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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
Claude S. Fischer
Distinguished Professor of the Graduate School
Personal networks, American social history, technology, social psychology, urban
Christopher Muller
Associate Professor
Inequality, Incarceration, Historical Sociology, Social Theory
Dylan John Riley
Professor
Political Sociology, Comparative Historical Sociology and Social Theory
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
America’s high incarceration rates are a well-known facet of contemporary political conversations. Mentioned far less often is what happens to the nearly 700,000 former prisoners who rejo...

On the Outside: Prisoner Reentry and Reintegration

America’s high incarceration rates are a well-known facet of contemporary political conversations. Mentioned far less often is what happens to the nearly 700,000 former prisoners who rejoin society each year.On the Outside examines the lives of 22 people—varied in race and gender but united by their time in the criminal justice system—as they pass out of the prison gates and back into society. The book takes a clear-eyed look at the challenges faced by former prisoners as they try to find work, housing, and stable communities. Standing alongside these...
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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.