Sociology Department

Jason Beckfield

Jason Beckfield

Professor 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.

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.

Christina Cross

Christina J. Cross

Postdoctoral Fellow in Sociology (2019-2022)
Assistant Professor of Sociology (beginning 2022)


Research interests: How family structure, change, and dynamics influence individual wellbeing across the life course, particularly among minority and/or low-income populations. Childhood as a key stage in the life course for the emergence and accumulation of social advantages or disadvantages.

Frank Dobbin

Frank Dobbin

Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences


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.

Christina Ciocca Eller

Christina Ciocca Eller

Assistant Professor of Sociology and Social Studies


Research interests: I draw on both quantitative and qualitative methods to analyze institutional processes of inequality, with a particular focus on the role of organizations in shaping the opportunity structures and outcomes available to individuals. My primary case is the U.S. higher education sector. This research implicates several major areas of sociological study, including inequality, stratification, mobility, organizations, race/ethnicity/gender, and culture, in addition to education.

Alexandra (Sasha) Killewald

Alexandra (Sasha) Killewald

Professor of Sociology


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.

Joscha Legewie

Joscha Legewie

Associate 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

Associate 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
Chair, Department of Sociology
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
Visiting Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
Director of Graduate Studies, Dept 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.

Adaner Usmani

Adaner Usmani

Assistant Professor of Sociology and Social Studies

Research interests: Labor and social movements, crime and incarceration, quantitative and computational methods.