Research Areas

Globalization, Immigration, and Transnational Studies 

This focal area deals with the movement of people, goods, capital, ideas, political-economic systems, and cultures across national borders, the factors leading to such movement, as well as the outcomes of such movement. 

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Population and Place

Research in this area encompasses a range of theories, methods, and insights for understanding population processes, social structures, inequalities, and lived experiences across a range of geographic scales in the U.S. and internationally. 

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Education and Family

Faculty in this focal group have interest in the sociological studies of education and family, in the areas of education stratification, care work and intergenerational relations.

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Health, Aging & Life Course, Disability

Faculty working in this area examine social inequalities and life-course processes linked to aging, disability, health and health care, family relationships, care work, and welfare state policies.

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Faculty working in this area examine the causes and consequences of disparities based on race, ethnicity, class, education, gender, and sexuality across individuals, groups, and geographies. 

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Power, Capital, and Politics

Faculty in this area draw on a variety of methodological approaches, interdisciplinary literatures, and theoretical perspectives to interrogate the relationship between the state and capital, the impacts and implications of social policies, and the punitive as well as the productive effects of power throughout society. We pay particular attention to the ways in which race, class, gender, and citizenship both shape and are shaped by ongoing political struggle. The faculty in this cluster are especially concerned with linking macro-analyses of political economy to questions of culture, identity, experience, and struggle.

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Rigorous training in both qualitative and quantitative methods is a hallmark of our graduate training program. We have a large number of faculty with deep expertise in both qualitative and quantitative methods. During the PhD program, all graduate students take core courses in both qualitative and quantitative methods and then specialize in one or more methods through advanced coursework. Students not only learn the methods in the classroom, they also gain invaluable experience applying these methods through coursework and collaborations with faculty.

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The focal area in theory uses analytic frameworks to understand how the social world works and how social structures and individual lives are connected.

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