The College of Liberal Arts at Temple University

Temple Sociology

Research · Teaching · Social Change


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Graduate Chair:  Professor Dustin Kidd · (215) 204-6850 ·

Graduate Coordinator:  Pamela Smallwood · (215) 204-7750 ·

General Inquires:



Temple University's Graduate Program in Sociology is devoted to the training of research scholars and educators in the discipline. Students have a variety of career goals, ranging from academic research and teaching to research and administration in private or public agencies.


The Department offers two distinct programs of study in sociology:

  • The Master's Program provides advanced training in sociological theory, statistics, and research methods.
  • The Doctoral Program concentrates on three main subfields of sociology described below to prepare students for research and teaching in academic settings and for advanced work in applied research settings. The program allows students some flexibility in developing additional specialty areas.


The main areas of graduate teaching and research are race & ethnicity, gender & sexuality, urban sociology, medical sociology, and globalization & immigration.


Race & Ethnicity

Race and ethnicity are important components of many societies, and in the United States they are central to the organization of society and create what some scholars have called a "racialized social formation."


At the same time, race and ethnicity are complexly intertwined with other types of identity, more prominently with gender, class, religion and sexual orientation. Overall, racial thinking is closely linked to how some societies function and sociologists have developed methodologies that are unique to this subfield.


This area encompasses sociological perspectives on ethnic and racial identities, inequalities, and interactions. Emphasis is placed on the long tradition of sociological research, from the early 20th century to the present, including but not limited to research on assimilation, racism, racial and ethnic stratification, prejudice and discrimination, immigration, and racial formation.


Gender & Sexuality

Gender provides a lens through which to understand the social construction of similarity and difference and the sociological, historical, political, and economic forces that both shape and reflect women's and men's roles, statuses, resources, physical traits, and relationships with others.


One major focus, gender and inequality, investigates the relationship between sex and gender and the socioeconomic rewards distributed through the labor market and the welfare state. We attend to how sex and gender relate to poverty, women's relative position in the income distribution and occupational hierarchy, the operation of work organizations, and the construction of social policy.

Another area, kinship, explores global changes in families, competing theoretical perspectives on the role of kinship structures in gender inequality, parenting and childhood, and social networks as well as the impact of public policy on the welfare of modern families.


Gender also encompasses body and sexuality which includes the social construction of sexual identity, historical changes in identity construction, the social and cultural shaping of bodies and gender differences in this process. In all of the above, we pay attention to gender's intersection with race, ethnicity, class, sexual identity, and immigration status.


Urban Sociology

The urban sociology field focuses on how the organization of space produces and reproduces inequality by race, ethnicity, gender, class, family type and sexuality. It feature analyses of competing theoretical explanations for urban spatial patterns linked to inequalities that include power and politics, culture, racial and ethnic discrimination, and economic and political institutions.


Urban sociology has a social problems orientation that looks at the manifestation and production of inequality with a wide range of topics including homelessness, poverty, racial segregation, crime and delinquency, unemployment and underemployment, and environmental problems. A unique feature of the urban sociology field is its ability to link the physical dimensions of space (location, neighborhood, housing, access to place based amenities) to social inequality. A major feature of urban sociology looks at mechanisms accompanying globalization, the development of world cities, the ways in which cities are integrated and exploited within a global economy, and the role of immigrant flows in shaping global cities.


Medical Sociology

The field of Medical Sociology examines a wide range of phenomena related to health and illness, including the fundamental causes of death and disease, the social construction and experience of illness, the social organization of health care delivery, and unequal access to medical resources and care. A central concern of the field is to understand how the organizations and institutions associated with health and wellness can both ameliorate and exacerbate existing social inequalities. Medical sociology is one of the largest and most well-established sections of the American Sociological Association and there is a consistent demand for sociologists trained in medical sociology in and out of academia.


Course topics include urban health, race and health, immigrant health, and demography and population health. Graduates who pursue medical sociology can expect to learn how to apply the core theories and methods (both quantitative and qualitative) of sociology to these topics and to learn how sociological approaches differ from the research methods and strategies commonly employed in the biomedical sciences.


Globalization & Immigration

This is a newly formed area for the department although we have long taught graduate courses on this topic. A lengthier description will appear here soon.



In the department, many faculty members have national and international reputations and some serve as consultants to government and community organizations.  The department and the university have extensive facilities to aid the researcher, whether graduate student or faculty member, including up-to-date computer laboratories and databases.


Students with an interest in applied sociology can increase their research skills and their understanding of policy formation by taking courses in research design, data collection and data analysis.

department of sociology | 713 gladfelter hall | 1115 west polett walk
philadelphia, pa 19122 | (215) 204-7760 | fax: (215) 204-3352 |