own career and life course.
Our department’s faculty members reflect these diverse interests, with particular emphases in the areas of political sociology, race/ethnicity, health, crime, immigration, research methods and social theory all underscored with an overarching commitment to improving social policy. See the full list of specializations here.