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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
Raka Ray
Professor and Dean, Social Sciences
Gender, postcolonial sociology, emerging middle classes, South Asia, inequality, qualitative research methods, social movements
Yan Long
Assistant Professor
Global and transnational sociology, political sociology, health and medicine, organizations, gender and sexualities
Ann Swidler
Professor of the Graduate School
Culture, religion, theory, institutionalization, African responses to HIV/AIDS; social ecologies of religion in Africa; chieftaincy, congregational religion and capacities for collective action
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 re...

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 the...
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Departmental Colloquium Series

Camila Alvarez, "Disparate Selection: Superfund Inequalities among Closed Domestic U.S. Military Bases"

Monday, February 26th, 2024 at 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Blumer Room - 402 Social Sciences Building & Via Zoom

Abstract: Sociologists defined the state by their monopoly of organized violence and national militaries and domestic police departments are examples of the state’s institutionalized violence. In this talk, Dr. Alvarez presents a unique dataset of closed domestic U.S. Military installations to explain the rise and fall of military bases and their consequential environmental problems. Results show robust disparate selection of federal-level environmental remediation for decommissioned bases. The evidence reveals the state perpetuating environmental inequalities through militarized spaces.