The College of Liberal Arts at Temple University

Temple Sociology

Research · Teaching · Social Change

Why Study Sociology in Philadelphia?

Philadelphia is the sixth largest metropolitan area in the United States, containing any and every social phenomena of interest to anyone with a sociological imagination. It is a particularly good laboratory for studying uneven development where resources like schools, housing, and employment are unevenly spread out over the region.


Our city abounds with inequality and is divided between the very rich and the very poor. Philadelphia has long been home for racial and ethnic minorities; it has one of the oldest African American communities as well as a long standing Puerto Rican community. It is also home to large numbers of Irish and Italian Americans.


Philadelphia is changing as well. It is now attracting immigrants from all over the world, adding a rich diversity that includes different languages as well as cuisine. Philadelphia is well respected as a welcoming home for gay and lesbian people and this population continues to grow. Many neighborhoods, particularly those close to the downtown center city area, are gentrifying and are changing from low income to high income residents.


Many of Philadelphia's neighborhoods also suffer from problems of disinvestment, abandonment, poverty, large scale unemployment and poor quality schools. Philadelphia's wide range of problems, the diversity of its population, and its size make it an ideal place to study sociology.


For more about Philadelphia and the greater metropolitan region, click here.

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