News

The Department of Sociology recognizes and congratulates those students receiving their doctoral degree in Sociology during the 2019-20 academic year. Our graduates, along with the titles of their dissertations, are listed below.       May 2020 Graduates Jarron D. Bowman "Economic Insecurity, Political Inequality, and the Well-Being of American Families" John P. Bumpus "Essays on the Structural and Cultural Determinants… read more about Congratulations New Ph.D.s! »

Congratulations to the following student award winners from Duke University units in 2020.   African & African American Studies   John Hope Franklin Award for Academic Excellence: Elizabeth DuBard Grantland Karla FC Holloway Award for University Service: Beza Gebremariam Mary McLeod Bethune Writing Award: Jenna Clayborn Walter C. Burford Award for Community Service: Kayla Lynn Corredera-Wells   Art, Art History & Visual Studies        Mary Duke… read more about Student Honors and Laurels for 2020 »

Newly minted PhD, Steven Jefferson has accepted a postdoctoral position at Rice University in their Department of Sociology starting in the fall of 2020. read more about Jefferson Accepts Postdoctoral Fellowship at Rice University »

DURHAM, N.C. -- Eighteen Duke students and alumni have been awarded Fulbright placements to teach English, study and do research abroad during the 2020-2021 academic year. The Fulbright US Student Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, offering opportunities in over 140 countries. The Fulbright award is designed to facilitate cultural exchange and increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and those of other countries. The awards are announced on a… read more about Eighteen Duke Students And Alumni Awarded Fulbright Scholarships »

Congratulations to Professor Lisa Keister for being recognized in the Top 5% of undergraduate instructors in Trinity College last semester (Fall 2019) in categories of Overall Rating of Course and Overall Rating of Instructor!  This honor was for her course: Sociology 223, Data Analytics for Business. read more about Keister In Top 5% of Undergraduate Instructors in Trinity College »

Jen'nan Read – Sally Dalton Robinson Professor of Sociology and chair of the Sociology Department – has been recognized by Trinity College of Arts & Sciences for her excellence in undergraduate teaching. Read was named the 2020 recipient of the Howard D. Johnson Award. “Jen’nan is consistently mentioned among students as one of their favorite professors within sociology," wrote one of her colleagues in the award submission. "This is impressive because some of these students are not even sociology majors, but rather… read more about Jen'nan Read Receives 2020 Undergraduate Teaching Award »

The Betsy Alden Outstanding Service-Learning Awards recognize annually one community partner, one faculty member, and one graduating senior for their outstanding commitment to the ideals of service-learning. We are pleased to recognize the… read more about 2020 Betsy Alden Outstanding Service-Learning Award Winners »

On Wednesday April 1, Steven Jefferson successfully defended his dissertation entitled: “Race, Gender and Perceived Barriers: How Beliefs About the Opportunity Structure Shape Postsecondary Pathways.”  His committee consisted of: Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Chair, Tyson Brown, Royel Johnson, Lynn Smith-Lovin, and Martin Ruef. read more about Steven Jefferson Defends PhD. »

On Friday March 27, Guangyu Tong defended his dissertation entitled: “Topics in Selective Migration and Economic Assimilation of New Immigrants”. His committee consisted of: Angel Harris, Chair, Scott Lynch, Jeffrey Swanson, and Mark Chaves. read more about Guangyu Tong Defends PhD. »

On Thursday March 26, Maria Cristina Ramos Flor defended her dissertation entitled: "Identities and Meaning Structures."   Her committee consisted of:  James Moody, Co-Chair, Lynn Smith-Lovin, Co-Chair, Christopher Bail, and Stephen Vaisey. read more about Maria Cristina Ramos Flor Defends PhD. »

On Thursday March 26, Emily Persons defended her dissertation entitled: "School Closings, Openings and Restructurings: Implications for Schools and Neighborhoods."  Her committee consisted of: Martin Ruef, Co-Chair, Angel Harris, Co-Chair, Christopher Bail, and Jessi Streib. read more about Emily Persons Defends PhD. »

