- Comparative and Historical Sociology
- Economic Sociology and Organizations
- Family/Gender /Sexuality
- Global, Regional and Transnational Sociology
- Health, Medicine, and Biosocial Interactions
- Deviance, Crime and Law
- Political Sociology and Social Movements
- Race and Ethnicity
- Social Networks
- Social Stratification
Welcome to the Yale Sociology Department
Sociology -- the systematic study of social life and social transformation -- is thriving at Yale.
In 1875, Yale professor William Graham Sumner (1840-1910) offered the first American course titled “Sociology.”
Today's department spans a wide array of areas and specialties, balanced with an emphasis on the core concepts, theory and methods of the discipline. Much is new since Sumner's day, but the Yale department still offers an overarching vision of the field, its future, and its relationship to knowledge of our changing world.
ASA Graduate Student Paper Awards to Jeff Guhin and Xiaohong Xu
May 16, 2013 Our grads continue to be recognized by the discipline at large! Jeffrey Ghuin is one of the two winners of the 2013 Graduate Student Paper Award for his paper, “Why Worry?: Evolution and Narrative Path Dependence in Sunni and Evangelical High Schools.” Xiaohong Xu has won the Best Graduate Student Article Award of the ASA section on Altruism, Morality and Social Solidarity, and Honorable Mention from the ASA Culture Section for his paper, “Belonging Before Believing: Ethical Activism, Sectarian Ethos, and Bloc Recruitment in the Making of Chinese Communism.” Both will receive their awards at the section receptions at the ASA's annual meeting in New York this August. Congratulations, Jeff and Xiaohong!
“Thinking Globally”: Professors Anderson and Wallerstein Speak at Fondation Maison de Sciences de l'Homme's 50th Anniversary
May 15, 2013 Elijah Anderson and Immanuel Wallerstein are speaking in Paris at the “Thinking Globally” international symposium organized by the Fondation Maison des sciences de l'homme in honor of the Foundation’s 50th anniversary. Professor Wallerstein will discuss intellectual, organizational, and cultural barriers to global knowledge on May 15th, and Professor Anderson will speak on the 16th about his new book The Cosmopolitan Canopy: Race and Civility in Everyday Life. You can read more at the Symposium website. View the Translated Program PDF here >>
Rui Gao Delivers Department's Annual Sussman Prize Lecture
May 8, 2013 Rui Gao has won this year's Marvin B. Sussman Best Dissertation Award for her 2011 thesis Eclipse and Memory: Public Representation of the War of Resistance in Maoist China and its Official Revision in the Post-Mao Era. Gao's thesis has already won the University's John Addison Porter Prize, a literary award given annually by Yale to the best work of scholarship in any field “where it is possible, through original effort, to gather and relate facts or principles, or both, and to present the results in such a literary form as to make the product of general human interest.” (The prize was established in 1872 in honor of Professor John Addison Porter, B.A. 1842).
Ruth Shonle Cavan Young Scholar Award to Chris Wildeman
April 30, 2013 Professor Chris Wildeman has received this year's Ruth Shonle Cavan Young Scholar Award. The award recognizes outstanding scholarly contributions to the discipline of criminology by someone who has received the Ph.D., MD, LL.D. or analogous graduate degree no more than five years beforehand. Congratulations, Chris!
