Graduate Sociology at UAlbany

Areas of Specialization:

Qualitative Sociologies


Faculty in Qualitative Sociologies: Chung, Popp Berman, Dreby, Jacobs, Lachmann, Loscocco, Major, Seidman, Zetka

Critical. Historical. Interpretive. Structural. Qualitative sociology covers a broad range of approaches. However, they all involve a view that it is important to discover what the individuals we are studying think and feel about their own actions. To uncover individuals' understandings and behavior, qualitative sociologists examine historical documents, do interviews, analyze media, and do ethnographies.

The graduate program has many faculty who teach or do research in some area of qualitative sociology. Our great strength as a department is the diversity of topics studied and perspectives used by the faculty. Among the topics studied are race, immigration, globalization/transnationalism, organizations, states and imperialism, media, culture, social movements, gender, children and youth, knowledge, work and families. Faculty and students pursue these topics in dialogue with the leading social theories of the day.

Faculty and graduate students have created related study groups often vetting qualitative projects including a Culture group and an Immigration group that meets regularly to discuss work-in-progress and professional and social concerns. Presently, there are many graduate students pursuing work in different areas of qualitative sociology--including studies of work and family, welfare policy, genocide, ethnic organizations, civil society and the public sphere, Asian modernities, Mexican social policy, citizenship / illegality, political satire, media representations, marriage migration, and race dynamics in work organizations

The strengths of the faculty in the Sociology Department are reinforced by affiliated faculty in other departments.

For graduate students wishing to pursue research in qualitative sociology, the department offers many possibilities and resources.

Relevant Courses in Sociology

Soc 510 Sociological Theory I
Soc 511 Sociological Theory II
Soc 535 Qualitative Research Techniques
Soc 560 Families
Soc 645 Race, Gender and Work
Soc 646 Intersections: Race, Gender, Class, Sexuality                                                                                                 
Soc 661 Political Sociology
Soc 666 Selected Topics
Immigration in a Global Era
Sociology of Childhood
Cultural Sociology
Media Sociology
Techniques of Textual Analysis
Civil Society and the Public Sphere
Soc 654 Complex Organizations and Bureaucracy
Soc 701 Comparative Historical Sociology
Soc 708 Selected Topics in Methodology
Comparative, Historical, and Case Study Methods

Graduate Student Research

Many graduate students have completed dissertations under the guidance of faculty in qualitative sociologies. Others have written masters theses and collaborated on articles for journal review. Some recent examples of dissertation topics include:

Roberto Velez, 2008. “Because History Does Not Allow Us....Collective Memory and the Articulation of Mobilization Narratives in the Antimilitary Movement of Viecques.” Winner of the University At Albany Dissertation Award, 2008

Randolph Hohle, Jr., 2008. “"Symbolic Citizenship, Ethical Practice, and the Body: Competing Political Projects in the Black Civil Rights Movement 1954-1968." Winner of the University at Albany Dissertation Award, 2009

Jingsi Christina Wu, 2011. “Entertainment and the Public Sphere: The Convergence of Popular Culture and Politics in China's Mainstream Public Sphere and Cyberspace." Winner of the University at Albany Dissertation Award, 2011

Matthias Revers, 2014. “Agents of Democratic Accountability?  Professional Culture of Political Journalism in the US and Germany” in March 2014.” Winner of the University at Albany Dissertation Award, 2014

Joseph Gibbons, 2014. "Segregation and the Adaptation of Community-Based Organizations to Multi-ethnic Immigration in Newark and Jersey City: 1990-2010."

Carolyn Corrado, 2013. "White Noise:  Negotiating Boundaries and Constructing Whiteness in Hip-Hop America."

Minjeong Kim, 2008. "Gendering Marriage Migration and Fragmented Citizenship Formation: "Korean" Wives, Daughters-in-law, and Mothers from the Philippines."

Nicholas Pagnucco, 2012. “Qualifying Instructors: Academic Worth and the Justification of Adjunct Work.”

Kim Nazi, 2012. “The Information Ecology of Personal Health Record Systems: Secure Messaging as Catalyst and Its Evolving Impact on Use and Consequences.”

Erica Hunter, 2011. " Creating Meaning in Engagement:  Gender, Heterosexuality, and Commitment To Marriage."

Daniel Santore, 2010. "Individualized Intimacy?  The Negotiation of Self and Other In Heterosexual Relationships."

Laura Bunyan, 2009. "Modern Day Mary Poppins: Uncovering the Work of Nannies and the Expectations of Employers."

Tamara L. Smith, 2010. "Adult Grandchildren Providing Care to Frail Elderly Grandparents."

Reese Kelly, 2012. "Borders That Matter:  Trans Identity Mangement."

Joleen Loucks, 2009. "Adult Children's Experiences Following Mid To Late Life Parental Divorce."

Elizabeth Schilling, 2011. "Leisure Throughout The Trajectory of Motherhood: A Life Course Approach."

--- August, 2014