Message from the Chairperson

Welcome to the Sociology Department at Boston College.

More than ever, the world needs sociology. We face mounting challenges of heightened global conflict, inequality, a fracturing political discourse, climate change and widespread environmental degradation. Boston College, I believe, is a unique place to study sociology. We have a distinguished faculty with a commitment to world-class research, teaching, and service. Many hold leadership positions in various professional associations. We embrace methodological pluralism. Our faculty members publish widely in major sociological journals and multidisciplinary journals, obtain major external grants and fellowships, and many write influential books. We support students who have similar ambitions.

And speaking of students, ours are wonderful. Their intelligence, talent, and commitment are impressive and inspiring. Our curriculum includes training in the central traditions of sociology as well as cutting edge developments in different areas of sociological inquiry, and we actively engage with other disciplines. We aim to expand, not narrow, the terrain of sociology for you to explore.

Being situated in Boston—a major metropolitan area steeped in history and culture—is another advantage. The promises and troubles of Boston invite timely sociological inquiry. We benefit also from our university's participation in a consortium of Boston area universities. This enables our students to cross-register for courses at other leading institutions, diversifying course offerings, while facilitating exchange with other students in the Boston area.

Two additional aspects of our program also deserve mention. These include our Departmental Seminars, an ongoing forum for exposing our students and faculty to cutting-edge research and writing in the social sciences; and our Distinguished Visiting Scholars Series. The Distinguished Visiting Scholars Series brings a leading sociological scholar to the Boston College campus for a period of residency, providing a unique opportunity for members of the BC sociology department to dialogue and develop relations with a wide variety of important sociologists.

In recent years these two scholarly events programs have brought many influential thinkers to our department including David Pellow, Deborah Carr, Bruce Carruthers, Dana Fisher, Thomas Dietz, Nitsan Chorev, Frederick Wherry, Avery Gordon, Loïc Wacquant, Saskia Sassen, Michael Hardt, David Harvey, Emily Martin, Anne Fausto-Sterling, Dorothy Roberts, Walden Bello, Giovanni Arrighi, Donatella della Porta, Nancy Naples, Francesca Polletta, Frances Fox Piven, Paul Gilroy, Aldon Morris, M. Jacqui Alexander, Patricia Hill Collins, Sandra Harding, Dorothy Smith, bell hooks, Mary Waters, Michael Burawoy, Tricia Rose, Alondra Nelson, and Prudence Carter.

If your view of yourself as a sociologist has affinities with ours, I encourage you to find out more about us by exploring our department's website.