Students walk across the North Park Street pedestrian overpass bridge that links Bascom Hill, at left, and the Mosse Humanities Building, at right

“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.

UW-Madison Scholars speak out about

racial injustice, the police, & protests


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

  • John Eason explains challenges involved to make changes to law enforcement in an interview in the Wisconsin Examiner.  He says, “I’d argue, make the police better. This is beyond a call to defund them.”
  • Pam Oliver provides comment about current and historical protests against police brutality in an interview with Madison’s NBC 15 news.  She is working on a research project analyzing how racism and black protests against police violence have been changing since the 1990s in the United States.  Oliver says, “Was I shocked about what happened in Minneapolis? No.”

Statement of Solidarity with our Black community members from the Chairs of the joint graduate program in Sociology

May 31, 2020

As Chairs of the joint program in Sociology, we join our voices to Chancellor Blank’s message.

Our community is founded on supporting the dignity, flourishing, and safety of all its diverse members. In light of recent heart-wrenching events in our nation and our city, we write now to specifically affirm our support for our Black community members. We stand with and support Black students, faculty, and staff.

Sociologists seek to understand the roots of social injustice and racialized violence and to provide the intellectual foundation for addressing it. Never has our work been more needed. We recognize that UW-Madison and our own programs need to improve in providing vibrantly diverse spaces that live up to our hopes and goals of addressing racial injustice. We are committed to work together to do our part to end racism and structural racism and to live up to our values of decency, excellence, and diversity in all ways. For this reason, our first department meetings of the fall will include an agenda item with options for discussion on how we might collectively foster creative discussion and scholarship in response to these issues.

On a personal note to those faculty, students, and staff who may be experiencing feelings of trauma or stress around these events, we want you to know that we are thinking about you. Please do not hesitate to reach out if there are ways we can provide personal support to you in this time.

In solidarity,

Mike Bell & Christine Schwartz

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Emergency Student Fund Donations

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