Research and teaching in the department covers all major areas in Sociology, our curriculum is structured around six specialized areas:


Gender plays a crucial role in a wide range of social phenomena. The area encompasses theories of gendered identities and embodiments; gender fluidity; gendered and sexual behaviors and relationships; inequalities and discrimination; disclosure and the closet; gender at work; sexual and intimate violence; and the ways in which gender and sexuality intersect with race, class, age, and bodily ability. We offer courses in gender, girls, queer identities, queer families, and sexual and intimate violence among other fascinating offerings.

Faculty: AcostaAlbertsonChou, Friedman, GossNewtonRyan, Simonds, Stombler, Zhan, Zhao



Health has become a major social issue in the twenty-first century.  At the center of many discussions are the debates over universal health care; the racial, class, and gendered disparities in health and health-care access; and the increasing medicalization of the body, mind, and sexuality. We offer courses in sociology of health & illness, HIV/AIDS and mental health.

Faculty: Gayman, Kail, Ruel, Simonds, Wright Zhao



The Life Course and Aging area introduces students to the cultural, political and historical realities of health and life course change. Life Course & Aging research emphasizes the trajectories of intimate relationships and the social construction of the life course. It also examines how the needs of the young are often pitted against the needs of the old, and how, when resources are especially scarce, the problems and processes of the life course become increasingly complex. Some course offerings include; mental health over the life course, aging, birth & parenthood, family sociology, family diversity, and death & dying.

Faculty: AlbertsonGayman, Kail, Ruel, Zhan



In our sexualities area a sociological perspective is used to examine human sexuality. We explore the historical, political, biological, cultural, sociological, educational, legal, health, aesthetic, and psychological contexts of human sexuality. We also articulate how sexuality is shaped by other social differences like; race, gender, class, religion, nationality ethnicity etc.

Faculty: AcostaAlbertsonChou, Goss, Ryan, Simonds, Stombler, Wright



The urban facet explores the city in history, how cities are organized, and the social forces that constantly change the city’s form and function. We examine the social, economic and political forces that contribute to the death and life of cities in the U.S. and the linkages that connect these cities to globalization.  Our “urban” faculty research interests include the study of residential segregation, homelessness, immigration, space and crime, sprawl, and transportation.

Faculty: Davis, Gayman, Oakley, Pasciuti, Spring



Our “race” faculty examine the centrality of race and ethnicity here and around the globe, race and popular culture, the role of race in educational outcomes, the intersection of gender and racism, institutional racism, racial disparities in health, identity constructions and how racial and ethnic inequality is socially reproduced.  We offer classes in urban studies, race relations, African American women, immigration, housing, and other exciting topics.

Faculty: Acosta, Ainsworth, Chou, Davis, GaymanGossKim, NewtonZhao