Skip to main content

Departmental Specializations

Culture, Institutions, and Socialization covers a wide variety of topics including cultural consumption and production, cultural conflict, creativity and innovation, sociology of religion, religious callings and vocational voice, sociology of science and knowledge, music, neo-bohemian art, and media and journalism. Faculty members in this area maintain a close working relationship with the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy at Vanderbilt, focusing on the American system of creative enterprise, expressive life and the public interest.

Faculty are currently studying innovation in American theatre, cultural consumption patterns among college students, tradition and commerce at Nashville’s country music festival, the Protestant clergy’s contribution to German science, cultural dimensions of science and technology, Jewish belonging through mass tourism, and Neo-Bohemian art.

Faculty: George Becker, Laura Carpenter, Daniel Cornfield, David Hess, Larry Isaac, Shaul Kelner, Richard Lloyd.

Health, Environment, Population, and Migration includes faculty members interested in topics such as the sociology of mental health, racial/ethnic disparities in health, differences in suicide rates, medical communication patterns, aging and demography, sexual health, social determinants of health, AIDS and public health, and social capital and health. Faculty in this area maintain a close working relationship with the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt, which focuses on looking at health and health care in their social and cultural contexts.  The department also has expertise in environmental sociology and a close working relationship with the Vanderbilt Institute for Energy and Environment.

Faculty in this area are currently studying adolescent health and migration in Mexico, migration and access to health care, communication patterns in medical encounters, the effects of social capital on life satisfaction, the politics of the transition to a greener economy, and race and gender differences in suicide rates.

Faculty: George BeckerLaura Carpenter, C. André Christie-Mizell, Daniel CornfieldDavid Hess, Jonathan Metzl, Joshua Murray, Evelyn Patterson, Mariano Sana, Lijun SongLaTonya Trotter, Christy Erving

Politics, Law, and Conflict brings together faculty with research interests in law and deviance, prison life, and a variety of social movements, including the labor movement, women’s activism, the civil rights movement, the environmental movement, expertise and social movements, and health movements.  Faculty also focus on social change, political sociology, and cultural conflicts in urban settings.

Faculty in this area are currently developing projects focusing on the U.S. woman suffrage and jury movements, a biography and history of the early Nashville civil rights movement, the influence of lethal repression on the early American labor movement, and the Soviet Jewry movement in American Jewish culture.

Faculty: Laura Carpenter, Daniel Cornfield, David Hess, Larry Isaac, Shaul Kelner, Richard Lloyd, Holly McCammon, Joshua MurrayLijun Song

Race, Ethnicity, and Gender focuses on racial and ethnic relations and gender as a socio-cultural construct that orders human perceptions and receptions. Faculty in these areas examine racial disparities in mental health, international migration between the U.S. and Mexico,  gender inequality, gender and social support networks, gendered sexuality, women’s rights, and men’s gender role ideology,.

Current faculty research projects include migration of college-educated workers to the United States and labor-market impacts, immigrant parent involvement in schools, adolescent health and migration in Mexico, migration and access to health care, employment and labor issues among immigrants and refugees in Nashville, racism and mental health outcomes, the gendered character of increasing economic inequality, male circumcision and female genital cutting as public problems in the United States and abroad, gendered political opportunities and women’s activism, and the effects of region, rurality, and religion on U.S. gender roles.

Faculty: Laura Carpenter, C. André Christie-MizellDavid Hess, Shaul Kelner, Holly McCammon, Joshua Murray, Evelyn Patterson, Mariano SanaLaTonya TrotterDaniel CornfieldChristy Erving