Areas of Specialization
- Immigration & EthnicityThe study of immigration and ethnic relations seeks to understand the impacts of immigration on group dynamics, urban structures and national strategies. It explores ethnic identities and communities, and the social, political, economic and cultural dimensions of the immigration experience. Research in this area recognizes that the study of race and ethnicity also involves the study of inequality—of the unequal distribution of power and resources within our society.
- Health & Mental HealthSociologists in the area of health and mental health examine the phenomena of health and illness, the social organization of health care delivery, and differential access to medical resources. This area considers structural, social psychological, stress process, labeling, macro-comparative, and institutional approaches, and studies both health outcomes and health providers.
- Networks & CommunitySocial network analysis is both a theoretical perspective and a method for studying the social relationships that make up our social worlds and our communities. By measuring the character of ties between individuals, scholars in this area study phenomena such as communication patterns, occupational success, diffusion processes, and collective action.
- Crime & Sociol-Legal StudiesThe sociological field of crime and socio-legal studies explores juvenile or adult law-violating behaviour and the organization and operation of law enforcement, judicial, and correctional processes. Researchers at the University of Toronto study historical and contemporary determinants of criminal and deviant behaviour in diverse national and social settings. They also study the relationship between law and society by examining the social bases and influences of the legal field.
- Gender & FamilyGender plays a crucial role in a wide range of social phenomena. Sociologists of gender explore the construction of gender roles, the intersectional links between gender, status, and inequality. Scholars focusing on family research it as a social institution with gendered structures and outcomes for health and social functioning.
- Stratification, Work & Labour MarketsThe causes and consequences of class inequality have been and continue to be a long-standing central concern of sociology. Faculty in this area teach and carry out research on inequality and the occupational conditions – both the work settings and the societal-level features of the labour market – that play an integral role in shaping the patterns of inequality.
- Political SociologyA sociological perspective on the political sphere emphasizes how political phenomena have social underpinnings. Scholars in this area draw on sociological theories and methods to explain political protest and advocacy, state formation and governance, and policy development and implementation.
- Sociology of CultureThe Sociology of Culture examines material products, ideas, and symbols and their relationship to social behaviour. This area examines, for example, the roles played by the arts, science, consumer habits, and education in defining social structures and systems.