On Tuesday March 31, Zimife Umeh defended her dissertation entitled: “Gender, Institutions, and Punishment: Examining the Experiences of Formerly Incarcerated Women.”  Her committee consisted of:  Martin Ruef, Co-Chair, Angel Harris, Co-Chair, Tyson Brown, and Jessi Streib.  She has also accepted a Presidential Diversity Fellowship at Brown University. read more about Zimife Umeh Defends PhD. and Accepts Postdoctoral Fellowship at Brown »

On Monday March 30, Jarron Bowman defended his dissertation entitled: “Economic Insecurity, Political Inequality, and the Well-Being of American Families.”   His committee consisted of: Angel Harris, Co-Chair, Scott Lynch, Co-Chair, Nicholas Carnes, and Eduardo Bonilla-Silva.  He has accepted a one year Assistant Professorship in the Department of Sociology at Ithaca College starting the fall of 2020. read more about Jarron Bowman Defends PhD. and Accepts Position at Ithaca College »

On Tuesday March 17, John Bumpus defended his dissertation entitled: "Essays on the Structural and Cultural Determinants of Youths' Postsecondary Educational Outcomes."  His committee consisted of: Angel Harris, Co-Chair, Scott M. Lynch, Co-Chair, Christopher Bail, and Eduardo Bonilla-Silva. read more about John Bumpus Defends PhD. »

Lauren Valentino has accepted a tenure-track position in the Sociology department of The Ohio State University.  She will start as an Assistant Professor in the fall of 2020 read more about Lauren Valentino Accepts Position at The Ohio State University »

On Tuesday March 31, Molly Copeland defended her dissertation entitled:  "When Peers Help and Harm: Adolescent Social Structure and Mental Health". Her committee consisted of:  James Moody, Chair, Christopher Bail, Tyson Brown, and Linda K. George.  She has also accepted a tenure-track position as an assistant professor at Michigan State starting in the Fall of 2020. read more about Molly Copeland Defends PhD. and Accepts Position at Michigan State »

On Friday, March 27 Joshua Doyle defended his dissertation entitled: “Getting From Trust to Cooperation: the Moderating Role of Cultural Trust”.  His committee consisted of: Stephen Vaisey (chair), Lynn Smith-Lovin, Martin Ruef, and Ashley Harrell King. He has accepted a tenure track position as an Assistant Professor in the Sociology Department of Purdue University starting in the fall of 2020. read more about Joshua Doyle Defends PhD. and Accepts Position at Purdue University »

“Write!” For Sarah Gaither, this command reminds her what she needs to make time to do. As an assistant professor of psychology & neuroscience at Duke, she balances a robust teaching and research load with administrative duties, meetings with collaborators and students, leadership of the Duke Identity & Diversity Lab and more. Advancing her own scholarship can get squeezed to the margins, but she can’t allow that to happen during this critical period in her career. From manuscripts, grants and book chapters to… read more about A Community That Writes Together »

Social Media Echo Chambers and Political Polarization Wednesday, March 4, 2020 | 4:30-6:30 PM Chris Bail There is widespread concern that social media platforms have created filter bubbles that reinforce peoples’ pre-existing views and prevent them from being exposed to those who do not share them. Though many people believe popping filter bubbles will reduce political polarization on social media, this talk will present multiple field experiments that challenge this… read more about Social Media Echo Chambers and Political Polarization »

In an effort to learn how people form opinions, Duke sociologist Craig Rawlings turned to an unusual test group -- book clubs. Rawlings and fellow researcher Clayton Childress at the University of Toronto enlisted members of book clubs across the country to read a work of historical fiction -- Jarrettsville, by Cornelia Nixon. The book is centered on real-world events in the post-Civil War period and touches on issues of gender, race and southern identity. Study participants read the book on their own and were surveyed… read more about Wine, Conversation and New Points of View »

