What do Sociologists Study?

Sociologists study a wide variety of topics, using many different methodologies.  Here's how our national professional association, The American Sociological Association, describes what we do:

"Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies and how people interact within these contexts.  Since all human behavior is social, the subject matter of sociology ranges from the intimate family to the hostile mob; from organized crime to religious traditions; from the divisions of race, gender and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture."

"Sociological methods include systematic observation, in-depth interviews and ethnography, conversational analysis, content analysis of both written and visual documents, survey research, and statistical analysis. The results of sociological investigations help in the development of new theories and inform social policy, programs, and laws."

                                             ---  ASA, 21st Century Careers with an
 Degree in Sociology


Dr. William Knox is profiled in ASA Footnotes:

Dr. Paul Luebke is quoted in the New York Times:

Dr. Saundra Westervelt's new book i
s profiled:





Dr. Matthew Hughey (BA in Sociology, UNCG and now Assistant Professor of Sociology, Mississippi State University) published White Bound: Nationalists, Antiracists, and the Shared Meanings of Race (Stanford University Press, 2012)

Dr. Jeffrey Kidder (BA in Sociology, UNCG and now Assistant Professor of Sociology, Northern Illinois University) was interviewed by the New York Post and the Chronicle of Higher Education about his new book, Urban Flow: Bike Messengers and the City (ILR Press, 2011)



Dr. Paul Luebke, a member of the NC House of Representatives, was quoted at length in a September 2011 news story about the proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage in the state:


Dr. Gwen Hunnicutt's research on infanticide made national news in May 2011:


Dr. Arielle Kuperberg was interviewed about population trends in North Carolina in March 2011:


The work of UNCG faculty and students illustrates the diversity and the excitement of sociological researchHere's what we've been working on lately:

Kenneth D. Allan, A Primer in Social and Sociological Theory: Toward a Sociology of Citizenship (Pine Forge Press, 2010).

Mikhail Balaev, "Economic-Political Interaction in the Core-Periphery Hierarchy," Handbook of World-Systems Analysis, 2012.

Julie V. Brown, "Holding up the Social Safety Net: Gender and Health Care in Urban Russia," in Maija Jappinen et al., eds. Gazing at Welfare, Gender and Agency in Post-Socialist Countries (Cambridge Scholars, 2011).  (with N. L. Rusinova)

Shelly Brown-Jeffy, "Toward a Conceptual Framework of Culturally  Relevant Pedagogy: An Overview of the Conceptual and Theoretical literature," Teacher Education Quarterly, Winter 2011, pp. 65-84. (with J. E. Cooper)

Christine Calabria, "Public and Private Presentations of the Self and Employment Seeking," MA Thesis, 2011.

Steven R. Cureton
, "Night-Crawlers: The Potential Health Risks Associated with Criminogenic Masculinity and Clubbing," Journal of Black Masculinity, 2012.

Sarah C. Daynes, Time and Memory in Reggae Music: the Politics of Hope (Manchester University Press, 2010).

Jenifer Hamil-Luker, "Late Employment Careers, Transitions to Retirement and Retirement Income in the U.S.," in H. P. Blossfeld, S. Buchholz and K. Kurz, eds.  Aging, Populations, Globalization and the Labor Market (Edward Elgar, 2010)

Gwen C. Hunnicutt, "Varieties of Pariarchy and Violence Against Women: Resurrecting 'Patriarchy' as a Theoretical Tool," Violence Against Women, 15(5): 553-573, 2009.

Steve Kroll-Smith, "Writing Sociology, a Commentary," Sociological Inquiry, 2012.

Arielle T. Kuperberg, "Reassessing Differences in Work and Income in Cohabitation and Marriage," Journal of Marriage and Family, 2012

Paul Luebke, "Anti-Immigrant Mobilization in a Southern State," in C. D. Lippard and C. A. Gallagher, eds. Being Brown in Dixie: Race, Ethnicity, and Latino Immigration in the New South (Lynne Rienner Publ., 2010).

William T. Markham, "Die Globalisierung der Umweltorganisationen
(The Globalization of Environmental Organizations)," in Matthias Gross, ed. Handbuch Umweltsoziologie (Handbook of Environmental Sociology) (VS Verlag fur Sozialwissenschaften, 2011)

Nailah McDowell, "Felon at-Home Dads," MA thesis, 2011.

James Petersen, "The Growth of Internet Research Methods and the Reluctant Sociologist," Sociological Inquiry, 80:114-125, 2010.  (with Dan Farrell)

Stephen J. Sills, "Social Capital and the Experience of Prejudice, Aggression and Discrimination among Immigrants, US-Born Minorities and Whites in Greensboro, North Carolina," Sociation Today, 2012.

Saundra D. Westervelt, Life after Death Row: Exonerees' Search for Community and Identity (Rutgers University Press, 2012). (with Kim Cook)