Graduate Sociology at UAlbany
Areas of Specialization: Urban Community, Race, & Ethnicity
Interests in urban community and how it is shaped by the ethnic and racial diversity of American society have been at the heart of American sociology since the days of Robert E. Park and the Chicago School. These two interests are central to the Sociology graduate program at the University at Albany; they are the focus of the teaching and research of a large, nationally recognized group of scholars, who have twice in recent years received Sociology's highest book award (for Urban Fortunes in 1990 and American Apartheid in 1995), as well as that of the Social Science History Association (for A Festival of Violence in 1992).
The sociology graduate program at Albany offers students the opportunity to work with these faculty and participate in their research programs. These areas of concentration in the department have also benefitted from a series of large research projects on such topics as racial and ethnic segregation and suburbanization, residential mobility, the relation between community characteristics and crime, lynchings, and the role of women of varying race and ethnicity in the political economy of the U.S. at the turn of the century. Through these projects, students have the opportunity to work with faculty and to gain experience in the analysis of large national data sets. Coursework in this area might include SOC575 (Ethnicity and Race), SOC550 (The American Community), and SOC627 (Urbanization). Concerns with urban and race/ethnic issues are found throughout the curriculum, however, in such areas as criminology, demography, and inequality. Therefore, students interested in these areas of concentration may specialize in urban/community studies or race/ethnicity or may combine them with each other or with other fields. These interests may be pursued either at the master's or the doctoral level.
There are also opportunities for coursework with faculty members outside of sociology. For example, the Certificate Program in Urban Policy involves courses in such other fields as political science, geography and planning, and economics.
Other institutional resources include two multidisciplinary research centers: the Center for Social and Demographic Analysis and the Mumford Center for Comparative Urban and Regional Research.
Paul Bellair (1995) The Consequences of Crime for Social Disorganization Theory: An Examination of Reciprocal Effects Between Crime and Social Interaction, Assistant Professor, Ohio State University.
Kyle Crowder (1999) The Rural Context of Residential Mobility: Neighborhood Conditions and Metropolitan Constraints, Assistant Professor, Western Washington State University.
Marlese Durr (1993) The Use of Cross-Ethnic Ties in the Facilitation of Promotions: African Americans and Managerial Labor Markets in the Public Sector, Assistant Professor, Wright State University.
Kevin Fitzpatrick (1985) American Suburbs in Transition: Ecological Succession and the Dimensions of Community Change, 1960-1980, Associate Professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Reid Golden (1991) The Macrostructural Determinants of Health Care Delivery in the United States: A Test of Competing Theoretical Models, Associate Professor, Hartwick College.
Akiko Hosler (1995) Japanese Immigrant Entrepreneurs in New York City: The Role of Ethnic Collectivity in Business, Research Scientist, New York State Department of Health.
Sung Joon Jang (1992) Sex Differences in Delinquency Among African American Adolescents: A Longitudinal Study, Assistant Professor, Ohio State University.
Tom McNulty (1999) Race and Crime in the City: The Institutional Bases of Community Social Disorganization, Assistant Professor, University of Georgia.
Sonia Miner (1993) Informal and Formal Spheres of Social Interaction and Support by Race: An Analysis of Interdependencies and Compensations in Later Life, Assistant Professor, University of Utah.
Gordana Rabrenovic (1990) Neighborhood Associations and Political Actors: Unequal Representation at the Local Level, Assistant Professor, Northeastern University.
Myungduk Sakong (1990) Rethinking the Impact of the Enclave: A Comparative Analysis of Korean Americans' Economic and Residential Adaptation, Seoul, Korea.
Min Zhou (1989) The Enclave Economy and Immigrant Incorporation in New York City's Chinatown
Faculty in Urban Community, Race, and Ethnicity
Richard D. Alba
Ph.D. Columbia University
Richard Alba's interest in ethnicity and race stems from his Bronx childhood and was nurtured intellectually in graduate school at Columbia. For nearly two decades thereafter, his research was concerned primarily with aspects of the assimilation of European-ancestry Americans. Recently, he has turned his attention to new immigrant groups, working with John Logan on residential patterns of racial minorities and new immigrants and with Victor Nee on the assimilation prospects of post-1965 immigrants. He has also conducted research on ethnic cleavages in Germany and has twice been a Fulbright scholar there. Alba has also been elected President of the Eastern Sociological Society.
Ethnic Identity: The Transformation of White America. Yale University Press, 1990. Named as an Outstanding Book on Human Rights by the Gustavus Myers Center, 1992.
Ph.D. University of Chicago
Professor Brandon's research interests strive to identify connections between social policy and family well-being, broadly defined. He has strong interests in child care provision, vulnerable groups of children, especially immigrant children, children with disabilities, and children living in single-mother families. His other interests include showing the value of panel and time use data to gain insights into the burdens and barriers that parents confront when raising children with disabilities. Both his child care interests and focus on vulnerable populations of children overlap with his work on living arrangements and family diversity and change. Brandon’s work highlights the connections among parental work-family decisions, children’s well-being, change in household composition and structure, and public policies, especially welfare policies.
Ph.D. Johns Hopkins
Professor Bose's academic interests lie in the areas of stratification, labor market studies, development issues, and gender studies. She has published in several of these areas with an emphasis on racial-ethnic experiences including employment and poverty among Latinas, women and development in Latin America, and most recently on women's work at the turn of the century.
