Research BlogWith over 60 faculty members from across three campuses, the Sociology Department at the University of Toronto conducts ground-breaking research into the social trends facing our world in the twenty-first century.

Our research blog has up-to-date news about the research being done in the Department, reflections and tips related to sociological research. Our research booklet provides a short overview of the research interests of our faculty and PhD candidates. Also watch for our working paper series that will provide access to research findings as they come out.

The following areas of specialization provide a broad outline of the Department’s areas of excellence. Many of our researchers have interests that intersect and that span multiple areas and subfields.Research Booklet

Crime & Socio-Legal Studies
All societies seek to maintain a sense of social order. Researchers in this area study determinants of criminal and deviant behaviour in diverse settings. They also examine the social bases and influences on the legal field.

Research faculty working in this area include: Ellen Berrey, Christian Caron, Randol Contreras, Ronit Dinovitzer, Emine Fidan Elcioglu, Philip Goodman, Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Joseph Hermer, Nathan Innocente, Candace Kruttschnitt, Jooyoung Lee, Ron Levi, Sida Liu, Paula Maurutto, Akwasi Owusu-Bempeh, Kim Pernell, Ashley Rubin and Julian Tanner.

Culture Working Paper Button
Social interactions and identity formation often coalesce around cultural consumption and symbols of status. Researchers in this area examine material products, ideas, and symbols and their relationship to social behaviour.

Research faculty working in this area include: Zaheer Baber, Jayne Baker, Shyon Baumann, Ellen Berrey, Joseph Bryant, Clayton Childress, Jennifer Chun, Bonnie Erickson, Steve Hoffman, Ping-Chun Hsiung, Josée Johnston, Vanina Leschziner, Kathleen Liddle, Andrew Miles, Melissa Milkie, Ann Mullen, Kim Pernell, Eric Schneiderhan, Dan Silver, and Sheldon Ungar.

Gender & Family
Ideologies about gender and the role of the family structure form some of the basic building blocks of society. Researchers examine the construction of gender roles, the intersectional links between gender, status, and inequality, and the gendered structure and functioning of family life.

Research faculty working in this area include: Irene Boeckmann, Monica Boyd, Hae Yeon Choo, Cynthia Cranford, Bonnie Fox, Adam Green, Ping-Chun Hsiung, Josée Johnston, John Kervin, Anna Korteweg, Rachel La Touche, Kathleen Liddle, Melissa Milkie, Ann Mullen, Ito Peng, Rania Salem, Judith Taylor, Sandy Welsh, and Weiguo Zhang.

Health & Mental Health
Social organizations and social processes have a profound effect on health. Sociologists of health and mental health consider structural, social psychological, stress process, labeling, macro-comparative, and institutional approaches, and study both health outcomes and health providers.

Research faculty working in this area include: Brent Berry, Adam Green, Anna Korteweg, Rachel La Touche, William Magee, Melissa Milkie, Ito Peng, David Pettinicchio, Markus Schafer, Scott Schieman, Lorne Tepperman, Sandy Welsh, Blair Wheaton, and Geoff Wodtke.

Immigration and Ethnicity
Global migrations shape the transformation of societies as diverse as Canada, China and the countries of the European Union. The study of immigration and ethnic relations seeks to understand ethnic identities and communities, and the social, political, economic and cultural dimensions of the immigration experience. 

Research faculty working in this area include: Ellen Berrey, Brent Berry, Monica Boyd, Hae Yeon Choo, Cynthia Cranford, Emine Fidan Elcioglu, Rachel La Touche, Akwasi Owusu-Bempeh, Luisa Farah Schwartzman, Philip Goodman, Anna Korteweg, Patricia Landolt, Neda Maghbouleh, Ito Peng, Jeffrey Reitz, and Jack Veugelers.

The quality of research results rely on flawless research tools and techniques. Scholars in these two areas investigate current methods and develop innovative strategies to overcome difficulties in obtaining the best possible research data.

Research faculty working in Qualitative Research Methods include: Emine Fidan Elcioglu, Joseph Hermer, Steve Hoffman, Ping-Chun Hsiung, Patricia Landolt, Jooyoung Lee, Neda Maghbouleh, and Judith Taylor.

