Jennifer Jones is an assistant professor of sociology and a faculty fellow at the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her research uses qualitative methods to explore increasing migration, the growing multiracial population, and shifting social relations between and within racial groups. In this video, she discusses her work on how race relations are changing and what race means for politics and inequality.
Whether their research explores community-led initiatives, national trends, or international issues, Ph.D. students in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology produce outstanding research that is leading to grants, fellowships, and job offers. “Our students benefit from the fact that our faculty is unusually large and strong and covers almost the entire range of sociology,” said Lyn Spillman, director of graduate studies. “They enjoy not only our excellent faculty/student ratios but also the wide range of expertise we offer. The result is that our students produce new knowledge across the entire disciplinary range.”
What draws people to become friends, leads them to form social networks, and what keeps those relationships going? Omar Lizardo, a professor of sociology, is seeking to answer those questions as he researches whether people with similar health habits and even sleep patterns are naturally drawn together — and whether those friendships influence people’s attitudes and health and fitness choices.
Notre Dame senior Ash Smith wants to become a public-interest attorney in order to fight for justice for marginalized populations. And majoring in sociology has played a key role in preparing her for that future. “Sociology lets you study some of the bigger questions, like why we have a lot of the social issues we have today. ” Smith said. “If you’re interested in law school, sociology is a great way to study how these different groups are discriminated against, how the law can help, and how people work together to develop practical solutions.”
In the American health care system, the elderly can often be shortchanged. Dr. Nick Schneeman ’80 is convinced that a typical office visit or a trip to the emergency room is simply not enough to address the complex medical issues they face. Schneeman developed a model to provide compassionate and effective care for the frail elderly while also running his business successfully. From humble beginnings, the practice has flourished.
Robert Vargas, a Notre Dame assistant professor of sociology and faculty fellow in the Institute for Latino Studies, has won a book award for his ethnographic study of Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood and its confrontational relationships between police, politicians, and gangs. The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences will present its Outstanding Book Award to Vargas at its annual meeting in March in Kansas City, Missouri.
Dear friends of Sociology at Notre Dame,
Sociology students, faculty, and staff have excelled in many areas of research, teaching and learning, and service this year.
At the undergraduate level, we successfully launched our new undergraduate minor, which enrolled over 50 students in its first year. The minor provides an alternative for students who do not have room for another major but believe sociology can augment their first major or future career. For example, one pre-med student I spoke with said she couldn’t fit in enough courses to major in sociology (though she wanted to), but knew our classes focusing on health, inequality, and social problems could help her become aware of how the backgrounds and living situations of her future patients might impact their health.…
While universality—and unity amid diversity—is a fundamental characteristic of Roman Catholicism, all-too-familiar issues related to gender, sexuality, race, and authority have wrought the church with internal conflict and no clear path to finding middle ground. A new book, co-edited by Mary Ellen Konieczny, intends to start the conversation about the polarization in the Catholic Church through healthy debates and genuine engagement.