Women in 1900: Gateway to the Political Economy of the 20th Century. Temple University Press, 2001.
Ph.D. University of California at Los Angeles
Professor Chung’s research interests include urban sociology, international migration, race/ ethnicity, Asian American studies, and qualitative sociology. She has published on the topic of interethnic coalitions, ethnic community-based organizations, race relations theory, transnational identities, intersectionality and 2nd generation youth in several journals and books.
Her most recent work examines the diverse ways 1.5/ 2nd generation ethnic organizations in Koreatown are able to construct ethnic political solidarity within the context of community power structures. She is currently working on a monograph on the inter-generational politics of the Korean American community in Los Angeles and preparing a pilot study on race and citizenship among native-born and immigrant South Asian Americans in the New York metropolitan area.
Nancy A. Denton
Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania
Professor Denton’s areas of interest include residential segregation, race/ethnicity and urban sociology. Her work has examined the spatial segregation of Blacks, Hispanics and Asians in the largest metropolitan areas of the United States. With Douglas S. Massey she is the author of American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass, which won the 1995 ASA Distinguished Publication Award. Current research includes studying the process of race/ethnic neighborhood change and the socioeconomic changes that accompany it, and an analysis of spatial and racial effects on housing value appreciation.. Prof. Denton recently completed a term as Chair of the Community and Urban Sociology Section of the ASA. She is also Associate Director of the Center for Social and Demographic Analysis.
"Housing as a Means of Asset Accumulation: A Good Strategy for the Poor?" pp. 232-266 in Assets for the Poor: The Benefits of Spreading Asset Ownership, Thomas M. Shapiro and Edward, N. Wolff, editors, New York: Russell Sage. (2001)
Ph.D. CUNY Graduate Center
Professor Dreby’s research interests are in children, gender and families, international migration, transnational processes, ethnographic and qualitative methods, and community studies. Her most recent study explores the ways two of the most salient features of contemporary immigration, legality and new destination settlement, affect the lives of children in Mexican families. Dr. Dreby has published on her previous study about Mexican transnational families in the book Divided by Borders: Mexican Migrants and their Children. She has also published on child-care safety. Dr. Dreby has a background in social services and Latin American studies. She is also especially interested in work family issues.
Donald J. Hernandez
Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley
Professor Hernandez' interests include life course processes, children and the family, social and economic stratification, immigration, race and ethnicity, and public policy. His book America's Children: Resources from Family, Government and the Economy presented the first national analysis of the timing, magnitude, and reasons for revolutionary changes experienced by children since the Great Depression in family composition, parents' education, fathers' and mothers' work, and family income and poverty. More recently in From Generation to Generation: The Health and Well Being of Children in Immigrant Families (edited with E. Charney) he assessed historical and contemporary differences among children in immigrant and native-born families. Future plans include studies of the effect of welfare reform on the well-being and development of children.
Hayward Derrick Horton
Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University
Professor Horton specializes in race/ethnicity and demography. His research and publications have focused on black entrepreneurship from a demographic perspective, occupational differentiation and patterns of black-white self-employment, the demography of race and homeownership, trends in racial differences in housing values, rural-urban differences in black family structure, the impact of race and ethnicity on levels of employment, and black community development. New areas of research include the impact of cohort effects on black socioeconomic status and mortality and HIV/AIDS among Puerto Ricans. Professor Horton serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Applied Sociology, Sociological Inquiry, and Sociological Forum. He has served as chair of the Sociological Practice Committee of the American Sociological Association, and as Executive Office of the Association of Black Sociologists.
"Population Change and the Employment Status of College Educated Blacks," Research in Race and Ethnic Relations, (1995).
Ronald N. Jacobs
Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles
Professor Jacobs’s areas of interest include social theory, cultural and political sociology, mass media and civil society. His research has examined racial crises, the sociology of news production, the relationship between African-American and “mainstream” public spheres, and the use of narrative methods for studying discourse. He is currently engaged in two research projects dealing with voluntary
associations. The first looks at the strategies and consequences of media publicity for non-profit organizations, while the other project is a cultural history of tax-exempt organizations between 1894 and 1989.
Race, Media and the Crisis of Civil Society: From Watts to Rodney King. Cambridge University Press, 2000.
Ph.D. University of Chicago
Professor Liang’s areas of research interests include migration, urbanization, and race and ethnic relations. His recent research projects have covered such topics as market transition and migration in China and intermarriage of Asian Americans in the United States. New areas of research include population and health and population and environment.
“The Age of Migration in China.” Population and Development Review 2001.
Steven F. Messner
Ph.D. Princeton University
Steven Messner studies the relationship between social organization and crime at the macro-level. He has conducted research using a variety of areal units, including urban neighborhoods, cities, metropolitan statistical areas, and nation-states. Professor Messner is a recipient of the University at Albany’s President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and the President’s Award for Excellence in Academic Service.
Crime and the American Dream, Belmont CA:
Scott J. South
Ph.D. University of Texas
Professor South's research examines the influence of social and geographic context on intergroup relations, life-course trajectories, and demographic events, with particular emphasis on family formation, marital dissolution, and patterns of residential mobility and migration. His recent projects include a study of residential mobility between neighborhoods of varying socioeconomic and racial composition and a study of neighborhood effects on the life-course of adolescents and young adults.
“Neighborhood Effects on Family Formation: Concentrated Poverty and Beyond.” American Sociological Review 63 (1999) (with Kyle Crowder.)