Hundreds of demonstrators from the community gather and speak out against racism and racial injustice

The study of race, justice, and inequality is at the fore for many of our faculty and graduate students.

See our research and resources on understanding and ameliorating racial inequality More
Lake Mendota, Lake Monona, along with the downtown Madison.

“Guided by the Wisconsin Idea of service to the citizens of Wisconsin and beyond, the Department of Sociology conducts world-class research on important local and global social issues and prepares students for meaningful careers and lives of engaged citizenship.”
- Mission Statement of the Department of Sociology

Our department is a well-knit community of faculty, staff, and students.  Under our umbrella, we pursue research that is leading many sociological subfields in new and different directions. We emphasize teaching and public service as well as research. Indeed, we draw no hard boundaries between our research, teaching, and service missions. We value and promote methodological, social, and cultural diversity.

The Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is committed to understanding and ameliorating racial inequality. We condemn the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha as well as the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony Robinson and many others before and since. We are adamantly against racism and bigotry in all of its forms.

Resources on Race, Justice, and Inequality

UW-Madison students (near to far) Courtney Gorum, Molly Pistono and Daniel Ledin work together to paint a mural commemorating the names of Black victims of police violence and racial injustice throughout the country on a boarded up window of the Community Pharmacy building on State Street in Madison, Wisconsin on June 5, 2020. The mural is one of many that have been painted on businesses and shops along the street following several nights of protests in response to the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd, a black man, on May 25, 2020. (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madiso

In Memoriam: Professor Emeritus Franklin Wilson

photo of Franklin WilsonFranklin D. Wilson taught at the University of Wisconsin from 1973 until 2007, where he was most recently the William H. Sewell-Bascom Emeritus Professor of Sociology. He served as Chair of the Department of Afro-American Studies (1984-87), as Chair of the Department of Sociology (1988-91), and as Director of the Center for Demography and Ecology (1994-99). He also served as Co-Editor (with Charles Camic) of the American Sociological Review (2000-2003), the flagship journal of the American Sociological Association.

Professor Wilson received his undergraduate degree form Miles College in Birmingham, Alabama and his graduate degrees from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. Over his lengthy academic career, he made numerous scholarly contributions to sociology and demography. His research focused broadly on population change, distribution and inequality, especially considering differences by race and ethnicity. Much of his work examined the antecedents and implications of patterns of labor market opportunities, socioeconomic attainment, residential segregation, migration, and school desegregation.

Wilson was known as a generous and affable colleague, with a warm and friendly demeanor and a keen sense of humor. He was especially known for being a kind mentor to junior colleagues and students, readily offering encouragement and support. At the same time, he had high scholarly standards and expected a lot of himself—and of others. He was known for his wide-ranging interests, both academic and otherwise, and he had a wise perspective about life and careers. He was committed to and closely connected to his family, especially his wife, Marion and his two daughters.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Franklin to Miles College (, or to the Franklin Wilson – Great People Scholarship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison ( and type in: Franklin D. Wilson Great People Scholarship Fund – 132816487).

Professor Wilson’s obituary can be viewed here.

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