Research faculty working in Quantitative Research Methods include: Brent Berry, Rachel La Touche, Andrew Miles, Markus Schafer, Blair Wheaton, and Geoff Wodtke.

Networks and Community

The ways in which people interact with each other affects their health, social position and how they see their place in society. This area measures the ties between individuals to understand such dimensions of society as communication pat-terns, occupational success, and collective action.

Research faculty working in this area include: Brent Berry, Clayton Childress, Bonnie Erickson, Vanina Leschziner, Alexandra Marin, and Markus Schafer.

Political Sociology
Political phenomena have social underpinnings. Scholars in this area draw on sociological theories and methods to ex-plain political protest and advocacy, state formation and governance, and policy development and implementation.

Research faculty working in this area include: Irene Boeckmann, Joseph Bryant, Robert Brym, Jennifer Chun, Emine Fidan Elcioglu, Sida Liu, Luisa Farah Schwartzman, John Hannigan, Steve Hoffman, Ping-Chun Hsiung, Josée Johnston, Anna Korteweg, Patricia Landolt, Yoonkyoung Lee, Ron Levi, Paula Maurutto, Ito Peng, Kim Pernell, David Pettinicchio, Ashley Rubin, Erik Schneiderhan, Judith Taylor, Jack Veugelers, and Geoff Wodtke.

Stratification, Work and Labour Markets
Social inequalities come in many forms and derive from structural and individual factors. Researchers in this area study the impact of income disparity, patterns of inequality and status in the workplace, and the intersection of economics and social systems. 

Research faculty working in this area include: Irene Boeckmann, Monica Boyd, Jennifer Chun, Cynthia Cranford, Ronit Dinovitzer, Bonnie Erickson, Bonnie Fox, Philip Goodman, John Kervin, Rachel La Touche, Patricia Landolt, Yoonkyung Lee, Vanina Leschziner, Sida Liu, Alexandra Marin, Ann Mullen, Kim Pernell, David Pettinicchio, Jeffrey Reitz, Scott Schieman, Sandy Welsh, and Geoffrey Wodtke.

Sociological theory seeks to develop understanding of social phenomena. It builds on the works of theorists who have been observing and analyzing the social world since the nineteenth century. 

Research faculty working in this area include: Zaheer Baber, Joseph Bryant, Christian Caron, Adam Green, Steve Hoffman, Vanina Leschziner, Sida Liu, Ashley Rubin, Erik Schneiderhan, Dan Silver and Jack Veugelers.


Interdisciplinary Connections

CGSP buttonCentre for Global Social Policy
Housed in the Sociology Department and led by Professor Ito Peng, this Centre brings together researchers and graduate students who analyze social policy issues from a global perspective. Currently, the work of the centre is focused on issues related to a large SSHRC-funded partnership grant studying gender, migration and the work of care.

Munk School of Global Affairs

Many of our faculty members also have affiliations with the Munk School of Global Affairs. With a mandate to "deeply integrate research on global affairs with teaching and public education," the Munk School comprises more than 30 centres and institutes. Our faculty members are heavily involved in the Asian Institute, The Centre for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, Centre for the Study of the United States, Ethnic and Pluralism Studies, the Centre for South Asian Studies, Centre for the Study of Korea, the Global Migration Research Institute, and the Trudeau Centre for Peace, Conflict and Justice.

The Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies.

Criminology and Sociology have close ties and many of our faculty members are affiliated with the Centre. There they collaborate with other faculty members who have primary affiliations in such departments as history, law, psychology, philosophy and political science.

Women and Gender Studies Institute

The Institute is dedicated to exploring the entangled work of gender, race and sexuality in identities, relations, practices, theories and institutions. Faculty from a wide variety of disciplines participate either as core faculty members or as affiliate faculty members.

School of Public Policy and Governance 

Several of our faculty members are also involved in the School of Public Policy and Governance. The School seeks to bring together researchers, practitioners, and community members to contribute to policy debates, development, and discussion across many areas of expertise, both nationally and internationally.

We also have faculty members cross-appointed with the Cinema Studies Institute and with the Institute for Life Course and Aging.