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Maxwell / Department of Sociology
  • Welcome to the Sociology Department

    A Message from Faculty and Staff

    3.29.21

    We, faculty and staff members of the Sociology Department at Syracuse University, are deeply saddened and outraged by the mass murders that took place in Atlanta on March 16th 2021. Among the eight persons who were tragically killed, six were Asian-American women - Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, Xiaojie Tan, and Daoyou Feng.  These murders are not isolated events. During the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 3,800 hate incidents have been reported in the U.S., and Asian women have been more than twice as likely to be targeted as men. Discriminatory rhetoric, including references to COVID-19 as the "China Virus," among other hatefully racialized phrases, stoke violence across the country.  We strongly condemn these repeated expressions of hate speech and the horrific violence against persons of Asian descent sweeping across the U.S. and other parts of the world. Our thoughts are with all the victims and the communities impacted, including Asian and Asian American students and faculty in our department who have to personally process these painful events and still conduct their academic careers with professionalism. We recognize that these recent events are part of the historical and systematic exclusions targeting Asians in the U.S. We are committed to building an inclusive learning environment grounded in combating all kinds of racism. We pledge to keep educating ourselves about more and better ways to support our Asian and Asian American colleagues and students, as well as other communities negatively impacted by racism.

    6.5.20

    As protests demanding justice sprout up all over the country following the latest in a long line of killings of unarmed black men and women at the hands of police, we, faculty and staff members of the Sociology Department at Syracuse University, feel compelled to add our voices to those crying out for sustained institutional change.  
     
    We mourn the loss of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor.  We recognize that their deaths occur during a global pandemic that is disproportionally impacting Black, Brown, and immigrant communities in the U.S., including nearly 23,000 Black Americans who have died from COVID-19, and has heightened discrimination against Asians in the U.S. We honor the tens of thousands who have poured into the streets, with courage and commitment, to turn our public mourning into political transformation.
     
    As scholars who study the structures and consequences of inequality and oppression, we acknowledge the deep-seated historical roots of racism in the United States that stem from the enslavement of Black people, the genocide of Indigenous peoples, and the systematic marginalization of “othered” groups. We recognize that racist structures are built at the intersections of ethnicity, social class, gender, religion, citizenship status, ability, age, and sexual orientation. Racism and white supremacy pervade our social institutions, shape our lived experiences, and contribute to deplorable economic, educational and health inequalities. The university as an institution does not escape these structures, as #NotAgainSU tried, again, to teach us, in the face of institutional violence and suppression. 
     
    As educators and scholars, we are committed to exposing these inequalities, facilitating public understanding of their causes and consequences, and encouraging both macro-level solutions and local programs of action and reparation. We stand in solidarity with students of color who have taken leadership across the nation, and who now join in the frontlines of protest even as police and state violence grow more threatening. We call on each other and our leaders, those at Syracuse University and those within our larger society, to implement meaningful, lasting change, in collaboration with the multi-racial communities in which we dwell.  

    Edwin Ackerman, Janet Coria, Cecilia Green, Madonna Harrington Meyer, Prema Kurien,  Scott Landes, Amy Lutz, Yingyi Ma, Shannon Monnat, Jennifer Karas Montez, Jackie Orr, Arthur Paris, Gretchen Purser, Rebecca Schewe, Tara Slater, Merril Silverstein, Janet Wilmoth


    As part of the prestigious Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, our faculty focuses on understanding, critiquing, and addressing structural and social inequalities. Known nationally for our expertise in qualitative methods, our award winning faculty also provide excellent training in quantitative research methods, theory, and a wide variety of sociological issues. Our faculty research, and our courses, include a range of areas such as health, aging, life course, globalization, immigration, transnational studies, family, education, work, power, capital, and culture. 

    Undergraduate training in sociology emphasizes broad understandings of how societies operate.  Students develop more in-depth understanding of particular institutions and practices, including health care, families, education, criminology, environment, labor, industry, and immigration.  They also develop expertise on particular social issues, including sex and gender, race, ethnicity, class, social policies, globalization, and power.  This knowledge provides a useful background for students pursuing a wide range of careers.  Our alumni hold positions in education, journalism, social services, marketing, business, government, strategic planning, criminology, personnel, health care, and law.  Those who pursue graduate training find they are well prepared.

    Graduate training is organized around eight major areas: (1) Globalization, Immigration, Transnational Studies; (2) Population and Place; (3) Education and Family; (4) Health, Aging & Life Course, Disability; (5) Inequalities; (6) Power, Capital, and Politics; (7) Methods; and (8) Theory.  Our aim is to prepare students for all aspects of their career: research, teaching, publishing, grants, and mentoring. We begin with professional development seminar that assures that all students have the opportunities they need to become fully prepared future scholars.  Our PhD students hold positions at prestigious research universities, liberal arts colleges, NGOs, government offices, and corporations.

    The Sociology Department at Syracuse University offers core training in sociological issues, methods, theory, and practice.  Our department includes 16 current faculty, 7 affiliated faculty, and 10 emeriti faculty, many of whom have won national and international awards for their work and hold leadership positions in our national organizations.  Our sociology faculty are affiliated with numerous Syracuse University Programs and Centers including: the Aging Studies Institute; the Asian/Asian American Studies Program; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Studies; Women and Gender Studies; Disability Studies; African American Studies; Native American Studies; Cultural Foundations of Education; the Humanities Center; the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, the Institute for the Study of the Judiciary, Politics and the Media, the Center for Policy Research; the Program on the Analysis and Resolution of Conflict; the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion and the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs. The department provides opportunities for joint degrees or collaborative study with such centers as well.


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  • Sociology News RSS Feed

    Maxwell students chosen to be 2021-22 Remembrance Scholars

    Eight Maxwell School students were among those named 2021-22 Remembrance Scholars. The scholarships, now in their 32nd year, were founded as a tribute to—and means of remembering—the 35 students who were killed in the Dec. 21, 1988, bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Those students, who were returning from a semester of study in London and Florence, were among the 270 people who perished in the bombing. The scholarships are funded through an endowment supported by gifts from alumni, friends, parents and corporations.

     

    Ma examines science identity change, college major shifts in new study

    "Math and Science Identity Change and Paths into and out of STEM: Gender and Racial Disparities," co-authored by Associate Professor of Sociology Yingyi Ma, was published in Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World. Using data from the Pathways through College Study, Ma and Ph.D. candidate Shiyang Xiao '20 M.A. (Econ) find that science identity changes matter more than math identity changes in their association with the decision to switch majors. Most notably, underrepresented racial minority women are the most vulnerable in terms of decreasing science identity and the associated probabilities of leaking out of STEM.

     

    Purser quoted in Law360 article on extended CDC anti-eviction order

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a 90-day extension of a national anti-eviction order slated to expire on March 31. In place through June with minor modifications, the policy effectively extends an anti-eviction order enacted in September under the Trump administration. "The need for rental assistance and a massive influx of cash to deal with this is really, really great," says Gretchen Purser, associate professor of sociology. "The question now is what will happen [after] June." Purser was quoted in the Law360 article, "CDC Extends Federal Anti-Eviction Order Through June."

     

Department of Sociology
302 Maxwell Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244-1090
Phone: +1.315.443.2346