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Welcome to Berkeley Sociology

Berkeley’s Sociology Department is known around the world for its excellence in research and teaching. Our faculty advance cutting edge research and teach in most sociological specialities. Our PhDs are leaders in universities and research centers across the US and in many other countries. And our BAs populate the ranks of innumerable professions, bringing with them the skills and special perspective of Berkeley sociology. 

We are proud to make these contributions from the world’s leading public university. At Berkeley, we combine intellectual rigor with a commitment to public service through our research, teaching, and service on campus and beyond. 

For the past six decades, Berkeley’s Sociology Department has consistently been ranked among the world’s top sociology departments. Our graduate program is ranked #1 in the latest U.S. News and World Report, and our undergrad degree is currently the best in the US according to College Factual and features on Grad Reports’ Best College List 2020.

Faculty Spotlight
Christopher Muller
Associate Professor
Inequality, Incarceration, Historical Sociology, Social Theory
Armando Lara-Millan
Associate Professor
Historical Sociology, Ethnography, Economic Sociology, Knowledge, Medicine, Law and Society
Robert Braun
Assistant Professor
Comparative Historical Sociology; Peace, War, and Social Conflict; Social Movements and Collective Behavior
In Memoriam
Albert Einstein (1941)
Albert Einstein (1941)
EMERITUS PROFESSOR

Prof. Einstein served graduate students as a model of prudence in remaining unfashionably true to the grand…

Faculty Publishing
As debate rages over the widening and destructive gap between the rich and the rest of Americans, Claude Fischer and his colleagues present a comprehensive new treatment of inequality in ...

Inequality by Design: Cracking the Bell Curve Myth

As debate rages over the widening and destructive gap between the rich and the rest of Americans, Claude Fischer and his colleagues present a comprehensive new treatment of inequality in America. They challenge arguments that expanding inequality is the natural, perhaps necessary, accompaniment of economic growth. They refute the claims of the incendiary bestseller The Bell Curve (1994) through a clear, rigorous re-analysis of the very data its authors, Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, used to contend that inherited differences in intelligence e...
[homepage] colloquium

Departmental Colloquium Series

Eliza Brown, "Gaming Health: How Patients and Doctors Weigh Chance and Risk in Fertility Clinics"

Monday, December 5, 2022, 2-3:30pm Hybrid: The Graduate Hotel, California Room & via Zoom

This talk illustrates how, in the context of consumer medicine, physicians convince patients to invest in particular medical treatments by weighing risks with them, reframing uncertain processes as calculable gambles. I delve into the case of twins as a by-product of fertility treatment, which transitioned from a welcome outcome to a problematic one for fertility professionals, while remaining a desirable birth outcome for many patients. From observing hundreds of patient-provider consults at three fertility clinics in New York State that catered to distinct patient populations, as well as conducting over a hundred in-depth interviews with patients and medical providers, I argue that providers reframe the prospect of having twins to patients by communicating with them not only about the associated health risks, but also those related to temporal, financial, and emotional constraints, and show how these negotiations diverge depending clinics' organizational imperatives, particularly the class of patients they are set up to serve.