Latest News

New Sociology Hires Bring Focus to Secrecy, Social Movements

Author: Mike Danahey

Two recent faculty hires in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters are generating excitement, even outside the University. David Gibson, associate professor of sociology, and Ann Mische, associate professor of sociology and peace studies, joined the faculty in the fall of 2013. Professor Rory McVeigh, chair of the Department of Sociology, says,  “I can’t tell you how many people—outside of Notre Dame—have said something along the lines of, ‘Wow, I didn’t realize David Gibson was on your faculty,’ or ‘Wow! When did Ann Mische come to Notre Dame?’

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Sociology Alumni Bring Liberal Arts Perspective to Medical School

Author: Carrie Gates

What would make a patient withhold information from his or her doctor? How do class, race, and ethnicity affect the quality of health care a patient receives? What social factors help determine the illnesses we contract and the best treatment plan for them? A growing number of Notre Dame students who pursue a career in medicine are finding the answers to these questions through a combination of sociology and Arts and Letters Pre-Health coursework.

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Education Research Center to Build Global Scholarly Network

Author: Bill Schmitt

The University of Notre Dame’s Center for Research on Educational Opportunity (CREO) has been designated an “international research network” by the World Education Research Association (WERA). This recognition of CREO’s leadership in the sociology of education will open new doors for international scholarly collaborations in research on educational inequality.

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Nanovics Make Leadership Gift for Social Sciences Building at Notre Dame

Author: Dennis Brown

Robert S. and Elizabeth Nanovic of North Yarmouth, Maine, have made a leadership gift to the University of Notre Dame for the construction of a new social sciences building in the College of Arts and Letters. Nanovic Hall will be built on Notre Dame Avenue, south of the Hesburgh Center for International Studies, and will house the Departments of Economics, Political Science, and Sociology. Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2015 and be completed by August 2017, prior to the start of the academic year.

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Video: Arts and Letters Student Interns at PricewaterhouseCoopers

Author: Todd Boruff

“Walking into these professional environments as an intern, you see that being in the College of Arts and Letters, you’ve been given the foundation to succeed,” says Anna VanEgmond, a senior sociology and computer applications major at Notre Dame. During the summer of 2013, VanEgmond interned as an advisory technology consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

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Sociologist Focuses On Intersection of Politics, Development in Africa

Author: Aaron Smith

As a college student, Erin Metz McDonnell wanted “to experience a world view as completely different from my own as possible, a way of life that would take me out of my Midwestern comfort zone.” She chose Ghana and fell in love with the country. Now a Kellogg Assistant Professor of Sociology at Notre Dame, McDonnell continues to explore the region in her research and teaching.

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Culture Warriors: Cultural Sociology at Notre Dame

Author: Omar Lizardo and Terence McDonnell


The Department of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame has traditionally been recognized for its continuing strengths in the sociology of religion, the sociology of education, and the study of social movements and political sociology. In recent years, Notre Dame has managed to firmly establish itself as a hub for excellence in cultural sociology, to the point where it is safe to consider Notre Dame one of the few places that can call themselves “culture departments” without danger of stretching the meaning of that term.




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Video: Meet Sociology Major Sam Lee

Author: Arts and Letters

“I took a University Seminar in sociology and I really liked it—it fit my personality,” says Sam Lee, a Notre Dame senior from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. “Sociology shapes your lens and perspective and how you see people in a larger context and the social forces that shape people. It’s applicable to a lot of things.”

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New Sociologist Focuses on Immigration

Author: Liquid error: internal

Jennifer Jones, the newest faculty member in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology, focuses her teaching and research on the ways in which immigration policies affect the experiences and identities of various minority groups in the United States. “I liked observing the dynamics around race in other countries and that got me interested in comparing race relations and how race works here,” she explains.

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Ph.D. Student Explores Humanity’s Relationship to Natural Environment

Author: Aaron Smith

Justin Farrell, a doctoral candidate in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology, is interested in how human values, morality, and religion impact our responses to environmental problems. His dissertation analyzes the cultural dimensions of environmental policy conflict in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The study is funded primarily by a three-year U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Graduate STAR Fellowship for Environmental Studies. 

Farrell brought a similar focus to the 2010 BP oil spill in a recent study for which he won the American Sociological Association (ASA) 2012 Marvin E. Olsen Award for best graduate student paper on environment and technology.


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Joan Aldous: A Legacy of Research on Families and Gender Roles

Author: Tara Hunt ’12

Empowered and groundbreaking women are a family tradition for sociologist Joan Aldous, Notre Dame’s first full female endowed professor. Appointed William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Sociology at Notre Dame in 1976, Aldous retired on December 31, 2012. In that time, she became a leading expert in the sociology of the family and made a significant impact on sociology at Notre Dame.

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Maureen Hallinan’s Legacy of Research and Leadership

Author: Tara Hunt ’12

In 1984, Notre Dame invited Maureen Hallinan to join the faculty as the University’s second female endowed chair at a time when academia was an “all-male bastion,” she says.

Now, after 28 years of service, she has retired, having proven herself as a meticulous researcher, prolific writer, and honored professor in the sociology of education—and having advanced the academic reputation of her entire department.

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The Breadth and Depth of Life: Former Chief Justice Lauds Liberal Arts Perspective

Author: Mary Kate Malone

Of the many lessons Kathleen Blatz ’76 took from Notre Dame, the one she says mattered most was not learned in a specific class or from a certain professor. Rather, it was the entirety of her educational experience—from studying abroad in Rome to diving into art history to exploring anthropology—that broadened her perspective on life and helped shape her own path.

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Sociologist Elizabeth McClintock Researches Modern Love

Author: Kevin Clarke and Kate Clements

Assistant Professor Elizabeth Aura McClintock, a recent hire in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology, maintains a professional interest in a field that most of us at one time or other have tried an amateur hand at: mapping out the rules of attraction in dating and marriage. “My research focuses on gender and inequality in the context of romantic and sexual relationships, particularly in partner selection and relationship formation and in dynamics of negotiation and compromise within established relationships,” she says. “I am interested in how intimate relationships reflect, perpetuate, and potentially alter gender, class, age, and racial inequality.”

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