Deborah Davis Awarded Lex Hixon '63 Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Social Sciences
April 29, 2013 Professor Deborah Davis is this year's winner of Yale's coveted Lex Hixon '63 Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Social Sciences. Congratulations, Debbie! Read more >>
Philadelphia's Mayor Nutter Speaks on Gun Violence in America
April 23, 2013 Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, in an invited lecture under the auspices of Professor Elijah Anderson's Urban Ethnography Project, spoke to a gathering of Yale students on the problem of gun violence in America. In attendance at his lecture were also New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, Jr.; Alderman Justin Elicker, and members of the broader New Haven community. The Q & A was lively and substantive. For more information, see Yale Daily News >>
“Cultural Analysis and Complex Phenomena”: CCS Spring Conference
April 23, 2013 On May 3-4, the Center for Cultural Sociology (CCS) will hold its annual spring conference. This year's program, Cultural Analysis and Complex Phenomena, includes a Keynote address by Faculty Fellow Nina Eliasoph and a Plenary address by Faculty Fellow Bernhard Giesen. Rounding out the program are presentations by CCS Junior and Pre-doc Fellows, and CCS visiting Graduate students and Post-doctoral Fellows. The program can be found at CCS Website >>. For more information, please contact the CCS Administrator Nadine Amalfi at 203-432-9855 or by e-mail at (cultural.sociology at yale.edu)
Yale Institute of Network Science (YINS) Launches July 1, Christakis and Spielman Inaugural Directors
April 11, 2013 President-Elect Peter Salovey announced today that Yale will establish an interdisciplinary Institute of Network Science. YINS will be co-directed by sociologist and physician Dr. Nicholas Christakis, who will join the Yale faculty this summer, and Dan Spielman, of Computer Science and Mathematics. Read more>> The fields involved include engineering, computer science, the social sciences, biology, math, physics, and medicine. In addition to Christakis, affiliated Yale sociologists include Jim Baron, Scott Boorman, Emily Erikson, Marissa King, Andy Papachristos, and Olav Sorenson. May their individual research enterprises -- and network interactions -- prosper! Yale News>>
Professor Elijah Anderson Keynotes British Sociological Association Plenary
April 1, 2013 The Iconic Ghetto: A Reference Point for the New American Colour Line will be the topic of Professor Elijah Anderson's Plenary Address to the annual British Sociological Association conference on April 4 in the Grand Connaught Rooms, London, England. Read the full listing >>
Charles Camic Speaks at Beinecke, Marking Acquisition of Bradford H. Gray Collection in the History of Social Thought
March 27, 2013 Today the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library celebrated the acquisition of the Bradford H. Gray Collection in the History of Social Thought with a luncheon, talk, and view of some items in the collection. Brad Gray (Sociology PhD '73) spoke movingly about the collection that he assembled over many years, while Charles Camic, John Evans Professor of Sociology at Northwestern University, capped the occasion with a luncheon speech on From Discipline to World: The Gift of Dual Membership. The speech will be published in the Yale Journal of Sociology.
Marcus Hunter's Book, Black Citymakers, Just Published
March 1, 2013 Professor Marcus Hunter's new book, Black Citymakers: How The Philadelphia Negro Changed Urban America, has just been published by Oxford University Press. The book revisits the Black Seventh Ward, which W.E.B. DuBois immortalized in 1899, and analyzes both its transformation and the role of black Philadelphians: citymakers and agents of urban change. Congratulations, Marcus!
Sixth Annual Stan Wheeler Memorial Jazz Concert
February 28, 2013 The Stan Wheeler Memorial Jazz Concert, a springtime tradition to honor the memory of beloved professor and jazz musician, Stan Wheeler, will be held on Sunday, April 7, 2013, from 2:00-3:30 p.m. in Yale Law School’s Levinson Auditorium, 127 Wall Street, New Haven. Presented by the dean and faculty of Yale Law School and Yale Bands, the concert will feature the Yale Jazz Ensemble and Reunion Jazz Ensemble. Wheeler taught in Law and Sociology during his time at Yale, and his work shaped the academic field of sociology of law. Admission is free and no tickets are required. Doors open at 1:30. The Yale Bands info line is 203-432-4113. Poster >>
