Our faculty involve undergraduate and graduate students in their research and many also co-author papers and conference presentations with students as well.
Gender plays a crucial role in a wide range of social phenomena. This area of research 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. In addition to our research in this area, we offer courses in gender, girls, queer identities, queer families and sexual and intimate violence among other fascinating offerings.
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. In addition to our research on these topics, we offer courses in sociology of health & illness, HIV/AIDS and mental health.
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. In addition to our faculty research on these topics, our course offerings include mental health over the life course, aging, birth & parenthood, family sociology, family diversity and death and dying.
In our sexualities area, faculty researchers explore the historical, political, biological, cultural, sociological, educational, legal, health, aesthetic and psychological contexts of human sexuality. We also examine how sexuality is shaped by other social differences such as race, gender, class, religion and nationality ethnicity.
Our Urban Studies research 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 life and death of cities in the U.S. and the linkages that connect these cities to globalization. Faculty research interests include the study of residential segregation, homelessness, immigration, space and crime, sprawl and transportation.
Faculty researchers who focus on race 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 also offer classes in urban studies, race relations, African American women, immigration, housing and other exciting topics.