Latest News

$1 Million Grant to Help Sociologist Research School Choice in Indiana

Author: Bill Schmitt

Mark Berends

Indiana’s school choice program is one of the largest in the United States. Until now, little has been known about how this initiative to increase parents’ educational options for their children is affecting either the schools or the students. A Notre Dame sociologist will now get to examine a range of those effects, thanks to a $1 million grant from The Spencer Foundation. The award will fund a three-year study in a ground-breaking initiative with data allowing for comparisons among traditional public, charter, and private schools.

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Sociology Student Spotlight: Katie Brennan '15

Author: Jennifer Lechtanski

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Belfast, Northern Ireland was once a city full of police checkpoints and barricades, bullets and bombs. It has only been within the last 15 years that the country, which is part of the United Kingdom but located on the island of Ireland, has moved away from this violent way of life. Katie Brennan interviewed young people, both Catholic and Protestant, from various underprivileged neighborhoodsin Belfast to better understand their views on community, antisocial behavior, and the future--both personally and what they saw for the future of Northern Ireland. 

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Sociology Student Spotlight: Jingting (Lily) Kang

Author: Jen Fulton

Kang Lily Icon

Let’s welcome Jingting (Lily) Kang back to the Student Spotlight! Lily (’16), a double-major in IT Management and Sociology, has always had a burning passion for entrepreneurship, and has received several Nanovic grants to conduct research on entrepreneurship education in Switzerland. Last summer, she received the Vill Family Endowment for Excellence in the Nanovic Institute to intern with the Oxfordshire Social Entrepreneurship Partnership in Oxford.

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Scholars Gather in Rome to Bridge Migrant Issues

Author: Josh Weinhold

Rome skyline

An interdisciplinary symposium hosted this week by the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies aims to facilitate conversation and collaboration between scholars from the United States and Italy who are researching issues related to immigration. “Transnational Migration in Comparative Perspective: Italy and the United States” offers the chance for academics to learn from one another about immigration experiences and discuss ways that research can better inform policymakers.

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Sociology Majors Set Sights on Business Careers

Author: Arts and Letters

Sarah Hart

With her Notre Dame sociology degree in hand, Sarah Hart ’15 is headed for the business world. When she starts work as a project manager at Epic, a software development company in the health care industry, her major has her set to succeed in a corporate environment. “It’s definitely given me a wide range of skills that can be applied to almost anything,” Hart said.

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New Course Helps Students Prepare for International Field Research

Author: Josh Weinhold

Erin Metz Mcdonnell Icon

Undergraduate research projects are transformed from broad ideas to focused realities in International Research Design, a new course in the Department of Sociology developed by Erin Metz McDonnell. Offered for the first time this spring, the class covered the fundamental elements of an international research project, from conception to execution.

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Notre Dame Sociologists Explore the Paradox of Generosity

Author: Arts and Letters

Christian Smith Icon

In The Paradox of Generoisty: Giving We Receive, Grasping We Lose, Christian Smith, Notre Dame’s William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology, and sociology doctoral candidate Hilary Davidson provide empirical evidence that acts of generosity are strongly correlated with well-being. According to their research, people who are generous with their money, time, and associations are happier, healthier, and more resilient than their less generous counterparts.

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Video: David Gibson on the Sociology of Deception and Long-Term Lies

Author: Todd Boruff

David Gibson

“How do we keep secrets and tell lies for decades at a time?” asked David Gibson, associate professor of sociology in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters. In this video, Gibson discusses his pioneering work toward a cohesive sociology of deception, analyzing secrets kept by corporations, government agencies, and other organizations.

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Researchers Awarded NIH Grant to Study Social Networks and Health

Author: Carrie Gates

David Hachen

Is physical activity a factor in how friendships are formed? Do social circles influence a person’s health and fitness choices? A team of Notre Dame researchers hopes to explore those questions with the help of smartphone apps and wearable technology devices. Faculty members in the University’s Interdisciplinary Center for Network Science and Applications (iCeNSA) have been awarded a $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the relationship between social networks and health-related behaviors.

