Departmental Research Areas

Research

Faculty in the Department of Sociology conduct empirically rigorous research firmly rooted in sociological theory. Their research covers a wide range of topics and generally falls within three broad areas (comparative political sociology and development, diversity and inequalities, and population and health). McGill Sociology also strongly supports interdisciplinary and collaborative research, and most faculty members contribute to more than one area. For example, professors consider how ethnic and national diversity shape politics and development, the political determinants of health, demographic elements of development, how immigration and gender shape population dynamics, and how gender affects politics and development.  

Comparative Political Sociology and Development

McGill’s Sociology Department is very international, and many professors analyze politics and development in a variety of places around the world.  Areas of research within this stream include states, political economy, social movements, comparative-historical sociology, nationalism, development, social policy, and violence.  A number of faculty members in this stream are associated with the Institute for the Study of International Development (ISID), and the Department offers a Development Studies Option to M.A. students.  Faculty affiliated with this area include: Brauner-Otto, Carmichael, Clark, Eidlin, Hall, Lange, Roychowdhury, Rytina, Shor, Smith, van den Berg, and Weiner.

Diversity and Inequalities

A number of sociologists at McGill analyze diversity and inequality. Their research focuses on how gender, ethnicity, race, sexuality, class, and immigration affect a variety of social phenomena, including inequality, identity, crime and punishment, conflict and violence, multiculturalism, religion, discrimination and racism, and social cohesion. Several professors within this stream are associated with Women’s Studies and the Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies (IGSF), and the Department offers a Gender and Women's Studies Option to M.A. and Ph.D. students. Faculty affiliated with this area include: Carmichael, Doering, ElrickFishman, Hall, Lange, Roychowdhury, Shor, Soehl, Vang, Weiner, and Weinfeld.

Population and Health

Population and health is the Department's third area of specialization. This area encompasses a variety of research topics, including core elements of social demography (health, mortality, fertility, migration), family and the life course, labor markets, health care, health policy, and medical sociology. Several professors in this stream  have ties to the Centre on Population Dynamics (CPD), Department of Social Studies of Medicine, Institute for Health and Social Policy, and Institute for the Study of International Development (ISID). The Department offers Options in Population Dynamics to MA and PhD students and Medical Sociology to MA students. Faculty affiliated with this area include: Brauner-Otto, Cambrosio, Clark, Das, Fishman, LeBourdais, Quesnel-Vallée, Smith, Soehl, Vang, and Weinfeld.