Rene Almeling's Research Featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education
February 19, 2013 Professor Rene Almeling's research on egg and sperm donation is featured in an article published today in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Titled “The Student Body, for Sale,” the article examines how college students sell various bodily goods and services in order to pay tuition. Read the article >>
Christopher Wildeman's Research Featured in The New York Times
February 18, 2013 Professor Chris Wildeman's research on children of the American prison boom prompts a New York Times mention in John Tierney's “Prison and the Poverty Trap,” Read the article >>
Theda Skocpol to Give Department's Hollingshead Lecture February 20 at Sterling Memorial Library
February 14, 2013 This year the Department of Sociology has the pleasure of hosting Professor Theda Skocpol of Harvard University for the annual Hollingshead Lecture, held on Wednesday February 20 at 12:00 noon. Professor Skocpol is the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology. The topic of this year's lecture is “What It Will Take to Mobilize Americans to Limit Carbon Emissions and Fight Global Warming.” Please come join us. Read more in Yale News >>Download Poster >>
Sociologists Join Yale Institution for Social and Policy Studies Panel
on Gun Violence
February 6, 2013 The Yale Institution for Social and Policy Studies (ISPS) will host a panel, “Preventing Gun Violence: What Research and Experience Can Tell Us About What Works,” on Thursday, February 7, from 6:30-7:30 PM in LC 102. Professor Andrew Papachristos and Michael Sierra-Arevalo, a doctoral student in Sociology, will join other experts on public health, sociology, and the law, as well as representatives from local law enforcement and a national gun safety advocacy organization. The event is open to both Yale students and staff and the New Haven community at large. Read more details here >>
ASA Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award Recognizes Professor Elijah Anderson
January 29, 2013 Elijah Anderson, William K. Lanman Professor of Sociology, has received the prestigious Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award from the American Sociological Association. The award recognizes work in the tradition of African-American scholars W.E.B. DuBois, Oliver Cromwell Cox, Charles S. Johnson, and E. Franklin Frazier, who put “their scholarship in service to social justice, with an eye toward advancing the status of disadvantaged populations,” notes the award committee. The award will be formally presented at the ASA's August 2013 meeting in New York City. For more news, see the Yale News >>
CCR Biannual Grad Conference at New Haven Lawn Club
January 26, 2013 The biannual Grad Student Conference of the Center for Comparative Research (CCR) was held on January 26 at the New Haven Lawn Club. This year's special program, "The Meaning of Location; The Location of Meaning," saw grad students from Yale, Brown, CUHK, NYU, Columbia, and Harvard present their work to one another and assembled faculty and postdocs. Full program and details are available on the CCR Website >>
Nicholas Christakis, Frederick F. Wherry to Join Faculty in 2013
January 15, 2013 Frederick F. Wherry will join the Yale faculty as Professor of Sociology on July 1 2013. Professor Wherry, currently at Columbia University, is the author of several noted books on the intersection of culture and economic processes, including The Culture of Markets (Polity, 2012), The Philadelphia Barrio (University of Chicago Press, 2011), and Global Markets and Local Crafts (Johns Hopkins, 2008). He will be pursuing his current U.S.-based work on how people of color understand and use money.
Nicholas Christakis, currently at Harvard, will join the Yale faculty on July 1 as the Sol Goldman Family Professor of Social and Natural Science. Dr. Christakis' many publications have focused on the social factors that affect health, health care, and longevity. His work, via his Human Nature Lab, currently concentrates on the network properties of, and influences on, health behaviors and traits. He is the author of Death Foretold: Prophecy and Prognosis in Medical Care (Chicago, 2001) and coauthor of Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives (Little, Brown & Co., 2009/Back Bay Books, 2011).
The Department looks forward delightedly to Professors Christakis' and Wherry's arrival this coming summer!
