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Ph.D Student Analyzes Religion’s Influence on War and Peace

Author: Joanna Basile

No one would dispute that religious convictions can lead to conflict—even violence and war. Yet how is it that so often adversaries use their faith to justify opposing stances in the same dispute? That's the question that intrigues Christopher Morrissey, a doctoral candidate in Notre Dame's Department of Sociology.

"Religious support and opposition to the Iraq War cut across American faith traditions, dividing the pews and denominations internally," says Morrissey, whose research focuses on the public debate before the war started.

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New Courses Explore Motivations for Social Engagement

Author: Susan Love Loughmiller

Selfishness. Selflessness. Religion. Social activism.

The interrelationship of these ideas lies at the heart of two new courses for undergraduates in the Department of Sociology.

To help students explore the connections, Assistant Professor Kraig Beyerlein draws on his extensive research in social movements, civic engagement, volunteerism, and religion-based mobilization.

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A Winning Year for Faculty Hires

Author: Kate Cohorst

At a time when the battered economy caused many sociology programs to freeze hiring for a second consecutive year, the University of Notre Dame doubled down.

“I am pleased to say that we hired four of the very best young scholars in the nation and each one will be joining us in the fall of 2011,” says Professor Rory McVeigh, chair of the Department of Sociology. “These scholars, as a group, not only build on our preexisting strengths but also help us to establish strength in some new areas of research.”…

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Focus on Professionalization Fuels Publishing Success

Author: Mark Shuman and Kate Cohorst

A growing number of Ph.D. students in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Sociology are attracting attention for their research and publishing papers in leading peer-reviewed journals.

"Students have taken up our challenge to be more ambitious," says William Carbonaro, associate professor and director of graduate studies for the department.

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Providing Support for a Solitary Pursuit

Author: Joanna Basile

Ideas and ambitions abound. What many undergraduates lack is the know-how to tackle—on their own and for the first time—an extended research project that culminates in a senior thesis.

"When anyone does independent research, much of it is a solitary experience

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Christian Smith's New Book Explores Meaning of Personhood

Author: Susan Guibert and Joanna Basile

The question "What is a person?" has occupied the minds of philosophers and theologians for centuries. But University of Notre Dame sociologist Christian Smith argues in his latest book that the question also lies at the center of the social scientist's quest to understand social life.

What is a Person?: Rethinking Humanity, Social Life, and the Moral Good from the Person Up presents a new model for social theory

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Growth in Field Spurs Investment in Cultural Sociology

Author: Sara Burnett

As interest in cultural sociology has risen in recent decades, so too has Notre Dame's investment in its faculty.

"We've been growing over the past 20 years, but in the last five years it has all come together," says cultural sociologist Lyn Spillman, an associate professor who has studied American political and economic culture.

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