Sociology Department

Devah Pager

Devah Pager (1972-2018)

Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Sociology and Public Policy


We mourn the loss of Devah Pager, who served as Director of the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social Policy and as Chair of Harvard's Joint PhD Programs in Social Policy until her death on November 2, 2018. We remember Devah with deep appreciation for the remarkable community she fostered.

Learn more about Devah's seminal work as a scholar in The New York Times obituary.

Research interests: Institutions affecting racial stratification, including education, labor markets, and the criminal justice system. Inequality, race, discrimination, punishment.

Jason Beckfield

Jason Beckfield

Professor of Sociology
Chair of the Department of Sociology


Research interests: Institutional causes and consequences of social inequality. Economic inequality in the European Union. Theoretical and empirical investigation of why societies have such different population health profiles, showing how institutional arrangements (welfare programs, educational expansion, labor markets, and citizenship rights) stratify health. Long-term trends in the development of political economy.

Lawrence D. Bobo

Lawrence D. Bobo

Dean of Social Science, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Social Sciences


Research interests: Thw intersection of social inequality, politics, and race.

Bart Bonikowski

Bart Bonikowski

Associate Professor of Sociology


Research interests: Applies insights from cultural sociology to the study of politics in Europe and the United States, with a particular focus on populist claims-making in political discourse and popular identification with the nation in settled times. 

Mary C. Brinton

Mary C. Brinton

Reischauer Institute Professor of Sociology
Director, Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies


Research interests: Gender inequality, education, labor markets, economic sociology, Japanese society, and comparative sociology. 

Brinton's research combines qualitative and quantitative methods to study institutional change and its effects on individual action, particularly in labor markets and in education.

Frank Dobbin

Frank Dobbin

Professor of Sociology


Research interests: Organizations, inequality, economic sociology, and public policy. Evidence-based approaches to diversity management. The rise of the shareholder value model of corporate management.

Alexandra (Sasha) Killewald

Alexandra (Sasha) Killewald

Professor of Sociology
Director of Graduate Studies, Sociology and Sociology & Social Policy


Research interests: Killewald's research takes a demographic approach to the study of social stratification. Work-family intersection; ways in which earnings and employment shape women's time in household labor; and the effect of marriage and parenthood on workers' wages. 

Parental wealth on adult outcomes, including the role of parental wealth in explaining the Black-White wealth gap. Assortative mating by parental wealth.

Michele Lamont

Michèle Lamont

Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies
Professor of Sociology and African and African American Studies
Director, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs


Research interests: Cultural sociology. Inequality, race and ethnicity, the evaluation of social science knowledge, and the impact of neoliberalism on advanced industrial societies. Shared concepts of worth and excellence and their impact on hierarchies in a number of social domains.... Read more about Michèle Lamont

Joscha Legewie

Joscha Legewie

Assistant Professor of Sociology


Research interests: Social inequality and stratification, education, race/ethnicity, quantitative methods, urban sociology, and computational social science. The social, spatial, and temporal processes that lead to inequality.How peer groups, schools, neighborhoods, and the sequencing of events produce macro patterns of social inequality and influence the relations between social groups.

Ellis Monk

Ellis Monk

Assistant Professor of Sociology


Research interests: Ethnoracial categorization, inequality, and stratification in comparative perspective, health, sociology of the body, political sociology, social psychology, cognition, theory, and Brazil.

Orlando Patterson

Orlando Patterson

John Cowles Professor of Sociology


Research interests: Historical and cultural sociology. The culture and practice of freedom; the comparative study of slavery and ethno-racial relations; the sociology of underdevelopment with special reference to the Caribbean; the problems of gender and familial relations in the black societies of the Americas; the ways that cultural processes relate to poverty and other social outcomes.

Robert J. Sampson

Robert J. Sampson

Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences
Director, Boston Area Research Initiative


Research interests: Crime, urban inequality, the life course, neighborhood effects, civic engagement, "ecometrics," and the social structure of the contemporary city. 

Mario Luis Small

Mario Luis Small

Grafstein Family Professor of Sociology


Research interests: networks, poverty, organizations, culture, methods, neighborhoods, and institutions.

Small is currently using large-scale administrative data to understand isolation in cities, studying how people use their networks to meet their needs, and exploring the epistemological foundations of qualitative research.

Mary C. Waters

Mary C. Waters

John L. Loeb Professor of Sociology


Research interests: Integration of immigrants and their children; the transition to adulthood for the children of immigrants; intergroup relations; the measurement and meaning of racial and ethnic identity; and the social, demographic, and psychological impact of natural disasters.

William Julius Wilson

William Julius Wilson

Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor
Director, Project on Race, Class and Cumulative Adversity, Hutchins Center for African and African American Research


Research interests: Urban poverty, neighborhoods, joblessness, concentrated disadvantage, race and inequality, and social policies to address these problems.