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Ph.D. Student Wins SSRC, Fulbright Grants for Brazil Research

Author: Elizabeth Rankin

Stefanie Israel icon

Stefanie Israel, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology, has been awarded a Social Science Research Council International Dissertation Research Fellowship to support her comparative ethnography of four “pacified” favelas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Earlier this year, she was awarded a Fulbright Study-Research Grant for the same project. The funding will allow Israel to spend all of 2016 conducting research in Rio. She will observe urban reform efforts in favela communities at a key point in time: before, during, and after the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, which have been a focus of protests sweeping across Brazil.

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Graduating Seniors Receive National Fellowships

Author: Arts and Letters

The Fulbright Exchange Program, National Science Foundation, and other national and international organizations have awarded postgraduate scholarships and fellowships to 13 members of the University of Notre Dame’s Class of 2012, 10 of whom are students in the College of Arts and Letters. Two Arts and Letters graduates of earlier classes also received prestigious fellowships and scholarships this year.

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Sociologist Rory McVeigh Explores Sources of Political Polarization

Author: Arts and Letters

Rory McVeigh

While recent research shows that Americans’ attitudes are converging on a broad range of social issues, the political gap between political party adherents is growing wider, said Rory McVeigh, professor and chair of the Department of Sociology at Notre Dame. “Democrats and Republicans have become increasingly cohesive in terms of their views on many issues, leaving very little room for compromise and collaboration across party lines,” he said. “As a result, we see gridlock in Washington during a time when the nation faces serious problems that need to be resolved.”

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Three Sociology Graduate Students Receive NSF Fellowships

Author: Jonathan Warren

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Eleven Notre Dame graduate students—including three from the University’s Department of Sociology—have been awarded graduate research fellowships from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the 2014-15 academic year. Katie Condit, Danielle Fulmer, and Nicole Perez were among this year’s winners. 

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Sociology Ph.D. Student Wins Fulbright for Research in Brazil

Author: Elizabeth Rankin

Stefanie Israel

Stefanie Israel, a Ph.D. student in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology and Ph.D. fellow in the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, has been awarded a nine-month Fulbright Study-Research Grant. The prestigious funding, to begin in March 2016, will allow her to complete dissertation research in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she is conducting a comparative ethnography of four “pacified” favelas.

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'Trophy Wife' Stereotype is Largely a Myth, New Study Shows

Author: Shannon Chapla

Elizabeth McClintock

Most people are familiar with the “trophy wife” stereotype that attractive women marry rich men, placing little importance on their other traits, including physical appearance, and that men look for pretty wives but don’t care about their education or earnings. New research, however, by University of Notre Dame sociologist Elizabeth McClintock shows the trophy wife stereotype is largely a myth fueled by selective observation that reinforces sexist stereotypes and trivializes women’s careers.

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The Paradox of Generosity

Author: Carol C. Bradley

Christian Smith hp crop

The notion of generosity, and the ways in which we deal generously—or not—with our friends, family and communities—is the heart of the book, The Paradox of Generosity by Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson, which is based on empirical data collected during five years of research as part of the Science of Generosity Initiative. The research draws on a survey of 2,000 Americans, 60 in-depth interviews with individuals across 12 states, and more than 1,000 photographs and other visual materials. The conclusion Christian Smith, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology, draws is that there’s a direct correlation with happiness and generosity. “The more generous Americans are, the more happiness, health and purpose in life they enjoy,” he says.

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Video: Ann Mische on Peacemaking and Our Perceptions of the Future

Author: Todd Boruff

Ann Mische

“The capacity to project into the future is an essential component of our agency as human beings. It’s in our imaginations, yet it has a real impact upon what we do. It draws us forward in different ways,” said Ann Mische, an associate professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology and the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

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In Memoriam: Joan Aldous, Kenan Professor of Sociology Emerita at Notre Dame

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Joan Aldous

Joan Aldous, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology Emerita at the University of Notre Dame, died Wednesday, October 29, in the Kindred Transitional Care and Rehabilitation Center in South Bend, Indiana. She was 88 years old. Aldous joined the Notre Dame sociology faculty as the first female holder of an endowed professorship at a time when there were few women on the faculty. From 1976 until her retirement in 2012, she taught, studied, and wrote about family sociology, family policy, gender, work and families, and intergenerational relationships.

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