Higher education institutions like Duke are gateways to opportunity and success for many low-income and first-generation college students. They are also home to professors who once stood in those students’ shoes and used their education to get into academia. Here are some professors from Duke who… read more about Professors from low-income first-generation backgrounds are ready to help Duke students »

Sociology Professor Chris Bail and his team in the Polarization Lab at Duke conducted research into the political divide in social media. In his opinion piece on CNN, Bail discusses how to bridge partisan divides on social media. Read his… read more about Christopher Bail: Want To Bridge Divides? Clean Your Twitter House First »

Matt Dupre (PI) and Scott Lynch (Co-I) were recently awarded an NIH/R21 ($442,750) to study the social determinants of access to care and 30-day readmission in older adults with heart failure. Funded by the National Institute on Aging, the research builds on their work examining how barriers to routine medical care lead to poor outcomes in those living with heart disease. The study is a collaborative effort among faculty from the Department of Sociology, Population Health Sciences, School of Nursing, and the Duke Clinical… read more about Matthew Dupre and Scott Lynch awarded NIH grant »

Dr. Ken Land, the John Franklin Crowell Professor Emeritus of Sociology and his co-authors, Anatoliy I. Yashin, and Eric Stallard, received the 2019 Eric Siegel Book Review Award.  Here is the link to the article from the Duke Population Research Institute about the award.  https://dupri.duke.edu/news-events/news/baru-researchers-receive-eric-ziegel-book-review-award-technometrics read more about Ken Land and Co-Authors Receive 2019 Eric Siegel Book Review Award »

On Thursday June 13, 2019, Lauren Valentino successfully defended her dissertation entitled “What is a ‘Good’ Job? Cultural Logics of Occupational Prestige.”  Her dissertation committee consisted of; Steve Vaisey(Chair), Chris Bail, Kieran Healy, and Jessi Streib. She has accepted a position as a postdoctoral associate at the Kenan Institute for Ethics here at Duke beginning in fall 2019. read more about Valentino Defends PhD. and Accepts PostDoc at Kenan Institute for Ethics »

Friedolin Merhout has accepted a position at the University of Copenhagen.  Starting August 1, 2019, he will be an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology. read more about Merhout Accepts Position at the University of Copenhagen »

On Thursday May 30, 2019, Friedolin Merhout successfully defended his dissertation titled: “Consequences and Corrections of Misperceptions in Intergroup Relations”.  His committee consisted of: Christopher Bail (Chair), Stephen Vaisey, Kieran Healy, Martin Ruef, and Lynn Smith-Lovin. read more about Merhout Defends PhD. »

Molly Copeland has been named the 2018-2019 Vorsanger-Smith Scholar.  The Vorsanger-Smith Scholar Award is presented annually to recognize overall excellence in the graduate program. Excellence is assessed for all areas of performance in the programs, including coursework, examinations, professional presentations, publications and awards, evaluated contributions as teaching and/or research assistants and departmental citizenship. The award consists of the honorary designation during the following academic year as the… read more about Copeland named Vorsanger-Smith Scholar »

Jack Preiss, professor emeritus of sociology, passed away in April at the age of 99. Jack came to Duke with a joint appointment in Sociology and Psychiatry (Medical Sociology).  His appointment in the Medical School was more than an administrative convenience (e.g., he served on a committee to completely revise the Duke Medical School curriculum).  After retirement, he worked assiduously on various social issues (e.g.,. race relations, housing for the poor and elderly) as they were manifested in Durham.  The Preiss-Steele… read more about Duke Remembers Jack Preiss, Professor Emeritus of Sociology »

Sociology Chair Jen'nan Read was among seven professors inducted into the Bass Society of Fellows and awarded a Bass professorship in recognition of excellence in both research and undergraduate teaching. Read more about the honor on Duke's Faculty Advancement site and Duke Today. read more about Jen'nan Read Awarded Bass Professorship »