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
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
Irene Bloemraad
Class of 1951 Professor
Immigration, political sociology, race & ethnicity, social movements, nationalism, research methods, Canada
In Memoriam
Albert Einstein (1941)
Albert Einstein (1941)

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

Faculty Publishing
With the rise of the service sector, more middle class Americans are living their personal lives on a “market frontier.” More people hire—and take up jobs as—nannies, childcare center wor...

The Outsourced Self

With the rise of the service sector, more middle class Americans are living their personal lives on a “market frontier.” More people hire—and take up jobs as—nannies, childcare center workers, eldercare workers, eldercare managers, pet care workers, on-line dating services, life coaches, wedding planners, party animators, funeral service providers and even “rent-a-friends.” Through an on-line service called TaskRabbit, one woman hired a person to cheer for her at a marathon. What constellation of trends underlie this shift, the book asks, and what con...
Teach-In Seminar
[homepage] colloquium

Departmental Colloquium Series

Zophia Edwards. Workers, Liberation Unionism, and the Roots of State capacity for Development in Trinidad and Tobago

Monday, October 18, 2-3:30pm via Zoom

Existing development theories predict that factors such as natural resource wealth and the legacies of European colonizers inhibit development. However, the case of Trinidad and Tobago challenges these theories, as a resource-rich former colony that has achieved high levels of development. What accounts for Trinidad and Tobago's development trajectory? Using the Black Marxist radical tradition, this study emphasizes what existing development theories miss, namely, the role of organized labor in enabling Trinidad and Tobago to escape the development trap through a different form of unionism that has not yet discussed in labor studies literature - "liberation unionism.” The findings suggest that development studies attend to how colonial labor legacies shape post-colonial development.