Graduate Program Overview
Our Past and Present
Established as an academic unit at LSU in 1928 the Department of Sociology awarded its first MA in 1931 and first PhD in 1937. Our current faculty pursues nationally and internationally recognized research on basic and applied social science questions. While an array of research interests exist among faculty, the department has particularly strong expertise in three general research areas:
An interdisciplinary field that studies the causes, manifestations, consequences,
control, and prevention of criminal behavior at both the individual and societal levels.
While the general focus of the Sociology’s faculty members at LSU in on the community
and neighborhood correlates of crime, their research spans many substantive areas
including violence, sexual victimization, formal/informal policing strategies, gangs,
gentrification and crime, and cultural influences on crime. Their research utilizes
both qualitative (i.e., ethnography) and quantitative (i.e., statistical, spatial,
and social network analysis) methodologies.
Scholars working in criminology include Barton, Becker, Lee, Shihadeh, Stevenson, Torres & Valasik.
A central component to the discipline of sociology. Social inequality involves building
an understanding of the structure, causes, and consequences of the unequal distribution
of material and symbolic rewards in society. The faculty at LSU examine social inequality
as it applies to topics including communities and regions, education, gender and sexuality,
globalization and development, marriage and family, race and ethnicity, social demography
and population change, and work and labor markets.
Scholars working in social inequality include Becker, Berkowitz, Blanchard, Chauvin, Gremillion, Kamo, Kroeger, Martin, O'Connell, O'Neil, Rackin, Schafer, Shihadeh, Slack, Stroope & Torres
Focusing on the connections among people in society. Social capital includes social
networks, community, civic participation, and identity and sense of belonging. Research
on social capital carried out by members of LSU Sociology has explored how social
networks affect access to resources after a natural disaster, how a person looks for
a job, how new technology spreads in third world countries, how community solidarity
can reduce crime, and how religious organizations help integrate immigrants into society.
Scholars working in social capital include Barton, Rackin, Shrum, Valasik, Walker & Weil
Additional Research Interests
Some other research specialties in the department include:
Social Demography, Gender Studies, Race & Ethnicity, Communities, Social Stratification, Families, Health & Well-being, Policing, and Qualitative Methodology