Department of Sociology mission statement
The faculty in Department of Sociology at the University of Louisville focus their research and teaching around the theme of diversity and inequality. Diversity and inequality is concerned with the significant ways in which people and groups differ from one another, particularly in terms of race and ethnicity, social class, gender, sexuality, and other salient social characteristics. The importance of diversity and inequality is growing as diverse groups endeavor to overcome inequality, and as society and social institutions work to embrace diverse cultures and populations. Thus the department strives to advance understandings of the sociological foundations of inequality as sources of conflict among diverse groups.
The study of diversity and inequality includes an examination of the important contributions various social groups have made to society, the barriers to their full participation in society, and the efforts they have made to achieve equality. An appreciation of the nature and consequences of diversity and inequality is essential for understanding social forces and social structures, as well as group processes and organizational dynamics and the way these affect individual life chances. By focusing on diversity and inequality, the Department of Sociology helps to advance a deeper, and often a counterintuitive understanding of inequality. Such an understanding is essential to the effective formulation and implementation of democratic social policy and is relevant to many careers, including those in research, academia, business, law, social services, medicine, and government.
The Department of Sociology’s focus on diversity and inequality is reflected in the courses that are offered, as well as in the research specialization areas of its faculty: 1) Cities, suburbs, and communities; 2) Education, economy and work; 3) Families, gender, and sexuality; 4) Health and medicine; and 5) Race and ethnicity. In addition to these departmental specialties, individual faculty members pursue research interests in aging, deviance and criminal justice, popular music, social movements, social networks, sports and recreation, and visual sociology. Additionally, the department’s faculty has expertise in a number of research methodologies, including quantitative methods, qualitative methods, and visual sociology.