Department of Sociology
The department’s focus on basic science is complemented by a deep commitment to informing public and educational policy, particularly on issues related to gender and racial inequality, income inequality, poverty, drug use, economic development, school funding, organizational practices and race and ethnicity.
What is Sociology?
Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts.
Because all human behavior is social, the subject matter of sociology ranges from the intimate family to the hostile mob; from organized crime to religious cults; from the divisions of race, gender, and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture; and from the sociology of work to the sociology of sports.
Because sociology addresses the most challenging issues of our time, it is a rapidly expanding field whose potential is increasingly tapped by those who craft policies and create programs.
The Graduate Program
Cornell’s Graduate Field of Sociology provides top-notch training toward the PhD in Sociology, and has long been known for its emphasis on both theoretical innovation and methodological rigor. The Field, which is much larger than the Department, has close to thirty faculty members.
Check out the Department's Jeopardy! display case on the 3rd floor of Uris Hall and the corresponding Jeopardy! page, home to solutions, history, and a place where you can share your trivia ideas with us.
Amidst Tales of Population Decreasing, Number of Millionaires and Billionaires Rise.Read more
Nexus Scholars spent eight weeks this summer working with researchers on campus on projects in the humanities, social sciences and physical sciences.Read more
Inequality scholars voice concerns after Supreme Court bans race-conscious admissions at top universities
The Supreme Court’s ruling against affirmative action policies at Harvard and the University of North Carolina forces students and admission offices to employ workaround options, which scholars such as Professor Hirschman presume will not go the distance in furthering diversity in collegiate classro...Read more