Chair Welcome

Welcome to Georgia State University’s Department of Sociology. Sociology is the study of the glue that holds things together in a world that often seems like it is falling apart. It is the study of how different groups are included or excluded from wealth and power; how inequalities pervade locally, nationally and globally; the mechanisms and consequences of urban growth and development; the role of different kinds of families, the growing flexibility of gender and sexuality; the prospects for the assimilation of immigrants; the social aspects of health, mental illness and drug use; and how race and ethnicity permeate every aspect of our lives, particularly through segregation.

Our department makes a huge contribution to the dissemination of sociological knowledge and research. The department is one of the largest in the region and the United States more generally. We have 21 full regular faculty shouldering the teaching and training of over 600 undergraduate majors and over 100 graduate students, both full- and part-time. Our focus on teaching excellence is combined with a commitment to scholarship, both basic and applied. We extend our sociology within the Atlanta region, all over the U.S. and across the globe.

We also engage in multidisciplinary teaching and scholarship. Many of our students (graduate and undergraduate) come to us from a variety of departments and disciplines. Our research is often cross disciplinary as well. Our goal is to train students in sophisticated theory and methods to be able to use these to examine and inform important issues, often combining a variety of fields and disciplines. We are creative, intellectually flexible and involved in a broad range of contemporary concerns such as homelessness, educational inequality, racial inequality, urban and housing problems, and sexual identity.

We are increasingly incorporating a creative applied emphasis to our efforts. We have initiated an on-the-ground field school program in which students and faculty work together on applied research and service learning projects. Recent field schools include counting homeless youth in Atlanta, assessing the health benefits of living on Atlanta’s beltline, and working with Atlanta’s Southeast Asian immigrant community.

We are starting a research center which we call the Collaboratory—a play on words that emphasizes collaboration with partners in a research or laboratory setting. We are launching the Collaboratory with a project in partnership with Clark-Atlanta University to do a modern day research application of the work of W.E.B. Dubois. This project will involve a number of faculty and students.
Sociology is a magical field that explores and explains so many taken for granted aspects of how we live our lives. Welcome to the wonderful world of figuring out how social worlds are constructed, how we can gain more control over them, and how to use sociology as a tool for world improvement.