226 Rachel Carson College

(831) 459-4888

Programs Offered

Sociology B.A.

Global Information and Social Enterprise Studies Minor

Sociology Ph.D.

Sociology Designated Emphasis

Other Programs of Interest

Latin American and Latino Studies/Sociology Combined B.A.

Sociology is the study of social interactions among individuals and social groups. More specifically, sociologists examine the cultural, ideological, economic and political contexts of human action including the processes whereby social institutions are created, maintained, and transformed.

Sociology was born as an intellectual response to the democratic and industrial revolutions that ushered in the modern era. As such, it considers how society is organized in relationship to a vision of a just, free, and equal society—a vision that may require fundamental social change. Developing an understanding of both social change and social justice as part of the sociological tradition is one of the teaching goals of sociologists at UCSC. In the process, we expect to develop in students an appreciation for the craft of social science: disciplined inquiry, observation, and research as part of informed global citizenship.

Our faculty have expertise in topics that include, but are not limited to:

  • Children, youth, and families
  • Civic engagement, voting, and citizenship
  • Community-engaged research
  • Cultural politics and the politicization of culture
  • The cultural politics of sex work
  • Critical ethnography
  • Drugs, botanicals, and pharmaceuticals in society
  • Educational inequality
  • Education (K-12 and higher education)
  • Environmental sociology
  • Feminist studies
  • Globalization and international development
  • Global inequality, crime, and deviance
  • Health and medicine
  • Identities and identity changes
  • International law
  • The intersection of race, class, gender and sexualities
  • Labor studies
  • Latinx communities
  • Law and Society
  • Medicine and technology
  • Media studies
  • Immigration and Migration
  • Political economy
  • Popular culture and cultural studies
  • Public Policy
  • Queer studies
  • Science and technology
  • Social movements
  • Sociology of emotion and affect
  • Survey design and quantitative data analysis
  • Sustainability
  • Technology and social change
  • Urban studies

Sociology faculty use a number of approaches and methods, including field research, critical ethnography, cultural analysis, comparative historical analysis, and quantitative techniques.