Home

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
Neil Fligstein
Class of 1939 Professor
Economic sociology, political economy, organizational theory
Christopher Muller
Associate Professor
Inequality, Incarceration, Historical Sociology, Social Theory
Daniel Aldana Cohen
Assistant Professor of Sociology
climate emergency; political economy; eco-apartheid; inequalities of race and class; urban studies; political sociology
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
Why has the labor movement in the United States been so weak and politically conservative in comparison to movements in Western Europe? Kim Voss rejects traditional interpretations--theor...

The Making of American Exceptionalism: The Knights of Labor and Class Formation in the Nineteenth Century

Why has the labor movement in the United States been so weak and politically conservative in comparison to movements in Western Europe? Kim Voss rejects traditional interpretations--theories of "American exceptionalism"--which attribute this distinctiveness to inherent characteristics of American society. On the contrary, she demonstrates, the American labor movement had much in common with its English and French counterparts for most of the nineteenth century. Only with the collapse of the Knights of Labor, the largest American labor organization of ...
[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.