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Sociology

Administrative Information

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Prof. Karen Barkey, 601C Knox; 854-5622; kb7@columbia.edu

Academic Department Administrator: Jacqueline Pineda-Vega, 501-B Knox; 854-9890; jp2280@columbia.edu

Undergraduate Program Assistant: Dora Arenas, 501A Knox; 854-4226; da9@columbia.edu

Department Office: 501A Knox; 854-4226

  • http://www.sociology.columbia.edu

Professors
Karen Barkey (Director of Undergraduate Studies; Director, IRCPL)
Peter Bearman (Jonathan R. Cole Professor of the Social Sciences)
Yinon Cohen (Yerushalmi Professor of Israel and Jewish Studies)
Jonathan R. Cole (John Mitchell Mason Professor of the University and Provost Emeritus)


Thomas A. DiPrete (Giddings Professor of Sociology)
Gil Eyal (Sociology)
Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson
Bruce Kogut (Business)
Bruce Link (School of Public Health Professor of Epidemiology and Sociomedical Sciences)
Debra C. Minkoff (Barnard)
Aaron Pallas (Teachers College)
Jonathan Rieder (Barnard)
Saskia Sassen (Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology)
Seymour Spilerman (Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Social Sciences)
David Stark (Arthur Lehman Professor of Sociology and International Affairs)
Diane Vaughan (Sociology)
Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh (Williams B. Ransford Professor of Sociology)
Amy Stuart Wells (Teachers College)
Todd Gitlin (Journalism)
Alondra Nelson (Director, Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality)
Shamus Khan (Sociology)

   Associate Professors

Julien Teitler (Social Work)

Courtney Bender (Religion)

Emmanuelle Saada (French and Romance

Philology)

Josh Whitford

Elizabeth Bernstein (Barnard)

Assistant Professors

Christel Kesler (Barnard)

Yao Lu (Sociology)

Adam Reich (Sociology)

Carla Shedd (Sociology)

Van Tran (Sociology)

Lecturers

 

Denise Milstein (lecturer in discipline)

Teresa Sharpe (Sociology)

On Leave

Prof. Shamus Khan (Fall 2014)

Prof. Carla Shedd (2014-2015)

Prof. Joshua Whitford (2014-2015)

Prof. Yinon Cohen (Spring 2015)


Sociology is the study of associational life. In examining patterns of association, sociologists explore the interactions of people, communities, and organizations. In this sense, sociology is not the study of people; it is the study of the relationships among people. That study includes the associations between people and the products of human interaction, such as organizations, technologies, economies, cities, culture, media, and religion. In the kinds of questions it asks, sociology is a deeply humanist discipline and sociologists demand the analytic rigor of scientific investigation.

In training students in our department, we encourage them to ask big questions and we work to give them the tools to provide answers. These tools might mean ethnographic observation, pouring through historical archives, looking at census data, analyzing social networks, or interviewing people in various walks of life.

As a bridging discipline that seeks the scientific exploration of questions that matter to human communities, such as inequality and social injustice, sociology addresses many of the same areas of life as our neighboring social science disciplines. Yet we often approach these areas quite differently. For example, problems of economic and political life are a central concern to sociologists. Rather than explore these as independent or particular features of society, we seek to embed them within the complex whole of the social world. Students will find sociology to be a broad, demanding department that provides its students with the conceptual and methodological tools to make sense of the opportunities and social problems of the global communities in which we live.

Departmental Honors

In order to be considered for departmental honors, majors must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 overall and 3.8 in courses in the Department of Sociology. In addition, students must produce an exceptional honors thesis in the two-semester Senior Seminar (SOCI W3995-W3996). In order to register for the Senior Seminar, students must have completed SOCI W3010 Methods for Social Research and have had their research project accepted by the faculty member teaching the Senior Seminar. Submissions of research projects are due by May 1 preceding the seminar. Normally no more than 10% of graduating majors in the department receive departmental honors each year.