New Book, Bourdieu and Historical Analysis, edited by Phil Gorski
January 14, 2013 A volume of essays, Bourdieu and Historical Analysis, edited by Professor Philip Gorski, has just been published in the Politics, History, and Culture Series of Duke University Press. The volume focuses on Bourdieu as a theorist of social transformation and historical change. Duke Press >> Yale News >>
“Emmett and Trayvon:” Elijah Anderson Article in Washington Monthly
January 14, 2013 Emmett Till, 14, who was murdered in 1955, and Trayvon Martin, 17, slain in 2011, have become symbols of some of the challenges that have faced young black men in America. Professor Elijah Anderson compares their killings, and “different strains of racial tension,” in an article in Washington Monthly. Read the full article: “Emmett and Trayvon: How Racial Prejudice Has Changed in the Past Sixty Years.” >>
Ron Eyerman Featured on Mobilizing Ideas
December 20, 2012 Professor Ron Eyerman's recent post on "Youths, Spittle, and Reflections on 'Emotion in Motion'" can be found on Mobilizing Ideas, produced by the Center for the Study of Social Movements at the University of Notre Dame. Read his essay here >>
Jeffrey Guhin Dissertation Featured in GSAS News
December 15, 2012 Jeffrey Guhin's dissertation research draws on both his intellectual interest in the sociology of religion and education and his own personal history. His thesis, "Moral Technology: Science, Religion, and Right Action in Evangelical and Sunni Schools," is a comparative ethnography of four conservative religious high schools in the New York City area. Read More here >>
2012 Yale Journal of Sociology Now Available Online!
November 20, 2012 Edited by Professor Philip Smith, the 2012 Yale Journal of Sociology is now available on this website, Download the new journal, and past editions here >>sociology/yjs.html. The YJS publishes a range of topics and styles of work, in the form of undergraduate senior theses, articles by Yale faculty, grad students, emeriti, and visiting scholars. This year's contributors are Immanuel Wallerstein, Jeffrey Hudson, Monica Qiu, Benjamin Robbins, Kristin Plys, and Andrea Press. 2012 Direct Download >>
Peter Salovey to be Yale's Next President
November 12, 2012 The Sociology department congratulates Peter Salovey on his new appointment! See Yale news >>. Salovey, who is currently Yale's Provost as well as the Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology, is also due to begin a courtesy appointment in Sociology in 2013. In addition to his Psychology Ph.D., Professor Salovey holds a 1980 masters degree in Sociology from Stanford University, where he did original research in sociologically-oriented social psychology. His eminent scholarship has always included a strong social dimension, not least in his present focus on emotion and intersubjectivity on the one hand and framing and health behaviors on the other. Yale Sociology is honored to welcome Peter into our ranks.
New York Times Letter by Professor Marcus Hunter
October 16, 2012 Professor Hunter responded to a New York Times column by Kevin Baker, “How the G.O.P. Became the Anti-Urban Party.” See his letter on Republican Attitudes Toward Urban America here: New York Times >>
Public Lecture at Yale's Edward Zigler Center by Prof. Vida Maralani
October 4, 2012 On Friday October 5, at The Edward Zigler Center on Child Development and Social Policy, Professor Vida Maralani will give a lecture on "From GED to College: Age Trajectories of Non-traditional Educational Paths." The lecture will be held in Room 116, William Harkness Hall, 100 Wall Street, 11:30a-12:30p. It is free and open to the public. For more information, click the poster. >>
Jeff Alexander, the Performance of Politics, in Huffington Post
October 4, 2012 This piece of public sociology, written for a wider audience, grows directly out of Professor Jeffrey Alexander's theoretical work on cultural sociology and the civil sphere. In developing the former, he has been focusing over the last decade on developing an understanding of performativity, in the latter theorizing the importance of public symbolism in disciplining and controlling power in modern societies. The Performance of Politics Election 2012 >> .
Yale Symposium on Inequality Kicks off Departmental Year
September 17, 2012 On September 6-7, the interdisciplinary Yale Symposium on Inequality organized by Professor Elijah Anderson, kicked off the departmental year. Speakers examined forms of social inequality, especially class, race, and gender inequality in the contemporary U.S., and the event included “Reflections on America's Great and Growing Disparity” by William Julius Wilson (Harvard) and a keynote address by Ann Shola Orloff (Northwestern). The conference brought together scholars from Yale and other institutions working in a variety of intellectual traditions to examine the increasingly pressing problem of rising inequality in America and throughout the world. Media Coverage: New York Times >>, Yale News >>.