Department Research Projects

Department Research Projects

Research Projects imageResearch Projects Seeking Participants

The following projects are seeking participants (not research assistance from students):

Reposted 10/21/22:  Are you a woman who changed jobs, or quit a job during the pandemic?  If so, you are invited to participate in a research study sponsored by Professor Karen Christopher in the Department of Sociology at the University of Louisville.  Respondents must:   Identify as women.  Have worked in professional, administrative, clerical or desk jobs, OR in service-jobs such as restaurant work, retail, call centers, personal service, or cleaning jobs.   Changed or quit a job anytime in 2020-22.  The study includes an approximately hour-long interview and brief, one-page survey. Questions will cover respondents’ job trajectories during the pandemic.  Interviews will take place in coffee shops, public libraries, or at UofL.  Respondents will receive a $25 gift card for participation.  *If interested, please text Professor Karen Christopher at 502-407-8161 or email her at .

Posted 09/06/22:  This research study explores the unique life experiences of people living with fibromyalgia.  Each participant will be asked to take a photo that they feel is a representation of their chronic pain or life with fibromyalgia, then caption the photo to describe its meaning. The purpose of this is to work to give a visual representation of an invisible condition.  (Photovoice is a methodology that is often used to raise social awareness of the issues members of marginalized communities face, and to create social change.)  All participants will be given and/or choose a pseudonym to protect their identity.  If you are 18 or older, have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia or are suspected of having fibromyalgia by medical personnel or yourself, and are willing to share your experiences, contact Ms. Josie Timmons at 502-724-3322 or  

Faculty Research Projects with Opportunities for Student Involvement

All sociology faculty have ongoing research projects, and, for some, the nature of their research provides opportunities for student involvement providing research assistance.  Depending on their level of education and experience, students may be asked to help with the development of a literature review or survey or interview questions, collect and/or analyze data, etc.  To learn about our faculty's areas of research, visit our faculty webpage, and see below for current projects which are potentially open to student involvement.

For undergraduate and graduate students (posted 4/19/22):  Dr. James Beggan's recent research applies game theoretic ideas involving cooperation, competition, and limitations in rational choice to the analysis of social problems and phenomenon like sexual harassment and polyamory and other forms of consensual nonmonogamy. His work also applies an evolutionary lens to understanding these problems--what has been termed "evolutionary sociology"--in stark contrast to most of the dominant paradigms in sociology which display what could be termed "biophobia." He is also interested in heroic behavior and the manner in which heroic behavior can result in unexpected negative consequences.  Both undergraduate and graduate students interested in working on one his projects should .  

For undergraduate and graduate students (posted 4/19/22):  Dr. Melanie Gast is the the Co-PI for a qualitative project (with a CEHD faculty member) examining the role of peer mentoring in supporting English Language Learner (ELL) and immigrant students and students of color in a local high school. They will possibly continue their data collection in 2022-23, when they will be observing peer academic mentoring sessions and interviewing bilingual peer mentors (in addition to teachers and “ELL” students), and they will have need for data collection, transcription, and possible data analysis work. Any undergraduate or graduate student (particularly any bilingual students) interested in working on this project should contact Dr. Gast.

For undergraduate and graduate students (posted 4/19/22):  Dr. Gul Marshall's main line of research deals with social movements and sociology of gender. It focuses on the dynamics of the relationship between feminist grass-roots activism, the state, and supranational entities (e.g., the European Union and the United Nations).  It highlights the significance of transnational feminist activism in influencing gender policies both at national and supranational levels.  The triangle of the Turkish feminist movement, the Turkish state, and the European Union provides an excellent case for study.  She has written a book titled Shaping Gender Policy in Turkey (SUNY Press) as well as forthcoming and published articles in this line of research.  Dr. Marshall has also conducted research on the role of trust in the forms of generalized trust and institutional trust in affecting the human intentions and actions. She has published collaborative articles on the effect of trust on volunteering, charitable giving, environmental protection, and peace building among groups.  For more information, .