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Want to have more productive conversations on social media? Maybe a chatbot can help. New research from Duke sociologist Christopher Bail and a team of Brigham Young University colleagues used artificial intelligence to intervene and improve conversations online. The team built an AI chat assistant to mediate conversations between two people on opposite sides of the ongoing gun control debate. When one participant was about to send a message, the chat assistant – or ‘chatbot’ – would rephrase the language, with evidence-… read more about Bridging Political Divides With Artificial Intelligence »

Jen’nan Read lead of panel of experts who study how racial and ethnic categories are defined in US, how those definitions change over time, and the implications of the definitions for social inequality. The US Census Bureau organized the session to receive feedback on the possibility of dropping the ancestry question on future data collection instruments, including the decennial Census and American Community Survey. Read and colleagues argued that ancestry is distinct from racial identity and demonstrated how dropping it… read more about Federal Standards on Race/Ethnicity  »

During her last undergraduate semester at Duke, Aasha Henderson worked with colleagues in Sociology and Nursing to examine health outcomes in a Latinx community.  Her independent study paper compared how recent Latinx immigrants to North Carolina categorized themselves into racial groups (self-reported race) to how they believed other Americans would perceive their race when they walked down a street (street race).  When given the U.S. Census categories, most research participants self-reported… read more about Aasha Henderson, Duke Sociology Undergraduate, Publishes Paper on Race & Health »

V. Joseph Hotz, Arts & Sciences Distinguished Professor of Economics, Tyson Brown, WLF Associate Professor of Sociology and Naomi N. Duke, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Sociology are part of a team of researchers that have received a five-year, $25.3 million National Institute on Aging (NIA) award. The award will address gaps in the understanding of potential risks for Alzheimer’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Dementias (AD/ADRD). Hotz, Duke and Kathleen Mullan Harris and Krista M. Perreira at the… read more about Duke and UNC Multidisciplinary Team Awarded $25.3 Million to Study Alzheimer’s Disease »

Tony Cheng, assistant professor of Sociology. (John West/Trinity Communications) “How do police departments resist institutional reforms?” That is a question Tony Cheng, assistant professor of Sociology, poses in his forthcoming first book, “The Policing Machine: Enforcement, Endorsements, and the Illusion of Public Input.” The book is based on nearly two years of ethnographic data Cheng collected in New York City, attending community meetings, church events and local protests to… read more about Tony Cheng Reveals How Police Departments Assert Their Legitimacy and Independence Through the Illusion of Public Input »

Garrett Baker has been awarded “First Place” in the Gene Carte Student Paper Competition by the American Society of Criminology for his paper, “Shattered Dreams: Paternal Incarceration, Youth Expectations, and the Intergenerational Transmission of Disadvantage.” The paper is forthcoming in Sociological Science. Garrett humbly called it a “nice testament to our department” as the paper evolved from his final project in Stephen Vaisey's 1st year stats class, to his 2nd year paper when… read more about Garrett Baker Awarded 1st Place in Gene Carte Student Paper Competition »

This summer, I worked as a researcher at the Institute für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) in Bonn, Germany. Sociologists and economists at IfM Bonn work closely with German government ministries to conduct applied research into Der Mittelstand. At its core the Mittelstand refers to the assortment of German companies that are both owned and managed by individual entrepreneurs and their family members. The Mittelstand is the backbone of the German social market economy. Almost 94% of all German companies, using the… read more about Researching the German Mittelstand  »

For the third time in three years, Jenifer Hamil-Luker has been rated in the “top 5%” of all undergraduate social science instructors at Duke. Impressively, she achieves this success while teaching 4 to 5 courses a year, including core courses for our major (e.g., Research Methods) and elective courses for our minors (e.g., Criminal Justice, Mental Health). This is also in addition to her many responsibilities as Director of Undergraduate Studies. Congratulations Jenifer—you are an amazing asset to the Department… read more about Jenifer Hamil-Luker Ranked in Top 5% of Instructors for 3rd Year in a Row »

Jessi Streib was named the 2023 co-recipient of the William Julius Wilson Early Career Award from the ASA section on Inequality, Poverty, and Mobility. The Wilson Award is given annually in recognition of early career scholars who have made major contributions to inequality research. The Selection Committee was particularly impressed by Jessi’s contributions to knowledge on social mobility, cross-class marriages, and inequality at the intersection of race, sex, and class. Congratulations! read more about Jessi Streib Named 2023 Co-recipent of the William Julius Wilson Early Career Award »

The Department of Sociology congratulates Professor Edwyn (Ed) Tiryakian, Lecturing Fellow of Markets and Management, on being named one of the top undergraduate instructors in the Social Sciences. These faculty are ranked in the top 5% for at least 2 of 3 categories, including: Overall Quality of Course, Overall Quality of Instructor, Intellectual Stimulation of Course.  Professor Tiryakian is the son of Edward Tiryakian, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Duke University, and he says of his father "...of… read more about Edwyn (Ed) Tiryakian Named in Top 5% of Undergraduate Instructors »

Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD), the international sociology honor society, began in 1920 to “acknowledge and promote excellence in the scholarship in the study of sociology.” In 1967, AKD became a certified member of the Association of College Honor Societies. Over the past 100 years, universities have established almost 700 AKD chapters.  We welcome and honor the newest inductees to Duke’s chapter. Jocelyn Aviles-Vazquez Clementine Biddle Serena Biondi Arianna Buchanan Michael Cao Mackenzie Culp Andrew Danowitz… read more about Duke Sociology Welcomes the 2023 AKD Inductees »

Fatima Fairfax has received the 2023 Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship. The fellowship is a nationally-competitive award that is made to individuals who “….have demonstrated superior academic achievement, are committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level in the U.S., show promise of future achievement as scholars and teachers, and are well prepared to use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.” The fellowship provides three years of… read more about Fatima Fairfax Receives 2023 Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship »