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Social Inequality

The area specialization in social inequality allows graduate students to explore how states, policies, organizations and labor markets come together to create differing opportunities and outcomes for diverse groups within society, as well as across societies. Our faculty conduct research on gender, racial, and class inequalities within the United States and other countries, as well as comparative, cross-national research. Many of our faculty specialize jointly with the other two specialization areas in the sociology program (Demography and Environment & Community), as well as collaborating with colleagues in other disciplines (including Environment & Natural Resources, Management, and Political Science).

Our core faculty has ongoing research projects in multiple areas, including aging in rural america, bias and discrimination in the workplace, job quality and family outcomes in the US, chronic illness prevention and management among vulnerable populations, cross-national comparison of the carbon intensity of well-being, consequences of immigration in the US West, and gender, work, and family changes in East Asia. Students in this specialization take a variety of courses, including Theory & Research in Social Change, Work and Occupations, Global Migration, Political Sociology, Public Sociology, and Social Policy and Inequality. 

Our graduates have gone on to do great work all around the country and the world. Read a few of their stories here. 

Paul Jacobs

Foreign-Born Population Branch,
U.S. Census Bureau


Read Paul's Interview

Elizabeth Kiester

Assistant Professor
Albright College


Read Elizabeth's Interview