The doctoral program of the Department of Sociology is distinguished by its emphasis
on world-historical social science. It offers promising scholars the opportunity to
pursue the critical study of political economy, culture, power, knowledge and hierarchies
of class, race and gender. Inquiry is guided by multiple theoretical approaches and
research methodologies and addresses the interplay of the local and the global, as
well as the past and the present. Substantive research interests include, but are
not limited to, labor, work, and world-scale capital accumulation; imperialism, colonialism,
and diasporic formations; state formation and hegemony; social movements; racial,
ethnic, and gendered forms of domination; processes and institutions of knowledge
production and distribution; world-systems; historical sociology; and alternative
paths of technological and economic change and their divergent social and environmental
Within this broad framework, the department stresses independent scholarly development, rather than standardized training in established specializations. Students are encouraged to develop their own intellectual pursuits and, in consultation with faculty, design their programs of study and select their own areas of scholarly competence. Individual programs of study generally include introductory and advanced seminars, colloquia and doctoral research seminars in the department. Relevant coursework in other departments, programs or schools and independent study with department faculty may be taken only with the approval of the director of graduate studies. Students may also have occasion to collaborate with faculty on research of mutual interest, including in collaborative student/faculty research groups. Additional opportunities for advanced research are also available at the Fernand Braudel Center and other campus research institutes.
Students considering the program should carefully note the department's thematic strengths, faculty breadth and research interests, and course and program requirements.
Director of Graduate Studies
Professor Leslie Gates