UMass Boston

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 other issues. Learning sociological methods and theories and conducting 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 life course.

Our 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.  

Mission and Vision Statement

The Sociology Department is committed to excellence in public education and research that deepens our understanding of the social world.

Our faculty is an interdisciplinary scholarly community with varied intellectual interests and methodological approaches. We engage in innovative and grounded teaching and research that explores a wide range of social issues including, but not limited to, race and racism, power, poverty, politics, culture, migration, crime and justice, physical and mental health, gender, sexuality, interpersonal and group processes, and social transformation.

We aim to foster knowledge-building and the application of sociological insights to improve the conditions of people and communities in Boston and around the world. We are dedicated to providing our students, many of whom are people of color, migrants, and first-generation college students, with the skills necessary to engage in the critical inquiry of pressing social issues.

We stand against discrimination and oppression in all its forms. We strive to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion through our scholarship and teaching as well as through our efforts to recruit and advance people of color, women, and other underrepresented groups in our department and in academia.